Tuesday, September 30, 2008


"The look of wild happiness in his eyes was amazing. Many people live their whole lives without that look. The best people in our lives never last long enough, but we have to be grateful for each moment that they get under our skins and in our souls" unknown email from one of Papa Squat's trail buddies

"Papa and I drank beers and dreamed about climbing Mt. Ranier in Washington sometime" He was part mischief and part mentor to me. And I loved him. When I hike the PCT I'm going to have Papa in my heart. And in life, when I start taking myself too seriously I'm going to think, What would Papa do?" Krispie

"one helluva hiker with two tours of the A.T. under his belt and prospects of the PCT in 2004, how can I even begin to think about the pct without him...see ya in hiker heaven brother!" Greenman

"Papa was a ray of sunshine whenever you ran into him and he always made me feel good about myself." Birdman

"I consider myself very lucky to have known Papa and to have had him as a friend. Papa wrote the most beautiful letters, and he truly cared for his friends in a way that few people do."

James Franklin LeCroy, Jr. - September 30, 1961 - November 27, 2003 Thinking about ya bro!
also know as Papa Squat - a name given to him on his first trek of the AT (Appalachian Trail)
To me, he was my little brother Jimmy (I am the only one on the planet that called him that!) Everyone else called him James. James worked as a kayak instructor/guide for a brief time.The "lemon squeezer" on the Appalachian Trail. "Papa Squat" had been on the trail awhile and lost some weight thus being able to squeeze thru.

SUCCESS! Completion of the Appalachian Trail (1st time) from Springer, Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Maine. James felt most alive when he was on a trail somewhere! He was so funny and entertaining and everyone loved him! We miss you James! Happy Birthday in Hiker Heaven!

Friday, September 26, 2008


Rain is splashing in puddles on the concrete, there is a chill in the air. A new season is beginning. A leaf or two begins the subtle change from green to orange, yellow and red. It's a glorious season one I love for reflection, meditation and making improvements. Preparing to hunker down for the winter to come. Or for us in the South the promise of Winter. It is a quiet Friday and I am prone to daydreaming...the dripping rain beckons me back to the window! Browsing thru some shots of things... I derive inspiration for future projects...
This humble cottage would make a lovely vacation home in the mountains. It's definitely a fixer. It is in fact in the Smokey Mountains. Can you just hear the rain tapping on the tin roof? A couple rockers on the porch. Pure Ecstasy.

The clouds rolling over the Great Smokey Mountains...all around one is engulfed in this smokey haze...it has an ethereal feel to it.

The lines of this bench and the way it felt against my back...I could nap here. Oh yeah...Me and Moe, our feline son.

On a walk in the country at the family ponderosa...I have no idea what these are...reminded me of some alien pods........

What's not to love about this wiggly, little guy. Can you look at him and not smile for all his being so very "twee" (as my friend Dorothy would have called it) This was on the dash of my friend Kelly's car. He was rescued from a thrift shop in Florida.

Nature's beauty discarded from the sea for us to look upon and enjoy. I could sit there for hours and sift my hands through the fragments. Some shells were selected to be added to jewelry projects...nature graciously provided holes for them to be re-used as jewelry or in other art.

Kinda what today looks like, shades of gray...behave... we are not talking about my hair! This day has a reflective, meditative, silent deliciousness about it...hope you enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lessons from the Diva

Happy Birthday to the Diva...September 7...no current pictures from recent celebration as the floozies are being slackers and have not sent them to me! Love Ya'll anyway! We celebrated the Diva's birthday at Travinia's in true floozie fashion. A fun time was had by all. I have known Paula, aka as "The Diva" aka as my evil twin (some days I am the evil twin) The evil twin misnomer came by way of the Diva's students thinking we were sisters...we are sisters in spirit! I have known Paula approximately fifteen years...our daughters are the same age and quite frequently could be seen together. We have experienced grief, tragedy, divorces, joy, laughter, a series of adventures, workouts and everything in between! Paula came by the nickname Diva for a number of reasons, the main one being a mutual friend had a sign made for Paula referring to the Diva and the rest as they say is history or herstory! Paula has always been a swan, it took her a few years to totally embrace her beautiful persona. This is the woman my husband would leave me for if she were to have him, just kidding. Carl loves being around Paula but so do alot of other men, sorry Tom! In honor of this zany, crazy beautiful friend I have compiled a list of lessons learned from the Diva:
  • You don't have to have a beautiful solo voice to sing in a choir, it's fun and it takes many voices to create a beautiful sound.
  • Birthdays are too special to celebrate for just one day.
  • Feathers and sparkles are a good thing.
  • You can never have enough feathers, sparkles, black pants and tops.
  • A little jewelry is great, more jewelry is better
  • More is more!
  • The joy of jacuzzi ownership
  • Shopping is a good thing... it stimulates the economy
  • Sometimes you have to let go of "friends" that drag you down or require more than you are willing or able to give or "cost" your well being in some way
  • To enjoy excellent meals with good friends
  • How to be a great hostess
  • You can never have too many flamingos (that is a story for another day, while Kendall is responsible for the Diva thing alas I am responsible for the beginning of the Flamingo epidemic
  • It's okay to be forked (not what you think, again a story for another post)
  • Be Yourself and true to yourself, if someone doesn't like it...they are missing out
  • Everyone is a potential friend
  • The higher the hair the better

I could mention a few more things however the Diva is already very comfortable being fabulous...we wouldn't want her to get a "big head" The best lesson of all LIVE BIG OR GO HOME!!! So, again wishing the Diva a wonderful Birthday Month and then some. Much love from all your floozie friends!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sun, Sand and Sea Part Two

I thought I would share a little more coastal fun! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sun, Sand, Sea and Tattoos!

A return to sun, sand and sea beckons me like no other place. Sorrow, grief, frustration flows away with the tide...joy, delight and awe return with the tide! Doors open enabling the sounds of the waves to rock you to a peaceful slumber. Majestic colors of Sky and Sun reflecting on water. The delightful giggling and shrieking of happy children (especially grandchildren) racing to get busy digging, building, running and splashing. A return to childlike wonderment and delight.

A bright new day filled with possibilities awakens with the glorious sunrise!!! Morning begins with a swim in the pool with very excited grandchildren! Hunter isn't still long enough to be photographed. Anna must look at and touch everything.

It's a quick shower and off to be tattooed! Henna that is, washable, safe and fun! As we rode along the boulevard enjoying the "tourists" (Jayne, a former coastal resident for 30+years, Kristi and I being South Carolinians and a couple of hours away do not consider ourselves tourists!) we spyed an accommodating location to get our tattoos...so many to choose from...hmmm...

Yes, my lower back is a might ticklish and I am concentrating on being still!

Oh My Stars and Garters! I decided on a swirly star with a curly garland as an anklet! I love it.

Several women, later in the day asked me if it hurt and I said no because it is only dye and not permanent! I am too fickle to have anything inked on me forever.

Jayne decided to have stars, moon and dragonfly a wee bit higher up the leg...

Some much needed retail therapy and silliness after a scrumptious, fine dining experience at Abuelos. Great food, wonderful atmosphere and the best service I've had in a long time! Along with fajitas and yummy chips and salsa were these delicious papas con chile' (mashed potatoes on steroids) After an attempt to sample the "hot stuff in little silver cups" I quickly downed about 5 diet cokes!!! Reminder to self...do not drink 5 diet cokes when you must use many public restrooms! Goodbyes to Kristi and Jayne, return to the condo for me! Sunday was yet another beautiful day...exhausted children and great grandma...we let them sleep in and slipped downstairs to the restaurant for breakfast. We had our own private "worship" service on the beach. We usually do not shop and go places on Sunday, that is reserved for church service and rest...however being at the beach for a limited time we took the children and the great grandma to the aquarium to view the most amazing heavenly creatures! Michelle's husband was injured on a four wheeler while racing (note.. frowning here) we decided to depart early for home.
A lovely time was had by all...to my friends enjoying shagging (dancing) at the beach have fun...I may see you gals at the "grapevine" on Friday!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Palms versus Pines

The pine trees in my "woods" on our property. The ones still standing after DH eradicated approximately 26 trees that he deemed too close to the house. Pine trees are known to snap, crack, split, drop limbs and so forth. They tend to be inflexible and do not always weather storms very well. Pines tend to leave a "big mess" when tossed to and fro. In defense of the pine tree, they are majestic, regal, familiar, true and evergreen. Plus the needles make great baskets!

The lovely palms of St. Augustine, Florida. Palms weather storms by bending and swaying.
The palms are graceful under the onslaught of high winds, rain, floods and the tropical storms and hurricanes rampant in coastal areas of the world.
My friend Jayne having lived on the coast most of her adult life, of course, loves palm trees! She recently posted about palm trees and we also had a discussion about trees, nature and the many, many topics we find ourselves discussing on our Saturday excursions. She mentioned that she would like " to be graceful, bending, swaying, and flexible in order to weather all the storms of my life." I frequently think about the pines in my yard and how they snap and break at the slightest provocation. How they loose their needles and do not withstand storms very well and how often I resemble the pines as I am forever loosing my needles! I have always loved palm trees from the very first vision of them as a young child moving to a new country. I relate to them being graceful, swaying and bending. The palms lift up their skirts during the storms like a true southern belle implying that whatever forces or adversity served their way will be weathered with grace, dignity and a certain aplomb! Each time I view the palms in the midst of severe storms, I think...wow...I want to bounce back intact just like that! So Jayne, thanks for the reminder! I am striving to embrace the wonderful qualities of both the palm and the pine in a healthy balance. So are you in balance...are you more palm like or more pine like?
P.S. I will be getting up close and personal with the sand, sea, and palms for an extended weekend Friday. WOOHOO...color me happy! Plus I "get to" play in the sand with my grandchildren. Jayne, hopefully Kristi, and a few others will be meeting at the beach for our henna tattoos, shopping and a glorious fun time!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Dash Between the Years

My friend Kelly and her husband enjoying a fun moment in the Florida Keys. Kelly, her husband and 2 sons are loving life in Florida. About two years ago they basically sold everything and moved to Jacksonville and started a new life. Kelly and Rob grew up and lived in Camden, South Carolina most of their lives. This was a pretty active family prior to the move with camping trips and scuba diving and so on. Florida has agreed with them. They still scuba dive, snorkel, and go camping however added to that is surfing for the boys and fabulous trips all over Florida, the Bahamas and wherever their heart desires! I worked with Kelly for a number of years we shared special ed students and had a great time teaching them how to live! Kelly is so enthusiastic and exuberant it was my job to reign her in a bit and her job to loosen me up!
I have been thinking about how we live our lives. Are we just in survivor mode doing enough to get from one day to the next? Are we stuck in a rut, doing the same thing the same way day after day after day? It is easy to set up a comfort zone and stay in it...for a very long time. We all have a birth date and inevitably we will all have a date of death. How will we live the "dash" between those two dates? I received an e-mail not too long ago about the dash between the years and it is an idea I haven't been able to shake. We all have responsibilities and obstacles to overcome. How are we doing this...with drudgery...with enthusiasm...? Are we creating lives of authenticity...true to ourselves or are we living a fabricated life of what we "think" is right and true encouraged by the media, or someone else's agenda or by what our ego likes us to think?
I have been reminded lately of the blessings in my life and to show gratitude for the many people, places and things I enjoy every day of my life. Some very special people have reminded me in a very tangible way of the blessings of friendship and diversity. Thank You!!!
I am working on an e-seminar with Christine Kane and she has issued a challenge to remain complaint free for 49 days. I have a purple bracelet to remind me...you switch the bracelet from one arm to another when you complain, whine or criticize...yeah it is exhausting and I am not telling you how many times I have to start over...as she says "energy goes where attention flows" I like that. Are the dashes in your years becoming filled with love, peace and kindness or are the dashes full of complaining, criticism and harshness? What you focus on becomes your reality...I like peace, love and kindness ALOT!!!
How about you...how are you living the dash between the years???