Author Archive

All new In Harmony yoga studio and Yoga at the Falls

June 5, 2013 2 comments

(This is a copy of my yoga blog.  Next time I’ll do an update on Sarah.)

A lot has changed since my last blog entry. I am now a 200-hour Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher. I had a wonderful, though exhausting time earning my certification. The teachers at Sana Vida are crazy smart. Thank goodness they were willing to share their knowledge with us. It was all I could do to take enough notes and absorb it all. (I know who is laughing right now. Actually, it might be anyone who has ever taken a class with me…) And I definitely consider myself very lucky to have had such wonderful classmates.

After just a few weeks into teacher training, and my students and I freezing in the gym, I decided to open my own studio at my house (403 E. Bluebonnet Ln., JCTX 78636). As always happens, the remodel of my large, detached garage kept getting bigger and bigger. With only a few hiccups, it is finally about to be finished. We are getting the flooring and floor lamps tomorrow. In Harmony will be completed enough by Wednesday, June 12th, that we will go ahead and hold classes there that day. Yes, I did say classes with an “s.”

Starting Wednesday, Keith Payne of OM Fire Yoga, will teach Power Yoga, at 5:30 pm. every Wednesday. (Power Yoga has more aerobic exercises and strenuous movement than one typically associates with yoga. You will sweat!) Keith is a fellow Sana Vida teacher training graduate, 200-hour Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher and has been kind enough to sub for me in the past. My students really like him, and we will be the 5th yoga studio to have him as a teacher. Please see Keith’s bio on his webpage.

For myself, I will continue teaching Gentle Yoga at 8:30 am on Mondays and Wednesdays, and due to high demand I am now adding Fridays @ 8:30 am. I will also teach a yoga class @ 5:30 pm on Tuesdays, beginning June 18th. Eventually, if there is enough demand, I will add Thursday nights too. The style of yoga taught in the evenings will be determined by my students and their needs. So, I’ll let you know what that turns out to be…

Please Note: Johnson City Does Yoga will now be donation-based.

Johnson City Does Yoga at Pedernales Falls

I was reading an article about hiking and yoga, when it struck me. We have one of the best parks, in the state, down the street from us. So, anyone and everyone are invited to do “Yoga on the Falls,” at Pedernales Falls State Park, Monday, June 10th, at 9:00 am. The focus of this class is to allow you to enjoy doing yoga in a beautiful environment. The class is free in case you have to pay to get into the park. If you have a park pass, might I suggest a donation to this wonderful park…

Categories: Jim

Jim now has both of his grandfathers with him

January 15, 2013 1 comment

We lost Helen’s dad, Gerald Head, this morning.  He was a wonderful grandfather to me.  He always gave me the most wonderful, crushing hugs.  What we seem to find most comforting is that he is in heaven with Jim.  Jim admired him so much.  I hope they are hunting together…

hands - Jim

I like taking pictures of hands.  No idea why, but I do.  I find the similarities between the picture of Sarah with her daddy and her picture with her great-grandfather to be very sweet.



Categories: Jim

Sarah is now in the Johnson City Library’s mural

December 22, 2012 4 comments


I was lucky enough to spend the last hour with the artist, Lee Casbeer of LMC Murals, while he finished painting Sarah. Let me tell you, my jaw fell open when I walked in the front door of the Johnson City Library and saw her. My eyes were drawn straight to hers. Then, I started taking in the rest of her. Having been lucky enough to have visited Italy on a Baylor summer study with Jim, I can easily see the Italian influence on Lee’s painting style. The level of detail is stunning. He actually made Sarah look more like “Sarah” than the photo he was using. I guess Lee saw and noted her unhindered curiosity with his beautiful and sweet cats while we did the photo-shoot in his studio. He absolutely nailed it in her eyes and smile.

Almost Done

“The countenance is the portrait of the soul, and the eyes mark its intentions.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

While doing the painting, Lee had in mind that Sarah was looking back at someone who was telling her not to get too close to the fence.  Personally, I could see Sarah’s thoughts in my mind.  “Is Mom looking because pretty dress from Mimi or not, I’m about to throw my leg over this fencepost and go play with the longhorns…”

Thank you, again, to everyone who made a donation to the Johnson City Library. You made it possible for the Library’s board to be kind enough to offer to honor Jim by painting his daughter into the mural. Honestly, Sarah looks so much like Jim that it’s almost like having him up there too, especially those eyes…

With the real Sarah

Haven’t been this sick in 20 years.

October 19, 2012 3 comments

I acquired the stomach flu and ended up in the ER on Tuesday night.  The last time I was that sick I had food poisoning in Egypt.  I’m much better now, although still not very hungry and have now completely lost my voice.  (Sarah, thinking it’s a game, whispers back to me.)  Thankfully, the Axtell’s agreed to let Sarah and I spend two nights with them so I had time to become human again. 

I’m still regrouping, and really slow-moving because I get tired so quickly.  Hopefully, next week’s blog can discuss everything I wish I had ready and with me, and how I’m going to be more prepared for another emergency.

Categories: Jim

This fall’s new priorities

October 11, 2012 Leave a comment

I usually hit the restart button in October.  It always has been a time when I “reshuffle” my priorities.  So, where I can make my (our) life easier, I’m going to.  I’ll be changing more than a few things this fall. 

I think my writing muse has fled the country.  It takes so much longer than it did in the beginning.  Maybe when I’m trapped inside in the middle of winter and middle of summer, I won’t be distracted by as much.  But, now that the weather is nice there are things I need to do outside that take time planning and doing them. 

I also want to focus on Sarah and yoga.  I’m getting involved with her school and have enjoyed the fieldtrips with her class.  This January and February I’ll be working on getting my 200-hr. yoga certification.  Plus, I want to slowly begin teaching private lessons.  I try desperately to not divide myself so thin that I can’t do things well.  The perfectionist in me always goes nuts when that happens.  😉

These are just a few of my “reshuffled” priorities.  I don’t like getting use to our new normal, but I have to and I have to move us forward too. 

Sarah at the Vogel Orchard pumpkin patch today.

Sarah:  Her class visited the Vogel Orchard Pumpkin Patch today.  They are being incredibly generous by taking all the kids on a hay ride and then giving each child at Stonewall Head Start a pie pumpkin to decorate.  The class then received a big pumpkin to carve tomorrow.  Sarah had a blast.  She’s so fun to watch.

Is the show “Go On” realistic?

October 4, 2012 2 comments

The widow blog I subscribe to, Widowed Village, asked us to watch the show and then do a massive group review.  Before her request, I had no idea of the show’s premise.  Ever since Sarah was born, I try not to get hooked on new shows because I don’t really have time for tv.  However, I recorded it and watched it yesterday.  I would say the producers/network took a really big gamble by attempting to find humor in a new widower’s life.  I’ve only watched one show, but I’d say they did a darn good job.  Because of the situation this is probably one of the most well thought out shows.  It felt like a sitcom on the surface, with deeper tones if you wanted to see it, and an occasional splash of real feelings.  I had many similar feelings and thoughts as Matthew Perry’s character.  He just articulates it better.  I appreciate the show. 

But, of course, a child is not involved.  You couldn’t tastefully make that funny. 

Most of you read this on a regular basis, so you see how I try to find the sad, odd and unique humor in being a widow.  Jim and I had a quite morbid humor starting a few months after his diagnosis.  It’s normal, but we tried not to do it in front of others.  You have probably heard the saying, “You have to laugh to keep from crying.”  I am still walking that fine line on a daily basis.  Jim had a better sense of humor than me, so I try to see how he would look at ridiculous situations that I run into.

Sarah:  Last weekend, we got to ride Thomas the Train when he came to Burnet.  Sarah had a blast and was sad when we couldn’t go back the next morning.  However, I came across a problem that is not going to go away.  On the way home, I could see Sarah becoming sad.  I asked what was wrong.  She got that “look” and said she missed her daddy.  I took a deep breath, guessing the problem, and asked if she noticed the other daddies there (like I had).  She simply nodded her head.  I paused.  Then, I said I knew he wanted to be there with her.  I knew he would have had fun with us, and that I’m sure he was watching her have fun.  I hope that was the right thing to have told her.   

If there are going to be a ton of daddies around, I am of the mind to take her only to high quality, memory-making events and not run-of-the-mill ones.  It has to be worth her noticing the other kids have daddies (jealously) and for her to notice her daddy’s absence (sadness).  Yes, we have to get use to these feelings, but I’m not into doing it constantly.  What would you do?

Unfortunately, we were (I was) sized up at the event.  I felt demeaned and angry that I felt that way.  The woman in charge of economic development for the City of Burnet was conducting a survey.  She interviewed the dad in front of me, looked solidly at me, then skipped me and proceeded to interview the dad behind me.  You better bet I drove straight home when we left.  And how much do you think I want to go back to that town?  This happened the day after Sarah’s Stonewall Head Start/Ag-Extension Service sent home a registration form for a reading program asking for only the father’s information on the front, and on the back did not include widow/widower in the marital status section.  Head Start and the Ag-Extension Service each got a signed letter from me. 

I’m tired of this.  If I need to, I will single-handedly educate the entire Hill Country and become a huge single mother advocate.  I rarely point out that I’m a widow because I know it makes most people uncomfortable to discuss it and they typically can’t relate anyways.  However, I am not going to roll over and act as if all this ignoring is ok either.  I didn’t change.  The situation changed.

Note:  I forwarded a link to this blog entry to the economic department of the City of Burnet hoping for an explanation.  Both women conducting the survey quickly sent me long and very kind emails.  I completely read that long look the wrong way.  They were trying to not be disruptive to the event by not asking the same people to do the survey twice and by trying to asking every other family.  There were more things that happened this past week that I haven’t even mentioned, so I believe I’m especially raw at the moment.  Go to Burnet.  I will – especially to ride Thomas again next year.  Probably sooner to eat at the Cookie Café and Bakery on the square…

We made it through the first year

September 27, 2012 2 comments

No more “year of first’s.”  I made it through the first part of this week pretty much on autopilot.  Trying not to think of what it was like a year ago, or what it should be like today.  I’m starting to think a little better today.

Last night, on the way to bed, I asked Sarah about the night Jim passed away.  (I have only asked once before because I don’t like the idea of bringing up bad memories on purpose.  That response is on an earlier post.)  First, I asked if she remembered her daddy leaving the house with a lot of people.  She frowned, and after a moment said, “No.”  Ok, good, I was hoping she wouldn’t remember that.  Next, I asked if she remembered waking up (exactly when Jim was passing) when my parents were with her.  She said, “Yes.”  I asked what woke her up.  She just looked at me.  Then, without really thinking about it, I asked who woke her up.  She smiled and said, “You.”  Hmmm.    I told her I heard she was really mad (more like instant, long-lasting, foot-stomping, crying pissed-off) when she woke up, and I asked if she remembered why.  She said, “I didn’t want to lose you too.”  After my jaw dropped and the tears hit my eyes, I hugged her and said, “Well, you didn’t, did you?”  And she smiled at me again. 

I’m not huge on the super-natural stuff, so what she said can be explained two ways.  First, I know she knew Jim was changing that last week, she actually did remember Jim leaving the house and was applying all that, or part, to me too.   Second, and here’s the teeny-tiny super-naturalish part, Sarah may have had enough of a bond with me or Jim or both that she felt what was happening in Fredericksburg.  It’s not completely unheard of, and I have always felt the moment Sarah falls asleep, so I know we have a strong bond.  No matter what, I probably won’t ever really know.  I wish I could though.

(Sorry this is late.   I just had to write an emergency recommendation letter for a friend of mine who the government is trying to deport.  The second friend of mine the government has done this to, and they are both amazing men.  Both caught in a net not meant for them.)