May Is Here Finish The Drill


Spring is nature’s way of saying,

“Let’s party!” 

Robin Williams

No matter how chaotic it is wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere.”

Sheryl Crow

My favorite bulletin board idea was one I used when I taught fifth grade.

I think it was the kids’ favorite, too.

The colorful board had a huge hamburger across the board and my students got to place pictures and words, “the “fixings”- on the big burger with all the things they wanted to do during the coming summer. The heading read:


Now that it is May first, everyone is really ready to close the books on this school year. In fact, most colleges have either had their commencements or they are scheduled for the very near future.The lower schools are counting the days, going by slow as molasses for the students and a little faster for the teachers as they work hard to accomplish all the skills on their lists. And the parents? They are making summer plans, camp, day-care and hopefully a trip to the beach if they’re lucky.

Our rhododendron bud waits for its day to pop.

Spring sports are in full session, along with Spring plays and musical performances, while small groups of Moms meet over coffee to plan the end-of-year parties. Parents attend awards programs and scout groups wrap things up for the year. Coach Mark Richt was famous for telling his University of Georgia Bulldog players: “Let’s finish the drill!!!”

While all this is happening in the busy month of May, flowers and animals in our midst are quietly displaying the handiwork of Spring. Just following Easter, May is a time where all things really do seem new and our Creator, through NATURE, does an incredible job of showing us the newness of life which unfolds in May. It’s a time to finish things up and start the next new thing.

Our rhododendron bud begins the process of spreading its wings.
A little closer to blooming, , rhododendrons have long been mainstays of late spring because of their spectacular clusters of showy blooms and large green leaves that last through the winter.
This one is nearly in full bloom now!
Last week, I had to rescue this scared, little bunny from our dog, Mocha’s teeth. Thankfully, he was not injured beyond repair as he slowly rejoined his family in the bushes.

Homes become safe havens for baby birds and other babies who are new in the Spring. Nests are built in wreaths, flowerpots, nearby trees and bushes. May is a time for yard and garage sales and For Sale signs going up in front of some homes where families are ready for something different or a job change has prompted a move to a new location.

Annaclaire hangs out with her cousin, Titus, both now age one.
Picnic Time!
Titus is asking: “What flavor are those fingers, Annaclaire?”

May is a good time to take notice on how quick your little ones are growing right out of the clothes you have for them and how their little toes are cramming into their shoes. To read about the six babies born into our family in 2014, including these two cuties, click here: Carve Your Name On Hearts.

What is on your list for MAY that will help you successfully “finish the drill?”

Do something that makes you smile.

Red geraniums make me happy! I will be planting these soon along with some of my favorite herbs and some bright yellow lantana.

Blaze Your Own Trail Dolly Parton: Dream More

I first posted these thoughts on January 26, 2015, and I am updating them here, because there has been some big news in the region where Dolly Parton was raised. Did you happen to catch NBC’s special about her life this past week? The title is Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love. DID YOU KNOW? Dolly Parton, who turned 70 on her last birthday, January 19, 1946, was raised in an unimaginably poor household. One of 12 children, yes, the home was filled with love abounding, but many times her big family found themselves both cold and hungry as they grew up in the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee area in the stunning Great Smoky Mountains. As Donny and I watched the show I mentioned above, I was once again reminded of how Dolly (along with the help of her Uncle Billy) never, ever gave up on her dreams to one day be a star. Dolly Parton, as we now all know, reached her dreams even more than could be imagined! As we also know, thousands in and around the cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge had to be evacuated on Monday night, November 28, 2016, due to horrific and rapid spreading fires throughout the Great Smoky Mountains. Parton agreed to directly aid each family who has been impacted by these wild fires and she is calling her response: “My People Fund.” What dreams do you and I want to carry out in the new year that is ahead of us? Let’s never give up on our dreams to leave the kind of legacy we would like to leave behind.

So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”
Christopher Reeve

As a fifty-something woman, I am always looking for fresh ideas and new energy. That is why I checked out a book on CD from Cracker Barrel for my recent five-hour drive to Abingdon, Virginia. I decided on Dolly Parton’s DREAM MORE: Celebrate the Dreamer in You, and I am glad I did.


Did you know that Dolly Parton’s Daddy, a tobacco farmer, could not read or write? He paid the doctor who delivered Dolly with a sack of oatmeal.  Did you know that Dolly, the fourth of twelve children, announced “I’m  goin’ to Nashville and I’m gonna be a star!” to all who would listen when she graduated from Sevierville High School in 1964?  Not only did Dolly go and accomplish this huge dream of hers, but in 1995, she also developed The Imagination Library. Dolly wanted every preschool child in her native Sevier County, Tennessee to have his/her own collection of books. Imagination Library currently serves children in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., providing more that 560,000 children with a book each month!  It was really fun listening to Dolly read and sing her way through this book on CD, as the miles from GA to VA clicked by. Dolly Parton highlighted four areas that I want to emphasize as I celebrate the dreamer inside myself and hope you will do the same:

Dream More

Don’t let the weeds grow around your dreams! Keep dreamin’ ’til you take your last breath.

Learn More

Keep reading, researching and learning as much as you possibly can.

Care More

There is always going to be someone less fortunate who shows up in your path. Care for them!

Be More

Follow the Golden Rule! BE the best YOU you can be.

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While in Abingdon, VA, we visited the local Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning and got to meet a creative,  young woman who is going after her dreams: Artist, Jenny Nichols, owner of Mountain Primadonna. Jenny designs unique jewelry and she had many things on display at the market. I purchased this “Blaze Your Own Trail” necklace from Jenny as I reflected on the message Dolly Parton had shared with “me” on my drive north. You can also meet Jenny on her blog Freedom to be.

As I go forward I want to keep my dreams alive and blaze my trail that is uniquely prepared for me.

A tiny spark can start the flame glowing for that dream you may have left in the dust long ago.

What is that aspiration that has nearly been forgotten that you want to resurrect in your life today?

A necklace designed by Jenny, artist and owner of Mountain Primadonna
…let’s follow the Light that is shining on our path…
We will encounter rocks and roots in our path, even so, let’s keep moving forward towards our dreams.