Find Joy in the Journey

Find Joy in the Journey

I woke up at 5 a.m. Saturday morning.  Oh how I love when that happens!  Waking up without an alarm on a day off means more hours to enjoy the day off!

I felt the muse.  I wanted to paint.  The same sweet lady who asked for a painting for the new cardiologist also wanted a painting for a new geriatrician.

I worked for over a dozen years for a home health and hospice company, so I have a special place in my heart for the elderly and also the end of life journey.

I had a vision for what I wanted to paint.  I wanted to paint an elderly couple embracing and enjoying the journey at end of life.

I like to paint a bit more impressionistic and abstract, though, so how to portray in a way that a new doctor entering this “journey” might appreciate?

This is what I came up with.  I just wasn’t sure about it though.  I sat on it for a few hours before sending a picture of it to the person who commissioned it.  I told her I would understand if it was not what she had in mind and told her it was very different from the heart one I did previously, so I would understand if she didn’t want it and would just like a flower or something completely different…

Turns out she loved it, so off to its new home this one went.

I hope it will bring joy to the recipient as she enters her new journey caring for people at the journey at end of life.

Cheers & Hugs,

#WorldWatercolorMonth is only days away!  July 2020!  Join the fun!

Playing & Creating – Enjoying the Journey

Playing and Creating.

Some leftover paint
mixed up for a pouring project
that I played with on paper
with a goal of creating a wave…

Turned out to look
nothing like a wave,
but so many other things
magically appeared.

I see a bird
and a dolphin
or a crocodile
and a fish.

I feel movement
and life
and freedom
and joy.


While enjoying
the special time
at life in between.

while playing
made something
I would never sell or hang on a wall,

but I created
and learned
how things react
and mix and mingle.

Art – like life –
isn’t always about
the destination –
but about the journey.

Play and create today.
Do something that brings you joy
in that “in between” time you get to call your own,
and enjoy the journey.

Cheers & Hugs,

Original Watercolors, Acrylic Abstracts, and Handmade Rustic Decor available at McKinneyX2DesignsKlaus the Mouse available on Amazon here.

Where are you going, leaves?

In autumn the leaves come blowing, yellow and brown.
They rustle in the ditches, they tug and hang on the hedge.
Where are you going, leaves?  Far, far away.
Into the earth we go, with the rain and the berries.
Take me, leaves, O take me on your dark journey.
I will go with you, I will be rabbit-of-the-leaves.
In the deep places of the earth, the earth and the rabbit.

Silverweed, Watership Down

Currently reading “Watership Down” by Richard Adams.

Have you read this classic?

We are reading it in preparation for our upcoming book club.

Would love to hear thoughts from those who have read.

Cheers & Hugs,

A “Woohoo” Journey

A Woohoo Journey.

I was talking to a friend the other day
whose family just returned from their annual weekend amusement park vacation.

It made me think about how many “rides”…. how many difficult situations… how many journeys…
I closed my eyes and waited until it was over.

Instead of enjoying the ride… Instead of appreciating the journey,
and shouting “Woohoo!”

Roller Coasters…
literally and figuratively.

I think of all the things I missed….
just waiting to get to the end – the destination.

No more!
No more closing my eyes and waiting.

Eyes are now wide open.
I am watching.  I am appreciating.  I am enjoying the journey!

(Just please don’t hold me to this on the Thunderbolt at Kennywood!)

Cheers & Hugs,

Painting Purple Posies

Purple Crocus Spring Watercolor 10x14" 300 lb Arches Cold Press

Purple Crocus Spring Watercolor 10×14″ 300 lb Arches Cold Press

Painting Purple Posies.

Though I could never create the beauty Mother Nature does…

especially in Spring when the purple crocuses pop up and  remind us once again of the hope of life and rebirth and renewal…

I couldn’t resist painting my impression of these beauties I captured and posted yesterday.

It was good to splash some Winsor Violet and Opera Rose and Prussian Blue and Cadmium Yellow with a touch of Perylene Green.

And instead of trying to recreate them, my goal was to paint how they made me feel.

I struggle with stopping here or filling in the details to make them look more realistic.  But ultimately, my love for impressionistic painting wins, and I stopped.

Before I ever ventured into this amazing joy of painting, I would have thought this way easier than exactly duplicating or painting more realistic representations, but the urge to “fiddle” and “replicate” typically leaves me feeling less satisfied.

To restrain….

To stop “before…”

To leave a bit – even if only a teensy bit – to the imagination…

is a challenge…

But a crazy and totally fulfilling, joyful experience when it works.

Not convinced I hit it with this one, but the joy  in the journey might just be as satisfying as the ultimate goal.

Kinda like life – huh?

It’s a journey – meant to be embraced and expressed and felt – all along the way.

Once we reach the destination – then what?

Cheers  & Hugs,


Life and Hope


My son snagged this amazing shot with his iPhone down the lane to our home one evening this week when the clouds were rolling in.

I love the beauty of the lush green “life,” the bright blue sky of “hope,” and the looming “sadness’ in the darkness under the puffy white clouds.

It reminded me of a dear friend who has been on my mind constantly lately who is going through a difficult period while she tends to her parents’ needs at her father’s journey at end of life.

It made me think of life and hope and sadness and how we all deal with all of it every day – –  often every moment of the day.

The lyrics of one of my all-time favorite songs came to mind, and I want to share them here for my sweet friend, Bub:

If the sky above you
Grows dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind begins to blow
Keep you head together
And call my name out loud
Soon you’ll hear me knocking at you door
You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running to see you again


May we all find cherished moments of life and hope in times of darkness and sadness.
And may we all find comfort in friendship to get us through.

We may not be close enough in geographic proximity to literally always show up and knock on the door, but we can reach out in so many other ways to be there for each other.

Be life and hope in someone’s darkness today.

Cheers & Hugs,

National Healthcare Decision Day – Choices for your Journey

forsythia fence

Forsythia Growing Around a Split Rail Fence on a Country Road

Today is National Healthcare Decision Day.  This is something quite near and dear to my heart and something I am passionate about.

National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) exists to inspire, educate and empower the public about the importance of advance care planning. NHDD is an initiative to encourage individuals to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for healthcare providers to respect those wishes, whatever they may be. The theme for 2016 is “It Always Seems Too Early, Until It’s Too Late.”

The National Healthcare Decision Day website has a multitude of resources that I highly recommend you check out at this link.  I also recommend a project that I helped work on called the Journey GPS (Getting Plans Started) Guide.  You can download it free at this link.  It is a great resource for starting the conversation and carrying out your wishes for the way you want to experience your journey at end of life when that time comes.  The #NHDD theme this year is so poignant and true:  It always seems too early, until it is too late!

Take some time today to consider your choices, and let your loved ones know.  You deserve to have the right care at the right time in the right place no matter where you are in this crazy journey we call life.

Cheers & Hugs,


His Love Will Live in our Hearts Forever

first mate

In my job as a Director of  Corporate Communications for Hospice and Home Health, I know all the right things to write… to say… to do… when explaining the journey at end of life and the experience of loss and grieving.

But when it is your own grief, it is quite different.

Yesterday, which was a day that filled my heart to overflowing with all of your kind words and comments and love on my One-Year Blogiversary, we also experienced a great deal of grief.  We lost our best friend, our furry son, our first mate, our floor cleaner-upper, our company greeter, our deer chaser, our lap warmer, our walk companion, our dinner moocher, our tomato caper culprit, my first watercolor portrait inspiration, my sweet guest blogger….

Mikey – you have forever changed our lives.  Your spirit will live within us always.

You taught us unconditional love and exuberance over the little things.  You brought us humor and warmth and showed us the joy in a simple walk or a brief ride.

Your eyes had been telling me for a little while now, but I didn’t want to admit that though your heart and mind were strong, your body was ravaged by that ugly “C” word and causing you more pain than you deserved to endure.

From the moment your eyes locked with your Dad’s at the animal shelter that rescued you from being destroyed well before your job on this earth was done, to the day your eyes pleaded for relief, you were loved and you gave more than you received.

We are a better family, and I am a better person for having you in my life.

As your big brother Jake said, you are now in the ground giving back again.  Your beautiful cells and spirit will nourish the grounds you tromped and protected and frolicked in and create the beauty that was you.

Dad said you can now chase all the chippies and deer and squirrels you want without pain.

And brother Nick finally admits you ARE a GOOD boy… the BEST boy… the BEST Dog we were privileged to have as part of our family.  (You always knew he was just teasing you, and you simply loved him back!)

We are so sad, and we miss you so much, but we are happy for your relief.  

Thank you, my sweetness, for all that you gave us.

Rest in Peace, Sweet Mikey…

Or run like the wild wind.

Your love will live in our hearts forever.


One Lucky Momma