Dear You

Dear You Acrylic Abstract Jodi McKinney 24×36 on Artist Canvas

Dear You.

“I always felt like you’ve known me,
I thought of you when I got lonely,
Now there’s nothing else I can do,
This is me reaching out to you.”

Lucy Spraggan “Dear You”

As I was painting and listening to one of my favorite new artists, Lucy Spraggan one evening this week – this is what happened. It’s quite large – 24″ H x 36″ W – and done completely with palette knife and acrylic paint from the tube.  This young lady’s music and lyrics touch my heart and soul, and this is my response as I listened and painted. (Thanks to Colleen Brown at The Chatter Blog for introducing me to Lucy!)

Cheers & Hugs,

World Water Day – Weaving through the River

Weaving through the River – 11×16 Mixed Media Art

World Water Day – Weaving through the River.

Today, March 22, is World Water Day.

World Water Day is about focusing attention on the importance of water.

The theme for World Water Day 2018 is ‘Nature for Water’ – exploring nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century.  It is about looking for ways we can reduce floods, droughts and water pollution by using the solutions we already find in nature.

Damaged ecosystems affect the quantity and quality of water available for human consumption.  Today, 21 billion people live without safe drinking water at home, affecting their health, education, and livelihoods.

The next time you brush your teeth and let the water run down the drain or fill a glass of water to drink and pour half of it down the drain or take a 20-minute shower, think about what a privilege it is to have a dependable source of fresh water and how many in this world do not.

Wherever you are and whatever you do today, make a point to consider nature and water.

And if you want to do something about it, consider visiting where you can donate $25, which can provide one person with clean water for life.

This original mixed media art I created is being dedicated to World Water Day.  It was done using ink-dyed tissue paper and drops of ink on Arches 140lb watercolor paper.  I added torn pieces of some old sheet music for “Weary River” sealed down with gesso.  I purposely tore the title words to form the word “Weaver.”   It makes me think about how water and art and music weave through our lives and make an impact.

I’ve named this piece, “Weaving through the River.”

Cheers & Hugs,

Dear Music

Dear Music,

Thank you for lifting my spirits.
Thank you for reminding me of sweet memories.
Thank you for speaking to me when all other words fail.

Thank you for making me dance – even if only in my heart.
Thank you for making me sing – even if off key.
Thank you for taking me places I might never go.

Thank you for expressing the inexpressible.
Thank you for your healing power.
Thank you for letting me hear the voices of angels.

Cheers & Hugs,




Things that are Classic…
a short list…

Red sports cars, Red Woolrich flannel, Red lipstick
Converse tennis shoes, Peep toe pumps, Timberland Boots
Ray ban sunglasses, Blue blazers, Black dresses
Levi’s jeans, Heather grey hoodies, crisp white cotton shirts
Cashmere, Herringbone, Houndstooth
Diamonds, Pearls, Mood rings
Chanel, Armani, Dior
Aerosmith, Beatles, Elton John
Chocolate chip cookies, Apple pie, Birthday cake
Champagne, Martinis, Cabernet Sauvignon
Monet, Picasso, Van Gough
Kindness, Honor, Grace
Smiles, Hugs, I love you’s

Cheers & Hugs,






Clouds: from Both Sides Now

november clouds 2

November Clouds – McKinney Home, Mars, PA

After posting my November Clouds photo and post yesterday, a very dear friend sent me this YouTube video early in the morning saying it was a “cloud song to go with my pic.”

Well, I got busy working and didn’t have a chance to listen to it until Charlie and I went for our lunch time walk.

The air was a bit cooler than it has been the past few days, but 55 degrees F is still pretty lovely for late November here in Mars.

So with my iPhone in hand and Charlie leading the way down our usual path, I hit “play.”

I then hit “play” five more times while we walked a few miles.

I had forgotten how much I love this song.

Or did I just realize how much I love this song?

Joni Mitchell wrote “Both Sides Now” in 1967 (I was only 4-5 years old), and recorded it in 1969 on her second album entitled, “Clouds.”

Needless to say, I was a bit young to truly appreciate it at that time.  It is, however, #171 in Rolling Stone’s Top 500  greatest songs of all time.

So I listened to the words yesterday – – –  over and over – – – and I found such deep meaning, such contentment, such freedom and liberation …

Next month, I will turn 53.  Still hard to believe, but I also realize I am on the “other side” of life.

I am obviously past “middle age” as I surely don’t expect to see 106!

And it has taken me a while to believe and “accept” this “stage” of life – this “over 50” stage…  But somehow, somewhere, at some point, it all became clear.  It all became fine.  It all became great!

It all became real and wonderful and the best time of life.

I’ve had my teens and twenties and thirties and every wonderful and  not-so-wonderful thing that comes with each of those stages.  When 50 came, I mourned it a bit.

I can’t pinpoint exactly when or why or how it happened, but I became content – even happy – maybe happier than ever – with this phase of life.

I’ve seen life and love and even clouds – from both sides now.

And life is clearer.

Life has more meaning.

Life is sweeter.

Clouds are “bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air.”

They have also “blocked the sun and rained and snowed on everyone.”

But – “I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down, and still somehow it’s cloud illusions I recall.  I really don’t know clouds at all.”

And I LOVE that!

I’ve also seen love and life from “both sides now.”

From “give and take”

From “win and lose”

And maybe I don’t have all of the answers….

But I realize that even though “something’s lost…”

there is still….

“something gained in living every day.”

And I am cherishing every single one…

from this side now.

Cheers & Hugs,

“I have always thought of myself as a painter derailed by circumstance” – Joni Mitchell (June, 2000)


PS Thank you, Dick! ❤

The Answer is Blowin’ in the Wind

autumn leaves in sunshine

Do you ever get a song stuck in your head?
A random song you haven’t thought about in a long time?

For days, I have had this one in my head – a classic I never tire of – and that withstands the test of time and ages: The Answer is Blowin’ in the Wind (written by Bob Dylan 1962 – sung by Peter, Paul and Mary).

How many times can a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn’t see?
How many times must a man look up before he can see the sky?
How many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry?

My thoughts today:

Let’s not turn our heads.
Let’s look up and really SEE the sky.
Let’s truly listen to and respond to people’s cries.

Let’s listen.
Let us realize that we can make a difference…
One person at a time
by turning towards instead of away,
by looking at head on.

Let us be present.
Let us not turn our heads and pretend we just don’t see.

The answer lies within each of us.
We can make a difference – one person – one act – at a time.

Cheers & Hugs,

Our Song


It’s 11:11pm, and I am in a Holiday Inn about 4 1/2 hours from home in Eastern PA where I will be speaking at a conference tomorrow on “Using Social Media in Healthcare to Meet, Engage, and Retain Patients” for the Central PA Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).  I’m looking forward to it and hope it will be an engaging talk.

Before I turn in, I wanted to do my “homework.”  Today’s #Writing101 Assignment:  Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?

Music is such a wonderful expression of feelings and emotions, and I was able to quickly come up with three that came to mind immediately that represent important moments and people in my life.  (And I even have to add a bonus one!)

So here goes:

#1:  “You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain

When Marty turned 40 about 15 years ago (holy shmoly – where did that time go?!), I threw a surprise party for him.  At that party, I had this song played for us to dance to.  At that point, we had been married 17 years.   I was 19 and he was 23 when we married that April afternoon 32 years ago.  At the time, I thought the lyrics were so perfect and appropriate, and they are even more so now.  It has become “our song.”

Looks like we made it. Look how far we’ve come, my baby. We mighta took the long way. We knew we’d get there someday.
They said, “I bet they’ll never make it.” But just look at us holding on. We’re still together, still going strong.
You’re still the one I run to – the one that I belong to. You’re still the one I want for life.
You’re still the one that I love – the only one I dream of. You’re still the one I kiss good night.
Ain’t nothing better. We beat the odds together. I’m glad we didn’t listen. Look at what we would be missing.

#2: “What a Wonderful World” by Louie Armstrong

I have always loved this classic – the words, the instruments – Louie’s raspy passion when he sings it.  It always makes me feel so grateful – makes me realize the simple pleasures – makes me think to myself what a wonderful world…

So when Jake and Colleen were planning their wedding last summer, Jake asked me what song I would like to dance with him to for the Mother-Son Dance.  I immediately chose this one, and he immediately agreed to thinking it was a great choice.  (And those that know Jake know that is a monumental occasion)

During the weeks prior to the wedding, I listened to it over and over.

And over and over.

And over and over.

Until I could get through it without crying.

And the day of the wedding, when Jake and I danced to this beautiful song, all I could do was smile and be happy and hug and hold him tight.

But the even more awesome thing was when a year later at Jackie’s wedding (the oldest daughter of my BFF Jill), the DJ played this song, and Jake sought me out from another room and escorted me onto the dance floor to dance to “our song.”  This time I had tears in my eyes…

#3:  “What a Difference You’ve Made in My Life” by Ronnie Milsap

I’ve shared this one before here at this post – The Journey Back to Daddy’s Girl.

This is the song I played over and over when I was reunited with my Dad four years ago.  For at least a year, neither he nor I could listen to it without crying tears of love and gratitude.

For our first Christmas together after 30+ years, I made a CD of songs for him, and this was the first one I put on it.

It will always be “our song.”

And for the bonus one I mentioned – way back in the beginning – I had to share this photo that was in Marty’s work newsletter, The Cranberry Township Staff Lines.  KUDOS to the witty writer who captioned this photo that sure made me one proud mudder!



He aint heavy – he’s my brother.

I forgot how much I love this song.

More tears……….

at life in between.

Cheers & Hugs,