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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Counting Your Blessings at Harvest Time

Even though many of us do not have gardens or farms, we still celebrate the time of harvest by decorating with pumpkins, or gourds, straw bales and scarecrows.  We feel a connection from our childhood that marks this time, the time before and including Thanksgiving, and the upcoming Christmas and holiday season.

Fall harvest is a time for enjoying the fruits of our labors, and celebrating family and friends.  Often this harvest time gave farming folks some free time, as the colder weather approached some of the chores would disappear.

I remember this time as a child, with my family on our farm.  We had wonderful apples and cider, fresh grapes, and pies--oh, my!  My Mom could bake any kind of pie, and we had apple, and pumpkin this time of year.  Thanksgiving was always a bountiful celebration at my Grandparents.  Everyone brought a dish, and the food was always wonderful. 

Just as wonderful was playtime with my cousins.  There was hide and seek in the barn, and tree climbing. 

I am thankful this season for our loving family and for our friends.  May all of you be blessed with your families and  with friendship, also.   

Peace to all!


Monday, November 14, 2011

The Tale of the Bee Bees

It was one of those days,  I had slept uncomfortably last night, due to the impending to-do list in my head.

Morning arrived, I jumped in with both feet to attempt to conquer all that needed to be done. 

I was doing good!  I walked, downed a liquid breakfast drink and a few almonds.  I arrived at my mammogram a few minutes early, and was the first on the list and the first taken in.

Having survived the mammogram, I found that I had an hour before I had to be at work.  So, I took my car to be cleaned, and while waiting, went next door to the bank, made the three important phone calls, and walked across the street to the Dollar Store to get a few things.

I saw all of my patients, including one that was worked in where I made an opening by moving a couple of patients up. 

Finished!  Home I went to treat my girlfriend to soup and salad, and go in her new spa.

O.K., I'm changing my clothes to go to my friend's house.  I am taking off the bra when I remembered. . .the bee bees.  The x-ray tech had taped them on my breasts before she took the films, one on the right and one on the left.  They had remained there all day without my noticing them, and they were taped on!

So much for being on top of things!  What is the moral of this story?  When you are in a multi-tasking frenzy, you may be missing some little detail; like a bee bee! 



Oh, and I left them on my husband's dresser. When he gets back from NC, he will be puzzled!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I believe that there is nothing that compares with nature's autumnal colors.  This is surely Mother Nature's jewelry box laid open for all to admire.

We spent a week watching the colors gradually peak.  Yellow and green with spotty red and orange metamorphosis to brilliant yellow and fiery orange with radiant red.  Timing is really everything--we lucked out with our travel plans this year.

The new house is progressing.  We are in no great hurry, now.  Things just need to be done right,so time is not an issue.

Here is poem from one of my unpublished books, Naturescapes.

Contra dance

Wind exhales--
Natures collective sigh
Sun dried oak leaves
Circle and bow
Then dance their rustling
Autumn finale
Maple Leaves drop in
Showing off their fall finery
Causing a jealous stir

Happy Fall Y'all!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Blog from Joan Ellen Gage: the joan-zone

Hello Friends!

I want to announce a new blog that I have started that features women helping and/or uplifting women.  Please visit me at  the


Dark Thoughts from Guest Blogger Karen Gage Arango


Through the years, I have always loved epitaphs.
Perhaps it is from my interest in local lore and culture, or from my early visits to the many old grave yards in my home town. My father is fascinated with genealogy and is a member of the Historical Society. Through him, my curiosity has grown, and on my many visits to my childhood home, I often frequent the graves of my ancestors. Here are some of my favorite epitaphs some real, and others imagined:

Remember friend as you walk by
As you are now so once was I
As I am now you will surely be
Prepare thyself to follow me

Knowledge by suffering entereth
And life is perfected by death

Let us go in; the fog is rising
Now I lay me down to die
I pray the Lord will take me nigh
For I have died, shall nevermore wake
And now my soul is his to take   kga

Give me peace now and let me be
Sleep eternal in endless dreams
Away from ridicule and torment
 My soul in God’s hands lies dormant   kga

Live well my dears, your time well spent
For years rush past ‘till you’re old and bent
Someday you will die, and die you must!
And we will all lie here in dust   kga
My glass is run, my life is spent
My earthly temple was but lent
Why should I wish for a length of years
To spend them in a wail of tears
Friends nor physicians could not save
My mortal body from the grave
Nor can the grave confine it here
When Christ doth call me to appear

Happy Halloween from my sister Karen and I,


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New eBook , Stranger In A Strange Skin

Hello! Yes, I am actually writing on my blog! The reason being, I have a new eBook that was published this week. The link is:

This is a free eBook, which actually is a something of a marketing device. Stranger In A Strange Skin, contains some new material, excerpts from Water Running Downhill!, and excerpts from my next book Empowering Your Inner Cheerleader!

I realize that eBooks are not books in print, although they can be. I am expecting the next book, Empowering Your Inner Cheerleader! to be both.

I also have a new blogger site,the Joan-Zone. With this site, I am planning to host someone, starting with every month, who strives to help women in some great or small way. So please let me know if anyone you know fits the bill!

The house in North Carolina should be finished at the end of the year. We should be moving up sometime in late winter, early spring, I think! I am excited and terrified at the same time!

Let me know if you know a dentist in western N.C. who needs a part-time dental hygienist!

Blessings to you and yours!


Sunday, October 2, 2011


You were kids then

Sizing each other up

She, granddaughter of a horseman

Singing “Landslide” with her cousins

The boys hooting and hollering outside

Throwing a football, laughing

Both of you exchanging looks, rosy

With the first flush of love

Somehow you made it through

The almost grown-up years, then

Into young adults, bonded

Holding together tightly

Love growing steadily into the,

“I’m here for you, always

You can depend on me”,

Kind of love

Today you enter into a new era

She the radiant cowgirl bride

He her knight/cowboy groom

May your wild hearts meld

And beat with joy as two

Become one, taking that first

Sweet kiss as man and wife

Branding one anothers lips

With your passion, as you hear

“Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present

Mr and Mrs. Matt Cross”

Congratulations Heather & Matt!

Joan Ellen Gage


Sunday, May 15, 2011

New House Site in NC

Magnolia Approving Her New House Site

Finally, we are getting to the business of making a home in NC. This is such a lovely site; I can imagine myself writing on the porch when it is completed.

The construction will take a while, and the move won't be for a while. All these things will become more concrete as the house takes shape.

I treated myself to some quiet time with nature this morning. It was cool enough to sit on the porch and listen to the wind blow. There is nothing like communing with the great outdoors to stimulate creativity. May we all have time for ourselves like this.

May your day be blessed!



Ode to Dog II

Quiet companion
Almond eyes filled with canine wisdom
Peer into my soul

Content to be nearby
I rise, she follows
"Where are you going?"

Heart entwined with mine
Live long dog friend
Stay with me, always

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Getting On With "It"!

Mired In The Florida Sand

Yep, that's me. Self-mired for the last few years in Central Florida. I have felt like I drove up from Delray Beach, got my "tires" stuck in the sand, and here I sit!

Before the move, I felt that I was so close to success, both Rob and I had good jobs and were financially solvent. We had a lovely small cottage and I had cleaning help for two years after back surgery. I had a wonderful circle of girlfriends who were fun and key in pushing me to write and self-publish my book.

I was in a writing cycle; it felt obsessive, but, now I know that is the nature of creativity. Even though I spent a lot of time on the writing, I had energy from the process that helped me with the domestic chores.

But, life moves on, and changes--that is the nature of life. I have had good times here; they are just different. Success cannot be measured by how much money one makes--it never has and never will be the right criteria.

I am trying to find my imprint at this stage of the game. I look at my image and am not sure who I am just now, not fully. "Joan" is a work in progress--under construction at the moment! I am in the journey, although it is so slow that it is almost imperceptible.

Blessings on you all, today. Do something nice for someone and for yourself, too--and smile!


Joan the Turtle

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Video--Wooman!

Wooman, Video by Joan Ellen Gage

Please enjoy this video I made with a program that animates photography.



Oh Hail!

What A Hail Storm!

We had quite a blow this afternoon, complete with golf ball size hail! You could hear it hammering against the front windows and the garage door. Nothing seems to be broken; there is just a lot of debris everywhere.

I was reading my friend's blogs on blogger, thinking, I really should write something, but what? Then bam, the hail introduced itself--quite timely, I thought!

I spent about an hour cleaning some of the mess up. It served to get me outside and moving; that was good! The dog finally quit hiding and joined me.

It is amazing how nature can get your attention when you least expect it. The good part of this was, it served to remind me of how lucky I was to have avoided a worse tragedy.

I have not been counting my blessings every day, so this was a good reminder.

Blessings to all of you!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Web Design for Water Running Downhill

I've Kindled Her!

That's a Wizard of Oz reference to "I've Melted Her"; yes, I know--it's weak! But, seriously, I uploaded the book to Kindle.

It's not a bad way to go; it's free to publish it. They have pricing options to choose from, also. I chose to receive 65%.

I wanted to upload the first book to Kindle, as I have the second one finished. I may skip the publisher entirely and Kindle that book. We'll see!

Joy to you all today (and y'all, too!)!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Spring Again!

Robins waiting for a bath!

It is spring in central Florida. Actually, it has been for two or three weeks, that is how long the Robins have been here. We have hundreds of them in the neighborhood, and frequently tens of them waiting in non- ending rows for a turn at the birdbath.

I like Robins. They are very beneficial birds, as they eat bugs. Robins are regal and very shy.

Along with the migrating birds, we have a return of pollen, ah-choo! I've had to break out the antihistamines, oh well!

It is getting to be time for a spring cleaning of our homes, and the clutter in our heads. I seem to have accumulated more than usual! I think I'll pop open my ear, and let the brain air out!

But, seriously, if one declutters their home, their life can feel much "lighter". According to an article I recently read from Whole Living Magazine, Susanna Sonnenberg sites excerpts from the book Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui, by Karen Kingston.

Sonnenberg quotes Kingston saying: "clutter drags your energy down, and the longer you keep it, the more it will affect you. Sonnenberg decluttered her home with the criteria that you ask four questions when considering keeping something. Kingston's questions were: 1) "Do you like it?, 2) Do you love it?, 3) Do you need it?, 4) Does it bring you peace and easy energy or uneasy trouble"?

Does this pique your interest? Certainly, I have an abundance of "stuff". I love clothes and even though I have spent some time clearing some of them out, I still have more than I need.

What I'm going to start with, though, is paperwork. I have a pile of paperwork that "a show horse couldn't jump over"--a quote from my husband from some unknown source! I'll let you know how the process is going over the next few months.

Meanwhile, back to that spring thing! Embrace it! Grab some sunshine and stop and smell the flowers.

Peace to you!


Robin redbreast
Stately hops with
Eyes intent, focused
Moving with purpose
Snatches the green beetle
"Gulp"she swallows her prize

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Valentine

Happy Valentines Day!

For all our valentines, our spouses, lovers, friends, parents, or children, let us tell them that we love them today, and at every opportunity. The loves in our lives are what makes everything worthwhile; and although this seems rote, we must not take them for granted. We never know when our last words to a loved one will literally be our last words.

So here is a special "I Love You" to my parents, my siblings, children, grandchildren, and the love of my life, Rob. Here is a poem that I wrote many years ago for Rob.

Work of Art

My lovers hands
Are the hands
Of a working man

They are scarred and roughened
Through being beaten up
By the elements

They are very strong hands
Strong and beautiful
And surprisingly gentle

They are the hands
Of a real man
My man

Here's wishing you a wonderful day, and a wonderful week. Remember to love yourself, too!



Saturday, February 5, 2011

Striving to be Fearless!

Me without my makeup!

Hello Friends!

I cannot believe that it is February, already! But what a winter it has been! I can't complain, as I've been cocooned in Florida for most of it.

Today I want to write about being fearless. Why is that, you ask? Well. probably because I am such a big chicken! Seriously, I have anxiety issues, and I'm basically shy, so it can be difficult to get out of the rut and step out of my comfort zone. In fact, I have to dare myself to do things, like publish a book. How did I do this? I told a couple hundred people about the book. I knew that I would be embarrassed, and often, if I did not publish it. It worked! I got my fraidy-cat self out from under the bed and self-published.

Unfortunately, that is not the end of my fearfulness problem. So here I am dealing with the same issues as I was four or five years ago. I am telling all of you out in the blogisphere so that you can help to guilt-trip me!

I like these quotes from Terri Trespicio, from January/February's Whole Living Magazine: "The path to fearless living goes straight through the roadblocks, not around them", and "Creativity goes beyond sheer artistry: it takes courage to express your ideas." This is good stuff. I think I should post them where I can see them every day, and drill them into my lizard brain.

If anyone has any ideas on transitioning from chicken heart to dragon, please offer your suggestions!

Meanwhile, here is a poem from the up and coming Embracing Your Inner Cheerleader!, my future book! I know, I know!

Peace to you all!

The Libra

Here I am
Straddling my life's stream
One foot in the "now"
Deeply planted in necessity
One or two toes of the other
Foot have strayed into the unknown--
The unmodeled clay of dreams
Where ideas are scattered about
Like amorphous clouds--almost
Becoming concrete, palpable
Close to conception
Egg of idea and sperm of intention
On the point of action
Nearly communicate, consummate--still
A breath away, a gossamer veil
Of steel separates these parts that
Must be made whole

Determination drives me
I am purpose, hurtling toward
My goal, shape-shifting until
I become the key
Unlocking the possibilities
Arriving at my future

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Magnolia's Birthday

Contemplating the snow!

Today is my sweet dog, Magnolia's birthday. She is 6 years in people years, and 36 years in dog years. If she didn't have those white whiskers, you couldn't tell.

I have had many wonderful moments with this dog. She is a lover and a cuddler. I can't imagine a truer companion. Long may she live!

Oh for the love of dog!

Peace and Happy New Year!


Friday, January 7, 2011



It was a beautiful snow--for about 3 days. Unfortunately, we were unable to get out for 5 days. Except on foot to the neighbors, and walking about in the snow.

We had plenty of food, so no complaints there. Our power went out Christmas afternoon, and we were not able to cook our Christmas dinner. We did have a camping heater and a propane lamp. Hot dogs were cooked on the grill and served with a green salad. That was topped off with pumpkin pie!

The electric came on in the night, and we had lovely hot showers in the morning! I have to say you really appreciate things like running water and heat when you don't have it!

Acceptance is one of the toughest things I struggle with. Being a control person, I tend to want things thus and so--rarely does life go this way, however! Being snowed in, without a way to get out on the roadways, leaves one with accepting that you cannot go out. Obviously, the only thing to do was adjust my attitude and enjoy it!

Below is a passage that mirrors the Serenity Prayer that is used in recovery. I have it posted inside a bathroom cabinet with other inspirational sayings and quotes.

Happy New Year! May we all have a bountiful year in our lives and in our hearts!




Is the answer to all of my problems today.
When I am disturbed, it is because I find
some person, place, thing, or situation--
some fact of my life unacceptable to me,
and I can find no serenity until I accept that
person, place, thing, or situation as being
exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world
by mistake: unless I accept life completely on life's terms
I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate on what needs
to be changed in me and in my attitudes.