Jo Mayne Casey

Posts Tagged ‘Amen’

Monday is for Musing…

In 2017, Autumn at Sonnystone Acres, Random Musings on September 25, 2017 at 1:43 pm

in no particular order…

My old Nikon is so old…and I’ve banged it around, left the lens caps off, and did I mention it is old?  I think its photos are about 3 pixels.  I’ve priced a new one and I’m just too cheap to buy it…  The disadvantage is that it is such a big camera and dragging it around my neck gets tiresome.  The advantage is that it has a viewfinder and I’m just bad at taking pictures using that screen-thing ya’ll are so accustomed to.

So it came to be that I needed a phone upgrade and got a Galaxy s7 edge the other day.  This baby takes lovely pictures, like going from analog to HD…but I’m struggling to get my composition right whilst using that dang screen to frame it.  I’ve been walking around the house practicing…

…and will hopefully be handy with it when we are on…

…our upcoming trip…

We’ve been cleaning up the house and gardens in preparation for our upcoming trip to Disney World.  Yes, we are Disney Freaks and try to visit every 2 years.   This year is very different, though, since Melissa and her brood can’t be with us.    Michael and I have been intently working on the trip since last Christmas.  Casey and I will be staying at the Fort Wilderness Campground and the Jrs were upgraded from Port Orleans to Animal Kingdom Lodge!  We have dining reservations at the Royal Table (and all the other good character dinners) and fast-passes for all the most popular rides.  Because we’ve usually had a group of 10 and adjoining rooms, because we’ve usually stayed 4 days and this time we’re staying 6, I’m sort of discombobulated by the amount of time Casey and I will be on our own…  The International Food and Wine Festival is going on at Epcot…very timely…

(The New Yorkers will be meeting us at WDW next July…we get to go every year for a while!)

…remember when facebook was fun..?

It’s been a while.  Long ago I began to “hide” people, putting them on my acquaintance list whenever they posted a hateful anti-Obama meme or spewed some other racist shit.  I felt that was “nicer” than un-friending them, and soon half of my fb-friends were hidden.

The other day, I put Everybody back on the Friend List and started to receive their little posts in my newsfeed…  No surprise that all of those “friends” are still posting anti-Obama and Hillary memes, anti-LGBT and immigrants posts, and are Angry that Most of us are opposed to their guy, acting like they were so respectful when they were opposed to Pres 44.  Can anybody say “Tea Party”?  Oh, I forgot, that was about “taxes”, not that black guy who was president…

I have put most of them back on the acquaintance list…

..the self-acceptance summit…

My biggest personal problem, the one that I have struggled with Forever, it seems, is my self-hate.  I talk to myself like I would never speak to another person.  I call names, I demean, I beat myself up for every mistake I make.  My inner Judge has always been a bitch, stemming from blahblah childhood blahblah poor parenting, blahblah mean people blahblahblah…  I’ve prayed, I’ve meditated, I’ve tried the medicine…my struggle continues.  Ridding myself of people who reinforce such attitude has helped, and last week I attended a seminar on Self-Compassion that was Word when I needed it.

It was nice to “meet” some of my favorite authors–Elizabeth Gilbert, Danielle LaPorte, Kristin Neff, and Anne Lamott, to name a few.  What I was advised was to be my own friend and to respond to my Self with compassion, understanding, and forgiveness.  Sounds easy, eh?  Well, I’m trying.

What struck me most about these folks was their lack of perfection, their complete and honest admission that they are just as effed up inside as I am.  People who write best-sellers are still just messed up people like me….except they actually wrote best-sellers…

enough of musing…let’s have some music…


Memorial Day, 2017

In 2017, week-end wrap-up on May 29, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Busy week, this last one, full of people I love.  Between babysitting, elder-sitting, and good, old friends, I haven’t had time to do much more than maintenance.  I’m way behind on my reading challenge because I didn’t have the challenge book with me at Cades Cove and started reading another, so now I’m finishing up two.

Many confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day.  The former is for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives for their country in military service, the latter for all those who served.  No one in my mom or dad’s family has died in combat, but for the millions of lives cut short by war, it is good to take time to pause and reflect with prayers or meditations of remembrance and thanksgiving for all we, the living, have in this wonderful country.

I remember when we called this Decoration Day and we would go with my great-grandmother in Southern Illinois to walk around dozens (it seemed) of cemeteries littered with Maynes and Kinkades.  Casey and I made our way through most of the old cemeteries at one time or another in the last 20 years, but the weather isn’t always co-operative.   This year would have given us a beautiful day to re-enact the trip, but we chose to stay put, doing mostly nothing.

Casey’s working on putting up our little pool and the week ahead looks sunny.  We are leaving next week, flying to NYC for Eliza’s kindergarten graduation/party and both girls will be dancing Irish at their school’s

Ceili  –  ˈkālē/

a social event at which there is Scottish or Irish folk music and singing, traditional dancing, and storytelling.

Both PawPaw and I are going, and this will be the first time he has seen the girls dance in person, so we are All excited.

Till then, we’ll be laying around the shack, watching the garden grow.  Well, I will. I can’t keep track of Casey, but he’ll be doing something helpful, I’m sure.





In 2017, Winter at Sonnystone on January 6, 2017 at 9:30 am


Epiphany is one of the oldest Christian feasts. It was celebrated since the end of the second century, before the Christmas holiday was established. Like other Christian seasons, the church appropriated Epiphany from an old pagan festival. As early as 1996 BCE, the Egyptians celebrated the winter solstice (which then occurred on January 6) with a tribute to Aeon, the Virgin. It is important to note that the holiday was established prior to the Gregorian calendar’s introduction.

Let’s add a little Meaning to the day and commemorate all those epiphanies that have led us here, right now.  Let’s drink to the Illuminating Revelations, Glimpses of the True Nature of Life, the Simple Intuitive Grasps of Truth that have led us to This Moment.   Some of our epiphanies were the result of a fall, or a failure, a betrayal, or loss.   Some of our epiphanies were at the top of the mountain, under a green canopy of forest, or watching waves crash on the shore.  Some were while we gazed into the eyes of newborn baby, held an Aged One’s hand, or listened to the minor fall and major lift of Music. Remember, honor, and celebrate All that has brought us to This Now, This Epiphany…




In 2016, Advent Season 2016, Winter at Sonnystone on December 7, 2016 at 6:16 pm

We’ve had a wood-burning fireplace for 30 years, and about 20 years ago we began adding sage (from my garden) to our first fire of the season.  I believe burning sage and smudging clears the air of negative energy, a sort of spiritual house-cleaning as I’ve heard it called.  It’s just a little ritual of the seasons that has become a tradition.

Three years ago I read an article about Yule logs and adapted it to our First Fire Ritual.  We find a barkless log and write our wishes on it–Peace, Love, Joy–all that good stuff, and personal wishes, as well.  Then we put it into the fire, cover it with the sage, and wait for our wildest dreams to come true.  While there is still no Peace on Earth, we keep sending our wishes up to the universe for consideration.   This year, we asked the grandkids to tell us Their Wishes so we could write them on the Log:  Emma-place at oireachtas; Eliza-no homework and live at Disney; Olivia-pretty teeth (she’s getting braces in January);  and for Samantha we figured she wishes she could Be a Big Girl, too…

Temps are going down to 21 tonight…time to put another log on the fire…



Best of Sonnystone: 2011

In Best of Sonnystone Acres on August 28, 2016 at 3:00 pm

While I take a break from blogging, every Sunday I will dredge up the Past, digging deep to find the most popular posts from each year since The News has been published.

Always nice to take a walk down Memory Lane…shall we?

Born at the Right Time…January 22, 2011

Eric: The Epilogue

In 2016, Breaking News, updates on July 1, 2016 at 11:00 am

I guess it will always be the Year-that-Eric-got-cancer, and it’s been a long rough-patch.  The days since March, 2015 have been fraught with temptation to fear, piled with prayers for mercy and healing, and full of gratitude as friends have shared our woes and lightened the burden.

Eric is Now (as of 6/23) not Just Cancer-Free, but Officially Finished with All his treatments.  That’s 17 rounds of chemotherapy, a rare adult who made it through All of the prescribed infusions.   That’s one surgery to remove 3 rays of his left foot with associated wound-healing complications.  That’s one bout of Sepsis following the final chemo treatment.  That’s 25 radiation treatments, burning his foot till it resembled Peking Duck and temporarily putting him back on crutches.  That’s about enough, isn’t it?

I want to use all of my eloquence to describe my son-in-law, but superlatives sound so shallow:  fantastic father!  great husband!  caring friend!   He is all of that and always has been, but adding !cancer survivor! misses the truth.  He was determined, often grimly, motivated by his daughters to stand up to whatever the cure required.  It has made him a deeper, stronger soul…

I’m reminded of these verses from the poem, Invictus by William Ernest Henley:

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

I really think a celebration is in order.  Let’s get it started this Independence Day weekend—set off a bottle rocket, or light a sparkler, or maybe even throw one of those cherry bombs in Eric’s Honor.  Toast him with your favorite beverage!

You Really are a Rockstar, Eric! You did it!  It’s Over!  You are so loved and admired!



Week-end Wrap-up

In week-end wrap-up on June 13, 2016 at 10:24 am

hippie warrior

I got up really early yesterday morning and sweated out in the garden for a couple of hours before I stopped for a break.  Cooling off in the a/c, I turned on the radio to listen to my Sunday-morning broadcasts on NPR.  That’s when I heard the news about the massacre in Orlando.  Stunned and sickened, I broke down and cried.  I’m crying now, too, because those victims were my brothers and sisters, even the killer and his family are my brothers and sisters, and I share their grief, anguish and their anger.

I am not a democrat.  I am not a republican.  I am not christian, muslim, jew, or hindu.  I am not who you say I am, and I can’t be summed up with demographics.

My testimony is that I am a human being.  Human–I have a body, a body that will die.  Being–I have a spirit–a soul that will always be.   My spirit, my being, is Exactly the same as yours and “theirs” and all the Beings who are gone, all the beings who are to come.  Our bodies and our “lives” look different, but We Are All The Same Spirit, chips off the old block, you could say.  That block is Love, which requires Forgiveness,  which is the only path to Peace.  (the members/families of Emanuel AME  demonstrated that most poignantly)

I keep praying for that moment when we all come together in love, but this terror keeps us afraid of each other, and fear is the opposite of Love.    Don’t give in to it, friends.    Keep Peace in your heart.

And in the end, we were all just


drunk on the idea

that love,

only love,

could heal

our brokenness…

……c. poindexter…

Group Hug

In Christmas 2015 on December 25, 2015 at 8:17 am

It was many moons ago, early Christmas morning…  Casey had gotten called in to work as an unexpectedly heavy snow fell.  I was unable to go back to sleep after he left, so I got up and had a cup of coffee and watched the fat, fluffy,  flakes falling softly, outlining the landscape outside…  At about 6am, a couple cups of coffee under my belt, I piled into the car and drove carefully up the street to my mom and dad’s house, where the lights were blazing and the two of them were about the business of making Christmas.  (my kids were past Santa, and of an age where they could easily have slept all day)

Inside Mom and Daddy’s house, the oven was warm, the tree was lit, Christmas music from the local fogey channel was playing softly.  I joined right in, peeling potatoes, chopping celery, stopping for ciggie breaks and conversation.  I don’t remember what we talked about, or whether it was a ham or turkey, (though probably it was ham with that weird sauce she used to fix).  I don’t even remember what year it was, just that it was happy.

As I went to leave, a couple of hours later, Mom said, “I think this is how Christmas is supposed to be”.  and I laughed and said, “I do, too”.  Daddy was standing over by the door, and he put his arms out and said, “Group Hug”.  Mom and I fell into him, all of us holding onto each other and squeezing;  I said, “I love you guys” and Mom said, “Love you, too, Jody” and Daddy said, “Love”…   We all laughed as we un-hugged, (and Daddy pulled my ears) and I went out to my car warm and mellow.

The snow had stopped, leaving the world looking like a Currier & Ives Christmas card.


(currier & ives, in case you never heard of them)

Quietly, I drove the short distance back, full of the love from that hug, wondering at the beauty of the snow-covered world, feeling like I owned it.

That hug still warms me today. Daddy’s been gone 18 years, Mom 13, but that memory is like a movie I watch again and again, as real as my dreams.   There is no group here to hug today, but very soon we will all be together and there will be some mega-hugging going on.

Till then, do me a favor, will you?  Have yourself a merry Group-Hug today;  hold each other tight.  Give your loved ones a memory that will warm them 20+ years later.

Merry Christmas, friends.  Have a happy.


In 2015, Autumn at Sonnystone Acres on November 16, 2015 at 9:23 am

It started off well, didn’t it?  Mundane on Monday, Tuesday we got topical, Wednesday was whimsical, and on Thursday we remembered some good times past…

Friday, the 13th of November, 2015 it all went to hell.  It’s such a shame that we seem to only come together after such tragedies, and then only for a short time.  Please, please, please…don’t hate.  Keep your heart full of compassion for the victims—and we are all victims.  Don’t let the un-mainstream media fool you into thinking they’re giving you the true story.  The true story is that people are hurting everywhere and we must lift them up in love or we will be brought down by hate.  I’m a little surprised to quote the Dixie Chicks, but it’s a great song, written by Gary Nicholson and Timothy Page O’Brien:

Just look out around us
People fightin’ their wars
They think they’ll be happy
When they’ve settled their scores
Let’s lay down our weapons
That hold us apart
Be still for just a minute
Try to open our hearts

More love, I can hear our hearts cryin’
More love, I know that’s all we need
More love, to flow in between us
To take us and hold us and lift us above
If there’s ever an answer
It’s more love

paris attacks

On Sunday, Lana, Vicki, and I headed over to University of Evansville’s Shanklin Theatre to watch the musical, “Big Fish”.  It was just the touch of light-hearted that I needed (though it was a little too sappy for Lana and Vicki).  Since the last musical we saw there was “Sweeney Todd”, I think it was my turn for happy-heart-warming-with-just-a-touch-of-tears.   Nicely done, as usual.

Just in case you don’t remember the above-mentioned song…listen up.  LOVE

Week-end Wrap-up

In Autumn at Sonnystone Acres, week-end wrap-up on November 8, 2015 at 2:39 pm

It’s been a busy week here at the Acres, most of the activity unplanned…in a good way.

Casey and I have been talking for a while about buying a travel trailer.  The first obstacle in our path was always the need to buy a sturdier pulling vehicle.  Neither my Caravan, nor his 1992 Dakota were suitable for towing.  Off and on, we’d talk about it, but he was quite obsessed with having a towing package and that generally was harder to find at our price point.  After camping up at Harmonie the other week, we decided to take the first steps to buying, so we got serious about looking…

It was right down the street:  a 2004 Ford Expedition with the towing packge, 4WD, and the Eddie Bauer Edition to boot.  It’s got all the bells and whistles:  dvd player, 6-CD player, leather seats, sunroof, etc.  The price was right, we bought it, and we’re so excited!  (the Dakota is for sale, if you know anybody looking)

That was Tuesday…

On Wednesday, I dragged ass out of bed to go over to Michael’s and watch his kids for the day.  Jessica is back to work and will be traveling once a month, giving me the most splendid opportunity to spend time with Samantha!  Olivia, too, but we walk to school at about 8am and her daddy is usually home by the time we walk home at 3pm.  Samantha is 8 months old now, still smiley, usually easy-going and I loved being with her.  I do rely on Mickey and Minnie to help entertain, so we sang and clapped and did some dancing.  Naps are nice, too.  Nothing is nicer than a cuddly baby sleeping on your chest—best heart medicine ever..!

I’ve been kinda down since Melissa’s last blog post.  I know better than to worry and throw out any negative energy of fear.  I realize, deep down, that there is nothing I can do…but my mind wants to keep reviewing options that don’t exist.  It just so happens that I am getting better at being aware of my thoughts instead of believing them, so I just accept that this is what my life is…the good, the bad, the high, the low, the up, the down…Just Breathe in, then breathe out.  Let it be…

And be grateful…   I took a walk into our 2-acre woods today.  It was just before the leaves changed when I last visited.  Since then, I enjoyed the abundant colors from the top of the hill and watched them fall after the frosts and rains.  Casey’s out doing his leaf-blowing-thing:  onto the tarps, dragged down the hill to be added to the hedgerow… I shuffled my feet through the leaves, the crunchyswooshy sound giving rise to pleasant memories of past Autumns.  I stopped and stood very, very still;  heard the birds, the squirrels, the rustling leaves holding tight to the treetops.  No words.  Just me and the Presence of the Lord.  I am so grateful for Life.

This is where the pictures were supposed to go, but I can’t get Windows 10 to recognize the old Nikon, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.  Better yet, go outside and enjoy the beauty in your world.  And be thankful…

P.S.  I have to add some sort of picture so that my gravatar won’t take over on the social medias…This one is from a couple of weeks ago…





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