Tag Archives: living with passion


I feel very strongly that growing up somewhat underprivileged had its advantages. I never look back at the past with regret. I believe everyone holds their fate within the palm of their own hand, whether it is smooth or calloused. When  I look back on my childhood days, a hand me down sky blue dress for my eighth grade graduation was a gift and not an embarrassment; I had food, I had shelter, I had love. My Mother recently apologized for that moment, as if she did something wrong. I tried to thank her for not only being a wonderful Mother, but for raising me to be humble with compassion. Those gifts are worth more to me now than a sparking new dress for school would have been then.

I am a poet, and I started thinking I should delve into the past to write some new old poems. That made me think of Dolly Parton and her coat of many colors. The song brings tears to my eyes. First of all I can only imagine what it was like to live in that kind of poverty in those times. I read a quote recently by Dolly Parton which put a lot of things into perspective. They were so poor they did not always have toilet paper.

My aunt in Knoxville would bring newspapers up, which we used for toilet paper. Before we used it, we’d look at the pictures.” Dolly Parton


Dolly Parton may have been lacking in material needs, but she was rich in love, spirit, talent, and humor. She has never forgotten where she came from; she learned from it, created from it, but has  never let it shape her identity.  I would love to meet her one day, she is such a positive inspiration. I had the same gifts, my Mother was a survivor and I am proud of my modest yet treasured upbringing. So if you find yourself wallowing the shallow waters of the past, remember sometimes blessings are found in down to earth disguises.
Always, love and light.

 Coat of Many Colors
Lyrics by Dolly Parton

Back through the years
I go wonderin once again
Back to the seasons of my youth
I recall a box of rags that someone gave us
And how my momma put the rags to use
There were rags of many colors
Every piece was small
And I didn’t have a coat
And it was way down in the fall
Momma sewed the rags together
Sewin every piece with love
She made my coat of many colors
That I was so proud of
As she sewed, she told a story
From the bible, she had read
About a coat of many colors
Joseph wore and then she said
Perhaps this coat will bring you
Good luck and happiness
And I just couldnt wait to wear it
And momma blessed it with a kiss

My coat of many colors
That my momma made for me
Made only from rags
But I wore it so proudly
Although we had no money
I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me

So with patches on my britches
Holes in both my shoes
In my coat of many colors
I hurried off to school
Just to find the others laughing
And making fun of me
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me

And oh I couldnt understand it
For I felt I was rich
And I told them of the love
My momma sewed in every stitch
And I told em all the story
Momma told me while she sewed
And how my coat of many colors
Was worth more than all their clothes

But they didn’t understand it
And I tried to make them see
That one is only poor
Only if they choose to be
Now I know we had no money
But I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me
Made just for me
(c) Dolly Parton


As Richard says when he enters the room, HI EVERYBODY!!

I think I may have met my match. Not a day goes by when someone tells me how perky I am. The conversation with guests where I work is always are you always this perky? You are perkier than coffee, now I can skip my caffeine etc. Funny though, when people read my poetry they are often shocked that I am extremely deep and reflective.  Perky does not mean I am empty headed. I just love to be alive. Richard Simmons is one perky man, and you can tell he has a natural high from life. He truly loves it and lives it.  He is 65 and not stopping, and his energy could light up all of Los Angeles. I am in awe of him, his perkiness and all. And yes, he is also very deep. I feel honored to know him and have the opportunity to take his classes.

When you take on a project such as this you need to constantly keep moving and keep the momentum moving forward as well.  Going it alone is not an option. Working out with Mike on Tuesdays and attending Richard Simmons classes on Thursdays gives me that extra motivation to continue on.  As I have said I have been attending classes at Richard Simmons every Thursday Evening. It is major inspiration for me, and lasts the entire week. When I was in his video shoot I met a new friend named Francie, and our similarities of our paths were uncanny. We became instant friends. She decided to join me Thursday 8-1-13 for class. She was a dancer as well and loves to take classes and try new things. Her first time going to a Slimmons class was on the fourth of July and like me she was hooked.

I got there a little early, I am always early. I was talking to Gigi the 91 year old dynamo and she introduced me to a wonderful young guy named George who is a make up artist, and I met Erin a real Irish beauty. George has done Richards makeup amongst others. He said sometime in the future he would like to do mine. George and Erin are regulars but they usually attend on Tuesdays. I met Shoshanna, it was her first time and she was so excited and did not know what to expect. All of a sudden I saw a head bob up and yell out my name, Francie had arrived and thought I was not there, it was so crowded and she made her way over to me and to my new Richard Simmons friends. Again, as usual the energy was completely electric. 
Francie, Erin, Richard, George,Rose, Shoshanna

Rose and erin

Shoshanna and Rose

Francie and Rose 

I had told George that my ankle felt tender, and he told me to make sure I mention it to Richard so he knows. This man works you out, and he pushes unless he feels you are injured. He came over to me, kissed both my cheeks and when I told him my ankle felt a litttle tender he had me feel his knee. He was wearing a  knee brace and he instructed I go to CVS and purchase one for my ankle for extra support. He kept his eye on me but did not push.

The class was absolutely a riot and so fantastic. I do not think words could express the energy that this man brings to the table. It was Latin night coupled with amazing Latin moves and Richard was actually playing records off a record machine. Totally retro aerobics. My ankle felt fine but I stayed on the low impact side, and danced my heart out as did everyone else. You have to be there to understand how much fun it is.

Free weights came next, and then planking. I am proud to say I planked on one leg with my right let raised. I am definitely getting stronger and Francie told me she has noticed a difference in me since the video shoot. Making progress slowly but surely, all I can say is woo hooo.

Richard gave his nightly inspirational talk and wished a few people Happy Birthday and gave them a special birthday gift, he even sang the Birthday tune from Fiddler on the Roof. We took photos and were on our way, smiles and all.   Afterwards Francie and I went to Robertson Blvd for cupcakes, coffee, and conversation. I am so happy to have met her, she is an amazing young woman and new friend. I actually had just a quarter of a cupcake and a decaf skim cappuccino. A bite or two was all that was needed for me to feel satisfied. I am feeling so fufilled in other areas, this whole journey is really becoming such a fun adventure. 

When I began this project I said anything I say I am going to do I will do, no procrastination and no backing out of things. I am proud to say so far I have stuck to that vow. I am dedicated even on days when I may feel a bit fatigued, weak or tired. At the end of the day the fatigue lifts and all I am left with is that natural perky high you get from this beautiful thing we call life. To quote one of my favorite films The Shawshank Redemption. ” Get busy living or get busy dying.” I choose to live passionately, to live big, and live my authentic life. 
Love and Light


Today seemed like it was the longest day ever. I went to the Dr. and got the go ahead with my workout plans, went shopping for new workout gear which I have not done in one year. That is a tough one when you are beginning, easy when you start to feel the results of your hard work. Getting over that first hump is the hardest leap to take. Tomorrow I am shooting a DVD with Richard Simmons. I am hoping to get a photo with Mr Simmons. I will tell all tomorrow after the video shoot. I feel it is the perfect beginning to my quest, as he has inspired people for years to be healthy and active. My Mother once said I will live to be 200, and I want to be as healthy as possible and prove her right.

This week I plan on weighing in at Weight Watchers, and I will post my beginning weight. I am a few days late because I was ill but I am starting to feel like my old self again. I will also post a before full body photo or two. I know photos of my face are deceiving, so I will make sure to post those photos by Friday. That is the hardest part in this journey, coming clean and admitting my flaws. Knowing I am helping others in the process takes away the fear of putting myself out there. I am done with fear, and will not have any regrets from here on out. A friend of mine passed away last night, and that reminder of the fragility of life puts everything into perspective. Our time here is short, and I intend to make every precious moment of mine count…living passionately about everything that I am about.  As my late lovely friend Chris Dickerson would say, and so…..goodnight.