Category Archives: mojo

A full moon on Friday the 13th … gotta be good.


There’s something delightfully scary about a full moon. Odd things happen but you’ve got an out. If you bake your never-fail pound cake for the church bazaar and it falls, blame it on the moon. If your grandmother takes a stroll around the block but forgets to don her shoes, blame it on the moon. If your toddler has a meltdown in the grocery store that so eclipses any previous meltdowns that you’re sure he’s a shoe-in as the star in the next Damien movie, blame it on the moon.

I love a full moon. I’m really hoping that something freakishly cool will happen, so, my senses are heightened, my antennae up; I don’t want to miss a thing.

Friday the 13th is another matter.  As a rule, I’m not superstitious (except when it comes to sailing, and then any sailor worth her salt will hedge her bets and bow to folklore and the forces of wind, water and weather.) The only time I bowed to Friday the 13th was when our younger son was to be born. A Caesarean was planned and d-day was a Friday, the 13th of July. The doctor was hellbent that he be born that day. Maybe he had golf in mind for the weekend and wanted to take no chances should the baby decide to present himself to the world early and interrupt his plans.

I, on the other hand, had a differing opinion. I wanted the baby to be born the following Tuesday. “Discussion” ensued. I won.

Our son was born the next Tuesday, the 17th, safe and sound. I don’t remember exactly how I convinced the doctor to come over to my way of thinking but there’s the strong probability that a hissy fit was part of the equation. I’m not prone to hissy fits, they’re just not my style … there must have been a full moon.

full moon







Life Gotcha Down? ReBoot!


My husband and I travel looking for adventure and romance. We usually find it.

Lorrie and I travel because we are daughters of the dirt. We have a deep connection to the earth, to terra firma. A connection that’s almost primal. Our journeys always end the same – we vow to package our experiences in such a way to encourage other women to come along with us the next time!

By the time we had returned from a trip to Catalina Island, we had, on paper, an outline of how to share “how we travel” with other women. We even named it – The ReBoot Camp. The purpose being to show women how to reboot their lives through self-discovery, fellowship with others and an intentional effort to get back to the earth, to terra firma.

For us, traveling is ReBooting. It defrags and reorganizes things in the head, gets rid of malicious viruses, revitalizes and infuses new possibilities into life via a clean slate.

Lorrie and I figured we should model The ReBoot Camp after a basic kids camp. After all, what’s better than campfires and canteen? So here’s what we came up with.

1. Craft time – enlist the help of a real artist and create something tangible to take home as a remembrance of a special trip.

2. Campfire – socialize with other women; forge bonds and create supportive friendships.

3. Naptime – spa! exfoliating dead skin and tired thoughts.

4. Canteen – happy hour!

5. Nature – examining the natural beauty of destinations – visiting gardens, walking beaches, rafting, ziplining – the possibilities are endless.

6. Mess hall – the food has to be 5 star; there’s just no way around that.

7. Journaling – self-examination and naming demons. The journal goes home with the camper or she can stomp on it and burn it in the campfire the last night of camp.

At the conclusion of camp, campers have honed their intuition, asserted their independence, collaborated with other women and have had boatloads of fun.

This, we know, is a great “camp” model. Lorrie and I always come home with perspectives that have been altered for the better. We have yet to figure out how to package and launch this camp. Until we do, I reckon we’ll continue on our adventures … just conducting research, of course.

Pat zippin'





“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done – yesterday and tomorrow. Today is the day to do just about anything.”

The words of the Dalai Lama, framed on a plaque, were the first things I saw as I entered a home interiors shop today. I took a few liberties with the wording just now. But I like the gist of it.

I’m finishing up plans for a trip in a few weeks to California to see my son. Yesterday I began to think about accommodations. Thinking there could be some funkily awesome airbnb sites in LA, I started looking. Our son’s girlfriend gave me some guidance with geography because I’d like to be close to where they are. As I went through the links she sent it became clear that I’ve waited a little late. Everything in my price range is booked for the time I’ll be there! So, she sent me some more links. And this time she added a couple that were a wee bit beyond my price range – ‘just in case I wanted to look at them.’

Well, look I did, and wouldn’t you know it the first thing I saw is the cutest little bungalow on the beach. You can walk or bike everywhere. The perfect location. And it’s got just the right amount of LA funkiness that I was hoping for. But the price … shoot. My friend, Page, was helping me look through all the airbnb options and heard me whimpering about the price. “Look,” she said. “The difference is only going to be about $200. This place is perfect. YOLO. Book it!”

Huh? YOLO?

She looked at me as though I had crawled out of a cave. “Hello? You only live once?!”

Oh yeah, I’ve heard of that. I even have a “rest of my life” plan that pretty much jives with the YOLO philosophy. But for the immediate, the right now, the today … I admit I don’t do so great.

In the words of the Dalai Lama, there is only today; yesterday and tomorrow don’t count. In the words of my friend, YOLO!  With both of them ganging up on me, I caved – and booked the bungalow. Already glad I did! YOLO, y’all.


What’s Your Art?


Brookgreen Gardens is 1900 acres of sensuality. As the first public sculpture garden in America, grand but understated grounds and botanical gardens are home to over 1400 works by 300+ sculptors. The combination of sculpture and botanical art is nothing less than romantic. Entrance through the Live Oak Allee garden takes the breath away and causes one’s voice to lower to a whisper as visitors walk in wonder under 300 year-old live oak trees that were planted in 1700 when Brookgreen was a thriving rice plantation. The reverence felt by experiencing the allee is just the beginning.

I found myself at Brookgreen, again, this weekend. But this time I was there for an art show. Dozens of juried craftsmen were on site and several were practicing their art ‘plein air’. I’m a frequent art show attendee but over the last several years I’ve found nothing new and go home disappointed and empty handed. You can only buy so much pottery and handmade jewelry and I’m pretty picky about the art I hang in my house.

But this time I was lucky. I found an artist local to the low country, a good ol’ boy, really, who has a gift and creates something I had never seen. When I saw the prices on his work I sacheted away but darn it, I was drawn to his booth time and time again like a moth to a porch light. He makes paddles, kayak-type paddles. His method reminded me so very vividly of the woodworking my father did – layering walnut, cedars, mahogony and basswood and then turning and finishing the chunks of wood into beautiful bowls. This artist used the very woods my daddy did. He layers and glues and shapes and carves and polishes until what emerges is the most beautiful strata of varying woods, color and design, all in the shape of an elegant … paddle. The handles alone were exquisite.

Many forces collided and were at work in my brain and my heart as I perused the paddles. My son works for a company that produces outdoor water recreation gear and the product he designs is … paddles. In a few weeks he celebrates a milestone birthday … his 30th. The woods used in the paddles remind me of my daddy … who very recently died.

Of course I walked out of there with a paddle. And I know it was the right thing. The paddle was a work of art. Anytime art makes you cry, you should take it home.

paddlespaddle blades


Find My Passion? do I have to?



My friend Page shares time at her vacation home with her friends. Over the course of two weeks women come and go as their schedules allow. The house is large and people just sort of spread out all over, stuff spilling everywhere. There’s really no rhyme or reason as to meal planning but somehow there is plenty, supper is always superb (lots of good cooks in the crowd) and the kitchen gets cleaned up. There are no planned activities, although one year it rained the whole time so we had “art camp.” Conversation bends and tilts throughout the two weeks as different people drift in and out. We all have different “stuff” going on in our lives and eventually we get around to addressing most of it.

This year there is a pastor among us. She escaped from work for a couple of weeks and seems to be doing a good job of relaxing and releasing. I haven’t seen her check her email, and as far as I know, nobody has called her regarding church business. But, alas, the pure nature of her calling dictates that she is never, ever really on vacation. I should know this better than anyone, but yet it is I, along with another culprit, who put her on the spot and want “some counseling.”

Libba and I were on the beach, talking, catching up on our lives, our children, our plans (or lack of plans) and then talk turned to “what’s next?” Her children are grown and on their own, so are mine. She doesn’t have a husband to take care of and mine pretty much takes care of himself. Neither of us are formally employed but we love a good project. We’re both a little restless. Being good southern girls we know that restlessness is our intuition talking to us. Intuition is a mighty force so a girl might as well face it or it will just hang around and nag her like a nasty summer cold.

We continue to commiserate. “And what’s this ‘passion’ we’re supposed to have? What the heck is that supposed to mean?” Every time you turn around, Oprah or somebody is breathlessly saying, “Oh you must find your passion … you must re-invent your life.”


So, even though she is on vacation, we sought counsel from our pastor friend. We nabbed her as she was by the pool. “How do we know what our passion is?” Her answer was short and sweet. She jabbed me in chest and said, “Pat, you’re a writer, that’s your passion.” She jabbed Libba in the chest and said, “Libba, you’re an artist, that’s your passion.” Then she turned back to “being on vacation” and headed to her lounge chair. “But that’s hard! That’s lonely work; we sweat blood doing that stuff!” we both wailed as she walked away.

She turned for nanosecond. “Exactly!” she said.


Beach Therapy



I’m a South Carolina native and one thing all South Carolinian’s love is the beach. Maybe it’s because one third of the states’ borders run smack out into the ocean. From just about anywhere in the state a person can be “at the beach” in under five hours – max. I just returned from a trip to the beach and in a matter of days will turn right back around and head back. A matter of business took me to the coast the first time and a matter of having some fun will take me back. I’m convinced that in an earlier life I was a sea turtle because it’s just downright necessary that I return to the beach on a regular basis.

The low country of South Carolina is indeed a magical place, even on approach. As the rural roads flatten and straighten out and the terrain gets gritty, a girl’s blood pressure drops and she suddenly realizes she breathing more deeply. Upon arrival, inhaling that musky, marshy aroma purely particular to the low country makes her feel like she’s had a muscle relaxer or two.

The time spent at the beach will be fun and restorative, but just getting there is like a tonic.

beach shadow

10 Day Challenge – A Look Back


I did it.
I challenged myself to pick a thing, anything … just something, and do it for 10 days in a row.
I picked cake.

In the middle of my 10 day challenge my mother called. She has a pattern – if I haven’t called her in 5 -7 business days she will call me.

“Just want to check in … see how y’all are doing … Daddy and I are fine …”
Then, “What have you been up to?”
She knows I’ve been up to something because I haven’t called her lately.

pause … “I’ve been baking pound cakes ”
silence … then, “Ok … why are you doing this?”

Rather than even begin to attempt to explain the search for my missing mojo to my 80 year old mother I tell her I’m taking them to shut-ins.

… pause … she’s thinking …

“Well, Pat, I just think that is so nice!”

Suddenly its a-ok that I haven’t called! I’m doing something worthy!
The cloud of guilt I felt suddenly parted and there appeared not only sunshine but a great big rainbow!! I can hear her explaining to my daddy, “She hasn’t “not called”. She’s been busy!”

She called again a couple of days later. “I just think it is so nice, Pat, that you are making those pound cakes for shut-ins.”

Truth be told, I don’t know many shut-ins. But I did bake pound cakes and I did give them away. I gave myself a challenge and I proved to be up to it.
And in the meantime it made my mother very happy.

Back in the Saddle


In an effort to get my mojo back …
I’m thinking about a 10 day challenge. Just to see if I can do one thing everyday for 10 days. I made a list of  possible “challenges”.
Below is my journal entry from yesterday.

10 Day Challenge
     pick a thing, do it everyday for 10 days
bake pound cake
put something on craig’s list 
knit scarves
take a youtube drawing lesson
walk, outside
ride my bike
read the Bible
listen to music
play the piano
pull weeds
take vitamins
copy a positive quotation into my journal
read an op-ed

I hope I decide to accept my own challenge; missing my mojo!