Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

8/31/21 RMB August Farewell


8/31/21 RMB August Farewell


Dear Rita Mae Brown,

As we say farewell to August, the birds chirp to one another, the sky is white with clouds, dogs bark in the distance and leaves rustle in the trees.

August 2021 takes with it my eldest sister Deb Hills who goes on to join my eldest brother Rocky Gulick. Both faced physical challenges, and both were the first to stand up for the less fortunate. They stepped in when others needed a hand. And gave with full hearts.

Life goes on. Grief can be a tremendous hurdle. But life goes on. And we do the best we can, for ourselves; the best we can for others.

When the dogs bark in the distance, and the birds chirp, and the leaves rustle, join in with a hello of your own.

Enjoy moments, catch the magical seconds, smile just because now and then.

Every voice is precious. Every breath counts, however invisible until they are gone, they count. Remember that.

Rest in peace my Sister.


With all my heart,


Monday, May 31, 2021

5/31/21 RMB Memorial Day Fact

 5/31/21 RMB Memorial Day Fact


Dear Rita Mae Brown,

Exactly two months have disappeared by since my last letter. Forgive me if I ramble in catching up.

April’s adventure was moving, box by box, three friends, all on the slower side of 55 spurred one another on, joked, laughed, shed a few tears for the beloved desert home that will be missed, then shared meals to celebrate each day’s work. Finally, sore and satisfied, within our allotted week, the mission was complete. Now Teddy works daily at unboxing, rediscovering treasures and recreating “home” in her new Bear’s Den.

In May I got my first pair of reading glasses ever. Hence, reading is more fun. I got new regular glasses for the first time in 10 years. Hence, driving is more fun. I look from street signs to store signs, finding some readable that were not before.

I finished the enlightening Animal Magnetism and now Cakewalk is next up, along with a few other books on tarot, healthy recipes, and Pimsleur’s Spanish II.

For Cinco de Mayo I received my first covid vaccine and on June 4th the second awaits me. Too many lives have been lost to this virus and it brings to light the many that have been lost for other reasons, diseases, wars, crimes, etc. I can’t help but feeling that we are the cure, our minds, our motivations, our efforts, we can make this world, all our lives, better.

Today is Memorial Day. Wikipedia says:

On May 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC, formerly enslaved African Americans honored hundreds of Black soldiers who were killed in the Civil War and buried in a mass grave. They unearthed the bodies and gave each a proper burial and held a parade in the soldiers’ honor. This memorial honoring of Black fallen soldiers is believed to have been the first Memorial Day before it later became a recognized holiday.

Kind of adds to the echo of black lives matter, not necessarily the movement, but the fact.


June is calling, may it ring in joyfully,


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

3/31/21 RMB Words Emotionally Absorbed


3/31/21 RMB Words Emotionally Absorbed

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

While still enjoying your Animal Magnetism, I am also reading A Little Bit of Tarot and just finished Badass Habits by Jen Sincero.

I recently listened to the audio book Barefoot Executive on cd in my car. The author Carrie Wilkerson is like an Energizer bunny in business. Her drive is inspiring and she shares tons of how-to information about getting your business started. Her motto seems to be “if I can do it, you can do it”. However, it dawned on me that each of us is so individual and so unique none of us can accomplish something JUST because someone else accomplished it.

We each have our own hurdles, our own issues, our own skills, motivations, etc. Until we re-package all that we learn and mesh it into our own magical force, one that takes our uniqueness into account, what we accomplish from the knowledge gained is stunted by an invisible force.

Whatever we learn, whether from the Barefoot Executive or Jen Sincero or Mike Dooley or history or anywhere, needs to be digested for it to be of its ultimate value. It needs to be consumed on an emotional, physical and mental level. That information, inspiration, knowledge and education must be mixed into the elements of oneself, as one would mix dough for bread. You can’t take the base of flour and toss all of the other ingredients on top, slide it in the oven and expect a loaf of bread to rise from that heap.

Yet that is what we do, what I do, when I read tons of books. I acquire bits of info, tack them on my mental corkboard and hope all of the pieces will one day fall into place, that I will lose weight, have my own business, get my house in order, etc.

It feels as though there is a door or perhaps the proverbial window to the soul, that needs open to allow the message to seep in deep. Words read and noted on the mental corkboard are helpful, but words embraced and absorbed are transformative.

As we grow, we are trained by nature and nurture to be strong, independent, and complete. In that process of completion, the exits and entrances are sealed up tight. It is why falling in love can sometimes feel painful, the heart literally aches for the object of affection because those barriers must be breached to allow the relationship to flourish.

It is why our mystic skills and our 6th sense is often muted, they need that window open to breathe. I will be more conscious of this in the future. While reading, I will make an effort to absorb concepts.

I can relate to Jen Sincero’s writing, which feels down to earth and allows for individuality in her suggestions and guidance. Wisdom resides in her words, with a little spice mixed in to boot.

Letting words in,


Sunday, February 28, 2021

2/28/21 RMB February’s Full Moon

2/28/21  RMB February’s Full Moon  


Dear Rita Mae Brown,

I’ve arrived at Animal Magnetism in my mission to read all of your books. This one tugs at the heartstrings and enlightens the mind. Your observations of animals and our interactions with them are told in delightful and tender stories. It is a work woven by the love of animals and I thank you for it.

As February nears an end, last night’s full moon sends it off in a wave of glory. Bold and bright she lit the night sky on my drive home from an evening shopping trip. Native Americans call her Grandmother and last night she beckoned to be remembered, to have her beauty recorded.  

My letters have slowed while I find myself wondering more and more about which words would or could contribute the most. Our world is swirling in a mix of emotions stirred by politics and a deadly pandemic. Anger straining to be heard is causing a thunder that drowns out our neighbors, sisters and brothers. People splinter away from one another, dividing into paths that each group thinks will lead them to a more perfect world. Or maybe they are not thinking, they are feeling and taking impulsive action.  

That sounds sad. My goal is to uplift spirits. Yet I feel the need to recognize the angst. It reveals the need for positivity.

And on the subject of positivity, I came upon the work of two young actors that play characters in the series Wynona Earp, Katherine “Kat” Barrell and Dominique “Dom” Provost-Chalkley.

The love story of their characters is celebrated, and I find that refreshing. It’s a celebration that work like yours made possible. The two ladies playing the role’s of Nicole Haught and Waverly Earp are “out” and the onscreen duo are affectionately called WayHaught.

Dom has created the Start the Wave Organization which “focuses on building an inclusive online community that empowers individuals to find their unique path to create positive change."

How’s that for positivity,



Friday, January 1, 2021

1/1/21 RMB New Year Treasure Hunt


1/1/21  RMB New Year Treasure Hunt


Happy New Year Rita Mae Brown,

Whatever the days may bring in 2021, we can bet there will be some magic tucked in unexpected places.

Consider this a treasure hunt for over the next 12 months. Watch for these things, or make up your own magical finds.

Seeing a kitten pounce.

A full moon glowing in the night.

Toddlers laughing.

A neatly stacked pile of clean clothes. (so I’m easily moved)

Sounds of the wind, the sea, a lake, or leaves rustling.

Gentle falling rain.

Reading the last page of a good book.

Time spent walking with a friend.


Endless possibilities await, opening doors to the light that shines from within. And from that light, your path is made clearer, joyful and invites you to celebrate life.


Happy 2021,


Sunday, November 29, 2020

11/28/20 RMB Happy Birthday Words, Lexie and Toast


11/28/20 RMB Happy Birthday Words, Lexie and Toast



I determined to write a letter on your birthday. Yet, the words, they don’t come easy. The ones that will leave an impact; that will mean something; that will be worthy of the space they occupy.

I sit. I think. I go get a snack. Sit some more. Think some more.

While awaiting creativity to flourish, I tap Google Play on my phone to tune into some Spanish music. Google Play is no longer a thing, but it refers me to YouTube Music.

Hmm, I tap Spotify looking for my past attempts to create a play list with plans to add Spanish music. Spotify gives me a line about “something” going wrong and wants me to reload the app. Nope, annoyed I go elsewhere for my musical enjoyment.

I start a mission to find YouTube Music, but land on plain old YouTube, search for Spanish Music and boom, I’m set.

While Enrique Iglesias serenades me, I eat my morning snack of cream of wheat and toast. Actually, it is half cream of wheat and half cream of rice with some coffee creamer and honey mixed in with a gluten free milk.

The ingredients I thought would mix well have melded into an over-sweet glop. I eat it anyway, because the words have not formed, and it is the thing in front of me to do. I read in a dabbling sort of way Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass Every Day.  

The toast is good. While enjoying it, a small thud impacts my outstretched legs and I look up from my book. Lexie The Kitten, our family’s newest addition, peeks up at me.

A silky black body with wide eyes moves to the napkin and toast. She thinks perhaps she has found a treasure. She sniffs the remaining half piece of toast, which I pick up and begin munching. She is not deterred in her quest and tastes a crumb, immediately deciding this is no treasure at all and she disappears as quickly as she appeared.

Then the thoughts form and the words flow and I realize that what is important is that you know someone is thinking of you on your birthday…and that treasures abound everywhere so if there isn’t one right there in front of you, leap away and go find one!


Happy Birthday and Happy Thanksgiving too,


Tuesday, September 29, 2020

9/29/20 RMB Helen Reddy Rest in Peace


9/29/20 RMB Helen Reddy Rest in Peace


Dear Rita Mae Brown,

Do you remember a time when you didn’t know what you didn’t know?

It’s hard to imagine such a time in these days of internet answers at our fingertips.

It must have been about 1974. I was nine when my dear Auntie Mary and Mother presented me with concert tickets to see Helen Reddy. And I had no idea what I was in for. It was in the days of daytime shows like Dinah Shore and Mike Douglas. I’d seen her sing and quickly acquired all of her records with my birthday money.

A trip to our Spring Valley Kmart with my stepfather was particularly fruitful. From that venture I came home with three albums which I immediately began playing on the turntable non-stop.

I knew every song and sang them in a whisper on my walk to elementary school a couple of miles away. Her self-penned Best Friend, about being a friend to yourself, was a particular favorite and one that I’d lean on often in trying teenage years. She was the angelic voice of compassion and inspiration that drove me when I was lost and comforted me when I was down.

I’d never been to a concert and that night it was all very new. With my Aunt and Mother beside me, I watched and breathed in every note. The image of her gliding from side to side on that stage, singing her heart out, is as vivid today as it was then.

Rest in peace Helen Reddy. May your spirit live on and your work continue in all its magical ways.   

In celebration of your life,