Living in the Moment…



Hello everyone, it has been quite a while since I have posted anything on the blog. Health and winter problems, health getting much better, winter in Wisconsin is up and down. No snow, but extreme cold. Wisconsin with ice, snow, rain, cold also comes the flu season, the common cold and a host of other viruses.
Even my four-legged son Mason came down with an ear infection. That may not sound serious; however, he will not let anyone touch his ears. Therefore, he has to be put to sleep to clean them out and put in medicine. Mason will be six years old on January 31. I know that is still young but this breed can have many problems. Time goes quickly and there are times I think about my life without him. He has been an Angel sent to me from “above”.

I have been laughing about the complex that I live in; it is filled to the brim with “old” people. My laughter is obliged as I am the same age of many, but… We have a central community room, which I never go too. The main lobby is another gathering place during “mail time”. I have discussed with some about the decorations; Thanksgiving décor was up the day after Halloween. Christmas décor was up before I had eaten all the Thanksgiving left over’s. Christmas night all of those decorations came down and Valentines went up! Trust me, Easter décor will appear before the Valentine chocolates are eaten.
How do I know all this…I go to the mailbox about midnight when everyone else is in bed, because of winter I walk Mason in the hallways.
I think the focus here or the main words are independent living. It is not a nursing home, but it is a facility that caters to the elderly. It makes my children happy that I am where there are many things that can make my daily life easier and they do not have to worry about me. I have a sign on my main door that reads, “Do not disturb”. I have a reputation I have been told that of a hermit. I do not want to listen to stories about age, aches and pains…I have my own.
They have “Happy Hour” on Fridays, 4 to 5 PM, you have to be there at four O’clock and you are ushered out the door at 5 O’clock. I went once, then took my bottle and went home. A one-hour Happy Hour just does not do it for me. Nevertheless, such is my life, I am happy.
I am currently working on my new book with no titles at this time; it is all printed out waiting for me to do proofing. This is not an easy job, as most of you know. Either, I hope to devote some of the winter months when I cannot get out to my painting. This book will be a work of fiction based on fact, which I have decided to do. There are a few family members living and I want to respect their privacy.
Therefore, the winter months are here. I will wane away the time on self-made projects. Sharing these moments with my readers, my followers is another great joy of mine.

The Chickasaw – Part 2


My last entry I wrote of a feeling of impatient irritation in reading “FAKE” or “REAL” news, that feeling continues however I have not had time to post; please excuse me; the mind or body did not cooperated these past few days .  My depression sometime has a life of its own that I cannot win.

I told you of my great-grandmother who was the “Keeper of the Memories” for the family.  Everyone called her “Ma”;   I spent many hours sitting next to her rocking chair just listening.  You read of her father Fosee, her grandfather and grandmother, all Native Americans living in Alabama Territory.

(Ma as the storyteller continues) However, Fosee like all of the boys in his vision could not wait to go on his Vision Quest.  Early one morning his father woke him it was time to find his own Totem.  At the edge of the forest (this would later be known as the Black Warrior Forest), he was shown a path that he must follow, yet, to find his own path in life.  Somewhere down that path, he would discover himself.

On that path he saw many signs of small animals, he found a bush with his favorite berries; quickly pushed his hunger out of his mind, he could not eat until he discovered his path in life.  Mid-day he came upon a clearing Fosee lay down in the tall yellow grass staring at the sky and watching the clouds drift by; he drifted off to sleep.  It was in that sleep he dreamed that his grandfather was with him; Fosee smiled when he looked at the leathery chiseled face with deep furrowed lines and the long white hair cascading around his strong shoulders.  Then he heard his grandfather calling his name, Fosee jumped from his warm bed of wild wheat and ran toward the river, he had much to do before dark.  Fosee carried rocks and cedar branches to the top of a large flat rock, the made a circle placing twigs in the circle, he used flints to light his fire and was soon fast asleep.

Fosee did not move from the flat rock where he drifted in and out of sleep both day and night, he was hungry; one day led to the next.  On the third day, he leaned over looking at the river below; then he thought that he heard his grandfather.  Then, he saw him, sitting across from him, the smoke stung his eyes and it was like a thick fog, but he could hear his grandfather talking to him, although his mouth never moved.  It was the spirit of his grandfather.


On the fourth day came and this would be his last night on the rock, floating in and out of consciousness.   The eastern sky looked like the forest was on fire, the western sky a full moon seems to be dipping behind the cliffs that edged the river.  Suddenly, a Hawk with massive wings glided over the fire landing next to the circle of rocks.  The Hawk spread his wings pointing at one of the rocks saying, “This is where you life began”; then he spread his wing around the circle saying “This is where you life will end”.  There was one rock missing.  Fosee returned to the path, the Hawk followed him, and then swooped down landing on a fallen tree.  When he looked back to the path there stood his father and they returned without talking to meet his mother at the cooking fire.  He turned to the center yard saying, “I am no longer Little Bird, my name is Hawk”.


Resource – Storyteller – Jane Over-Town “Overton”
1848-1954 at the age of 106 her mind was
Like a steel trap, she never forgot anything,
It was her body that was ready for death; she lay
down for an afternoon nap and woke only to
say goodbye to the grandson she raised, my father

Post Writer – Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree
Great granddaughter



RIP Sam Shepard…

samA great American Artist 

“There are no words to describe how I feel, we have lost another great one!”























Thanks for reading and in advance thank you for your comments.  EAJM


 Painting below:  Acrylic and Watercolor created December, 2010-The First Christmas without Charlotte…

19.charlotte winter













Flying with Broken Wings is about the life of Charlotte Jean Murphree. Charlotte was not a famous person, in fact, not too many people knew her, but those that did knew there were many facets to her life. the book tells of fifty-two-years of daily testing of her will to carry on and the misfortune she faced. As a baby and young girl she was made fun of by schoolchildren, her progress was slow but she never gave up the fight to overcome her disabilities. As an adult, she fought Cerebral Palsy, Living with Bipolar, Depression and Schizophrenia disorders. Charlotte lived not only with herself but she endured the “Voices” that lived within her for over thirty years. This book is about her beginning, her middle and the end of her life.

This book was a labor of love, Published in June 2017, now on sale at

It is a Blue Bird Day…



Once again it is spring, warm breezes of May float across the green grass, it strokes the Hosta, Day Lilies, and Bleeding Hearts lightly; the daffodils’ leisurely bow their golden heads ready to sleep in the bosom of Mother Nature.  May is also the month that my mother and father married.

They would have been married forty-five years when he died.  My father was a man of few words, in those early days he turned over crimson soil with an old mule and one blade plow.  The land within time would turn into a sea of the white gold; cotton.  Later, he would work in a steel plant welding; the burns to his face and hands left deep brown scars.  The way he led his life was a testament to his principles.  

When the steel plant closed, he set out on yet another quest; he drove a sixteen wheeler making a California “turn around”, which was driving from Alabama to California and back weekly.  He always had a supply of “Bennie’s”, known to be an “upper or speed”.  He actually worked at this job until he retired; one month before he passed away.  It was his job and drug of choice; with the blood of his Chickasaw ancestors flowing through his veins and Uppers, he was no doubt a “Bad Boy” on that three-thousand-mile road.

My mother, a gracious but cold-hearted woman of the South was among the “career” women of the time.  She chose to be a beautician over being a mother.  When she looked at me with those ice blue eyes and tight lips it sent fear deep into my soul.  She left me to walk the furrowed red rows behind a plow and mule; my father did the best that he could to raise me.  

 My Aunt Vina, my father’s sister kept me during the summer months; she was the mother I did not have in those days.  She taught me to read and write; I was living among the upper class, artist, writers, poets, and politicians.   She and my father taught me how to love, be proud of who I am and believe.

As I walk through these  last chapters of my life I find my home overflowing with paintings on my walls and those to finish on the table, hours spent in reading, writing stories and poetry fill my days and nights.  This short walk down memory lane has been a happy and a sad one; some would say do not take that path through my memory.  However, it is these memories that make up who I am and I like whom I am today.

Thanks to all of you who drop by to see new post.  Have a great weekend, as I too will enjoy the beauty of spring all under a blue bird sky.  eajm

Wisconsin Weather…


So…today is Friday and it is cold outside!  Mother Nature loves to play games with the people who live in Wisconsin.  We have had it in the 70’s and must now endure the mid-40 mark.  The coat I placed far to the back of my closet is now at the front.

The first time I knew there was land beyond the “Mason Dixon Line” was in March 1956, I was about seventeen years old, just married to a boy that had “faked” his southern accent.  After a wedding so to speak, not a shotgun one but arranged by parents to keep this young boy in the south.  That story too long for one post.  The arrangement did not work, as he was an Alabama transplant living in Wisconsin with his mother and stepfather for over a decade, and had always planned to return after he vacationed in the South.

Fresh out of the military he yearned for what was called “STAN & IRENE’S”, yep…a bar.  We went to Chicago by train, switched there to a train going to Beaver Dam, I slept, exhausted from the last two-weeks of sheer horror and missing my daddy; I may as well be a kidnapped victim.  It was dark when we got on that last train.  I stared out the window into the darkness thinking, this person no longer has a southern accent and what do I know about him, nothing.  Yes, I think back see myself as a kidnap victim.

When I woke in amazement, outside was a world I had never seen.  It was truly the most beautiful landscape I had ever seen other than the white sands and warm gulf waters of Panama City, Florida.  I had on a blue short sleeve sweater and a light green “poodle” skirt with a blue scarf tied around my neck and yes…saddle shoes and white roll down socks

This post was supposed to be about today’s cold right?  Well, I have veered off track.  I stepped off the train in a place called Fox Lake; I was scared and surprised…the “GOOD BOOK” had given me the impression that Hell was hot!

I rode from the train platform into Beaver Dam freezing; even the inside of the car was cold.  When we reached the home of my then husband’s parents it was not much warmer than the outside, but at least the wind was not blowing through the two story – two flat house.  As time went by, I knew that I had been sentenced to Hell for sure; I lived with the Devil and his followers.

When I acquired the proper clothing I loved the clean fresh look of snow, to toss it in the air and something I had never done make and throw a snowball with my new twelve-year-old sister-in-law, I loved snow.

Well, it now sixty-one years later, all of the people I knew then are gone, I hope to a peaceful place.  I still have a southern accent; do not ask me why…it just stayed with me.  I can live anywhere I want too, I continue to choose Wisconsin and its four seasons.

Nevertheless, please it is the end of April and it in the forties…give this ole southern girl a break!




The Tapestry of Life


The Tapestry of Life…

The individual self is an actor, life is the stage; we are masters of our emotions capable of expressing self-assurance, joy and rage.

There is a hidden self, living deep within the forest of life, one that we prefer not to show, it is only the image of strength and confidence that we truly choose to expose.

It is during the times of valleys and peaks, darkness and fear; that we wear a mask, we masquerade keeping emotions hidden in the forest of our souls, yet within sight and near.

The landscape of ourselves guides us to better places, and it is the silent strong self that transforms our outward faces.

To believe in our aspirations and make our lives worth living, to hope we cling; it is within the landscape of our strong confident selves that allows us to dream.

We perform in our world upon the stage of life where we remain perfect impressionist; yet it is only when we change the landscape of our lives we find true happiness.


Books by Author at locations below:

[All writing is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.]

Your support of my blog and its contents are appreciated

Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree


I dreamed that I was a Sheepherder…


I dreamed that I was a Sheepherder…

My dream overflowed with hope, I was tired, the dogs rested; the flock hungry, bleating throats, a fading moon.  I led the sheep through a field of scarlet poppies to green grasslands.  The sheep pull the grass from its roots, the paling tendrils wilted and died, the day moves on, I am high upon a half reaped ground that I knew would soon turn fallow, but the sheep would thrive.  Then sun lowered itself behind the mountain the day is ending.  Before long a small fire will be lit sparks will rise into the night, and I will speak of gypsy lore to my only friends, the dogs.


Beyond the fire, the poppies meld like a purple maze into a black star scattered night.  A glimpse of the future lies within my dreams, a glimpse of tomorrow.  I am tired, the dogs all resting; the flock all feed, no bleating throats, I am alone under a fading moon and one dog stands silently while the night fades into another day, and I think… happiness is the lost paradise.





Books by Author at locations below:



[This writing is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.]

Your support of my blog and its contents are appreciated

Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

Green Grass and Heather


Green Grass and Heather…

It is morning and I find myself facing the eastern sky to bless the new day; I watch in awe as the coolness of the night melds with the golden rays of the sun.  As if a stranger to my own body, I run down a furrowed road, wind caressing my face, I am at peace living in the moment in the right place.  I leave the road to follow a path into unfamiliar woods; I stare into the darkness beyond the trees. 




I walked out of the darkness into a meadow, a sea of green grass and heather spread before me like purple froth upon a stormy sea; I began to run wildly at the anticipation of being free. As I reach the foot of a mountain my life, seem so very clear, I knew that freedom was very near.   At the summit, I leaned over the rocky ledge, suddenly I begin to fall; will I die when I hit the bottom I thought.   I plunge toward the valley below jolted to consciousness by moans that fill the void where I lay; I opened my eyes dawn was outside my window, and I realized that I had been dreaming; it was another new day.



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Southern Greenery…


Southern Greenery… 

 During summers when I was young, we lived at the foothills of Burleson Mountain, edged by pines that rose skyward toward the mountaintop, hidden behind these green giants were caves.  Below the mountain a rich southern greenery grew, it covered buildings, fences, tried to climb up the side of the cliffs.  The fields only escaped because the “field hands” chopped at it daily around the cotton, corn and sugarcane. 

Visitors driving through would take pictures and if you heard them talk, it was an amazing plant and they marveled at how it covered sheds, houses and barns.  This kind of thinking usually came from “Yankee’s”; to a Southerner it was a pest that would not go away. 

The vine attaches itself to anything, not being particular.  It is worthless, you cannot eat it, Southerners tried and it grows so close to whatever it covers that it does not even make a decent shade.  Yet, it does have its own beauty as its greenery cascades over the side of the rocky cliffs and caves. 


Oh well, it does add beauty to the sides and tops of tarpaper shacks scattered throughout the South.  People who live in the South have made their peace with the dark green plant called Kudzu; they understand its fight to survive.  It is engrained deep in the South’s history and when a Southerner thinks of Kudzu their thinking of Dixie.       


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