Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Eustolia Diaz Loya

Sometimes the only way to understand the middle of a story is to be thrown into the end unexpectedly, where we then start to remember the beginning. There is no room for words and silence becomes our cherished friend.

My grandmother was celebrated today in Juarez, Mexico after spending ninety three years on Earth. How ironic to interview today's guest on Conscious Living who lost a twin sister while she was on border patrol for the United States. In her book, "Twin Souls", Elizabeth Hill talks about the struggles her sister Cathy saw while protecting the border. I was most touched by the small Mexican man who wore his best dress shoes to walk the desert, wanting to make a good impression. I missed the beautiful mass that was held in my grandmother's honor because I too cannot cross the border. Passports are now required as of January 2008.

Elizabeth's book is about her spiritual journey that followed her sister's death. Although very painful, death is our loudest wake up call. It reminds us of our past and refreshes our future.

Eustolia Diaz Loya, loved life to the fullest. Eight children and way too many grandkids. I hear your laughter and remember your words, "pretty baby, mas bonita de todos" to me.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

No Worries

They say a picture says a thousand words and that the camera doesn't lie. I am comforted by this picture and drawn to share it with others tonight. Especially tonight while my grandma is lying in a hospital bed clinging to life some 1,500 miles from me.

It was October of 2007, on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Hannah and I drove down country roads photographing the last of summer's flowers. Here in Kansas, it can be 70 degrees in the morning and turn to 35 by night. The wind was picking up and we were getting tired. We stopped at the Pie Lady Coffee Shop and bought cherry pie to take home and have later with coffee. The cemetery caught our eyes at the same time so I pulled in for one last picture. I stayed in the car while Hannah took pictures because I was chilled to the bone. That's when it hit me! She would be going away to college next year. All the years we had become one, often saying the same things in unison. The jokes we played on each other, the tears, my worries, everything all at once in the car. I begged God for a sign that she would be safe and then out of my mouth came the silent words, "I plead the blood of Jesus." What the heck? Those weren't words I was brought up saying although I always heard people say them.

We drove home cold, tired and quiet, never giving our pictures another thought. The next morning, Hannah screamed and I came running because I thought she had accidentally captured a ghost! The original shows bright red blood, creepy. So, we drove back to the cemetery to double check and nothing. Absolutely nothing, just concrete.

I can't explain it, but I do believe I got my sign. We are all held in love and divine protection, whether you want to believe it or not.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Taking Chances

Well I don't know if I would call her the worst mom in America. But Lenore Skenazy, the New York columnist who let her fourth grade son ride the subway alone would get a C- if she was in my class. What's the rush? He will be a grown man someday and have more than enough people skills to ride the subway, not to mention the strength to fend off an attacker. From the moment our children are born, we are given so much wrong advice. I was told, "oh what a shame, you can't love your baby as much as I will because he's a boy." At a soccer pizza party, I was told, "once they turn 18, they're no longer our problem." Moms, our children are intelligent. They can ride bikes to the lake, let themselves into an empty house and even take the subway. I just don't understand the reasoning of giving them more freedom than they can handle or taking a chance with their safety if it isn't necessary.

I remember well wishing grandparents worrying because one of my children sucked their finger. Oh, the worry, how would they cope in society? Have you ever in your life been in a board meeting and one of the adults was sucking their finger? It just doesn't happen. They all get to the finish line eventually, it is our responsibility to see them grow up in their time, with love and supervision.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Echoes of Kindness

It wasn't Miss Mountjoy's intention to save a life the afternoon of her 4th hour English class. "Everybody get out paper and pencil, you are to write something good about everyone in this class." She didn't know that one of her pupils had told my daughter he was wanting to kill himself that evening. One by one, they spilled their guts out on each other with compliments. Reinforcing good traits that they had forgotten about since grade school. High school was tough and they needed positive feedback.
That evening, this young man called our home to say how happy he felt. He told my daughter that he had been depressed and was planning to kill himself that evening but realized it would be stupid after he read all the letters complimenting his talents and past kindnesses.
Today, he is in college and is a very gifted musician with a beautiful smile. I never told Miss Mountjoy what she had done.

With Passover recently, I'm reminded of an email I received about the Ari who says we are responsible for 2,000 souls. We don't see it, but there are invisible chords tying us to other people we've never met. Our kindness will have a ripple effect in the world as well as our anger.

Friday night, as I was eating in a restaraunt with two old girlfriends, a beautiful young woman walked to our table. "Sandy?" "Yes" I said. "I'm Melissa, your old neighbor." I didn't recognize her because the last time I had seen her, she was a little girl. We hugged and she went on and on about how wonderful it was to live across the street from us. I used to cut their hair and let them take showers in my house before school because they had their water turned off. Just little things to me but it turns out, they were pretty big things for her.

Everyone can be a shining star without much effort. Just remember to "bloom where you're planted!"

Picture taken by Hannah Jorgensen

Thursday, April 17, 2008

TYPO! Ainslie MacLeod

Sorry Ainslie, I left the book at Wendy's and didn't bother to google your name just in case. Also forgot to mention Sounds True Publishing where you can purchase Ainslie's book.

MacLeod MacLeod MacLeod MacLeod

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ainslie Macloud/ The Reading

I finished reading Ainslie's book, "The Instruction" Saturday night. My reading was scheduled for 2:30 pm Pacific time, 4:30 my time on Monday. I couldn't believe how nervous I was the last thirty minutes before I was supposed to call him. He was the creator of Chester Cheetah who I adored and made so many jokes about, "it ain't easy being cheesy" and not to mention that my son noticed he resembled Chester somewhat. Oh great, that's all I would think about and laugh! He answered on three rings, "Sandy." gulp. Immediately, I felt such peace. His voice is soothing and with the accent, well, who can resist an accent? We talked on the phone for over an hour and I could have gone on another two. He's developed a plan along with his spirit guides to help us get on track. He explained to me what my soul level was, my challenges, desires and mission.
With life, we're all on the road to good. I don't think anyone is better or smarter, we just happen to dance differently. Read his book, it will help you understand why you came here and why the people in your life are the way they are.

The dance of life, one step back, two steps forward, cha cha cha!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Wise Choices

Choose your friends wisely
Laugh, cry and learn from them.
Be patient and give second chances
Choose your friends wisely
But learn to walk away
if the friendship challenges your integrity
for they were never truly your friend.
Pray and forgive
because tomorrow always brings
the promise of a rainbow after
the storm.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Like Road Rage

Sick. That's how my stomach feels, sick. Ironically, our society is so gifted by the click of a mouse and "poof" we are speaking with someone from across the world. Click away and we suddenly have strangers who want to be our friends. Then you witness brutal fights that teenagers are posting online and I want to vomit. We text message like crazy and don't come to the front door to meet parents and then wonder why we aren't being trusted.

Young men are telling me they can't find women. Since when? Oh, since women started "shopping" for perfect men online and vice versa. We need to stop this so called road rage. Step out of the house and connect in person. Who cares if it's only one and not 3,000 myspace peeps.

In walks Leif Hanson. Young, handsome and motivated. His mission is to help us find the balance between technology and inner peace. His website is:
You can listen to the podcast at

I know it's comforting when I was lost somewhere on Douglas Street in Missouri to mapquest myself home from my telephone. Or to find recipes online for chalupas without having to buy the cookbook. But I also remember the feeling of a love letter delivered by snail mail. Books in my hand where I underline sentences and best of all, the warmth in my heart when someone in the room gives you a smile.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Jerry Wennstrom

Twice I've had the chance to listen to Jerry Wennstrom, the artist who threw away his paintings when he was 29. Could you do that? Give up your identity/label and live for 15 years on faith. At first I thought he was nuts but after reading his book, "The Inspired Heart," I saw the wisdom in his choice. When I turned 30, I had just given birth to my fifth child. I made clay animals while breast feeding her with two pillows on my lap so that my hands were free. I drove in an ice storm with the kids to mail my creations and within the next month, one of my bunnies made $32,000 for a company in one day. We were thrilled!! My oldest son started having trouble with his reading, so I decided in an instant to throw away my identity as a clay artist and gave it all up to raise my children. As with Jerry, people thought I was crazy. We lived day to day on one income and yet I've never felt so fulfilled. I remember my neighbor saying, "you look so happy and you have nothing". What? I had everything I needed.

Check out his website, the art is fantastic!

I wish there were more Jerry's in the world.

From his book, "nonattachment is the pre-requisite for the sacredness and magic of any real offering to God or humans." Thanks Jerry!

Monday, April 7, 2008


Spring time, you move so fast.
My heart races for your arrival
like a favorite rockstar on a stage
your concerts are sold out
in parks and yards
with hues of pinks and yellow
how you tempt me to engage.
Bring back the apple blossoms,
hyacinths and honeysuckle
I know the winter months were long
but please
just sing me one more song.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Just a thought on Love

Do you believe in true love, or is it just a big crap shoot like my friend Kitty thinks? My mother always said, "love is a state of mind." I argued with my sociology teacher in highschool that there was only one person for us after he stated the fact that we had many potential partners. Normally I don't think about it much but it hit me today while I was washing my hair. Yee gads, there must have been about eight shampoo bottles on the ledge! I knew my daughter Hannah was at fault. She had just opened the new one before even finishing the old one that I had spent twenty bucks on! "Just like she treats boyfriends," I thought. Always changing to a new one before she even gets a chance to know the old one. I have to admit, the newer and cheaper shampoo was really nice. My hair felt improved, I'll never buy the old one.
Could the way we treat things predict our romantic future? I'm a treasure hunter and have been known to dumpster dive. If it's broken, I'll fix it, paint it and resell it for a price. My art room is packed with buttons, beads, paint, glass and fabric. I also collect people. Their good just shines and it's hard for me to see their bad side. My girl friends from grade school and I still eat out together. I've been told so many times to get rid of certain friends who are harmful to me but it is a slow process.

On the other hand, my husband of thirty one years must park in the same spot every time we get groceries. He likes the same restaraunt, usually wears the same color and prefers golf, but only on Saturday! Is this why he tells me I'm his one true love? Yikes, I thought it was because of my eyes or maybe my smile!

In this mystical moment I'm thinking I'd like to become a matchmaker. Be wary of the way your intended treats their things!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Happy Birthday

The birthday tree didn't bloom this year and sadly, it looks pretty sickly. Twenty seven years ago it was an explosion of pink flowers with berries the day my husband and I brought our daughter Julie home. I've watched that tree get scragglier as the years went on. She's a mommy now with two little babies and married to a carbon copy of a man I had drawn a picture of years before at our kitchen table. We laughed so much that night and when I asked her if she'd like to add anything to her dream man, she said, "yes, I want him tall and tattooed!" He happens to be 6 ft. 6 in. and has I think around twenty tattoos with a huge heart like the one I drew later when she went to bed.

We had a little party with pizza and cake and when everyone was leaving, my grandson started crying because he didn't want to leave. He's hugging me and begging to have a sleep over while his uncle is dead tired from working all day and begging for us to move the cars so he can get to his apartment. Another uncle is saying, "waaaa, I have to stay here so I can pay my bills."

I just happened to glance at that birthday tree without its leaves or flowers and realized right then and there that everything has its season, you know, like a shelf life. Expired milk tastes disgusting passed its date. Change is inevitable and beautiful, I honor its wisdom.

Tomorrow is going to be warm and sunny. I'm going on a special date with my grandson. Maybe we'll shop for a new tree.