So, friends, have you done it?  You’ve had seven days to do it.  Most of you probably have—written out your New Years goals, right?

This was a yearly “must” for my sisters and I, for years!  We were meticulous and, there were short a936494_369282396532037_68894665_nnd long-term goals; categories and by what date we should have accomplished them.  I’d always finish before the 31st of December, no buts or if’s about it!  Perfectionism flowed through my blood!  It pumped me up everyday better than CPR!  Life has inevitably slowed me down; disease and age have had their sway, too.  However, unless WISDOM wasn’t part of this mixture of daily living, I’d probably be making detailed lists up to this day.  Don’t take me wrong, I’m all for goals, stretching oneself to greater heights, chasing new dreams and, reaching brighter horizons.

Life has not only paced my race but has taught me and indentured in me vital lessons.  The one looming lesson came from none other than that special lady I’ve been telling you about, Grandma.  This lesson has had application in life in diverse areas.  Naturally, it came in an aphorism.

This could seem a skosh controversial but give me a minute.  She would remind us “El que abarca mucho, apreta poco.”  [He who takes in, includes, gathers or monopolizes too much, gets to squeeze, or embraces little].  Sometimes we try to take on too much justifying it with some very convincing reasons, too!

Goals are wonderful and definitely have their place in life but, when they take over the basics, the staples of healthy and fulfilling living, we’ve gone beyond the mark!  We’ll probably accomplish less than the desired.  This was always my slippery slope. I didn’t stretch in wise increments but rather, tore and pulled every muscle to the breaking point!  (Ego does that.)

This was a tough lesson for me to internalize, not because I was in competition with my sisters but with my false notions about what achieving was all about.  Realizing a desired goal have no “age,” or date, at least not for goals of inestimable value. LOVE, FAITH, HOPE, TRUST, FREEDOM, [for example], not one of these have an expiration date, a specific age or graduating expectancy.

When we become greedy even in our righteous and good desires, we lend ourself to the probability of becoming unhappy, unsatisfied, envious, unkind, and often, throwing in the towel. We ultimately “squeeze too little,” as Grandma taught. What would be the point to that!

Some of us need to see everything neatly written out, organized and some don’t really care about keeping a detailed planner.  As for me, for the last ten years, three goals gather and embrace my happiness, in fact, my sense of fulfillment is no longer affected whether I do or can accomplish my goal.  It is the stretching and reaching, that process, which makes us a winner.   I rejoice in that destination!  However, it isn’t because I’ve grabbed the brass ring  or reached the end of my self-imposed finish line but, because I’ve seen the blossoming of another awaiting possibility.   It encourages, beckons and waves the summoning banner KEEP MOVING FORWARD!

I do not believe that life was designed to DO or BE everything in this life span, not for one-self or anyone.  (Thank goodness, or I’d never want to see another dawn!)  Can you conjure how sweet and fulfilling an individual hug can penetrate your whole being?   We all like, need, and deserve individual hugs, don’t we?  Why…?  Because we are only ONE; that singular moment should be fully experienced, claimed and LIVED in all its glory as our FIRST kiss!   What do you think, my friend?

Take my word, you are farther ahead on your desired journey than you can see!  I applaud you and urge you onward and upward!  993034_395851063875170_1672235746_n

So, my friends, gather your ageless dreams enthusiastically and happily, pick those sparkling stars that have been calling your name, take a handful of moon dust, and add a few cheery cherubs to keep you dreaming and aiming UPWARD.


UTAH Barn_in_the_Milkyway  SANDQUIST

We cannot write upon Winter’s face

Or leave our own distinct imprint on its

Vein-less pulse;

Our breath burns its fist

in tongue-pink’s swipes~  and,

puff-gauze mist~

Winter tweezes the elf-green blades

From its bleak brown pinholes that fill

Up the icy-hulls,

Sipping then, siphoning,

Swallowing  Wadsworth Heav’n,

Millay’s Renascence awed unbelief~  and

Frost’s birches bent~

Casting forth flocks of starlight daze

It dilapidates gently on evenings,

Dazzling the pervious dull

With a single crackling of spin with spitting

Fuse upon the wreathed eye~   and

The irrefutable “Gloria in excelsior”

Drawing nigh!

“New wine into new bottles”

Who doesn’t know or hasn’t heard the magnificent musical “Fiddler On the Roof,” and basked in its marvelous, hand-clapping overture “TRADITIONS!?”  My heart dances to this masterpiece of musical genius! It captures the rhythm of life for this group of exiled people.

sait mercedes

The holidays naturally are a time in which family traditions are expressed and, displayed, shared with neighbors and friends whether it’s special foods, parties, and gifts. Grandma was a devout Catholic and, she had a set of altars for her favorite saints since I could remember. There was La Virgin Maria, La Santa Mercedes, La Virgin del Cobre [Cobre meaning copper-tone skin]; San Lazaro, San Pedro, Santa Barbara and, a few others but, the centerpiece was The Christ.  It was striking to watch how she’d respectfully dust of their tunics, meticulously clean their beautiful crowns  of pure gold glimmer, placing new candles on their stand and, how she’d keep her daily devotion as an “untouchable.”  We kids were strictly taught what each one were reverenced and respected for.  Grandpa would say they were a fire hazard because of the myriad votive candles! [What can I say, phobia or dysfunctional?]

I had always had a love for Jesus’ parables but one in particular never made heads or tails with me until years later.

Matthew 9:17

17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

Even as a youngster, this had no plain or practical logic but I kept these questions in my heart, asking for explanations would probably add confusion.

Years passed and, knowledge brought new spreading roots of new understanding. We are aware that in Jesus’ times there were no “bottles” but, rather, animal skins were utilized for fermenting drinks because they could stretch and adapt the fermentation without having it spill over and both would be preserved. So, you must be asking “What has this parable have to do with traditions, Deb?”  Jesus was teaching us that sometimes we can be so full of our own traditions that when something new arrives even if it comes from God, we do not and can’t welcome it.

This new understanding reminded me of Grandma, once more.  In 1971 Grandma opened the front door to our house where stood two very young guys with new wine.  She kindly and respectfully welcomed them in. They were missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Now, after forty-three years of being a member of what most refer to as “the Mormons,” I’m grateful Grandma had allowed new, fresh and delicious wine to fill her soul’s skin; that despite her past beliefs, her TRADITIONS, she had enough stretch left within her heart to listen, ponder, and pray about what had just arrived at her door. And yes, “both were preserved.”

I hope to follow her example in my day-to-day stretching because I may just let pass a sweeter truth, a brighter and greater light of understanding and, a richer opportunity to bless me in bringing forth delicious fruit that could invigorate and even intoxicate me with incomparable joy.

    I wish you ALL a HAPPY THANKSGIVING Season and, may you welcome in the possibility of new WAYS, new HOPES, new FAITH and LOVE.

Faithfully ~




as sad as a morning glory that has never met

her glory I am damp with seeds that have never met

the portent and wise sunlight—

damp with grinding dreams at my hoof and

damper after they sodden cold with dawn’s


nothing reverts or inverts, it all formulates into

winter’s beginning and continuance…


morning glories inspire me and I aspire to

strain and someday, somehow and somewhere be


to be chosen and entitled.



I took a miniscule survey with a few friends recently asking them, “What’s the first word that comes into your mind when you hear the word “funnel?”  Seven out of  twelve squealed  “funnel cake!” They must have a sweet tooth or happy memories at a fair!  But, I remember Grandma and her airy kitchen that swelled with aromatic delights, especially her chicken soup. I remember she had numerous and, different sized funnels, always pouring some kind of liquid or substance into a jar or pitcher.

Babies, toddlers and, kids were common commodities at grandma’s house. Discipline, structure and plenty of time to play were grandma’s rules. However, it was as natural as jumping rope to skip one or two unspoken rules by us chiquitos.  One in particular always took playtime into time-out episodes.  She’d notice one or two were playing by the funnel law—a capital offense!  “Aqui no se vive la ley del embudo, ancho pa’ ti y angosto pa’ otro!” [Here we don’t live by the funnel law! Wide for you and narrow for the other!]

Life teaches you [if you choose to learn] that selfishness always brings discord and isolation.  For us kids it brought disappointment to grandma, which brought self-disappointment in ourselves, [not a very cheerful feeling].

Although we all adapt to life’s reality that rarely, if ever, anything in life is fair, we can also realize and recognize the ones causing these effects– Ourselves!  In one way or another, we’re always in competition, if not with another then, with our-self   We can’t seem to get a firm grip on the simple fact that we are all made out of the same cloth.  We all have or get our feelings hurt, we all trip and fall, we all want to be accepted, acknowledged and loved.  Our needs aren’t so different from that of our neighbor. Then why are we so narrow in giving to another what we want for ourselves?  Why choose “Me, me, me” instead of “We, we, we?” 

Grandma snatched us from this vice and vise before we became acclimated to that one note samba (me, me, me) and, patiently taught us that a combination of notes always provided harmony, understanding and, fair play.  At first, we really didn’t accede cheerfully to grandma’s funnel law but, after we learned that we were happier with who we were and, nobody was sobbing or grouchy, we kids cut it out.

Now, I ask myself, if a “kid” can grasp this higher principle, what keeps us “adults” going around that same circle, a circle that only provokes self-loathing, inner dissatisfaction and unhappy results? Are we truly that wrapped up in our SELF that we can’t see how much need is all about us?

I recently read the following advice given from one friend to another as he began his charge in a church position ~

“When I was a young man, I served as counselor to a wise district president in the Church. He tried to teach me. One of the things I remember wondering about was this advice he gave: “When you meet someone, treat them as if they were in serious trouble, and you will be right more than half the time.”

I thought then that he was pessimistic. Now, more than 40 years later, I can see how well he understood the world and life. As time passes, the world grows more challenging, and our physical capacities slowly diminish with age. It is clear that we will need more than human strength. The Psalmist was right: “But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble.”

Life is often in the shape of a funnel, sometimes it’s broader and full of space to move about and chase our dreams, but we all can make it slightly easier for those that are going through the nozzles of life’s inevitable trials.

Let’s go back to fair play and help another chase their dreams.


get-attachment I had forgotten what LIFE was all about,

Those dark chocolate nights dipped in indubitable doubts,

Wonderful wonderings if this was all there is,

And if it was, then, we had bitten envied bliss.


LOVE had yet to become bittersweet and rancid,

Desire still gripped innocence by the pulsed-wrist

And, Hope bled clean, innuendoes of fresh mint scent

All wore nymph-whispers and first-kiss benevolence


I believe LIFEs loves are Gigantic in their Grasp

Though, they may merely last a mile-walk or one lap;

LOVE’s life, when Timber-true, will build heaven by default,

And, share a similar foxhole while tasting salt


If yesterday’s all I had between dawn and dusk

And tomorrow leased me the yeast of hopes husk,

I’d braid each doubt, wondering, pulsating moment

And wait in the sweet arms of respice finem