Tuesday, December 06, 2016


Wanderlust: a strong desire to travel.
I have always wanted to travel. As a little girl it was to the mountains for a picnic with my family; to southern california for the beach and Disneyland; Manhattan to see a broadway musical; Saturn to slide along it’s rings, or just reading books about traveling based in other countries of our beautiful world. I dreamed of stepping off a train, plane or out of an automobile looking up and seeing the skyline of tall buildings, capitol rotundas, viewing wildflowers and drawing them while sitting on a ridge in a national park and/or walking through the aqueducts of an ancient Mediterranean town. Some of these dreams have come to fruition, some have not. I know I will never make it to Saturn, that is just a little girl’s imagination running full steam, however the rest, I can and will accomplish sometime in my life.
Over the last two years I have been blessed to travel across the United States moving from Ocala, Florida to St. George, Utah. St. George, Utah to Northern California as my final home base while my husband does his thing as Lincoln, California’s City Manager.  Our children reside in three towns within 700 miles of our home. This gives me wonderful, hug filled times with them AND places to travel in between.  This means I can explore where ever my heart desires. As I write this I realize our extended family resides from corner to corner of this beautiful nation, why not reconnect and see new places on my way to their homes?  This I have done with weddings happening in our Brower family. It has been a glorious time!
Over the next few weeks and months I would love to rediscover my adventures, the things I have seen and the feelings I encountered as I journeyed through Florida, wandering familiar haunts in St. George, Utah. Discovering Lake Tahoe, California through Matt and I’s hikes. Yosemite National Park, San Francisco, Northern California with my parents and finally traveling alone from home to Las Vegas, NV, and back home on Rt. 66, up Highway 1 and 101.I also want to write about my train journeys to Washington State, over to Chicago and down to Ellicott City Maryland.
Some of my posts will include photos, others will not, as I want my words to be the imagery you see.  Hopefully I will also be able to continue to travel and write about those journeys too. My next dream trip would be to Rome or the Blackforests of Germany.  I wonder if I can talk the hubby into doing that one with me?  Time will tell as my Grandpa Field used to say…
I would love for you to journey with me. Will you?
* I think it would be awesome if in the comments over the next few months you shared your journeys with me or send me your website link so I can travel with you too. ~Sandi, @_LIFEISASNAP

December 7th: " A Day That Will Live in Infamy"

In honor of December 7th (tomorrow).
As you know I have loved reading for as long as my memory can recall; what you might not know is I equally love history. I learned about James Doolittle when I was a teenager from all the reading I did about WWII. I was super interested in what was a huge life event of my grandparents and parents early lives. My grandmother Field had suggested that I read Mein Kampf to see how ideas form in the mind of evil men. I think that I might have been the only Jr. High student that willing wrote a history paper on it ever at my school. When I met Matt and learned he loved History as much as I did, I knew it was meant to be. He helped me learn even more about the great warriors and leaders of our nation’s past especially Patton. I introduced him to the not so great people of our past, (yes, we are ying and yang). I truly believe to know how your country moves forward you need to learn from the past so you don’t create the same problems that already happened and have that vicious circle, or groundhog day, re-occur again and again and again.
A little history, personally connected to me that might just put our national worries into perspective. My father was born November 1938, the year that Adolf Hitler was named Man of the Year by Time Magazine. Yup- Man of the Year, go figure…
My father was born the third day of Krystallnacht which was happening in my grandmother’s home country, can you imagine the worries she carried with her? She listened on the radio or read it in the paper, i’m not sure which, of the destruction of homes, businesses and terrorizing of a religion/race. My grandfather Field was Jewish, after their little boy was born they decided to change their last name to Field, instead of their last name Berkman, because of the persecution happening to the Jewish people, they were worried about persecution in the states too.
The first week of my father’s life, Italy also joined in the persecution with their own version of the Nuremberg Laws, which banned marriages between Germans and the Jewish; denied citizenship to all Jewish people, they became “subjects”; fined jews substantially upon leaving the country, if they were lucky enough to find somewhere else to go, and ultimately denied business dealings with any Jewish people although they had already lost their jobs if they were medical or city/state employees anyway.
That same week in the US a clergy man uttered the first anti-semitic words publicly remembered being uttered on the radio. This is what our nation’s citizens and the visa’d German’s (who were given the chance to become US citizens) were going through while Germany was taking actions against their own people.

Four years later 1942, our nation came under attack, when the Doolittle Raider's flew their mission my dad was three. Again, imagine the concerns his parents and their friends had about raising their kids in the world they were living in. They had no idea how long this war would last, they had no idea if anyone would come to the mainland and attack their homes too. They did what had to be done, they rationed, they worked, they lived, loved, had kids and raised their children to love their nation. Because of the war they also had to be part of  the village that helped other children if their fathers ended up as a casualty of war. They looked out for each other, My dad always tells me that you always knew the other mothers were watching, you didn't mouth off to them, you respected your elders, this was the way children were raised. Only some of us can imagine sending our loved ones off to war; never knowing if they would come home alive or in one piece, this was what they lived with, those single stars in their windows, the strong work ethics learned from building munitions, running ration lines and whatever other job they held. Women became wager earners and caretakers. They did it all. Not one of those women couldn't understand what it was like to work like a man, or raise children by themselves, they became their own person. They were the original woman's lib, no matter what feminists might say. They became independent. I am in awe of those women.

If you don’t know anything about those years, or don’t remember what you learned in high school or college, or never learned about it at all, maybe you should start by spending this week, and tomorrow especially, learning about what spurred on what ended up reaching our own nation’s soil and why we continue our remembrance of December 7th.  
Hopefully this changes our perspective of what we are actually going through as a nation with all the fear and supposition of what Pres. Elect Trump is going to do. We are not living in the 1940’s, our world as a whole is not taken over by the lust and desire of four evil leaders wanting to control the world. We need to remember the unity of those days for the greater good, and remember the freedom that we do actually have. We are acting like our lives are worse than our grandparents, not once has anyone talked about exterminating a whole population or anything close to it! Let’s get real folks, we are not living the extremism that is being relayed by the media or celebrities want you to believe.
Their young men, 18 years, and a few years older, stormed the coast of Normandy to protect our freedoms. I know young men and women, friends of my adult children, who willingly joined the armed services committed to protecting our freedoms, what are the rest of the youth doing? I hope, beyond hope, that they are looking forward and not refusing to become adults, and do their dangedest to help unify and build our country up and not really what the media showed us a few weeks back- needing safe spaces to cry when not getting their way or destroying by rioting. They are after all the future, the ones who will run this country. Will they do what needs to be done to protect it’s freedom’s like the Doolittle Raid young men did? I sure hope so. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Thoughts of day part deux

**** I follow the New York Times Live feed. Mrs. Trump's speech came up for discussion. These are my thoughts after listening to that feed and my searching for similar speeches from others:
Some would say that imitation is the best form of flattery...
Now, I don't know if Mrs. Trump "plagerized" part of her speech last night from Mrs. Obama's 2008 speech, however, there are only so many words in the english language and only so many ways to write about your values, your dreams and aspirations (which have been passed down from generations of your ancestors) until it all sounds like someone else said it.
How many times have you said something, or written something where you have Deja Vue and are like, "hey, I know that sounds familiar"? I am sure someone else has said it before you, or you read it in a book, you logged it into your subconcious and it comes out as an original. I Personally would not want to sound like Mrs. Obama, as she is the first lady, and her speeches are the freshest in people's ears. Then again, what do I know?

What I know is that this happens in political campaigns all the time. People use political slogans used in decades past (compare Pres. Reagan's and Pres. Obama's when he first ran. That one I remember because I was old enough for President Reagan's campaign to remember the idea he was running on and thought, Hum, sounds familiar...), they give speeches that others have given and don't get slammed for it. It happens to the best of good speakers, for instance, this one compaign speech from a president whome people call the great orator, Pres. Barak Obama.
If I were to give a speech in front of the whole world, had a ton of money, and wanted to sound original I would hire Aaron Sorkin as my speech writer, he has a way with political words and it would be the most amazing speech ever. Just my two cents.

Instead of nitpicking on Mrs. Trump (or anyone else), let us worry about things that matter, for instance: Poverty, hunger, disease, building up people (not tearing down), passing on a smile, huging a child and loving each other?

Pretenious? Me? Maybe. Good Writing advice from one George Orwell.

This week is the Republican National Convention. As a great lover of politics and history, I find it my job as a responsible voter to watch each of the conventions, take from them what I will and decide who has presented the best case for why they want my vote and go from there. Just as I do with the Presidential debates. 

During these conventions we will see all kinds of speeches going on. Ones that stir the soul, ones that pull your emotions to the surface, ones that make you angry and ones that are just plain BOOOOORRRRIIINNG, talk about a great time to take a nap. As someone who loves words, reads words, writes words, I find a political speech metaphorically long, repetitive and boring.

Some would say I am a pedantic writer, so I am considered ostentatious by nature, tomato, tomatoe, potato, potatoe. I could be called worse: Pretentious, being one.

Is there something wrong with wanting to sound educated, like a literary novelist and not just use the plainest of plain words? I don't believe there is.

This is some advice for the next speech given by anyone in politics. Written by George Orwell in 1946, I thought it was interesting. I wonder what he would think of writing in our time and the language becoming devoid of "flowery" words.

In his essay, Mr. Orwell give 6 things you should not do when writing. I want dig deeper into each suggestion and try to put into practice his suggestions. I know I commit the bad writing crime of doing at least the first three of those bad habits. I found this essay in my quest to find out about "plagiarizing" or sounding similar to others In leu of the Mrs. Trump vs. Mrs. Obama at their own respective "virgin" convention speech.

On a side note: our Book Club Beauties group is reading 1984 and Burning Down George Orwell's House, so I thought it very ironic that I would click with one

of his essays vs. the many other essays I read this morning. I guess good 'ole George is sitting in my brain screaming, "pick me, "pick me"! 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

You've got mail baby, yeah!!

A true story: 
During our move from Utah to Florida I packed up my vinyl albums and packed them securely away. When my turntable died unpacking at the first house, (we lived in 5 houses there) I decided not to unpack the albums until I got a new turntable. 

This past Christmas the kids bought me a new turntable! Great kids, right???

When I unpacked my albums the one vinyl not in good shape was "Purple Rain". It was broken in two!!! 
Needless to say, I was super sad about this. It was the first album I bought without knowledge to my parents of me owning it. 😇 

So I ordered a new album. I couldn't wait for the two day delivery. The day of expected delivery I received a message that the order was on permanent hold. That same morning I read Prince had died. Heartache. Depression.  No music to jam in honor of the genius. Well, not in true music junkie form on my turntable. I though about gluing the album together I was so sad... I'm wacky, okay? 
Then, I remembered I had already chucked it. Now you get why all the videos, etc... Right?

A few days ago I got a message asking for guidance and whether I still wanted the album. Of course I did, what a silly question. 
About 5 min ago I received an email saying the album will arrive on the 2nd of June!! Woo hoo!!! (Happy birthday to my big brother that day too!)
[fun fact: when I get email my iPad message is from Austin Powers informing me, "you've got mail baby, yeah!"] 

Expect to hear a whole bunch of music jamming from the Brower house that day, and yes, dad, some of it will be Purple Rain, even if you are here!!  

Friday, May 20, 2016

Haiku Friday Prompt

Friday Haiku Challenge

Challenge words:

Magic & Glimmer

words provided by: Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge

Glimmer stormy clouds
streak towards lakes aroused by Spring
born unicorn’s magic.
This is my first haiku attempt so be kind.
Just  to make sure this is really a haiku. 5/7/5 syllables:
1.       Glimmer stormy clouds streak towards lakes aroused by spring
2.       Streak towards lakes aroused by Spring born unicorn’s magic.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Room to Write: One word spew

I sat outside today in my Crimson and Gold FSU chair aiming to read a book, Juliet by Anne Fortier. The air was warm, there was an aggressive breeze teasing my hair and construction going on down the street.
Instead of reading, I decided that I needed to write first. I went into the house grabbed a hard covered blue denim notebook, a florally pink and white pencil and my Room to Write book.  The page I flipped to asked me to pick one word that has multiple meanings from the 5 suggested words. I picked Lie. The instructions said that I just had to write the word and then keep writing as my mind wandered through its course until the end of the page.  I used a fat pencil; not a good idea, my hand was cramping halfway through the practice.  As I wrote I some how came up with this...

Remember this is spewing and not being afraid to just let thoughts flow...

Lie down next to each other. Look into each other's eyes as you are lying down. Speak of a fact that you have that never told the person lying next to you. Now have that person repeat what you told them. Listen to what they say = did they hear correctly?  Did it sound like truth to you or did you tell them a lie and you can tell yourself that you lied and acknowledge that lie to your partner...?

Can you tell them the truth?  If not get up, you don't deserve to be lying next to them. That is too intimate a position to be in.

Stand, face that person and ask them to tell you truth. When they do watch heir body language - are they looking at your? Are they folding their arms tight around their body or are they standing arms loose, hands rested and seem at ease with themselves> 
What does their body say to you besides their words?  Do you believe their truth or are they lying to you also?

Now repeat to them what you heard say. Do they respond shocked o agree with your assessment? if they agree then lie down next to each other again. Hold hands, connect legs then tell another fact to them. Look them in the eye- how do you feel?  Do you feel yourself risking with the individual wrapped around you? If  not stand up again0 hold hands and don't look away. Repeat your truth, repeat it over and over again. Does it sound convincing to you?  If not how can your partner feel enough to trust you?

If you don't agree- try again until you feel strong enough to risk it all it if you can't you need to leave the room and walk away. You are not intimately trusting enough to have this relationship.

* Geez, was  I pulling an inner Psychologist's spirit as I was writing?  Weird, right?

Robin Williams

The actor died August 11, 2014 apparently of suicide. My first reaction was omg, how can this happen? How was he that depressed to kill himself, this man who made me laugh so much? This man had been around my whole life. This man is 3 years older than my mom- (holy crap, she's 60 this year?!) 
The world is more clouded place without his humor and effectious smile.

I post one of his hardest roles, I post his most light-hearted roles just to ease the sadness. It doesn't help watching Genie befriend Aladdin, it makes it sadder... I am devastated that his family has this to bear on them, the second guessing, the guilt of not being able to help.

Today, my thoughts are this:

Life is hard, we get into out little bubble and forget that others aren't maybe as happy, as we are, so when something tragedies like suicide happen we get slapped with reality and we just don't like it.

We can never guess what is going on in someone else's world even if they are close family and friends because their mind is a mystery. I am saddened by someone's choice to end their own life but the reality is it's their choice to make, we the ones left behind, are the ones who have to deal with the repercussions of those choices and our own fragile thoughts.

When my brother died, I blamed myself for years and someone said something profound I can't even remember that made me understand HE did this, who was I to carry his burdens and make my life more miserable carrying around his choices.

The one thing we can learn from Mr. William's passing is that we need to be more available if needed. We need to be kind to everyone because we never know what they are going through. I don't mean walking on eggshells but treating others as we want to be treated (you know, the golden rule.) We can only do that part and the rest is up to others to live as they feel.

I find it fascinating that he avoided her comment (with humor ofcourse,)  of having to have bad things happen to be funny. He said one truth at the first initial second then dug away in a flash.

*an old post I found in my box, I thought I published. Still appropriate although it's super late. :(

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"You're Still the One I Kiss Goodnight" Chapter 1: Zing

He had me with a flipped Rubber Band.

I met Matt when I was a Sr. in high school. His younger brother, Ralph and I had attended school together since 8th grade. I didn't meet Matt at school, however, but at our place of employment, good ole' Fred Meyer.

I had been dating a guy from work, *"Steve"; a tall blond who unfortunately knew he was gorgeous, and dated a lot of girls. I found this out when my friend Amber and I went to his school to surprise him and his buddy with lunch. He had a long term High School sweetheart, supposedly he planned on marrying her after graduation. Just a few days later a co-worker, "Natalie", informed me while we were in the break room, that she had been dating him too. Boy, were we all naïve of this Casanova.
Speaking of mismatched relationships, my friend Susie, mentioned she wanted to ask a new employee out on a date who worked in Electronics. I hadn't seen the "new" guy yet. I was all for her getting out and having fun because her life was pretty boring, so I told her she should go for it.
I was working in the children's clothing department on a Tuesday when I saw out of the corner of my eye one of the guys in electronics talking to a handsome, squared-jawed blond. Seeing only his profile, I was intrigued. He looked foreign (he still gets that a lot.)

I didn't see him for another few weeks. I was getting ready for inventory and worked the "death" shift (11p.m. to 5 a.m.) to make sure all the stock was accounted for and out on the floor if possible, before the store opened later in the morning.

Fred Meyer had a large stockroom that was split into 3 bays. The farthest away from mine was the Home Improvement Dept., then a small cubby hole where the electronics were stocked. The main section held all the hard line items: toilet paper, shampoos, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, books, toys etc..., The back of the main section also held the trash compactor, and forklift bay. Our section held all the soft side items: all the clothing, shoes, towels, and other domestic supplies. 

My work responsibility was to either work in the stockroom hanging clothes; work on the sales floor putting the clothes out on the racks, or manning the various dressing rooms. I despised the dressing rooms. People were slobs and the clothes built up to a record number of re-buttons, zips, re-buckling, and hanging them back on hangers. I already did that before the clothes hit the sales floor. It was like Deja vue.
I loved working the children's department, not only because the head of the department, Inga, was a hoot, but because it was the farthest away from my boss, Christine. She was mean! To be honest, I got in a lot of trouble while working in the women's clothing department. It was too close to the shoe department where Susie work and we talked way too much.
Besides being far away from my boss, the other perk of the children's department was the people watching. I loved people watching!  There was just more activity to observe from my racks at the front of the store instead of in the Women's department which was located in the middle of the store. I was just happier working and being entertained at the same time.

Children's is where a rubber band zinged from across the store and hit me in the head. I looked around and saw not an inking of a hand that would've shot it. The cashiers were packed with lines of customers waiting to check out. The service desk girls were running back and forth between the cashiers who needed money and customers returning unwanted items. It never occurred to me to look over at electronics. So the rubber band shooter was a mystery that went unsolved. I went home and forgot about it.
The next night another rubber band. Another mystery. I looked in the opposite direction thinking maybe "Steve" was shooting them, then remembered he wasn't even working. I went home, and again forgot about it.

A couple of days of being off work, and I went back on the late shift. This time I get hit in the shoulder. No one is caught guilty.

I go on a break.

When I came off break I was supposed to hang some women's clothes, yet still man the children's department. I decided I was going to set up my portable hanging bar face forward towards the registers so that I could catch the shooter of those rubber bands. A buzzing sound and a rubber band flew over my head. My eyes went searching... A glimpse of strong, shoulders shaking, caught my eye. There was the new guy acting like he was pricing cameras and trying not to give himself away.

Finally, I'd caught the culprit! Just to make sure though, I didn't react. I go back to unwrapping, de-pinning and putting white dress shirts on hangers, then placing them on the hanging bar; ever slightly glancing over at the new guy. I'm a sucker for blondes, and this one has the hair of Ren McCormick. 

My mind is reeling - how do I react appropriately, when this guy is GORGEOUS?  How do I let him know that I'm interested? Do I smile, wink or just walk over and talk to him? What does a gal that looks like she's 12 years old do to catch a guy's attention even though she already has it, but doesn't think she does?  Was he just bored and being obnoxious; was he really interested?  That is what I needed to find out.

On to the hunt, for information. This guy had already gone on a date with my good friend, Suzie, so heading in the direction of the Shoe Dept. I went. Who was he?  What type of personality did he have?  I found out his name was Matt. He was shy. He was straight and he was incredibly built. That is all she could tell me.

So... he's a guy of little words? That works. I mean, I am a girl full of words, this really could be the one!

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Soap Box

I don't know why this meme bothers me, but it does. Maybe it's the basic income for minors; maybe it's the Guaranteed job for everyone under 25, or maybe it's the fact that we are already billions of dollars in debt and people are becoming poorer not richer...

Possibly, it's the fact that we are no longer the America of yesteryear where we teach our youth to work hard and add our worth to our communities to make a stronger nation. Maybe, it's because more people want handouts and don't want to earn any of it.

If I want to give my children an allowance I will, if I want to support them in college, I will, but those are MY choices. I don't want to be forced to handout more of my hard-earned money to help unless I WANT to. 

Some of you will say that's not Christian, some of you will say that I'm not a loving person, some of you will say, "but Sandi you don't work, Matt does and he gets paid well. What about those who don't make what he does?"  
To that I would say, as I would say to your face: I did work, I started working full time at the age of 16. When I turned 18 my parents taught me I couldn't live for free if I wasn't going to college, so I paid rent. I thank my parents for teaching me to have a work ethic and save my money for a rainy day. I worked out of the home even when my kids were little. I went back to school in Ocala so I could have a better education in case I needed to provide for myself one day, I worked when I moved back to Utah this past year. I've worked and will work again.

To your comment of Matt makes good money what about those who don't? Well, should I feel bad for his work ethic? I don't think so. This man of mine has been working since he was 14 years old! 
I am thankful for the choices that he has made which in the long run has paid off. If you knew us back in the day we were living at poverty level. Christmas for our kids were a few toys from my wonderful parents, who made great choices to be able to live the way they did. 
We made choices to fix our situation. Matt went back to school with a family of 4 (and added a 5th member to the family while there,) and graduated in 2 years with his master's degree without taking out extra money for loans ( like our friends did) all so he could graduate with low debt because we knew his job wouldn't pay off his school loan right off the bat. 
Eventually (10 years later) we paid off that loan, did we hate having it? Sure. Did we clap and shout for joy when we paid it off? You bet we celebrated! 
It felt good to take care of our own bills. It showed we could take care of the needs of our family. We also thanked God for blessing us with health and common sense. 

I don't feel bad for those who made poor choices and are stuck. I do feel bad for those how have health problems, mental issues and can't work. I will pay extra taxes for those people. Yet, I also feel that our churches, synagogues and communities can help them more than having it be a federal program. 

I don't want to, although I am forced to, have to pay for those who just don't want to work. Why?
During the depression, there were job lines, there were food stamps, but people were expected to work. What has happened to the "if your in welfare, you need to become a member of the workforce in a certain amount of time? What happened to the we will give you the opportunity to train at work training centers, but you have to get a job? Oh, yeah, that policy that president Bill Clinton put into place in 1996 called the "Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act".  This act ended in 2004 because it's bill length lapsed and it wasn't renewed.
I have heard for years that the economy is getting better, should the welfare requirements return to getting off welfare in a certain amount of time so we can spend less federally and statewide on welfare and start paying down our nations debt??  I had hoped President Obama and Congress would reinstate a program like the one in 1996. 
If you like to read more read about the welfare program here:

So, to finalize my soapbox speech. I don't feel bad for those who make choices that don't lead them to a greater opportunity for a job. Going to college doesn't always provide you with a good job, that is true, but getting a degree in exercise physiology is also going to pay crap and you should research your degree out when it comes to getting jobs before you declare a degree so you can give your self a better foundation to start with.