Thursday, September 29, 2011

Now That's Entertainment!

yes, chickens in the tree! 
In REAL, the Life chapter, there is a story about Garin and Jim, a village of Arroyo Grande couple who changed the village with creative solution to the poultry population in that busy business section in a very positive way.  Life goes on in the village and the charm is still there,  delightful restaurants and side walk, terrace dining, fascinating variety shops and boutiques, antique stores.  The roosters still abound in their colorful and friendly attitude.  Recently we visited Gather Wine Bar, in the village to discuss a book event there.  Gather is such a cozy, warm and welcoming place, with an ambiance that encourages guests to be comfortable and really have a time to share, listen, relax and enjoy being together or even a quiet intimate corner.

Owner, Kari , welcomed us and immediately showed us out to the back patio, where she wanted to show us something "REAL". The beloved roosters of the village have found that the large citrus tree is a great place to GATHER and add to the charm of this totally fun wine bar.  The birds make their way there at nightfall and stay put all night, until the sunrises again and they go out to roam the creekside parking lot. Now that is entertainment that puts a smile on your face!

Monday, September 26, 2011

How Do You Put Happy Into Words??

It is such a wonderful feeling to see our book in hard cover.... and we were excited and delighted with the soft cover!   This is just over the top!   In the last few days we were able to debut REAL in hard cover at the Mission Plaza in San Luis Obispo at the Central Coast Author and Book Festival.  It was a wonderful day and so great to meet everyone who had a chance to stop by!  We decided to have some fun and draw names for the new hard cover, and soft cover, notecards and book marks... One occurred the night of the Festival and another occurred just last night from our Facebook page.   Congratulations to all of our winners and we hope you are blessed by the stories and photos and people you meet in REAL.  As the weeks go by we plan to do some more surprises... it is just too much fun! Thank you all!!!!
This photo here is of Daniel, one of the most inspirational and brave people I have ever met.  You can find him in Inspiration chapter....  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

You were right Arnold!

Jenny and Heather

Robin, Sandra, Shell

Sarah, Elizabeth




muriel, eileen and grace

Kelly, Mer

Terri, Dana, Leslie, Pam, Joanne, Betty

Mary, Sue, Karen, Kathleen, Kelly
Governor Schwarzenegger had his serious issues... but I do have one favorite thing that he said that I will never forget.  "When a group of women get an idea, smart men get out of the way."  Nothing more needs to be said about that.

For the ladies!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What is in a Question? Lots of Questions!

Last night I was included in a gathering of newly acquainted women at the home of a friend.  She was working on a project and had a survey that we were invited to fill out.  As the evening went on, our conversation and curiosity over pizza and wine,  developed into sharing our answers, some of which were very personal and obviously diverse.
I found it was a delightful time of just listening to others and really getting to hear honest perspectives that surprised us all.  Just to share a few of the things I learned... my responses went from totally tickled to very sincere appreciation.  One of my fun favorites was "What is your favorite word?"  Who thinks of that?  I kind of had, but never thought of sharing it with anyone...   This was the time to not worry about how silly it was or how personal it was.
    I loved all of the responses! Favorite words were:  Authentic, which, '"BAM', I love the word, authentic! ... it is what REAL the book is all about" , I thought , "This woman speaks my language! "
Another was "Three", just because three represents so many important and classic things, there are many truths about "Three".  I found that I loved that word too, even though I had not thought of it before.  Next, the word Peace came up.... just the sound of it was so quieting and almost elusive.... we all connected with the desire, and yet, how far off the reality of that word might be in the world.  Inside myself, I did not bring it up,  I was thankful that there is such a thing as inner or personal peace.... funny how peace created a bit of discomfort for a fleeting moment. Not for long though.... the last favorite words were fun and "feel good" words.  They were fun to say, fun to know and fun to feel in our mouths.  One was "eleemosynary"which means relating to charity.  Of course it is a good word- everyone loves a  charitable effort, but the word itself felt so fun to say!   We discussed our feelings about if it would still be as fun if it meant something evil or malicious. Our vote was a Unanimous "NO".. which was the next word: NO.... perfect!   We all need to learn that one.... No explanation needed.
I added my words:  weird but lasting and true, to me:  Ok... "Schmetterling" (Ger for butterfly) fun to say, fun to think of... and "Putzelbaum"(Ger for somersault) fun to say and definitely fun  to think of!!!  I have loved those words for 40 years!!!!!! I don't know why, I just have.  and maybe now in my older years I may not be saying them or spelling them correctly anymore... I have created my own joy from those words.  They make me smile.  This evening, I shared my new, one week old,  favorite word: from devotional book, "Streams in the Desert". The word is Cherith.  It is from old testament, 1 Kings.  Elijah is seeking his safe, hiding place by a brook of this name... getting away from attention  and pressure... and seek God's will, at a place called his Cherith.
"Streams" writes of many notable people finding their "Cherith" in order to serve the higher purpose, get away from the influences of society and distractions.  I felt so drawn to this word a few days ago, and have fallen in love with it.  Life has been so full of great, wonderful and terrible things all at once.   I want to find my Cherith.
Thank you Karen, for a memorable and fun night. For pizza, wine, dogs, comfort and great talk.

"Oui" Three!

Oui one is here! Grayson Jude has made his appearance after nine months of anticipation!  Photographer of REAL, Terilee Dawn and her husband Ryan Ouimette are proud to announce they are not THREE.... I guess they could be called "Oui" Three!

They are settling in and Grayson has already developed quite a following, especially women of all ages!  Hugs and cuddles abundant have met him at every turn.  He will soon become the subject of Terilee's photography. TD's Top Model!

I wanted to share a photo I took of father and son at the Central Coast Book Festival at the Mission in San Luis Obispo last weekend.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What doesn't stop?

Who is doesn't stop moving all day, continually puts his hands on something that doesn't belong to him and is not ashamed of that behavior, and is brown? The UPS delivery person!  This young man came to our porch last week with our first shipment of hard cover books, and when he took a look at them, he started to think of his own "story" and work... and held out his hands. Of course it was the perfect photo op!  It was a joy to get to know him beyond his dropping off the packages.  We talked about the work, and dirt which is what makes him somewhat of a hero!  We also talked about some of the other "good stuff" like holding his girlfriend's hand or petting the dog.

See you next time around!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

How Fun to Anticipate a Full Day of Friends and Fun!

Getting ready for a season of book events.  It is really fun to share our book and how it came to be, but really the most fun to share the stories of the people in REAL.   That is what it is all about.  Tomorrow we are thankful that some of our REAL people are joining us at the Central Coast Author and Book Festival at Mission Plaza in San Luis Obispo!   We will have Ken and Mary from our Hope chapter and Lois from Inspiration.... and our cover girl!  She is bringing one of her wooden, mechanical toy creations to give away with our new hard cover book or sell to benefit the Shell Beach Library! Here we share photos of Betty ( Balance) and Kallie (Wisdom and Acceptance)  It will be a beautiful day in SLO tomorrow! Come on out! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Steppin' up and out- Nashville to Cali

Our community expected good things on Tuesday evening, but this was beyond!   Thomas Maupin and Daniel Rothwell surpassed any hopes we had of our bluegrass and "down home" friends and family event!
The chapel was packed, seats were added in the foyer and on the front porch... and side door... people were even in the street watching and listening to the joyful foot stomping, toe tapping music that filled the air. The love that grandpa and Daniel share for not only eachother but for music and for goodwill was contagious.  The humility they displayed was exemplary! So much talent, so much achievement, so much generosity, yet they just wanted to share the happiness and simplicity of music and being together. We wish you the very very best , both of you ... and to your band.  Happy travels till you get back to Tennessee.  Hope you come again!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tuesday Night of Bluegrass and Buck Dance

As we anticipate the fall season at the chapel, it is amazing to experience the wealth of talent, energy and hope that individuals can inspire when they reach out to communities.  Tomorrow night Thomas Maupin, his grandson,Daniel Rothwell, and their bluegrass band arrive from Tennessee to share their music and film with Shell Beach.  Buck Dancing is something we don't see everyday here at the beaches of the central coast.  They will add to the new life of the chapel, once again... something new! Their story is the subject of their film: Let Your Feet Do the Talkin' and it is worth checking out!    Safe Travels Mr Maupin and your crew!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Big Waves, Big Projects, Good Hearts

REAL ISN'T...  Even though this video clip has been a part of our site for months, it has a power that still moves me incredibly.  Somehow, the magic of telling a story, combining the arts of music, images, text and graphic design in a technical medium like this really does touch our souls.  Our eyes, ears, and hearts are affected. We seem to find a sense of connection, to each other and to something that we experience in the seconds or minutes  it takes to watch a clip. I am so grateful for this wonderful work and hope you enjoy it if you have not seen it yet.  David, our videographer, created this for REAL.  Featured in the Dreams chapter, he is currently working on a new surf film with his crew and several of surfing's pros.  Recently, the guys filmed in Nicaragua, then traveled the east coast from Florida to New York, post Irene.  They stopped in North Carolina to help clean up debris around the homes of friends who had suffered damage there.  They are wrapping up in New York at the Quiksilver Pro 2011.  It is refreshing to know there are busy and successful people out there who have willingness to help others, like producing our smaller video, and even more, helping serve in the aftermath of a hurricane.  Thank you, David, and we look forward to your new film!

Friday, September 2, 2011


 For the last several days I have been fascinated by this man, Curtis.  I met him on our early morning walk with Candy and Teri and knew about his project, but had not had minute to go to greet him and donate my items until today.                    

Curtis is in Shell Beach gathering building materials, clothing,  toiletries and other items needed in Louisiana.   This is one of many, many trips he has done in the last 4 years.    His mission is  monumental, and he must be very much loved in the towns where he is able to unload his collection to those who will find their burden lighter, because of this man.  He is doing a great work, and a truly amazing thing about Curtis is his infectious manner and optimism.  He has such faith and determination. He radiates hope, acceptance and love which seem to attract people from all over and excite them about having such a generous and giving spirit.  People are drawn to him and his project.  Like "magic", in the parking lot, they are gathering, giving, meeting each other in a spirit of community and acceptance.  It is refreshing to see this effort in action.  There is no doubt that each person counts, we all make a difference.. it is about how we want to do that.  In looking at Curtis hands,  Very very REAL!  they reveal the story of a man who is working hard, giving much and lived deeply... also the story of a man who is devoted, brave and happy following his heart.     In fact the name of his foundation is: Follow Your Heart Action Network 
You can donate to this foundation on the website! See your giving at work! 
Bless you, Curtis, as you are a blessing to many including the hearts of those here in Shell Beach! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

You Want to Hold MY Hand? "Paws"ing with Hurley

Ever have one of those days where the dam finally breaks, and all of the issues and feelings and worries that have been on hold, trying to stay within a tolerable and controlled level, cannot be contained anymore?  This was one of those mornings... and I had no choice but to let it all come gushing out as ungraceful, messy, teary, ugly as it was ... and My husband, who had only been home for hours during the last several weeks, was the target of it all.
Once I started, I could not stop, and it felt good most of the time. I was thankful that he just listened and waited to see what response might be appropriate.  "Never seen you like that before," he said after I was mostly done with my flood of emotion.  The discussion led to the decision to go on a hike with our adopted dog, Hurley.  We were really enjoying the opportunity to make up for "lost time", to enjoy no interruptions,  talking while on the trail.
This "Rest of the Story" is why I am even sharing this here in the blog...  Hurley usually requires two doggie-doo bags at any outing, however I only brought one this time.  Like clockwork, he did his business shortly after the start of the trail. I put my hand in the bag to pick up his pile and then remembered that if he did another, I would not be able to pick that one up too, with a full bag.  I, then, took the contents of the bag by "inside out" tossing the material off into the bushes.  Next I neatly folded the bag up for the subsequent crouch, which appeared to be imminent after about another 1/8 mile.  By this time, my husband and I were chattering non-stop, especially me, and completely engaged in the conversation, when I noticed Hurley get into position.  Automatically, I got the bag out and put my hand inside.... YEEEEEWW! I realized what I had done and pulled it out immediately to find my hand covered in slimey doggie doo.... my next thought and exclamation was about how not only might I have scared my husband about my strong and emotional outpouring this morning, but now he will NEVER hold my hand!!!  Instead he proved to be the man I know he is and he, with the heartiest laugh ever, said, "I will gladly hold your hand!" as he took my brown slippery hand into his.  We have had the best, gut wrenching laughs all day, especially Hurley!  Hope it makes raises a smile or two for others!