Surrounded in clouds

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Do you ever notice that looking at clouds sometimes just takes your mind on vacation? It feels like looking at a cloud can temporarily take the thought you were just thinking and make it disappear? Do you suppose that was God’s intention? Like the flowers in a meadow were meant not only to be pretty but to also have us remember that we’re all in this together? We’re not alone.  Even when we feel alone. We never are.

And perhaps the air we breathe was meant as a reminder to really take in the preciousness of life and to remember that each day is a gift and our time is limited and one day we will not need to breathe as we do now in our bodies…but we will be transported to a place where we are constantly in care and where we no longer need to have a watch or a car.  I wonder…these things I do wonder.

Sometimes you jazz have to!

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My mom said “you don’t need college, you need to come play music with me”. I still enrolled for community college in Tucson, Az. I took a violin class. When the teacher told me to stop tapping my foot while I was playing, I quit! I quickly packed my bags and got on the bus and headed for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where my mom and step-father were living.

There’s a remote village down the coast from P.V. called Yelapa. They were renting a “palapa in Yelapa” for about $100/year. It was about a 1/2 hour boat ride to get to the city, and this is where you could find them playing music in the local restaurants and hotels.

My mom and Ron were very happy to see me and they put me to work right away. It wasn’t a bad life ya know? I played music with them. In exchange, my mother made sure I was eating lots of fresh foods, like papaya, coconuts, liquados. Ron would catch fish and he’d make ceviche.

I can’t say that it was always fun, there were things I just couldn’t get used to. I wasn’t a huge fan of the boat ride to and from Yelapa. I would sleep with the flashlight on because of the bugs that would crawl around. But I knew I had to be there. Playing music with them seemed natural and it was an important part of my development somehow. For me, I could’ve never received the training in college that I received from my mom and Ron. I eventually left…continuing to find my own rhythm..I still am.

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imageTo make this very long story a little shorter…just want to say that after 25 years…not much really has changed, but at the same time it has. They both still live down in Mexico, no longer playing music together or in a relationship with each other. Whenever we talk on Skype or phone, music is always the topic of conversation. And…of course FOOD!!

I finished a recording with my step-dad last month. He calls it something that was on his “bucket list” he wanted to do with me. I still have yet to do a recording with just my mom…I’m hoping that is in our near future. It would sound amazing! But mostly I want something Paloma can listen to and know that music is really in her DNA as well.

I recorded 2 cd’s with my mom and Ron. One is called “Hot Samba Nights” it has the flavor of latin-jazz, the other is called “Coastlines”… it has an Andreas Vollenweider feel to it.

Cuddle shop

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I just heard they opened a cuddle shop somewhere on this planet. Seriously, a place where you go to get snuggled!

What if we just spent more time spooning?? I think that’s what’s missing in todays news. Who’s spooning who?

This photo actually is of my mom, sister and me several weeks ago early in the morning. The reality of this photo is that it only lasted about 5 minutes before we left the warmth of the bed and were in the kitchen making coffee.

The rest of the day was nice, but nothing compared to that few
quiet moments where our hearts were sandwiched together!

Make magic!

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Don’t you notice how sometimes there’s syncronicity and then sometimes it just seems like nothing ever comes together? Well, I had been living in an RV for about a year when my step dad called me and said “hey, Saph why don’t we record music together?”. At that time in my life I had just sold my Taylor guitar to pay some bills and I was getting quite depressed thinking that playing music was becoming something of my past.
I agreed and told him that I would see what I could do.

Many months later he called again and said “okay Saph, how about I send you a plane ticket, let’s make magic”. I took a deep breath and said “Yes”.

Things were coming together AND there was syncronicity happening.

We met up in Tucson. I brought my almost 2 year old daughter with me. We stayed with my sister and my mom flew up from Mexico to take care of Paloma while I could rehearse and record.

Boom. We rehearsed 2 days, I recorded my parts in 2 days. It flowed magically.
The song Samba Manana came about from Ron having this cool groove on the guitar, he said “how about you scat to this?” so I did. No words…just scat. I love it.
http://sapphirebell.com/new-music

We’re thinking maybe we could record another album in April of 2015.
Photo by Jaimelyn Doering at Jade Beall Photography studio.

I’ll take the unrefined life

Paloma Rose, my daughter. Probably the only child I’ll ever have. Only because I waited too long to have kids. I WAITED TOO long!!! Today I woke up before Paloma. Just like every other day. I WAIT for her to wake up! I can hardly wait to see her smile, feel her chubby arms and kiss her lips. Okay I admit. I am totally and completely in awe and in love with this little Kewpie doll baby.

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I was talking with my good friend David Boyko on the phone today. He said “Sapphire, ya know I’ll be 80 in 10 years and you’re just getting started with your life”. He’s RIGHT! I really am. I know women my age are having grand babies and great-grand babies and here I am….just starting out! Alright! Well I am up for that challenge.
If I can call it a challenge. To me this all seems like a dream anyway.

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One of my passions and William also feels this way…we want Paloma to look back at her life and say “wow, my parents were in love and in love with ME and they lived a fun, creative life”. Today William and I had a minor fight on who gets to take Paloma out of her car seat and carry her into the store. I said “No, I want to carry her”. He stood in front of me so he could get to her “No, Sapphire I’ll get her”. “William, let me carry her”. “That’s okay, I’ve got her”. “But I want her”. “I’ve already got her”. “How about let me get her”. We kept going on like that…Paloma was silent and just watched her crazy parents argue over who would carry her. I always wonder what goes on in her brain. I can tell you this though. When she poops her diaper there is NO ONE eager to get to her first. Funny how that works.

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We had our second go at having a garage sale today. This time we actually had people come by and take a lot of our big items. I think I’d like to have a perpetual garage sale. For one reason only: To meet people. Today a woman about 23 came walking up to our garage sale. Obviously pregnant probably about 5 months along. She was looking at the HUGE rack of baby clothes I had out. Then she walked away. I got to her before she could go too far. I said “Do you need baby clothes?” “because if you do you can HAVE all these!” She was very happy as I started to pull them all together for her. I said “are you having a girl?” she smiled and said “yes, I am”. I beamed “that’s PERFECT…these are ALL baby girl clothes, newborn to 6 months”. As I was helping her carry this load of clothes to her car she quietly said “thank you so much, I work at Pizza Hut and don’t make much money”.

I have to say, I LOVE meeting everyday people. The folks that get foodstamps, the people who help bag groceries at Family Fare.
So, to sum up my day….Although ordinary it was Extraordinary!

 

Million dollar baby

We had a garage sale this past weekend. 3 people showed up. I personally have a bunch of antiques that I don’t need anymore. Time to let them go and have someone else haul them around. This is a picture of a kissing Dutch couple. Somehow I aquired them. I remember them sitting on top of my grandmother’s piano. The lips are magnets and their heads bob and they smash their faces together! I put them in the garage sale too.

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So… one of the people that came through was a gentleman with a very large personality. Tom was his name. A retired pharmacist. He has 7 children and 18 GRANDCHILDREN!! He built a log cabin with his wife and has been living in it for the past 30 years. While he gave us his life story he kept saying how lucky we were to have such a beautiful child. He asked her name. I told him “Paloma”. Then he said to me…”Oh, like Pablo Picasso’s daughter!” His cheeks were pink and his hair was very thick, wavy and silver. I noticed while he kept talking. “Ya know…my son and his wife spent $50,000 trying to get pregnant”. “They still don’t have a child”. “Are you all thinking of having another child?” “Ever thought of carrying a child for someone?” “People would happily pay you a MILLION DOLLARS for a baby that looks like YOURS!”. “Fair skin, blue eyes, blond hair”. At this point William was holding Paloma and I could see him squeeze her TIGHTER!! “Oh no, we’re done having kids” William said matter of factly. I could hear myself thinking…”well, leave it up to God, because I NEVER expected to be where I am now”.

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Tom actually asked if there was anything Paloma needed. We both looked at each other in shock. I guess we looked desperate. William stumbled on his words and said “oh no Sir. We’re fine, she has everything and more”. Tom happily added “…cuz ya know we have a lot of toys since we’re grandparents to 18 grandchildren”. And then this silver haired gentleman held up a pair of needle nose plyers and said “how much for these?”. I said “just a dollar”. He pulled out a dollar bill, handed it to me, shook our hands and wished us well. We watched as he got into his truck and drove away. And that was that!

William and I looked around at ALL our stuff that didn’t sell. We wiped our sweaty brows and thought about it for a moment, then we packed it up like the Beverly Hillbillies and dumped it into Lake Michigan!!!! Ha! Just kidding. I wouldn’t do that. No, we’re planning another sale. But watch for this next chapter of our lives….I can’t WAIT to see what happens next.

Who cares if it’s a fad, I feel RAD!!!

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What makes a person want to add Juicing to their lifestyle? Well, for me…it was because my Godfather just watched the movie “Fat, sick and nearly dead”. He was inspired and said he wanted to juice for 2 weeks. So, we ALL jumped on the juice train with him. To prepare for such an adventure I cleaned out the fridge…I pretty much threw EVERYTHING out and started over. I went to the store and bought a HUGE list of produce. When last Monday arrived I was quite excited and ready! There’s an AMAZING amount of cleaning of produce and then cutting, then juicing and then CLEANING the juicer out. I’m not gonna lie, the first 2 days were hard and I started to see stars!!! I felt VERY lightheaded and HUNGRY!!!! Then we decided to add a salad and black bean burgers as 1 meal instead of juicing. By the 4th day I bounced out of bed with TONS of energy. image

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It’s now day 7, I have lost 5 pounds. William has lost 6 pounds and David has lost 10!!! For me, this has been great for my energy level. I feel FANTASTIC! What I notice is that I don’t crave a lot of fried foods or white foods much anymore. I don’t even crave CHOCOLATE! What? Seriously. Why is that? I used to go and buy the SAME juice everyday from Whole Foods. My favorite was carrot, apple and ginger. Well NOW that I’m juicing several times a day, I’m experimenting with different combinations. BUT, I have to say, I REALLY enjoy watermelon juice. The blueberry, grape, spinach, ginger and apple comes second. It’s SOOO fun to open the fridge and see a rainbow of colors! Speaking of colors….Q. What did the green grape say to the purple grape? A. Breathe! Breathe!

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Ya know what’s a little weird…but I’m NOT complaining…a side effect of all this is…my creative JUICES are flowing!!!! I was feeling pretty dried up for a while there. Maybe it’s just a coincidence. For example: my research in finding the best and upscale jokes have stepped up a notch… Q. What’s invisible and smells like carrots? A. Bunny farts.

Father from the heart

I don’t think it’s that unusual to have several fathers, or is it?

My birth father Larry was exceptionally talented and good looking. I wish he was still alive today. He died rather young because of two medications that didn’t jive, erupted in his stomach and killed him, he was only 45. He played flute, piano, guitar and sang. He had a band with my mom called Severed Hands of the Severed Mind. I don’t have any of those recordings. That was in the 60’s.

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When my mom remarried Tom SEVERAL years later it was on a beach. She married this guy who loved to dance. He came from Indiana, where he studied art. I was probably 6 or 7 years old. Tom would spend hours with me drawing. Later in my teens he spent hours teaching me Hatha yoga. He is NOW one of Tucson, Arizona’s most well known Hatha yoga teachers. During this relationship, the astounding, bright and brilliant Jade Twilight was born!!

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When the relationship to Tom ended my mother spent 16 years with Ron. I was about 13 when my mom and I would go listen to Ron play music at clubs. She sat in and played flute. He’d play his guitar and sing like there was NOTHING going to stop him. I’ll never forget how he’d rock his body to the rhythm of his guitar, while his smile took up his WHOLE face. He influenced all of us to move to Mexico. He still has a place in Yelapa. I was taught songwriting and guitar rhythm style from him.

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There was a “Love Ceremony” when she married Rigoberto. A beautiful man from Veracruz. The two of them created quite a duo with classical music. I visited them while they lived on a ranch near Puerto Vallarta. Rigo helped me record and video “3 Generations”.

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My Godfather David was there from the beginning and to this very day! He came with his wife Jetta to Germany when I was born. He carried me on his back in a backpack. While in Germany while I slept he let my mom and Jetta perm his hair. These days he drives a Harley…well, it’s in storage while he recovers from spine surgery. It was because of him that I loved convertibles. He ALWAYS had one. His most famous line to me “create your OWN mantra!”.

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Chew slow, be happy and EAT chocolate!

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I LOVE chocolate, don’t you? Of course you do!! If you don’t you’re NOT human. I bought this bag of chocolate today and boy, did it satisfy an amazing craving I had. So much for the advice “when you have a craving for something sweet, go ahead and walk around the block and when you come back see if you still want it”. Well heck yeah I still want it! Are you crazy?
After I have chocolate or something REALLY yummy I usually feel like Robert Downey, Jr. in Iron Man, where instantly I am all suited up and ready for take off. That must be powerful stuff eh? The bad part is I usually “crash” after the rush. What do you do when you “crash”? Here’s what I do. I usually run around in a circle 3 times, do the mexican hat dance and then drop! I don’t get up until I feel certain that someone else has polished off the rest of the chocolate…or sometimes what I do is I holler from the next room as I lay sprawled out on the carpeted floor…”will someone PLEASE hide the rest of those chocolates”.
And then after a day or so I am begging “will you tell me where you stashed those chocolates?” “I am okay now, really I am”. I blame this inconsistency entirely on my family tree.

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One of my favorite movies as a child was “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory”. Our long time family friend Brian McCue actually looks like Gene Wilder. (pictured above with another of my favorite people Chandika). I think I probably watched the movie “Like Water for Chocolate” a dozen times and cried my eyes out! So many times I thought it would be fantastic to open a chocolate shop like that woman did in the movie “Chocolat”.
You probably wonder “why in the world is she buying Hershey’s chocolate?”. Here’s my answer “Because it was there”. Believe me, I used to ONLY buy organic dark chocolate from Whole Foods. I’ve loosened up SOOOO much since having Paloma and ya know what it FEELS GREAT! Anyhow…I just recently read an article from Hershey’s chocolate that said “chocolate more nutritious than fruits”. What??? With that said…I’m NOT one of those “believe everything you hear, read type gal”. In the meantime…I’ll be saving my pennies to open a chocolate shoppe built in a treehouse! Yes. I think I’ll name it “Wild Child Turtledove Chocolate”. Too long? Okay, how about “Beaming Smile Chocolate”? Perhaps not so good if we had to shorten it, that would be “BS Chocolate”. Probably NOT a big seller I’m thinking. I’ll leave you with a fun quote I read somewhere “Nuts take up space where chocolate ought to be”.
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Just an ordinary day…or WAS it?

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Well after the last screaming child in public incident I decided to venture out all on my own today! The baby seat you see behind me is EMPTY. Paloma stayed home with her adoring father. So, how do I entertain myself??? I’m free to go anywhere…do WHATEVER!

I drove myself to downtown Holland. I LOVE it there. There are outdoor cafe’s, fudge shops, breweries, pizza shops, Aveda salon, crazy expensive baby stores, ice cream and yoghurt shops and of course coffee shops. It was lunch time and the cafe’s were hustling with people on their breaks. There’s also a music store downtown, so I stopped in to pick up bass strings for William. It’s a VERY small music store, but they have EVERYTHING you would need. The guy behind the counter looked like a musician. He had dreads down to his belt buckle.

After the music store excitement, I went to the Aveda salon and just had a trim. The same ol’ thing I do with my hair EVERY time! To tell you the truth, I just wanted someone to pamper me. Plus, it’s kind of like a therapy session, except I was bummed, because this stylist didn’t want to talk. She didn’t ask me any questions except “what are we going to do with your hair today?”. I tried starting a conversation…”So, you’ve been busy today?” (what a boring question I thought to myself) She said “Yes”. She was focused on trimming my hair. Okay…the conversation ended. I closed my eyes and daydreamed!!!!

I daydreamed that I was living in a cool climate, where there were forests and beaches, that I was IN LOVE, had a baby, that I was writing songs and playing violin, making black bean burgers, growing catnip and I had an ability to make funky weird faces and….oh WAIT….that’s NOT a dream…it’s happening!!!