21 Dec 2017 New bands (Zales) and Reptilicus (1961 Danish-American giant monster film about a prehistoric reptile)

Hello.  How are you?  I’m doing o.k.  It’s been kind of an emotional few days for me.  Christmas as an adult has always been tricky for me and as I get older it gets more and more so.  I did write Christmas cards this year and we bought a couple of things, but we didn’t put up the tree or any lights outside like in years past.  Our gift to each other this year is replacement wedding bands as Kyle split his in half a few months ago!  I don’t think it was a need but we wanted them.   We should have them in time for our “real” anniversary which is 31 Dec.

20 Dec 2017 – We got these at Zales.  The ring on the left is Kyle’s new band made of Tungsten Carbide and mine with Celtic weave is stainless steel. The white gold bands we had just didn’t hold up and Kyle corrodes sterling silver.

We “need” to replace our side fence.  The neighbor dogs reminded me this morning by busting yet another hole in the rotten thing!  I’m amazed the damn thing is still holding up at all anymore lol!   That will be the big expense for the next outage if our neighbors don’t decide to do it sooner.

11 Oct 2017 – As you can see, several methods by the neighbors and ourselves are currently being employed to try and keep the dogs out of our yard until either one of us can afford to truly fix the fence.

Last night’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie was the Danish-American film Reptilicus.  We managed to watch the whole thing.  Kyle and I both felt like it was a bit like watching Dracula in a way….just a huge reptile instead.   We are really enjoying the latest installments of the MSTK3000!

Reptilicus – Trailer


Reptilicus is a 1961 Danish-American giant monster film about a prehistoric reptile. The film was produced by American International Pictures and Saga Studio, and separate versions were released in Denmark and in the United States.

The original Danish-language version was directed by Danish director Poul Bang and released in Denmark on February 25, 1961.

The American version, which was in English with a nearly identical cast, was directed by the film’s American producer-director Sidney W. Pink; this version was initially deemed virtually unreleasable by American International Pictures and had to be extensively reworked by the film’s Danish-American screenwriter, Ib Melchior, before being finally released in America in 1962. Pink was angry at the changes and wound up in a legal dispute with AIP.[1] After Pink and others viewed the English-language version, the lawsuit was dropped.[2]

21 Dec 2017 – Drawing this afternoon.

God to enfold me,
God to surround me,
God in my speaking,
God in my thinking.

God in my sleeping,
God in my waking,
God in my watching,
God in my hoping.

God in my life,
God in my lips,
God in my soul,
God in my heart.

God in my sufficing,
God in my slumber,
God in mine ever-living soul,
God in mine eternity.

ancient celtic oral traditions – carmina gadelica

7 Sept 2017 Full (Drawing) and Footprints

Hello to you.  It’s 9:01 am on this deliciously cool Thursday morning – definitely starting to feel like fall here!  We had morning temperatures in our area between 50 and 60 degrees!

My being has been in a prayer space a lot lately – so many things going on in the affairs of men and nature!  I am left wondering if the answer to my prayers for the greatest, most loving good for this Earth is what we have before us.   The forces of Earth becoming the stern voice of God,  speaking to us in such a manner we are forced to stop and listen.   Will those who insist on ignoring what is happening to the Earth’s systems finally pay attention?  I wonder….

(The God of my understanding is pure energy,  so I was curious to see how much energy is in a hurricane)

“The energy produced is measured by the amount of water produced by the hurricane and its subsequent condensation — the measurement is called the “latent heat of condensation.”. An average hurricane produces about a half inch (1.27 centimeters) of rain each day in an area about 825 miles (1,328 kilometers) across.”



Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime;
therefore, we must be saved by hope.

Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history;
therefore, we must be saved by faith.

Nothing we do, however virtuous, could be accomplished alone;
therefore, we must be saved by love.

No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our own standpoint;
therefore, we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.

the irony of american history – reinhold niebuhr – 1952

29 Aug 2017 Feelings in chalk

 Hello to you.  It’s 10:32 on this damp, yet sunny North Texas morning.  I am feeling better inside than I was yesterday and that is partially due to just getting the rest I needed.  The other thing was expressing my inner feelings in chalk.  The sky apparently couldn’t stand looking at it and promptly washed it away shortly after I completed it LOL!

28 Aug 2017 – channeling my inner angst out into chalk

Apparently Hurricane Harvey is now headed for Louisiana and I pray for those folks – hope they have prepared.  We are in strange times, at many levels aren’t we?  It’s important to find healthy outlets for what is going on inside of us and out.


At the center of the universe is a
loving heart that continues to beat
and that wants the best for every person.

Anything we can do to help foster
the intellect and spirit and emotional growth
of our fellow human beings, that is our job.

Those of us who have this particular vision
must continue against all odds.

Life is for service.

mister rogers neighborhood – fred rogers – 1928-2003

 *Talked to my friend and soul sister Rhonda this morning.  Dreamt about her last night – there was something about interviews and turns out she is currently doing interviews to get a new job!  She is a hospice nurse….the epitome of a life of service!  She has such a positive attitude about this nail biting job hunt process and I loved what she said to a prospective employer about her future plans in nursing,  “I intend to stay marketable!”


*Thank you God of my understanding for my family, friends and all that is my life
– Rhonda – a song for people like you and I
<div style=”position:relative;height:0;padding-bottom:75.0%”><iframe src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/f8mMWh62XpU?ecver=2&#8243; width=”480″ height=”360″ frameborder=”0″ style=”position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left:0″ allowfullscreen>

Beyond the Invisible

I look into the mirror
See myself, I’m over me
I need space for my desires
Have to dive into my fantasies
I know as soon as I’ll arrive
Everything is possible
Cause no one has to hide
Beyond the invisible

Close your eyes
Just feel and realize
It is real and not a dream
I’m in you and you’re in me
It is time
To break the chains of life
If you follow you will see
What’s beyond reality

© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind

24 Aug 2017 Weird dream sequence and red haired lady in chalk

Hello to you.  It’s 11:54 am as I write to you this muggy, hot and mosquitoey morning!  Just came in to cool down after working on a chalk drawing this morning.  I’m tired again.  I know I’m sleeping otherwise I wouldn’t be dreaming.   I just wake up feeling exhausted.  Kyle is having the same problem.  He attributes troubles to inheriting family genes with the same problem and summer insomnia.  For me?  Probably just the “I’m getting old can’t sleep for shit!” problem lol.  We haven’t been able to pin-point any one thing that could be the cause and it’s going on two months of this now!

The weird dream sequence I remember was of walking in the snow and then hearing someone say, “she’s going to burst, she’s about to give birth!” and then seeing this glue-like substance on my legs.  It was wood pieces were glued to my legs.  Then there was a man that looked like actor Sam Neill laying on the ground screaming and contorting.  There was a man next to him holding a huge version of the citrine crystal I have and there was bolts of energy going from the screaming man to the crystal.  It was like the screams were charging the crystal (or was the crystal charging the man?! Hmmm!)

My bed side companions, crystal closest to you is citrine crystal

My mind putting together a lot of random stuff again….

This red haired lady looks a lot like my husbands avatar on FFXIV, Morrigu without the poofy red hair lol!

29 July 2017 Kyle Wygant FFXIV avatar Morrigu Deangelic – Paladin

24 Aug 2017 Jackie Wygant outdoor chalk drawing Morrigu red hair Alvarado TX

I hope you have a good day!  Love, hugs and light from here!


Be kind,
for everyone
you meet
is carrying
a great

ian maclaren – circa 1898

Adapted from original version: “Be pitiful, for every man is fighting a hard battle.” Ian MacLaren was the pen name of Reverend John Watson.

23 Aug 2017 GANS pendant and “Just draw”

Hello there!  How are you doing?  It’s 6:02 pm as I write to you.  Today has been a good day.  We did a trip to Michael’s (craft and hobby shop in Burleson) and restocked my chalk and I found some inexpensive vial pendants for GANS (http://www.plasmaproduction.org/what-is-gans.html).  Ever since I saw people were starting to make them I was inspired to make one for myself lol.  I have to say it feels good to wear it!

Source: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GoldenAgeofGans/ – Ihno Y Papendick Golden Age of Gans pendants (just one of many examples people have made)

23 Aug 2017 – pendant vial I picked up at Michael’s for GANS (Gas in nano solid state)

As I mentioned this morning, I was feeling like my creativity flow hasn’t been very strong the past few days.  Well when I went out with my chalk today, that familiar voice chimed in and said, “Just draw!”  Sometimes if I try to think about what to draw too much, that’s when I really get blocked!  It’s best to just go for it and see what comes through.  Three images came forth.  The first one is me imagining that the clouds above me in the sky are looking back down at me with bunches of eyes! LOL! Silly I know.  The second one is me experimenting with random colors to shape a face and the last just an image that keeps popping in when I’m under the sun.  I keep seeing the shadow of an angel in my minds eye climbing down to me.

I love the imagery in this message from Amma:


The sun shines down,
and its image reflects a thousand
different pots filled with water.

The reflections are many,
but they are each reflecting the same sun.

Similarly, when we come to know who we truly are,
we will see ourselves in all people.



23 Aug 2017 Eyes

Hi there!  How are you doing from where and when you are?  It’s 8:35 am on this Wednesday morning.  I don’t have an appetite this morning and haven’t been sleeping well for several weeks now.  I think it’s how busy I’ve been in the dream realms.  There have been lots of dreams.  So many I can’t keep track of them enough when it comes time to write them down.  Just before I woke up this morning, there was something about an elderly man and some sort of medical procedure that was helping his wife.  There was some liquid – thinking this was inspired by my interest in Keshe Foundation plasma.  The liquid was milky white like the stuff in the batch I have beside my bed.  Just before I woke up he received a call on a digital device from his wife, it was good news.  Wouldn’t it be nice to think that somewhere in the world this was really happening for someone?

25 July 2017 Jackie Wygant indoor experiment with Dr Wilhelm Reich orgonite and Keshe Foundation GANS and coils Alvarado TX 2

Last night before bed I went out and did a silly chalk drawing to add to the mural I’ve got going on our back patio.  At first it was just one eye and then I decided to make a bunch more in the circles.  I’ve been having a little dry spell in my creativity flow….that’s o.k. because my chalks are almost used up except for the colors I don’t use very often lol!  Looking at it this morning, the drawing looks like something Pablo Picasso might have dreamt up!

22 Aug 2017 Jackie Wygant outdoor chalk drawing eyes Alvarado TX

Thank you for stopping by to visit here whether it was intentional or not.  Knowing my ramblings and scribbles might be a positive point in anyone’s day gives me encouragement to keep at it.  Much love and light to you and yours!


‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.

shaker song – simple gifts – elder joseph brackett – 1848

22 Aug 2017 Eclipse and Angel of the morning chalk drawings

Hello to you.  It’s 12:53 pm on this Tuesday afternoon.  How are you doing?  I have been trying to write in an alternate “universe” lol, blog, I Pay Attention (https://ipayattentionblog.wordpress.com) but am losing steam on it.  It’s frustrating to “start over” and irritating that I ran out of picture space but I’ve decided to make it a challenge!  So if you are new to visiting here and you look at some of my older blogs, which I’m going to start culling and going through today, you may notice lots of empty spaces where pictures used to be.  I’m going to refrain from using outside picture sources I think and see how that goes!  UGH!  May be at some point I’ll upgrade to the Premium plan but just can’t swing it right now.

21 Aug 2017 – chalk drawing I did yesterday after the beautiful experience of the eclipse yesterday.

I don’t know if you can make out the angel I drew in chalk this morning.  When I draw on my porch in the morning, sometimes the light isn’t quite right for taking pictures of what I’ve drawn.  I’ll try for a better picture later when the shadows are less harsh.

22 Aug 2017 – “Angel of the morning” chalk drawing I did today.

What came to me about her was “rising up” after adversity.  From the ashes of the past we rise, we ascend to greater heights.  Yesterday when I was outside laying on our bandstand during the eclipse, I had a vision of a huge angel descending from the sun.  Guess that’s where this drawing is coming from.  It was so beautiful to have one day where most of the world set aside it’s grievances and just focused on the eclipse….something positive.  May be that was the energy I felt in the air….it was lovely.

Love, hugs and light to you wherever and whenever this message finds you!

Beautiful prayer/intention from the World Prayers site: http://www.worldprayers.org/prayerwheel/index.html

Dear God,

i don’t know why i am here,
i don’t know why all of this has happened to me.

in truth, i don’t know anything at all,
and i don’t know the why of anything at all.

but there is nothing i need or desire or want…
as each new moment brings enough of whatever is necessary.

my prayer to you, is a simple prayer of heartfelt thanks:

i thank you, God…

…for allowing me to be whatever i am
…for the world and for all of the experiences of being here
…for the blessings of everything that appears in my life
…for all the beauty, the majesty, the mystery, the wonder you have created
…for the peace, the wisdom, the power, the glory that i have found in you
…for all the lights of the world you have given: my family, friends, acquaintances, relationships
…for using me as your instrument in whatever manner you choose
…for showing me the silence, the stillness, and the way to live without fear
…for the guidance of your will for my life

and most of all, God,

i thank you for Love.

your empty vessel,
your humble servant forever,

i am.

i’m free – tom hixson – 21 september 2006



8 Aug 2017 Finding a way to kinship with all and Pentagon commissioned report on PTSD in US military

Good morning to you.  It’s 9:16 am as I begin to write to you on this cooler, pleasant day.  I perused the news headlines and this made me think of the snippet of the dream I remember before waking up.  It was the oddest thing to dream about too!  I was standing with Brian Williams of MSNBC and he had a bunch of awards around his neck.  He seemed so happy to see me and like he knew me.  As we were talking, I saw actor Chris Pratt and some other man walking through a door and they seemed to be avoiding me lol.  I don’t know why they popped into my dreams but I hope they are doing well!

My thoughts about what I’ve been seeing in the headlines brought me to one of my favorite web pages.  With the second spin of their prayer wheel, this message came up.  I feel this message in my heart…..the age old questions we just need to ask ourselves to bring people and nations together instead of pushing ourselves further apart.  How are we the same?  What are all the things we have in common?  What good things do we share and how do we make the world full of more of those good things?  My dream for this world is that all of us might find a way to focus on how we are the same and less on how we are different.  Build more bridges so that we can meet one another.  Break down (and never waste the money to build) the tangible and intangible walls that keep us apart.


In striving to recognize the primacy of Fire and Light,
I feel kinship with my Zoroastrian brothers and sisters.
In striving to obey the Ten Commandments,
I feel kinship with my Jewish brothers and sisters.
In striving to be kind to neighbor and the needy,
I feel kinship with my Christian brothers and sisters.
In striving to be compassionate to creatures great and small,
I feel kinship with my Buddhist-Jaina brothers and sisters.
In striving to surrender myself completely to God Almighty,
I feel kinship with my Muslim brothers and sisters.
In the recognition that wisdom flows from enlightened masters,
I feel kinship with my Sikh brothers and sisters.
In remembering that serving people should be the goal of religion,
I feel kinship with my Baha’i brothers and sisters.
In my respect and reverence for Nature that sustains us,
I feel kinship with my Native American brothers and sisters.
In feeling that these and more are all paths to the same Divinity,
I feel kinship with my Hindu brothers and sisters.
In my love and laughter, joy and pain,
I feel kinship with all my fellow humans.
In my need for nourishment and instinct to live on,
I feel kinship with all beings on the planet.
In my spiritual ecstasy with this wondrous world,
I feel kinship with the Cosmic Whole.

universal reflection – v. v. raman – cape of good hope – 1999
The report about the Pentagon commissioned study regarding PTSD in the United States military of course caught my eye yesterday.  The aversion to the taking and or loss of another living being’s life  is something most of us have in common.  Suicide is personal for me and as a medically retired veteran who falls into the category of the study, it’s even more personal!  It’s important to note the study found that the use of firearms is the most common way veterans are committing suicide.   It’s also interesting to note how old this study is 2014!  Why isn’t it a 2017 report?!  Doesn’t seem like they are really staying current on this issue to me. 

Troops at risk for suicide not getting needed care, report finds

Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY , TEGNA 4:23 PM. EDT August 07, 2017

WASHINGTON – Pentagon health care providers failed to perform critical follow-up for many troops diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome who also were at high risk for suicide, according to a new study released Monday by the RAND Corp.

Just 30% of troops with depression and 54% with PTSD received appropriate care after they were deemed at risk of harming themselves. The report, commissioned by the Pentagon, looked at the cases of 39,000 troops who had been diagnosed in 2013 with depression, PTSD or both conditions. USA TODAY received an advance copy of the report.

“We want to ensure that they get connected with behavioral health care,” said Kimberly Hepner, the report’s lead author and a senior behavioral scientist at RAND, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization. “The most immediate action — removal of firearms — can help to reduce risk of suicide attempts.”

The report, titled Quality of Care for PTSD and Depression in the Military Health System, also found that one third of troops with PTSD were prescribed with a medication harmful to their condition.

From 2001 to 2014, about 2.6 million troops have deployed to combat zones in Afghanistan and Iraq. Estimates on how many have been affected by post-traumatic stress vary widely — from 4% to 20%, according to the report. Meanwhile, suicide among troops spiked crisis proportions. The rate of suicide doubled between 2005 and 2012, according to the Pentagon. It has stabilized but has not diminished; the rate remains about the same for the part of the American public that it compares with, about 20 per 100,000 people.

The key intervention to prevent suicide involves talking to the service member about their access to firearms, Hepner said. It’s also one of the most sensitive, given the nature of their work and that many troops own their own guns.

“This is important for service members because suicide death by firearms is the most common method,” Hepner said. “So the provider needs to have that discussion about access to firearms. Not only their service weapon but their access to personal weapons.”

Guns accounted for 68% of suicides by active-duty troops in 2014, according to the Pentagon.

Commanders can be enlisted to put weapons out of troops’ reach, and family members may be asked to do so at home, she said. One reason that doesn’t happen more often, she said, is the stigma attached to mental health issues, and the effect notifying superiors may have on careers.

“These can be quite difficult conversations to have with service members,” Hepner sid. “Certainly limiting access to their service weapon would involve notifying their command.”

Researchers also found that one-third of troops with depression had received a prescription for benzodiazepine, an anti-anxiety medication.

“It is explicitly mentioned in guidelines for treatment of PTSD that benzodiazepines are contraindicated,” Hepner said. “We continue to see a relatively high rate of prescription for a medication we would hope would not be prescribed.”

Link to blog I wrote about subject:  https://saymber.com/2017/03/17/17-march-2017-more-distractions-from-the-affordable-care-act-fiasco-the-us-governments-latest-solution-for-paying-for-the-true-cost-of-war-and-bernie-sanders-repeated-warnings-going-unheard/

Back in March of this year, the House voted to approve a bill that would allow these same veterans easier access to firearms!  Very sad.   What their doing that said to me was they’d rather make it easier for veterans to die than to do the hard part, the funding, taking responsibility for restoring them to meaningful and productive lives!  It’s easy to pluck a 18 year old from a small town, dress them up in a uniform, put a gun in their hands and send them off to war than it is to put together that same person who is now half or less the person physically and or psychologically they were after they come back from the war zone. 

Source Internet: Quote from a past Governor of my home State SD, George McGovern,


House OKs Bill Making It Tougher To Keep ‘Mentally Incompetent’ Vets From Buying Guns

Enlarge this image

A House-approved bill would require a court hearing before a U.S. veteran is deemed mentally unfit to own a gun. Here, rifles are seen at a gun shop in Merrimack, N.H., last year. Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

A House-approved bill would require a court hearing before a U.S. veteran is deemed mentally unfit to own a gun. Here, rifles are seen at a gun shop in Merrimack, N.H., last year.

Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

The House has approved legislation that would make it harder to keep veterans who are “mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent” or prone to blackouts from buying guns. Critics of the bill say it could raise the suicide rate among veterans — a rate that has risen in the past decade.

At least a dozen Democrats joined Republicans to support the bill, which was approved by a 240-175 vote.

The legislation would add a new hurdle to the process of blocking a veteran whose mental competence is in question from owning a gun. While the Department of Veterans Affairs currently adds the names of veterans it deems unfit to own a deadly weapon to a federal background check system, the bill would require a court hearing before that determination is made.

“About 170,000 disabled veterans are deemed mentally incompetent by the VA,” NPR’s Quil Lawrence reports. “A VA-approved guardian makes some medical and financial decisions for them. Their names go on an FBI list so they can’t purchase guns — House Republicans sponsored the Veterans’ Second Amendment Protection Act to change that.”

Backers of the bill, such as Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., the chair of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, say it would help veterans avoid being caught up in a bureaucracy that can make it tough to remove a negative label. Roe also cited the importance of “removing the stigma of mentally ill people — that because someone is mentally ill, they’re a danger to themselves or others.”

On the other side of the issue, Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Md., said, “When a determination is made that a veteran is mentally incompetent or incapacitated — for whatever reason — that determination is made to protect them, not to punish or deprive them.”

Critics of the bill include retired Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army. Speaking to Quil about why he opposed the bill, Chiarelli said, “Every single study you can read on this shows you that people in crisis — because suicide is such a spontaneous event — when they separate themselves from personal weapons the incidence of suicide goes down tremendously.”

The House legislation will now go to the Senate. It would change U.S. law by adding this section to sections governing veterans’ benefits:

Conditions for treatment of certain persons as adjudicated mentally incompetent for certain purposes

“In any case arising out of the administration by the Secretary of laws and benefits under this title, a person who is mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness shall not be considered adjudicated as a mental defective under subsection (d)(4) or (g)(4) of section 922 of title 18 without the order or finding of a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.”.

15 May 2017 Drawings and From Addiction to Academy Founder: Dr Teri DeLane Teaches Kids to Trust (Daily Good feature)

Good morning to you – how are you today?  Kyle and I had a great start to our day, got breakfast at the Waffle House and groceries.  I love the “easy days” like this that we have together.  We joked that before we know it, October will be here and he’ll be working again! Never take the easy times for granted as they are fleeting!

Did some drawings yesterday but mostly resting and enjoyed the beautiful day.  We moved our swinging bench under the pecan tree when we did the pergola demolition and I like it there.  The view through the leaves to the sky is like a kaleidoscope.   Since we removed the pergola, we’ve had many more birds visiting and now have a very angry squirrel!  He likes to taunt Spot and was used to climbing down the roof and hopping on the pergola to get to the pecan tree.  Well Saturday he attempted to do this but didn’t realize the pergola was gone and I heard a loud screech and suddenly there was  a panicked squirrel in front of me!  I was mortified because I know how much Spot has been wanting to kill this little antagonist!  He was scrambling all over the screen and finally found his way back up to the huge cottonwood next door.  Once he was at a higher elevation,W he let the squirrel expletives fly!!!  OH he was pissed!!

We got to talk to our Mom’s and that was a blessing.   My Mom was up at her garden planting!  She has such a green thumb. If she lived closer I know our mess for garden plots would be doing more than growing rogue potato plants!  Kyle’s Mom finally got a tour of where Kyle, his brother and Dad work as part of their day.  It’s the little things, just spending time doing things we enjoy with those we love and that is not just for Hallmark holidays, whenever we can, preferably each day!

The feature story from the Daily Good is a good one to share – sharing our experience, strength, hope and paying it forward!  That’s what recovery is all about.


It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. –Frederick Douglas

From Addiction to Academy Founder: Dr Teri DeLane Teaches Kids to Trust

–by MJ Vieweg, May 15, 2017

The following article is based on an Awakin Call interview with Teri Delane.You can listen to the recording of the interview or read the full-length transcript here. Founder and principal of San Francisco’s Life Learning Academy, Dr. Teri Delane says that the success of the school that serves the city’s highest-risk, highest-need students can be replicated. The school tracks a 99% graduation rate with 85% of the students going on to college. The kids that do so well here are the kids with histories of school failure, truancy, arrest and substance abuse. The ones that traditional school settings can’t provide for.

Having the right people in place is key to recreating the success and structure of the Life Learning Academy. “It is a process that anyone can replicate if you get the right group of people that are dedicated to wanting to do it,” said Delane.

The process Delane describes has it roots in the Delancey Street Foundation, a well-known San Francisco-based self-help program for drug addicts and ex-offenders. Delane, who earned two Master’s degrees before going on to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology, has first hand experience of the Delancey Street program – entering the program as an addict herself.

She started using heroin when she was just 14. She stopped going to school after ninth grade. By the time she was 20, she had overdosed three times, in addition to getting arrested for ‘all kinds of things’.

Delane learned more than how to stop using drugs at Delancey Street. She learned about being part of community and how to trust. “The Delancey Street Foundation saved my life by surrounding me with people who would not allow me to fail,” she said. “The process is taking a person and giving them the tools necessary to live by, thrive by, to grow, to push you to your best potential, to pull out your strengths instead of always concentrating on your weaknesses,” she said.

Delane got involved with running and developing programs for incarcerated men and women that were offshoots of the Delancey Street program while earning her PhD. A chance to work on a juvenile justice reform project as an advisor was pivotal. “My heart and soul has always been youth because I was someone that got it and I desperately wanted to have an impact on changing kids. Because I know that if you get in early and really work on them and help them learn to trust, they can change,” she said.

Research for the juvenile justice reform project revealed that the educational needs kids at risk for dropping out, substance abuse or criminal activity where not being met.

“We did research for over a year on the needs of at-risk kids in San Francisco. In certain neighborhoods, we started programs like Community Assessment and Referral Center, an agency that takes kids when they get arrested and finds ways of diverting them rather than locking them up,” she said. “The idea about developing this school came up when Mayor Willie Brown contacted Delancey Street because the juvenile justice system in San Francisco was falling apart.”

The Life Learning Academy has its roots in the Delancey Street model. Delane incorporated practices of the program that would could be integrated into a school environment: creating community, engagement, leadership, dress code and working toward rewards.

And she trains her teachers and staff. “It takes training to help people understand the complexity of teenagers. The way to engage them is a push and pull process. You give them a little and you take a little. I train the staff to teach the kids how to think about their thinking so they can tune in and help them understand that have control of themselves, but it takes a long time to change that. The kids are so engrossed in negative thinking and believing that they are failures. What you need to know about teenagers is that they push against structure and crave it at the same time.””

Delane knows the background of each student and shares that with the staff. Taking into account a student’s home environment, or even lack thereof, is key to understanding the behavioral issues that some of the student’s may have. Even so, the Life Learning Academy does not rely on counseling and has no counselors on staff. “We don’t need them,” she says, and recalls her own experience as an at-risk student in a traditional school system. “I was sent to counseling because I was acting out in school. No one said, “Wow, I get it. Her environment and her family are complete disasters. Now wonder she is angry, no wonder she is fighting.” It wasn’t me that had the disorder really; it was the family system.”

“The way I changed wasn’t through traditional therapy. It was by coming into an organization with people that helped me find my strengths, who yelled at me about the things that were going to get me in trouble and who kept me moving forward,” she said. “Because the kids keep having to go back into their family environments I want to teach them tools to make them stronger and not take them back through their history. Not to open them up but to empower them. They may go home to a horrible environment, but they spend a lot of their waking hours in a positive, fun, exciting place. Kids know that they can come in in the morning, be in a bad mood and people aren’t going to be on them and we will notice they are in a bad mood.”

Life Learning Academy has grades 9 through 12. There is a 6:1 teacher-student ratio. Class periods are longer than a typical high school class – typically an hour to two hours

which allows the teacher to engage with each student and to lead interactive activities.

A daily community lunch is prepared and served by students in culinary arts working alongside the school chef. A weekly rotation of assigned tables allows the kids to eat with three or four different classmates and staff members.

In addition to Culinary Arts, the curriculum includes Engineering, Organic Arts and Digital Media. Students are expected to take part in community service projects, internships and even to pursue part-time jobs.

And woven through it all is Delane’s philosophy of ‘each one, teach one’. “What we do at the school is a circle around the kids with a number of things that have to be included in their lives in order for them to have a full life: education, a job, having money and a portion of the circle has to be learning how to give back,” she said. “I teach that the way you get is by giving. Not by

sitting around talking about your problems. We don’t stay stuck in our past. What we do is work through it, let it go and move on.”

All the students know Delane’s background, see what she has accomplished and witness her giving back every day. And they know that the way she moved on from a troubled life is what they are learning at LLA. That realization allows trust to gain its foothold.

“I think I am really lucky because I have never forgotten where I come from,” Delane said. “And as a result, I have gratitude to the ends of the earth because there is no better feeling in the world than watching kids become part of this community and start thriving and growing.”

Based on an Awakin Calls interview. Awakin Calls are weekly conference calls that anyone from around the world can dial into at no charge. Each call features a unique theme and an inspiring guest speaker. MJ Vieweg is an Awakin Calls editor with a background in community journalism and social media, she is drawn to crafting stories that both inform and inspire readers.

Resonate quotes:
It’s better to go slow in the right direction than to go fast in the wrong direction.
Simon Sinek

Courage is never to let your actions be influenced by your fears.
Arthur Koestler

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing. — LOVE this one!!!
T.S. Eliot


Oh, children, don’t you weep,
If the road is long.
All of us are prayers of action,
On our way to God,
On our way to God.

Some of us are long and rambling,
Sometimes lost for years,
Some of us are small and holy,
Beautiful and clear.

Oh, children, don’t you weep,
If the road is long.
All of us are prayers of action,
On our way to God,
On our way to God.

prayers of action – tom rapp – 1973

27 March 2017 What Would You Give (Poem) – taking time to appreciate the gifts of Nature

Hello to  you – I hope this finds you well.  Keeping it really simple today as I’m tired and adjusting to a morning without the sounds of my sweet Kyle’s voice and presence!  Today is his first day at work.  Much love and hugs to you reader(s) and I hope you will find a way, your special way, to make this World a better place.  Even if you can just manage a smile  and a heartfelt “hello” to a stranger – that’s a start!

26 March 2017 – the feeling outside was kind of “off” with the storms building and lurking about so I didn’t spend much time outside yesterday. We decided this looked like Mars lol.

Quotes that resonated from the Daily good today:

The heart is the chief feature of a functioning mind.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Modest doubt is called the beacon of the wise.
William Shakespeare

Loneliness and the feeling of being uncared for and unwanted are the greatest poverty.
Mother Teresa

One measure of leadership is the caliber of people who choose to follow you.
Dennis A. Peer

Today’s poem from my Grandma. To me, this Earth is more precious than money.

What Would You Give?

What would you give for a day in Spring,

With bright green grass and windy hills,

Sapphire skies and cotton clouds,

And the fairy gold of daffodils?

What would you give for a Summer day,

with your own rainbow overhead,

Butterflies and hummingbirds,

Hovering over each flower bed?

What would you give for an Autum day,

With leaves of orange and brown and gold,

The smell of wood smoke in the air,

And all of the love your heart could hold?

What would you give for a Winter day,

Whole landscapes glisten white with snow,

A blazing fire and af riend to share

Sweet memories of long ago?

Is there among us anyone,

With wealth enough to purchase all

This loveliness, no human hand

Can duplicate, however small?

What do you suppose the price

And value of such things would be?

No man who lives is rich enough,

….To buy what God gives us for free!


Creator of heaven and earth,
You are me,
I am you.

prayer of a navajo girl – early 20th century

Sometimes we need to stop and smell the roses….take a moment to appreciate the gifts of Nature going on all around us each and every day.

You have to stop and smell the roses sometimes!


The rose garden of Kayoichou Park, Japan – 4K garden rose extravaganza