18 Dec 1954, London, England, UK --- The driver of the "bumpmobile" at right "bears" left to avoid hitting two shrieking females at a London fun fair. "Just a coupl'a human drivers," Susie the Bear remarks. The girls are Wynne Shearme (left), 23; and Marjorie Kennedy, 22. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Sj from the Heart: Grace

Grace isn’t just some character in a popular TV show I never watched.

Grace is what happens when we get out of the way and surrender to life as it is.

Not in a passive way, but in a way of acceptance. A way of trust.

What’s happening IS what’s happening. It’s as simple as that.

And once we live in acceptance of what IS, the magic begins.


Ever been in a bumper car?

We think we’re driving. But we’re not.

We steer to the right. But get knocked to the left.

We try to go forward. But it’s backwards instead.


Life’s like that.


We plan and plan and plan.

Think we’re in control.

And just when we least expect it, we get knocked up side the head.


The cool thing about Grace is that she’s super strong.

She picks us up.

Gives us a helping hand.

In ways we never imagined.


Everything we’re experiencing is happening for us.


It’s guiding us. Steering us. This way or that.


And when we can let go of expectations,

desired outcomes.

Trust in the guidance that’s always there . . .


Well, who knows what will happen?

No one.


But this I do know:

Grace is always present,

always at the ready,

always there for us whether we realize it or not.


18 Dec 1954, London, England, UK — The driver of the “bumpmobile” at right “bears” left to avoid hitting two shrieking females at a London fun fair. “Just a coupl’a human drivers,” Susie the Bear remarks. The girls are Wynne Shearme (left), 23; and Marjorie Kennedy, 22

DVD cover of the Italian film "Life is Beautiful"

Life IS Beautiful


Last night I re-watched the award-winning Italian film “Life is Beautiful.”

This time I didn’t weep uncontrollably.

Yes, it’s still sad, but whatever in me it triggered has moved on.

And this morning while reflecting on that tragic but powerful tale, it came to me:

Life can be like that.

We can choose HOW we focus on experiences.

As a victim.

Or as in a game.

With a playful attitude.

Or not.

The horror is still present,

but the change of focus

allows Grace to arrive.

God’s Grace.

A Grace which gives us a Strength




Wishing you ALL a Happy Thanksgiving as you too reflect on how Grace

has played a role in YOUR life.


✫ Mahalo Ke Akua 

Sj on her bed in her camper-van looking out the back.

A SHORT Video of the making of a mini-camper

This video is made completely from stills. It’s short; it’s sweet; it’s how I made (with the help of MANY friends) a cargo van into my tiny home.

Enjoy! And hang in for the credits. You can meet one of my new friends. : )


Pegasus Vanity Plate

A Mini-Camper is Born

Pegasus, aka Pegi has come to life.

It’s been a transformation fueled by Grace. Yes, Grace with a capital G.

And I have been simply a Witness watching it unfold . . . step-by-step-by-grace-filled-step.

Earlier this year when I realized that I’d be leaving Kauai for an indefinite walk-about, I imagined that I’d buy a vehicle in California (while staying with friends). But there was another plan afoot, a plan that unfolded right before my very eyes . . .

In August I went to Tennessee to visit family and experience the total solar eclipse. One evening at dinner my brother casually said, “Call my car guy; he goes to auctions and can find what you’re looking for. You can trust him; I’ve bought at least twenty business vehicles through him.”

So on that Monday when the total solar eclipse crossed America, I called my brother’s contact. “I don’t normally get vans,” he said, “but the person who was leasing it backed out of the lease, and then it somehow found its way to me. It has only 287 miles on it. I think it’s meant for you.”

K. Looks like I’m buying a vehicle in Tennessee, not California.

And through this one act of Grace about five thousand million have followed.


Yes, really.

Even though I haven’t lived in Tennessee for 31-years, my family is still there. In the blink of an eye, I was surrounded by people who wanted to assist me on my journey.


I’ll make a list.

  • My brother who told me about his business associate.
  • The man who sold Pegi to me (and was very, very fair).
  • My mom who provided two thick L.L.Bean sleeping bags (from a trip to a Canadian island years ago while visiting the man who saved the snail darter), remnant carpet, my grandmother’s step-ladder, an almost 100 year old stool (that my mom needed to step on to get inside Pegi), the fuzzy mattress pad, a camp chair, jumper cables (I could go on and on and on . . . Thanks MOM!)
  • Rob who works at Lowe’s (no relation to THE Rob Lowe, Liz : ) who gave me over an hour of his time one Sunday morning as we pondered how best to build a bed platform.Rob at Lowe's cutting wood.
  • My brother-in-law who that very same Sunday helped me build this just envisioned bed platform.
  • My sister (and her husband) who provided a base-camp, towels and some plastic dishware. (AND a wonderful place to swim!)
  • An efficient sales person at Bed, Bath & Beyond who marched out to Pegi with magnetic curtain rods and insulated curtains in hand, determined to help me find just the right gear.
  • My oldest sister who let me use her sewing machine for hemming and adapting the insulated curtains so I can have some warmth and lots of privacy.
  • A dear friend who brought four lemons and the powder needed to bless Pegi ala Indian fashion.Indian Lemon blessing of a car
  • A longtime friend (who works as a dental hygienist) who gave me loads of dental floss!
  • A wonderful college sorority sister and her husband who let me use their home as my California base camp, AND gave me their Thul-eh!

Do you get the picture? Do you notice that it wasn’t just family but also kind sales people, friends, random strangers?

When you’re Riding the Trust Train, you realize that you’re ALWAYS surrounded by support. Always.

You don’t feel supported? You don’t feel that you’re being helped?

Stop. Take a breath. Maybe even close your eyes and let yourself notice all the help that’s been there for you ALWAYS. Even under the guise of challenges, annoying people. It’s all still help, assistance. Guiding you. Steering you to the best place for you to be in any given moment. Saving you from something that would have been much, much worse.

For this gal who’s Riding the Trust Train, it’s blatantly obvious that I’m not in charge. That a higher power is. That there is a plan in place. Even if I’m the last to know.

•   •   •   •  •

For a bit, I was caught in the whirlwind of building, sewing, pondering.

And then one day, it hit me.

I’ve created a home! My home. A home with wheels. A tiny-tiny-tiny-tiny-tiny tiny house. And it fits me like a glove. Like a well-worn leather glove.

“But, Sj,” you ask, “didn’t you realize that that was what you were doing?”

No. On a certain level, I didn’t.

On a certain level, I was the last to know. The last to get it.

For when you’re the witness, you just witness. Observe. Reflect.

And then with a gentle plop, I landed in my body and saw what God had wrought. And it was good. : )

Mahalo Ke Akua.

Mahalo Dayton, Kurt, Mom, Chris, Casey, Rob, Jan, Mark, Nancy, Hannah, Dwight, Evan, Chantal, Katie, Vicki, Helen, Rich, Bevin, Jocelyne, Mike, Sharon, Ken, Thor, Tanya, Tristan, Sienna, Liz, Jim, Kat, Claire, Paul, Timi, Ed, Janine, Deb(s) . . .

Thank you ALL for your kind and loving support.

If I missed you, I’m sorry. Thank YOU!

When you’ve received five thousand million acts of grace, a few might just slip through your fingers of remembrance.

Mahalo Everyone!

“Now what?” you ask.

Now I go park myself somewhere, show up, and write.

Write what?

No idea.

Remember, when you’re Riding the Trust Train, you simply trust. Listen to your heart. Follow the clues that lie all around you in the most perfect acts of Grace by friends, family, and complete strangers. We passengers on the Trust Train are never alone. Help is always just a breath away. Help is always afoot.

•  •  •  •  •

Stay tuned for a very SHORT video I made so that YOU TOO can experience the transformation of a Nissan NV 200 cargo van into a mini-camper van, aka Pegi.

✫ Sj out ✫

Riding the Trust Train

The train has left the station.

For parts unknown.

What is this all about?

This video will fill you in:

The trust train first showed up publicly after kayaking Na Pali on Kauai. A chat with Congolio gives that background:

I plan on updating this website to reflect the changes . . . that will happen when it happens.

I’ll write and post now and then as I’m called to.

If you too experience life by trusting completely, HOP ON!

Even if you don’t, I invite you to HOP ON! You may find that trusting really isn’t so scary.

Kay den. Thanks for your time and attention. Sending lots and lots and LOTS of LOVE your way!


✫ Sj out ✫


Total Solar Eclipse 2017

Dogs. Crickets. One Moon. And One Sun.

What more can you ask for?!?

Three Sisters. <3



Are You Self Conscious?

When a person is self-conscious, they’re anything BUT Self conscious, i.e. Self aware.

This just came to me while reading the introduction to Elliott Erwitt’s book of photography, “To The Dogs.”

He writes: “It’s not really that dogs are never self-conscious. In fact, a cruel person, or a photographer, can easily embarrass them. But they are usually unaffected because of something like innocence, or lack of worldly experience. Perhaps that’s why they seem to have such a natural bond with children. Maybe they still have some fundamental values that haven’t been corrupted by society.”

And maybe those dogs who ARE self-conscious (when being embarrassed by a cruel person) are actually being self aware, or at least aware of a human self who is unaware.

Wherever this musing leads, it’s dogs who are the real leaders for they continuously model how to love unconditionally.

Haven’t seen Erwitt’s book of photography? Ask a dog. Chances are she or he has a copy.


My First Football Game . . . just recovered : )

My First Football Game

by Susan Hylton

(written circa 1975)

     Shall I tell you about the very first football game I ever saw? Of course I didn’t see it very well because Harry couldn’t afford very good seats. In fact, the seats we got were so far back we found it better to sit on a very sturdy branch that grew over the edge of the stadium . . . and even this was crowded. I was constantly moving over to make room for others up there:  six crows and three red-headed woodpeckers.

I must admit that Harry did everything possible for my comfort. We had popcorn, peanuts, hot dogs, ice cream bars. Best of all, Harry promised to pay me back the very next day . . .

Harry taught me the idea of the game. A man has to carry the football from one end of the field to the other. Isn’t that a perfectly silly thing to make a game out off? . . . But there they were . . . full-grown men running, falling, kicking all over the place just to have the ball for a few seconds . . . Why, they could have saved their money so each player had one.

My biggest confusion came when I tried to tell our team from the enemy team. Harry said that our team was the one with the football. But pretty soon the other team had the ball, and I was confused again.

One time I looked down and there was a player carrying a brass drum instead of a football. I asked Harry about it and he said it was the half. Well, it certainly looked like a whole drum to me . . . then it was the musicians’ turn to play. Of course they didn’t play football . . . they played music . . . I guess someone had kicked the football over the fence because all the players were gone quite a while looking for it. But pretty soon they found it, and the players came whooping back again.

Harry explained to me about the men with striped shirts. They seemed to be afraid of the football and just stood off to one side and played their own little game – whistle blowing. Every time a player fell down with the ball, these funny little men blew their whistles like mad and made crazy little motions with their arms. Harry said it was all part of the game.

I finally got the game figured out. I think it goes this way. Each player has a number on his back. If player number 67 catches the ball, his team scores 67 points; while if player number 88 catches the ball, his team scores 88 points. Somehow this doesn’t seem fair to players with little numbers like 13 and 15, does it? . . . It was an exciting game all the way. The final score was five thousand, nine hundred and thirty-five to zero.



Added some punctuation for clarity but the occasional . . . was part of the original.

recovered by sjhl 5/21/17 : )

A day in the life . . .

. . . of a substitute teacher.

What happened?

Watch and find out. <3

Sj TV: Sj from the Heart

My HEART has recently been waving its tiny little hand

and prompting me to speak from it.

So I have . . .

If your heart has a matching antenna, cool. It’s party time as hearts speak to hearts.

If not, cool. This channel ain’t for you.