aloha every day

aloha every day

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Walk on

Do you ever wake up with a song in your head
and then
you can't get it OUT of your head?

This happens to me FREQUENTLY.
I'm talking
5 days a week?  

Sometimes the songs are so funny
that I sing them out loud
so my hubs can share in the joy.

Like the day I woke up singing
"Rhythm is gonna get-cha
rhythm is gonna get-cha..."
a-la Gloria.
Of course, for my hubs
(the happiest morning person I've met to date)
faux-maraca shaking ensued.

This morning, however, was not a maraca-shaking song.
I woke up with David Gray's 
"From Here I Can Almost See the Sea"
whispering me to awareness.

So, I got up
tied my laces
brewed a hot coffee
threw on a hoodie
and walked to the seacliffs.

Here is my morning walk,
set to the lyrics of the poetic David Gray 
(who just happens to be the soundtrack to my Fall season)

"Come the weekend
We'll be long gone, baby
Just like the old days
Letting the world flow through me
Just a parasite in the line
I'm smoking, killing the time
I lost a piece of twine
What use is sympathy?
From here you can almost see the sea"
(and you can...can you sea see it? This is the top of our street. The start of my walk.)

"If you would hold still
Make a clean incision
And we can sit back and watch the demolition
Little puppy dog in a box
Somebody's picking the locks
It's wandered down from the socks
Here comes the cavalry
From here you can almost see the sea"

"Just another fool in the line
Just a parasite in the line"
"I dream of high clouds
Flush with the light of daybreak
I'm gonna dive in
To waters so cold it makes your bones ache
Fingers, knees, and knuckles scraped
Our love a rubbish heap
The piece of cardboard taped up where the bedroom windowpane used to be
From here you can almost see the sea."

"Just another fool in the line
Just a parasite in the line
I saw a film once
Where all the air holes froze up
A killer whale swam

Under the blue ice
until her heart stopped."
 (This is the end of our street!)
Aloha kakahiaka.

Notes from a Realist

my hubs said,
"You're not a pessimist...
you're just a realist."

Of course, at first, I threw up a defensive...
"Wha...? How dare you label me!"

Then I realized...
he's quite right.
he meant it as a compliment.

Defense down.
 As a realist,
I'm constantly considering the REALITY of what might happen.
If we____, then____will most likely happen. 
 I mean, at least I'm not thinking about the worst thing that could happen, right?

that doesn't leave much room for adventure.
And that is PRECISELY WHY we had this conversation in the first place.
 Recently, we decided to:
work at work
home and home.
That means,
no work at home.
yet impressive 
jump for two who aim for professional commitment.

However difficult this decision will prove to be,
it opens up a world of adventure for our time together at home.

my challenge therein
is to 
of what might be
and experience life
during every adventure.
 This weekend proved to be adventure-worthy.
Rainy days tend to spark a child-like curiosity in us both.
So, we went to the shore.

We also went roller skating with Mom!

 These happen to be my mom's roller skates from childhood.
She still wears them.

Here's to adventures
big and small


Saturday, October 13, 2012

This... what weekends should be about:
 Sunsets at the beach,

Farmer's Market wanderings,


Welcome back to my life, weekends.
I'm sure you've been doing your thing while I've been working, 
I've missed you!


Saturday, October 6, 2012


My dearest Punkin,

I've been trying to figure out why I love you so.  Is it your creamy texture?  God knows I love a good creamy cooking ingredient.  Could it be that your bright orange ambiance reminds me to look for the light?   Or maybe my love extends into your associated spices of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

Punkin, these are all reasons why I love you.  However, I cannot pinpoint one of them to be THE reason why you make me feel all giddy inside.  You see, when you blend all of these reasons together, and then whisk in a crisp fall morning, you yield a heaping serving of regeneration.  

What do you mean, "What do you mean?"  Can't you see it?  As the leaves turn color, I am reminded of what in my life needs a color makeover.  Can my grey pessimism be painted a lovely yellow optimism?  Can my navy blue depressive sentiments be washed with sea green positivity swimming with the surging possibilities of my future?  

Can't you feel it?  As the cool breeze sweeps into the still-open windows, the brisk temperature shocks me into awareness.  I am reminded to slow down and awaken to my surroundings.  I have knowingly surrounded myself with lovely things that bring a cozy feeling to my ever-moving life.  I am, by nature, a busy bee.  I thrive on moving: ever-working, ever-thinking, ever-creating, ever-completing.  Balance, however, requires a slowing...a time to reflect...a time to stop moving...a time to be comforted by what is around you.  

It is these changes brought on by Fall, that spark regeneration in the soul.  I've witnessed it recently in those around me.  My mom, allowing herself to slow down and recognize what is important to her in living a balanced life, has been able to prioritize herself, and in so doing, she has emerged an inspiring light.  My dear friend Jenny, deciding and then taking steps toward inspiring others to live a healthy life...  I've seen co-workers, inspired by the colors and flavors of Fall (you included), create effective projects with clarity in their goals.  I've received phone calls with reports of engagements, new homes bought, babies born.  Most of all, I've observed smiles, light, breath, and relief in the general populace. 

Punkin, YOU are the representation of this regeneration.  You come reliably with dedication to your purpose and integrity to the task at hand.  Then, you stand firm.  You hold your ground.  You continue to inspire until Fall gives way to Winter.  THIS is why I love you.  Keep on keepin' on, Punkin.  I need you in my life.


p.s. Here are my favorite punkin recipes (so far) from this Fall:

Pumpkin Oatmeal:
I made this one up this morning, and adore it!  I didn't really measure, so the measurements below are approximates.  Fiddle with it and find your perfect pumpkin oatmeal!

2/3 cup steel-cut oats
1 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup canned pumpkin (I like the Trader Joes variety)
1 T cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1/4 cup sugar
2 T butter
4 T maple syrup
shake of salt
* Bring oats and water to a boil, then stir and reduce heat
* Add milk and pumpkin, stir until fully mixed
* add remaining ingredients and cook until texture is desirable.

Pumpkin Scones:
My friend Allison, who writes an amazing blog, shared this recipe:
Here are my scone results prior to baking/glazing:

Pumpkin Raviolis:
I followed this recipe:
Then, I added finely chopped tomatoes and zuchinni on top (drizzled in EVOO, of course)
Go through the process of making your own ravioli dough...
it's worth it.

Pumpkin Waffles:
Thanks to Coastal Living Magazine, I came across this gem:
Of course, we topped the waffle with pumpkin ice cream from Trader Joes.
So there.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Workah, workah, workah

Did you appreciate my nod to the Muppets?
I mean, when considering what to title a blog posting about work
I find it healthy to rely on a little humor.
Work is work, no matter what you do,
but if we can't laugh a little, 
are we really living?

I work with a team of wonderful, hard-working people.
People who hold the bar high for themselves and those around them.
People who support, and appreciate the support of those around them.
People who aren't afraid to laugh...
every day.
We always find a reason to smile...
and for that, 
I'm eternally grateful.

So, I came home this evening
with a plan of what I could get done
for work.
Then I realized:
I've been in late meetings more than once this week.
I worked a 12 hour day this week.
I. am. tired.
And I'm not complaining...
for I am SO, VERY grateful 
to have a good job.

I am simply saying,
I'm not working tonight!
In the spirit of "me time,"
I'm sharing with you some recent shell photos from my collection.
I enjoy having "seashell photo shoots."
So, here are the latest:


Saturday, September 8, 2012

As my yoga teacher said...

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
Harold Thurman Whitman 

What makes me come alive?
What makes me come alive!
What makes ME come ALIVE...

but I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

I think I am most alive
when I've released anxiety.
Anxious feelings turn into crippling behaviors.

When and how do I release anxieties?
Not "over-thinking" my life.
Trying to "live in the moment"
Concentrating on the best outcome

The most important line in that quote above is:
"and then go and do that."
It is most often in the application of the thought that I fail
to come alive.

What makes you come alive?
Think on that.
And then go and do that.


Saturday, September 1, 2012


I just booked my first visit back to Hawai'i.
My heart.
is racing.

My fear.
is that I won't want to
come back.

When I land,
I'm going
My thinking spot.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Meh-wege, oh meh-wege

My older brother's getting married tomorrow.

I am so happy for him I could just pee explode!

He's only older than me by 16 months, 
so really,
we're more like twins...
even though I look more like my younger brother.

16 months is not a big separation.
So, you know,
we grew up arm-in-arm...
connected at the hip.
We danced together
from the time I was 2 and he was 3.3 years old.
We would make up dance routines in our back yard
perform them till our audience was no longer amused...
then we would do the dance
just in case anyone missed the best part.
We went everywhere together.
We even went to college together!
I sent him first to check out the scene,
and I followed shortly thereafter.
Which is how it always was for us.
Kevin went first,
and I followed
he was doing.
Mom would even try next season's girl clothes on Kevin,
just to see if they would fit me next season!

After college, 
we moved away from each other for the first time.
He to LA, then SD,
me to HI.
8 years later,
here we are.
Back together again.
Living in the same town.
Sharing in each other's lives,
just as we've always done.
And just as we'll always do.
I am SO happy for you, my brother.
You have found the woman who makes your life even happier than I could have ever imagined it.
And I should know when you are happy,
because I've been there...
I've seen it...
I know you front and back, up and down.
You are HAPPY...
and in keeping with the story of our lives thus far,
I share in your joy.
Congratulations Kevin and Shannon Miller Alexis.
I love you.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


She would have been 85 tomorrow.
I say "would have" because
she passed away 
a few months 

She was an adventurer.
Always seeking fun.
Never needing or desiring anyone to do anything for her.
She did for herself...
what she wanted...
when she wanted.

She was a planner.
Every detail
of every event...

She was a seamstress.
Each seam sewed to perfection.
She taught me how to sew..
and how to inspect store bought clothes for quality seams.

She called me honey girl.
I don't know why,
but I loved it.

She and I adopted each other.
She had lost her husband,
I had lost my grandma.
She loved that I had pierced 7 holes in my ears,
I adored that she accepted me for who I was.
We were like minds.

She wrote me letters...
lots of letters.
We were pen pals when I lived in Hawai'i.
Receiving her letters was a slice of home...
...a hug
...a cinnamon roll fresh from her oven
...a smile like none other.
I could ask her anything.
Advice on cooking,
And I knew the answer would be a few short weeks away,
in her response letter.

She passed away a few months ago in a roll-over car accident caused by a popped tire.
I've been
I struggle between reasonings:
1- It's not fair that she was taken from me so early...
she still had SO MUCH LIFE to live.
2- At least she was taken before old age had a chance to consume her...
she would never have been okay with being trapped in a body/mind that was failing her.
3- At least she died doing what she loved...
adventuring out on her own.

She would have been 85 tomorrow.
Tomorrow I will CELEBRATE her...
and I will meditate on how I can carry on her legacy...
 for there is no reason to continue in sadness.
She was in my life for a reason,
and if a model for my future ever existed,
it was her.

I love you forever, Grandma Dee.

Honey Girl

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fearing Fear

I've been thinking a lot this summer about:

I was a fearsome child.
Afraid of dogs.
Afraid of aliens.
Afraid of racoons.
Afraid of horses.
Afraid of intruders.

These childhood fears were not just worries.
They were
stop me in my steps,
frozen solid,
deer in headlights

As I've grown up I've found ways to cope with most of those fears.
I've also gained some others (although I believe them to be redirected emotional trauma.)
Fear has always been a part of my life.
Truthfully, I think it is a part of everyone's life, whether or not they admit it.
BUT (there's always a butt),
Fear can be healthy, or devastating.
My fears?
They fall towards the latter.

I've heard that some wise man said to "stare fear in the face."
Some other wise man said, "There's nothing to fear but fear itself."
this summer I decided to conquer some of those fears.
 I'm TIRED of living in fear.

Step 1: Dogs.
This summer, I am working at an animal shelter.
Those of you who know me from childhood are probably (nah, you ARE) LAUGHING...out loud.
This job was offered to me by a dear friend as a way to make some summer money and to help cover her position at the shelter while she was away on vacay.
So I'm there.
Now...I'm working at a kid's camp within the shelter.
I'm still petting dogs, 
holding dogs on leashes,
monitoring kids while in dog kennels...etc.
Fear of dogs? What fear of dogs?
I've realized that what I really fear is the unexpected.
The "what ifs" of the so-called fear.
Fear of dogs?
I'm not scared of the animal.
I fear the bite that might.
I fear not knowing what to do if it jumps up on me.

With that in mind,
I remind myself to stay peaceful in the moment.
I remind myself that the dog is another living being who simply wants what I want:
Attention, Love, Food
I can still have a fear of dogs, just a healthy fear in knowing that we don't speak the same language, and that (at times) they may use biting, etc. to communicate if provoked.

So here I am, conquering fears.
Up next?
Who knows?
I'm just done with fear...

And so I feel it to be appropriate to end this post with a quote (and I love a good quote) by Marianne Williamson.
It may be cliche,
but I happen to love these poetic words.
As you read it,
think about what you fear.
Is it a healthy fear?
Or is it debilitating.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Nuevo Mexico

Last week I went to New Mexico...
...where I was raised...
...where I met some of the most wonderful people in my life...
...which has the most spectacular food on the planet...
...where the skies are larger than life... 
...where I didn't appreciate fully until this trip.

For most who have moved away from the city in which they were raised, the common sentiment is: 
"How did I come out of this place?"
Perhaps I have been shaped by the experiences in and cultures of the places to which I have traveled.
Perhaps I never actually related to the culture in which I grew up.
Perhaps time away from a place (or person for that matter) yields a fresh perspective..."fresh eyes"  fully appreciate the present...view, person, taste, smell...

Growing up, I thought it was "cool" to be from New Mexico.
People in other states had many questions for us, such as, 
"Do you speak English there?"
"Is it an ACTUAL state?"
"Do you live in a teepee?"
Smart Americans.
Once, while visiting Washington D.C.,
I was in a gift shop in Monticello.
I tried to pay with a traveler's cheque...
and was initially denied the use of such payment from a country outside of the U.S.
Another time, at an Office Max in Honolulu,
I was told that they couldn't call me on my cell phone because the area code (my cell is still 505...haha) was from outside of the country.
Despite these seeming ignorances,
I have always felt very novel having originated in the 
Land of Enchantment.
Another commonly shared sentiment of travelers is:
"The place I grew up was a great place to grow up, 
and a fun place to visit, 
I'd rather not live there now."

I relate
my curiosity and adventurous spirit
are everlasting,
and predictable. 
I moved to Arizona for college, 
and to Hawai'i shortly thereafter...
always in search of a new frontier.
I recently had an urge to return to my "homeland." ;)
I had been away for long enough that the separation gave way to that aforementioned curiosity,
and I wanted to adventure back
into my childhood,
into my memories,
into that land that I no longer claimed to be home.

So I packed my guitar and a duffle and headed out!
First stop?
Camping with my dad.
We hadn't done that since I was in middle school.
We are great camping buddies.
Note the flaming marshmallow above...
he and I are the ONLY 2 people I have YET to meet that like to char the mallow before adding the graham.
We played guitar, sang out loud, hiked the surrounding forests,
and just flat out
reconnected... each other... nature... ourselves...

I took this self portrait 
as I was enjoying the warmth of the morning sun,
 playing music to soothe my soul,
 completely at peace with who I was at that moment...
...a girl who grew up in New Mexico...
...the 47th state in the United States of America...
I promise it is.

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness."
-John Keats

I happen to really like the number 8.
I like that, when you trace it, it never ends.
I like that if you flip it on its side, 
it becomes the sign of infinity...
the infinite thoughts in our minds...
the infinite scope of the universe...
the infinite places to visit on this planet.
I found this number 8 tree!
Officially in love.
With a tree.
In NM. 
One of the United States.

We also went to a winery close to the campground.
I'm one for a good glass of wine.
Or 2. 
I'll stop there.
I'm also a sucker for an old truck.
Paint this guy sea green?
I'd take it in a heartbeat!
Sorry 2006 Ford Ranger,
how I've loved thee,
but you are not nearly as stylish,
as smooth,
as cunning,
as this old truck.
"Age is just a number.  It's totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine." 
-Joan Collins

I also explored many a wooded area, 
found this little stream,
and acted like a little kid...
trampsing across fallen logs,
running through piled pine needles,
bending down low to observe the fairies in the tall grass.

This is where the Queen of the Forest is supposed to stand...
so I stood there. 

This is the post office in the little town surrounding the campground.
Better not ship your IKEA bedroom set there... 

I also captured many, many views of the NM landscape.
These views are in my memory,
somewhere in a far back drawer,
for which I have lost the key.
Luckily, I now have an excellent camera, 
and a refreshed perspective...

What is a trip to ABQ without a stop at Hanselmann's pottery in Corrales?
No one works here.
He makes the pottery,
puts it on the shelf,
leaves the doors unlocked,
and trusts a whole bunch that people will follow the rules posted on the computer paper scotch taped to the shelf.
I like to go there
I like to feel trusted.
Bonus: The pottery is well-priced and beautiful! we're on to the wonderful friends I saw while there.
I hadn't seen this kiddo since he was THREE!
What a terrific kid!
Nicole and I have been best buds for well over 10 years.
This was our first time REALLY connecting in many years...
and as good friendships always do,
it seemed like no time had passed.
I serendipitously "ran into" Mahad...another of my great friends from high school who I hadn't seen or connected with in ages.
I can say "ages" now, because I am officially not in my 20's anymore.
Again, like no time had passed, we reconnected...thanks in large part to the fate of running "smack dab" into each other.

I also had the pleasure of seeing a few other friends and their beautiful families,
and for some strange reason,
didn't end up with pictures of them.

I do have some on my phone camera.
I just haven't figured out how to upload them.
Did I mention I'm no longer in my 20's?
Technology is not so easy for us geezers, okay? 

just figured it out...days are the phone camera pics:
 Did you know a dog can photo bomb??  It can at Candice's house!

 This is my lovely friend from childhood.  We hadn't seen each other in 12 YEARS prior to this day.
(pictures taken by the aspiring photog, Esme)

And so ended a wonderful trip back "home."
I look back and see the beautiful smiles of those I love,
smell the unmistakable scent of the pines trees,
hear the wind as a crazy storm blows through,
and feel the heat of the sun, never too hot.

 Mahalo, Thank you, Gracias
for reconnecting me to that back drawer of memories that has been locked up for WAY TOO MANY years.