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Old Dogs/New Tricks

Well, guess what? You CAN teach an old dog new tricks, after all.

My daughter decided that she wanted to go ocean paddle boarding, and that it would be great if I went, too. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea, but Bea was going to give it a try and I figured someone ought to be there to play on the beach with her if she either couldn’t do it or changed her mind about trying. (Somewhere in the back of my mind I must have thought one of those things would surely happen ‘cuz I was pretty sure I couldn’t!)

So, we met our guide at Makenna Landing and got started.


And guess what? Not only did I do it, we all did!


 Bea was amazing! She popped right up like she’d been paddling her whole life!


Mama looked like a pro!


Daddy is super athlete, so we knew he’d do fine!


Hannah, too, looked like she was born on a board!


And, yeah, even this old dog learned a new trick! And LIKED it!

I have to give our guide/teacher, John, a lot of credit. He was super supportive and patient. And he gave easy to understand instructions. He also pointed out how many similarities there are with yoga. I think that perhaps our visits to the yoga studio made it easier for me to be successful!

When our time was up we were all pretty tired, but we had a blast and are anxious to do it again next year!

We got silly in our last shot!


Mr. Tattered gently chided me that my shakka was actually pointed the wrong way, but oh, well, like I said, old dog, new tricks…I’ll get it right next time. And he may even try it with us next trip!

And We Have a Completed Purse!

I am so happy to announce that I have actually completed a project.

Bea’s “Mary Frances” inspired purse is ready to be unveiled!

But first a little refresher in case you didn’t see the original post.

I bought a couple of Mary Frances purses on our last trip. I was so excited to re-make their acquaintance after a many year separation!

When Bea saw them, her face just lit up and I knew I had to make one for her. I set about finding a base purse to decorate and collected a variety of “bling” to use for the creation.





I brought all the supplies with us on vacation hoping we’d have time to make it, and it actually happened! Woohoo! Follow-through is not one of my strong points, but she was just so excited about this, I knew I HAD to do it.

Glueing the beads on was the most tedious part, but I was able to develop a shortcut that helped a lot, so it didn’t take as many hours as I projected.

And finally this morning it was complete, and I have a VERY happy girl!




Here are some closer photos to show the intricacies…








Bea is thinking her Gaga is the bee’s knees right about now.



And my reward?


Doesn’t get any better than that!

My New Obsession (oh, no, not ANOTHER one!)

The good news is that this one will be short-lived, as we’ll be leaving Maui in a few days.

We discovered (quite by accident) a new yummy place to eat.

We’d been to Coconuts for lunch one day (GREAT veggie burgers!) and Andra happened to notice that a little shop a couple of doors down was selling fresh Maui lemonade, so she bought one to have with our burgers. It was so good, we went back for more! And I noticed a couple eating what looked like a great fruit bowl, and I asked if it was as good as it looked. She and her boyfriend both said yes, and she volunteered that they’d been there 4 out of 5 days since discovering them, and were having their last one before leaving the island.

We made a note to come back the next day!

Come back, we did.

And Aloha Wow Wow Lemonade has become my new favorite haunt. I think I’m at 9 out of 10 days now, and counting. That might be a SLIGHT exaggeration, but not by much!

The lemonade is REALLY good (especially the Mrs. Yees Mango lemonade,) but the “Brahdah” acai/pitaya (dragon fruit) bowls are ridiculous. There are about six combinations, but the Haupia Ono is my favorite – granola and coconut custard smothered with a smoothy concoction fit for the Gods, then topped with more granola, fresh kula strawberries, organic blueberries and apple bananas, drizzled with Hawaiian honey and capped off with a couple of macaroons. After the first one, I held the macaroons and added hemp seeds instead (it was just too much like dessert and I was feeling guilty!)


Now that I think about it, I only had a couple of bites of Da Kine, which was good, but not as good as mine, and I hesitate to even try anything else for fear it won’t be as good! Heeheehee! I’m in a rut, but it’s a happy rut!

The shop is in a strip mall, but has pretty cute decor including crates that hold the fresh fruit they use, and “spam” cans for their centerpieces. Spam is VERY popular in Hawaii!



The big question is will I continue to be happy, beyond this year? The retail atmosphere in Kehei is VERY challenging. Stella Blues, which was a Kehei institution for 23 years closed their doors last year (we were SHOCKED to see it gone!) so it could happen to anyone. I’m hoping like crazy they are able to survive, but there’s not a lot I can do to help. They already have MY business. So, I did a Trip Advisor review, and a Yelp review, and I’m going to talk it up whenever I get the chance (like at yoga class – that seems like a place where the people might be their target audience.) It’s the best I can do.

And if any of you happen to make it over here and can help a sistah out… I’d sure appreciate it!


My 1000th Post! (And a Turtle Story)

Welcome to my 1000th post since I started my blog back in August of 2011.

It’s been a crazy ride, but I’ve enjoyed it so much! To those of you who have been with me since the beginning, THANK YOU. And to those who are new, welcome aboard! I hope we’ll keep having fun together for years to come.

At the end of my last post, I realized I hadn’t done a post about the turtle I met in Maui.

Well, I guess “met” isn’t completely accurate. I stumbled upon him on my beach walk, and once I determined he wasn’t dead (he opened and closed his eyes several times,) I took a few photos of him. (I didn’t want to be taking photos of a dead turtle – it seemed disrespectful!)

We’ve been coming to Maui for going on twenty years, and this was a first for me. We’ve seen sea turtles in the water many many times, but NEVER just laying on the beach.






When I got back to the Maui house, I called the turtle rescue number and spoke to a young man about what I’d seen. He asked if the turtle had any signs of injury (no) or tumors (no) or any signs of obvious distress (well, I don’t know what a distressed turtle looks like, so I said he seemed lethargic.)

He said, “Well, this one of the few places in the world that turtles sometimes come up on the sand just to bask in the sun, then they turn around and go back out to sea when they’re done.”

I thanked him for his help, but really, in the back of my mind, I was still a little concerned about him.

When the girls got back from playing at a different beach, I took them back out to see him, and to check on him. He was still there, but had moved just a little. We watched him for awhile, and I decided I would check in on him again in the morning, just to make sure he was okay.

So, morning came, along with bucket-loads of rain (I mean SERIOUS rain by Maui standards) so I opted not to trek a half mile down the beach in the downpour. By late afternoon it had diminished to a heavy mist, so I ventured out with my phone and jawbone (pedometer) in a plastic ziplock bag – may as well get credit for steps while I’m doing my good deed.

I have to admit to having a little pit in my stomach with the fear that his lifeless body might be laying on the beach.

As I walked around the corner to where I could see quite a ways down the beach, I felt relief at realizing he wasn’t there. But still. Could the tide have washed him into the ocean? It seemed like he would be too heavy, but I wasn’t sure.

So I walked further down the beach, then walked into the ocean along a ridge that dropped down into deeper water. I figured if the tide HAD pulled him in, surely he would have sunk and stayed near the ridge. I walked all the way back along the ridge, just to make sure I could see no evidence of him.

I walked a little further down than I needed to to enter our property, then looked out to sea one last time before heading up. A turtle popped his head out of the water and grabbed a breath of air and submerged again. I have NEVER seen a turtle that close to shore OR at our beach in all the years we’ve been coming here.

I have no way of knowing if it was actually him, but in my fairy-tale-believing brain, I choose to think it was him, saying thank you for checking on him and letting me know he is okay. At least until someone provides evidence to the contrary.

Things like that happen in Maui. Such is the spirit of Aloha.

Tattered and Worn (and a little tizzied and torn!)

Today I am torn. Almost “in a tizzy” torn.


I don’t really look like it, do I? Mr. Tattered likes this photo. He said I look happy. And I am. In the midst of torn and tizzied. I am.

Let me explain.

Some of you have been around here long enough to know I am continually battling my weight.

I have the metabolism to withstand a potato famine, combined with a severe dislike of exercise for exercise’s sake, although I do like physical activities like kayaking and hiking. BUT, the pursuits I am most passionate about are sedentary. Additionally, I love good food, but I’m doing pretty well at eating small quantities of it. Two or three bites of a luscious dessert satisfy me, I don’t need a trough of it. But still, I sometimes manage to eat more than my metabolism can handle. To complicate things further, I also love cute, flowing gypsy type clothes that look pretty ridiculous on a short, chubby person.

Take all these things and swirl them together, and you have your basic mess. In essence, I am a skinny girl, trapped in a fat girl’s body.

So. Instead of wallowing in self pity, I FINALLY decided to do something about it (again. But again is better than never, right?) I started a 10,000 step plan to increase my activity level and have been doing really good for months. I started back to yoga. Without depriving myself, I have been doing a fairly good job of limiting caloric in take, and I have stayed off the scales, in favor of depending on how my clothes fit, rather than relying on numbers that tend to depress me.

I haven’t seen much movement in how I look (the universe doesn’t seem to care that I believe with all my heart that once you show two months dedication to weight loss, you ought get a do-over and go instantly back to a healthy weight!) but I feel a little stronger every day, and I KNOW that what I am doing is not only good for me, but somewhere inside me the benefits are accruing and will show up in a better looking body eventually.

Then I read a blog post from one of my favorite bloggers about our bodies not being our masterpiece, but merely the paintbrush we use to paint our masterpiece (our lives.) Instead of comforting me (as it did many who read it) it has thrown me for a bit of a momentary loop. It’s almost as if she has given me permission to quit working on the size of my paintbrush and concentrate on the masterpiece of my life, instead.

This is where being torn and tizzied comes in. I WANT to do that. I really do.

But the sad fact is that it isn’t going to work for me. (So I guess I’m not really torn, after all. And the tizzy is over.) I have woven my weight issues so tightly into the fabric of my life, that nothing short of losing weight is going to make things right in my world. It’s not fair, it’s not right, but it is what it is. And all the “feel good” posts in the world (even if they are from people I admire) are going to change that.

So guess what? I’ve realized no one can choose what is best for me, but me. Not even someone I admire. I’m glad this will work for some people. There are probably hundreds of people who like themselves just a little better after reading it. I wish it would work for me. I REALLY do. I would LOVE being content with being an amazing person in an over-weight body. But I can’t. I have been overweight long enough to know that I cannot be satisfied with my life at this weight. No matter how well the rest of my world is working, if my body doesn’t come at least close to reflecting the me inside, I will not feel “right.”

Which is really kind of bizarre, because I have no objection to anyone else being overweight. I look down on no one. I completely understand that weight is not a measurement of worth. I NEVER look at my overweight friends and feel sorry for them, or think “if only they would lose weight their lives would be so much better.”

But being this overweight is just not right for me. No judgement on anyone else. It’s just not right for me.

It’s good to know that. And it’s good that I’m taking positive steps toward changing what I need to change. So, yeah, even though I’m not yet where I want to be, I’m happy.

Bottom line. Not every post I read means I need to change something I’m doing. Although it’s good to read different things and do a reality check on whether or not those words have bearing in my life, SOMETIMES, I’m going in the right direction for me already, and I need to not let everything I read send me into a tizzy.

On that note, I’m going to check on my turtle.

Oh, wait. I guess if you’re not a Facebook friend, you don’t know about my turtle. Stay tuned. That’ll be my next post.


Now THIS Is A Sunset!

Last night we had the most amazing sky I can remember seeing in all the time we’ve been coming to Maui, and I could hardly wait to share it with you…

It all started with the first photo, then progressed within a few minutes to all the rest – all different parts of the same sky.


















The place where we stay is called the Maui Sunset. It has never been more deserving of its name!

Inspired by Mary Frances

Back in January I introduced you to my friend Mary Frances – well really, to her amazing purses. I’d found them onboard ship on our cruise and just HAD to bring a couple home to live with me.

My Granddaughter, Bea (the fancy one!) was with me as I unpacked the purses, and I wish you could have seen how her face lit up. I’m sure it was similar to how mine looked when I first saw them! And, truth be told, I KNEW when I bought them she would love them, but there are limits to how much I will spend on a purse for a child (no, really!) and this FAR exceeded that amount.

But there are few limits to how far I’ll go to try and come up with something similar, and so the internet search began, to no avail. I found nothing even close.

So what’s a Gaga to do?

Well, THIS Gaga starts creating. I’m pretty sure Mary Frances wouldn’t mind, especially if it cultivates a new young customer down the road. This is the one I used for my inspiration.


First, we had to come up with a base purse. Finding one with a hard shell that wasn’t too awfully expensive, was looking like it wasn’t going to happen, so we got a soft-sided one. I had some reservations, but I could imagine how it might work. What I DIDN’T want to happen was waiting so long for just the right thing to come along that the thrill would be gone and the project die.

Then we began collecting little beads, trim, fabric and sparklies that might work. I couldn’t find any beaded flowers, and REALLY wasn’t up for making my own, but I was able to find quite a few little treasures. I didn’t worry about how they would all fit together, because she’s a fancy girl, so if we didn’t use them for this project, there would be others. I had in my mind a purple brocade (and thought I might be dreaming) and there it was! Woohoo! It was coming together nicely.



Then we stumbled upon a hard-sided purse that was just right – right size, right color! It was a cocktail bag and on clearance after the holidays for a reasonable price, so bye bye soft purse. We’ll use you for something some day or donate you. No big.


The icing on the cake was finding a jeweled queen bee! Bea’s icon is – you guessed it! – a bee, and one wearing a crown with lots of bling couldn’t “bee” any more perfect!

The next hurdle was finding the time. Day after day was going by with no time for a special project like this.

So when it came time to head for Maui, I tossed it in the bag, hoping we would have enough down time to at least get it started.

Enter wet weather and we were stuck inside more than we expected to be…it turned out to be good for something. We finally had some time.

Step one was to cut a scrap of the brocade fabric and glue it down, followed by adding the lavender trim. Then it was time to get the bee glued in place securely enough to hold up. Plan A depended on the glue being strong enough to bond the metal bee to the fabric. Plan B would mean ditching the bee and going for just the flowers, which wouldn’t be TERRIBLE, but not perfect. So we slathered on the glue, positioned the bee, and put a heavy box on top of it. Bee’s job was to keep checking to see when the white glue turned clear. Then we would know it was through drying and could check to see if it stuck.

It took HOURS (although to Be a it felt more like days – weeks even!) And then the big test. She turned the purse this way and that and swung it around. Yep. It looked like it was going to hold.


I think it’s pretty cute just like it is, but she has her heart set on lots and lots of beads (like Gaga’s) so we’ll keep going. This is one of those things where gaudy is good. I was going to stop here for the day, but I was kind of anxious to see what the gems would look like…


Then I got to wondering how difficult the little beads would be to glue on, so I started, then had a hard time stopping. It is kinda addicting in a sick and twisted sorta way. But then my eyes started tweaking, my fingers were covered in dry glue, and it was taking too long to get each bead on, so I forced myself to take a break.


It’s going to take awhile because that whole silver area needs to get covered…

I have a whole new appreciation for why the purses are as expensive as they are! But at the same time (like I said – sick and twisted) she doesn’t make a purse in the colors I want and I’m starting to fantasize about making one for me, too.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress.



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