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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Through a Child’s Eyes

Sometimes in all the hustle and bustle of life, we forget to take the time to see the world through the eyes of the children we care for. I think I am better at it than many, but even I get caught in the “gotta-do-it-nows” that keep us from experiencing all the delight that that the world has to offer.

This past week I’ve been watching the grand kiddles again after our month in Maui. I only have them for a few hours a day, so I’ve made a point of getting as much “errand-running” done before I pick them up as I can so I can have the time spent with them to “spend on them,” not just having them with me.

We have watched turkeys walk through the neighborhood, let lady bugs tickle our bare arms,


collected wonderful sparkly (or as Bea still says “farkly”) rocks, picked the flowers off weeds to tuck behind our ears, fed the ducks at the pond,


Watched the geese paddling around,


brought “burrs” home and made pictures with them by sticking them  on the back of the couch,


played Old Maid and Uno until our brains melted (and our tummies ached from laughing!) listened to the birds chirping and the wind rustling though the trees, watched the mockingbirds and scrub jay fight over the remaining pyrocantha berries,


tried to make a heart out of petals that had fallen from a tree only to have the wind blow them away…it’s been fun, and rewarding, and has contributed enormously to my sense of well-being.

Experiencing the world through the eyes of children is not “creating” in the traditional sense of the word, but it’s creating happiness in my life. And that’s every bit as important as the kind of happiness you get from putting paint on a canvas!

Through a Tattered Lens – Maui

As you know by now, I love photography, and I love taking a little bit different twist on vacation photos than most. Don’t get me wrong, I take pictures of all the normal stuff, but it’s the off-beat stuff that lights my fire the most. The photos that most people don’t think to take.

So join me in a quick look at Maui through my “tattered lens!”


Probably the best Mai Tai on Maui – Gannon’s


Horseback riding at Ironwood


Palm tree


The ocean


Banana Macadamia Pancakes at Kihei Cafe


Sugar cane


The best goat cheese on the planet


The best flatbread pizza on the island in Pa’ia


Sunset – they don’t get much better than they are in Maui


Trying to keep the Aloha spirit in my heart all year

I wonder if I should I post some “normal” pictures, too?

Spring is Springing

Do you ever wish you could just tear up your world (well, except for the immediate family part!) and start over?

That’s where I am at today. Very manic, and wanting to just rip through every part of it throwing away unnecessary or no longer useful things, re-organize, clean, change, beautify. There are so many ideas stampeding through my head I’m afraid I won’t be able to capture them before they’re gone!

It must be a part of spring fever!

I came home to a garden that has erupted in color and re-birth, and I’m wanting the same for myself.





But of course, along with all the beauty, there are a few giant weeds, as well. I’ve gotta get those weeds out of my life!


Actual Art

Well, I’ve had a couple of days with actual art having been accomplished. Will wonders never cease?

The girls and I finally buckled down and got our March ATCs done. I thought because we would all be together for weeks, we might even be early this month, but too many other fun opportunities kept coming up, and we just couldn’t seem to come up with the time until it reached the crisis stage. Our art friends are a pretty forgiving lot, so we’re not in too much trouble for being late.

This month’s theme was “spring.” We found some cute little rainbow stickers, so the girls decided they’d do a little scene with flowers and the rainbow overhead. Can’t say they really learned anything new this month, but with limited supplies, we made do.



I opted to go a different route and capture the spirit of the view outside our window. It is, after all, just about spring here, too. Love the little palm tree stickers and their little bling! I am sooooooo loving doing inchies. I may have to come up with a major inchie project to justify doing a rash of them!



I also FINALLY got going on my Happiness Art Journal. I am going to have to amend my project because it has taken me so long to get started. Instead of doing twelve monthly projects, I may just do twelve different categories and work on them as I work on them instead of having the structure of a category a month. I’m also flirting with the idea of doing some layouts about things that make me happy, instead of just concentrating on “working on” being happy in a broader range of areas. Also, by waiting, I am able to combine the project with the realization that my “Happy Place” is on the water, and go with a water theme, which was totally unintended. I’m finding it interesting that procrastinating doesn’t ALWAYS mean a project is doomed to die. SOMETIMES it means it has more time to take shape and become even more than it was intended to be. (She says with more confidence than she really feels!)


We’re talkin’ REALLY early stages here, but paint has been put to paper, and that’s progress. Now that I’ve actually used pages in the journal, I may feel guilty about wasting it, if I can’t just do it enthusiastically. Guilt or enthusiasm – whatever it takes to get me to do it works for me!

And just in case that isn’t  ENOUGH “arting” going on, I also buckled down and got a few scrapbook layouts done – okay, not COMPLETELY done, but almost. I forgot to bring my journaling pen, so the journaling is in pencil, but, again, it’s a start, and that’s more than I had a week ago! Thought I’d better get our Yellowstone trip from last year done before I forget the stories that go with the pictures!





Still have a long way to go here, too, but once again, progress is good. AND, I’m excited to get it done, so the chances it will have gone up!

Structure is Apparently Essential In My World

I think I have mentioned this before. No, make that I KNOW I have mentioned it. This is NOT a new problem. (I hope you aren’t TOO bored going through it with me yet again!)

Left to my own devices, I fritter time away – and it’s gone with nothing to show for it.

I have allowed myself to wander mindlessly through unimportant, trivial pursuits, only to wish I had the time back, chastise myself for it, promise myself to do better, then turn around the next day and do it again. It’s as if a part of me thinks I have an unlimited amount of days left on this earth…

I am not a stupid person. I KNOW that supposedly when we do something over and over, there is some kind of a payoff for it, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what it is. I don’t like being mad at myself all the time. I don’t like being lazy when I have always prided myself on being an energetic, get-it-done kinda gal. Really I don’t.

2012 was a tough year for me, and 2013 has started out a little rocky, as well. Not all of the problems have been of my own making, and I have the right to have cut myself some slack. I may have needed the downtime. Even needed it badly. But it is time to move on. I expect myself to be able to accept my defeats, learn from them, and get about the business of actually accomplishing things once again. Tangible things. Things that mean something.

I guess this is a good time to remind myself of that.

I had hoped the new year would be the impetus to get back on track, but it wasn’t. Now Spring is right around the corner. A time of renewal and new beginnings. I’m feeling a little itchy. And a change of pace may be just what the doctor would order (which he may well might, were I inclined to go see one! Heeheehee!)

So. A plan. I need a plan. I will give myself a week to get it done. Then March 22nd, I expect myself to be refocused, armed with at least the beginnings of a road map for how to turn my “slugfulness” (how’s that for a made up word?) into activity.


Some structure. If I can’t have adult supervision, at least some structure to my days. I still may not know exactly where I’m going, but at least I know I need to move, and ANY direction is better than standing still.

The Unintended Consequences of Veganism

In my later years I am coming to understand that life is full of unintended consequences.

Case in point. I am trying hard to be vegan. I understand completely that when we treat animals as commodities we are exploiting them. No matter how gently we treat them, we are harming them by using them to supplement our diets, even if they don’t have to die to do it.

We have a favorite goat farm that makes the most delicious goat cheese. I am convinced they are as compassionate as is possible in a small, but still commercial environment. They feed them well, treat them lovingly. We love going and watching the babies frolic, feeding them grass, and the kids love milking the goats by hand.


But, as humane as they try to be, bad things still have to happen.

Baby goats don’t get to drink their own mother’s milk. It is too hard to keep the babies with their own mother, and when the goats feed from other mothers, disease is spread. So the babies are separated from their mothers.

Additionally, in order to have enough milk to make a commercial success of the dairy, the females have to be kept pregnant so they lactate continuously. This means lots of babies. Male  goats are of little use, so the males have to be slaughtered and sold as meat. Not even all the females can be used, so only the best get to stay there for milking, and the rest are also sold or slaughtered.

Now, we could boycott the farm, but if everyone did, they would go out of business. All goat farms would. No one would need goat milk, so what would become of the species? Same with cows, pigs, chickens… Few people would raise them as pets, so they would eventually cease to exist, right?

So by not using the products they give us, they will be gone. Completely gone. So they are not exploited, but we miss out on having them in our lives. An unintended consequence.

Nature is brutal. Wild animals eat other animals to survive. If an animal’s natural predator is removed, the herds get too large for the land to support and they die of starvation. Even if domesticated animals were set free, they would be eaten by other animals. One way or another, they die.

I don’t like the whole set up. My love for animals prevents me from accepting killing them. But what, then, is the answer? I sure can’t come up with one.

Rediscovering My Happy Place

I know that I knew where my happy place was. In fact I rediscover it this time every year, then somehow I forget, and for a moment am completely surprised when I remember again! Then slowly the realization that it is not news sinks in, and I wonder how I can forget something so fundamental.

I was born to live on the water.

Today was not the best day to be out on the water. The Kona winds were blowing, making the trip on the catamaran from Lahaina to Lana’i a rough one. The skies were grey and we even got rained on a bit, so the pictures are far less than beckoning…


Yet I was happy. Immensely so.

And as the boat rocked (way too much for some in our group) I thought about how, to this day, I rock myself to sleep at night. I remembered nights on the few cruises we’ve been on falling asleep to the gentle rocking of the boat on the water. I sympathized with the people who were sea sick even though I thoroughly enjoyed every bounce and surge and lurch…the ups and downs and sides to sides. And I remembered. I LOVE this. And I have loved it each and every time we’ve done it, calm seas and rough.

This is my happy place. The place I need to go to in my mind whenever I am sad, or overwhelmed, or feeling the world closing in on me.

I don’t know if I will ever live on the water. Or even near enough to it that I will be able to spend a lot of time on it. But I do know that I can go there in my mind whenever I want. But unlike prior times when I forget once I leave, I need to remember that this is the place that makes my heart sing.  On the water. My happy place.

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