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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Tie Dye – a Little Primer

Whew! Now that I have my latest issue worked through, it’s time to get back to my little life!

But this story has little to do with me, other than I bought the initial kit…

Let’s back up.

Before we left for Maui, I bought Hannah a tie dye kit because she LOVES the tye dye style and I thought she might like to try it herself. I also thought it would be a good project to do outdoors so we didn’t get dye all over the condo. But, as luck would have it, the weather was pretty crummy while we were there, so we didn’t get to go outside much. We used the outdoor time we had on things like zip-lining and horseback riding, and the dying never got done. So the project came home.

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The week AFTER we got home was spring break, so mama had the girls at home, and lots of time, so they decided to do the tie dying without telling Gaga. Then they showed up at our house in the cutest tie dye shirts, and I didn’t make the connection. They looked so cute, I thought mama bought them!!

No kidding!

When their cousin saw them, he wanted to make one, too, so they had a tie dye party and made even more.

They started with white tee-shirts (and camisoles, and panties, and shorts and whatever they could find that was made out of white cotton!)

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Following the instructions in the book, they set about grabbing up parts of the tee shirt and wrapping it with strategically placed rubber bands…

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Once all the bands were in place they began to add the dye. Each bottle comes with powdered dye in it, and you just add water. Then they started squirting away!

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When they’d applied all the dye they wanted, Mama wrapped their pieces in plastic wrap where they needed to sit overnight. They look so pretty already!

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The next day, she got them all together again so they could see their creations!

But before they could be worn, she needed to rinse the dyed clothing in hot water, then wash and dry them to set the color.

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Then it was time for the unveiling!  They’re beautiful!

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Ever since, they have practically LIVED in their tie dyed clothes, and want to dye their whole worlds!

I don’t blame them. I’m thinking I might need one myself!

Important (for a change!)

Sometimes, when I get a little overwhelmed with the happenings in the world, my little blog seems so insignificant that I feel unable to write about the day to day happenings in my life until I come to terms with the big things that are on my mind, and either write about them, or move on.

Since the issue heavy on my heart at the moment involves religion, I’ve been trying to move on without writing about it, and I’ve tried coming up with the words that will say what I need to say without being offensive. But it hasn’t been working. I am sad to say that I have lost “Christian” friends because of my political views so I have TRIED (without much success) to avoid the issue.

Then this morning, the perfect words came across my newsfeed (Facebook can be SO much more than sharing silly videos and recipes, if we let it!)

The issue? How Christians are acting, particularly as it has to do with politics, but really it is so much more. It’s how we Christians are presenting ourselves to the world. I have written both on my FB wall, and on many other blogs about how sad I think we are making our Lord with the way we are treating his other children. I just haven’t been very eloquent. But these words? They ARE eloquent. They brought me to tears.

I’m going to reprint them here, along with a link to the original blogger. Please take the time to read them and see if they resonate with you. If they do, please pass them along to other Christians. If this insanity is going to stop, it has to start with us.

My Dear Children,

I’ve seen what’s been going on there lately. Actually, I’ve been watching you all along and I really need to let you know something, just in case you misunderstand:

This isn’t what I had planned.

This wasn’t the Church I set the table for.

It wasn’t the dream I had for you, when I spoke in those parables about the Kingdom; about my Kingdom.

It was all supposed to be so very different.

It was supposed to be a pervasive, beautiful, relentless “yeast in the dough” that permeated the planet; an unstoppable virus of compassion and mercy spread person-to-person, not needing government or law or force.

It was supposed to be that smallest, seemingly most insignificant of seeds, exploding steadily and gloriously with the realized potential of my sacred presence, becoming a place of safety and shelter for all people.

It was supposed to be something so very precious, such an obvious, invaluable treasure, that it would make all those who discovered and experienced it, feel like it was worth selling everything they had to hold onto it.

It was supposed my very body, here in your very flesh.

You were designed to do this, to be this.

My kindness, my goodness, my forgiveness; you were created to be the method of transportation for all of it.

You were made to deliver the greatest good news to a world so desperate for it.

This wild, extravagant, world-altering love I have for my people, was intended to travel from my aching heart, through your trembling hands, to my hurting people.

This has always been your calling. It has always been your purpose.

It still is. This very second it is.

I have placed you here at this exact place and time in the history of creation, not to defend me, as I need no defense; not to protect me, since I have already willingly laid my life down; not to judge others on my behalf, as this is far beyond your capacity and my instruction.

My beloved, I placed you here, not to defend or protect or replace me, but simply to reflect me.

That has always been my most critical commandment and your most pressing obligation; loving God and loving others. I thought that I was clear on that, when I was asked this before.

I showed you how to move in this world.

I kept company with priests and with prostitutes. I touched lepers and washed feet and dined with sinners, both notorious and covert. I served miraculous free meals to starving masses, and I allowed myself to be touched and kissed and betrayed and slandered and beaten and murdered… and I never protested.

All that is happening these days, all the posturing and the debating and the protesting; does this really look like love to you?

Do you really think that the grandstanding and the insult-slinging and the side-choosing, that it feels like me?

Do you truly believe that the result of your labors here in these days, is a Church that clearly perpetuates my character in the world?

Is this the Gospel I entrusted you with?

To be honest with you, I simply don’t see it.

How did you drift so far from the mission?

How did you become so angry, so combative, so petty, so arrogant, so entitled?

When did you begin writing your own script for this story?

When did you turn it into your story?

My children, here’s what you may not realize, being as close as you are to all of this. You may not be able to see it clearly anymore.

You certainly don’t have the perspective that I do, and here from my vantage point, this is what I do see:

You are driving people from me.

You have become an unbreachable barrier between myself and those who most need me.

You are leaving a legacy of damage and pain and isolation in your path.

You are testifying loudly, not to my love, but to your preference.

You are winning these little violent battles, and you are losing people; not to Hell or to Sin, but to all of the places outside of you, where they go to receive the kindness and decency and goodness that you should be showing them.

This life is not about your right to refuse anyone. If I wanted to avoid serving those I found moral faults with, I would have skipped the planet altogether.

I came to serve.

Your faith in me, cannot be an escape clause to avoid imitating me.

Asserting your rights, was never greater than following my example.

Your religious freedom, never more important than loving the least.

Your central cause, should be relentlessly conforming to my likeness, despite the inconvenience and discomfort that it brings.

When I commanded you to deny yourself, I was speaking about the times when it is most difficult to do so, because that is when “self” is the most distracting, the most dangerous, the most like an idol.

Obedience to me, usually comes with sacrifice to you.

I can’t force you to reflect upon these words, and I can’t make you live as I lived or love as I love. This was never the way I worked or will ever work.

I can only tell you that you have surely drifted from the course I started you on, and as often is the case in long journeys, it is a divergence that unfolds by the smallest of degrees, almost imperceptible while it’s happening.

That is why what feels like victory to you, is really another slight but definite movement away from me, and from the reason you are really here at all.

Not long after I walked the planet, as my Church was just beginning to blossom and my Kingdom was truly breaking out, a Greek statesman named Aristides, wrote these words about those who bore my name then:

“It is the Christians, O Emperor, who have sought and found the truth, for they acknowledge God. They do not keep for themselves the goods entrusted to them. They do not covet what belongs to others. They show love to their neighbours. They do not do to another what they would not wish to have done to themselves. They speak gently to those who oppress them, and in this way they make them their friends. It has become their passion to do good to their enemies.

They live in the awareness of their smallness.

Every one of them who has anything gives ungrudgingly to the one who has nothing. If they see a travelling stranger, they bring him under their roof. They rejoice over him as over a real brother, for they do not call one another brothers after the flesh, but they know they are brothers in the Spirit and in God. If they hear that one of them is imprisoned or oppressed for the sake of Christ, they take care of all his needs. If possible they set him free. If anyone among them is poor or comes into want while they themselves have nothing to spare, they fast two or three days for him. In this way they can supply any poor man with the food he needs. This, O Emperor, is the rule of life of the Christians, and this is their manner of life.”
– Aristides, 137 AD

To the Christians in Indiana, and those beyond who are still listening today; you would do well to hold these words up daily as a mirror to your individual lives, and to the expression of me that you make together in this place.

Is this what you see when you look at yourself?

Is this what the world sees when it looks at you?

In your words and in your ways, Church; do they see me?

If not, then regardless of how it seems to you, you haven’t won anything.

May this be truth, that truly sets you free.

 

This CONCEPT is what has been going through my mind for the longest time. I am SOOO not either a perfect person or a perfect Christian, so I am not setting myself up as either. I know I have areas in which I need a lot of improvement, and I’m trying. But I have felt like all the divisions in the country are not being handled in a Christian way. Neither our Christian leaders in the Church, or Christian politicians, or even the Christians commenting on blogs have been keeping in mind WWJD. I regularly receive messages both on my FB wall, and in my inbox that make me cringe at their ugliness. Because I KNOW in my heart, Jesus would not respond to ANYONE with hate and exclusion. He would let his kindness speak for Him. Jesus did not come to this earth and FORCE His people to follow Him. He exuded such a light of goodness and kindness and love that people WANTED to follow Him. And he left us in charge of His church – to exude the same goodness, kindness and love, that people would WANT to follow Him, based on what they saw in His people.

Can you honestly say that what is happening right now does that? Why would ANYONE want to be a Christian when they see such hate coming out of the mouths of Christians? Even if you are not one of those spewing hatred, are you sitting silently by and letting the words of others go unchallenged?

We do not need to sit by and watch while things we disagree with go on. But we DO need to think about HOW we disagree. The viciousness with which we speak about our president and other elected officials and even our fellow Americans is not Christian.

Our country has always been a melting pot. At one time there were probably more believers than non-believers. But our founding fathers wanted this country to be a beacon for people who wanted to chose how, or even IF, they wished to worship. Freedom OF religion, also means freedom FROM religion. We cannot MAKE anyone believe. They need to be convicted. And they won’t be convicted if we treat them poorly.

“God” was not always mentioned on our money, or in the Pledge of Allegiance, and there was a reason for that. We are a country that was meant to include everyone – believers and non-believers alike. We have lost sight of that, trying to meld church and state, in direct opposition to what our founders wanted.

This government CAN function. But we have to put away the religious litmus test in order for that to happen, and just treat each other as we’ve been commanded. THAT’S how we improve the country. Not by becoming the American Taliban.

 

 

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.

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

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

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Mama looked like a pro!

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

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

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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!

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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.

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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!

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Here are some closer photos to show the intricacies…

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

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And my reward?

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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!)

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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