Monday, December 31, 2012

15 Things: Glad 2012 Is Done

Thank you O Magazine for the perfect blog idea/topic: 15 Things Every Woman Should Write Down before the year ends.


1. The Watched/Read It List

Name of the book I'm currently reading:
Telesa Special Edition (And Daniel's Novella) - I just love The Telesa Series by Lani Wendt Young.

Last Movie I Saw:
The Odd Life of Timothy Green -- It's a great family movie. I rented it from Amazon.com. I miss going to the video store to browse all the different movies in all the different genres but I also like how we can instantly rent a movie without ever leaving home. My cousin and I wrapped gifts in my office while watching this movie. Great holiday movie!

Also, thanks to Netflix keeping track of my movie-watching I have an entire list of the movies and TV shows I've watched in the last month. I am totally in love with GLEE. I put down Season 1 of SCANDAL. Now I'm watching MONK and I love, love, love the quirky characters! The last movie I watched was What Dreams May Come. I think I selected that one because of my recent obsession with death.... and it's not like I want to die or contemplate suicide or anything like that... I'm just curious as heck how people view death. What Dreams May Come is one version of death and suicide and love. A young man in the community I live in just recently committed suicide. It was this past Saturday, right before Christmas. It's all so very tragic. What pushes one to that point? **heavy sigh**


2. Grammas Words of Wisdom

I remember a particular evening when I was going to a Tongan Ward dance in town. I was 12 or 13 years old. A bunch of my friends and I were asked to participate in their talent show. I was so excited. Who lets a preteen go to a dance 40 miles away? My mother kindly obliged. She wasn't home when I left but my grandmother was. Overly excited about the dance, 20 minutes before my ride arrives I come out of my bedroom dressed in a pink sweater, grey biker shorts (rolling my eyes -- it was the 80's), and a pair of Nikes.

My grandmother was gifted with psychic ability. I am not kidding. She could read minds and knew your ailments before you came to her with them. She truly was a gifted woman. I wish she were around to help direct me. Anyway -- my grandmother managed to make me squirm in an uncomfortable conversation about protecting my shell. Me, not having any idea what she was talking about, contemplated the conversation for many years. It wasn't until my cousin and I were sitting around reminiscing about my grandmother that we both realized that the "shell" talk was given to the both of us and that it was actually the Samoan equivalent of the American "Birds & the Bees" talk. I'll let you contemplate that on your own.

Her words of wisdom -- to protect my shell -- still rings true today. If I had a daughter, I would give her the same advice, using the same visual!


3. My True Happiness

The ocean.
If there is something that instantly makes me emotional, it would be the act of being immersed in the Pacific Ocean. I don't know if it's the salt content of the water and the negative ions that come off the ocean but there is something extremely pleasurable about floating along the water.

When I am extremely stressed or physically ill, whether it be a nasty cold or a migraine, all I need do is head to the ocean. I experience relief immediately or at least feel myself calm down enough to think through the issues. The salt water always flushes away a nasty cold or congestion. I love the ocean. I could float forever along it's surface...


4. The Mistake I Never Want To Make

As a teenager and on into my young adult years, I took care of lots of kids. My parents were foster parents and also happened to work full-time. That means that their foster children, ranging in age from a month old to 14 years old, needed babysitting. The assumption was that, naturally, I would take care of the children. I resented that for a very long time and promised myself that I would NEVER, NEVER have children. I didn't like to be tied down. It's still true of me now that I don't like to be tied down. I feel so stifled when I commit to something long term. Sometimes I trip myself out that I've been married to my husband for 9 years already. (joking)

So me NEVER wanting children led me to getting on birth control as soon as I became sexually active. I have no doubt that the pill has wreaked havoc on my body. It has messed up my system and interfered with the natural functions of the body.

So... the mistake I never want to make again is using the pill.


5. Best Go-To Recipe From a Friend

This is so ridiculously simple but it's the go-to appetizer in a pinch.
1 8oz. brick of cream chees
1 jar of salsa

You can microwave it and melt it down or serve it as-is. Either way it's delicious. One bag of tortilla chips will do!


6. My Favorite Failure

Hmmm... The first thing that comes to mind is the failure of my first marriage. The evidence is in past posts on this blog. The epiphanies still come up, even today, as I write.


7. The Most Unexpected Compliment I Ever Got

Nothing really comes to mind with this. I know when I was younger I didn't quite have a healthy self-esteem (like I do now). I would say that my younger self was always completely caught off guard if someone told me that I was pretty. Without going into detail about my childhood and my experiences, I had to work through the issues and people that made me think that I was "less than" everyone else because of my weight. So back in the day, someone telling me that I was pretty meant a lot to me. Now, I could give a rats what other people think of me. Life is good!


8. My Personal Syllabus for 2013

Learning Outcomes in 2013:
1. I will be able to do YOGA enough to be able to teach a class.
2. I will learn to crochet. I wish my mother were still around to teach me. My bad for not wanting to learn. What a terrible opportunity I wasted.


9. Deep Dark Secret

My life is an open book. There is probably nothing that I wouldn't share if someone asked. And if I do have a deep, dark secret -- I have no intention of volunteering the information. :-)


10. What Younger ME Would Love About Present ME

Easy -- younger me would love present me's "I-dont-give-a-rats" attitude.


11. That One Quote...

"Out of abundance He took abundance and still abundance remained."
~The Upanishads


12.  The Hardest Thing To Forgive

What has haunted me over the years are all the fat jokes directed at me. It was such a self-esteem buster for me, growing up. That has been the hardest thing to forgive. I still carry around the extra weight like a shield from the world. **heavy sigh** I'm ready to let it go!


13. The Best Surprise I Ever Had

Seeing my husband get off the plane when he arrived from IRAQ. That was a beautiful moment. The feelings and emotions of the day still gives me butterflies!


14. Amendment to the Bucket List

I will probably never sky dive. According to my husband, it's too much of a risk. I would love to feel the rush but I respect my husband's wishes. I may override his desires. **shrugs** We shall see. I said I would do it on my 40th birthday and I still may do it.


15. Last Night's Dream

I was in an earthquake. My reaction to it as well as the reaction of the people around me was strange so strange. It was beautiful though.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Reflecting Death

The past two months have been such a roller coaster. With all the different funerals and deaths that I have dealt with in the past couple of weeks, I am emotionally overwhelmed (not in a bad way). Life is short. People I love will come and go in my life and just because they're gone from my presence doesn't mean that they aren't alive in me.

We buried Uncle Roy today. When my mother moved here from Samoa she lived with his family. He was a little boy when she came through but my mother always spoke so highly of his mother.  If I remember correctly, my mother left Samoa to attend the Church College of Hawai'i and to escape my grandmother's attempt to marry her off. I did whatever I could to assist in making the memorial services for Uncle Roy a success. From decorations to set-up and execution, ordering flower leis, following-up on food orders, making sure there are enough workers to assist in different things. **whew** I feel like I put in more work than when my own mother passed...but that's because others served me in my own preparation to send my mother off. I put in work in remembrance of my mother and my mother's love for Uncle Roy's mother. I wonder if other people think about the relationships from the past and serve in "remembrance of"...? Both my mother and Uncle Roy are gone from my presence but I know that their energy is out there somewhere in the great big universe. A piece of them are alive in me.

Death has a way of making people reflect on life and the people they love. Surely I have contemplated my mortality since the passing of my mother. I think of my father and how wonderful he still looks at 70 years of age. I think of preparing a living will to tie up all the loose ends and helping my father get his stuff together also. But most importantly I need to sort out the stuff that really matters and hold on to it; sort out the stuff that's just FLUFF and let it all go. Ultimately, the thing that matters most is my family and the people that are closest to me. I want them each to know how much I love them.

Perhaps this is a continuation of my previous "Letting Go" post. I have to release my feelings in some way, shape, or form. I have become so infatuated/obsessed with death, dying, and the "whatever" of life after death. I read through my most recent book, Proof of Heaven, in a day or two. It's a neuroscientist's account of his journey beyond death and back again. It was a short, simple read and I enjoyed it (for the most part).

I love to dream about tomorrow, about what life will be like after this dreaming. There are so many traditions in the world that discuss the afterlife and I think all of them have a measure of truth in them; from purgatory to reincarnation to multiple lives -- they all have something I want or something I hope is true. What if one lifetime is not enough? I wouldn't mind coming back through the ages to find my friends. It almost seems like the ULTIMATE game to play.... hide-and-seek through the eternities. **sigh**

When I wake from this dreaming, I hope to see my mother and my grandmothers there, grandfathers that I have never met, my uncles and aunts, cousins, and dear friends. I hope they will meet me at the beginning of my journey and help me cross over.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Letting Go... A Rambling of Thoughts

A couple of weeks ago, I buried my uncle. A man I considered to be my second father. **sigh**

A couple of days ago another uncle passed -- so sudden.

Today, they found my cousin's body at the bottom of a famous cliff.

I don't quite know what to make of it all. Just a year and a half ago, my mother left this world also. I can't help feeling a little envious of the people that have gone on from this life and are moving toward eternity. That's where my mom is, right? Isn't she out there in the great universal heaven where we are all fated to go some day?

Hearing the news of my cousin missing since Thursday was a shocker. We weren't very close but I always used to think it was so sweet that every time he saw me he would invite me to one of his singing gigs around the island. Apparently, from all the Facebook posts from friends, he invited everyone to his gigs. LOL. Someone reported him missing. The police found his car and soon after they found his body at the bottom of the cliff.

I don't quite know what to make of all the death around me. Should I feel happy and hopeful that someday I will meet them again? I feel like life is starting to be about letting go. All the different stages in our lives are about letting go of the past to embrace what's ahead. I used to think I was really good at that. As I age, I'm getting less and less good at letting go.

Most times I wish things could be just as it was at my happiest moments -- feeling my parent's love; seeing my first niece come into this world; seeing my husband for the first time; seeing the light in my baby brother's eyes when he came into our lives; allllll very magical moments that I wish I could experience in every single breath that I take.

When we buried my uncle before Thanksgiving, as I said my last tearful goodbye, I only thought of my mother on the other side. I miss her so very much and I wish I could see her and talk to her and hear her voice again. I don't think I will ever let her go and I don't want to. I do however want to let go of the idea that she has died. I can let that go and be peaceful in the fact that our energies will meet again and we will put aside the ramblings of this world and trade it for an eternity of endless living.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sway of the Tides


When asked what I can't live without, I instantly thought of the ocean. Aside from things that need not be mentioned... like my husband, my family, my dog, my arms-legs-every-body-part, etc... I cannot live a full life without the ocean.

When I was little, my brother and I would walk to school. School is about a half-mile from the house. We lived closer to the mountain. The main street leading to the highway goes from the mountain to the ocean. I never really appreciated that initial view of the ocean when I was little but I certainly do now. The significance of its presence increases as I age.

As a child, the view of the ocean, the sound of the ocean, the power of the ocean were static images and white noise to fill my senses. I realize that the sights and sounds have become the soundtrack of my life as the white noise and the static images that is/are always there/here; ever present; a constant image and a constant sound of my childhood, of my teenage-hood, of my adulthood. The ocean is the ever constant reminder of the place from which I sprang forth.

On many occasions I have been called to distant lands. From the desert landscapes of New Mexico to the flat, tornado-strewn lands of Kansas, the world has called me but I have always returned to the great wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean. I feel so trapped without sight of the ocean. I lose all my bearings, unable to recalibrate my emotional well-being without the watery horizon to center me. It is the white-noise in my world that holds my hand in difficult times and in times of happiness.

I think of the watery horizon when driving through miles of corn fields or miles of tumbleweed and long to see the sun rise from its depths in the morning and drop back into the ocean in the evening. It has been that way in the time of my ancestors and so shall it be after I leave this body behind. I find comfort in the fact that the ocean isolates me/us from the rest of the world. If you can cross it you will find me along its shores or upon its surface, floating toward FOREVER.

The ocean will always beckon to me and call me to its shores. In fantasy I can drift for eternity on the ocean, alone, just me and the sounds of the ocean. My ears will be submerged beneath the surface and my face will be exposed to the sun and the oxygen in the atmosphere. I float along in a dream-like trance FOREVER. The fluid envelops me, warms me, and places its giant hugs around me while I rock along with the sway of the tides.






Thursday, October 18, 2012

15 Relevant Facts

My most recent pic... me and the hubby on our staycation in WAIKS

15 Relevant Facts ABOUT ME:
1. I have totally OUTGROWN this tattoo on my right leg. A rash decision to get it done has pained me and left me with NOTHING but the opportunity to GRIN & BEAR IT. Yes, young people, this could be you in a few years -- regretting the tattoo. Don't do it! It's more original to NOT have any tattoos than it is to have tattoos. Exercise some restraint.

2. I joined Weight Watchers two weeks ago. My first week I lost 2.8 pounds. Later today will be my second week weigh-in. I hope I lost a pound or 2, even though 3 would be better. I am so inspired by Jennifer Hudson. Amazing! Those "I Believe in You and Me" commercials really has me going. Also, several of my co-workers have been talking about it for years and I'm finally giving in to it. Hopefully I can exercise some restraint on the amount of food I eat.

3. I am very impatient in my personal life but has patience for days at work. Is anyone else like that?

4. I am in serious need of a makeover. My hair really needs some work. I don't know why my husband is so infatuated with long hair. I mean, I get it but man -- he ain't the one taking care of it or having to fix it every morning. I been wanting to cut it real short... like a bob or something and he is not agreeing with me. BUMMERS!! We'll see though... if the opportunity presents itself, I'm ALL IN for cutting my hair short.

5. PET PEEVE of the moment: having a code of ethics and standards that everyone at work has agreed to; student, faculty and staff... and majority of them ARE NOT adhering to its policy. **sigh** DISCOURAGING.

6. I have a serious addiction to reading books on KINDLE. It is one of my most pleasurable activities of the day.

7. Lately I have such affection for country music. Blake Shelton tickles my fancy. LOL

8. I get extreme pleasure from working up a sweat in the yard. I love to weed and dig up the yard... cutting the grass with the week whacker and alllll that!

9. I have found affection for working up a sweat in the gym also. Elliptical is my best friend, as is the Stair Master!

10. Favorite outfit for work: black slacks, purple paisley top w/ purple crop sweater 3/4 length sleeve... easy!

11. I am looking for a dependable car to buy. More recent than 2004 and nothing higher than 50k mileage.

12. Favorite color lately::::: PINK, Fuschia... just makes me smile.

13. I miss having my husband work for DELTA... I wish he would go back so I can hop on a flight to anywhere in the world for minimal cost. I miss it!! Really -- I wouldn't mind going back to Japan for some tonkatsu... ahhhh... I miss the food in Japan!

14. I wouldn't mind if husband worked for Hawaiian Airlines. That wouldn't be too shabby either.

15. Until this morning, I hadn't touched coffee in a good two weeks. That's a record!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Story Dying to Come to Light

I think I'm ready to write a romance. It could be a story or a novel or it could be lifted from the pages of my journal. What I know is that I am beginning to come from beneath the heavy sadness of getting divorced (yes, I'm still talking about that nine years later) and losing my mother. I am discovering my heart again -- the thing that longs to love everything and everyone in an unconditional way.

Losing my mother has really put me in touch with my heart again. I interpret this experience as a call to take advantage of every moment with the people I love. Each moment with a loved one or even a stranger is the last and final moment; the one chance, the one second even if its a million seconds or a trillion seconds, that I get to express love.

Then there's the romantic love of my life; my husband. I don't know that there are many people who can deal with his bi-polarity. I joke about it often but really... there are no words to express the different tides that we ride together. We are the greatest of friends. Most times, I feel like he is my soul twin. He pushes me to grow in ways that I probably wouldn't have without his gentle nudges and outright shoves. I hope I push him to expand his horizons also.


Recently I read Beautiful Ruins. I still haven't quite figured out how I feel about it except that it's a story about many different love relationships unfolding/unraveling/coming together. It beckons one to see the similarities in his or her own life, that maybe you are part of a romance-in-the-making.

What I do know is that I'm ready to write Mr. Perfect into reality. I've talked endlessly about writing a book. I am leaning toward writing novels -- contemporary love stories with a Polynesian twist or a Polynesian adventure. Whatever it is, the story is dying to come to the light of day and one day soon I can say that I wrote a book.

The Covenant Keeper

Telesa - The Covenant Keeper by Lani Wendt Young... what a read!! This book is the first in the trilogy. **inhaling** It has consumed me. The Polynesian backdrop and themes make for really good entertainment; better than that, the story and the characters are endearing. The novel sits perfectly alongside its contemporaries - maybe Harry Potter, Twilight - appealing to a teenage, Young-Adult audience but equally entertaining for the mature reader. This book definitely fills the lack of fictional reading material for Polynesians.

At its core, Telesa is a LOVE STORY. It is a tale of magical love between Leila and Daniel. The story is set in beautiful Samoa but could be any Pacific island really. For non-Polynesian readers as well as our young Polys, there are small history lessons strewn upon its pages. As Polynesian societies become more and more colonized/globalized, we lose our identity. The hope is that we can retain some of what we have to pass on to the next generation. The stories we tell the future generations are important to keep the mana, the power, alive.

The author makes no claim that the cultural protocol is accurate, nor does she make any claim that the magic in the book is real. Chances are, though, that most Polynesians have a story about shamanistic magic that healed someone or caused someone death. And maybe part of the belief in the superstition keeps the magic alive, who knows?

Aside from the magic and back to the LOVE STORY -- Leila and Daniel remind me of the magic of love and the excitement of new love. It reminded me of how crazy I was about my husband when we first met. The magic of our instant attraction still amazes me today. It is easy to identify with the main character - Leila. Her feelings of being an outsider in modern America and finding her way to Samoa and realizing that Samoa felt more like home than anywhere in the world is beautiful.

You will fall truly, madly, deeply in love with Daniel as he is every girl's dream. He's courteous and respectful, kind, and driven by a sense of purpose. He is smart, musical, athletic, dare I say "the-boy-next-door". If you like the bad boy types, Daniel is not for you, which works out fine because the rest of us goody-two-show-lovers will gladly snatch him up. At the end of the book, the author posts pictures of the man she fashioned Daniel after. He DOES NOT DISAPPOINT... very, very easy on the eyes!

Go to Amazon and get Telesa: The Covenant Keeper now (just $3.99 for the Kindle App)! Happy reading!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

ABOUT ME Rambling

I can't believe it's been more than a month since I last blogged. Ugghhh!!

A lot has changed, in a good way. I'm super excited to settle into my new job. Yes I have a new job. I feel confident that I am going to be where I am for a long time and that gives me great peace to be able to build my life. I'm not worried about my husband wanting to uproot every couple of years, which is usually the case.... he has surrendered! **evil grin**

We have discussed on many occasions leaving the islands. He seems restless most times but I know that this turn of events (me, getting this job) should give us some longevity in the islands.

We are in a good place. I am in a good place. So often, I contemplate the meaning of marriage. Why do we enter into matrimony when it means that we give up portions of our true selves to preserve the relationship? Husband and I have discussed on several occasions the idea of marriage, more particular OUR MARRIAGE, and why we're in it. This past June through August found us battling this same battle that started when we first married. Where should we live? Where should we lay down some roots?

I think the argument has finally buried it's evil head in the sand. Something just feels different about this time. I feel like we're ready to get to the LIVING of living. We are ready to be ALL IN... to settle down... maybe even have a family (a boy and a girl we be just fine for me). But even if we don't have children, I'll be fine too.

So anyway my new job came with a healthy pay raise and there's an annual pay raise right around the corner in January. WONDERFUL! I was bitter for about a month or so about not having been approved to get my lunch wagon rolling but I know that is not for me at this time. This job is for me at this time because it seemed to have just dropped into my lap. I'm so grateful.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

I Heart Gardening

Over the years, I have dipped and dabbed in gardening. There is something so satisfying about eating from my own garden. Kale Chips have become a regular appetizer at dinner time. Roasted Eggplant is also a regular.

One thing that always seems to get me down is pest control. I get so frustrated sometimes with the different pests to deal with. The challenge comes when trying to remain chemical free in the garden. Growing organic is always the goal. We have tons and tons of banana bunches. The soil is so rich and the water so abundant. I am so grateful for this beautiful earth and for this beautiful place that I live.

The herbs in my garden are also so abundant. Basil, Cilantro, Rosemary, Scallions, Garlic... so healthy and so fresh.

I also have marigolds in the garden because of it's orange and gold beauty but more because it chases the pests away.

Gardening and eating from the garden is so satisfying. It's important for children to get in touch with the earth and know that food comes from the earth and not from the grocery store.


The two flowery blooms is pak choy -- part of the cabbage family. This has to be my favorite cabbage. It has a mustard flavor and I usually put it in a soup or stir fry it. Delicious. Right beneath that is arugula -- this usually shows up in salads. It never disappoints!



This is my bed of manoa lettuce. It is very delicate but so delicious. Handle with care when harvesting this!


I harvested some swiss chard (left) and manoa lettuce (right) for dinner. I wash it very thoroughly as both delicious leaves are visited frequently by creepy critters - snails, slugs, lizards, etc.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Super Soul Sunday & Other Ramblings

I was not a fan of the Oprah show when it was on regular network TV but I am definitely a fan of Oprah Winfrey (the person). Now that she has her own network, I am a fanatic about her Super Soul Sunday and her Master Classes. The things she brings forward is so needed in the world and it's different from religion, free from dogma and the condemnation of judgement. God is not judgement and spirituality is far deeper than religion.



I have always been very conflicted in terms of my religious upbringing and the alignment of my authentic self. Where some absolutely dismiss God because of their religious confusion, I choose to embrace God in the way that I interpret HIM/HER and no one or nothing should ever interpret or explain God to you. A person must come to their own conclusions or their own knowing about God and not rely on another for interpretation.

One of the flaws that religious zealots have is that they are so judgmental and then they project this onto their definition of God. I'm judgmental so that means God is judgmental. I have favorites on the playground so that means God does too. I don't like Gay people so that means God doesn't like them either. Is that really how it works? For me, I want to believe in a God that loves me flaws and all; that the eternal-ness of my soul is what he loves and not the flaws of my flesh. This places me at odds with the God that was explained to me at church and I'm okay with breaking from the pack. **sigh** But why do I have to? It boggles my mind.

Anyway, one of my absolute favorite segments of Super Soul Sunday is Soul Pancake.Tell me that this little video does NOT make you smile.


This next video makes me remember how easy it used to be to make friends. As we age, we just forget how to be outside of ourselves. **sigh** I HEART SOUL PANCAKE. Thank you Rainn Wilson and crew for being such creative geniuses.


You can find all of the SoulPancake segments on OWN's YouTube page. If you're feeling down, it's a great place to get a pick-me-up. When the condemnation of Religion's Gods has you feeling down... visit SoulPancake and get nourished.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Buried in a Phone/Book

Sorry for my absence... my head has been LITERALLY buried in a book (phone).

I don't know what took me so long but I have fallen truly, madly, deeply in love with KINDLE. I have always loved reading but the thought of carrying around a book used to make me cringe and it still does. Also, the logistics of reading in bed before drifting off to sleep requires a light source, which is just too cumbersome. Those clip-on lights are handy but makes the book even heavier than it already is.

Enter my Samsung Cell Phone... I think I have the very outdated Galaxy S phone. I downloaded the Kindle App and have just fallen in love with reading again. I have put down so many books in the past month. The latest read was completed yesterday is Beautiful Ruins. I'm still digesting the book. I'm in that funny space between liking it and feeling like it was an utter waste of time. I'm not sure yet.

So pardon me if I have become such a book/phone-worm... I just can't get enough of the library at my fingertips.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Longing For Authentic

So conflicted
Too much going on
Dying to be the REAL ME
Not the one that's chosen for me

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Birthday Reflections

I celebrated my 37th birthday yesterday. This year has been a year of changes. So last birthday was the first one I spent without my mother. I miss her dearly and can't believe it's been more than a year since she's been gone. Wow. Time flies!

My day began at the fitness center, putting in my 40-minute workout. I weighed myself in and lost 3.5 lbs since Wednesday. Amazing! A recent health scare is begging attention. My extra pounds is causing all kind of havoc in my body. The biggest concern: Type 2 Diabetes. Consequently, Type 2 Diabetes contributes to my issues with fertility. I visited an infertility specialist at the end of July and she confirmed my suspicions. My ovaries suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. So -- all my extensive rants over the years about losing weight MUST happen here and now. I want to increase the quality of my life as I age.

After the fitness center, husband and I had lunch at Ruby Tuesdays -- who can pass up the salad bar and the marvelous pumpernickel croutons? I ordered the petite sirloin with steamed broccoli and mashed cauliflower. That was the first time I had mashed cauliflower and I thoroughly enjoyed. It's low on the carb scale. That is my goal: to reduce my intake of carbs. I've been doing a lot of reading on reducing carbs in my diet. This does not mean that I will increase my protein calories. In fact, I  am going to limit my protein also. 75% of my plate will be veggies; a salad, a steamed veggie + a protein, preferably fish, chicken, or turkey. It's so time to make changes!

**SPOILER ALERT**
After lunch, we were just in time to catch the matinee showing of Total Recall. I loved it! I just love how the creative team behind the movie imagined the future. The gadgets made me slightly nauseous because of the implications of that type of technology in the modern era. There was this cylinder that gets shot into the room. Attached to the cylinder are like 40 mini cameras that disperse once the cylinder lodges into an object. The 40 cameras spray into the room in every direction, lodges itself in whatever is around and starts sending a signal back to whoever shot the cylinder. Spooky but so imaginative and useful in military arts. The movie also presents a cell phone that is inserted beneath the skin in the palm of your hand. So weird! You can put your hand up to a glass and it projects an image of whoever it is you are talking to. Wow!

The action was great also. The chase scenes and the gun scenes were fantastic. On top of that is the psycho manipulation stuff. What's real and what is "recall"?

I loved seeing two of the Underworld actors show up in the movie: Kate Beckinsale (villain) and Bill Nighy (he actually played a hero in this movie rather than the villain).

Overall, I really enjoyed it. Science Fiction is still one of my favorite genres. It has to be good though. Some of the stuff on SyFy is way too cheesy.

**SPOILER END**

I ended off my day with a barbecue at home. My brother, sis-in-law, and cuzzy Mahea made all kinds of delicious stuff for the grill. Awesome, I tell ya! We watched the Womens 100m final. Boy was that a race!

This year I hope to be the healthiest I have ever been. I hope to write my first novel and publish it (self-publish if I have to). This year I want financial freedom -- debt free by next years birthday, God-willing!

Happy 37th Birthday to Me!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Fly Above Your Fear

On Tyler Perry's twitter feed a couple of days ago he wrote, "Fly above your fear," and posted this video:


Throughout the video, Tyler gives bits of advice. One that sits heavily on my mind is this:
Seek to understand what you're afraid of.

As of today, I have three fears that continually pop up in my life. I'm sure there are more but the two that press heavily upon my mind and causes a significant amount of stress are as follows.

FEAR #1:
The fear of others' expectations of me... especially my family and close friends. So often I feel constrained by the expectations of others. I don't think of myself as being a prude but I feel like I have become that. 

In terms of my cultural and religious upbringing -- there's more judging going on than loving and people respond more to LOVE than they do to JUDGEMENT. Religion is centered on judgement, isn't it? Maybe it's just the brand of religion that I was raised in that causes so much conflict inside of me. I don't think God is EXCLUSIVELY for ((insert religious conviction here)). My God would be and/or is a God that includes all of his creations. Gay, White, Black, Hawaiian, Samoan, Chinese, etc. etc. There are no qualifications to attain God's love or is there? And if there is, why?

FEAR #2:
The fear of leaving my family... I think this may be more about control rather than leaving. I don't know. Inside my head, I feel like I'm the one that holds it all together; but that can't be true. The house dynamics right now consists of my father and my 15-year old brother and me and my husband. My husband and I have to move closer to my husband's children in Colorado. I don't wanna leave **sigh** but it looks like I have to to preserve my marriage. My desires of being right here, in this beautiful place, the only place I have ever or will ever want to be.... is out the window to preserve my marriage.


My mother passed away just over a year ago. Leaving my father with a 15-year old kind of scares me. Leaving him to pay his own bills scares me also but I suppose I can continue to do that when I leave. Everything is online nowadays. So why am I afraid to leave?


Finally FEAR #3
Am I losing WHO I AM? For me, living in Hawai'i has been my only ideal location for the rest of my life. Perfect weather all year round is so desirable but it's so much deeper than that. My bond and connection with this land is deeper than perfect weather. I feel like I'm abandoning my battle against capitalism and the restoration of native rights.  Am I less Hawaiian for moving away from these islands? Am I less of a loyal daughter by leaving? 


I identify with the following labels:
Daughter
Sister
Wife
Hawaiian
Samoan


I started out in this world as a daughter, sister, a Hawaiian, a Samoan. Am I abandoning all of that by tending to my "wifely" duties? Leaving these islands with my husband, does it make me less of the other labels and only a wife? This has been my battle for many months. How do I balance all the labels? How do I continue to be who I authentically think I am? Is reinvention absolutely necessary?


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

So here I am today. Scared as heck to FLY ABOVE MY FEAR but finding that this is the only way to live my life. I pray that I will be able to FLY.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

I Surrender

The big change I was talking about in THIS POST has reared its ugly head. While there are far too many intricate details to discuss concerning the BIG CHANGE, I have to say that my heart is being tugged in every direction.

How does one tap into the unconditional love of the Creator?
How do I indulge in the "knowing"?
How do I make the best decision for myself and for my marriage?

With such daunting questions, I set about searching for answers and a solution to finding the answers. I stumbled upon A HAPPIER YOU. I quote directly from the article:


1. Don't seek happiness. If you seek it, you won't find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness.

2. The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it. 

3. See if you can catch the voice in your head, perhaps in the very moment it complains about something and recognize it for what it is: the voice of the ego, no more than a thought.
4. Wherever you look, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence for the reality of time - a rotting apple, your face in the bathroom mirror compared with your face in a photo taken 30 years ago - yet you never find any direct evidence, you never experience time itself. You only ever experience the present moment. (emphasis added)

5. Why do anxiety, stress, or negativity arise? Because you turned away from the present moment. And why did you do that? You thought something else was more important. One small error, one misperception, creates a world of suffering.

6. People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness. They don't realize that what happens is the most unstable thing in the universe. It changes constantly. They look upon the present moment as either marred by something that has happened and shouldn't have or as deficient because of something that has not happened and should have. And so they miss the deeper perfection that is inherent in life itself, a perfection that lies beyond what is happening or not happening. Accept the present moment and find the perfection that is untouched by time.
7. The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be; otherwise, you will be forced to relive the past again and again.
8. Equating the physical body with "I", the body that is destined to grow old, wither, and die, always leads to suffering. To refrain from identifying with the body doesn't mean that you no longer care for it. If it is strong, beautiful, or vigorous, you can appreciate those attributes - while they last. You can also improve the body's condition through nutrition and exercise. If you don't equate the body with who you are, when beauty fades, vigor diminishes, or the body becomes incapacitated, this will not affect your sense of worth or identity in any way. In fact, as the body begins to weaken, the light of consciousness can shine more easily.

9. You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you and allowing that goodness to emerge.

10. If peace is really what you want, then you will choose peace.
 This article reminds me to be in the PRESENT MOMENT always; not looking back at what was and how I could have changed things but being right here, right now. It's not about creating a doom-and-gloom future that I will self-fulfill but about really truly being in this moment, right here and now. **sigh**

The coming months are going to be full of changes. Though I am having a hard time processing it, I know it is my burden to carry as well as mine to LET GO. A beautiful word crossed my path the other day: SURRENDER. I am going to surrender my ego trip to embrace the unknown, to embrace whatever the universe has in store. I know that whatever is just beyond the horizon is what's best for me and mine. I cannot control the past nor can I control the future. All I have is right here and right now and I surrender!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

tears

*inhale*
**exhale**

surround me with
LOVE
if it is to Be
then let it
if it is not to bE
i am ready

LOVE
shouldnt hurt

LOVE
doesnt belittle

LOVE
doesnt manipulate


*inhale*
**exhale**

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

2012 Girls Camp

I am about to drop off the planet for a couple days. I'm headed for our annual Girls Camp Retreat at Camp Erdman. 30 of us are going to bond in NATURE.... well... almost NATURE. I don't have to set up a tent -- we're staying in rustic cabins. I don't have to cook. There's a cafeteria there.

Wish me luck as I deal with 22 young women and 7 other young single adult women. I'm leaving the tweezers and the razor behind as I get cave-woman-ish in nature. See you all this weekend.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Post About Books

I am on the search for a new book to read. As I mentioned in the past couple of posts, I just completed WILD by Cheryl Strayed. It was pretty good. It definitely put me in a different state of mind, contemplating what I would do if I ever embarked on an 1100 mile hike. I guess we all have some kind of insurmountable "hike" like that. I actually have several journeys to travel to overcome all of my "hikes". God-willing, I will accomplish them all in this lifetime while I'm relatively young enough to enjoy the triumph. That is all beside the point though because this post is about books.

I am on a search for a book to read. My biggest problem is that I am unable to commit to one particular book or an author to read. I absolutely love Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I have probably read more of their books than any other authors out there. However, I am not really looking for that type of book.

I kind of want to read a really good love story. When I was fresh out of high school, I picked up Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree. This was in the era when Waiting to Exhale came out and the genre of "Urban Romance" came forward. Though I could not identify with how the characters were portrayed, I love being able to peer into another persons world. I suppose that's the best thing about reading... being a fly on the wall, observing everything, and contemplating how I relate to the story.

Every now and again I really love a historical novel. A novel that weaves history and fiction and the complexity of life into a beautiful story. Shark Dialogues by Kiana Davenport really did a number on me. I was so moved by the issues that the author focused on while still telling a fantastic story. It chronicles the life of several women whom are all related and all deal with their island heritage differently. The story is heartbreaking more than a story of triumph but sometimes the stories that hit closest to home are the ones that illuminates the reality of grief.

The book I have settled on for now or at least til Oprah releases the next book for her Book Club is...
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. I didn't read all of the reviews because I hate SPOILERS but I did read enough to pique my interest. Love, a little bit of history. Let's do this!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

August 2012 Issue of O Magazine

So has anyone seen the cover of the August issue of The O Magazine? Oprah is on the cover wearing a stellar color combo outfit that happens to be the colors featured on my new blog banner. Did I pick that out of the stream of consciousness that's out in the atmosphere or what? Very cool and so worthy of a mention on the blog.

I wanted to point out, though, the cost of the outfit. Granted, it's Oprah and she can afford stuff like this but as much as I love that outfit I don't have the means right now. She probably didn't have to pay for the items either because the designer just wants some exposure. I totally get it!

I love her pose in the shot and I absolutely adore the color combo. The shoes are an interesting pairing with the outfit and I absolutely love Oprah's styling.

According to the Shop Guide on page 171, here is the itemized shopping list for the outfit:
The total of Oprah's cover outfit could really, truly pay off my car note. Wow!! What industry can I get into that will allow me to don the finest clothing and the finest jewelry?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day Hike to Kahana

The other day I went on a hike. Nothing like a WILD/Cheryl Strayed hike... traversing 1100 miles of terrain... but a day hike. A nice hike, the Nakoa Trail, into the beautiful Ko'olau mountain range. Though everyone came out alive (all 40 of us) and safe and were clueless about all the worries I had, I was not pleased with the way the hike was executed. I take responsibility for the ill-conceived hike and promise to do it differently if I am ever in charge of a hike again.

I felt like I was totally prepared for whatever the day would bring in terms of self-preservation. That means, I was prepared to care for myself if something went wrong and we became stuck in the mountains.... well kind of prepared. I had food. I had water. I had a bright colored rain coat that could double as a tarp. I had a towel. I had a jacket for warmth. I had a first aid kit. I had toilet paper. I had a change of clothes.

Looking back, I was definitely missing a bunch of things. Because I had nearly completed reading WILD, I felt like I had to prepare to take stuff but not so much that my pack was too heavy. Definitely on my next hike, the following will be on the preparation shopping list, in order of necessity:

1. Wenger 16388 EvoWood Swiss Army Knife - This little tool has a bunch of different purposes. LOVE IT! Knife, Wood saw, scissors, screwdriver, wire stripper, can opener, nail file, nail cleaner, etc. This features a wooden ergonomic handle!

2. Multi-Purpose Shovel - This five-in-one shovel serves as a shovel, saw, pick, axe, and compass. Now that is worth squawking about!

3. Bear Grylls Fire Starter - Being able to start a fire is crucial! Even in Hawai'i where the temperature rarely dips below 70, one can still suffer hypothermia if wet or in a high mountain range where it's much colder. So having fire to warm up or even cook something to eat is required! I'm taking some weatherproofed matches also.

4. Tent or some form of temporary housing - this is a toss up between two different tents.
* My first choice is the Solitaire Tent :: I like this one because it's very stylish and looks very comfy. It is also  relatively light-weight adding only 2 pounds and 9 ounces to my pack but very pricey.
**My second choice is the Emergency Shelter Tent :: very economic at about $10 in comparison to the Solitaire Tent @ $100. However, it is not as stylish or functional as the tent. Honestly, I'd probably pack both.

5. Water Filter - There are so many options. I would pack two different systems. In the book WILD, Cheryl had a filter as well as iodine tabs. Very smart. I will probably do the same. Although I have concerns about water. I mean, does a carbon filter work to get rid of bacteria in the water. Like here in Hawai'i there is always a concern for leptospirosis. So would it just make more sense to just take iodine tabs? Things that make me go hmmmm....

Well, I just did a google search and found that water filters ARE NOT effective on leptospirosis. In a survival situation a person MUST boil the water or treat it with Iodine tablets.

Ok so let me add to the two forms of water purifiers -- I want a PORTABLE UV STERILIZER. This form of filtering actually works on leptospirosis. You can purify water with it. It's light weight, compact, and very effective.

6. Simple Mess Kit - This would probably be priceless in a survival situation. A cup, a pot, a pan, and a deep dish plate. This might be a luxury but one I would want!

7. Crank Lantern/ Radio - Ok whoever came up with this little contraption is brilliant. According to the specs and reviews on Amazon, three minutes of cranking allows the light to last up to 75 minutes. That is pretty amazing. We don't have to lug batteries around for this which is priceless when packing a hiking bag. However, it does work with three AAA batteries. It also includes a radio, nightlight, compass, hanging loop, 120-decibel siren, etc. AMAZING!

I think that about covers my foray into packing a hiking bag. Maybe I should add to the list some dehydrated food also. As I read WILD by Cheryl Strayed, the thought of having to carry so many items along an 1100 mile journey had me wondering what I would take. So as I packed for my short day hike yesterday, I thought of her and her MONSTER bag. What an awesome adventure she must have had. I probably could not have endured the silence and the loneliness but maybe I could. Solitude is probably the best way to get in touch with things that really matter. Crystal clear perceptions must come as a result of the solitude.

Everyday, I should clear my mind and find the solitude that leads to the peace that I yearn for.



Friday, July 13, 2012

Book Review: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I just completed the book Wild (Oprah's Book Club 2.0 Digital Edition) by Cheryl Strayed. It's about a girl who starts on an 1100 mile hike across California and Oregon and through all the rough terrain in between.
...at last I found myself, bootless, in the summer of 1995, not so much loose in the world as bound to it. It was a world I'd never been to and yet had known was there all along, one I'd staggered to in sorrow and confusion and fear and hope. A world I thought would both make me into the woman I knew I could become and turn me back into the girl I'd once been. 
At the end of her journey, Cheryl evolves into a woman with the skills to take on the rest of her life. It is a beautiful memoir. Beautiful indeed. I believe this is the type of book I will write. I'm excited by the idea of turning my memories and thoughts into a published memoir. I am sure that my struggles and my epiphanies will be of use to many a lonely reader.

Up until late last night, I was at about 90% done with the book. I just could not keep my eyes open to finish off the final 10% of the book. So this morning I woke up super early to enjoy and relish the final pages of this wonderful memoir.

Cheryl's journey on the Pacific Crest Trail begins after having experienced the loss of her mother to cancer, the fracture of her family after her mother's untimely passing, and the demise of her marriage because of her own infidelities. If there were any a time for Cheryl to do some soul searching, it would seem that those three things I mentioned were ample material for her to embark on a path of enlightenment. Her path led her down (or up) a physically grueling hike across some of the most beautiful scenery in the West. I say "beautiful" because as I read the book, I googled all the images associated with the places she mentioned. The images ignites my sense of wonderment in relation to all the natural wonders on this beautiful planet.

I can certainly relate to two of the most difficult things that Cheryl endured. First is the demise of her marriage. I have blogged about my first marriage on many occasions. Second is the loss of her mother. Though Cheryl had a very nice relationship with her mother. My relationship to mine was littered with my selfish, unapologetic brashness of immaturity because of her old-school parenting. I wish I could take back so many years of me keeping my mother at a distance. But I know that she understands my frailties and can see everything from a much more grand vantage point.
One of the worst things about losing my mother at the age I did was how very much there was to regret ...The thought of my youthful lack of humility made me nauseous now. I had been an arrogant asshole and, in the midst of that, my mother died. Yes, I'd been a loving daughter and yes, I'd been there for her when it mattered, but I could have been better. I could have been what I'd begged her to say I was: the best daughter in the world.

I wonder if Cheryl's words are having an effect on me.
Alone had always felt like an actual place to me, as if it weren't a state of being, but rather a room where I could retreat to be who I really was. The radical aloneness of the PCT had altered that sense. Alone wasn't a room anymore, but the whole wide world, and now I was alone in that world, occupying it in a way I never had before.
I often feel like ALONE is a place I want to be. I want to be ALONE to follow my own paths and dreams and to bring my life into a peaceful alignment. I want to become the person I must authentically and genuinely be. As women, some of us take on the heavy burden of caring for everyone except ourselves. I no longer want to be that woman. But how does one UNTANGLE from all the burdens that have been heaped upon our shoulders? Cheryl quotes her mother:
"I never got to be in the driver's seat of my own life," she'd wept to me once, in the days after she learned she was going to die. "I always did what someone else wanted me to do. I've always been someone's daughter or mother or wife. I've never just been me. 
So who am I? I still don't know. I want to make choices independent of my "role" as wife or daughter or sister or friend. I want to make choices that fit who I am, authentically.

Needless to say, Cheryl Strayed truly has a gem on her hands. I'm thankful Oprah resurrected her Book Club. I look forward to our next read.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Random Twitter Timeline

I've been spending more time on Twitter than Facebook these days. I find the 140 character limit very useful. If you can't get your message broadcasted within the 140 characters then you are wayyy too verbose!! I follow very interesting people. From Deepak to Oprah and Chris Tucker to Spike Lee, it is a very eclectic bunch of people. Who came up with Twitter anyway?

Some of the tweets in my feed today ran the gamut of uplifting to downright depressing.

@PhilosophQuotes tweets: "You are not responsible for the emotions of others. We all have to master our own state of mind. #philosophy #quote"
I really needed that quote today. This funky mood I've been in... feeling like Big Change is coming has me on edge. I seem to be super sensitive to my husband's moods and it battles with my own authentic emotion. Sometimes, especially lately, husband and I are on opposite sides of the spectrum. So for today and tomorrow I pledge to be responsible for only my emotions! I will not react or take on another person's drama!

@CivilBeat tweets: "There are 282 city parks, most w/ bathrooms, 190 staff. Our original story: The Dirty Dozen bathrooms
For people who are not familiar with the island of O'ahu... it's a small island. Unlike the mainland where there are fully stocked Rest Stops/public restrooms at most Gas Stations. O'ahu's businesses are not in the business of providing free facilities. In response to that the City and County of Honolulu has built comfort station restrooms all over the island and at all the parks. The only problem with that is that there is not enough staff to care for and stock the restrooms. Often, it's best if you always have your own toilet paper and wipes in your car.

@blackamericaweb tweets: "A Rock and a Hard Place: "
If you follow the link it takes you to an article with the most disturbing statistics. The opening paragraph states, "As of June 30, some 261 people have been murdered in the Windy City. That’s a 38 percent increase over 2011." Is Chicago serious? Halfway through the year and already 261 murders? I am astounded by the number of murdesr. If you continue reading the article it delivers some of the most depressing stories about the murder of innocent bystanders, caught in the center of gunfire. Whenever I read articles like this I feel like we need stronger support for protecting our right to bear arms. Why should only criminals have guns? The deeper question is probably, how do we change the behavior of murderers? Very sad!

I close this post with a tweet from @kevin_powell: "Thinking of a master plan..."
That's been me for the past couple of days -- just thinking of a master plan. Also, the rap classic Paid in Full by Eric B. and Rakim rings in my ears whenever I hear those words. I leave you with it while I think (and dream) of my master plan!



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Big Change | Ideal Lifestyle

Some kind of BIG CHANGE is coming my way. I know it! I can feel it in my daily dealings. I hope and pray that it is in someway connected to the two business loan apps I've submitted to two different banks. I pray that they will be funding us and our entrepreneurship. That will be so awesome. The quality of life I desire to have is to enjoy this round-the-year summer weather and flourish here in Hawai'i. I don't want to just live here -- I want to flourish; to own stuff and make a positive difference in the community.

My ideal life will include:
-a fully paid-off home here in Hawai'i (with two other rental properties)
-ample income to allow easy travel to anywhere in the world
-live around family, preferably my family
-one or two children of my own
-healthy and maintaining an ideal weight
-I would like to be a successful novelist and/or published author

I think that is a fair assessment of the ideal life I'd like to live. My dream has always been to be an author, a very successful author. I intend to do just that. Now that I have completed my Bachelors degree, I have so much more time to write and get the ball rolling on becoming a successful author. I have been given so many gifts in the way of talents and abilities. I am ever grateful for them and I desire to continue to develop them and use them to do good.

I find that as I age I forget about the things that make me super excited. Writing always gets me excited. Owning a business excites me. The ocean excites me and being near the shore. Hawai'i has always had such a strong pull on my heart. I wonder why that is. Have I created my connection to Hawai'i? Do I exaggerate my relationship with these beautiful islands? At times I feel like I may be chemically-imbalanced or something because of my nearly irrational desire to remain in these islands. I love the slow pace and the beach and the mountains and the people. **sigh**

I know I'm rambling and this post covers all kinds of topics. **shrugs** Charge it to my emotions. I don't know what's in my future but I pray that it is just as I have written it above. In the near future, I hope the bank will tell me that we have received the funds in which we have applied for. **smiles**

Monday, July 09, 2012

Random Whining

Today's DAILY OM headline is Returning to Creative Dreams: Return and Reclaim. I wish I could republish what it said but you can just follow the link to do that.

DAILY OM is a bright light in my inbox. Because I subscribe to it, I get a wonderful message in my email everyday. It is never skewed by dogmatic belief. Rather, it gives off a message of light and love and about honoring self. I miss that about my former life. The world revolved around me... in the life I led before returning to religion. I so want that back.

Where does it say that we have to be so scheduled and bogged down by life events, or children, or familial ties? We have all been created to find happiness. Does happiness mean that I have to take on other people's problems/children? All my life I fell like I've had to care for other people's children. Sometimes I'm grateful for it but most times I feel so distant from the desire to have my own children.

My grandmother and great grandmother lived with us off and on until their passing. Our home is a very modest (humble) three bedrooms and two baths. It's tiny! Add to that me, my older brother, and both my parents. We're up to six people. Add to that another six children... my cousins whose mom was having a tough time and CPS took them. My parents decided to take them all in. When five of them left, my parents decided to continue on in foster care. **sigh** And thus begun my life, caring for children and my grandparents. Though I'm grateful for all the knowledge I have acquired, I don't want to do it anymore. I just want to take care of me and my husband. I miss US... just US. **sigh**

I know this is a major "whine-fest" but sometimes I deserve it. Before, my outlet was alcohol. Since I have put down the drink, I no longer have a stress reliever and I think of it often. I don't think of cigarettes though.... thankfully. I used to love Heineken. I would crack open a bottle and be set. If we were drinking hard liquor, Tequila was it for me. Tequila + Orange Juice + a dab of grenadine... and we're best friends. Now -- good ole H2O is my fave.

Where am I going with this post? No where! I'm just.... letting go of the negative emotions inside... concentrating on the GOOD that's around me and ahead of me. Big things must definitely be on the horizon!


Sunday, July 08, 2012

Stressed By Stress

I am stressed to THE MAX. I just tweeted that into the universe. I am completely overwhelmed by my life. I want to detach from EVERYTHING that is consuming my time. I can't hear my own inner voice while tending to everyone's needs and it buggs the mess out of me. Normally, my life would revolve around ME and HUSBAND. Now I seemed to have taken over the duties that my mother left... and it's just not me.

I am not my mother!

My last post was about "Farren". My mother would have loved to support her through this ordeal while I'm COMPLETELY and UTTERLY uninterested in taking on more drama for this house to handle. I am through the roof with this whole living situation. I am so not my mother in this respect. The obvious choice is for me to leave and I plan to do just that. I don't know where I'm going but I do want to be far away from here.... far away from this life.... far away from caring for everyone but me.... far away from judgement by my peers... far away from busy-work... far away from the different things that suffocate me.

Sometimes I wish I could disappear into the atmosphere and fade into the waters of the ocean and pretend like my life never happened. Let me return to the source from which I came so that I may be AT ONE again with the Creator.

Sometimes life is just so hard!



Saturday, July 07, 2012

The Rant About An Abused Woman

Women make hard choices. We always do!

This post is going to come off as a man-hating post but I don't know if it's that. I just look around me at the women in my life, cousins, sisters, aunts, and friends. We make hard choices. We do hard things. We rarely operate from a position of power without fear of criticizing lips from the people closest to us or even people not so close to us. We are quick to aid others while our brothers, boyfriends, husbands, and male friends sit back and watch.

**name changed**
Farren lives with her boyfriend whom she met in high school. They have two children together. They have an abusive relationship. On several occasions she has called on me to help her escape her boyfriend. She comes over to our house for a couple of days but eventually she goes back to her abusive boyfriend. I am about to close that "revolving" door. Am I wrong? This last time when I went over to get her or provide some type of support to her, her boyfriend came out and barked at me, "What do you want?" He was very aggressive and when I told him to call Farren, he went back in and started in on her. He doesn't intimidate me at all. Not in the least! However, no person should communicate in that manner and my husband can't wait to bump into him and have a conversation about how he spoke to me that day.

I called the cops because I'm not going to physically fight with a man. Unthinkable. She shouldn't fight him either! What I didn't know is that the cops have been to their home to deal with this same situation on many occasions. The cops also said that the next incident would result in them calling Child Protective Services until Farren and boyfriend can handle their disputes. We took off without her daughters before the cops came to avoid the potential CPS intervention. All day long she went on and on about how he chokes her and spits on her and calls her whore and slut... in front of their children... and all I could think about is her complete and utter ignorance for continuing to stay in the relationship.

She was supposed to file a Temporary Restraining Order against him. She didn't do it.... just as I suspected. I am completely disappointed.

So either she returns to him or she stays here at the house. Either choice is ridiculous... she should go home to her parents... sort ish out, come to the realization that her man is a big baby, and move the "f" on!

I wonder why her man thinks he can behave in an abusive manner. Did his mother teach him to be that way by not stopping her husband from abusing her? Will Farren teach this same cycle to her two girls... that it's okay to remain with a man that disrespects and abuses her. **SMH**

Women are called on to make tough choices. We take care of our parents when our male peers(brothers) fade into the background. We worry about our siblings, sons and daughters, and nieces and nephews and bend over backward to push them to dream, to push them toward living honest lives. All of this we do because we are women, because we are hardwired to do the toughest things.

Guys kind of... CHECK OUT. If he's (whoever HE is) feeling down, the whole world must spin around his affliction. Farren seems to think that her man has a hard time not being able to keep a job because all the employers cut him out of future work. I wonder if Farren thinks about what she says before she says it. That is the lamest excuse I have heard in years. He was supposed to join the military but boyfriend said he was discouraged because the recruiter wasn't following up with him. Boyfriend had also heard that Obama was scaling back on military funding. Hmmm... he made a decision for his personal life based on a CNN headline. LAME, LAME, LAME!




Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Morose PMS Rant, Heartbreaking

When my first husband and I were going through the process of getting separated and then finally when we did separate, I thought it was the end of the world. I thought that my heart could not break or shatter like it did and it could not possibly ever come together again. At the time and on up to the divorce, every day was a practice in sanity under light depression. Even now, as I look back, I am amazed that I made it out from beneath such a dark cloud.

I remember the sad songs that were my constant friend, ever able and willing to send me into silent tears of loss.
Of longing.
Of self-doubt.
Of heartbreak.

Luther Vandross - I'd Rather
James Ingram - How Do You Keep the Music Playing
Marc Dorsey - I Crave

But the song that really shook me and continues to do so even when I here it now is Gloria Estefan's, Here We Are.





It is such a perfect indicator of how I felt in the days from when my ex told me he wanted a divorce until we actually signed papers. It was quite a fast process. It had to be like about nine days but each and every day was torture. And all I could think about was when he and I first met and the love affair that led to divorce; the romance that ended in goodbye. Mid-separation (he was living in New Mexico and I lived in Hawai'i), we rendezvous'd in San Francisco. I was working for a top-tier hotel so what could have been more romantic than meeting up with the only man that I loved. And the song sounds in my ears...

Here we are, face to face
We forget time and place
Hold me now. Don't let go.
Though it hurts and we both know
The time we spend together 's gonna fly
and everything you do to me is gonna feel so right
Baby when you're loving me, I feel like I could cry
Cuz there's nothing I can do to keep from loving you

After we parted ways in San Francisco -- I didn't see him again for another six months and when we were united, we were working on saying goodbye FOR GOOD. I remember when he first told me that he was DONE with the marriage. My first thoughts were that I was such a fool for loving him so hard. But I was grateful that there was absolution. I no longer wondered if he'd ever leave me again because divorce meant that he was leaving FOR GOOD. It was his birthday, you know, when he told me he wanted a divorce. Looking back -- in all ways, it was GOOD for both him and I. We were meant for a reason and a season; nothing more, nothing less. 

I had such an unrealistic view of what marriage was/is at the time. My view was marred with thoughts of romantic grandeur when people who are married for a long period of time know that there is nothing romantic about marriage except the wedding. But it gets better. I know it gets better. (Current husband and I make 9years coming up in November). Staying in a relationship where two people are committed and free of abuse almost guarantees that it will get better; that love will flourish and that the connection will be so deep that nothing can tear it apart. That was so not the case with marriage #1 and only time will tell what will happen with marriage #2.

Here we are all alone
Trembling hearts beating strong
Reachin out. Breathless kiss.
Never thought could feel like this.
I want to stop the time from passing by
Wanna close my eyes and feel your lips touching mine.
Baby when you're close to me
I want you more each time
And there's nothing I can do to keep from loving you
The moment immediately after signing the documents, I dropped the pen and looked him dead in his eyes. The tears welled up and it took everything in me not to gush. 
There's nothing I can do
I'm helpless in your arms
Baby what you do 
I'm in love
This is it
There's no turning back this time.
No no no

...There was no turning back. The papers had been signed. And my heart felt a great burden but also a great sigh of relief.

I often wonder what it would be like if we ever saw each other again in the now. I don't know what the feelings would be. Sometimes it seems like such a long time ago. I've grown and/or outgrown the old me and the situations of yesterday.

Here we are again once again
But this time we're only friends 


**sigh** A few months after we signed the divorce papers he called out-of-the-blue. My heart was aching from being without him, from running into another relationship to try and fill the void, and all I wanted to do is go back to what it was. He was all I knew for so long. But I knew that we would never again be more than friends. There are some belief systems that believe that a soulmate is a person that comes into your life to change it. He/she serves his or her purpose then MOVES ON. He changed my life.



Funny world sometimes lies
Becomes the game when love's the prize
And no no one knows whats going on inside
And all the love I feel for you
Is something I should hide
When I have you close to me
The feeling's so sublime
But there's nothing I can do to keep from loving you 



Life is a melding of all types of situations that either push us toward progression or toward living the same Groundhog's Day over and over. To help me maintain sanity, I sometimes meditate and go back (in my mind) to events that made me feel powerless and I change the event (in my mind) to take back my power. This heartache is nothing more than a forceful push toward taking my power back and I've done it.... been done it... but some days I feel like writing about it.




Sunday, July 01, 2012

Drop Dead Diva Love

I am such a huge fan of Drop Dead Diva! I have been since I started watching it on Lifetime a couple years ago. The show is now in its fourth season. The central character, Jane Bingum, is played by Brooke Elliot. She is fabulous.



This song was featured on a super duper emotional scene on Drop Dead Diva. It was heart breaking and most of us can connect with bittersweet heart ache.

The premise of the show is DIFFERENT than anything that is currently out but works so well. I will not post any spoilers here but if you're interested in the show, Netflix is running all three seasons right now. Also, all three seasons are available on DVD.


So what, exactly, is the show about?


Guardian Angels
Best Friends
Love
Lawyers
Pop Music, sometimes Show Tunes
It's like the movie GHOST meets the TV show Ally McBeal meets Glee and they have a baby. The cast is spectacular. Each actor/actress is so perfect for the character they play. Margaret Cho is so awesome as a sarcastic legal assistant. But, Brooke Elliot shines like the star that she is.



Friday, June 22, 2012

Migraine Musings

My week started with the most horrendous migraine. I have had migraines since I was a little girl. I'm 36 now and am just beginning to understand what triggers my migraines: FOOD! Here's a list of the foods I suspect are causing my migraines:

Wheat -- anything that is made with wheat, from bread to pasta. White or wheat... it all makes my gut unhappy and my head even worse. So I am thinking that I am super sensitive to GLUTEN.

GLUTEN-sensitivity is only now emerging, in recent years, as a common diagnosis. My grandmother used to prepare gluten all the time as a protein replacement in some of her meals (even though there's no protein in it). Her religion called for vegetarianism. I was never very fond of the gluten and now that I know I am sensitive to it, I have dropped the consumption of it.

MEAT - particularly BEEF. Beef causes a serious migraine for me but it is also my favorite protein. In terms of taste, Beef is IT for me. Short Ribs (my favorite cut), Chuck Roast, Spencer Steak, Corned Beef, Rib Steak, London Broil... I could go on and on. Why would such flavor be such a menace to my brain? **sigh**

QUINOA - I just started putting this on the menu at home. The couple of times I ate it at Down To Earth, I remember getting a terrible migraine after consuming it but did not make the connection until I started preparing it at home. I was going to make this grain a regular part of my diet but I quickly learned that this grain is soooo not for me!

Anyway, many of the ailments we all have can be linked back to food. So, I suggest that maybe you start keeping a food journal and take particular note of how your body feels during and after consumption. My migraines feels like my brain wants to explode out of my skull. I feel like if I stuck a needle in my eye it would relieve the pressure. I get nauseous and completely sensitive to light and sounds. Having a migraine is just not a good place to be. If I can prevent it, I will do so at all costs!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fat: Contemplating a Solution

I've been turning it over in my head for about a year now:::: getting the Lap Band surgery. I want a better quality of life and a smaller waist size. Honestly, if my stomach was in correct proportion to my body, I don't think I would mind as much. But it's not. If I keep on this way -- I'm looking at Diabetes, Heart Disease, Stroke and all the diseases that come with obesity. Many of you have read my blogs on here discussing my excess weight and committing to losing the extra pounds but here I am still the same size I was a couple years ago. What motivates me is that I was about 50 pounds lighter when husband and I got married. That's a big difference. I really need to shed this weight and get rid of it once and for all.

Some of the pro's of the LapBand surgery that I've read so far:

  • No visible scar -- the incision is made in the navel. One incision. That rocks!

  • Fully reversible -- if it's not working for you, you just get it "undone".

  • No supplements for nutrition.

  • Adjustable -- if it's too tight or too lose, you just get it adjusted.


The voice inside my head, along with the advice of my husband, says that I have all the know-how to lose weight without surgery. My husband, at his largest was about 290. He is now a slim and svelte 220. He did it all-natural, without the use of any drugs. He just committed to working out and eating right and if he didn't eat right then he worked out double hard. He is such an inspiration but he makes it look so easy and I know it's not! **shrugs**

About a month ago I went on youtube and searched for lap band surgery. They actually have videos of the procedure being done. It looks so painful to me so when I watched it, I vowed to myself that I would not get the surgery done. But here I am... contemplating the surgery. What gives me serious doubts about getting the surgery done is that what I've read about it reads like a science-fiction movie. In my mind, I'm thinking that I can totally do this on my own if I commit to losing the weight. COMMIT to being healthier. COMMIT to increasing my quality of life now and into old age. Fat people just don't live long so I have to change the habits NOW.