Friday, July 22, 2016

Food truck wisdom

   Indeed, true goodness does come from within… And tonight, the goodness was from within the Pita for Good food truck! 
   My friend/colleague, Stephanie, got me involved in the family business. I got to stand at the window all night, talking with people and taking orders. The perfect antidote for sitting at home alone all week while working: I've never met a stranger, so tonight I met a lot of new friends! Many people came up to crown center to catch a free screening of "the avengers" on the large, inflatable screen after dark.
   Having never worked in food service before, this experience made me realize that it really does feel good to make people feel happy through food. I chatted with everyone at the window, and several people came back to order a second round or to compliment the food. One woman came up to me and told me that she "loves my spirit!" :)
   My favorite new friends were aboard the truck: Mark, Tyler, Emily, and Cheryl. Plus, I really dig the "food truck code" of sharing food with each other. Kim from the coffeecake truck, and Kenny from the beverage tent were awesome to us. What a blast!!!!!!!!

Going swimmingly

   Facebook just reminded me that seven years ago today, I (finally) learned to swim!!! 
   I was in a class with three guys my age, two of whom were identical twins from India who never really got the hang of it, but who never stopped joking and laughing. They made a challenging experience so much fun.
   This is one of the cartoons I drew at the time. (For those of you who don't know, I'm a shorty.)

Thursday, July 21, 2016


   "There are no accidents -- some unrecognized or misunderstood opportunities, but no accidents!"   —Pam
   Today is the birthday of Pam K., who I met randomly on a trip to New York City several years ago. She created a nonprofit, working with Haitian artisans to create jewelry from used oil barrels, to benefit Haitian children. And she'd traveled there to see the work to be done firsthand. Courageous and inspiring woman—I want to be her someday!
   After our meeting, she surprised me by putting her prototype bracelet over my wrist and telling me I was meant to have it. I was completely taken aback and blown away by her generosity of spirit. My spirit lifts every time I think of her. 
   Today I'm thinking of her and everyone I know with kind hearts and helping hands. We need more of you.

Gonna be Good...

   Come see me at the Crown Center Weekender tomorrow night... starting at 6, I'll be working the Pita for Good food truck! Magnetics are performing, and the free movie is "The Avengers".
  Thanks to my friend Stephanie for giving me my first food truck experience—I expect that it will be fast & furious, and a LOT of fun!! And, an honor to be aboard the truck designed by the awesomely-talented Whiskey Design.

Monday, July 18, 2016


  I have found so many egg shells from robin hatchlings on my walks around the neighborhood this year. But this one is the most unique, with a cute lil' feather stuck inside!

Runs in the family

   Like mother...
   Like daughter...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Miss you, girl!

   My honorary (honoRarey?! LOL) little sister, Anya, sent this photo of her with Noel Paul Stookey. She catches Peter and Paul every time they perform in New England, and it makes me wistful for the time she and I spent in Hawaii with Peter and his family a year ago, and our experience at Peter and Paul's show at JCCC last July.
   This past year has held so many incredible memories, and brought so many new friendships. Gotta keep that ball rolling—love is what life is all about.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Yak Attack!!!

    #anotherboringSaturday ... NOT! Christy organized the fourth annual kayaking games (my third time attending) and we had a blast, as always. There were nearly 20 of us together on the water, in our bright clothes and bright boats.
   Kayaking always makes for great photos. Especially when it includes a scavenger hunt for crazy items like flamingo hats, devil horns, coconut bras, and pirate hats! You have to wear what you find in the trees in the middle of the lake. We also played games like Yak Polo—my favorite! After 4 hours paddling frantically in the sun, I am burned and my arms are Jell-O. WHAT FUN!!!

   We're all Kookoo for Coco Pup!!!

    The Flamingo Twins, lunching.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The heat you can't beat

   True story... With the heat index, it feels like it's as much as 113° here in the Kansas City area today. DISLIKE!!!
   The good news is that all of us in the house agree on this issue! No daytime walks for now!!!

Fireworks? What fireworks?

   The Shibas and I spent the Fourth of July with our buddy Madeline and her Scottish terrier, Bruce. The people in her neighborhood go a little crazy with the fireworks… Even before dark. And amazingly, none of our dogs could have cared less! What are the odds?
   We took them on a walk after dinner, past a park where fireworks were going off constantly. None of them reacted – as if the fireworks didn't exist!

Festive fourth

   Any major holiday just wouldn't be complete without total canine humiliation. I remembered I had these red and blue scarves for the dogs, which I ordered when I first adopted them. I found those up in the closet, and added a couple of my hats to complete the ensemble.
   Most of the day was spent working on the computer, revising my portfolio and honing my design skills. But I took a break to cook up some fried, stuffed squash blossoms that I bought at the farmers market on Saturday. Stuffed with goat cheese, these things are really delicious! Not quite as good as the ones that Kristin and I had in Albuquerque many years ago, but a pretty good effort I didn't bring any home from the party!

Fire Works!

   After a delicious dinner, Patrick, Bob, Kelley, Madeline, and I headed outside to play with fire.
   After the sparklers, we moved to the street to get a better view of the large fireworks going off in the nearby park, and set off a couple of mini booms of our own. 
   I have to say that I was expecting this holiday to be a bit of a bummer this year, since last year I was watching fireworks over the Pacific ocean while in Kona, Hawaii. But there I was on my own (not including the new friends I made along the way ), so having a great time with my good friends – which also included Diane & Wayne, Tosha, and Anna – priceless! Happy 4th, all!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Hawaii on my mind

   Let's see, exactly a year ago, I was in the open ocean with no wetsuit and no lifejacket, swimming with wild spinner dolphins. And last night, I walk into the Red X store in Riverside, Missouri, and I'm confronted with a statue of... Exactly what I was doing a year ago (OK, I wasn't touching the dolphins, but otherwise it was the same).
   And this was shortly after walking into a fireworks stand where I saw a hula girl fireworks. Took a hula lesson with Anya, and, Robin, and Cassie last year. I am not a dancer by any stretch of the imagination, but we had a blast!
   Speaking of Anya, here she is with Noel Paul Stookey again, recently.
   And, Laura posted this photo of a recent ocean matters staff meeting, which only the locals were able to attend this time around.
   Not to mention that yesterday I saw two license plates while I was on the highway, one that was actually from Hawaii (not a common site in Missouri!), and the other that said "5cuba" (scuba).
   Are you freaking kidding me? I think the universe definitely wants me to return. I can take a hint!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reunited and it feels so good

   Octavio sighting!! We met many years ago at the Hallmark creative internship and became fast friends. It's about time we got together again so I could and finally meet his charming 14-year-old daughter(!!!), Maya, and catch up with his lovely wife, Suzanne!
   Octavio made this Octavio sculpture for me to tease me about how allergic I am to those darn stargazer lilies. I love how the expression on the sculpture matches the the blowfish in the background.
   It was fun hanging out with them for a few hours today as they were driving back from Yellowstone National Park to their home in Florida. Wish they could have stayed much longer!
   Taylor was a hit as usual and wanted to be in the group photo. He actually wanted to go on the rest of their road trip to Florida, but I decided to keep him.