Thursday, July 2, 2015

Raising consciousness

   Traveling in Hawaii with Ocean Matters this past week challenged me to look for ways to be more conscious about consumption and more aware of our impact on our earth. 
Oahu just banned plastic bags. 
   Jack's Diving Locker here on the Big Island had us write our names on paper cups and reuse them throughout our dives. They also gave thorough briefings about the environment and creatures we'd see, and insisted on exercising the utmost care. (I saw divers with other shops being irresponsible.) The large, matriarch manta affectionately named "Lefty" had her cephalic horn amputated by fishing line years ago, and one of her pectoral fins bears a telltale notch. Thankfully, she survived.
   There are so many simple things we can all do to reduce our impact... Carrying reusable bags and water bottles, declining straws at a restaurant, taking only what we need, and appreciating the creatures with whom we share our home by showing them respect. A lot of our trash ends up in our waters, and we can prevent it!
   Thanks to Laura Parker Roerden for heightening my awareness.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Aloha, Hawaii!!!

   Hawaii, it has been 5 years since we have seen each other, and that is FAR too long. Let's get cozy again, shall we? I love your laid-back, hospitable attitude; your fresh pineapple; your bamboo forests, waterfalls, and volcanoes; and I am looking forward to meeting the acquaintance of your conservationists, your seahorses, and your manta rays.  (And hopefully sample some of Iron Chef Japan, Masaharu Morimoto's food! Ohhhhhhh em gee) 
   That tiny island above is going to be my home for the next few days. Peter will be my new BFF. A dream come true? Let's hope. SO excited. HAWAII, LET'S DO THIS.
   And I'll have nice new muscle tone when I arrive... A 95 lb woman carrying 90 lbs of gear (40 lbs of which is dive equipment). Yarrgh! Need to pick up some lighter hobbies.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Big smile

   Still coming down from the high of a most wonderful weekend.

Monkey hat madness

   A goofy quick sketch for my buddy been in celebration of his 100 K run. He might be crazy, but he's having a blast, and he surrounded by cute Japanese girls and monkey hats. (True story.)

Lilies abound

   I just love how my yard has been shaping up over the years, particularly these gorgeous Asiatic lilies, which continue to spread and get more impressive every year. They are nearly taller than me! Which doesn't seem quite fair, but it is kind of cool. Check out this freaky double Lily! Never seen this happen before.

Scuba fun

   Bryan and me in the pool… I think I've got him hooked on diving after just one session. Mission accomplished! And his red beard looks cool against that green water. ;)
   He and all three of Kristi's kids did such an awesome job their first time in the pool. Can't wait to teach all of them again! This was my first official training session following my instructor certification. And my first open water students will be in… Hawaii. Pinching myself.

I love sushi!

   Ceramic sushi plate art that I created several years ago, when I just started learning Japanese. I believe it was Christmas Eve, when Mom, Kristin and I were out in LA visiting Kelley. We went to one of those paint your own ceramic places together.

It's that time of year:

   I do not love the heat of the summer in Kansas City. Or anywhere. 

Friday, June 19, 2015


   Last night was pretty much, like, one of the best nights ever. And the sunset and the roses at at Loose Park weren't bad, either.


   Got home and walked in to the kitchen to see this… The world's most adorable killer. Aki has taught him well. He couldn't wait to show it to me.
   And later, I wondered why all three pets were skittering around in the bathtub, and pull the curtain back just in time to see Aki chomping on yet another young mouse.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thousand year journey

   Quite possibly the best essay on life that I have ever seen. To it I say YES!
   Those flowers above are from my dive buddy, Fred S. He thoughtfully left them on my doorstep to brighten my day. What a great surprise to come home to!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


   Once again, today has been extraordinary. I've never been so encouraged and excited about the future. Catching up with Amy, whom I dearly miss seeing five days a week; lunch with good friend and former colleague, Charlie--dreaming about what we could do together; wonderful, encouraging replies from an entrepreneur and leader in animation; a conversation with the scuba course director with whom I'll be diving next week--and a generous offer; and discovering a book that gave me more insight into the philosophy of Laura Parker Roerden, a woman so extraordinary that I can scarcely imagine how I was lucky enough to cross paths with her. This is a passage from her chapter. She is an amazing writer, leader, and advocate for our connection to our planet. 
   Reading it brought me to tears and I can barely contain my excitement about the connection and beauty that I will experience first-hand soon. Somehow I have this innate feeling that I am on the path to finding much deeper meaning for my life and what I have to contribute in my short time here. I've been blessed to discover many transformative experiences in the last few years, and am ready to see what's next.

Farmers market heaven

   I ran through downtown Overland Park this morning in part because it was so hot and humid, and I know where all the drinking fountains are. And I totally forgot that it's Wednesday and that the farmers market would be in full swing. I did a quick run through and talked to some super friendly vendors (of course I found the dude who rescues Pekingese... birds of a feather, you know?).
   Unfortunately, since I was running, I didn't have any money. Good thing that the sights, smells, and samples are free. Will have to go back on Saturday for the sprouted quinoa toast with homemade berry jam (AHH-MAZING), the cheesecake and a jar (DANGER), and the array of produce—stunning colors. Love living within running distance of such a vibrant market.

Inspiration: the rules

   I've never thought of Arnold Schwarzenegger as being someone who I would really identify with, but a very wise friend shared his video with me this morning, and it's like the guy's inside my head. Gotta work on getting comfortable with the idea of potential failure, but I think I'm doing okay on the others.
   And another wise friend shared this. I so believe in this mantra. And it is probably the biggest reason I am concerned about being unemployed for too long. Of course I can't wait to find awesome, fulfilling work… I can't wait to get back into a regular schedule, working with inspiring and collaborative people. Whatever that may be. I have a lot to give and I don't want to sit idle too long. (not that I'm sitting idle… Quite the opposite!)  
   The other part of it is that if I'm not earning money, it will become more difficult for me to get out and see the world when I'm able to take breaks. As a creative person, it is critical to find inspiration, which can come in so many different forms--I see something that inspires me every day in my daily life. But one of the most potent forms of inspiration is is experiencing new places and cultures. You learn faster when you surround yourself with people who are different from you. Everyone has something to teach.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Gimme some sugar

   I just love artist Katie Daisy's sweet paintings! And this quote in particular. Lovely. And how true, for love is surely the sweetest thing in life.
   I was sad to find this little cracked egg on the sidewalk as the dogs and I finished up our walk. But glad for the chance to marvel at the gorgeous color... Tiffany blue. Life is beautiful!

In 50 years...

   Sure, I'll look terrible, but what I really want to know is, will I still be snowboarding at 90??? Please say yes. Get your results too! See how terrible you'll look!

A smattering of sketches

   Some of my friends are weird. Which is awesome. Why, Bryan, why??
   Based on the real life squirrels that I see every time I walk the dogs in my neighborhood. Must be inbred.
   For my favorite dive shop manager and his lovely wife.
   An oldie but a goodie from my sketchbook.
   I love you Charlie.
   Back in touch with mom's friend Betty after all these years.
   I warned you it was random. Peace out.

Because the Ocean Matters

   Laura sent this video to the Hawaii trip participants today, and I'm smiling so hard my face might fall off! I get excited about every chance to travel, but I already know that this adventure is going to be extra-special.
   Ordered a set of GoPro4 underwater filters, and Adam & Dana are going to graciously loan their homemade handle to me to use on the trip. 
Beyond excited. Like, way beyond.