Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Moment of Zen Within the Chaos

The public schools in Hawaii go out intercession break next week. I cannot believe the first quarter flew by already.

Despite my being overwhelmed with work and all, I try to take the time to find a moment here and there. One of my favorite things is to relax and watch a sunset. Lately, it has been from my back porch or a walk around the block. However, next week, I may get to enjoy an ocean sunset.

Today's travel tip?

Kick back and watch a sunset, especially at the end of an altogether too busy day.

Got travel? Link on up!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

On Faith

I don’t think I’ve ever taken on a religion post. I meant to work on one this week, Jen’s Spin challenge kept nipping at the corners of my thoughts on a way too busy work week.

Like Jan, I’m not sure where this might be going, but I’ll just get started and see what happens. I almost feel like I should have done this on a Random Tuesday as my thoughts on religion run the gamut.

I guess I could start by saying I always thought there was more to life than this world we live in. So, in my own way I’ve always had faith and believed.

I did not grow up going to church. My mom wanted us to go, or said she did. She and my dad used to fight about our lack of church going. My dad was agnostic and told my mom she could take us kids to church, but he wasn’t coming. She took us to Sunday school for a time, but not for too much time.

I used to go to church with other families on occasion. Like when you spend the night at a friend’s house on Saturday and they take you along with them to church the next day. I acted all whatevers. But on the inside, I was hoping for a spiritual epiphany that never happened. Mostly, I was only aware of hypocrisy and judgmentalism (apparently made up word I'm keeping).

I found my solace, my center, mostly in nature. I’d go for hikes alone. I liked cliffs and views.

Sometimes I would notice a moment of grace in something random. It was like everything became both clear and surreal at the same time.

There are many things that bother me about organized religions. Uppermost is the narrow mindedness of those who are loudest. The horrible things that are done in the name of religion both past and present. I often wonder if others besides myself notice the similarities in the self-righteous zealots of opposing religions…

I also wonder why these same people do not notice the similarities of what is good about their faiths.

I have been teased (accused) of having a smorgasbord belief system in that I am curious and open to all faiths. I have read several major religious books and there’s a lot of common ground as far as I am concerned.

Love one another. Be kind. Help one another. Be of service.

“The alien living with you must be treated as one of your neighbor born. Love him as yourself.” Leviticus 19:34

For more spins on religion, go on over and visit Jen at Sprite's Keeper.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Reef is Always Brighter, in Somebody Else's Pond

Travel tip today is Waimea Bay on the North Shore.

During the winter and when the giant waves are up, if you get up early and can get parking on the highway up and above the waves, you might witness something like this...

That kind of surf only comes up once or twice a year, if at all. In the 28 years I have lived here, I have only witnessed it twice.

Howver, during the summer, Waimea is a huge salt water pool with the clearest water you can imagine. A great beach for snorkeling.

We like to walk to the far left side of the bay, past the rock the crazy kids jump off of (and yes, you might find my crazy son jumping off it from time to time).

On a lower ledge, you might even find my dog hanging with the boys.

The ocean is unbelievably clear.

The rocks provide an underwater playground.

Or a moment of zen.

Got a place you'd recommend for a day trip? A long trip? A lifetime? Link on up...

Saturday, September 18, 2010


In regards to yesterday's post....

The Last Dance at the beach house was a two-fer. The Romantics' What I Like About You for the fast and fun one. It had been a big hit earlier in the evening, bringing in even those of us who were still on the deck gabbing and imbibing and thinking about opening another bottle of wine. There's nothing like seven women in their late forties and early fifties dancing to this tune as if they were still the fave of The Wave Waikiki.

Then, we finished with The Supremes' Someday. Most of us related it to another year and we'd be back. However, one of our group and just sent her son off to the East Coast to college and she was filling a bit bittersweet.

And, no. The woman with the paddle board in the photo in front of the beach house is not me. She is a friend of a friend and she lives on the North Shore. She paddled that board down to where we were staying to hang with us for the day. As I told Tulpen, if my Hubs would break down and buy me a paddle board, maybe my ass would have a shot of looking like that...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Moment in Time with Friends....

This is the post I promised a week ago...

Even now, I don't have time to write the words these photos are deserving of; I need to get ready for work.

I have written about Laborless Labor Day before. An event that began in 2006, when my friends decided to rent a beach house on the North Shore. Women only. No husbands or children. That was the year I was fighting breast cancer and that September I was in the middle of radiation treatments. Chemo was over and Labor Day weekend I was sporting some peach fuzz on my head. I stayed on the deck except for early morning, sunset, and swims.

Labor Day 2008 I wrote this post that weekend on the deck. I had just started blogging.

Labor Day 2009 I didn't make it up to the beach house. Unbloggable events had begun the Tuesday before.

Labor Day this year, 2010, was magnificent. I do not have time to narrate the photos, but I encourage you to click on them and see them enlarged. Ke Iki Beach is a magical place.

I will attempt, in my early morning rush, to give give you one set of imagery with words. An event with no photos.

Saturday night is always a celebration. After a dinner of clam pasta and salad on the deck, the living room is cleared by pushing the furniture to the sides. A master play list has been prepared by two of my friends and the dancing begins. This year we danced through the decades. All of us worked our way through the '80's in clubs and/or restaurants (that is how we all met) and the music of those times brings back the girls we used to be, the young women still at the center of the women we have become.

We may have met in the 80's, but we were teens in the 70's and children in the 60's.

We danced with abandon for two hours straight. We danced in a circle and through the circle, in lines and in pairs; we danced to Build Me Up Buttercup, and we danced to The Cure. Electric Slide as well as Prince. Funky Cold Medina and Donna Summer.

Then we made a dessert bar and piled our plates with cookies, Faith Hill's Coca Cola cake, and lemon meringue pie.

We piled onto the bed in the living room like a teenage slumber party and talked until the sugar high began to wear off and just before we got sleepy for good, we rallied for a last number.

Today's tip? Pretty obvious. Make time for the good times when you can. It makes everything else worth the effort.

Link on up if you will...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Middle School Randoms

Random Tuesday on a Wednesday seems about right, yes?

My new job is still kicking my ass. I was at my last school for so long, I forgot how overwhelming a first year in a new school can be. Just when I think I have caught up with prepping and grading and miscellaneous paperwork, a tidal wave of work washes in and soaks me to the bone.

Middle school is such a different demon than high school. It could also be that I went from a middle income community to a low income community. But the kids are way needier than I am used to and have to be sat on to stay in tune. Their antics provide much blog fodder that I do not have time to write up properly.

But here is some random.

I have given detention in the last few weeks more than I ever did in the last 5 years.

For throwing bits of eraser at each other across the room.

For poking each other with pencils under the table. They are so sneaky I might not catch them, but the victims squeal.

For being not just tardy, but running late into the room like the running of the bulls in Spain, with the added feature of loud mouthed, off color remarks that get all the kids who were on task swept into the melee.

For taking the tennis balls off the chairs (split tennis balls are on all four legs of all chairs to keep the chair legs from scratching the floors...I mean I get it, let's keep the floors nice - but really...balls at the feet of 13 year olds with ants in the pants???). One student whipped the tennis ball out the door and over the rail and into the school yard. Another tried to juggle three in class, in front of me while I was teaching.

They do make me smile a lot though.

Yesterday when I was walking down the stairs at lunch, I could hear a chorus of them singing Lady Gaga. Prancing along the corridor.

Ga Ga Oh La La, I had to make a real effort to not swing and snap and prance as I walked to the cafeteria to get my lunch.

For more Random, head on over to Keeley's.

Sorry I haven't been around to visit of late. Hope to get control of my "me" time soon.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Laborless Labor Day....coming soon....

You know I suck when I can't even get my own weekly theme up on time.

It's a good thing I didn't get hired for blogging because I would have been fired a long time ago, and if not, then certainly this week.

I actually have a post to write about Labor Day weekend - with photos and everything.

Meanwhile, here's Mr. Linky in case anyone had Travel Posts that they were not able to link since I didn't go near the computer once I got home all week long.

Please feel free to link past posts about anywhere you would like to take us. I'll be back later with my own post, once I find Daughter's camera that I borrowed last weekend and upload the photos.


Monday, September 6, 2010

No News IS Good News

At recess I slide my cell phone open and the screen appears. No missed calls. No texts. No voice messages.

My heart goes back to its normal rhythm. My diaphragm expands and allows a deep, slow breath.

A breath of relief. Like realizing you are floating on a raft on a calm summer day when, for a second, you were on alert for the hurricane warning.

My normal day remains normal and I go back to whatever it is that teachers do with a recess here - a lunch there. Emails answered. Papers filed away.

The cell phone goes back into my desk drawer.

I am not far enough past the unbloggable to leave my phone in my purse yet, locked in my file cabinet, left for an entire day unchecked. But I feel that day around a nearby corner. It smiles at me and tells me to be patient.

That day will arrive when the fears and dangers of the unbloggable are far away. Not now. Not when those days are still close enough in the past that I can feel the grip and wrench of stomach muscles when I think the unbloggable has reared its head and demanded a rematch. When a crack seems to appear in the dark abyss at the center of normalcy and my adrenaline goes into overdrive. I stand at the edge of the void that hovers close by, that cliff that I have come to know is there waiting on the periphery of all our lives - waiting to test us and wreak havoc.

I can only hope that time and tide takes me further away from that cliff with the grace of each passing day.

The unbloggable began with a text.

The cell phone represented instantaneous changes in any given day.

Now, everyday I check my phone at recess and lunch. I no longer carry it on vibrate in my pocket, ready to switch roles and agendas midday.

Each time I see the tranquil photo on the screen and realize all is fine, I gain a bit of strength and courage. A touch of grace.

I say a short prayer of gratitude and go on with my day.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Different Perspective

I'm still sans camera. It's hurting Traveling Thursdays to be sure; however, Daughter is loaning me her camera this Labor Day weekend and I plan on hitting the beaches. So, hopefully, next week I will have a travel post for those of you who come here expecting a bit of tropicana.

Today's travel tip? Leave the car at home once in awhile and see your home turf at a different pace.
I sold my car this summer and have been taking the bus to work. My new school is in an older community of Honolulu and some days I don't catch the bus from the nearest stop, but walk through the community and check out the stores. There are old fashioned mom and pop and owner occupied holes in the wall.

I'll feature some when I get a new camera or get hold of Daughter's again.

Meanwhile, this is a tip worth taking.

Got a place to take us to today? Want to link up an older post that fits the bill? Grab the Travel badge and link on up!