Happy Eclipse Day! 🌒😎

Happy Eclipse Day!

I’m so excited to see this eclipse! I’m going to work with Mark so we can watch together. I have our special solareclipse glasses marked “ISO 12312-2″ that were gleefully distributed by our local library. We are fortunate to be in the line of the totality.

There are stories in local news outlets reporting heavy traffic along the highway, port-o-potties set up for people pulling over, delays, and the like. There are old stories reporting historical incidents where people didn’t use the special glasses and have hurt, ruined or damaged their eyes. And there is already the Google doodle:

Today’s Google Doodle

 

 

 

 

 

Stay safe, careful and prepared. This, according to VOX science: this solar eclipse will cut across the entire United States. And wherever … The eclipse will peak at 10:15:35 am PDT, when the moon obscures 74.2% of the sun. 9:02 am .

Enjoy!🌓

Aloha,

Denise

credit: science: howstuffworks.com

Represent and enjoy everything

In our new home, we sought out like-minded and FUN people. Last night, we experienced some of them. There was an SEC (The Southeastern Conference (SEC) is an American college athletic conference whose member institutions are located primarily in the Southernpart of the United States, WIKI) party to kick off the Fall football season. We went: dressed in our university colors and with expectancy for FUN. We were not disappointed:

Our school represented on the big screen!

 

Our friends, Kathleen and Jeff,  were with us in their maroon splendor and enthusiasm. We did what Texas Aggies do: we gathered (at our self-proclaimed former student table) ate, laughed and told stories.

Our Former Student table…
Our MO framily: Jeff, Kathleen with Mark, & Denise

 

Mark has two degrees from TAMU; me one.  And the love of our school and friends surpasses even the number of years since we were on the College Station campus. A good time was had by all.

 

Gig ’em, Aggies!

Aloha,

Denise

Just a walk in the woods 🍂

Yesterday I chose to walk in the woods, over a treadmill.

I chose the great outdoors over the air-conditioning.

I was among the tall trees, the singing cicadas, and the chirping birds, over the whir of a machine.

I walked on dried leaves, exposed tree roots, sand, mud and compressed dirt, over the cadence of the treadmill belt.

sand beneath my feet

What I saw was lovely nature. I heard animals. I smelled fresh morning. I heard real sound.

Every once in a while, it does a body and mind good to get outside, change the routine, be grateful for Mother Nature. It’s almost fall, y’all…make every last-minute of summer count! Lace up your shoes; fill up your water bottle; spread on some sunscreen; charge up your camera/phone and take a walk in the woods (or wherever you can get some fresh air and sunshine.)

Aloha,

Denise

 

YOU be you!

Wear what you like. Eat what you know your body needs. Enjoy your chosen profession, you do it everyday. Listen to your favorite music. YOU be YOU!

19th century author and poet Oscar Wilde so brilliantly stated, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”

I love when I see people embracing their natural self:

This gorgeous woman has fantastic hair!

 

 

I love purple….I wear some everyday. What do you do, that you love, that is specific to you?

Aloha,

Denise

Fair time of the year

I have been a HUGE fan of county and state fairs for years.  The Orange County and Los Angeles County fairs annually captured my attention and creativity.   I won nine (9) ribbons in the Los Angeles County Fair over several years – first, second, third and fourth place – for sewing and beading.  I’ve enjoyed fairs at the state level in Texas, Maryland, Utah, Hawaii, and now Missouri.

The colors, smells and sounds are like nothing on Earth.  There are people who really know how to do fairs (like us), and some who go for the concert only. Last night we saw two newborn babies at the Missouri fair! That was a first!

My favorites are the gyros, corn-on-the-cob, and super-iced-cold water. In my distant past, I enjoyed the funnel cake, corny dog, turkey leg and deep-fried anything. Once, at the LA County Fair the featured food was chocolate wrapped deep-fried bacon and deep-fried bubble gum. None of these delicacies are Gluten Free.

My recommendations are: Attend a local fair (State or County). Dress super comfortably. Wear great walking shoes. Stay hydrated. Eat your way through: at the end of the night, the person with the worst tummy-ache wins! Attend the after dark concert. You’ll be glad you did!

Aloha,

Denise

 

My true story… time to share.

Six months….that’s when the magic began.

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Your cancelled visa and repatriation plane ticket.

Nine months ago, HH (handsome hubby) and I repatriated to the USA. After four magical years in Abu Dhabi, UAE, we put our worldly possessions into 32 boxes and prayed for them to end up on land, not at the bottom of the ocean. We gifted our plants, dishes, anything with a plug, and all food stuffs from the cupboards and fridge to friends and building staff. Attending “good-bye” parties and luncheons reminded me of loss and new adventures. I chose to say the Hawaiian phrase, “A hui hou” which means “until we meet again,” rather than “bye.” I know I will see my dear friends again, somewhere in this world. Enter air travel.

Our physical process began in Dallas, Texas, our city of birth, to visit friends and family, celebrate Thanksgiving, and witness the outcome of the presidential election. We scoured our parents’ homes for dishes, pots, pans, electric appliances and a bicycle for our new place. HH put the finishing touches on our move, and our U-Haul truck was packed and ready for our 2-day road trip to our new life adventure.

Arriving the last week of December, our new “home” rolled out the welcome mat: snow, icicles, rain and wind. Please note: We’ve lived on a coast for the past thirty-two years, so this was quite a change. I was chary to move to a cold climate, but my mother and MIL gifted me with heavy coats, so I was prepared. Here we are: inland, near St. Louis, Missouri, our fifth state in the US to call home, and we know no one. HH has a new job replete with co-workers, tasks and a strategy for upward mobility. Voilà, my work: make friends, learn my way around, stop whimpering. A fellow adventurer said to me, “Your world has shifted; and you are reminded of loss. Natural for us. Embrace the feelings, then move on. You must acknowledge what happened, but not let it rule you.”

Months one through six are now a blur, yet a plethora of NDBs (never done before) and tuition (learning experiences as we call them). As Deepak Chopra said, “You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible.” In February, I learned the best place to buy flowers and balloons for Valentines’ Day. In March, I bought a car and a gym membership. (I call it “adult day camp.”) We filled April through July with county fairs, meeting a bald eagle, a street parade, a winery, a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game, a distillery tour, several theatre productions, and many beautiful sunsets.

In my recent former life, I played Mah jongg weekly, organized entertainment bi-monthly for an expat group of over 200 women, hosted a weekly Happy Hour, and participated in a monthly Film Club. My new life is comprised of the gym, grocery stores, exploring surrounding cities, and then back home. HH and I explore out of our county on weekends. We’ve enjoyed Augusta, Washington, and Troy, Missouri. We also went to Indiana for a weekend trip and Illinois for dinner.

I have learned so much in a short time. Similar to Jonathan Livingston Seagull, I am a different gull now. Today, I choose to be grateful for everything: sunny days, budding friendships, and travel plans. I set an intention each morning and write down three gratitudes each evenings. Intentions are like magnets; the more we declare them, believe in them and act in ways to manifest them, the more powerful and real they become. According to Amit Amin,“By taking the time to consciously express gratitude, we remember what we already have in our lives, and things we should be grateful and happy for.”

Lily Pulitzer said, “ Being happy never goes out of style.” So, eight full months later, I don’t weep daily; I use every form of social communication to stay in touch and up-to-date with my friends from my former cities, states and countries; our new home is unpacked (except for the boxes of wedding china and childhood photos), decorated and clean (I just bought a new Hoover.)

Moves are challenging, but as an adventurer, I am equipped to handle it. How do I know that? My HH and I have abundant curiosity, which is key to moving and living in other places. Tips: Smile. Set up a coffee date. Go to a museum, festival, faire, park, walking/hiking trail, or theatre. Find an arena football game to enjoy with a fellow adventurer. Read between the lines when you talk to new people: they may describe emotions you are familiar with. You can be the one who helps them, and in turn, helping yourself. It’s a big, colorful world….explore and enjoy it. Be so happy that when others look at you, they become happy too. I recently visited friends in Anchorage, Alaska and Ottawa, Canada. I have plans to see other friends in Nashville, TN and Costa Mesa, CA later this year.  Those trips are therapy for me, and fill my heart with love, support, gratitude and joy.

Finally, share your story. It will delight and inspire others. We are all amazing, resilient, extraordinary people. Poof, let the magic of your new place begin, and bloom where you are planted.

A chapter in my life book

A great mantra: You can’t judge a book by the chapter you come in on. To me, that’s a metaphor for people too. Rather than judge people on first sight, get to know them and their story first.

Seven months have passed since my last chapter officially closed. I feel happy, settled and comfortable in to my new home, routine and outlook. My “former life” overseas is complete and a wonderful memory. Now I’m focused on making friends, exploring this area and trips to see friends and new places.

How do you define your chapter book?

Aloha,

Denise