Spring celebrations 🌷

Not talking about Tax Day here in the US… There are pivotal Spring celebrations upon us soon. This week, for those who observe, is Passover, Good Friday and Easter. Many other cultures and places in the world gather to rejoice this week: https://www.officeholidays.com/upcoming/index.php. Along with these feasts of plenty comes family and friends time.

hese gatherings can be joyous and delightful sprinkled with other emotions. Stay the course. Stay grateful. Remember to breathe slowly and take it all in.

I will savor the flavors of all the people as well as the food. Being myself is my gift, however that lands. I will be helpful, curious, thoughtful, and kind.



Be Wonder Woman

Whether you work inside or outside the home, self-love and self-care are essential.

YOU are worth it: Enjoy the exercise class, go for a long walk, take a trip, read a novel, paint your nails. You do you!

I always feel great during and after some girlfriend time AND alone self-care time.

Be curious and find ways to fill up your soul and celebrate you.



Hashtag holidays

Add to Hallmark©️ holidays Facebook and Instagram holidays. One example: International Siblings Day ‘celebrated’ yesterday (April 10) as a grand exhibition of happy, joyful kids juxtaposed to current or recent photos. I loved seeing my friends’ pictures of skiing, holding hands, horsing around, posing with family pets, and then as the adults, I know. My memories with my brother will suffice.

I regard social media as a tool for connections, memories, and education. I respect those who don’t share my thoughts. That’s why there’s chocolate and vanilla ice cream.

“Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place”
~ Rumi



Thoughts, movements, and truths

I see a man jog across the street. I see a mom pushing a baby stroller on the sidewalk. I alternate walking and riding along the crackly Katy Trail. We must move our bodies, clear our heads, and seize the day.

A new day presents new thoughts, challenges, perspectives. Greet it with fresh eyes and a clear mind.

Upcoming trips, home changes, and meeting new people fill my head. Forgiveness and openness weigh in too. I am reminded to shine my light.



What are your thoughts?


Good, solid friendships are easy. Conversations flow, food shared, plans amenable to all. Getting friends together for dinner is a key component of happiness. Add in the fun of trying a new restaurant, vacation spot, or favorite book title. Make plans!

Making plans for get-togethers, bike rides, hikes, long phone chats are also easy, with a bit of planning.

As I sit and reflect, I am grateful and happy with my dear friends. Those friends I met in elementary, middle and high school, in an exercise class, at a nail salon, waiting for a table at a restaurant, sitting in the lounge area at an airport, or on an online site of like-minded adventure seekers. Those who meet up for dinners, activities, and trips. Life is so much better and easy with friends.

And when they do, watch out! Life gets better!



Yo-yo climate conditions

Sunny one day, humid the next, rainy after that….hmm is Mother Nature telling us something? The yo-yo conditions are challenging my #Camino2020 training plans. No matter. I’m flexible.

Excited for Spring, and lured out on a sunny day, I cleaned off my bicycle and hiking boots, planning on alternating the training. I walked for a couple of days outside on the Katy Trail, then was forced into adding in more treadmill time (my Winter ritual) as I watched the clouds open up like a cracked egg and drench the ground, even flooding in some areas nearby. Goals and good books keep me on track.

No matter. I’m flexible. “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

“The sun will come out tomorrow”…. “so make hay while the sun shines.” And on and on.

How do you modify your mind-fitness days?

Have FUN every day! 🎈



Genealog​​y jaunt results

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, (http://www.alohadenise.com/2019/03/31/best-living-gifts/) Mark and I drove with cousins Hillard and Mary to Kansas City to meet his sisters, Linda and Ellie, and their 99-year old mom, Beverly. This trip began as Mark’s genealogy quest to find family members on Ancestry.com two years ago.

One of my mantras: “People are faces until they are friends” played out in living color. The meeting of new cousins was smooth and awash with love immediately. The swift introductions, necessary mostly to the kids & grandkids, were easy thanks to perusing their photos on Facebook. The conversations were lively, thorough, and enlightening. We are a bigger family now.

Mark and his 99-year old Aunt Beverly

We saw well-preserved sepia photos of great-grandparents, parents, and babies, went through wedding albums, and Skyped with four (4) cousins (in St. Louis, Northern California, Honolulu, and Dallas) on the 99″ Apple TV.

Kansas City is a wonderful city and I’m delighted to have seen its highlights. We toured the Truman Presidential Library & Museum, enjoyed a private, docent-led tour of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, saw the athletic stadiums, went up to the World War I memorial, stood at the highest point overlooking Kansas City, and drove on both sides of State Line Road.

Truman Presidential Library
“Yoga in the City” at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Hillard points out the stadiums and other key points of interest
World War I Monument and Museum, Kansas City
Cousins at the highest point in KC

The adventures continue. I publicly acknowledge and thank our friend Kym for inspiring us to take this genealogy jaunt, and my Mark for his unending curiosity.



Training has begun

Call it “The Way” or a pilgrimage, or a path, or a journey. My training officially begins today, one year out, for my five-hundred-mile trek along the famous roads leading to the Cathedral that culminates the Camino de Santiago. I will stand on the stone in front of the Cathedral, as I did in 1982, when I was a college student in Santiago de Compostela, with new life experiences under my proverbial pilgrim’s belt.

My year-long training includes:

Watching the independent film, “The Way,” with Martin Sheen✔️

Physical training, including biking, walking, yoga, weight-lifting (ongoing)

Mental training: reading books, blogs, and other printed texts on the experience (ongoing)

books I’ve bought & read

Purchasing: equipment, clothing, boots, etc. (all not complete yet)

I did purchase this credential to carry along the way to be stamped by each host

Vision board entry: walk the Camino de Santiago in April 2020 w/ Allison and meet Mark Schnitzer at the end, to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary ✔️

my Camino de Santiago shell for motivation and accountability

As I learned in high school, “you get out of it what you put into it.” My “it” is this life-enriching journey…starting today.



This is my journal for notes & inspirations along the way (pun intended)

Best living gifts

If anyone had told me gifts are alive, I would raise my right eyebrow… thinking only of puppies, kittens or ponies. But over the past forty-eight hours, I believe in the miracle and gifts of family.

My HH has explored his ancestry for the past two years, and this weekend we met one of his cousins, Hillard, and his wife Mary; and we drove together to Kansas City to meet Hillard’s 99-year old mom, Beverly, and Hillard’s sister Linda, her sweetie Mike, and sister Ellie.

Linda met and welcomed us into her gorgeous home with warm embraces and fabulous food. She introduced us to her children and grandchildren.

We sat around tables, sofas, and the floor telling stories, sharing photos, identifying events, and smiling at nicknames, outfits, hairdos, and travel destinations. More details and photos forthcoming. My heart is full of love and gratitude for family, technology, and openness.



Old and valuable photos that reveal lives well lived

More changes coming

When everything goes the same, we stay the same. When things are shaken up a bit, we change. I’m speaking to the latter today. To put the kibosh on mediocrity, we must change to realize our prosperity and abundance. There is so much good in change. Think Marie Kondo meets Kansas/Emerald City Dorothy.

New job for my HH: his new office is 5 minutes from our home. He is happy and productive and making a bigger contribution to the community.

New home for us: We will transition to our new home in the coming months. This one is more ‘house’ like, airier, brighter, more charming, quieter, and more prosperous. I forsee more creativity coming from thre too.

New season for all: Spring has begun and the green leaves of flowers are popping up all over our city. The Katy Trail is clear and dry so walking and cycling have begun for me too. I hear there is imminent construction for the Trail, so I will ‘hide and wait’ to see its positive impact.

Change is growth. Embrace it and good will come.