Friday, January 30, 2009

Imagination Vacation...

Recently our newspapers have been offering a long weekend get~a~way, Friday through Monday, to Tahiti. Every time I read the ad it makes me start staring off into space, imagining the sights, sounds and smells of a tropical island...

...oh wouldn't a holiday be nice? ... if your like me and can't be skipping off to islands in the sun , you can take a little Imagination Vacation... we go, look at that! two chaise lounges at the fresh water lava pool! what would you like to drink? should we order an Iced Tea or maybe a Mai Tai?

...if you like we can wander a bit and see the lovely surprises this island has to offer, can you see this tiny feathered friend, should we get a guide book to identify him? naaaa...he's pretty..that's good enough...

...maybe it would be fun to take a boat ride, get a different perspective..if you get too hot you can jump in the ocean...

...the waves are breaking, they sound like thunder. Let's get a little closer...

...there we go. Can you hear it now? did I say thunder?what I meant to say is, more like a locomotive...

...ah, i think it's time to leave the surfing for another time and head back for a bite to eat! there is the Fale where lunch is served...

...and here is another Fale, with a family of children having their own lunch, Talofa children! I wonder where are their Matua?

... the sun is setting on the South Pacific...the sounds of the night are not far behind...

....listen! it's a Fia Fia! for this you will need a lava lava, wrap it on just like this and dance your cares away... one more Mai Tai please?
...I've got to get back now. Here's the road, the only road that will take me back to the airport. Are you coming? OH, right, I hear you... it's your Imagination Vacation, you can stay as long as you like!

fa'afetai, tofa

alofa, Lori

p.s. We were in the village of Salamumu
on the Island of Upolu
in Western (Independant) Samoa

fale ~ house
talofa ~ hello
matua ~ elders
fa'afetai ~ thank you
tofa ~ goodbye
alofa ~ LOVE

xxx :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Interview By Karen

After agreeing to be interviewed by Karen at the completely charming Border Town Notes, she sent me a selection of questions to answer. The rules are to choose five and then let her know when I've posted so she can link to me. So...getting right to it...

1. What is the nicest thing anybody's ever done for you?

This is the hardest question by far for me. I thought about the answer for a long time, probably too long and my list of nice things was threatening to become this whole post. So...i choose this as the one.

One of the nicest things anybody's ever done for me was done by my Mother~ In~ Law and Father ~In ~Law. They love me like a parent loves a child. Without condition, judgement or reserve. Here I was, a newly separated mother of five with a huge mortgage, a villa villakula house (no monkeys or horses, just 20 or so neighbor kids and all their pets on our porch), an ex who was still in the picture and i was a bit older than their lovely son. A Single, without children or baggage, son. He wanted me to meet them. He insisted they would love me...since he did, he reasoned. I thought not the same thoughts. I was mortified. I thought they would faint and shoo me away, out the backdoor even.

But they didn't. And they did, love me. And not just me, but my kids too. They either didn't care about all that i came with or they chose to look the other way. I'll never be able to show them how that made me feel. How it still makes me feel. And are you wondering what the above picture is about? Not only are they incredibly loving but generous as well. A year after we'd met, my M.I.L. was wishing she could go to Paris, but, alas, she wouldn't dream of going alone. This was our dinner conversation one evening. My F.I.L. turned to me and said "Darling, if you'll go with her I'll send you too." Yes, he did say that. My daughter who was 10 at the time cried "Oh, I want to go too!" so, he said Okay, I'll send you too. Then..... my own Mother (who was already friends with M.I.L. said, "Me too!" . So... no, he didn't,but I did (bring my Mother.)

On the afternoon we were to leave for the airport, everyone arrived at my house. I was kissing the other kids, be home soon!, when Chuck pulled me aside and said we need to say goodbye now. I said no, when we get to the airport. He was supposed to be taking us. He said no, i won't. He pointed out the window...look... and parked in front of our house was a limousine, waiting for us. My F.I.L. wanted to surprise us. Well, it was. But a limo? goodness! My husband said, just enjoy, it's only this once. And it was true. None of us are limo taking people, what i mean is we definitely wouldn't ever choose to do this. But Hannah was thrilled! All the neighbor kids were jumping up and down and peeking inside. Hannah tells me to this day she felt like Cinderella. The driver opened the door for her and then told her if she had a favorite movie she'd like to bring he would play it for her on the drive down. ALL her friends ran shrieking into the house, grabbed The Lion King and back out again and then all the way down the street after us as we drove away.

So that's why they deserve this, from me and my kids. For all the Love.

2. If you could turn back the clock, change one thing, what would it be?

This. Right. Here.

This is my ankle after being punctured almost all the way through by a stingray. Oh, it's a long story, but suffice it to say, I would like to have my old ankle back. The stingray that I blindly stepped on (my own fault!) whipped it's tail into my foot and just nearly exited the other side. There is nerve and tendon damage , its permanent and all. I've tried physical therapy, acupuncture, energy healing, magic on me, I should've done the "stingray shuffle" like we were taught as children. It hurt like hell and its hurt everyday since. So, yes, this would be the one thing.

3. would you like to share a profound or life changing event that's happened to you?

Without any doubt the chance to be in the presence of

His Holiness The Dalai Lama.

Not once but two times, I had the opportunity to listen to him speak, the first time in Hollywood and another in Germany. I'm sorry I can't figure out how to link to my own posts, but if you are interested in reading about it, its called A Different Anniversary.

4. What's your favorite inspirational saying?
...there are so many...But if you came to my house, you would see this painted in my teeny little meditation room, so i guess it is one of my favorites. (yes, i painted it). It is by

Antoine de Saint ~ Exupery.

"It is only with the Heart that one can see Rightly; what is essential is invisible to the Eye"

~The Little Prince~

5. Which websites to you visit everyday without fail? and why? (excluding blogs!)

Everyday, without fail, I definitely go to :

everyday i click to give on the pink button. 100% of sponsor money goes to charity.When you click you help provide mammograms to underprivileged women. My Mother and Sister are Breast Cancer Survivors. They are the most inspiring, strong and beautiful women I know. And so is a special F.B.

next, almost everyday, is my favorite :

if you've never been here you are in for a big treat. It's
"Free Yoga Delivered Daily" from the gorgeous Jackson, Wyoming. Everyday is a new class that is set outside, so it's always fresh. Last August or September they even started a blog. It's a great website so if you've got decent Internet speed(the classes can take a little time to load) you might want to check it out!

...and just one more, ...

is a great place to
"Nurture Mind, Body and Spirit"
you can register to have The Daily Om sent to your mailbox

...thank you Karen for the great questions, it's been my pleasure to answer them, it was fun for me to go back and remember! except for my
stingray ankle :( ...

let's forget about that :)

xxx Lori

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Incoming storm

The newspaper predictions were right on. We got the rain that was forecast for Wednesday. The smell was in the air long before the first drop fell to the ground. I had to laugh, I wondered for a second, when I wished for rain did I forget to mention that it was for Africa? oops.
For me it never gets old talking about the weather. I have tide charts, lunar phases & The weather channel all programmed into my phone. The state of the weather plays a big part in all that we do. Farmers have to pay close attention, their lives depend on it. Or at least their crops which is money, which can be the same thing. Yes, its a good thing to know before you set sail out to sea, plan a full moon hike , throw an outdoor get~together, or climb a mountain..the weather is a part of it.
Sometimes in planning a trip, the weather is considered as much as the location. I don't know many who would want to go to Death Valley, California in July, one of the hottest places on earth. Temps reach 120 F regularly and there was even a record of 134 F (57 C) in 1913. But sometimes you just have to take your chances. Especially when planning mountain climbing adventures.

Mt.Meru in the foreground and Kilimanjaro behind, from a Kenya Airways flight headed for Nairobi.(taken by me, errm, a few years ago?)

My husband returned Saturday from East Africa. He told me what it was like to stand on top of the roof of Africa, and in the best possible of all situations. And the thing we hoped for the most, happened... the weather was his friend. It may sound crazy to some but it was my first question to him after I heard that he'd made it home safe and sound. I wanted to know how was the weather? He said that the porter's told him the group that had gone up the week before had to turn back, because of bad weather. They also told him that another group they had guided up made it to the top but couldn't see anything... the weather. They even told of some that were blown off the mountain, with strong winds. So, you can see why it was so important for me to know. He had gone such a long way, prepared not only for the trip but for the leaving (being an editor,writer, deadlines and all).
So, he was blessed with good fortune, the trip was a success on every level. He climbed Mt. Meru in 2 and a half days then Mt. Kilimanjaro in four. Hiking through Arusha National Park on the way up he saw Buffalo and Bushbuck, Warthogs and Colubus Monkeys, a Crowned Eagle, Chameleons and GIRAFFES! He stood on each peak and watched the sunrise over all of Africa and in his words it was Epic. Cover your eyes if you don't like sentimentality, He said he was so moved it brought tears to his eyes. Mostly because I wasn't there to share it with him, he said. Ok, you can uncover now :)
...these followed him me!
Thank you weather gods.

xxx Lori

oh. um. gratuitous photo. here it is, my photo which was published in the travel section of The Los Angeles Times last Sunday! I had something of my own to share when Mr. Adventure got back home ;) . And yes, he was moved...
xxx, again, Lori
p. s. the top photo was untouched, unfiddled with, that was the sunset tonite! Bless weather heh?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Future

His Holiness The Dalai Lama and President Elect Barack Obama,

Compassion & Hope,

Our Future.

Life has been an emotional roller coaster, the ups outnumbering the downs 10 to 1 or something close to that. What I'm trying to say is, Life's good. We Americans, actually, we, the Citizens of the World are about to welcome a new President. I know one man can't do everything, but it has to begin somewhere. Each of us doing our part. I won't talk about politics, there are many people out there that do already. So, I'll just say that I am proud to be an American today and so grateful that I am here to see it all happen,

history in the making.

So... the roller husband arrived back home safely (UP), my daughter received her first acceptance letter from University (UP), I had my first picture published on Sunday in a National newspaper, The Los Angeles Times (UP) I was honored to receive b.o.n. (UP) and quickly became overwhelmed at the exposure (DOWN) but then everyone was SO nice (UP) and that made me really happy (UP,UP). Although it's still overwhelming, I am trying to come to this blog with the same intention that I always have. I want to be positive. I want to show Love. And I hope that my pictures will show beauty. Now if I could stop thinking of all those little tiny smiling faces under that follow thing. When I said in my profile I was a loner, what I really meant is I am a quietsitinthefarbackuncomfortablewithattentionkindofperson. Well, maybe I'm changing, it is in the air...
Mr. President

xxx lori

Friday, January 16, 2009

January 15, 2009

Oh my.

I didn't get to my email until well into noon yesterday. After logging on I discovered 3, 4, or 5 times as much mail as I usually get. My first thought was there was an awful lot of commenting going on while I slept, since most of my friends are half way around the globe. But then I began to open the letters. One after the other turned out to be for me. Lovely people I'd never heard of before. Congratulating me on being Blog of Note. Well, my second thought was there must be some kind of error. Sometimes the Internet is good at playing tricks on me.

I didn't mess up. It wasn't a misunderstanding. My blog was chosen to be the Blog of Note. Oh. My. I stared at the computer. Then I shut it off. I thought to myself, time for a run, burn off some of this Excitement. But I got as far as the end of the driveway, when I turned around and came right back here. I logged on to Blogger. And there it was, my name, my blog name. Well, I can tell you I stared at that screen on and off for most of the day. I also took about 10 pictures of it.

I want to say that I don't really know what I'm doing here. Just what comes naturally to me, taking photos, writing a little, loving it all... alot. I don't know who decided it was me that should have this honor, but I want to Thank You. It is a great feeling. Validating. A little overwhelming. A lot overwhelming. Blogging isn't for everyone, I've found that out already. But for those of us who've taken the chance and share our selves here in this format, know the rewards it brings. The prize is all of you. My friends . The ones who I already love, who share so much with me, and the ones I can't wait to get to know. And one more thing I didn't think would happen... the gift of getting to know myself better. And the more I learn the more I know, We are all connected.

Thank you,

Love, Lori

p.s. Karen, i'm on that interview...soon as I make it through the mails, and another run :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Clearing Run

If you don't mind seeing more beach photos, then please come along with me on my morning run! the beach pictures I've posted before are about a mile north of here. This is officially "our" beach, the one my kids grew up on, the one my husband and myself have both worked on, and my husband still lifeguards on in the summer months...

Oh, and we met on this beach, right up there, where you see the trees. And our first date was here too, we went kayaking. And we were married at a house on this beach. husband grew up in a house on this beach. So, that is really actually alot of things that happened right here. Now that i think of it, many many moments in our lives, happened right here. Including running... so let's go! (or walk if you like, I am more than happy to do that too!)

Oh, ok, here is another thing. My kids all play volleyball here, on these courts. The very bold western seagulls are occupying the space right now. It's a quiet morning, not many people out, just you, me and the gulls...

We'll do a 6 mile out and back, it won't feel like it at all, because there is so much to see, it'll be fun. Really. Really...

We will be running through the Carpinteria Bluffs, an incredibly beautiful treasure in our town. Here is some information that you may be interested in:" In September of 1998, the City Council of Carpinteria adopted a resolution conceptually supporting public ownership and management of the Carpinteria Bluffs with the intent "to preserve the property's value as scenic, natural open space; to protect and enhance existing Bluff Habitats; to provide for the restoration and expansion of native plant communities; and to provide the community the opportunity for passive and active recreation." The Council agreed that acceptance of public stewardship of this property would include the establishment of an on-going endowment fund. We know Carpinteria citizens clearly value their open space and parkland". I like whoever wrote this! our children and their children and on and on forever can enjoy the beauty of the last of the wild open spaces here on the California coast. If you squint you can just make out Santa Cruz Island in the distance. Wouldn't it be nice to sit right here with a cuppa hot coffee,chai or tea, mmmmm...but! not yet! we're not done, we've got a way's to go... let's keep going.. :)

can you smell the ocean air? it's already warm out at 7 a.m. Here the trail comes right next to the cliff, don't get too close to the edge, it's a long way down.

...along the way, you might see some educational signs, full of information and photos. We have a LOT of tourists in our town, so it's important to have these. I am also partial to them because, if you squint again, you can see my husbands name on it. He is the photographer and writer of these brilliant signs. Thank you honey, good job!

...we are in luck! we get a little rest in our run/walk. Here is the Carpinteria harbor seal rookery. The rookery includes a haul-out area where the females bear their pups. During the pupping season, volunteers watch on site to protect the newborns from human disturbance and to educate onlookers about the federally protected seals. The rookery at the Bluffs is significant in that it is one of only four along the Southern California coast and is the only one accessible to the public. Let's stop and watch for a bit. they are, the California Harbor Seals, I don't think they've begun to pup yet. In the spring you will begin to see the little ones... so cute!

...along the way there are a few turnouts for the beach. But the tide is too high for us to go very far, so we'll stay up on the Bluffs this morning...

....isn't this worth getting up out of a warm cozy bed for? It's this very picture I keep in my head to sometimes motivate(bribe) my oh so lazy self...

...we're past the halfway mark now, heading back. I ran into friends and forgot to photograph the south end of the bluffs. Next time :) In the above photo you can see just a little of the campsites. There are facilities for tents and campervans. The campgrounds are usually full year around. It's hard doing this run in the mornings or evenings because the campers are always cooking delicious things and the smells waft on the breeze...

...well, we did it...back where we started. I thought about stripping off my running shorts and tee and jumping in the ocean like these brave camper kids. But I changed my mind when I dipped my toes in. It is shockingly cold. I have a better idea, how about a hot tub instead? ahhh...
xxx lori

Friday, January 9, 2009

Dinner for One

Well, I have nothing particularly earth shattering to report to my dear mountain climbing husband, should he try to make a call this weekend, and that's always a good thing when your away, out of the country! case I do hear from him, I am prepared to fill him in on the latest...

A family of racoon's have recently moved in underneath our house (again!), Erik (my middle son) bought his ticket to Bali and Hannah's been filling out her college applications and oh, she had her lip pierced.

I can deal with the raccoons, you just have to throw hand fulls of moth balls under the house to drive them out. I think its the camphor they dislike. I don't like to do it to them, but if you don't they can take up permanent residence. Then it will only be a couple more days of Country Club Raccoon, where the golfing, tennis and racquet balling under my house all through the night, will stop.I wonder what it is they do that makes SO MUCH NOISE. It would be comical, if i weren't kept awake, night after night! It'll be welcoming news about Erik, it's been a dream of his, brewing for awhile, he's wanted to move there and surf, do a little exploring. Just to take a break before he finishes school. But Hannah. Oh Lord. Do I tell him now (if he should call) or wait till he comes home and see's it for himself??!

I'd so rather deal with the raccoons...

xxx lori

Sunday, January 4, 2009


My alarm is set for 3:30 a.m. that'll give me just enough time to make some coffee and get myself together, which means a warm pair of sweatpants and sweatshirt. I'm driving to Los Angeles International Airport, LAX, in the morning. I'll be taking my husband, his flight is too early for the shuttle and it's almost 2 hours away. I'm glad to do it, after all I'm going to miss him... he'll be gone a few weeks. To East Africa.

Yes, it's true . Many emotions are running through me at the moment. Happy, sad, jealous, mad. Happy that this opportunity came up for him, sad I can't go, jealous...well, I'm only human. And mad at myself for not being able to get back to the level of fitness that things like this require, And not sure even if I ever will...

He's going to climb mountains this time. Mt. Meru and Kilimanjaro. It's for work (get the photos) and to satisfy a longing that was not fulfilled the first time around when he met this mountain over 15 years ago. He told me that when he went up Kili he was so anxious and excited to reach the top that he did so in the dark. It was so cold that waiting for the requisite sunrise didn't happen because he and his poor porter (required) were in danger of freezing. So they descended in the dark. And he's always wanted to go back, to see the summit. To see the glacier before it's completely gone.

So.. if you see this man in Moshi in the next 2-3 weeks, please say hi, it will be my best friend, my husband. he is, Chuck, i am going to miss him. Alot :(

xxx lori

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Welcoming the New Year

2009 is starting out in the best possible way, already abundant with blessings, little and big. I tried to post the pictures we took on New Years Eve, but they are on my phone and I've not yet figured out how to get them to go from there to my computer. We went to the restaurant that my son works at which was great for me since he was our waiter. He was a little stressed, it was a busy night, but at least he didn't have to worry about us! Everyone had on party hats and horns, the kind that unfurl when you toot them. We ordered champagne and had a lovely bucket beside our table. Everyone was in such a festive mood it was more like a party than a dinner, people wandering around. Our table was at the window and people we knew kept walking by, seeing us, and then they'd pop in. Before too long the restaurant was at capacity. We celebrated the "New York" New Years, watching the ball drop in Times Square at 9 p.m. California time, midnight on the east coast. We kissed and clinked our glasses with everyone around us(not the kissing, just the clinking...cheers!) and then finished off our bottle and headed home, in bed well before our midnight. The plan was to wake early and run up Romero Trail...but i think i might have had a little too much of the bubbly and slept instead. Waking to a note that read "waited for awhile, didn't want to wake you." And he was gone. Not feeling like driving up the mountain, instead, I pulled on my running shoes and walked to the beach. To clear my head and welcome the new year at my favorite place.

if there's some truth to the fact that what you do on the first day of the year could set the pace for the rest of it too, I always try to get to the ocean. It was cold and foggy, which meant that I was all alone, save for one lone fisherman. We waved and smiled at each other and then went back to enjoying our solitude.

a parade of brown pelicans flew by, it kind of looked like they were waving too...

i walked as far as I could, the tide was too high to go all the way around the rocks. All the while thinking about the exciting things to look forward to this year. Babies! Weddings! Trips! All the goals my kids have set...a dream of a crafting project come true for me...
I thought about my intentions and what I hoped for for the coming many things...wasting less, giving more, being creative, spreading joy, and this, so much more wondrous than achieving a goal... relishing the ride.
xxx Lori