Friday, December 16, 2011

Viva Las Vegas

It's all about the destination. 

We've all heard the quote "It's the journey, not the destination"  (or something like that).  In this case, it's about the destination.  The goal.  The journey is part of it.  Come on, I went to Athens, Greece to do a marathon!!!!

I receive an e-mail from my girlfriend whom I ran the marathon in Greece with.  Want to do a race??  Well, yes.  It's not about the race.  It's about WHERE the race is - WHERE the journey will take us - the DESTINATION.

Let's go to Vegas.  December.  Run the Strip at Night - the race starts at 5:30pm.  Yes, let's go.  Wait, I thought they said "Run and Strip", not "Run the Strip".  How cool will that be????  

I haven't trained, I'm broke (financially not physically), it's the holidays, it's my oldest sons birthday coming up - I REALLY shouldn't go.  And if you've been following my story or my life.  You know the ending. 

A good friend of mine was visiting over the Thanksgiving holiday.  A week before the race.  I've known this friend for 20 years.  And he tells the story of many years ago when I showed up at his parents house.  And his mom made them take me out with the group.  And I said, "sure, I'll go".  And the guys laugh - of course, they didn't want me to "tag along", but me, well, being the girl I've always been, goes along......  Oh, "she's pretty cool, she participates and doesn't really care that we are acting like fools".  Then 4 or 5 years ago, I show up again.  I haven't seen these guys in 15 years.  And most people play this 'what have you been doing game'.  No, she just shows up and asks where we are going and tells us she's coming too.  She doesn't need anything from us.  Just wants to go have fun with the people whom are having fun.

A little back-story there to explain part of my personality.  If you invite me, I show up.  Don't ask me just to be polite, because I WILL say yes.   Just ask our friends from Hawaii....

Of course, I went to Vegas.   I'm going to Vegas, if you come or not.  Okay, well I'm going.  Let's see how this goes.

I check into my flight on Friday night (not leaving until Saturday).  I was upgraded to First Class.  Maybe I was meant to go.  I've been a Premier Member on United all year - free bags, free upgrades.  In all my travels this year, yes, I was business class, but never first class.  My last trip of the year, and I receive the upgrade.

The race is Sunday night.  Cheap Trick the band, plays before the race.  ("I thought they said "RUM", that was a "cheap trick")  Although a race not starting until 5:30 pm leaves MANY HOURS during the day in Vegas.  Yes, we had cocktails.  (at noon???)

It was COLD, it was OVERSOLD, it was DISORGANIZED and it was INCREDIBLE.  Not because of the event company (in fact, I can honestly say, I won't do another "Rock N' Roll Marathon series" event. My third of their events, and the same thing EVERY TIME).

It was INCREDIBLE because, it was the Vegas Strip at Night.  45,000 participants.  10's of thousands of spectators.   The Strip was blocked off.  The crowd carried you the whole way.  If I can run 13.1 miles, off the couch (no training), and run 12 minute miles. - anyone can.  

There was no heat to fight.  Just crowds, bad water and a few Elvis'.  Oh, and the bride and grooms.  You could get married at mile marker TWO.  It was fun to see people running in their "just married shirts".

Another half-marathon?  ABSOLUTELY  Run the strip again?  NOPE  Checked it off the list.  On the fence if I would tell someone else to do it.  Great experience, not a great organizer.  Maybe there is a non-profit/charity out there whom can pull off something smaller on the strip.  It would still be worth doing.

Where is the destination upon which I will next journey?????  I have a feeling something big is coming soon........

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What did you pray for?

I'm not a religious woman, I'm a spiritual woman.  I don't know a lot about Christianity, but I consider myself a Christian. 

And TODAY, for the first time, I felt Christianity was abused.  All religions are abused.  For heaven's sake, why do you think we are at war?

I'm SICK of Tim Tebow and the arguments to follow.  He is a good leader.  Period.  He is use to winning.  And somehow, he has a team, a city and a nation behind him.

HOWEVER,  I was always taught it was wrong to pray for something we wanted.  Isn't that selfish?  Isn't that greed? Does the word "covet" sound familiar?

Last week, Tim Tebow tossed a passed (sorry, we know he can't throw) and we won the game - he knelt down.  What was he saying thank you for?  AND, why was it televised?  What if:

  • he was praying to Allah?
  • sending thanks to Buddha?
I'm sure there are great players out there, thanking God, Allah, Buddha, heck probably even thanking their mom.  What the sudden interest?

A connection between someone and their God is very personal.  I was taught it was wrong to ask for something personal. So, when Tim Tebow said "Thank you".  What do you think he was thankful for??

The completion of a pass?
Winning the game?
Playing to the best of his ability?

Unless it was the last thing, we will never know.  Actually, we will never know any of it.  In fact, what does it matter.  That is Tim's decision to make.   And we are not here to judge.

I do have to say THANK  YOU - for standing up and saying out loud what and whom you believe in.  It's a cruel world out there, and we should all be proud we live in a country where you can stand and tell the rest of the world how you believe.

Just don't want me to jump on the band-wagon to support you.  Yes, you Mr. Tebow.  I will support you.  You play for "several" of my teams.  And if, your beliefs help others, yes, that is great.  In this instance though, I was here to watch some football.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The TOP 10 Things you won't ever hear me say....

We've all read those lists  "Top 10 things you won't hear a "redneck', 'southerner', 'northerner' say".  I think we should all have lists like that.  In fact, I think it should be a prerequisite in life to have one.  Then no chance of offending someone.  They won't ask you to do something that's not on your list.

SO, here goes:

"The Top 10 Things you won't hear Leasa say":

  • Let's go to the mall, instead of on a bike ride
  • I was thinking of not going anywhere this year.
  • I'm sorry, I can't do that
  • Oh, that race is too far
  • You've poured me too much wine
  • I want to start another remodeling project in my house
  • I'll never finish that book
  • My career comes first
  • He's WAY too old/young for me

And the number ONE thing you won't hear me say
  • I haven't watched enough hockey this weekend.
What's on your list?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spreading the love

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Especially, if you have ever met me or Carolyn TOGETHER - especially, if you have met us in Vail, CO. :-)

Truth be told, you would be proud to have us as friends.  The scary part of having us as friends, well, is the fact, that well, we DON'T go away.  Good thing/bad thing.  Glad you had you the experience/Not sure you want the daily reminder.  We aren't THAT bad.  We aren't DAILY reminders.  We just pop up when you least expect it.

We SO were the FB of our times - only we thought WE had to keep in touch with everyone.  And not all the time (there is NO time for THAT).  Not some computer program.  MUCH, much easier now.  Just an "update" here and there

Really, we didn't think we were going to stalk you.  It goes back to collecting.  We weren't collecting seashells, we were collecting people.

Any why not?  The more people in the world whom make the world a better place.......Why wouldn't we want to be friends with them.  Or more importantly, why wouldn't they want to be friends with us??

You may think it was a casual encounter.  And you may continue to think, "it was really nice to meet them".  But then somehow you look into our blue eyes.  You have just checked into the Hotel California.  There is no going back.

Backstory:     Carolyn got divorced in 2001. Her divorce was final on THE 9 11.  It puts it all into perspective.  (I'm talking the divorce, not this story).

And you REALLY shouldn't be jealous when your best friend (shouldn't that be in capitals like a title:  Best Friend) gets divorced.  Sorry for the ADD there.

I moved out of my house (the house with the husband and kids) in Jan 2002.

Carolyn met a wonderful guy in 2004.  That's another story.

The POINT OF THE STORY is:  from Jan 2002 - Spring 2004.   Those are what we refer to as "THE FOUND YEARS".

Not the "Lost years", but those we found.  While looking for ourselves out there......

Somehow, and I remember how, but it was random (imagine that!) we ended up in Vail for the weekend.  Superbowl weekend 2003???  must have been.  We had only been to Vail to ski one other time.  We had never stayed and never gone out.  Wait a minute, we had gone out, but not in Vail.

We are in Vail and we are standing outside of a restaurant and we hear live music.  (Note to others:  We ALWAYS stop for good live music).  We should go in.

And that's a whole other story.  A good one at that.

Fast forward:  October 2011

What, 8 years later?  We text 2 of the people we met that weekend.  "On our way to Vail.  Drinking Mojita's and remembering the good times"

We got two texts back.

Thanks for making us smile.  You are welcome for your smile (And to the general public, yes we kept in touch, well, for a while).

And it was all good.  Then you need to send the one final e-mail.  The one to find out about the one who got away.....  "Whatever happened to Fisher?"   "Haven't heard from him in a LONG time, but I had a Dr pepper/diet coke mix today and thought of you.  And yes, the Diet Coke was on top".

So here we are - Eight YEARS later.  Still spreading the love.  And all we wanted to do was, well, be the FUN PEOPLE.


As a recruiter (AKA a stalker) for a living - we found Fisher.  He got married last year.  And truly, my very first thought was "should we send him a wedding present??"

I e-mailed Carolyn.  And her first response was "Did you send him something??"

"Could you imagine the look on his face?"

And we wish him the best.  And we don't want anything.  Anything other than him to know:  We were thinking of him.  WOW!!!!

How great would that be if everyone we cared about knew.  Just for a moment.  We were thinking of them.....

Spreading the love......

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Unbeknownst to me, there are different definitions of volunteers. 

When we say the word "Volunteer" - we, or at least me, think of people contributing something (time, money, etc) to a cause.  Any cause, a thing one believes in.  Political, schools, kids, cancer - you name it and there are incredible people out there whom help others.

There is also another definition of the word. 

And until a few years ago I had never heard the word used in this text.  Volunteer - something that grows unexpectedly.

This year, I discovered volunteers.  And the best type of volunteers at that!  In my back yard, I have TWO blooming tomato plants. 

We didn't plant plants this year.  There is nothing growing in the garden but weeds and grass.  And oh yeah, two tomato plants.

In general, don't volunteers make other people happy.  And aren't the best things in life - well, not things???? 

Cherry tomatoes - free tomatoes, unexpected pleasure in life that surprises you at your own door-step - without even asking for it.  THAT would be a volunteer.  And once again, life delivers you something when you least expect it.  This is the universe telling you to go look.

After all, there are only two things money can't buy........

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mork calling Orson

About to show my age here.  "Mork calling Orson, come in Orson".  Still not sure why I remember this series - unless it was foreshadowing in my life.  I'm not a big "TV person" - usually light years behind in what is popular.  In fact, whole seasons, and series can go by, and I catch up YEARS later.  (Please don't tell anyone I have never seen an episode of "The Office" or "Housewives from where ever". :-) 

Mork and Mindy.  Circa - what, 75?  I have no idea.  All I remember is Mork was from Ork.  Pam someone played Mindy and he lived in the attic in Boulder, Colorado.  AND, Saturday, September 17, 2011 I stood in front of the house. 

The first time I went to Boulder, I remember asking, "hey, is the Mork and Mindy house around here". While I'm not a big "star searcher", love it when you can be silly in life.  (After all, I have seen the LARGEST BALL OF YARN......) 

Saturday, I'm in Boulder with a friend whom has never been to Boulder.  We are talking about the "Mork & Mindy" house.  Previously this has been a pipe dream - or a "I know it's somewhere here in Boulder, this is the older section, but ok, let's find it next time kind of dream". 

It's all changed now.  We have Internet on our phones.  Let's google "Mork & Mindy address".  1619 Pearl Street.  We are standing between 16th and 17th on Spruce Street.  One street over..... 

On Spruce Street, before the "Oh, we need to go by the Mork & Mindy house moment" - we were standing in front of a used bookstore.  "Catcher in the Rye" was on the sale stand outside.   So,you are telling me "we have a chance"........

Yes.  Is the answer to all your questions.  Poor lady whom still lives in the house.

Yes, we went to the house.  The house that still looks the same, only I don't quite remember what it looked like.  If I had to picture it, yes, this was the house.

Yes, I finished Catcher in the Rye.  - and if I didn't tell the story, please remind me too - it's a good story  (both Catcher in the Rye and the story I have to tell about the book that took me ten years to read).

Yes, sometimes you go to Hawaii.  Sometimes Hawaii comes to you.  Sometimes, you better be careful what you wish for..... it just might come true.

This is Mork signing off.  Good-night Orson.  Good-night Mork.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday's are the worst

Several years ago I read a book about "recovering from a loss" - (I think that was the name) and it was an easy read and bullet points. One of the bullet points said: "Sunday's are the worst". That quote stuck in my head.

Sunday evenings are about routine. Getting ready for the week. Rituals. Wrapping up the weekend. When your routine changes and things are different, you get used to everything during the week, but Sunday's are the hardest to change.

And really, I love Sunday evenings - the house quiets down early, it's usually clean for a few hours, the laundry is done and put away. Ready for the week to begin.

One exception. And it's without fail.

When friends/family come to visit, Sunday's are the day they normally leave. A nice weekend visit - Wednesday to Sunday or Thursday to Sunday. Sometimes Monday afternoons, but like I said, Sunday evening.

And the drive home from the airport is ALWAYS the same. Quiet in the car. And I can't even call anyone - just spend the time listening to music having happy thoughts about glorious weekends. And then, I'm sad. Sad the weekend is over. Sad the person is leaving. And I'm not ever sad. I've been here 19 years, and EVERY TIME Carolyn leaves, it's the absolute same feeling. You would think we would be used to it. And it's not just Carolyn, but she's been coming to visit the longest.

So this Sunday evening feels the same distant sadness. The weekend was action packed - from touring Denver, to the Pro Cycle Challenge in Vail, to a hike, a 30 mile bike ride and sitting on the 18th row of the 30 yard line for a Broncos game. Thanks for coming and touring my state. Happy and sad all at the same moment.

This Sunday evening it's okay to just be content. Sunday's aren't the worst - maybe melancholy is a better word. Sunday's are melancholy.

And really, I just need to think: I have to do this again 3 weeks from tonight. When I drop him at the airport again.

Monday, August 22, 2011


People still have weddings. Can you believe it? In this day in age? There are two people out there whom are willing to buck the odds and go for it?

You say you aren't a risk taker? Yes, you are going to not only get married, but have a wedding?? Yes, YOU, are a risk taker. Only we don't think of it that way. We think - "that, is what you are supposed to do". It's not really taking a risk. But, if you look at the odds - sorry, you are better off going to Vegas with $10,000.....

Weddings tell us - I still have hope. I still believe. I still believe, that I am different. And isn't that funny, the rest of our life, we want to be just like everyone else???? See, you are a risk taker.

I attended a wedding this weekend in Nathrop, CO - the back drop to the "collegiate mountains" - Mt Princeton. It's beautiful. No argument there. And in fact, it was an afternoon wedding. A risk in Colorado in the summer. Rain. And yes, it clouded up, and darkened, then sprinkled. Then, just as the ceremony starts, the sun comes out. Sometimes hope is enough.

That is the thing about weddings - it's all about hope. I never thought about it before, but really the wedding has only something to do with the bride and groom. It has TONS to do with parents saying "look what I accomplished" and TONS to do with people wanting to get together.

And truly...... My favorite people I met at the wedding????? And it's almost hard to admit, but anyone who knows me, knows this answer. The mother of the groom and her best friend.

Because truly it's funny, I just told you - I don't believe marriages last against all odds. BUT, the two best girlfriends know - they last. It doesn't matter, and weddings are great and we have all hope and I wish nothing but the best for Sharon and Ross.

However, I KNOW what will last until the end of time. I know Ross's mom will be standing next to her best friend at the moment she needs her. I'm NOT saying Sharon and Ross won't last, I'm just telling you what will.

You know why? Because we never had to, we just wanted too. And it's ok, we got left behind and separated, but we've always known, who'd we pick up in the rain, 2000 miles away.

Really, weddings have EVERYTHING to do with LOVE. EVERYTHING to do with gambling. AND EVERYTHING to do about best friends.

Sometimes in life, we understand, they greet us in a couple of different ways.....

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Chameleons (family Chamaeleonidae) are a distinctive and highly specialized clade of lizards. They are distinguished by their parrot-like zygodactylous feet, their separately mobile and stereoscopic eyes, their very long, highly modified, and rapidly extraditable tongues, their swaying gait, the possession by many of a prehensile tail, crests or horns on their distinctively shaped heads, and the ability of some to change color. Uniquely adapted for climbing and visual hunting, the approximately 160 species of chameleon range from Africa, Madagascar, Spain and Portugal, across south Asia, to Sri Lanka, have been introduced to Hawaii, California and Florida, and are found in warm habitats that vary from rain forest to desert conditions.

Many, many years ago, I was in Houston - for the first time. At my best friends house. For the first time. We had a New Year's Eve party.

The next day, I came downstairs. My hair was in a "french braid". Normally, my hair looks fairly blonde - sometimes, it is straight, sometimes curly, dark, blonde, it's changeable. "Mom" says, "You know, you're like a chamelon" "You never know who is going to come down the stairs. " I've remembered that moment. The chameleon.....


She's in Vail - skiing; She's married; She's pregnant - having a son and a house in Cherry Creek; She's living in Colorado; she's the career woman; she still think she's the insecure girl without much money; she's running a marathon in Greece; she's the hockey mom, she's learning to surf and on and on. You get the idea.

When I am in a moment - I am COMPLETELY there. I don't ever wish I was somewhere else. Right there and then - whatever the moment, I am PRESENT. And I assimilate. Become part of the place, the experience. I fit right in.

And here I am. School starts Thursday, pre-season hockey, blah, blah, blah..... Right back into the swing of things.

It's funny. Last year, after running the marathon, I thought things would look different when I came back. They were the same. It was an experience. I wasn't the same.
Assimilate: "to take in and incorporate as one's own; absorb: He assimilated many new experiences on his European trip."

Assimilate - is that the right word?

I always think of the word really as the opposite. I do absorb, but become part of - transform - and I guess that is where the chameleon comes in. I change to fit the environment.

Did you ever meet someone and you know - that the moment you speak to the person - your life will change forever? I've had that happen twice. And I think I've added a third time.

But, I have to tell you about the second time. (Can't tell you everything at once - you'd quit reading).

SO, SIX years ago, I was skiing in Vail...... I was at at the Red Lion. I was with a girlfriend and we were trying to move away from these annoying guys. We just started talking with these guys at the next table. I hear the story. "this group of us get together every year, blah, blah, blah" Same story, different day. This guy is talking TO me (not with me) and I look over and see this cute guy with the group (the group the guy I am speaking to) . Blue shirt - and WEDDING RING. Dammit. Of course.

I believe in attraction - you are either attracted to someone or you are not. No amount of money, beauty, finesse, etc, will change that. Now, you can become MORE or LESS attracted to someone, but, if it is there, well it's there.

The guy I'm speaking with has to go to the bathroom. And as he leaves, his friend stands up from across the way. Literally, my first thought: "Please, please don't come over here". How can you have a thought like this, well, when you haven't even spoken to someone?"

Let me give you the short version of a very long story: As of today, he lives on the East Coast, he's still married, and has an incredible career. AND, we still keep in touch. Which, truly, I think, is the funniest thing of all. Some people collect seashells, I collect people......

The reason I bring all this up....... He was in town today - Denver. We had lunch. How RANDOM is that?? We were talking work, life, Hawaii, love, children, happiness...... Isn't that what friends do? Keep in touch???

And TRULY - at lunch today, I wouldn't have been anywhere else in the world.

What do you do?

You believe. You assimilate. You be.

I have incredible friends. And I believe it takes hard work. And the chameleon is part of whom I am. She was there today. Giving advice to a Fortune 100 Executive. ....

Have you seen the movie "Au Chocolate"? Jonnny Deep?

Yes, at some moment, we need to shut the window....... Or maybe we don't. Don't let the spirit guide us to the next point. Maybe we are supposed to stay here.... Here - not the next moment. Not , not, not.....

Not transform..... just stay here. Not all Chameleon's change......

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hawaiian Hangover

I knew it would hit. I knew it was going to be a hard hangover, but like any good party, it comes to an end. Then you forget, the hangover hurts. And sometimes, it hurts hard.

Took longer than I thought to hit. In fact, a week. Usually, at least for me personally, the first day back from a vacation isn't so bad. It's day two. And I don't mean, I get back on Saturday, and Monday stinks. It's day two of the normal routine. Meaning Tuesday. Sunday's and Monday's are usually filled getting caught up. One with house stuff, the next with work. Maybe it's just Tuesday's??

The "hangover" started yesterday. It was busy. Work is busy (by the way, THAT is ALWAYS a GOOD thing). Boys were back from their dad's house. Pre-season hockey started. Back to the routine.

I was handling it well. I needed to work out. The day before (Sunday) I participated in a triathlon (*** (someone please remind me to write a story on that experience in my life). I lost my Garmin - but it was turned it to lost and found and is being returned to me. Sorry for the tangent - back to swimming laps....

During the Tri, I remembered I really like swimming. Of course, I think I'm part fish and had been swimming in the ocean all summer... I should go swim. I go to our athletic club and start swimming laps. Swimming laps in a murky pool with tons of people in it. Not sure it helped with the hangover. In fact I think it pushed me further down the drain.

Today, full blown hangover hits. It's a busy day. Orthodontist appointments for the boys at SEVEN AM. Drop off school registration. And work. I made it until about 3 and I needed to swim. Back to the club, back to swim.

In the meantime, the Hawaiian house owners (anyone have a good name for them?) call and say they are back. The house looks great. Thanks for taking such great care of it. Thanks for the gift. And thanks for our house too. I now have tears in my eyes. I really was hanging in there - by a thread.

On the way to the pool, Hawaii calls and asks if I knew how to operate their dryer (BTW, I only used it once - they have a line to dry things) - they couldn't remember, it was new when they left. Wait. You are calling me to ask me how something operates in your house? You mean my other house????

I get to the club.

POOL IS CLOSED. Some kid pooped in the pool and they had the shock the pool. No swimming laps.

Hello real world.

Wait, this isn't a hangover - this is REAL life. And although today, re-entry into the real world seems a bit rough - I have my health, my children, my experiences, a roof over my head...... well, you get the idea. It's perspective. And really, it's not that rough. I'm just having a bit of a hangover from the dream.

This too shall pass. Nothing a Bloody Mary and an Advil couldn't cure. My only fear is this "hangover" may last a little longer than normal.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I was supposed to.....

Not sure to start at the start of this little adventure, or back at the age of 13....

The picture is from the driveway, at my "Hawaiian Hale" the morning of the day we leave. And once again, even back in Denver, I couldn't have written it so perfect.

Really, I lived in Hawaii for a month? I closed a deal - proving to myself that yes, I can work and play all at once. (All my friends never had a doubt, the 13 year old whom sometimes lives inside my head, she has doubts). My sons had a summer they will never forget - and neither will their mom.

I'm home. Denver. In my own bed, in a city I love. And truly, it is, looking at a long lost friend whom I haven't seen in years. While you are glad to see the friend, not quite sure if you want to keep in touch, but so glad to re-connect. We are talking MY OWN HOUSE HERE.

Truly, as I said on an earlier post - home is the present. It's not a house, it's not a place, but a moment. Contentment.

My house is a place I sleep, raise my children and a roof over my head. HOME is a whole other category.

What was I supposed to do?? Learn to surf. CHECK Learn to dance? Hula lessons? A helicopter ride? Ride my bike? Run the IRONMAN Course???? I had all these hopes and dreams. Don't we always have hopes and dreams in life????

I accomplished NOTHING on my list!! Okay, one thing - surfing lessons. And you know what??? Hands down - the best month of my life. Goals and dreams are great. We just have to realize it's okay if we go off track. We have to also realize dreams come true and they just don't look how we thought they would.......

Truly, the only thing I wish from this entire adventure: I WISH I could have given the 13 year old Leasa, wait make that the 20 year old Leasa, wait make it the 30 year old.....a glimpse of this is how it turns out now..... She wouldn't have believed it. She probably would have somehow thought something was wrong with the picture. She had these ideas..... These ideas everyone has..... The way it's supposed to be......

What we forget are all those things we DID accomplish not on the list:

Hiking a volcano
Swimming in a waterfall pond
Staying in a local hotel -
Going to breakfast at midnight - and TRULY, it's one of the boys favorite moments.
Getting a black-eye
Swimming with Manta Ray's
Watching your son surf
Seeing outriggers in the sunset
Being impressed your sons didn't flinch when a 12 year old GIRL showed up in a hula skirt and said, we are all going to the beach......
Seeing sharks close up
Telling your sons the beach one "north" of us was "clothing optional" and if they wanted to check it out, well, go ahead.....

And on and on........

Somehow, sometimes, it turns out even better. Even if this wasn't the picture we had in our head.

Maybe the picture was wrong.....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Jet Lag

The boys have never experienced jet lag. We left Hawaii at 9:00pm Hawaii time yesterday (1am Denver time Aug 2). Arrived in San Fran at 5:00am then in Denver at 9:30am Denver time.

Two short flights = no sleep. The boys each slept a bit. Me, I think I slept an hour.

It's very strange to arrive "home" to your own city, get in your own car, and drive to your own house and feel like a stranger. Looking at everything as if it's an old friend you haven't seen in a while.

I took a two hour nap. All the world of difference. Of course, the boys didn't. Four o'clock comes around and Duncan is down for the count. Tried to keep him up until 5. I told him when he woke up at 4 in the morning STARVING and wide awake not to wake me up!

Nolan is hanging in there. And at this point I'm delirious.

The house looks great. The cat is looking at us like we look familiar...... And I wonder where to hang up my clothes. Oh yeah, this is my house.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Hui Ho

Dear Hawaii,

Are you a place? a state? a state of mind? a thought? an island? Or a new hale?

Fourth of July weekend, 1992, I left Houston, Texas for Denver, Colorado. For a "season".

Yes, that was 19 years ago. I had never been to Colorado. And really, it wasn't on the list. Although, to tell the truth, I'm not sure Hawaii was on the list of places to visit in life. Other than the thought "Oh, that would be nice".

This year on Fourth of July weekend, I headed to you.

Mahalo Hawaii

for the season,
for the memories,
the love,
the black-eye,
the kindness,
the ohano,
new friends and old,
Sunsets and memories,
(you can keep your chickens and roosters!)
fresh fruit
and things words can't even describe.

This dream, I couldn't have even dreamed it this well.

We now load up the car, and head to the LAST sunset at Huggo's for one more fish taco and one more Mai Tai.

I say to you:

there is no cash left in the purse, but

there is goodness in my heart,

peace in my mind,

joy in my soul, and

tears in my eyes.

A hui ho Hawaii, A hui ho.....

One last sunset

What to do on your last day???

Well, we were going to kayak and snorkel - then we discovered the kayak still had a leak. Only this time the leak was discovered BEFORE we put it in the ocean. :-)

Let's snorkel. No that's okay - let's stop for lunch where EVERYONE says to stop. We do. It was worth it.

Boys say: Let's go to the beach where we watched our first sunset. So off we go.

The waves weren't as rough, and our friends weren't there. The beach and the sunset were just as beautiful.

Technically we have a sunset tomorrow night before we leave. We won't be in bathing suits and we won't be at the beach. I can guarantee you though, I will have tears in my eyes.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Nolan learned to surf

He had to show his mom how it was supposed to be done......

Nolan's instructor was great. There were only three in the class. Two kids and one adult. I should have tried it again. Pele (the Volcano Godess) had tested me once, I think we are okay now.

Duncan didn't want to try. That's okay - different things for different people.

Nolan loved it. And yes, he rode the waves...... He has ridden a wave, and met a girl, DU might have lost a goalie.... :-)

Clothing Optional

Shoes are optional around here too. We have been very lightly dressed this month. In fact, one pair of my "summer shoes" (flip flops) broke when we were all out dancing. I just left them there and walked to the car barefooted.

Around the house, also very lightly dressed. For me, that means swimsuit with a wrap on, or a summer dress. For the boys, shorts or swimsuit. And I can't tell you how many times I have walked to the front lanai and there are a pair of shorts and boxers on the steps - the boys have just changed into their swimsuits on the lanai.

The shower is even outside.

Carching the Wave!!`

\I get it. I have never gotten it. Ooooopppps. I missed it. :)

I didn't miss it. In fact, I hate to explain it to anyone whom doesn't understand it. Oops I got it...

Ooopss, I still miss you......

I think I caught the wave

I think we are in trouble......

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mai Tai

TOO many Mai Tai's..... :-)

Begining to wonder if my real clothes are going to fit. Mai Tai's, avocado's, fish tacos and pineapple. Even the celery taste better here. YUM!!!

The first couple of weeks here, I dropped five pounds. Can't say the same for the last few weeks....

I guess we will find out Monday when I have to put on pants for the plane ride home.....


For being on a "tourist" island, we haven't done too many "tourist" things. Don't get me wrong, we have SEEN and DONE TONS of things - just not with "tours".

Last night (Manta Ray Snorkel) was a tour. Tonight, TOURIST central. The ocean front Luau - fire dancers, hula girls. I don't know what they call the "hula guys", but they can dance for me anytime......

Buffet, watered down drinks, you get the drift.... Completely glad we went and enjoyed it. SO glad we have not spent this trip doing those things every day.

Oh, and this morning while at the beach (we tried out a new beach) - North of the airport by the State Park. There were two sharks in the water. Real CLOSE! They were about two feet long each. Needless to say, we didn't get back in the water. It was way cool.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Manta Ray Snorkel

Ever been on a sailboat, in the middle of the ocean, at night? If not, you should.

Then you have to take it one step further - you get off that sailboat, into a wetsuit, into the water and hang on to a surf board, with PVC pipe around it, and lights attached to the bottom (personally, it sounds kind of Redneck to me) - Did I mention it's DARK outside?

You float along - superman style. Just hanging out. In our group, there were only 8 of us and a "leader" - we all had blue glo-stick lights attached to our snorkels. There were lots of groups out there.

Duncan jumps of the boat first, and right there, just below the boat is a Manta Ray. Manta Ray's part of the Shark family, like a sting-ray, just harmless. Unless, well you get "knocked". :-) Imagine a VW bug, running into you going 3 miles an hour. You won't get hurt, but you still don't want it to happen.

There are scuba divers on the bottom of the ocean floor. Snorkelers on top. Beautiful.

They float, they flip and their white bellies shine against the light. The reflection is so bright, you think a spotlight has gone on.

Then you don't see any, but you look around and you are in the middle of a aquarium. You are literally in the middle of all these fish.

We are on way back to the Catamaran and everyone is loading up. Duncan looks down and there are TWO of them just under us. Doing flips. The boys didn't want to get out.

You take off your flippers, hand them up, then climb up the ladder. I'm still not sure if it was Duncan or the Manta Ray who brushed my leg.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Island Time

There is a mysterious time warp here in Hawaii. Everything is in slow motion and then the time goes really fast. Mornings are slow and lazy. From when you wake up, until 11:30am, time crawls. Literally. I've never accomplished so much in mornings.

Afternoons - well, that's a different story. Not sure what happens. One minute you are waiting for it to be noon. Next second you are watching the sunset. Poof. Just like that.

My brain would seriously turn to mush living on this island. I did read a few pages of a really good book today.....

I want to go home

I boarded a plane with my sons this morning - on a stand -by flight. To place I've never been before, but a place I needed to go. NO purse, no suitcase - only those things that fit in your pocket.

Pearl Harbor does not allow you to take any bags in - no purses, no camera bags, etc. HOWEVER, DON"T believe what the tour companies tell you. It's $2.50 for adult and $1.25 for kids and it takes 20 minutes from the HON airport to USS ARIZONA memorial by city bus. Also, the cab ride back to the airport is, $11.50. Needless to say, you can do it MUCH cheaper on your own. We are on a city bus, without a map in a city I've never been too. BTW, it's the fourth or fifth stop from the airport.

Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY. If you have read the book "UNBROKEN" well you understand. If you haven't, read it. And go. The tour, the film, the boat ride to the memorial - ever single moment of it is worth it.

Thank you to all the men and women who have died protecting the things I take for granted. Thank you. There are no words to fill in this space. Just, thank you. For protecting my Papo, and letting me live an incredible life with a grandfather. Bless those who can't say the same. There truly are no words.

We leave the memorial, we take a cab to the airport and believe it or not, next thing I know we are having dinner with some friends from Denver whom are visiting the island. (in Kona).

We are in Honolulu and all we could think (and the boys confirmed this), was "get us to OUR island". Quick......

Touch down in Kona, so nice to be home - the hale is a short way.....

Years ago, I read a book named "The Secret Life of Bees". There is a line ( and I'm sure if I re-read the line, it wouldn't impact me the way it did then) and the line reads "Did you ever have to go somewhere to go home?" And truly, for the last 15 years, that place has been Vail, CO. Yes, I have lived in Colorado longer, but EVERY time I hit the valley, well, I know I'm home. Until now.

I've been all over the world. And TODAY, I have been home. Home to where my Papo did his part, home with friends whom I didn't know were going to be on the island. Home with my boys to the "Hale". And finally, home.

There are times when home has nothing to do with the people or the place - it's the moment. Welcome home......

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pearl Harbor

You are SO close, you might as well go.....

We are on Hawai'i. The BIG Island. There are no ferries. There is a plane ride. I am going to go before the boys get here. I guess island fever struck - still not sure what is happening to the time. We have less than a week left. Our new friends had to head to the mainland. "You will be ready to leave" - Yeah, keep trying to convince me.

Tomorrow, it's my dad's 65th birthday. And my grandfather (PAPO) is having a stint placed in his heart for a blocked artery.

I was going to blow off going to Pearl Harbor. It will cost us $600 - at LEAST - airfare, food, bus fare, etc......

Living history. My sons great-grandfather served on a ship outside of Oahu. This is not only a part of his life, but ours. We have to go.

We are not going. Other things to do..... Surf lessons, manta ray dives, snorkeling...... Sounds pretty selfish to me.....

We are booked on the 2 o'clock flight - you can fly stand-by for free. We are going at 10 am.

My Papo means the whole world to me. I want him to know, going into surgery, I'm taking his great-grandsons to show them where their Papo was stationed.

A hui ho (until next time)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Yesterday afternoon I received a text from the people whom are living in my house. "Is everything ok? I had a missed call from the Kona Fire Department"

We are on a hike in Waipio Valley. This message I receive on our way back in. Of course, there is no cell service where we have been. Who knows when the message could have arrived.

I guess that would be a little unnerving - You are living 2,300 miles away and you get a call from the fire dept. Yes, a little unnerving.

Let them know, as far as I knew, everything was fine. "We are on our way back from a hike, will let you know when we get there."

"Hale" safe. (hale word for home) Text saying all is good. And then they replied "Guess it was a "false alarm" I like these people.

Today, I receive a call.

Wait, I can't remember why they called. Oh yeah, a neighbor has too many bananas and avocados, they are about to go bad - will you walk down the street and pick them up? Well, we are a long way from there, but I will call the people staying in my house. Leasa, will you go get the banana's and avocado's??? Are you kidding? Really, I didn't think there was such a thing.

Two doors down - we are not quite country living, but two doors down is well, not next door. :-)

And then I say: "How are you? How is everything?" He says: 'PERFECT'. 'We love it here, everything is PERFECT'. How can than be???? It's PERFECT out here!!!!

He then says "This worked out well". REALLY????? You are kidding me??? You are as in love with Denver as we are with Hawaii??????

No way.

I literally heard, "It's Perfect"

There are times in life when, well, it works out, well, perfect.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wet Wednesday

Hilo, HI - East side of the island. It RAINS in Hilo. Wet, torrential down-pours - and this is normal. Hilo is very lush and green. We went to Hilo after visiting the volcano - the volcano is another story.

On to Hilo, there are 9 of us and we stay in a Seaside Hotel. Open air, window slats and window ac units. And I have to say, I love my boys. (I've said that before!). We have stayed in some really nice hotels in their life. And this one, well, location, location, location. AND it's the only hotel in Hilo still locally owned. Duncan proclaims, "This hotel is GREAT". A look at him like I was seeing him for the first time. What an incredible thought. You have a charmed little life, and you STILL like a hotel like this. Don't blame him.

Our new friends, have a "Hawaiian Family" - "Ohana" (meaning family in Hawaiian). Every Wednesday this group has a "Wet Wednesday" gathering. Uncle Norman, Aunt Bertie (traveled together singing across the US)

more later

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Green Sand Beach

Yes, real sand - real green. And there is NO easy way to get there. The Southern Most Tip in the United States of America. Just to the left of there, you WALK 2.5 miles to make it to Green Sand Beach. WOW!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Still Alive

We went to the other side of the island for a few days. Have great stories to share.

Authentic Hawaiian luau.

Life is good.

Monday, July 18, 2011


We all forget the first time we ever see something or do something. It's amazing, we just take it for granted.

Today, while on the way to the Post Office and on to the beach, there was a hitchhiker. I asked the boys if we should "pick him up". They said "no". Then Nolan said 'WOW, I've never seen a hitchhiker." Really? I completely forgot of course he probably hasn't seen one.

Lot's of firsts for this trip: The boys had never been on a plane by themselves for this long of a flight. Seen a see turtle in the ocean, while snorkeling. I asked Duncan if he had ever seen one before. His answer: At the zoo. One of those things I have taken for granted.

We went snorkeling with our new friends in the bay where I rode my first wave and earned my first black eye.


Day 1 - Take Two

Not sure what really happens when I have others "energy" to bounce off of. WHAM! That's what happens.

Boys are due to arrive yesterday at 2:45. I'm picking up my new friend Al - I'm going to wear the hula skirt and he's going to take pictures. In Hawaii, I should really know better than to think something is going to be THAT simple.

Lily, Al's daughter, wants to go with us. We will then meet Barney, his girlfriend, her kids at Kua bay, just North of the airport. Perfect.

Lily is a good sport - and she wears the grass skirt and coconuts. I wear the Hawaiian wrap. I had picked the fresh pineapple from the garden, cored them. They are in the car.

We are in the cell phone parking lot. We see their plane land. Lily and I walk to the pick up area, with fresh lei's, and fresh pineapple drinks. The boys aren't going to know what happened.

Their look was cute. What the heck? Hope the picture really shows it.

From there, we are headed to the beach. But first, let's stop and take a picture of a goat. Then let's stop and climb down a lava tube. Quite amazing....

THEN, we make it to the beach. Ride some waves. The biggest waves ever and play on the beach until sunset.

Can we stop then??? One clan goes home, my car is loaded with Al, Lily, Duncan, Nolan and Katy. Back to our hale.

Spagetthi for all and hot tub for the kids. Then I go drop Al, Lily and Katy at their hale and the boys unpack. WOW!

Can you say one busy day??????

The boys asked already if we have to leave.......

Sunday, July 17, 2011

If I were a betting woman.....

I would bet I have met the girl whom one of the boys will share their first kiss. Her name is Lily. She won the 1.2 mile open water swim - her first open water swim. She's beautiful and was very excited to hear I have two boys her age. She's 12, going into seventh grade. She will first be attracted to Duncan, and then she will like Nolan. There is a heartbreak here just waiting to happen.

I met her Uncle Barney. Yes, Barney is his name. Barney's sister lives in Park City and used to be marred to Lily's dad. Lily's dad (Al) lives here. Let's just say, Al's not so bad to look at either.

Barney - his parents founded Motown records. I'm not making this up.  I couldn't make this up.

Uncle Barney introduced me to Al. We are picking the boys up at the airport tomorrow and going to a local beach.

And here tonight, I was just thinking - I really need someone to go with me to the airport tomorrow. After all, I did buy a grass skirt and coconut shells to wear to pick up the boys. Someone needs to get a picture of their face........ :-)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weird Feeling

The boys get here tomorrow - and I'm SUPER excited to show them everything. Watch their experiences. See what ends up being their favorite thing.

HOWEVER, I can't believe how I'm also truly sad that this part of the trip is already over. I don't think I would want it to last longer, but just that it's ending. Two weeks went really fast. And I'm just now hitting my stride with the local connections!

The Miata gas tank will be filled tonight, and the parked for the rest of the month. Not really expecting any sympathy. This surfer girl just isn't quite ready to go back. Glad I'm not really leaving yet.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Carolyn and I have TRIED to go to Cabo three times. Say it ain't so.

We are not meant to go to CABO.

First time:

Week after 9/11. Nothing to be said there.

Her divorce, my divorce, well, you get the idea.

A friend of hers and actually a friend of mine all have access to a condo in Cabo in October. Not the same friends - we are talking TWO condos - all the same week.

Is this our opportunity????

Husband says "No". Ok, I get it. And I also get why I'm not married......

SO SHE SAYS, "he booked me a ticket to Denver for October. How much trouble would I be in if we flew from Denver to Cabo".....

There's my girl....

I belong to the party of "it's easier to beg for forgiveness than ask permission"

If that's what you want to do, well, let's do it last minute and pay for it later.....


Do you really think the story ends there??? It hasn't even started yet.

I'm in Hawaii speaking to an Italian couple whom had just lived 5 years in Cabo". I tell them the story. "Oh, call so and so and such and such and you will fine". I send Carolyn the text and say = I think we are all set.


Yes, you can guess the rest of the story.

My funny thing:

Her husband says: "I think your girlfriend is trying to get you in trouble"


Ok, I'll take the blame.

TRULY, I adore her husband. What I DON'T want, is for her not to be able to visit and him worry

And TRULY, maybe we will text him from the airport in Cabo. Beg forgiveness

Good Thing

Bad Thing, Funny Thing

We have a routine every night (in Denver) at dinner. We each go around the table and we say our "Good thing, bad thing and funny thing of the day". The only THING you have to have is a good thing. The other two are flexible. BUT you ALWAYS have to have a GOOD thing*.

Timeshare Paul and I met for drinks tonight. Unbeknownst to him, he asked "what has been your best thing". To me, this was a HUGE question. "It's all been pretty incredible". Then I thought for a few minutes. TWO things popped into my head:

Sunset. That's a given. I schedule my entire day around the sunset. Truly, where I am living clouds up every afternoon. Literally, at sunset, about 15 minutes before - the clouds go away. And you can see the sunset into the ocean. It's freaking perfect........

I think I saw a green flash. I have seen ONE before, and truly I know the only one I KNOW I will see is from the airport waiting on the flight out..

Good thing #2

The outriggers.

No, it's not surfing, snorkeling, hiking, etc.

My two favorite things since I have been here have been WATCHING.

Watching sunsets and watching the outriggers.

Quite honestly, when is the sun is setting and the outriggers are rowing and I'm clean and WATCHING, well - then at that moment, life is perfect.


It doesn't get much better than that....

And really, what does that really teach us???? The best things in life aren't things.....

***not quite sure where/why/how I started this tradition, but it works much better than "how was your day?". There are times when our dinner lasts 45 minutes or more. It inspires conversation. The kids also tell you things you weren't expecting. All I know is I must have read the idea somewhere. And it started out with just "good thing/bad thing" and "funny thing" was added later.

And there is nothing more heart-warming to hear your kid say "Tell me your good thing of the day?" And EVEN more heart-warming is when your children's great-grandfather (we were at their house) says to your child, "Well, if you don't have a funny thing, just look at me. I'll be your funny thing".

BTW, this has now been carried on to other households in the neighborhood. Carry on.

You CAN do it.

"I could never do that"

We have all uttered it. We have all believed it. And I don't normally say this, but "YOU ARE WRONG"

We have two choices in life. Option #1: Okay, I'll go Option #2: I won't. Let's not confuse this with what is wrong and what is right. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. The real difference is: WILL I DO IT or WILL I NOT. CHOICES.

Will I go kill someone. NO. Will I risk everything for an opportunity. YES. Big thing for me: Worst case scenario: I trade houses with someone and they destroy my house. REALLY, this is the WORST thing that could happen?? My cat could run away. SO, if that is the worst it can get, how good can it get???

10 years ago, I was getting divorced and buying a business and in love with a boy whom was the wrong boy to love. What is the WORST thing that could happen? WORST THING? And literally, all I could think was: I would have to file bankruptcy. That's it? the WORST thing that could happen to you is something Donald Trump does on a weekly basis??? And the night before I closed on the business - well, I couldn't sleep (imagine that). And I figured out, the WORST thing would be: to stay in a marriage to a guy whom I didn't love and a job I didn't like. THAT would worse than anything someone could have told me.

I still love the father of my children. Why wouldn't I? He's a great guy. He believed the other option was true. All my children get is both.....

People tell me, "I could never do that." You are right.

Then you won't.

I could have sat "home and ..... blah, blah, blah.....

What I really want to say:

" You CAN do it, or NOT."

Whatever you do, please make peace with it.

There are TONS of couples here in Hawaii - honeymoon, anniversary..... ALTHOUGH, not all happy people. Maybe happy for them.

If you want five kids, and to live in the suburbs. I'm happy for you. As long at you are happy for you.
As long at you are happy for you.

If you want to live in the city, never marry, and have career. you the idea

If you want to get married, and have babies and live the life you "dreamed" - go do it. I'm happy for you.

And MAYBE just MAYBE, you didn't want anything that/who has to do with where you are in life. You just turned up -
"this isn't how I planned????" Talk to the widow or widower who didn't plan it either.

Looking around, there are not happy people. I get it. Relationships are hard work.

HOWEVER, what if you want doesn't come true. There are other options.

Life can turn out completely different than how you thought it would - and it can still be great.

After all, you are speaking to a girl who is living in Hawaii until Aug 2. Wait, maybe they can change our flights....

Driving a Go-Kart

Mazda Miata 1999 - I owned the 1994 version (maybe - I could be wrong on the year). I'm living in Hawaii and driving a convertible.

You can take the hwy 11 to the house, and make a 180 at the 180, but me, if I leave from Kona Bay, I can take the earlier portion of the 180.

It feels like playing a video game. One of those games I was never very good at. Speed Racer. Up the hill, down the hill, around the curve. Go Speed Racer Go. The funny thing is: it's a blast!!! I totally get the rush!

And really, it's like driving a go-kart. I'm in a video game, driving a go-kart. LOVE, LOVE the go-kart.

Sunday, it goes parked in the garage. The three of us won't be able to fit. Of course, there will be occasional runs to the store with only one boy. Can guarantee, if I have to go the store, one will go with, just to ride in the convertible.

Mahalo to the Gods for allowing me the chance to see the other side. And for this opportunity......

Truly, I'm over the go-kart. In real life, it would get annoying. Maybe. Maybe, just one more day......Then, really, I won't want the messy hair, the wind-blown look. Just maybe......

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I forgot my clothes - or More tales of living like a teenager

What? You can't go to eat because "You don't have any clothes". That's right. When you hang with the locals - you just go - in your swimsuit cover-up. However, I loved saying "I forgot my clothes"

Now carrying a beach bag, every time I leave the house. (sounds kinda responsible) - It includes: Swimsuit, underwater camera, snorkel gear, sunscreen and a change of clothes. One never knows

Speaking of, at the house, you really don't have to wear a lot of clothes. I've had dinner several times now in my towel wrap, on the front lanai (porch). The cats don't seems to mind.

And my favorite question from those "state-side": Have you met anyone? I'm in my towel on the lanai, when I'm not running 90 miles an hour trying to see everything. OFF/ON. The answer is no. Unless, you count Joe and Trixie, oh, and Erin and her boyfriend and the couple on the Sunset Cruise, the surf instructor....

I did grill out tonight. I wonder: do the chickens know I'm grilling game hens?

Life of a teenager

No wonder teenagers are surly (sometimes) - just think, us adults want them to DO things.

Now here by myself in Hawaii on Day 11ish, I've quit counting. I had to ask someone three times yesterday what day of the week it was. It was quite embarrassing. My grocery list has consisted of Monster Energy Drinks (I don't drink coffee), Club Soda, Eggs, Bread, and salad greens. Oh, and I bought a cucumber today. I did buy fresh tuna the other day. And wine, of course. I've had LOTS of fish tacos in town. I make breakfast and eat the mango's and other fruit on my walk in the morning.

Yesterday, I did two loads of laundry.

That's it - those have been all of my responsibilities. To my credit, I have been working every morning for at least four hours. All my other responsibilities I normally take care of - not so much. And you know what? DUDE, IT'S AWESOME!!!..... No wonder kids are so happy. They get to play.

Should be interesting when my tween/teenagers arrive. Wonder what they will think of my lack of responsibility.

I have a feeling I'll do a bit more when the boys get here. Or maybe, they will get to be the responsible ones this summer? Yea, not really counting on that.....

To all the moms and dads out there, "Mahalo" for all you do/did. Not everyone gets breaks. Everyone should.

"Mahalo" means "thanks" in Hawaiian.

Relaxing Day

I really don't know how to relax.

The black eye is looking better - really should be called a purple eye. The swelling has gone down and the scrape is healing.

Work - I work from home. Or really, any home, or any coffee shop or anywhere there is Internet connection. AND, more specifically, only as little as I have to work. Hawaii time makes it both great and challenging all at the same time.

For some reason, most of my clients are either on the East Coast or Central Time Zone. In other words, a 6 hour time difference. Good news, work is over here by 11am - still plenty of time to play. Bad news, well, work begins around 4 am.

Today I went to one of the resorts on the North side of the island. The plan is to go there for a "Luau" one of our last nights here.

WOW! It's Disneyland at the sea - there is even a monorail. Dolphins - and you can pay an outrageous amount of money to actually swim with the dolphins. If you sit at the restaurant, you can just watch them play. Beautiful. And the resort was beautiful. Manicured, air conditioned, boring. Yes, you read that right. There is a lagoon to "paddle board, snorkel, etc" I'm glad I checked it out. I'm glad the boys will get to see it - it's EXACTLY like you would expect a resort in Hawaii to look like.

I like my little town - my pineapples in the backyard, the chickens running around and the manicured lawn. For being a people person, too much of people is not something I like. Being a local - not a tourist.

Yet, I'm not really relaxing, just doing things on my own.

The Manta Ray's - there are not words to describe this experience. You can go out on a boat, snorkel and swim at night with the Manta Ray's. OR you can go to the Sheraton and watch them swim and play in the light. Believe it or not, I watched them from the deck of the Sheraton. After all, I have to save something to do with the boys.....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

To be awake when the world is asleep

The rest of the world is fast asleep. Hawaii - everything closes at 10 - most people here are from other countries. It's either very late or very early. Which way did you fly?

Coffee region of Kona. Not sure what that really means, other than there is some vegetation here. Oh, yea, and wildlife. Turkey's, chicken - Sandy and her babies (Ed and Rich - you will continue to haunt me). It's almost 10. Can I PLEASE go to sleep????

I don't drink coffee. There are six coffee trees in my back yard. And TONS of coffee tress down the road. AND, I don't drink coffee. Is there carbonated coffee? I don't really need all the chemicals. And in fact, my boys will pick coffee starting on Sunday. We will have a Kona Kreation - Karbonated Koffee....... Sign me up. Karbonated water and the coffee beans being picked in the morning.

Please, please - I'm trying to adjust with a leg on both sides of the fence. AH HA. Climb off that fence and skip (when did you "skip" last") to the other side......

Sandy's boyfriend (the rooster) sorry, to say, well, he's having a funeral soon.

On the East Coast of America it's almost time to wake up. I have a conference call at 3:45 (EDT). I will go to sleep soon.....

What I thought/What really happened - SO FAR

Hawaii for a month! I'm going to take surfing lessons - at least every other day, I'm going to snorkel, ride my bike, run, kayak. Ah, maybe I should make this a "spiritual journey" - Yoga classes, reading books, attend a native Hawaiian religious service. Learn to make lei's - I even know where I can go for free classes - PLUS, BONUS, learn to basket weave! :-)

I know - I'll get up at four every morning, work until 8 or 9, go play, nap, and play some more.....

Well, yes and no. As Joellen says, "If you ride the teacup ride for too long, you WILL get sick".

Okay - REGROUP.. My whole life is scheduled. NO SCHEDULES. I did read, I did kayak, snorkel - That worked for about 4 days. Then I hit overdrive (DAMN - I REALLY need a middle speed). And all HELL BROKE loose.

Sunset Cruise, Surf Lessons, Hike to a waterfall on the other side of the island. (drove to other side of island, then hiked down). Volcano hike, Macadamia nut factory (MUST HAVE MACADAMIA NUT MARTINI AT HUGGO's - put it on your bucket list!), try to kidnap a goat. (Know anyone who will deliver a goat???) I REALLY think Joe needs a goat. AND - I have a black eye. As active as I am, I'm really not a "black-eye" type of girl. I like my nails polished, my hair "done" and my eyes - well, really they are one of my better features. Mother Nature, can you now please leave my eyes alone????

STOP - REGROUP. Let's figure out how to live through the next three weeks of this adventure......

#1 - Would have LOVED to take a bike ride with the local triathletes who live here. NOT on this side of the island. There is just no room.

Years ago, a woman in Denver taught me Pilates. The story she told me was about her dad, and I remember very clearly - His dream was to ride the "big island" on his bike. He was hit by a car, living his dream. And as much as I love the fact he was doing what he wanted to do and died doing it (okay, I don't mean I like that he dies), I couldn't think of a more complete story. HOWEVER, I DON'T want that to be me.

Neighbor Joe has loaned me his bike for my duration (he's now gone for 10 days - more stories there). Not riding on the road - they are just WAAAAAYYYYY to narrow. Will stay off road- can still bike ride. Just not where I thought I would. IN OTHER WORDS, biking the island is NOT going to happen.

#2 - Surfing lessons - don't think I need to explain this one. Although, I am going back on the board.

#3 - I did read a book. AND, I've started another. AND, that darn book "Catcher in the Rye" has been in my nightstand for ten years. I'm finishing THAT book on this trip. Of course, I should start over and I already started another book, and tomorrow, I wanted to ....... but a girl has to have dreams......

Monday, July 11, 2011

My OFF button is broke

I have always run on one speed - FAST - 90 miles an hour fast. I have an ON switch and an OFF switch. Can't really do anything at an easy pace.

Not sure what happened, but from last Wednesday until last night - no make that today around 11am Hawaii time - I was in overdrive and not quite sure why. Not that today was much slower, I did go Deep Sea Fishing (only caught two "Bonita fish") and then I tried to YELL "STOP" - not sure whom I was yelling at, just yelling.

I need a MASSAGE right this second.... So, I went and got one. She might have reattached the "OFF" button. Or maybe at least a SLOW DOWN FOR A LITTLE WHILE switch.

My life runs at 90 miles an hour in the real world. I'm supposed to be relaxing, playing and working all the same. Granted, I haven't had to cook dinner in over a week.

The massage therapist was funny. You know "we do have relaxing things here to do on the island". Really? I know there is Yoga class.

I'm blaming it on my sleep cycle - or lack there of. Mornings are early, to get work done on the East Coast. (i.e. at 4am Hawaii time it's already 10am on the East Coast). Then it's play time, then and then and then....... When do I flip the off switch on???

Maybe tonight?

The Outdoor Shower

In the last nine days - only one shower has been in the house. There is an outdoor shower on the side of the house (next to the hot tub). The Euclyptus tree grows to the side of the hot tub/shower area.

There is something amazing about taking a shower outside. And you would think I could relax.....

Possibly my WORST picture EVER

There is a guy on the beach who is taking your picture while you surf.

And honest to God, I think he caught the WORST picture EVER of me. I look like I weigh 200 hundred pounds and those thighs??? What the hell? I ran a marathon less than 9 months ago. THIS IS A BAD picture.

However, I'm standing on a board in Hawaii, with an angel (she appeared and told me to STAND UP!) next to me on my VERY FIRST WAVE EVER........ Do I order the picture??

Think I will wait until the boys and I are surfing together...... Really, WORST PICTURE EVER!!!

First Ocean Water Rescue

Not having a computer for a few days, put me several good stories behind!

Thursday - July 7th. Neighbor Joe, not only loans me his truck, but his kayak too. One of the other neighbor girls isn't working today, so we are going to kayak. Kileau Bay?? Need to check the spelling on the place - it's near the Painted Church (another whole story there).

Thinking I really owe Joe a nice thank you. There are goats for sale on the way to kayak. Wonder if Joe needs a goat????

Drive down in this truck with a kayak strapped to the top. I'm feeling pretty good about myself. You turn off, follow the road until you are just South of Captain Cook Statue.

There are locals there to help you with the kayak - give them a tip - they help you load/unload. AWESOME!!

Loaded up, we are in the boat. We are paddling. Trixie asks "do these things flip" Only if you are docking where you aren't supposed to be landing (Thank you Ed Quinn for THAT experience). We are paddling, we are flipping. We keep trying to get back in the kayak - we keep sinking and flipping. I think there is a hole in the boat. Trixie - there are SUPPOSED to be holes in the boat. I don't think THESE holes are supposed to be in the boat.

Something is wrong here. Two Hawaiian men then swim out (Rufus and ???) and paddle us back in.

We rent a kayak, paddle to Captain Cook and snorkel. All is well that ends well.

I was thinking I owed Joe something. I think we are even. AND, I think he needs a goat.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I have surfed Hawaii

I'm going to Hawaii. I'm taking surfing lessons. That is really all I knew. I mean, if you are in Hawaii, don't you surf?

Life lesson Number One: Different Hawaiian islands are known for different things. For example, I am living in the "coffee region". Good thing - not sure I should be living in the surfing region of Hawaii.

Ezra. My surfing instructor. Found him on Craigslist - and really, that is another whole different story. I should be the poster child for good stories from Craigslist.

There were three of us this morning. Little half hour instruction on the rocks (there are not really beaches here). Then out we go.

Really still no idea what I am doing. There were tons of people out there. Good instruction and felt very safe. Instead of staying with all the beginners - it was too crowded, we go hang out with the locals. Mistake #1.

First you paddle - then you "pop up on the board". Sure thing. Ezra explains, "you stand up every day. You can do this"

Ezra has been living here his entire life and he doesn't remember learning how to surf. He just always has known how to surf. I get it, my kids don't remember they didn't know how to ski.

I'm on the board, I'm facing the shoreline. Ezra yells, "Leasa, start paddling" I do, the wave comes. I'm on my knees, I'm on my feet and I ride it in. I've been doing it my whole life. My god, was it incredible. First wave. Awesome.

Paddle back out - hang out - others go. Second wave, start paddling, I'm up, I'm down, and the third wave made sure I was down.

WHAPPPP - I kissed a rock. It kissed me back. Road rash. Except would this be called - Coral rash???? I'm underwater. I can see the sunlight, I pop right up. I start paddling back out.

Ezra - "are you okay" I'm fine, let's go back out. "really, we should clean that out" Clean what out??

Then I realize, I’m bleeding. Not gushing blood, just bleeding.

Me to Ezra, you go back out with the others, I’ll go to the lifeguard stand.

I pass two other surf instructors on my way to the beach. “Are you okay”. Okay, I guess I look worse than I feel. My face is rather swollen on the right side – and bleeding.

By the time I’m half way in, the life guard is on a board next to me, paddling along side. We make it to the beach and he grabs his first aid kit. (My second ocean rescue in three days – if my fishing boat goes down on Monday, I’m done with the ocean!) He’s cleaning up my face and asking me general questions. What’s your name, where are you from, etc. I then realize he’s making sure I don’t have a concussion and thinking clearly. I told him, I don’t ever think clearly. THEN he puts the “cherry on top of my day”. How old are you? Forty–two. His face was priceless. You’re 42?? I am – you look GREAT and you are out here taking surfing lessons. YES I AM.

Thanks for making my day, thanks for cleaning me up – and I’m going back out. I was told to sit down!  I could surf some more another day.

And actually, the scratch isn’t too bad – no stitches needed (darn it, I was hoping insurance would cover the plastic surgery!) Now have a black eye.

I can now say, “I’ve surfed Hawaii and a 10 foot wave, took me down.” Wonder what the waves will be like tomorrow???

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

You get what you need

Not everyone could/can house swap. In fact, most people (80% would be my guess) would say,creepy - they are living in your house. Quite honestly, not quite sure how I felt about the thought. Ever seen "The Holiday".-

Yes, I'm the girl. The one who took the risk. Gave it all up for something better. Better or different. The 23 year old girl would tell you better. The 42 year old girl - different.

How much do you really use in your house? How many drawers do you have filled with stuff you haven't touched in years. And really, this is what people have said with a house swap. "I don't want people touching my stuff". KEY WORD - Stuff. It's just that. STUFF. Territorial stuff. Yeah, that's it.

If there was a fire in your house and you had some time - what would you save. Ok, never had that issue, but if I were to guess... You could probably fit everything you really could save into a room - well, a box full of stuff. Pictures? And really, now I would just take my sons and run. The cat, the boys would think that would be important. Me - pictures. And really, as long as the boys are out - and me too (I'm bonus). You've got everything you need.

Someone is staying in my house this summer. SO???? I hope they are comfy with the AC on, Ozzie the cat is not bothering them too much. And REALLY, I hope they feel my home is their home.

And YOU, the one who can't do it. Don't apologize - it's not you. And in fact, it might not be my sons. What I'm doing - well, that's me. And boy are there times, I wish it was you.... Don't you?

And me - well, - what's the line? "I'm living on the air in ....."

They might finally owe me

Duncan and Nolan are incredible kids. With incredible lives. Everything I do, I enjoy doing and think of how they will enjoy this too. Or how they won't enjoy it, but "this is for their good" Right. Of course, they are now ages where we really enjoy doing the same things. Only I'm in charge. :-) And NEVER, do I feel they "OWE" me anything. I provide for them the experiences I want for them, I think they will enjoy or could learn from, or a multitude of other reasons, but it's my choice. And they don't "owe" me a thing.

And the things I do for them. Well, I want to do these things. Selfishly, I enjoy doing a variety of activities and events. And it's even better when you are doing something you enjoy with people whom also enjoy it. Built in activity buddies. And I get we don't all enjoy doing the same thing (THAT would be boring).

Today, however, I might have reached a personal limit on selflessness - I went to a timeshare presentation.

You may receive a HUGE discount on activities by sitting for an hour and half and listening..... It's a good deal - An hour and a half of my time for half off the Luau we will attend the last week and other activities while we are here. (I figured I averaged $100 an hour for today - if not more). Overall - as far a purchasing the timeshare, it could have been a really good deal. And in fact, the sales person ALMOST had me - if she, well had been a he, first all. Then she said, well some people, since you are in KONA, and this would be YOUR "home" property", buy the timeshares and sell the week in October to the athletes coming over for Ironman Kona. For one flicker of an instant, she could have had me - if only she had known that THAT actually made sense to me.

Other than THAT, sitting through this presentation, is the ONE thing that I hope my kids will appreciate. HOWEVER, I have a feeling they won't understand why I didn't buy a vacation week.....

Wong Way

Makes you smile, doesn't it?

There is a huge area of land and a man by the name of Henry Wong donated the land to the city. As you head North on Hwy 11 there is a street by the name of Henry St. Shan told me they tried to name the street "Wong Way", but it was voted down. Personally, I am very disappointed. Wouldn't you love to tell someone "Make a U-turn, at Wong Way". :-)

And today, I didn't have to turn around once!!!

A present this morning

There are two cats here too - in addition to all the other critters - the cats are actually NOT feral, but nice, outdoor cats. Squash and Jack (short for Jack O'Lantern) - they were born in the fall.

They presented me with a very nice present this morning. A nice big dead rat. Waiting at the front door. When I opened the door this morning to get the paper, well, there it was. YUCK. Immediately shut the front door, went out the back, around the house, up the other street and played "Damsel in Distress".

I am SO glad, my house swap family introduced me to my neighbor. I took Dakota (the dog) for a walk. Joe moved a dead rat from my front porch. Joe leaves on Monday for a week and the boys won't be here for a week. Please hope there are no more presents for a week. Please. Yuck!

On the walk - I shook a mango out of a tree and ate it on the walk. The green one that fell, Dakota carried it. Two limes, and there is another fruit tree (I don't know the name), but the fruit is great and had a few of those. I guess it was a walking breakfast.

More July 4 Adventures

More details later on all - just didn't want to forget to write it down

Yellow bright fish in the bay

Dolphins jumping

Two pearls in my oyster


Only got lost once

Fresh fruit


Fireworks over the bay

Found the house on the first time!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day

The wild turkey (and I don't mean the drink) and the rooster were having a fight this morning. They are both soon to be dinner, if they aren't careful. :-)

Off for a hike with neighbor Joe and Dakota the dog. Joe has coffee trees in his back yard, and makes his own coffee "Dakota's Joe" When the boys get here, he is going to teach them how to roast fresh coffee beans. Maybe I should learn to like coffee

Hike, snorkel, fireworks - let's see where the day goes.

The sun sets early here. Around 6:30 - I was very surprised. So fireworks start at 7:30pm. Still having a little trouble staying awake at night, but wake up at 2:00am (6am Denver time). This too shall pass.

Life Swap July 2011

I'm swapping lives this summer. Not really. Just houses, cars and cats. Other than that, things are staying the same.

Denver - that's where I live. An incredible city in an incredible state. LOVE IT. In fact, I moved to Colorado 19 years ago this weekend. I left Houston for Austin, picked up my mom and we drove to Colorado and arrived July 4. 19 years, a marriage, two kids and a divorce later, well I love Denver and Colorado. EVERYTHING about it.

But for this month, I'm an a "exchange student" in Kona, Hawaii. No, I'm not enrolled in school - I'm living here. Exchanging lives.

Your house for my house. My car for your car. My cat for your cats. Are you kidding me??? I still can't believe I did it. Holy cow. I'm going to Hawaii for A MONTH. I'm going to a place I've never been and I don't know a soul.

As for the couple going to my house. Lovely, lovely people. Their daughter is getting married the first weekend in August and they wanted to be there a month before the wedding.

I live 10 blocks from the daughter. Really? It's a big world out there. And I live 10 blocks??


A "Craigslist" dream come true. The movie "The Holiday" come to life. This doesn't really happen.

Well, as I sit on the Lanai, having a Mai Tai watching the sunset into the ocean.

Yes, dreams do come true......

Being a Grown Up

Day 2 - I have to start with Day 2 and go back, but first I'm starting here.

It's 9:30pm KONA, HI time. I just made it back to the 'summer house'. For some, not be a big deal. Man, it's DARK here at night. And no, I don't mean, it's dark and there are shadows - it's JUST DARK. To my best account, I must have driven past the house, oh, I don't know, 4 times..... For me - well, this is a big deal.

My phone is almost dead. Doesn't really matter anyway, I have no one to call who could actually get me to this house. But, there is a map. Obviously, not doing me a lot of good......

Tonight, I took Shan and Michael to the aiport. Then from there - I was on my own. Two weeks. Nothing I HAVE to do, nowhere I HAVE to be.

Years ago, it took me the longest time to realize "I'm a grown up now". I've had babies, I've run businesses, I even bought a car once (and that's when I knew, I was grown up), bought a house, sold a house, bought another house. Bought a business, sold a business. Had a baby, had another baby. BUT this, getting home in the dark in a place I've only been for 24 hours, in a car that is only mine for 30 days. Well, I'm either reverted back to being a teenager or I really am capable of doing all this.....