Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Her name was Linda

My mom's name was Linda....she died in 2006 at the age of 63 from a heart attack. It still makes my chest ache when I think of that time....getting that phone call from my brother, Cary.  He could barely speak on the phone.  Maybe just as much from his own agony of already living the truth that she had died, but also having to break it to his baby sister.  "She's gone, Dana".   My best friend in the world was gone.  She always listened to me for whatever drama was happening in my life at the time (and there was always plenty of that in my 20's!).  The beauty of it was that she just listened. Which truly is a gift when you think about it.  Trying not to give advice when someone is telling you their woes is like trying to ignore an itch that needs to be scratched. I clearly remember one time when she did say something. It wasn't advice so much as it was more like......"you are unhappy and headed down a road that will not get better".  I will leave it at that, but I swore when she died that the one thing I would do is be happy.  I would live my life every day the best that I could.  After loosing both of my parents so close together I have this very visceral understanding that life really is short.  There are no guarantees.  It may sound cliche, I know....but,  I think it's the greatest gift they ever gave me.

I just got back from spending a week long trip in San Francisco.  It was a full week of eating, shopping, doing yoga, and getting spa treatments to celebrate my birthday.  It was amazing to say the very least, and I will write more about that later!  The one thing that really hit me last night when I was coming home on the plane was how many times my mom's presence was felt on this trip.  If you have ever lost someone close to you,  I think you understand what I mean.  If goes something like are going about doing something in your everyday, and then BAM!  a song, a smell, or maybe it's something you see, and you instantly can feel a connection to that person.  It's not a memory, but you can actually feel them right there.  It feels like walking into a little pocket of joy. Remember when you were young and you were swimming in the lake?  It was sort of all cold and goose-bumpy, but then you would swim into a little warm pocket of water?  It's sort of like that.  : )  Unexpected, and so wonderful all at the same time.
I was walking in the Haight on my first day of being in San Francisco.  The skies were solid blue. Not. Even. One. Cloud.  The warmth of the Sun was so unbelievable and welcoming. I clearly was not ready for Winter yet. Sorry, Mother Nature, but you spoiled me rotten with that amazing Seattle Summer!  And, by the way, thank you for that.  Anyways,  I stumbled upon this little shop with a small alcove for the front door.  I don't even remember now what was in the store front window, but I walked towards the shop and "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac was playing.  I stood in that alcove, and the Sun was so bright I could hardly see.....and there she was.  I could feel her right there.  I brought my camera up to my face and tried to take a picture of my reflection in the window to remind me of that moment, but the Sun was too bright!  I still went through the motions though, and when I looked into my reflection I thought, "Hi, Mom!  Look,  I am happy, just like I promised I would be."  I spent a week in San Francisco not being indulgent, but celebrating my happiness, and doing things that bring me joy.  I think that's why I felt her there so many times.....she knows I am happy.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

San Francisco

I am headed to San Francisco in October for a much needed week of relaxation, good food, and a healthy dose of inspiration.   I am deep into the research.  That's just how this girl rolls.......researching where I will eat, shop, do yoga, drink coffee, and smile endlessly. I think you get the idea. I rented a sweet one bedroom garden apartment in the Outer Richmond area.  Not too far from where I used to live when I was a travel nurse back in the day. This is my official birthday present to myself!   Happy Birthday, to me.  Mostly, it is just so great to have something to look forward to, you know?  I am also going to to Berkeley for the first time ever. So, if you have any tips, please let me know.  I am headed to Berkeley to have lunch at Chez Panisse Cafe.  It is a long time dream of mine to go to Alice Waters' restaurant.  Perhaps some of you may not know this.......but, I do LOVE food.  I love cooking mostly. Especially for other people.   : )

The San Francisco poster is from Ork Posters.   I think it is simple and and it makes me smile.  

These Boots are Made for Walking

LOVE. This whole outfit looks completely comfortable......sure, her legs are a mile long, there's that.  So, yeah, it has to be said....comfortable, and sexy.  I think that really is the best combination.  You don't have to show off cleavage, belly buttons, and whatnot to be a hot tamale.  : )

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Life is Short

I recently came across the Holstee Manifesto ...... and the message went straight to my heart like an arrow hitting a bullseye.  This video is the Manifesto in action.  It is SO inspiring.  Enjoy! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013


I came across this picture today on Apartment Therapy.  I love the idea of having a hanging bed in my imaginary outside porch!  Think of all the wonderful relaxing naps that could be had......

photo via Sweet Peach

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Live out Loud

I believe so strongly that if we really listen with our hearts we can hear gentle whispers from the Universe.    Maybe it is intuition, or a gentle acknowledgement of something in our lives.  The name doesn't matter really because it is much more of a feeling.  I prefer to think of it as a whisper in my ear, like a gentle spiritual nudge that says, "hey, pay attention to this, Ok?"  Whatever you want to call it.... I had one of those moments yesterday afternoon when I was at Elliot Bay Books.  I saw "Live out Loud" sprawled across a blackboard. It instantly gave me a moment of joy to see it.  You know,  like when you run into an old friend on the street that makes you instantly feel happy.  This quote is the short version of one of my favorites, "I came here to live out loud".  My interpretation and my inspiration from this quote is to live, really live.  To be present, and to be my most authentic self as much as possible.  To be vulnerable, to grow, to learn, to laugh, and to love everyone, including myself...just as we are.  Not to actually be loud,  but  to be so full of life and joy that light comes out of you at full volume.  Like your Spirit is doing cartwheels. : )
I am grateful for the reminder. It made me smile.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Words of Wisdom

“The true spirit of conversation consists more in bringing out the cleverness of others than in showing a great deal of it yourself; he who goes away pleased with himself and his own wit is also greatly pleased with you.”

 - Jean de La Brùyere

Friday, July 26, 2013

Magically Delicious

Oh, it is so good to be back. I have to thank my cousin, Rose and her husband, Jerry for inspiring me to write again. I just got back from a very magical visit to see them on the Big Island. Their home is so inviting, you can instantly feel your shoulders melting down your back when you walk in the door. There is also lots of animal love to be had from their dog, Mozart, A.K.A. "Mozzie".
She is the official welcoming committee, and the proud owner of her very own under ground swimming pool. The newest editions to the household are Tabby and Wild Cat Kelly.
Rose and Jerry rescued them from the dump where they found them about 6 months ago. Kelly adopted me as her Wild Cat soul sister and bunked up with me each night. I think she was secretly standing guard over me to eat any cane spiders that might come in for a nightly visit. I should mention that this was greatly appreciated after the last run in with said spiders. They are the size of a small baby's head and move faster than a ninja. Seriously. Moving on, there are the chickens: Blue, Red, Martha Stuart, and of course, their sugar daddy....Legs.
The most gorgeous rooster I have ever seen! Next up are the happiest goats in the world: Latte, Cinnamon, and Maggie. I think they all thoroughly enjoy dinner time with just as much affection as standing on the roof of their goat house.
Let me just say, it was such a beautiful sight to see the chickens, the kittens, and Miss Mozzie all sharing their wonderful shangri-la of a yard in a full love fest of acceptance of one another. The yard is nothing short of lusciousness with mango, apple-banana (OMG, like candy!), and lime trees, along with the most gorgeous ginger plants. Just to name a few of the many different plants in their yard.... it's truly unbelievable. It had been six years since my last visit to Laupahoehoe. I went to see Rose and Jerry just 3 months after my mom died, so needless to say I was still in quite a state. The beautiful thing about this visit is that although I am such a completely different person than I was six years ago, it felt like it was just yesterday that I saw them. It's with such enormous gratitude that I can say...even if we weren't family I would still want to be best friends with them. They just make you happy to your bones when you are with them. Oh, and I have officially decided that Rose is not just my cousin anymore, she is the big sister that I never had! I am so incredibly grateful to be able to call them my family. So, yes, the view from the house is amazing, and it will make your heart skip a beat....but, for me it's what is on the inside of the house that makes my heart smile. Sharing amazing food, conversations, lots of great cocktails ( I am waiting patiently for Rose's limoncello recipe!), smiles, and laughter. Making pizzas in their wood-burning oven and drinking the best margaritas thanks to Jerry. (all while speaking in a margarita-induced Italian accent all night).
It really was nothing short of magical. :-)