Hawaiian Adventure Day Four

October 2, 2015

Today’s adventure in paradise probably would not be defined as much of an adventure at all. Seeing as how this was my final full day at the ranch, I wanted to spend the day soaking it all in for the last time. Four days gone….poof…just like that. But wow…what a great four days it was! I didn’t sleep well. I was up at 3am, then again at 5:30 am and the second time I just stayed up. Instead of venturing out to check out more of the North Shore, I plopped my booty on a lounge chair inside the pool and remained there for several hours. Wine time started at 10:15 a.m. followed by some kind of vodka, pineapple & cranberry juice that I concocted for myself. At least I’d started the day out right with a banana and oatmeal for breakfast.


I’d have never forgiven myself if I didn’t indulge in the Tradewinds Ranch pool. Just Oh….my…..GAWD this thing is magnificent. Better than any hotel pool because it’s completely private. I sunned a little, swam a little, sunned a little, swam a little, fell asleep a little, swam a little, all while taking in the scenery surrounding this place of beauty.

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Now for the fun part of the day an English gentleman by the name of Dom brought out his drone and put it up into the sky. He captured a few photos for my keepsake. Here is the very cool drone.


This photo is of just a portion of the property. Incredible, isn’t it?


This photo shows the main house and the pool area.


And, if you look closely, you’ll see me in my chair, right there in the middle of that tile square, happily enjoying my chill time in the pool. Could this BE any cooler???!!!!


Here’s a close up. So so so fun!



Somewhere around 2:00 I finally moseyed up to my residence to take a bath and rest a little before heading out for a while. This little guy sat outside my window while I bathed. I’ve heard of a peeping Tom but never a peeping lizard.

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I stopped at Fine Ass Coffee and Chocolates to pick up a few yummies, then stopped at a roadside beach area to take one final walk along the North Shore beaches. Beautiful….simply beautiful.


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This poor guy didn’t make it.


And here are just a few more random pics of the farm friends and my buddy Woofer, who was waiting for me at the end of the driveway tonight as I made my way to the main house tonight for dinner.

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Tomorrow, I’ll be saying goodbye to this wonderful place I’ve called home the last four days. Thinking about it makes me cry. Don’t get me wrong. Oh my goodness….I am BEYOND grateful for this experience, this home, the main home, the barn, the people, the animals, the pool, the weather…ALL OF IT!! And all of the above is what makes it so very hard to leave.

But the fun isn’t over. Part II of my vacation begins tomorrow as I fly to Kauai to meet up with my daughter Samantha and other family members (who are already there) for another seven days of paradise. These three will be there waiting for me when I arrive. Let the beauty and goodness continue!


Hawaiian Adventure Day Three

October 1, 2015

Today’s adventure on the island of Oahu started with another long morning of coffee and lying in bed. I rarely…no…NEVER…get to lay in bed much past 6am in my real life. Being able to get up when I want to and start my day is a gift in itself.

I decided to trek down to the barn here at Tradewinds. It’s a big, beautiful real barn that my host, Cheryl, uses to create weddings to remember. Unfortunately she is shutting down her business soon, but I was able to observe her doing a little decorating for an upcoming event next weekend. The downstairs part of the barn is used as the site for the wedding activities and the upstairs is literally a man-cave, filled with Cheryl and Dave’s life story over the last 25 years. I took a few photos of the outside of the barn as well as a view of part of the ranch standing from upstairs viewpoint.

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And a few friends…..

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From there I decided to enjoy a few hours at Waimea Falls. Cheryl told me about a beautiful waterfall that was only about a small hike on a paved road. So I figured my knee could handle that. I’m used to 10,000 steps or more so what’s a small hike? The reality was it was only about 1.5 miles and not even steep. It felt just like a normal walk I would do at home with the exception of being surrounded by EXTREME nature and beauty. GAH!! I try to take photos but, as with any vacation of beauty, photos never capture it all for the folks back home.

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My first stop was to take a photo of the restaurant called The Proud Peacock. Marcie Disher, if you’re reading this, I dedicate this portion to you. There is a peacock that sits on the railing of the balcony, proud as proud gets. There are others that walk the grounds as well, but I only saw the two pictured below.

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And then, I began my slow and lovely walk towards the waterfall. I took a LOT of photos of flowers and foliage that made me feel happy. So, yes, if you’re reading this I am going to indulge you with those photos.  Please enjoy….I have no idea what they’re called but I call them “Pretty.”

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This one reminded me of a flowing tree of love.


I took many photos of the cascading river and falls along the way of my hike but I finally made it to piece de resistance. <—say that in your best French accent. It was beautiful! Not nearly as tall and glorious as the falls at Multnomah that I saw during my trip to Oregon, but man….who doesn’t love a good waterfall no matter what the size? People were inside the pool swimming and frolicking directly underneath the falls. I sat on a rock and happily watched them all.


But then I thought…what kind of freaking adventure am I on if I just sit here on the sidelines? For goodness sakes Kimberly….GET IN!! I grabbed a life jacket from the lifeguard and very………slowly……..and….…..carefully……..walked into the water. You see that picture below of those people taking their time getting in? I am not going to lie, getting in was SCARY!! Those rocks are slippery with that thin layer of moss that gathers on rocks under water. Good night, I felt like an old woman as I tried to maintain my cool and dignity by proceeding with caution into the water. I’m pretty sure I failed miserably as I kept reaching down and grabbing onto rocks for safety. All I kept saying to myself was, “I’ll never see these people again so who cares?”

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Now let me say something here. Traveling alone these past few days has been glorious for me. However, I will say, when you want some really cool pictures of yourself, a selfie stick will only get you so far. Thankfully, I enlisted the help of a nice young woman who was fully dressed so I assumed she wasn’t going in. She was so nice to take pics of me as I got in and swam a little.

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Oh…and one other thing about traveling alone. When you ARE almost firmly and safely in the water and you realize you still have your Fitbit on…well let me just say it…SHIT!!!!  Luckily one man next to me in the water took it from me and handed it to his friend standing on land, who kindly proceeded to hold it for me until I was done playing in the water. It was definitely a good day for good Samaritans willing to help me out a little along the way.

I ended my day of nature by stopping at roadside area for BBQ corn and a must-have shave ice.

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It’s now after 7:30 pm…many of you are probably getting ready for bed. I’ve just finished a GREAT meal prepared by Cheryl (my host) and her friend Tina…and the MANY friends of Cheryl’s husband, Dave. This house is always hopping with people.


So with that, I’m calling it a night to another fannnntastic day! I wish each of you a beautiful evening. If you seriously read this far, I thank you for sharing my trip with me. XOXO

Hawaiian Adventure Day Two

September 30, 2015

Here at Tradewinds Ranch the roosters begin their harmonizing “Cock-a-doodle-doo’s” quite early in the morning. So although I’m doing my very best to chillax and be in vacation mode, they remind me to get up and start seizing the day. So I do…sort of. I get up, make some coffee, and then crawl back into bed to enjoy the sounds of trees, roosters, birds…and the beating of my own heart as a reminder that this is all really happening.

Wednesday’s adventure started with a slow rising. I wanted to just enjoy having nothing to do, nowhere to go, and no one asking me to do a single thing. I puttered around the big house I’m in and had a simple breakfast of granola bars and a banana. Did I mention the house sits right up against a jungle? Yeah…so I sat in the bathtub for a while and savored the moment. This is my bathtub view.


Once I was finally up and dressed I just hopped in the Jeep and drove. I didn’t really know where I was going. I was interested in seeing Banzai Pipeline in hopes of watching surfers engaging with giant 7 ft. waves. So that was the direction me and Big Red went (“Big Red” – my Hawaiian adventure Jeep buddy).

One of the best things about traveling alone is impromptu deciding of when and where you want to go. I saw a golf course and a hotel in the distance and at that very moment I chose to turn into the long driveway. I arrived at Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku, HI. I parked the car, walked to the beach, saw rocks….and headed that direction. Since I was a child I’ve loved walking on beach rocks and this particular set of rocks was calling my name. The waves crashing up against the rocks, the crabs crawling in and out of their hiding places and the feeling of glee when I reach the end is what thrills me. What can I say? Just beautiful!

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Let me back up a second here. When they tell you not to text and drive…here on the north east side of the island, they aren’t kidding. At times, the road, quite literally, is one bad move away from you and your vehicle driving into the ocean. I had to stop and pull over just to take a photo of what I’m looking at while driving. Talk about the need to stay focused!! How does one stay focused with the beautiful emerald ocean and crashing waves as my driving neighbor?

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About this time it’s lunch time and my tummy was getting grumbly. I found myself in a rather large shopping and eating area called Hale’iwa Town. Stopped and had an amazing Slaw Burger from Teddy’s Bigger Burger (sorry..I didn’t take a picture of that…ha ha!) then went on my merry way. I had NO interest in shopping at that time. After my recent move into my new home, the last thing I need in my life is more trinkets.

Moving onward, I found the tiny little turn off that led me to Banzai Pipeline. Can I just say that these adventures are made WAAAAY easier with the use of Google Maps. This area was literally a tiny little parking lot with maybe 20 spaces and had I blinked I would have missed the turn off. I think I sat there for over an hour just watching the big waves and the surfers. At one point I fell asleep to the sound of those crashing waves. That sound is nature’s sleeping pill!


It was starting to get a little late and I knew I needed to stop and get a little work done. So I won’t bore you with that part. Work is work….but let me just say that even though I’m on vacation and need to put in a little time, it’s the work that affords me these kinds of opportunities in life. So…it’s all good!!!! Besides, this was my view while I worked.


Once the sun sets, my home at Tradewinds Ranch gets pitch black DARK!! So unlike my first night here when I got back long after the sun went down, today I came back while it was still light outside. I walked down to the main house (where my hosts live) and ate dinner with the owner, Dave, and a couple of his friends. Wife Cheryl was out painting with friends so I missed seeing her. While we ate, Dave told me to choose whatever I wanted from here.  Life is good people…life is good.


I was starting to get really sleepy and wanting to head back to my humble abode for sleep. But before I called it a night I met their pet cow Woofer. They have had her since she was a calf, bottle-feeding her to a healthy life. She is now eight months old and weighs somewhere around 350 pounds. She LOVED me. She loved me so much she wanted to play…but when a 350 pound cow wants to play that means she butts you with that hard thing on the top of head and practically pushes you over. I was low-key a little freaked out, but laughing at the same time. I managed to get my picture taken with her, but immediately after this photo was taken, she started pounding on me again with her head. One of the gentleman there had to literally hold her back so I could safely get back to the house. She wanted to charge…and as you know…I can’t run very well anymore. Good lord I felt like a pathetic city girl in that moment. My heart was RACING!! Can you imagine the headlines? “Vacationing Cali Girl Playfully Trampled by Cow to a Tragic Death.” Ha ha ha ha…too much!

She is so adorable though!!!!


It was a great day. Thank you for reading!

Hawaiian Adventure Day One

September 29, 2015

For the first four days of my vacation I am traveling completely alone. Hubs couldn’t take off work and it’s never a good idea to take your kids out of school for 12 days. So…here I am in beautiful Oahu. After a fine trip on Hawaiian Airlines and lucking into an awesome red Jeep as my rental, I arrived at Tradewinds Ranch, my home for the next four days. It’s pretty awesome here. I have a three-bedroom, three-bath, two kitchen house all to myself and I am surrounded by jungle. Literally. When the lady brought me into the house to show me where’d I’d be, I couldn’t help but start crying. I’ve been working a LOT the last year and when I arrived here and saw what was being offered to me, I just let out all of my emotion and felt an amazing amount of gratitude deep in my core. The lady just hugged me and said, “Go ahead girl…let the tears flow. I’m a crier too.” ha ha…we had a nice laugh and that was that.

I spent the next several hours driving in my cool Jeep to the North Shore where it was recommended I go and watch the sunset. I walked, I talked to myself, I sat, I listened to the ocean, I took a ton of pictures, I got totally soaked by the rainfall (which I just sat in and allowed it to drench me) and to top it all off, I was lucky enough to watch a quick little sunset wedding. I couldn’t have orchestrated a more perfect afternoon.

Driving home in the dark, I stopped at a local grocery store, picked up some coffee, oatmeal, granola bars and bananas (basic essentials) and turned into my bed for the night with the sounds of wind in the trees and rainfall lulling me to sleep. Perfection.

This is a photo of the road leading to the house I’m staying in.


This is the house!


This is the road leading away from the house.


These are some of my friends for the next four days.

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Many of you already saw my ride….


And I’m pretty dang stoked about it too. :)


Drove to the North Shore to watch the sunset.


And after a downpour on the beach in which I got soaked, I was gifted to witness a sunset wedding. That was pretty cool.


Did I mention the coconut tree right outside my balcony?




I do not consider myself a religious person even though I was raised in the Lutheran church (and school) during my formative years and into adulthood. I now tend to concentrate less on doctrine and rules and more on simply love, kindness and direct communication with God. I use the term God because it’s the strongest word out there (in my opinion) for spirit and universal power. I struggle with prayer because I don’t want to communicate with God in a pleading or asking kind of way. I simply want the guidance. I want to feel the answers are coming, I want to know I’m okay right where I am, and believe that everything I need will come to me at the perfect time. My prayers tend to be more along the lines of “Hey God…can we chat for a bit?” To be honest with you though, when there are challenges in front of me, I do tend to ask for change or strength to get through them. I think that’s probably okay as long as I’m not also asking for cars and jewelry. And I don’t because I’m not that shallow.

I had something come into my life recently that blindsided me completely. I swear to you I would have bet on the life of my children that nothing like this could happen. That is how certain I was! But then it happened and the situation completely derailed me for an entire day. I was faced with self-doubt, feeling insignificant, feeling worn out, unnecessary and yesterday’s news. Which then lead to, “Why should I even bother anymore?”

Rather than dwell in my pity party, I immersed myself in videos that I’ve been meaning to watch but didn’t make the time for. One of those videos was a message from SARK (whom I would just love to sit with sometime and eat cookies together) and the other was from Marie Forleo and her interview with Marianne Williamson. I’ve never read anything from Marianne before, but I know many who have read and enjoyed her books immensely. The interview was from her book called “The Law of Divine Compensation”. While I’m not here to discuss the interview, what I did want to share was the prayer at the end. The entire reason I started this blog post with where I am in the prayer arena is the purpose for this post……to share this prayer.

The event that blindsided me had to do with my work, so when I heard this prayer, I knew it was communication from the Divine that I needed to hear. Because it was so powerful I listened and transcribed the prayer to refer back to. It’s a lesson for me in allowing and determining the attitude I will take when things don’t go the way I want them to. Will I give up? Will I quit? Will I take it in stride and try again, or try something else? Can I allow something outside of myself to perhaps show me another way? Can I really believe something better is coming? I think for the next few days I will use this prayer to open myself up to whatever spirit is trying to show me. It won’t be easy or pleasant because I like to be in control…..and maybe that in itself is the lesson. I don’t know. But my heart, mind and hands are open to wherever I’m supposed to be led. Now if it could just happen before the end of business day that would be great.

The prayer went like this…….

Dear God,

For all of us who are joined here we place in your hands our burdens and our questions and our responsibilities. We place in your hands our debts and we place in your hands our assets. We place in your hands our fears about money and work and we place in your hands our visions and our prayers and our hopes for money and work. In this and in all things, Dear God, we pray to be lifted to the highest level of divine order. May we be who you would have us be that we might do what you would have us do. May our work in the world, Dear God, be more than just a job.  May it be a calling as each of us now surrender ourselves and ask that we be used by you, that whatever we do, it be a conduit for the love that uplifts all things. May the brilliance and the genius that is your spirit within us move through us in collaboration with the genius moving through everyone else to create the most beautiful world.  And so it is together we say….Amen.”

Amen. Now on with the duty of living, trusting and faith that all is well. And we may as well pray to a funky little beat while we’re at it.


Gossip is Damaging to Everyone


I won’t go into details about the prompting of this post. But suffice it to say, one thing happened with one person a long time ago, and from there the story took on a life of its own. I believe there are perceptions about me that are so off base it makes my head spin. I can handle the criticism because I know my own heart, I am aware of my mistakes and I’ve learned lessons as a result of my choices. But when the stories and gossip begins to hurt people I love because they associate with me then it becomes hurtful. So as a reminder to myself, and hopefully to others who read this, perhaps if we have questions about something we can make an effort to go to the source for clarification, instead of continuing to take a fairy-tale of a story or misunderstanding and perpetuating it into something larger than life. It’s one more step towards kindness.

Let’s begin…..

Remember the game of operator you played as a child?
In the game of operator kids sit in a circle and repeat what was just said until it gets to the last player in the circle, who then says what was heard, out loud. It goes a little something like this:
In the last inning of the championship game, before taking the mound, All-Star pitcher Gail leans over to her catcher-friend Charlotte and says, “I’m going to put out the greatest pitch and win this game for us today.” They use this line as the original message to pass around to all the other children.
  • Kid 1 hears – I’m going to put a great pitch and win this game for us today.
  • Kid 2 hears – I’m going to put out a great pitch and win a game of trust play.
  • Kid 3 hears- I’m going out for a pitch and win a drum someday.
  • Kid 4 hears—Imma is going out with a rich bum today.
  • Kid 5 hears – Imma goes out to a rich mansion and does a drug bust with Kid n’ Play.
  • Kid 6, the final child in the circle, hears and says to the rest of the children – I’m going to take out that bitch and not trust her everyday.
Gail steps in and repeats her original quote. “I said…I’m going to put out the greatest pitch and win this game for us today.”
Be cautious and mindful of what you see and hear.  Things are not always as they seem or appear.

Finding Joy in a Cookie


One fantastic cookie!

I love what I do for a living. It may not be much of a living in terms of dollars, but the fullness of my life is very rich due to the the people I meet and circumstances I often find myself in. As many of you know I am a dance-fitness instructor of both Zumba® and U-Jam®. Between the two formats, my schedule contains eight classes each week…and let me remind you that I’m no spring chicken! My current chosen field allows me to incorporate my dance background and the on and off again personal training I’ve done with coaches since I was 15 years old. Honestly, I love the movement, the challenge of choreography, the music, the people who come to my classes and the slightly crazy schedule I keep each week to incorporate all of it and more (“more” meaning my other interests and responsibilities BESIDES fitness).

But I have to tell you, I’m exhausted most of the time.

Much of my weekly calendar is spent making sure my classes stay fun, fresh and entertaining to the people that pay above and beyond their gym memberships to take them. Much thought and energy goes into being the best I can possibly be so people leave my classes feeling joyful and physically worked out. Listening to music, creating routines and counting out beats in my head is a non-stop focus of mine. Oh and naps….naps are a daily essential to ensuring I can perform at my best.

So let me tell you something…..when the weekend rolls around, I typically do not even want to hear the words Zumba or U-Jam. While I LOVE AND ADORE what I do, it’s not a lifestyle, it’s a job and a passion that requires boundaries. I’m always working on taking the time to slow down, get back to the basic and simple pleasures of life and just BE. Not an easy task for a “do-er” like me.

Which brings me to my main point. It’s important to keep my options and interests open, flowing and simple! Pinterest is another one of my passions. I get so much pleasure out of sitting with my Ipad and pinning things of interest – meals, desserts, knitting/crochet projects, card-making or just really silly pictures for a good laugh. Last week I found a cookie recipe that literally consumed my thoughts for days. I finally sent my husband to the store to pick up the butter and chocolate chips I needed to bake. And on this wonderful soccer-free, Zumba-free, U-Jam-free Saturday morning, I found my zen in baking one of the most delicious chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made. I found my joy in a cookie.

And now, I invite you to print or bookmark this recipe and, if it calls you to do so, make the batch of cookies and share the joy with the people you love. My one piece of advice is this….double the recipe because one small batch isn’t enough.

Cheers to the simple pleasures! Enjoy!


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