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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Adventure 23: An Unexpected Surprise, Mer-Baby, Mer-Man, and Why Sea Glass?

An Unexpected Surprise

I don't really know how most towns communicate with each other.  Maybe it's Craigslist or local newspaper ads, but here in Hana, it's the tack boards at Hasegawa's General Store and the post office.  If you have a service to offer, found a dog, want some help, or are looking for local events to attend, the bulletin is where you go.  I first saw the post for the Hana Arts Photo Contest pinned at Hasegawa's... then it came to me again in a Hana Arts email blast. 

I thought of going out with my camera and trying to take a specific photo for the contest since it had to be an image from 2013.  When I went through my 2013 photos though, I thought I would just enter whatever images I had already taken this year and see if my day to day photography would be deserving enough to place at all.  

A week or so after the contest ended, a friend of mine wrote me on Facebook congratulating me on placing in the contest, though I had no idea what place.  I was pretty excited and the anticipation was near driving me crazy when finally the director called me and informed me of my prize and placement.  I was excited to tell Jun, so I called him while he was at work and calmly said, "I placed in the photo contest".  To which he replied, "That's great honey, what place did you get?".  So I say, "Guess?".  Instantly he said, "First Place", which to me, at that moment, was bothersome.  I quickly thought to myself, "What high expectations he has for me thinking that I'd come in first" and it made me irritated... I thought he would at least guess 2nd, a fair even number, not putting me last, not putting me first.  So I asked, "Why did you guess that (first)?".  To which his reply made me wish so badly I wasn't on the phone and could give him a giant kiss in person... He said, "Because I believe in you".  

Huialoha Church.  Kaupo, Maui, HI

This image, (from Lono's birthday blog HERE), got 1st place and a prize of $250 along with an autographed copy of George Kinder's book, "A Song for Hana".  The Kinder Family donates $500 every year to the contest and this will allow me to either get a device to back up my images or "real" photo editing software. 

So a huge "Mahalo" to Hana Arts, the Kinder Ohana, and my dear sweet husband, Jun... for always believing in me.  Reise and I are lucky to have you.


I think the only thing I can say is Reise loves the water, the beach, and eating sand... She's been in the ocean since she was just 2 months old.  Here's our now 8-month-old Mer-Baby.

Her feet did not stay packed in for more
than a few seconds.  :)
The boss lady.
That face.
Kicking her feet like a frog.
Here she says, "I's a GROUPA!"
Love them.

Pure joy and then...
SPLASH!  She doesn't mind a bit!
Her sand goatee from her grainy snack.  ;)
We got this beach "cabana" and it's pretty awesome.
Outside of the water, she likes playing in tent
displays at Sports Authority with her mom, (yours
truly), while surprising her Daddy when he comes
around the corner and finds us "store camping".
And SHE LOVES the lamb from Baby Einstein.  So I made her
a ten-minute sock puppet that she is CRAZY about.  I mean she
arches her back, yells, smiles, throws a frenzy... She is NUTS
about it.   I must say, the resemblance is pretty awesome.
The day I made it and showed it to her, she was watching the
lamb on her show so I popped the puppet out to the side of
the screen.  She glanced quickly, then back to her show, then
she jerked her head back to the puppet so fast and just lost
it with delight.  Like this crazy grunt scream smile thing...
 Kind of like if you were watching Ghost and Patrick Swayze
ended up in your living room, (or Demi Moore if you're
 a dude).  Jun and I laughed until we were in tears.
I know my birthday has come and pass... but Jun knocked a
pin off of my bucket board.  This is a ring I had seen before
Reise was even born and decided that I wanted her name
engrained in it to make it a "mother's ring".  As you may
know, her name in German means, "Journey" or "Travel",
making this ring perfect for me/her.  I wear it proudly.


We are a "Mer" family.  A Mer-maid, with her Mer-man, with their Mer-baby.  Seriously, we're water people.  As much as Jun and I love stand up paddling/surfing and I love my 7'10" surfboard, he was ACHING for something small and fun to rip up Koki with.  Me, being a huge fan of "used" and Craigslist, and him, not being one who has tried much of either, I asked him to give me a detailed description of what he would like to have in a surfboard.  I got: "Between 5'10" and 6' 2", maybe a quad, fish... pretty thick."  We were taking the "Road to Costco" and I Craiglisted surfboards.  BAM!  We got this board for a steal and this is Jun giving it its first spin.  Not a great day for surf, but it was burning a hole in our truck bed and he had to take it out.

I love this picture so much for some reason.  It's my desktop.
Yikes!  And he's not even flinching.
The only one out.
A different angle.
Checking out his new ride after his first session with it.
And you know me... While Jun was surfing I took Reise on a
walk and took pictures of everything that makes me stop
 in my tracks to admire its beauty.

I know it's just a rock/dirt wall... But I love it.

So many reds, blues, blacks, greens.  I can't get enough
of this beach.

Why I Changed My Name

As you might have seen, Queen B. is no more.  The reason?  'Twas a name I got many years ago in another lifetime, or so it seems.  It came about while farming on Kauai and stuck with me with many friends for many years.  I've owned the domain name, "The Life Of Sea Glass", for awhile now because that was, (and possibly is), going to be the name of my book, (yes, book).  You may have read my comparison of my own life to sea glass before in THIS BLOG POST.  

To summarize, over the years I've been broken... many times in fact; but with every break comes the opportunity to grow from it; to take that piece and learn from it and become more rounded and beautiful.  Here is where I come to write and post photographs of my journeys, both good and bad. And, well... my life is spent traveling over oceans, land, and sand; just like sea glass...

And just because it makes me happy,
$3.00 worth of Hana groceries.

Love & Aloha,


  1. As I was reading about the contest, I was thinking that you'd won, then I got to the part where you didn't want Jun to guess "first place" as the first guess and I was just like, "Wait. What?" So I was delighted that you did win after all. Congratulations! Do you not realize just how beautiful your photos are? Even with just your iPhone. You are incredibly talented, so I'm glad you're investing your winnings toward developing that talent even more. Honestly, the pictures you took a while back at a luau amaze me. Especially the silhouette of the hulu dancer. If I'm being honest, I look it up from time to time just to admire it. Your landscape portraits are awe-inspiring. It seems like it would be impossible given your setting, but you have a remarkable ability to take an already stunning scene and turn it into something ethereal. And last but not least, I love how you can capture the beauty of a person or just a mundane object in a way that most people wouldn't see it if they were there to witness it in person.
    I think "The Life of Seaglass" suits you perfectly. What I love about seaglass is how remarkably beautiful it is without having to be all bright and shiny like a fresh piece of glass. Broken sounds tragic at first, but those broken bits really do transform into something that is greater than being whole, I think. Keep being you because you are wonderful.

    1. Dearest Jessica,

      This is perhaps the nicest comment ever... Actually, I am still blushing. I agree, I'm surrounded by such beauty, (Maui, baby, husband, dog... all of it!). I just want to capture every moment, because I know that when I'm on my death bed, I will not think about materialistic things, I will want to just sit and read and stare at all of my life's beautiful memories... my pieces of sea lass being made... "the life of sea glass". Lots of love to you and your family and thanks for always reading and giving me your input. It is always nice to have a real writer, such as yourself, share your thoughts. XoXo

  2. The most important thing in surprising your partner with anything is that you want is to have time for each other.TeddyBär


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