Taking Time to Smell the Flowers, Watch the Clouds, and Photograph Nature 7

I know some of you have noticed I am posting less. I am taking time for family and health as I promised when I joined the Oxygen Mask Project. I will continue to do my monthly posts for Special-Ism.com, and the occasional post here, but mostly, I am taking life slower for the summer. I guess you could call it being on Hawaiian Time.

I will try to connect on Facebook and Twitter more often as I have neglected you there lately too. I am not giving up on blogging and I am continuing to pursue speaking engagements. I will be speaking at a Hawaii Autism Society event in July and I will be back in August when my son returns to school.

Mahalo for your understanding! Please share yesterday’s post and enjoy today’s pictures! I promise I will respond to comments again soon.

Hope all of you are enjoying your summer or winter for those few who follow me from down under!

Reflections: Where Do I Begin? 10

The last two days I have sat in this swing trying to decide how much I want to share with you to explain why I have been MIA. I realize no matter what I say it will not fully explain everything. It is impossible to see through someone else’s eyes or to completely understand their feelings no matter how much they share.

We recently passed the one year anniversary of leaving my daughter’s former school. We also passed the one year anniversary of my brother’s first surgery due to his cancer, and it has been one year since my fall and subsequent lumbar compression fracture. We are all three still facing challenges. Yet, we are all on the road to recovery.

Those who read M’s blog know she wrote a letter to her former school on her blog around the time of the anniversary. I am so proud that she chose to do so. She released her frustration and is continuing to work toward her goals although overcoming bullying is not easy.

Her anniversary coincided with the release of Lee Hirsch’s movie Bully in local theaters. Those who have been reading my blog know that the poor response it received in Honolulu disappointed me. I sincerely hope the schools will do a better job once it is on video.

I am especially disappointed that M’s former school made no effort to take the students to see it as I encouraged them to do, but they are making baby steps toward their bullying problem according to the chaplain and the elementary school assistant dean. I know both of them have their hearts in the right place and they both still express concern for M.

The high school dean is a different story, but I will not get into that here other than to say that M. still deserves an apology from the school and my request for this has fallen on deaf ears. Still, I will not give up. A new headmaster will be arriving in July, and I hope he will see that giving my daughter a formal apology is the right thing to do.

My brother had his fourth surgery recently, but he is on the mend and hopefully in a few weeks he will have his last surgery.

I was 80% better until I had a bad virus a few weeks ago. Now I am starting over with my walks and my exercises. I have faith I will get back to 80% since it really is only reconditioning and not another injury. I am still aiming for at least 90%, if not 100%. I am taking care of myself as I promised when I joined the Oxygen Mask Project.

Overall, life is good. M. is interacting with her friends again. I had a fabulous mother’s day. M. cooked my breakfast. My hubby and son and I went to see The Avengers. M. saw it the day before with her friend. Hubby even cooked lobster for dinner, so yes, life is good and I am still grateful.

Project Gratitude and Joining the Oxygen Mask Project 11

I joined project gratitude last January and I am still grateful for many things including the fact that I can visit this beautiful place as often as I want.

This year I have been posting less and my posts have gotten further apart. I have not been commenting on other blogs as much either, as I am sure my blogging friends have noticed.

I have a confession. I have known about the oxygen mask project for a while, but I have been too busy participating in putting my oxygen mask on to write the blog post. Then I saw Spectrummy Mummy’s post, Breathing Freely after she mentioned it on Twitter and I realized that I need to write the post.

Many of you know that I fell last May and had a lumbar compression fracture as a result and later learned that my osteopenia has developed into osteoporosis. My daughter had setbacks related to prior bullying this past year too. I began to lose my positive outlook as a result.

I have always exercised and spent time in nature although in recent years I have not exercised as regularly as I should. My injury prevented me from doing this when I needed an outlet the most. Therefore, I am grateful that I am able to take long walks with my dogs again even if I now also take one of my walking poles for added balance to prevent falling when my dogs pull.

I also found myself yearning to visit the Buddhist temple, Byodo-In Temple. It is one of my favorite places on the island, but I did not feel up to going until recently.


It is a beautiful place to visit and one that I have visited many times. Yet, I have been away for four years. The temple, like me is older and needs some work, but it appears that they are doing the needed work and the beauty is still present.

The koi in the pond have aged and it appears some have died, but the pond has young koi now so I assume they recently restocked. Some of older koi have sores, but even they are still pretty. I hope the owners will keep the population of the koi smaller to keep them healthy.

The wild peacocks were missing, but black swans seem to have taken their place.

I am honoring my spirit and love of nature by taking pictures and by reconnecting with places on Oahu that I fell in love with years ago, but that I have not visited recently because like too many moms I have been focusing on my children when I was not working.

I am even noticing views I might not have paid much attention to in years past like the back side of the temple.

Yes, I am joining the oxygen mask project and trying to remember to take care of myself first to have more energy and a healthier spirit to take care of others. I hope you will join too if you have not already.