The stark beauty of the rugged landscape of a lava field in Hawaii Volcano National Park.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Howzit Gang,

I am a happy camper.  I have a new computer and a new ISP.  Loving it.

Almost done going through breast cancer reconstruction.  In fact, I'm in the last stages of the reconstruction process.  It's almost a year since I was diagnosed.  It's been an incredible journey.  I still need to take some time to sit still and reflect.

Through this journey in my life I came to realize the strength that I possess... something I thought I could never go through without a major meltdown or even survive.  But here I am, wondering how I can make the most of the rest of my life.  I also met a lot of people along the way, medical professionals, other patients, family and friends who stood beside me and who didn't.  All in all, I consider myself to be blessed with a great medical team and great support.  Mahalo nui loa!  (thank you very much).

My Happy, Happy!

A hui hou (until next time) and Aloha,

Monday, August 19, 2013


Aloha!  Monday was my birthday.  I celebrated with a treat for myself from my favorite frozen yogurt spot, Menchies near downtown Honolulu.  A really nice way to cool off on a hot and sticky day.  

I got tart flavor which is my favorite and my "go to" choice.  This time I snuck in a pop of pistachio and chocolate fudge for a change.  Then I topped it off with gummy bears, strawberry and mango boba, plain and peach mochi and a candy sprinkles for the occasion.  Yummy!

Leaving the yogurt place I eye-spy another street art.  

This is how I felt after the yogurt was totally consumed.  A tiny portion of a bigger street art wall mural.

Then over to my Moms home and found out she has the flu.  So, I talked to her from the outside.  I the meantime I play with her puppies.  A better celebration will be next weekend... bbq at my house.  

When I returned home I was greeted with a bloom from a native white hibiscus with a hint of pink.  Well, that's all for now.  I'll be posting soon.  

Aloha and Sois Sage,

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I Love August!

Fragrant white Ginger blossoms in my yard.

I'm partial to the month of August... not only because it's my birthday month.  I also love August because of the other birthdays of people that are dear to me,  my family and friends.  It's a summer month.  I automatically think of picnics, swimming and shell combing on the beach, going for a walk or just relaxing alone or with friends slurping a tall glass of lemonade.  I imagine reading (I have a lot of unread books... waiting) a book under the shade of a tree, a movie with a friend or out to have a cup of coffee.  
Colors explode during the summer.  Shades of pinks, turquoise, yellows, orange and white are everywhere.  People are more relaxed, kids are out playing and it seems happiness is oozing everywhere.
So, with that being said, I took a different route after a checkup with my plastic surgeon to stop at a frozen yogurt bar.  OH YEAH!  Yummy.  Plain tart flavor with a smudge of fudge cake flavor with fruit pearls and mochi.  I'll have to visit again and show you a picture... good excuse for a return trip to get more frozen yogurt.  ;)  On my alternate route I took on my way home (while slurping yogurt) I came across some incredible street art aka graffiti.  I immediately found street parking and took some pics.  Well, I ate my yogurt first because it was not frozen by the time I found parking.
Take a look...
if you look closely,

you can make out the artist signature on most of the artwork.

Wild and crazy at a local surf and watersports outfitter.

Seems like a woman exhaling kakau (tribal tattoo).

Tame Iti, a maori man with moko (facial tattoo) in western attire including a fancy hat and bow tie.

These pictures were taken in an area called Kakaako.  Its an area where my parents grew up.  Many kamaaina (people of the land) have fond memories of growing up in the Kakaako neighborhood.  

This last picture was taken in a park called Mother Waldron Park honoring Margaret Waldron a beloved schoolteacher who taught at Pohukaina School from 1913-1934.  Mother Waldron as many fondly called her, opened and ran the schools playground for 24 years for the community of working class and indigent citizens, mentoring many children and helped many adults. The park is on the Hawaii Register of Historic Places and the only park in the area.  This art deco/art modern style of landscape architecture was designed by Harry Sims Bent.  This hardscape playround design is historically important both locally and nationally.
Modernization of this industrial/business district is slated for Kakaako impacting many buildings in the area and Mother Waldron Park.  This revitalization will be completed in 15 years changing the climate and culture that stretch through these few blocks.     
I'm happy to have some pictures of the hybrid culture of the area.  Especially where my families roots have gone deeply throughout this section of downtown Honolulu.

As I park my vehicle at home I turn and marvel at the beauty of the green mountains and cooler climate of the countryside.  Happiness!
God's natural "graffiti" right outside my door.

Come back for more Street Art photos and more August happenings... until then be safe.  

God bless you and keep smiling.  Lot's of love.

Aloha and Sois Sage, 

Monday, July 15, 2013


Approaching sunset at Mokuleia Beach, North Shore, Oahu.

An old water tank in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park forest.
Wow.  It's been awhile since I've posted (over a year) and I apologize.  I was a rough year for me and I'm planning on a strong comeback.  I've been sick for awhile, well to be more frank with you, I was and I'm still in the recovery and reconstruction stages of breast cancer.  Last year I decided to get healthy because of my diabetes.  I got into a exercise routine and lost quite a bit of weight which I am proud of.  Then a month before my annual mammogram I felt a weird bump, more like a welt. I though it was a heat rash. It didn't disappear and grew rapidly into a hard ball and by the time I got to the mammo it was huge.  I had a lumpectomy right away and 3 days later I was told I had a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer and would need a mastectomy.  I was also informed that I wouldn't undergo chemotherapy or radiation because it wouldn't have any affect on this form of cancer.

Native Ohelo Berry plant in the middle of the lava fields.
 So, here I am 10 months later, going through the last half of reconstructive surgeries and lots of free time on my hands.  You see, in February my boss passed away unexpectedly and I am currently without a job.  Yes!  It's been wild!  With all this free time in between surgeries, I've been doing research and planning to start a small business.  Beginning with craft fairs this upcoming Christmas season to get a feel of the market.
 Steam from the active volcano.
I need to really decide on products that I would love to make and sell.  I would like to manufacture a few dresses, hand printed pareo (sarong), tote bags and some jewelry, along with some holiday decor items.  I would need a easy-up tent, tables and a camera.  Yes, I need a new camera.  Sand dust got into my Nikon and scratch the lens in the body.  Augh.  Oh yeah, and man power... to help me set up and break down.  Gotta start cracking at the whip now to have enough product by October.

I have a positive outlook on my situation.  I get that from having faith.  Think a little about my situ, a rare (less than 1% of all breast cancers) breast cancer which means almost non-existent research.  Before becoming a cancer patient I always told myself I would choose not to have chemo/radiation because of the bad rap that it has.  But now, I wish I had that option as another layer of protection.  I don't have that option. I am unemployed which just throws another monkey wrench into the mix.
Trunks of the native Ohia Lehua tree are tinged bright orange from the sulfur coming out of the volcano steam vents close by.
And some other factors that I won't mention here for privacy issues make living with cancer and diabetes more challenging for me.  One of the first challenge was finding a internist.  My surgical internist was not the first choice that was selected for me, but a recommendation from the nurse practitioner from my primary dr because the first was unable to take new patients.  The surgical internist oversees the OR drs and critical ICU at the hospital I was set up with. She is a firecracker and set me up with the plastic surgeon and oncologist, both excellent drs.  She held my hand, guided me and provided me with the structure I needed when my world was caving in.  She pushed and reminded me of my strength and of my fighter instinct. "I think you are a brave person.  I don't get too many fighters in my office", she said as she hugged me.  I felt a great weight was lifted and astounded to receive a great team of doctors.
Angel statue in my Moms garden.

 I have faith in God and have many prayer partners who I am eternally grateful for.  I get my strength from God, whom I rely on and continuously give thanks to.
Also, my Mom and brother helped and support me a lot.  I couldn't do it without them and love them dearly. My true besties are great and stand behind, encourage and love me.  It is a blessing also to have the love and support from my extended families

Plant and white berries of the native Pukiawe plant grows in the lush volcano forest.  Favorite food for the endangered  State bird of Hawaii, the Nene Goose.
A shout out to a dear friend and her family (her parents, sister and her family) came for their Christmas holiday vacation and took me with them on a day trip to Hawaii Island (The Big Island) to cheer me on and spend some time with me (that's were I took the volcano shots) before the mastectomy surgery.  Last but far from least, to my friend who is going through her own journey with breast cancer (love you).  We both share and swap stories, cry, laugh, encourage and sound off with each other.  What a great bunch of people! Thank you all for my many blessings.
An overhead canopy of bouganvillea blossoms on a portion of my walking trail.

So, there you have it.  I will start to post regularly and use an old camera to take photos until I am able to purchase a better camera.  But, for the next few postings I will use older pics.  Hopefully ones that you haven't seen from me previously.
I think this is enough for now.  Until my next posting.

Sois Sage (french for be wise) and Aloha,

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I just logged into my new laptop computer.  I'm so happy to be back.  Now, I have familiarize myself with my new toy.  It's taking a little while to get the hang of it.  But, I'm sure it won't take too long before I get the gist of all of the bells and whistles.
Also, I haven't been using my camera too often.  Or sewing.  I've been under the weather and waiting for results from a very important health test.  More about that later.
I'll be posting soon.  So get ready for more adventures from Lei Jolie.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is official, my home computer went to the grave.  It died!  However, it did live a long life and traveled with me.  The computer was a gift that was sent to me in Colorado from Hawaii in 2004.  Then, it traveled to Seattle, Hawaii, Utah, Tennessee and Nebraska.  Now, I have to figure out how to remove the hard drive to retrieve information from it.  Mainly pictures and things I've written for Conservation Council for Hawaii.  So, we'll see what happens with that.
Well, that computer lived a very long life of 8 years.  So, what is that 400 in computer years?
Until I find a new computer my posts will be without pictures.  **sigh**

That's all for now.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hiya, it's me. Just a short post until I get up and running again.

Happy New Year!
I know it's been awhile.
I've had an exciting new year so far.  Here's a brief of what's been happening in my neck of the woods.

I fought the flu.
Then had several chipped and cracked teeth.
Had a blind date that never happened.
A broken toilet tank.
Six weeks of chronic disease awareness classes.
Walking three times a week with a new walking partner.
Visiting a new church with a old lady friend.
Had a pitbull dog growl at me in my yard (new neighbors).
Lost a dress size.
Helping a friend cope with a FUCC (fraudulent use of credit card).
Saving money for a TIN number.
Applying as a vendor (juried) for a AlohaFest in Colorado.
Camera problems (unsolved).
Computer problems (need a new computer).
Went whale watching.
Got addicted to self serve frozen yogurt shops.
Created a couple of new designs.
And have a hundred stuck in my memory bank (my head).

It has been an exciting first two months of 2012.   How has your 2012 been for you?

Once I solve my computer and camera issues I will be back to regular posting.
Until then, take care and God Bless.