Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Weird Weather

The beginning of 2018 has brought some very unusual weather to Sacramento, starting with a heavy hailstorm in February that created a faux snow-scape in downtown Sac. These pictures are the view from my office of the street and sidewalk after the hail had finished falling:

We then had super-strong winds for multiple days in a row in March and April, followed by another mixed-up stormy day a week ago that included rain, hail, and thunder & lightening. This particular round of hail caused damage to the table cover on our patio!

Very weird weather...


Mahalo Moment: Corgis!

Short little legs, close
to the ground,  like Miss Muffin,
but in canine form.

When I run around Downtown and Midtown Sac, I often don't have a specific route but instead take a course that aligns with the traffic lights or avoids too much pedestrian traffic. My morning run today took me towards McKinley Park, and at one particular decision-point, I noticed a woman with two dogs farther up the block. I initially thought I should turn to avoid needing to squeeze by on the narrow sidewalk, but then I realized that the furry critters were corgis. My favorite! So instead, I continued along my way and was able to greet the adorable canines as they accompanied their human on a morning walkabout.

Corgis were one of the first dog breeds that I could recognize and call by name. When I was younger, I attended St. Margaret's overnight camp in Duxbury a few summers in a row. One of the neighbors had corgis that they raised as show dogs, and they invited the campers over for a demonstration. I immediately fell in love with the plump, low-to-the-ground, sweet-faced little canines.

Later, when I met my wonderful Muffin cat in Portland, I realized that corgis are the canine version of Muffin, particularly when she was in her "Rubenesque" stage of curviness. Mr. E may love his German Shepherds with their Frito-smelling paws, but I'll stick with the corgis!


Mahalo Moments: Westin "Amenity" & Special Swim

I'm attending a CalSAE Leadership Retreat at the Westin Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, and the entire staff here has been absolutely amazing, from the Front Desk to Events to Catering. This evening, I received a lovely "amenity" of fruit, macarons, and mini champagne:

In addition, I made a comment during the fabulous reception this evening about how it can be disappointing for someone like me who swims for a workout when resort pools don't open early in the morning. Laura, the Senior Events Manager, then took the initiative to go chat with the security folks to arrange for one of them to meet me tomorrow morning at 6:15am at the pool closest to my room so that I could indeed do a swim workout. Wow. Totally going above and beyond. Amazing. I'm so appreciative!

Definitely mahalo moments worthy of recognition...


Mahalo Moment: Jackrabbit Sighting

West Sac Riverfront:
My morning run. Lots of geese.
And five jackrabbits!

(They look like this. Such big ears!)


Mahalo Moment: Colour-Changing Lucky Cat Aloha Mug

I stumbled across this when browsing in Lahaina during our recent Maui trip:

Notice how the colour of the mug changes from the first photo to the last? Yep, that's right, the mug transforms according to the temperature of the contents. So when it's full of hot coffee, the pink floral background is displayed. But when it's empty or the coffee is cold (boo), then the background returns to all black. So fabulous!


Mahalo Moment: Cyclamen

When we moved to Sac in 2004, we went to San Francisco around the holidays and were both struck by the vibrant and vivacious cyclamen in many of the planters along Market Street. Both Mr. E and I come from colder climates, so seeing flowers in full bloom in the midst of winter was quite a novel experience!

Since then, cyclamen have become one of my favorite flowers, and we have our own planter of them out on the patio (top photo). We discovered that they can be perennial plants if you let them re-seed after the blooms are done. I also recently discovered that they can apparently re-seed if you throw the seed pods over your patio fence!!!

Mahalo moment = wandering white cyclamen growing against the outside wall beyond our patio gate (bottom photo)


Mahalo Moments

As mentioned in my Maui blog posts, Mr. E bought me a beautiful new honu pendant necklace for my birthday. Each of the honu pendants is a unique hand-blown glass creation by the artist, Amy Wakingwolf, and each is named for a honu that she has met while swimming with them in the ocean. My chosen honu is Mahalo, which represents gratitude. The pendant comes with a color photo of the honu that inspired the artist as well as a description of the meaning behind the name:

Mahalo: Gratitude
Aquas & Emeralds
When you are grateful for everything you can illuminate your world, you shine light into all darkness. Mahalo reminds you, to remind yourself, how lucky you are.

When I read this, I realized how perfectly I had chosen my honu, as I'm always saying to Mr. E that we are so lucky and have so much to appreciate and cherish and be grateful for! And this has inspired me to be more actively aware of the various "mahalo moments" in my life, to be more present and observant.

I'm going to start using my blog to capture and share some of these mahalo moments. Perhaps not daily, but definitely on a regular basis.

So to kick things off, here is a mahalo moment from this morning... Catching the scent of jasmine wafting in the air near the Capitol as I rode my bike to work.

What's your mahalo moment? Share in the Comments!