Good-bye, “Hungry Girl Eats”

Wow. It’s time.

I started this blog when I was very, very hungry. I needed a lot of nourishment, and it had a lot less to do with food and eating than I ever suspected.

The healing journey of the past year and a half has shown me much about myself, about my place in the world, and who I am here to be.

In many ways it seems that the learning has just begun.

Learning to sit with hunger in it’s various forms and faces. To listen to it. To feel it. To breathe into it. To allow it without pushback.

Learning to recognize hunger as a signal to replenish and be well.

Learning to choose kindness and love with each new breath, and each new moment, over and over again.

What I “get” now, that I didn’t get then, is that mind, body and spirit go hand in hand.

When we nourish ourselves and others in thought, feeling and being, our bodies can truly be well.

I may not have it all figured out, but I have found my way back to the heart. And from here on out, heart is leading the way.

Thank you for bearing witness to my journey of healing. Thank you for your support, your encouragement, your kindness, your love. For all I have been through and lived to learn, I am grateful.



Quinoa Power Bowl

Hawea recently revisited her campaign for me to cook a little more, so you may be seeing a few more “interesting” dinner posts in days to come.

Tonight’s effort was a “quinoa power bowl”.



This was a mix of quinoa, ground beef (was supposed to be turkey), black beans, Roma tomato, red pepper, & some seasonings, topped with avocado and sour cream.

Hawea gave it a B-.

I think she was being generous! It was okay except for the fact that it needed better / different seasonings. Overall it was pretty “blah” tasting. I’m not in a hurry to make this exact meal anytime soon (or ever again), but I liked the quinoa so it may be reappearing in other, tastier combinations!

I’ll keep trying. 🙂

Iselle left her mark

Well, we made it through! Our neighborhood was well protected and the storm swept right on by. Friends, co-workers and acquaintances who live in the HPP/ Puna area didn’t fare so well. 😦

There are many pictures and videos circulating of the destruction – trees and power lines down, some damages to homes, etc. One friend described it by saying “it looks like a bomb went off”.

From what we’ve been hearing, ice to keep food from spoiling is one big need, as well as generators to run a household in more comfort. The past couple of days, people have spent hours waiting in line at the Pahoa fire station for emergency ice and tarp giveaways.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those who will be dealing with power outages (and water shortages) for the foreseeable future.

In the meantime, we’ve had friends over for hot showers, hot coffee, to plug in & recharge their electronics, & to fill coolers with ice from our freezer and water. The plan is to keep making block ice, who know how long it will be needed.

I saw somewhere that the HELCO workers who are working tirelessly to restore power have been confronted by angry customers. Please keep the patience and tolerance of all in your thoughts, as challenges can bring out both the best and worst in people!

Thank you all very much for your prayers and your words of love and support. I believe that your loving thoughts and hopes for our safety played a part in keeping us all safe and sound!

In signing off, I’ll share pictures not of the destruction, but this vivid sign of life! This lovely lily blossomed in the early morning hours after Iselle passed by. Just a little burst of sunshine to see us through. 🙂


Preparing for Iselle and Julio: The calm before the storm

There was an eerie sense of calm today as preparations for the hurricanes got underway.

I headed out around 12:30 to pick up some basic supplies and the first thing I noticed was about triple the amount of cars on the roads.

The stores were packed – no parking to be found – so I parked in a nearby lot and walked. (It was good to fit a walk in, anyway).

We already had bottled water and plenty of food and toilet paper. Vea put me on battery, flashlight and candle duty and she agreed to pick up charcoal.

Flashlights were sold out but I was able to stock up on batteries (surely we have functional flashlights somewhere) and candles.

I also grabbed the truly important stuff like chocolate, peanut butter, Nutella, granola bars, mixed nuts, nacho fixins’ and a couple of bottles of wine.

I will admit, it was tempting to get swept up in Hurricane Fever and throw a bunch of random stuff in the basket “just because”. I literally had to talk myself out of buying a case of spam that was conveniently placed by the checkout lanes. (I don’t eat spam.) I *may* have purchased a ton of other junk food that I otherwise would not have bought because we all know that crap food has an eternal shelf life. It seemed logical at the time.


Just now, I’m struck by the ridiculousness of my purchases if, in fact, the storms do kick our asses in. We can take some small comfort in the fact that Hawea’s mom is a total badass when it comes to survival skills. (If you know Christy, then you know what I mean.)

It was a pleasant surprise that the gas station had a few empty pumps and I didn’t have to wait in line to fill up. I learned today that I’m not the only person who wonders why we need a full tank of gas on an island if you live within a few miles of your destination. And yet, we fill up anyway. Because that’s what you do!

We’ve got containers of water freezing. Tomorrow we’ll fill tubs and buckets, anchor down what we can outside and move the outdoor furniture in.

In the neighborhood this evening, sounds of screw guns permeated the silence, as plywood went up, sheet by sheet over windows. I was a little relieved to see that no houses on our street went that far (we didn’t board our windows up either) . A part of me is wondering if we will all regret it.

My office, like pretty much all state offices in Hilo, has received a closure notice. We will be closing tomorrow at noon and remain closed on Friday.

The sheer disconnect between this beautiful day-

-and the swirling mass of energy heading right for us – is a little disconcerting.

Just a few moments ago, a mellow sounding rain broke the silence.

All we do now is wait. And in the waiting, pray.


Just popping in to say I’m feeling really grateful. 🙂

Another week has come and gone and I’m feeling good and happy in my skin again. No longer fearful or mistrusting of my body, no longer waiting for the other shoe to drop. And no longer willing to believe there are limits on how much goodness one person deserves.

The things that occupy my mind and heart these days are ideas of expansion, opportunity, creativity, love, fun, laughter, joy, adventure, risk, reward and peace.

Something I learned today – and just today – is that on a subconscious level –complete healing requires the willingness to separate from trauma.

Separating from trauma, in my case, began as a fearful, faithless journey. Over time it evolved into an empowerment trip; a pilgrimage of the soul.

I’m advancing daily in the direction of the fearless. And I’m enjoying the beautiful process of rebuilding faith. It would be untrue to say I haven’t been tested – but each test so far has delivered blessings.

For this, and more, I am grateful.




What to eat in Hilo?

Lately I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying some REALLY good food!

Yesterday we picked up lunch (from Naung Mai Thai Kitchen and man, it was delish!!!!

We ordered pumpkin curry with tofu, pad thai with shrimp and an order of spring rolls.

It was the best curry I’ve ever had: the perfect balance of sweetness with coconut milk and just enough spicy heat. I wish I had a picture to share but I was WAY more into enjoying the experience of savoring it. I did snap a pic of the restaurant though.


Another winning local lunch is the macadamia nut chicken salad on a bed of lettuce with tomato chunks, cucumber slices and fresh pesto dressing.

This is one of those meals that delivers true satisfaction every single time. The chicken packs a protein punch, the mac nuts add a nice nutty crunch, the lettuce is always crisp and veggies always fresh and bursting with flavor. As if that wasn’t good enough, the pesto dressing ties it all together in a surprising and wonderful way.

It’s rare that I find myself craving salad but this one finds it’s way periodically onto the “need it” list!

My third and final food crush (for now) came from the mainland, courtesy of my thoughtful boss.


I’ve tried to make these in the past and wasn’t satisfied, but these little puppies from Trader Joes are tasty and addictive. (A big thank you, T, introducing me to a new tasty snack!) Our Safeway carries a few different flavors of a competing brands. Most likely I will be trying them out.

And just a side note- in reviewing these 3 things it amazes me to realize that my tastes and preferences have changed A LOT (and I do mean A LOT) in the past few years. Life is so much more flavorful and delicious than it ever used to be. How fun is that? 🙂

Aloha Wins

Yesterday was a good, happy day. We gathered in downtown Hilo for the 2nd annual Hawaii Island Pride parade and festival.

This year’s theme was “Aloha Wins”. Inspired by the community’s love and support at last year’s parade, the concept for this year’s Hawaii Island Pride float included mirrors that would reflect the crowd’s aloha back to them.

Hawea and her mom spent hours
constructing a gold medal with wood cutouts and preparing the mirrors and our friend Wendy created these awesome flowers.


Friday night, Team Blanchard ( & Pyburn /Parr) rolled in with buckets of greenery and took this idea to a whole new level.



20140713-084258-31378125.jpg They, along with more of our island Ohana came together the next morning for final setup and finishing touches.

20140713-084806-31686865.jpgOur friends Katherine and Jeannette spent hours shining their truck to da max (even the wheels were polished!!)and towed this puppy in style.


It was my first time walking in a pride parade, and I did so to support Hawea. Even though the music malfunctioned and the crowd was sparse in places, it was perfect to me.

Walking the streets of our little town, hand in hand, we thanked people for coming out (no pun intended). It was special in an indescribable way.

It was an added bonus when the float received the 1st place trophy:



For Hawea and all who pitched in, congratulations on your win.

And more importantly, thank you to each and every one of you who enveloped my girl with your aloha and support.

Thank you for recognizing what this project meant to her, for showing up and coming through with more help and love than she ever expected.

Thank you for your patience and compassion – for coming together as family. You’re living proof of this year’s theme. Aloha wins… Because of you.

Because puppies are cute even when they’re shaggy.

For today, how about a post that shows you what a hopeless pet mom I am?

Charlie was on the scruffy side in the past couple of weeks (and that’s putting it nicely.)

She went to see Mahea at Shear Magic on Saturday and came back looking like an entirely different dog.

20140707-172024-62424184.jpgI’m not sure what she was happiest about – being able to actually see again or being rid of all that fluffy hair in the summer heat.

It was a good weekend full of sunshine and cuddle time, and that’s not easy to beat. 🙂


Big Island Independence Day

Aloha 🙂 I hope you all had a nice holiday weekend! The weather was NOT looking good when we headed out to Volcano for the 4th of July parade.

20140706-195728-71848222.jpgLuckily, the mist lightened up and before we knew it, clear skies prevailed.

We saw our share of interesting characters:

20140706-195730-71850662.jpgand put some adoptable cuties in the spotlight.

20140706-195729-71849451.jpg(Sorry, this one’s taken).

20140706-195731-71851554.jpgI was amazed that the weather ended up being so nice – and really enjoyed this view of Mauna Kea as we walked toward Cooper Center.

Later on we ended up at Hawea’s mom’s house while they did more work on a float for next week’s parade.

Then we enjoyed sausages with avocado and mac salad for dinner – it was good but it would have been even better with sweetbread. Since I didn’t think to buy buns until 4:30 that afternoon there wasn’t much to choose from. But it’s all relative. I’m well aware that being able to buy food is a privilege, as is being able to eat it.

20140706-221247-79967339.jpg It’s easy to take simple things for granted sometimes- but the fact that they are simple doesn’t mean they’re insignificant. Sometimes I look back on my challenges with extra gratitude because of the perspective I’ve gained.

Here’s a photo of Mother Nature’s own fireworks display. Looking back to my first pic of the day, I’m amazed at how quickly and beautifully circumstances can change, even when change is what we least expect.

20140706-225146-82306376.jpgIn a nutshell, this was a great day — full of thankfulness, and the joy of simple blessings.

Are you looking for a yoga class?

Today was an “I need a yoga class” kind of a day. Don’t ask me why. I can’t say I feel that way very often, but I was struck with the realization that being centered, focused and intentional would probably do me a lot of good.

Listening to that feeling, I signed up for a 5:30 class at a studio downtown. That plan was good until I realized I didn’t have any workout clothes at the office. By the time I got something suitable to wear, it was too late. I called the studio and cancelled my spot in the class.

Feeling slightly bummed, I headed to the park for a walk. As I was walking through the parking lot, a lady pulled up in her car and asked me a question through the window:

Are you looking for a yoga class?”

I must have looked confused because she then explained that she was looking for the class that’s held in the park. She was getting ready to call the instructor and see where the group was meeting.

By then I was smiling and I told her that in fact, I would very much appreciate an hour of yoga. I grabbed my mat and accompanied her to the other side of the park, where eventually we found the class.

It’s funny sometimes how life gives us exactly what we need, even if we don’t know what to ask for. I would have been satisfied with an indoor class. But this hour of uninterrupted mindfulness, of connection to the earth, the sky, the breeze … it was a gateway to a deeper kind of peace.

So here I am, relaxed & peaceful, full of gratitude and ready for a lovely holiday weekend. 🙂 Happy 3rd of July!

xo …

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