Sunday, November 29, 2009

PHONE CALL FROM DANIEL

We got a phone call from Daniel this morning. He's doing okay. He missed Thanksgiving dinner because he was out on patrol. Bummer! He said they've had a lot of bullets coming their way, and 2 people have been shot, one in the face and the other in the hip, but he didn't see either of them happen. They all sleep on cots in a big tent so that's cool. He told me before he left that they would probably be digging holes in the ground to sleep in. There's lots of little kids in the streets and they hand things out to them. He said the kids like crayons, color books, candy and gum. I guess our next box we send will have stuff for him to hand out. Anyway, it was really nice hearing from him. He will be in Afghanistan until April, so please keep him in your prayers.

Monday, November 16, 2009

BLUEBERRIES DREAMIN'

On weekends, Randy and I have been doing ocean swims. Nothing beats an early morning ocean swim. If you've never tried it, it's something you should do sometime in your lifetime. It's the best! It's invigorating, exciting, scary (or would be if you ran into a shark), and a ton of fun. It's even more fun to go with a large group of people. Sunday I caught a draft off of a good friend of ours and managed to stay up with him pretty well. I just got back into swimming after nearly eight months of being lazy, so we've only been doing 3/4 mile and one mile swims, but soon I hope to be able to go a lot farther.

After our swims we head over to Jamba Juice. We always order the same thing. Randy gets a peanut butter moo'd and I get a blueberries dreamin'. My drink is the best smoothie in the world. It's a drink that was never officially on the Jamba Juice menu, but it consists of soy milk, non-fat frozen yogurt, blueberries and ice. If you ever decide to try one, the cashier may not know what a blueberries dreamin' is, so just say it's a strawberries dreamin' with blueberries instead of strawberries.

The moral of this story is:
Well, there is no moral to this story but I still say you should go for ocean swims and then head over to Jamba Juice for a blueberries dreamin' as often as possible.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A LOVELY STORY

One day, long, long ago, there lived a woman who did not whine, nag or complain. (That would be me...)








But that was a long time ago and it was just that one day.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

MY WEEK AT THE CLUB

For my birthday this year, Randy bought me a week of personal training at the local health club.
Although I am still in great shape since being a high school long distance track runner 32 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.
I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Christo, who identified himself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear.
The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress, so here's how my week went.
________________________________
MONDAY:
I started my day at 5:00 a.m. It was tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Christo waiting for me. He is something of a Greek god-- with blond hair, dancing eyes, and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!!
Christo gave me a tour and showed me the machines. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which he conducted his aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring!
Christo was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time he was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!!
________________________________
TUESDAY:
I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Christo made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then he put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. His rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT! It's a whole new life for me.
_______ ________________________
WEDNESDAY:
The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals.
I was so sore, and Christo was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. His voice is a little too perky for that early in the morning and when he scolds, he gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying.
My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Christo put me on the stair monster. Why in the world would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Christo told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. He said some other senseless things too.
_______________________________
THURSDAY:
Slave driver was waiting for me with his vampire-like teeth exposed as his thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late-- it took me that long to tie my shoes.
He took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. He sent some skinny Witch to find me.
Then, as punishment, he put me on the rowing machine-- which I sank.
_________________________________
FRIDAY:
I hate that guy Christo more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world.. Stupid, skinny, anemic, anorexic, little aerobic instructor. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat him with it.
Christo wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich.
The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?
________________________________
SATURDAY:
Satan left a message on my answering machine in his grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing his voice made me want to smash the machine with my planner; however, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel..
________________________________
SUNDAY:
I can hardly move, so I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year Randy will choose a gift for me that is fun-- like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

HAWAII: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

PART ONE

While Hawaii is a beautiful state, a paradise actually, like everywhere else, it does have its downfalls.
For example, climbing out of bed early one morning, I headed for the shower. I reached in, turned the water on, pulled the shower curtain closed and stepped in. Suddenly there was a cane spider running right at me.
The EEEK that came out of my mouth was loud enough to wake Randy up, but since he didn't hear anything else, he didn't know what woke him up. So here I am, a huge spider coming right at me. I jumped out of the shower now knowing what to do, but the spider kept coming toward me. I grabbed the shower hose off the wall and began spraying the spider away from me, to the back of the shower. The spider got all soggy looking, so thinking it was dead I quit spraying it. Instantly it jumped up and came at me again! The stupid thing! Why couldn't it stay dead? I sprayed it some more, but every time I quit spraying, it would come back to life. Then a great idea popped into my head. Hot water! Mine was only warm, so I reached in while still spraying the spider of course, and cranked the water onto the hottest it would go. Five minutes later, that sucker was finally dead. Just to be sure, I grabbed a shampoo bottle (Randy's, since I didn't want spider gunk on mine), and ground that huge brown thing into the drain. I was terrified during my shower, thinking that the spider was going to reattach it's legs and come after me again. I kept my eyes on that drain for the whole shower and for the next, and the next....


Cane spiders are usually the size of a can of tuna fish and will often find their way into houses. They are beneficial in the home and it is not recommended to kill them (either let them live in your home, or let it outside).
Yeah right! Like I'm going to let this monster live in my house. And who's going to catch it and put it outside, when it's only interest seems to be in chasing you???

Next comes the centipede. These are NOT for the faint hearted! These things look like Doberman Pinchers! They're huge, and very mean looking! And a bite can leave you in excruciating pain for several hours to a few days! They can grow to ten inches in length, and are said to only attack people when they feel threatened. I'm not sure if I agree with that though, since people have told me that they've been bitten an night, while sleeping in their beds.
Randy and I have had several in our house and they are hard to kill, but luckily none of us have been bitten.


Vog is another nuisance which can cause several medical conditions. The only good thing that I have found with vog, is that on heavy vog days, it blocks the sun rays, making for a cooler day.
It is so much prettier here on vog-free days. Vog is created when volcanic gasses react with sunlight, oxygen and moisture. In Hawaii, vog mostly affects the Kona coast on the west side of the Island of Hawaii. The long-term health effects of vog are unknown.

ANTS:
Ants are a huge problem in Hawaii. We have problems with sugar ants, but even worse than sugar ants are these tiny little ants that I think are called Pharaoh ants. They are so tiny that they are hard to see and they get into EVERYTHING! They like greasy foods and sweet foods alike.
Randy had an unfortunante run-in with them one day. He got out a pair of bike shorts that he hadn't worn in several months, put them on, only to find out that there was a nest of the ants in the shorts. There were hundreds of ants and eggs. If you've ever wondered what it feels like to have 'ants in your pants' just ask Randy.



I almost hesitate to put this next cute little critter on my page, but it really is a nightmare for those unfortunate enough to be infested by these pests. Although we have Coqui frogs at our house, we don't have enough to bother us, but some areas of the Big Island are so infested with them that people have problems sleeping. The noise is said to be so loud, that you can't even carry on a conversation in your own house. The noise levels have been measured at up to 80-90 decibels, comparable to that produced by a lawnmower.


The dreaded cockroach:
I know that Hawaii isn't the only place with cockroach problems, and Randy and I have been very lucky to not have a problem with them. I really really hate them. I have people at work that say that the roaches in their homes are so bad that they get on their toothbrushes, in their food, they even will eat the paste on envelopes.


There are a lot more creepy, gross, ugly, scary things here, but to list them all would take me hours, and would use up too much space on my blog, so I'm stopping here.

Stay tuned for part two. Hawaii: the good...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

THE END OF THE ROAD

We had a blast the last two weeks with our daughter, Camilla and her fiance, Alan. Camilla was our foreign exchange daughter from Denmark, when we lived in Oregon before moving to Hawaii.
We were lucky enough to have her come for a two week visit after not seeing her for three and a half years. We also had the privilege of meeting her fiance, Alan for the first time.
I got to go to the Pololu Valley for the first time. Pololu Valley is also known as the End of the Road because the road just ends right there at the cliff. The view from above, overlooking the valley and ocean was breathtaking.
While they were here, we went kayaking, snorkeling, to Captain Cook and Kealakekua Bay, to the Keauhou and Honokohau harbors, we went and watched Randy compete in the half ironman, plus much more.


Camilla and Alan kayaking



Camilla and Alan on the beach in front of the King Kamehameha Hotel



Randy and Camilla kayaking


Pololu Valley

Pololu Valley


A ranch at Pololu Valley



Pololu Valley



The people that live in a house at Pololu Valley were nice enough to put out water and cups for tourists. Opala is the Hawaiian word for garbage.












Randy took this photo at the Waikoloa Village Hilton. I love the birds they have there.


The Hilton


The Hilton

Sunday, May 3, 2009

CANOE RACES

For the last couple of weeks I've been spending my evenings out paddling at the pier to get ready for the tenth annual Businessman's Regatta. I did the race last year and had a blast, so when I was asked to paddle again this year I jumped at the chance. The first regatta ten years ago had only twelve teams but has grown larger with each passing year. This year there were fifty teams, with six people per team.


Waiting for the race to start


Me with friends Jody and Karen, still waiting for the race to start


Trying to get into canoe


Heading out to the start line


video
Video of the first race


Just after the first race

There were four teams racing at a time, and my team came in second out of the four teams that were in our heat. Then there was a long wait to see how we did overall.
My women's team ended up being in the top four, so we made it into the finals.


The finals race

We ended up taking third in the finals. All in all, it was a fun day, too much sun, sore muscle, but a lot of fun.


Bringing the canoe in after the race


Another shot of bringing in the canoe



Putting the canoe away


My personal cheering committee and photographer, Randy


The second half of my cheering committee, Rebecca



Photographer Rebecca took this picture



At home showing off my medal