Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's Eve!

This picture is the BIG SPLASH at Mackenzie State Park. We could sit and watch these waves come in and hit the cliffs all day. It's so breathtaking. Mackenzie State Park is only about 5 miles from here, so those same waves are hitting the coastline here, close to this house. We can hear them crashing when we go to bed at night and all the rest of the time, too. It's just that there are a few competing sounds through the day, but when we go to bed it's so neat to hear that sound. We thank God for this opportunity.

Today Don is totally engrossed in football. It's a good day for him as OU won. It's a good day for me because I can ignore the sounds of football and hear the ocean! A neighbor was taking down a huge tree this morning, so I got a hoot out of watching that. I'm like a kid finding a fire engine over most anything. I'm really easy to entertain, so when ocean waves come on the stage I'm in a trance, loving every moment of it.

Next week we'll go to Bob's house and on the way we'll watch for whales. I really can hardly wait for that! We haven't seen a whale, yet, so this is exciting for us. Plus, we're eager to see Bob and Mimi; we haven't seen them since August and they've married since then, so that's exciting!

Tonight we will celebrate by going to bed early. Fuddy duds do that, but we'll be enjoying the ocean tomorrow and be wide awake for it! Woo Hoo! (Actually, it will probably be football all day, again. Ha.) Whatever you do, be safe, enjoy and have a wonderful 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

This picture is one Don took yesterday when we went to Mackenzie State Park. We thought the rainbow was cool. I didn't fall; I got down there to get into the picture with the rainbow! In the background you can see a couple of tour vans and a bunch of tourists

Today we walked to the coast, again. It's a favorite walk. It takes a little less than an hour to walk down there and enjoy the water a while and come back to the house. It's good exercise and a wonderful opportunity to see God's wonders and give Him thanks. Of course we see that everywhere, but those crashing waves are so awesome and cannot be denied.

Think about this quote; I think it's interesting: [Frame every so-called disaster with these words. "in Five years will this matter?"] 2010 is right around the corner; let's make it a wonderful year, give thanks all the way, and trust totally in our God.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jeff!

This is our son, Jeff, who lives in North Las Vegas with his wife, Jeanette and two daughters, Janelle and Jessie. Some time this year we hope to get back out there to see them. The last time we saw Jeff was when I took this picture and we had gone to Don's brother's celebration of life. Precious memories. We thank God that he was able to join us with lots of family at that time.

Today we went back to Mackenzie State Park and the waves were awesome. We really love it when they crash against the cliffs! The water was spraying on us, it was so high. I'll post pictures from that on another day.

Then we came home and it turned into laundry day and Don is watching football. I only had a couple of loads to do, but it's good to stay caught up. I'm all cleaned up and ready for a hot tub session whenever there is a break in the football. The hot tub has been so good for my back. I think my back is all better. For the most part it doesn't hurt, but it's sore and from time to time when I turn it reminds me to be careful! So, I'm really grateful that Harry keeps the hot tub ready for use; it's helping to keep my back in good shape.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A restful Monday.

This is a picture of Harry in the kitchen before he left. The room behind him is the office. I'm usually in one of those two places if we aren't out hiking, somewhere. We haven't hiked much the last week since I hurt my back pulling weeds. It's much better, today, though. It takes a little time, but God made it to repair. We are going to hike down to the coast as soon as I post this. We were without Internet for several hours yesterday, so I want to get this done early.

It's not like there is anything to report. We spent the morning waiting on the dishwasher repair guy and then he didn't do anything when he got here except reschedule for after Harry gets home. How inefficient is that? It's okay with me; the dishwasher is at the bottom of my list of things it takes to keep me happy. I only mention it lest you think we are totally stress free here. Ha! If my biggest stress is waiting on the dishwasher repair guy (and it is) then I have only praises to sing!

Have a great week and give some thinking toward gratitude. That'll keep you busy; it does me!

Every day is special.

Sorry to be so late posting, but our Internet connection was down for about 4 hours and i just connected; here's the post:

Here is a picture Don took of me when we walked down to the coast on Christmas day. The folks at home had a white Christmas, and we had a blue one; we love the blue of the water! It's so nice to be in walking distance of the coast and to be able to make the walk. I thank God every day for our ability to be mobile!

My back is sore, but lots better after my massage yesterday. I haven't taken any more Ibuprofen, so that's really good. I ache thinking about the folks at home shoveling snow and Gretta mulching her trees. I'm sure I'm not the only one with a sore back, and then there's Ruthie, who is recovering from two back surgeries since November 2nd! Whew! I feel better, already; everything is relative!

A good quote: "Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie; don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special." Amen! (Emphasis mine.)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hang on for safety?

Check out my husband hanging onto a tree for safety at the edge of the cliff . . . look closer: that tree's roots aren't even in the ground! It's not dirt that the tree is hooked into, though; it's lava and I think it's pretty solid. Anyway, Don is safely watching football right now after this excursion yesterday.

Today we went to the local farmer's market and there were lots of people there fixing breakfast, selling their wares (jewelery, clothing, etc.) and at least 3 people doing massages. My back had to have one of those massages! She helped me a lot and gave me some clues about how to get better quickly. If I don't get better soon, she gave me the card of a chiropractor who is local, too. I do feel better, so I thank God for the massage.

Don is watching football, so I have lots of free time today. It's nice to sit and read about all the things we need to do in Maui. We'll only be there 2 weeks, but there looks to me like about 6 months of things to see and places to go. Hmmmm; a whirlwind trip it will be! Here we go: Don's Tours!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Mele Kalikimaka!

People wonder what one does on Christmas in Hawaii: we walked down to the coast and you can see behind me lots of people went to Kahena Beach! There were even guys where we were, and there is usually nobody there. Two guys were fishing, one guy was running and one guy rode his bike down to the edge of the cliffs and was sitting there doing yoga, I think. We keep watching for dolphins, but haven't seen any, yet. We'll keep looking!

It's been an easy day, here. We enjoyed our walk, then I gave Don a Christmas haircut. After our showers we'll go down for a sit in the hot tub. The weather is gorgeous and we're enjoying it!

My back is still really complaining about my session pulling weeds, but the walk today was good for me. I thank God that I can still move (and that I found Harry's stash of Ibuprofen to raid!). Ruthie is still recovering from her surgeries and she is in lots worse pain than I am, so I keep reminding myself to be grateful. She is slowly getting better, and we have high hopes that she'll be able to make a trip to the mountains in Gatlinburg the last week in February. It's a good goal for her. Then we have lots more goals for the rest of the year; there's our family reunion in June and then our high school reunion in September. We have big plans for her, so we just pray that her back will heal in time for her to get to do all this traveling.

Hope your Christmas Day was wonderful and that your new year will be great, as well. Thanks for keeping up with us!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve!

This is a picture Don took when we went to MacKenzie State Park. I love all those ironwood trees and the needles they drop: it's like a carpet to walk there. I call it the storybook park.

I hate to post pictures of us at the beach and hiking in shorts and tank tops when everyone at home is freezing. It IS the white Christmas that we always dream of and sing about; this will be the Christmas to remember, I think! Lots of folks in our area at home don't have power, so that's such a drag. Many have gas heat, so they aren't cold. They don't have to worry about the food thawing in the freezer; all they have to do is take it out to the garage because it's about 20 out there.

Harry called today (we're staying in his house) to see how we're doing and to wish us a Merry Christmas. He said, "Are you doing anything special for Christmas?" Ha! We are in Hawaii, staying at a wonderful home; how could we do anything more special? Since it's only the two of us, we didn't plan any big special meal. We'll eat as we normally do. I did make pie crackers today; that's pie crust in strips. Then I heat up some cherry pie filling and Don puts the strips in a bowl and then pours on some pie filling and then tops it with more strips; he calls that cherry cobbler and it's easy, so I love it. Sometimes we just have pie crackers and I put sugar and cinnamon on them, but not this time. I don't eat that sweet stuff (although I would love it), so I'm having the pomelo for my treat tomorrow.

I thank God that everyone at home seems to be coping with the blizzard well and enjoying a white Christmas. I pray that the folks in the country near us get their power back soon!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The big splash!

Here's the picture I promised yesterday. You can still see that the tide was out by the stripes on the lava cliffs on the right. If the tide had been in, this crashing wave would have been so awesome; no doubt I would have done the happy dance. I was way pleased to get this one because it's so hard to click the camera at the right time to get the water before it falls! You can judge the size of the splash by the car parked up on the cliff. That's not a compact, car, either; it's a full size.

Today we didn't do any hiking. I'm giving my back some time off. We did go to the closest grocery store and got some more things. We felt the need for something special for Christmas, so we bought ingredients for cherry cobbler. That will be Don's treat and I have a pomelo that will be my treat. I thank God for such a fine fruit and the opportunity to get one from time to time. We can find them here, and of all places, we get them in Branson! (In case you aren't familiar with pomelos, google them. They are kind of a cross between a grapefruit and an orange and so yummy!)

God Bless you all and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Back is out for a day or two.

Today we went to Mackenzie State Park. It's about 5 miles from Harry's house and one of our favorite spots on the Island. We had no clue if the tide was in or out until we got to the edge of the cliffs and we could see that it was OUT. If you look at this picture, you can tell by the markings on the cliff where the water often comes and it was not there when we were there at all. We saw this cool sort of cave and hole in the cliff, so I asked Don to take a picture getting that and me, standing at the top of it all. This kind of topography is so fun for us! Tomorrow I'll post a picture of one of the waves crashing into our favorite spot here. Tom and Linda, watch for it; you'll remember it! We miss you two!

We took a hike out by Issac Hale park, but it wasn't tough; good thing! Then we went to Mackenzie State Park and enjoyed a picnic lunch and an easy walk. We had pulled weeds in the yard yesterday and my back wasn't up for anything tough. It was wonderful to have something easy to do nearby. Who would have thought that pulling weeds would throw out my back? It wasn't the pulling, it was the bending. We didn't have to do it; we were just enjoying being outside and doing something constructive. I'll leave the rest of the weeds for Harry and his Round Up, but I'm pleased with the patch I cleared. God is so good; He made us so that we can heal with a couple of days of rest, so I think I'll be lots better tomorrow. PTL!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A real adventure!

Dial up beats me getting a snail mail out to everyone, but, it sure is the pits. Our Internet service has been down since the big rain, lightning and thunder we had Saturday, as well as 19 hours and 20 minutes of no power. Anyway, I've been working to get this posted forever and it won't go. If there is a picture, count it as a blessing; if not, I'll come through with pictures whenever I can. Dec. 21, 2009.

Okay, the Internet guru just left and I think this will post, WITH a picture! I hope! 12/21/09 4:53 p.m. Hawaii time. Follows all I 've been working to post for the last hundred years (it seems).

Okay, UNCLE. I've been attempting to load the picture for 3 hours. I'm going to post and I'll post the picture that goes with this when we get high speed, again. This picture is one Don took when we were hiking on Friday. It was really thick, sometimes, and I was doing my best to stand still while he took the picture of this 'road.' Notice the deep water in this hole. I was standing on the lava at the 'bump in the road.' We didn't see anyone driving in this particular spot, but there were a couple of trucks back around the beach and there were tracks, so we know this is how they went. I just can't figure out how they did it, even with 4 wheel drive. They weren't great looking trucks, so maybe they just tumble over this spot? Tom, we thought of you! Linda, it was better to hike in than to ride over THIS road!

Now, that was Friday. Saturday it rained all day and night. We had lightning and thunder like we get at home a lot, but it's very unusual here. They called it a storm and it really did disable us! We were without power for 19+ hours and the high speed internet connection (for which the hub is right here in this house!) was disabled. The guru called me and walked me through whatever I needed to do to get things going again, but, alas, the lightning must have gotten to it. He's sending a person who knows what he's doing tomorrow. So, tomorrow will be interesting. The dishwasher repair man is coming (it broke before we got here and he's been twice since we got here) and the internet repair guy is coming. We're still basking in electricity, so we're happy to hang loose and wait on the repair guys. It took me a couple of hours to get the dial up set up and working. Whew. I'm about teched out!

No kidding we were sitting at the table eating shredded wheat with peanut butter on it when the power came back on. We got right up and fixed something hot, and gave THANKS! God is so taking care of us! It was so good to have running water and lights, not to mention gas. It was wonderful to be able to open the fridge! It was especially wonderful that the food in the freezer was firm enough to leave. I was imaging having to cook everything and re-freeze it to save it. 19 hours is a pretty long time, but Harry's freezer and fridge did a beautiful job.

This is an adventure! It broke me in for not being able to post on the blog. It reminds me that when we go to Maui, we may not have internet connection, so maybe I'll be weaned from blogging? We'll see. Thanks for your patience and for keeping up with us.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hiking crazy!

This is a picture Don took of me today on some adventure. There is a place along the road, near here, that has a sign that says, "Scenic View." We asked Harry what that was, because you can't see anything from the road. He said there were some steam caves back in there. So, we parked the car and took off down a 'trail' in search of the steam caves. It was tough going! It was so overgrown you couldn't see the trail. What trails we did see looked like wild boar trails. We could feel the steam coming out of piles of lava very often. We finally did find a little cave with lots of steam; it was like God's sauna. It's warm enough here, that we didn't want to be sitting in a sauna for long! It would have been nice if finding it and finding our way out weren't so rough. So, we gave up on the steam caves and were happy to find our way back to the car!

Then we went to another place where Harry's son had told us there was a 2 mile hike to a beach. Well, we made that, but it was pretty tough going, too. It wasn't all overgrown, but it was very muddy in places and very overgrown in others. Once Don slipped down, but he said he only hurt his pride. Whew! The picture is me climbing around to avoid the 'road,' which was past muddy and covered in water. So, two miles in and two miles out in addition to climbing around hunting the steam caves gave us a bunch of exercise today!

That wasn't enough, we decided to go view the volcano's lava spilling into the ocean tonight. It's wonderful to be so close that it's not an all day adventure to go to the volcano! We're about 7 miles from where you park to hike in to view the lava. Actually, you can't see the lava; you just see the steam and the glow of the lava reflecting on the steam. We did get to see what looked like fireworks a couple of times. It's so far away that you really can't tell what is happening. It's funny to hear the crowd and all their ideas of what's happening. That was another tough hike. We must be crazy! My knees are so ready for a shower and to go to bed! But, we loved every minute of it and thank God that we're able to do this hiking and that we have the opportunity to be here!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

We're happy on the beach!

This is a picture Don took on our hike to the black sand beach today. Notice the palms growing; these are from coconuts that people brought out here to get their beautiful beach to return. Kahena Beach, where we went yesterday, is also a black sand beach, but this one is known as 'the' black sand beach because it is the newest black sand beach. Black sand is created only when there is a volcanic eruption and the gases and temperature are such that it not only pours into the ocean, but it explodes, as well leaving the black sand. So, when the black sand washes out into the ocean it's gone and isn't likely to return. Whereas white sand is constantly replenished by coral and something else, which I forget. It's something I read in my guide book which I left at home due to weight! Anyway, the black sand beaches are very special and this one where we went today is the newest one. It goes for quite a distance, which we walked and then we walked way past it. It was a great hike.

It's only the afternoon here, so that's all we've done today besides lay out in the sun when we came home. We want to get all the Vitamin D we can, plus we want to prepare our bodies so that we don't have to be afraid of the sunshine when we get a chance to watch for whales.

I told you about the road being closed yesterday? We read in the paper that it was because some guy (age 60) had flipped out and was shooting round after round from his gun as well as yelling, etc. A couple of neighbors called 911 and they had him trapped in his house for about 24 hours. They finally lured him out for food and water and he started shooting at the cops and they shot him, dead. This all happened withing a mile of us and we had no idea any of it was happening. Our friend, Tom, would have said, "Man, what's the matter with you? Here you are on the beach in Hawaii and you can't be happy???" I guess he couldn't; what a shame.

We thank God that we can be here and we find it a very happy place for most folks. I pray for anyone who can't be happy anywhere, but especially here; they must be demonized.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nude beach? I don't think so!

Here is a picture I took today of Don headed down to the nearby beach. It's a rough climb down and back. For those of you who've been with us down into Pololu Valley, it's like the hardest curve at Pololu, but it's not very far, so it's a real doable thing.

It's a gorgeous place and it's known for the dolphins coming to swim with the people. We didn't see any dolphins. The other thing it's known for is that it's a nude beach! No lie. Most people had on suits, but there were some totally comando. To each his own. We didn't go all the way down; there were no dolphins, so we were very content to leave.

The very interesting thing was that they had the road closed right at the beach. Nobody could go past the beach because someone had 'gone crazy,' as the policeman told us. For everyone's safety they wouldn't allow anyone through. We were walking and had not intended to go any farther than the beach, so it didn't bother us at all. We don't see many policemen around here, so that was kind of different.

We got some sun on our walk and then we came home and stayed out in the sun for about an hour. I'm studying my tour book on Maui, so that we can fill those two weeks and not miss a thing. (Don's Tours expands to Maui!) It's sure nice to be here relaxing. It's wonderful at Harry's house.

I thank God for the health to walk and climb; who would have thought I'd be here doing this two years ago? I thought that trip we made 3 years ago would be my last trip and this is the third trip since then. God is so good to me!

We have a great view.

The picture tonight is taken from the lanai (deck) of Harry's house. The water is about 3 blocks from here when we walk: less than a block south and then a couple of blocks east to the water. It's such a beautiful blue and we can hear it crashing against the cliffs from here sometimes. It's amazing how quiet it is out here!

We made that walk to the cliffs today. Tomorrow we'll make the same walk, only go a couple more blocks south and go to Kahena Beach. That should be an event. We could see that beach today, but we didn't see any dolphins. They say that dolphins come up to the beach and swim with the people. I'd like to see that. We've seen dolphins before, but not this trip, yet.

Whales; you are probably wondering why I haven't said anything about whales, yet. There are whales on this side of the island, but not very common to see. The whales we are anxious to see are the humpback whales who come down from Alaska from December-March. They are west and north of this island, between the Big Island and Maui. We will see plenty of them when we go up to house-sit at Bob's house as he is on the northern tip of this island and you can see Maui from his house. So, for now, we are thrilled to be here and be getting ready for lots of whale watching next month. (We are on the south east side of the island right now.)

We got some sun on our walk today. Then we came back and pulled some weeds to get some more sun. Then we stayed out there and I read about Maui while we got some more sun. It'll be so good to get some color back and we want to get some gentle time in the sun so that we can sit for hours and watch whales next month without getting burned.

I washed 3 loads of clothes today, so we're ready to go some more days. We spent some time in the hot tub tonight, too. I never made it to that yesterday. I was too tired to even go down there, let alone lift the top off of it and put it back. It was great tonight. The stars are so awesome, here, because it's so dark with no city lights anywhere near. Wow, our God made so many awesome things for us to see!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Trip to the zoo.

Publish Post
The picture tonight is Harry's house. It's like a resort here; beautiful!

Today has been busy. We took Harry to the airport and dropped him off around 10. Then we went by Safeway and got potatoes, which I forgot the other day. Then we stopped at the zoo in Hilo on our way home. It's a very nice zoo; not so big that it wore us out to walk through. I got through with only 4 mosquito bites, so that's pretty good for the rain forest. And, it didn't rain on us! Plus, it was Monday, so the zoo wasn't crowded; it was just a nice excursion.

We came home and had lunch; then I spent the afternoon cooking so I won't have to cook every day. I baked chicken and then sliced it and put it into the freezer. I made biscuits and put them into the freezer too. In the morning I'll make a batch of gravy to go with the biscuits, so we'll be good for breakfast for a while.

So, I've been on my feet a lot and I'm tired. Don has already had a shower and I'm on my way for mine. If I'm not too tired when I get out we'll go do the hot tub before bed. I don't know if I can do it or now; we'll see if the shower invigorates me. God is so good to give us bodies that respond to rest!

Rejoice! Ruthie had her second back surgery today and did very well. I talked to Phil just as they had brought her back to her room. The doctor is very pleased with the job he was able to do, so they are on the road to recovery! She's supposed to be released to rehab tomorrow. I know that she is so relieved to get this surgery done; it completes what they did back in November. It's been a tough journey, but she's seeing light at the end of the tunnel, now. Thanks to Phil for being a great nurse for her and thanks to God for giving her the strength to get through all this.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ethan!

Today is Ethan's 7th birthday, I THINK! He could be 8, but I think it's the 7th. He's very grown up and smart, but I think this one is the 7th. This picture was taken when we were there to see them back in the end of October.

Today has been an easy, relaxing day. We're taking notes and getting our instructions as we take Harry to the airport tomorrow. He's looking forward to spending some time with his daughter and grandkids. We miss our grandkids, but it's sure nice to be able to spend the winter here!

The cats here are wonderful. Popeye is very friendly and will jump right up into our laps. Olive Oil is still afraid of us, but she will come to within about 6 feet of us; yesterday she wouldn't even stay in the room with us. She's warming to us. The bird, Leo, tolerates us well. Ethan would say this job is easy; I have to agree with him! Even if it were hard, it's a wonderful place to have a job of any sort! I went out and took pictures of this house and yard a while ago. I'll post them from time to time so you'll see where we are. God is so good to us!

New coconut palms are planted all over the lava.

This picture is one I took last summer when we were here. These are laying all over the place on the lava fields. People put these coconuts out there so they'll take root and grow palm trees. It's working!

We spent today getting groceries for the next month. That was quite a task and then to put them up when we got 'home' . . . but it makes it easier for the next month to be prepared.

Our luggage arrived with us, so that's a good thing, too. In my checked bag I had a powder that I mix in water and drink every day to build my immune system. It came open (security?) in flight and spilled all in my suitcase. It won't stain or anything, but it's a mess to clean up. I'm still not done with it. I hope to salvage a good bit of it; I need to take it! So goes traveling, I guess. I look around and see ocean. I listen and hear sounds of Hawaii (Coqui frogs and Hawaiian mourning doves in the morning). I feel the warm air and gentle breeze. We spend time with friends who we thought we might never see again. It's all worth it; we love being here! I thank God to be so blessed and to have the health to enjoy this.

We're tired; jet lag, I imagine. We're so grateful to be here, safe and in such a comfortable, lovely home. We enjoyed spending the day with Harry. He'll be here tomorrow, too, and then we'll take him to the airport on Monday. We are blessed with wonderful friends and family and we thank God for them.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

We made it, bags and all!

Looky here, looky here! This pictures Hapuna beach, which we will be viewing from the air in a few hours. It's a picture I took last July, but we're looking forward to seeing those beautiful colors with WHALES in the water, soon!

I wrote this a couple of hours ago, then lost the connection. Ugh. So maybe this will be posted sometime tonight. I will keep attempting to post from time to time, but I'm running low on battery. Anyway, here it is:

We are in flight as I post this. Wow; this is the first time I've ever been able to get online while in flight. This has been a very interesting trip, so far. We went to bed last night at 8 so that we could get up at 3 because we had Airport Express picking us up at 4 to get to the airport in time for our flight leaving at 5:45 A.M. Plan B hits. There was a mechanical difficulty with the plane (before we loaded) so they announced a delay. Shortly the flight was CANCELLED because the door on the plane was faulty. YIKES! We were scheduled to fly to Atlanta, then LA, then Kona. We stood in line for 2 hours while they re-routed people. We were BLESSED to be able to get a flight leaving Oklahoma City at 8:30 for Salt Lake City; then from Salt Lake City we flew into LA and caught our originally planned flight to Kona! We were very pleased with how that worked. We wore jackets from the hotel this morning to the airport in OKC, but Don put his into his checked bag, thinking we wouldn't need it, again. I kept mine to sit on in the airplane to make me tall enough that the back of the seat doesn't hit me in the head. I was sure glad I had mine when we landed in Salt Lake City and it was 3 degrees; we had to climb off the plane OUTSIDE and slide into the terminal. Poor Don was in his short sleeve, Hawaii shirt, but he lived over it with a smile. We were so glad to make the connection in LA! They even gave us vouchers for 3 meals, each, to use as we flew today. We appreciated that.

Here we sit on the last seat in the airplane! That means it doesn't lean back, so we're sitting straight. Ugh. But the good thing is that this flight is not full, so Don and I are the only ones on this row. That gives us a little extra space without bumping into anyone other than each other.

Whew! It's wonderful to think we'll arrive on time and not have the hassle of changing our rental car, driving in the dark, etc. I thank God that it has all worked out well. I really thank God that they found the mechanical issue in time to cancel the flight rather than crashing it! I'm glad to be able to post at a decent hour, too. I'll update more tomorrow and report if our luggage arrives with us. Woo hoo! Almost in paradise!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A lesson from a tiny darling.

The picture tonight is one of Elena when we were there visiting in late October. We had so much fun playing with her 'shapes,' as she called them. It was a learning experience for me, too. Remember in the Bible where it says to "become as little children?" If you look closely at these shapes, you'll see that they are all stacked in a particular way and the one on top is laying 'flat.' "Flat" is not the way they are supposed to be in Elena's mind. If you put one like that she gets a very serious look on her face and firmly, but with love, says, "No." Then she proceeds to set it right. I've noticed that when most adults see something they don't like they wrinkle up their faces and turn down the corners of their mouth. If they say anything about it, it usually is accompanied by a growl or a snarl, but more often they just get a sour look and stash it away in their 'score keeper's notes' to hold against that person when the leverage will come in handy. Not Elena. She's sees something amiss and she straightens it out right then so that everyone can go on being happy. Besides the joy that the memories of this fun trip bring, I thank God for a lesson from our tiny granddaughter.

We got to see Trish and all her kids except Nate, today. Nate was staying late for play practice and Rob was at work when we were there. It was great to see Gabe; we've missed him a lot in the last few visits. He looked terrific, and I didn't get a picture of him. I got a few pictures of Raynie, and Mason got one of me with his bird and Raynie, but those pictures are on Tricia's camera because I left mine in the car. She'll email them to me. Maybe she'll take a current picture of Gabe for me, too. I'd like to put him on the blog. Anyway, it was so good to see them!

Tomorrow is a big travel day, so if I don't get to post a blog, don't worry. Just know that we are not in Internet range. Also, there is the time change thing, coming up. Remember that we will be 4 hours behind Central time, so the blog will be posted at what seems like bizarre hours for a while. Thanks for keeping up with us.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Last minute crazies.

The picture tonight is of Sadie modeling the crown the kids made while they were here. We got this toy at a garage sale and they had so much fun making stuff with it all weekend. They were really very, very good at following the instructions and being creative with it. I was pleased that they enjoyed it so much. Maybe this one wasn't a crown, but a hat. They made all kinds of things.

Goodness! I'm sure glad I didn't save anything until the last minute to do! The last minute has been full of tons of things I never expected. It's all just details of life, but it would sure be difficult if I needed to pack herbs or anything else.

Here I am at 11 p.m. and still have to take a bath and wash and dry my hair before I can go to bed, so I'm running late tonight. It's okay. I have so much for which to be grateful. It's cold here, but we have a warm home and plenty of warm clothing; we are blessed! Church tonight was inspirational and we're grateful for that. So many thanks; our God is great! (I have hair to wash and warm water to do it! I'm healthy and happy and warm. Wow!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


The picture tonight is one I took as Rob went chasing after these three escapees. If you look close, Mason (9) and Gracie (6) are waving. That means they stopped when their Daddy said, "STOP!" Raynie (2) was on her way up to follow in their footsteps and they would grab her if she got there before Rob got to her. Actually, it may have been Nate who went after her. Anyway, she was recovered and everyone made it down fine. They have no fear.

Now, everything is in the suitcases, except our toiletries and whatever I forgot. I've got tomorrow to remember and check off my lists. So far we are within weight limits. So far, so good. Now I can sleep good tonight and I WILL. I thank God for the gift of sleep.

It's freezing cold, here. 23! I am so glad to be heading to Hawaii soon! I am also very grateful to have someone keeping a close eye on the house. Joan is coming over tomorrow to get all her instructions and learn the new furnace, etc. We sure thank God for good friends and good neighbors to hold the fort while we're gone.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A wonderful day!

This picture is one I took the day we went to the Reserve; the day after Thanksgiving. Isn't it interesting that Grace and Mason (6 and 9) were scampering up the mountain with no fear. The rest of us went after them to protect them and to not miss anything! What fun memories!

Today has been quite a day. It's been a hassle getting last minute pills ready. You know, what do we do with the ones that have to be taken BETWEEN meals on an empty stomach . . . as we travel! It gets complicated, but I think I have all of them sorted. Whew! Then there are the ones we take as soon as we get up; then the ones before bedtime. I had all the ones we take at meals done, but the last minute ones were freaky, but we got them done today.

Right as we were finishing up those pills the timeshare folks called and they have a week for us in Maui! Woo Hoo! I'm so relieved because it's for the 1st week we're there. At least we have that place to stay while we keep an eye out for another place for the second week; maybe we'll get something for the other week before that time comes. It's a relief to know we have a place. Whew!

Then this evening Don's cousin, Ray, and her husband, Allen, called us. They live in San Diego and we don't see them often, but it was so good to hear from them and catch up! We thank God for family connections. It was a great way to top off today!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The 'heart rock.'

The picture tonight is one I took of Nate and Megan behind the 'heart rock' at the reserve. That's Mason sitting on top of the rock. That was a way fun day!

Today has been another good day for us. We ate breakfast at the Wagon Wheel and then after church we ate at the Mexican Restaurant with David and Dorothy. I only had to cook one meal today, so that was a break for me. I did some sewing this afternoon and will do some more tonight. I've got a good pair of jeans that I had to cut about 6 inches off of, but they're going to be perfect for wearing to fly over to Hawaii and also for climbing up in the mountains of Maui, where it will be cool. I'm excited to have new jeans! I've had these jeans a while, but losing 8 pounds makes them comfortable, so I'm eager to get them hemmed so I can wear them.

I thank God that we have the opportunity to make this trip and the health to handle it. I thank Him for our family and their understanding that we'll be gone for Christmas. We are richly blessed. Thank you for keeping up with us.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Grace and a bath; precious memories!

The picture tonight was Grace and I doing the bath buddy thing when they were here for Thanksgiving. I did this again, all by myself tonight and it reminded me that I hadn't used this picture yet. I missed my bath buddy! I thank God for baths and for Grace; she's a jewel!

We got up early to go to church and make gravy for the fellowship breakfast. That's a good time and we enjoyed it. Later I did a little shopping and, mostly, pulled more things together for our trip. I'm enjoying getting it done ahead rather than waiting until the last minute. I'm glad I threw the herbs for the next several months several weeks ago. They are all bagged up and ready to go into the suitcase.

I've even had some time to research and read about cancer, diet, Iodine, etc. It's a great study. Speaking of diet, I'm not dieting, but I'm eating less, thanks to the hypnotherapy, and I've lost 8 pounds. That makes packing easier because my choices aren't so limited. Ha.

I even had time to clean out some of my inbox. I'm terrible to hold onto emails, like it's a continued hug or something; I have to go back from time to time and delete a bunch or at least file it someplace besides my inbox. It's nice to have a day to relax and get things done. I'll be ready for bed pretty quickly, though. 6 this morning came pretty early! (Normally I would be snacking on something, but the hypnotherapy sessions drilled into my mind that I don't eat the 3 hours prior to sleeping. It's amazing how it works!)

Friday, December 4, 2009


This picture was taken on Thanksgiving day. After our big dinner we played Hand and Foot Canasta. You can see Floyd and me; Sadie and Nate are in the very front. We played cards out at Dorothy and David's house tonight. It's so wonderful that Floyd can get around really good and doesn't even use his walker or a cane, anymore! He still has physical therapy a couple or three times a week, but he's doing so well!

I talked to Ruthie a few minutes ago and she hasn't had pain medication since Monday. I think she still has a lot of pain, but she's able to get by without the medication, so that's really good. She's in line, now, for her turn to get the next surgery so she can get the rest of the job done. I'm so glad she's doing better too. It's so wonderful that God made our bodies to heal from even heavy duty injuries and ailments! Praise Him!

I spent today making alterations to clothes I want to take to Hawaii. Everything is too long for me, so I'm always making alterations. We're getting closer and closer to ready to go. Mentally, we're ready; we're mostly waiting for the right day to get here.

Tomorrow we have a fellowship breakfast at church. We'll go early and I'll make the gravy. It's a real enjoyable time and I'm glad we can make one more before we go. I'm headed to bed. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Getting ready!

The picture tonight is Erica and her brother, Bruce. Erica is our oldest grandchild (19) and Bruce (15) is our tallest, at over 6'1" . . . the last time he was measured he was 6'1", but his dad is 6'l" and Bruce is taller than his dad. I took this picture last week when they were here for Thanksgiving. Precious memories! We thank God that some of our kids and grandkids live close enough to visit pretty often.

Today is really cold here and it's going to get down into the teens tonight. Oh, man, are we glad to be packing for the winter in Hawaii! We are spoiled to the warm weather and this cold is not a good place for us. I know I never want to get bronchitis again, because my body doesn't react well to the cold air. I cough something terrible. As long as I stay in where it's warm, I do pretty good, but the cold air is a real bummer.

I continue to get things ready to be gone for a while. I'm pretty pleased with how it's all evolving. I put all my tax stuff into a folder and it's ready to go. I just have the end of the year numbers to add and I'm done. Whew; it feels good to be ready. I'm still working on what clothing we'll need. It's a little tricky to leave this cold weather to go to the 80's; we'll arrive looking like bears. The trick is layering, I think. (What we wear doesn't have to be weighed in the suitcases, either.

We have someone who is watching the house while we're gone, so that's a good thing, too. Of course our neighbors keep a close watch, too. It feels good to feel comfortable about leaving.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Garrett, and Joe!

The picture tonight is one I took of Garrett when we were there a month ago. He was watching a movie and I got this picture. This is his, "I love you, Grammy, smile," not the one he wears to a wrestling match. :)

Today Don vacuumed all the carpets while I worked on details for our trip. I made copies of all the reservations we have and got them in order. I'm still working on our room in Oklahoma City the day before we leave for Hawaii. It gets tricky because we have to have Airport Express come pick us up at 4 in the morning. Details are the things I have the most trouble doing, but I'm getting there. It's all worth it.

My good friend wrote a devotional tonight on the internet about "Our Greatest Need is to Be Still." I think I might enjoy sitting still for our 15 hour flight to Hawaii. It doesn't take that long to fly to Hawaii, normally, but we're using frequent flyer miles, so we have to take the flights they offer us. So, we're flying to Atlanta; then to Los Angeles, and then to Kona. We've been lamenting over the flight to Atlanta, but I'm going to enjoy the 'sitting still' aspect of it. I'm going to coach myself along those lines. I'm going to copy this scripture and keep it handy as we fly: "Their strength is to sit still..." (Isaiah 30:7)

My cough is still nagging, but so much better. I am past the nasty coughing fits that make everyone think I might die of this fit. I just hack when I breath cold air. That'll quit when we hit the warm Hawaii air! Praise God!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy December!

The picture tonight is Susan and Erica, when they were here last Wednesday. Precious memories! Susan is married to our son, David, and Erica is their daughter who is a freshman at OSU. She's our oldest grandchild. We thank God for all our kids and grandkids; they fill our lives with joy and pride.

Today I climbed up in the attic and found our suitcases to take to Hawaii. (Don't worry; climbing up into our attic is easy. We have a pull down stairway out in the garage.) I also got together a bunch of stuff that goes, so the front bedroom has become the packing room. Always before I've packed in our bedroom and we stumble around it for days. I like the idea of having it all in the front bedroom so that it's out of the way, but I can go there and work on it when I have time. It's tricky to pack all we need for 3 months but keep it under 50 pounds. I learned last time that I'd better have a couple of outfits in my carry on bag in case my checked bag is lost for a week! The suitcase I took last time is breaking, so I think it won't make another trip.

I played Bunco for the first time tonight. It was fun. It was nice of them to ask me, since they play every month, and half the time I'm not here. We each took a toy to donate to children for Christmas and a favorite recipe, so we all came home with a handful of recipes. It was easy to learn, so be sure to go if someone invites you to play Bunco!