Sunday, January 31, 2010

Crossed the river at Wapio Valley!

This is David and Susan with Braddah Smitty and his group behind them. I'm not a good enough photographer to make it be good of everyone, but you see we were having a great time, and Linda and Tom can see the group in the background. We were sitting at the same table where we sat the first night when we saw Braddah Smitty.

Today we drove down into Waipio Valley and then hiked across the river and up the other side of the mountain. I didn't have on my tennis shoes, though, and we didn't take water with us, so we didn't go up very far. We're going to go back tomorrow and go to the top! It was really great and we're excited about tomorrow. We didn't see the wild horses today, so maybe we'll see them tomorrow. We DID see whales up very close at the bottom of Waipio Valley! We first thought they were dolphins since they were so close, but on closer inspection, it was obvious they were whales. This is so much fun! God is giving us a grand tour and a wonderful time with Davy and Susan.

Don and I were pretty rickety going across the river. I forgot to take my camera today, but Davy got pictures that he'll share and I'll share. Tomorrow I'll take my camera; sure hope I don't fall in the river and get it wet! I came so close to falling today, but I didn't so, I hope I can do as well tomorrow.

After Waipio Valley we drove up to the top of Mauna Kea. Don and I didn't hike up to the peak, but Davy and Susan did. It was 48 degrees up there, but the wind was blowing something fierce. The sun was shining, so Don and I stayed warm in the car, but they nearly froze climbing up there. I'm glad it wasn't that cold when Don and Tom and I climbed to the peak back in July! We saw an owl on Saddle Road, some goats, a dead pig and several pheasants. Steve and Mary would have been pleased with the owl; he was right where we left him!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tired, grateful people!

The frizzy haired lady has a husband! Davy took this picture of the two of us today. Usually it's just Don or I, so I like to have a picture of us together!

Davy and Susan went on a whale watching boat today and had a great time. Davy got lots of good pictures, but not a single breach; so, that picture he got yesterday stands as the best, so far. They got lots of close tail and hump shots, though. They learned lots more about the whales, too. So, we're looking forward to our whale watching ride that we will do in Maui.

While they were on the boat we got grocery shopping done. Then we picked them up and went to a beach for a picnic. We went down to the snorkel beach, but they opted to wait for another day that wasn't so voggy. Vog here is a haze that is caused by the volcano pollution in the air. We'd call it haze in any other city. It's been pretty bad ever since we've been here, but especially since they've been here. Anyway, we came back up toward 'home' and stopped at two other beaches, both which we could have only done with a 4wheel drive vehicle. Whew! Those were rough rides, but beautiful and so fun! The one where the picture is made is at a state park that really doesn't require 4wheel drive, but it took us 17 minutes to drive 1.5 miles, so that gives you a clue how rough it is! Unbelievably, there were several regular cars there! 10 years ago we drove our rental car out there, but have never been back because it was so rough.

After the beaches we came back to the Paniolo Country Inn for dinner and got to see Braddah Smitty perform! We really enjoyed that. Now, we're all ready to crash. We're so grateful for a wonderful place to call 'home,' and the knowledge that rest will revive us for tomorrow. How wonderful it is to have family join us.

We pray for folks at home, in Hobart, as the whole town is out of power due to an ice and snow storm. They don't expect to have power back for 3 or 4 days. Our kids in Oklahoma City and Davy and Susan's son, Bruce, in Norman, have several inches of snow (6 or more) on top of a layer of ice, but they still have power.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Davy's breaching whale!

Davy got a picture of a whale breaching! We had a good whale watching day, even though it was fairly choppy. We went to several places and saw whales everywhere we went.

We've had a blast today. We went to the little hole in the wall restaurant in Hawi for breakfast and then went whale watching at Kapa'a and then Mahukona. Susan and I got soaked by a wave at Mahukona, but, luckily my camera survived it. We stayed there for a picnic lunch as we watched the whales. Then we took off for a 4wheel drive to the light house and then our favorite hike. Those of you who have been here before will be sad to know that the lighthouse has been taken down with a wrecking ball and replaced with a pole with a big light on the top. I'll post a picture of that soon. Then you wouldn't believe the changes in our favorite hike! They have PAVED the road as far as the cemetery (not the part covered by trees, but up the hill and to the cemetery)! After that they've filled in all the huge ruts, so that you could drive most of the way in a regular car! We went all the way down to the surfing beach, though, and it took 4 wheel drive to do that. Then we drove all over the hiking site and they've even got a fence through there that was never there. There is a gate, so we can still hike it, but it's different. Someone is making a lot of changes in there!

Tomorrow Davy and Susan are going on a whale watching boat tour. Don and I are going to do one of those in Maui, but I don't want to push it and do one here, too. I get so sick on boats in the ocean. I'm going to get my courage up for the one in Maui, but tomorrow, we're going grocery shopping while they go on the tour. Then we'll picnic for lunch at a beach on the way down south of Kona for them to snorkel. We don't snorkel, anymore, since Don got motion sick snorkeling, once, and I got stung by an urchin another time, so we pretty much stay out of the water. Scaredy cats. Yep, that's us. We zip, though! Don and I will watch turtles and collect Vitamin D while they snorkel. Then we're planning to come back by the Paniolo Country Inn to see Braddah Smitty tomorrow night. I called today and they expect him to be there; I hope he is! We are richly blessed and we thank God for every day and every blessing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Don!

Tonight's picture is one I got of Don when we were zipping last Friday. We enjoyed so much viewing the lush landscaping from the zip line! You can see that Don is concentrating on seeing all there is to see.

Today we're concentrating on the fact that Davy and Susan will be here in about 4 or 5 hours. We are so excited. We're doing the happy dance. Don has had lots of birthday wishes and folks have asked me to give him lots of hugs. The great thing about that is that I get in on the hugs! I thank God that he's in good health and continues to have birthdays! We celebrate every day, no kidding!

Don is out of the shower and it's my turn, so I'm heading there. We wipe down the shower after each use (to keep mold from growing), so we do showers back to back so we only have to wipe down once. We'll be all ready to greet Davy and Susan when they arrive.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The eucalyptus tree.

The picture tonight is one Don took last Friday when we went to the Botanical Gardens and the Zip Isle. They are at the same place, so while we waited for our zip we wandered around the gardgens and enjoyed the flowers. This tree is one of my favorites; it's called the Eucalyptus tree. Don't you love those colors on the bark? As the bark peels off each layer is a different color. The bark looks painted!

I had to wear my hair 'down' so the helmet would go over my ponytail. I have it in a ponytail to the side because I hate it down the middle of my back; makes me feel like I have a stiff neck. The longer I have hair, the more I think I'll end up cutting it one of these days. I'm too picky about it and it's a lot of trouble. Short hair was so easy. (2 years ago that little old lady was bald, so she's not complaining!) Now, I've got on all those clothes because they require on the zip line that you wear sleeves and long pants (although the other girl that went with us had on shorts). Besides there are always lots of mosquitoes there because it's so humid and the mosquitoes love the humidity and me! So, I've got those clothes on over my tank top, which I had worn for the rest of the day. I had on capris, but got them soaked when we stopped to get sea 'gems' for Rob.

Today was a wonderful day! First thing this morning we got a message from Davy that he and Susan are coming a day early (tomorrow) because they are predicting ice and snow on Thursday in Oklahoma City. They didn't want to risk a delay, so they're coming early! How cool is that? We love it. I'm so glad they have the flexibility to make the changes! Then we went to watch whales and they were performing in closer than usual and they were very active. I took a bunch of videos, but none of them are that good. I'm going to have to learn how to do this better. It makes me sick to watch the videos; I give it way too much motion! I'm going to keep working on it, though.

Then I finally got in touch with my best friend since forever, Judy. I'd been out of touch with her for the last several months and I was beginning to panic. I was writing to her, but not getting answers. It turns out she was replying, but I wasn't getting the replies. When she types in my address I get the mail. We don't know why that is, but we're just glad to be back in touch. Dana, our mutual friend wrote and told her I was in a state of panic. Judy wrote and then called me. It topped off a perfect day. God is so good to me. Just when I think it can't get any better, it does!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hehe getting raked.

This is Hehe doing one of his favorite things. He loves being raked! He never gets up and is done; I have to just stop when I can't do it any longer and he looks at me like I'm a loser. I think he'd stay for a raking even if a bird or a gecko went right past us and he really likes to chase them, too. When he doesn't come home at night (He stays in the garage at night.), I get out the rake and start making noise with it and he comes running!

Today we took it easy. We went to watch whales and saw some, but I didn't get any good pictures or even any good videos. They were too far out to get good pictures. Man, the water was smooth and beautiful, though. It's so nice to just sit there and watch. Then it gets exciting when we see activity and splashes.

I watered good yesterday and today, but it's still not raining. Something must be wrong with my theory. I guess God sends the rain when He knows it's best. It's hard to remember that He's always in control and to simply trust that . . . but isn't it wonderful to always know it!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Blake! (3)

Today is Blake's 3rd birthday. He is the first of a rash of new babies we had in our family in 2007. He is Ruthie and Phil's youngest grandson and this is Ruthie's family picture taken this Christmas when they all came over to Ruthie's to celebrate Christmas. (Ruthie is doing much better in her recovery from her back surgeries. by the way.) Blake was born in January, our Gretta's Elena was born in February and our Tricia's Raynie was born in July. At the time we were all in shock at the thought of having more babies, but every moment since we've all wondered how we ever lived without these precious people in our lives. They've made us all richer people!

In this picture on the front left is Phil, Blake's BIG brother, then Phil, my brother-in-law, holding Blake, then Ruthie, then Alex, Blake's other big brother. In the back on the left is John, Blake's daddy, and Deanna, his mommy and the person who set the camera and then ran back to get into this picture (also Ruthie and Phil's daughter), then Debbie, and David (Ruthie and Phil's son). I thank God for this family in my life!

Today was my day outside because Don is inside watching football. I'm so thankful that it was sunny today, so I got some sun as I got the watering, raking and fruit collecting done. If it was raining, then I wouldn't have to do any of that, so I'd be thankful for the break, but I need lots of Vitamin D and exercise, so sunshine is my favorite.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Here I go! ZIP! It's such a fun thing to go flying through the air and look at all the beauty below us. There are ways to guide, but I get confused and never get it right. There are also ways to go faster or slower and I'm not so good at that, either. I like best to just glide through the air. The last zip was where they have two cables and two people race, just for the fun of it. I didn't care if Don or I won; in my opinion we were all winners because we were zipping! But they gave me a head start because I weigh so much less than Don and he would naturally go faster. It was too funny; he went soaring past me and was most certainly the winner. It was a really fun experience. (Jane, this will explain better what zipping is. They just throw that swinging bridge that was on last night's blog in for another fun thing and a way to get across the creek to zip back across. Notice we were cabled to the swinging bridge, too, so it wasn't dangerous, either.)

Today we did chores around here and got a lot accomplished. We also went to the Hawi Farmer's market at the Banyan tree and Don got some homemade fried apple pies and I got some delicious Maui Onion Quiche. YUM! I ate my quiche right then as we went to watch whales. Then on our way back, we stopped to see if she had any left and I bought 3 more pieces for breakfast for the next 3 days. YUM! It is so good. It was sold at a fundraiser for Haiti booth, so I was happy to buy lots of it and I pray as I eat it giving thanks for our food and asking God to provide for the folks in Haiti who are in so much trouble.

The whales were way out today, so they were difficult to see. We stayed nearly an hour, but decided it wasn't worth staying. How fun to see so many whales that we can just walk away when they aren't close enough to suit us.

A local church was having a thrift store sale, so we stopped there on the way home. We're getting concerned that we don't have enough warm clothes for the mountains we'll visit in Maui. So, we picked up a couple of sweat shirts and jackets; yesterday we stopped at a thrift store between here and the Zip Isle and got gloves. They must think we're idiots in Hawaii and buying gloves and jackets! (Well, that, and I wear these knee bands that make everyone looks at me funny and tilts their heads. LOL)

Zip Isle

This picture is of Don and I walking across the swinging bridge at the Zip Isle. The swinging bridge is scarier than the zipping. I'm not crazy about swinging bridges at all. The zipping was wonderful, though. We had only 3 of us in our group, so they let us do two of the zips a second time! That was way fun! We absolutely loved it. This zipping was very similar to the zip line we did back in August, but it's over different terrain. This one didn't take nearly as long to get to, but we didn't have that neat ride. These guys told us great things about the trees and flowers around us, that we didn't get before. This is in the World Botanical Gardens, so it makes sense that they would tell us great stuff like that. The really cool thing was that the other lady who was zipping with us showed me how to take videos with my camera! Duh! So maybe I'll be able to get a whale, yet! I was just practicing today and didn't get anything so great; it was between our last two zips that she showed me how to do it, so I didn't get any of us zipping. That's okay. It was a great day.

We did get to go get some more sea 'gems' for Robert, too. I keep gathering them and maybe I'll have a decent collection by the time we get home. Thankfully, he already has some from our last couple of trips.

The bad thing about today was that when we got to the Paniolo Country Inn Braddah Smitty wasn't there! He had some kind of accident and hurt his shoulder, so he had to cancel for tonight. They don't know when he'll be able to be back! I sure hope he's able to get back before we leave; I'd really love to see him (and his group) perform again.

It's been a very full day. I'm ready for a shower and a good night's sleep. God is so good to have made us to revive with rest, not to mention all the other wonders he gives to us.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The happy dance, again!

Davy emailed us tonight saying they ARE coming next week to spend 10 days with us! We are so excited. It's Don's birthday next week, but I feel like it's mine, too! The picture tonight is one of David and Susan when they were here with us in 2007; we are so excited to get to do this again!

Besides that I called today and found that Braddah Smitty (my favorite entertainer) is singing at the Paniolo Country Inn tomorrow night. This will be our first chance to see him since we've been here, this time, so I'm very excited about tomorrow, too. I also called and got us reservations at the zip line at the World Botanical Gardens for tomorrow afternoon! This is not the same zip line that we did the last time we were here. This is a brand new zip line at the World Botanical Gardens, where we are shareholders. So, this is another exciting thing for us. I absolutely loved zipping and I'm excited to see if this one is as good as the one we did before. We'll have lunch here and then go down and see if we can get some more sea 'gems' for Robert and then go zip on our way back to have dinner and see Braddah Smitty.

What an exciting day this has been for us to get all these plans made. We also went and saw some whales breaching. The water was really choppy, so it was hard watching and we didn't stay too long. So the whales were a bit off, but everything else went perfectly today. We even had enough sunshine to dry the laundry outside. I'm a happy camper, doing the happy dance and thanking God all the way.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Iki, alone.

Here's a picture of just Iki. She's the princess around here.

We had another great day of whale watching. The water was really choppy, with lots of white caps, but the whales cooperated and breached for us. It was amazing how many we got to see. We're so pleased. I wish I could get pictures, but I love the watching even if I haven't gotten pictures, yet. ( I got 31 pictures, but two of them were only splashes and 29 had nothing but water in them; so, I made the effort, but had no luck.)

Our son, David, emailed today that he and his wife might be able to join us in a little over a week. He'll know for sure tomorrow. I'm sure he's dealing with whether they can get free or not; whether they can get tickets or not will be the next hurdle. We're excited at just the possibility! That will be a wonderful birthday present for Don and I get to have the pleasure, too! Woo hoo! They joined us here in 2007 and we had a great time, so we really hope they can come again this year!

I feel great and Don does, too. We thank God for this trip and our life and health, no matter where we are.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Princess Iki

The picture tonight is Don with Princess Iki in his lap. She's the lap cat in this house. He was watching TV and she jumped up there to join him. Her eyes are blue, so when she opens them she looks like a terrorist cat because it looks like she has a candle in her head. Too bad I can't get a good shot with her eyes open, because she's really a pretty kitty. (Iki, pronounced Eekee, means tiny and they named her that because she was so tiny when they got her. I add the Princess because of her 'attitude.')

Today we had another great day of whale watching. I didn't get any better pictures than the one I posted yesterday, though. We are having the time of our lives getting to watch whales nearly every day!

We came home from whale watching and Don mowed the yard and I vacuumed the house. We're so grateful to be able to do these things. We thank God for our health and for such a wonderful place to 'work.'

Monday, January 18, 2010

Great whale watching day.

The pictures just don't do whale watching justice! This was a great day of whale watching. I managed to get this one of a blow and a whale surfacing along the top of the water, but this was nothing. We saw LOTS of this and a bunch of breaching, too. There is no warning for a breach; they just jump up out of the water and then there is a huge splash when they fall back into the water. It's so cool to watch! There's just no way for me to get a shot of one breaching, though. I do good to see it. Often all we see is the huge splash. Sometimes they'll breach repeatedly, but we haven't seen that, yet, this year. Maybe I'll get a picture if that ever happens when I have my camera handy. I don't want to give up whale watching to sit there with a camera, though. I have to keep scanning the whole area to see all I can and the camera is a real slug. I'm grateful to be able to get anything on the camera, though. It was absolutely breathtaking to be out there watching them. It was like they were putting on their holiday show.

I watered the garden and all the flowers really good on Saturday. So, it rained all day yesterday and today. Go figure. It doesn't matter if it rains here; we can go 7 miles down the road to the whale watching spot and it's not raining there. That always amazes us. At home if it's raining (which is rare), and we go 7 miles down the road the wind is blowing the rain to there, it seems. Anyway, it's interesting to be in this different climate. Even when it's raining, it's warm; it's a little brisk at night, so a jacket is nice and thermal pjs are great. The moisture in the air is what makes it so beautiful and green here, so we give thanks for it. It's also good for it to rain because it does the watering for me.

My back and knees are doing great. I feel really good. I thank God for what feels like great health for both Don and I.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Poinsettias on the Big Island.

The picture tonight is one I took on my way to pick up Don last week. I love these poinsettias growing by this white fence. At home we have a potted poinsettia around Christmas, but here they grow in the yard! I love these in Waimea. That's Knob Hill in the background on the right; Don and I climbed it last summer when we were house-sitting for Karen, who lives at the base of it.

Today we enjoyed church at the stables in Waimea, and we came home right after church so we could go watch whales after the football game. The whales were frolicking, today. They put on an awesome show for us. There were more than we could keep up with and count. They were breaching off in the distance, even. Actually, it was all pretty much off in the distance, but it was easy enough to see because the water wasn't rough. We loved it; this is what we wanted to see. We'd love to see it closer and sometimes we will, but this was very exciting!

I thank God every day for the opportunity to do this and the health to do it! We are so blessed to have this time together in such a wonderful place.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Football overrides whale watching.

This is a picture of Olive Oil, one of Harry's cats. She snuck around and only came in to eat and hide under the bed for the first 2 weeks that we were at Harry's house. Then, suddenly, just as if she'd gotten a memo telling her that we were her new people, she came in and loved us! It was the greatest change of character I've ever seen. Harry says she does that whenever someone new comes; it must be a 2 week rule that she has. She was a precious cat, once she let us get near her. She was so funny; she knew how to jump up and open the drawers in Harry's room! We'd go into his room and find the drawers open and she'd have shuffled through his clothes, too. Maybe she was looking for Harry? Cat's have their own ways; we find them entertaining. We really enjoy cats.

I keep promising pictures of Iki, the princess cat, here. That will come soon.

Today is football day so watching whales is put on hold. I can live with that, but it amazes me. How many chances do we get to watch for whales and how many chances do we get to watch football? No doubt whatever football is on is a really big deal? I have plenty of watering to do, so I can sure be busy! I started the day early with getting up to ride with a couple of other ladies to a ladies' Bible study and prayer breakfast in Kona, so, actually, a nap is in order. It was a great experience for me to share that time, so I've had extra blessings for today. Now the blog is done, early. I feel good. Thanks for keeping up with us. (Judy, where are you?)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Loving the blues!

Today's picture is one Don took the day we were hunting for the Monk Seal. He was right down to the right of the tree on the right side of this picture. He was down several feet (ocean level) and behind some lava, so we didn't see him that day. Check out that blue water, though. Even if we don't see what we're hunting, we have a wonderful place to hunt!

Today we went whale watching and none were up close, but we had Bob's binoculars with us and we saw one breaching several times. That was really awesome, and we were so lucky to have Bob's good binoculars with us. What a sight! It catches my breath just to recall it.

We got good sunshine today. It feels so good to be out by the ocean and feel the warm sun on us and the nice cool breezes. We count our blessings every day, whales or no whales.

Tomorrow I get up early to go with some other women to a w omen's prayer breakfast. It's about an hour from here, so we're car pooling. It'll be a fun treat. I'll fix Don's breakfast before we go and we'll be back in time for lunch. Then we'll go whale watching, again, I hope. God is good to all of us; how blessed are we to be in His family!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Doing the happy dance!

This picture is one I took of the two of us one day when we walked down to Harry's favorite place. It's close to his house and such a lovely place. There is a 'signature tree' there and we put our names on a leaf. (That's the custom; it may be an 'autograph tree;' you know I get those details confused, but I know you're supposed to put your names on the leaves.) I reached the camera out as far as I could to get a picture of both of us, so this is the best I could do. I noticed later that it was a no mascara or eye brows day. I put this on FaceBook and a friend wrote and asked if we were at the nude beach! Ha! Don had his shirt off, but, otherwise, we were fully dressed.

I put this picture on because it shows us both looking so happy, as we are every day. However, today I'm doing the happy dance because we got our second week in Maui this morning! I was beginning to think I was going to have to find us somewhere to stay, but they came through with a confirmation this morning. Woo hoo! That is a big relief. Also, yesterday I was able to get our time confirmed for our spring break in Branson, so we've got our travels all set and that feels good.

Today we went whale watching, and came up with a big zero. It wasn't a good day for whale watching because the water was really choppy, so there may have been whales out there and we couldn't tell them from the waves. It still felt good to be sitting there in God's sunshine eating His tangerines and admiring the blues. There was no way to ruin my day after I already had our week in Maui and our week in Branson confirmed! It would take some kind of idiot to be sitting on the beach in Hawaii and complain! We'll see whales, again, soon and thank God for them.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A regular day.

This is Hehe, one of the reasons we get to house/cat sit. He's the outside cat and he got his name because they'd always had female cats before him and they kept calling him 'her.' They named him Hehe so they could remember that he was a boy. Is he ever! He's like a football player; he's so strong! He's very lovable, though, and loves to be petted. He also loves to be raked. I'll have to get a picture of him getting a raking before we leave this time. Whenever I go out to rake leaves, he has to have a raking, too. He's also quite the hunter. Notice he brought in a little mouse for this picture. He munched it right down right after I got this picture. He brings in birds every now and then, too. I hate that because he gets feathers all over the garage. But, it's in his job description and he's a very good worker. The other cat is an inside cat and she thinks she's a princess. We don't argue with her; just treat her special.

Special is what it is to get to be here! We thank God for these opportunities! 80 degrees in the day is so nice and around 60 at night . . . it's so nice and we know we are blessed considering the cold weather it seems like all over the mainland

Today was a really wonderful, regular day. It was sunny, so I got the laundry washed and dried on the line. I love that! Don took over the cows and fed them, so I didn't have to do that. I didn't have to water anything because it rained good yesterday. We ate lunch on the lanai; loved it! This evening Maui even came out from behind the clouds; we love it when we can see Maui! We're headed out to Bible study as soon as I finish this post. It's just a couple of miles from here, so we get to go this time.

We didn't have time to go watch whales today, but we'll do that tomorrow. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Don's 'home!'

The pictures tonight are of the one cow in the pasture behind us that I recognize from last summer. I call her lacy Face; I've never seen a cow with that kind of marking. Then the second picture (please pardon me, you people on dial up, but these two had to be on the same post) is the little calf. I love that little face.

I left early this morning and it rained on me all the way, but I had no problems. I didn't stop to get sea gems because it was pouring down rain. We mis-communicated where we were meeting: I was waiting on a phone call from him to tell me where to meet him, so I sat in the Wal-Mart parking lot for an hour. He was waiting in the parking lot at the airport for an hour. Finally, I thought, somebody had better go get Harry, so I went to the airport and there he was. Duh. His phone was dead. Besides, he thought we were meeting there. It was okay; we hadn't seen each other for nearly a week, so neither of us could do anything wrong. Ha! We had time to go grab a quick lunch before Harry arrived and then we headed back up here to Bob and Mimi's. We had a good trip and got home before dark, so that was good. We like not driving after dark.

It's so good to have Don 'home!' It was nice to sit down and have a meal with someone sharing it with me! I thank God that we don't have to spend much time separated and that we traveled safely today.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Almost Tuesday! (Tuesday I go get Don!)

Publish Post

This is a picture Don took last week when we had just gone down and picked up a precious few sea "gems" for Robert (our son-in-law). They are actually sea glass, but he likes them, so he calls them sea gems. When I was down there picking them up I realized I was in the same stance I was when I was pulling weeds and hurt my back, so I quit with just a few. I'll go by there tomorrow on the way to pick up Don and if the tide is right, maybe I can find a few more for him. You can see the precious few I got in the red cup.

Today is my last day to be without Don, so Tomorrow will be a really good day. We have done fine in our separate abodes, but separate 'vacations' to Hawaii was not our dream. Together will be much better.

I watered everywhere yesterday, so it rained today. That's great, though; it means I don't have to water for a couple of days because it was a good rain. It's not like watering is a bad job. It's just nice to have a day off.

I spent much of today juicing the oranges I've collected. I have a bowl full of tangerines we can take with us when we hike or go whale watching. I have grapefruit to eat every day. Yum. God is so generous with the fruit and it's sure nice not to have to buy it!

I figured out how to change the time on the blog to Hawaii time, so at least it will give the right time and date when I post. You people back home, just won't see it until later because we are behind you. It makes me feel better to see the right time and date on here. Ruthie, I think I found where to get the comments coming to you, again, too. We'll see.

Almost Tuesday

Harry's ceiling.

The picture tonight is one I took of the ceiling inside Harry's living room, kitchen and dining area. The ceiling in the bedrooms looks like that, too, but this is the only one that has that huge sky light. It was so awesome (and loud) when it rained on that ceiling and that sky light! Tomorrow is Don's last day at Harry's. He'll be packing up tomorrow to be all ready to leave Tuesday morning to go meet Harry (and me!) at the airport around 2. I'll be getting up really early Tuesday morning, because I have 2+ hours to drive and I'll have to allow for snags of any sort along the way. I don't want to be late! I thought this ceiling was beautiful and wanted to share it with you before Don leaves Harry's house.

I haven't done anything photo worthy in the last couple of days. Yesterday I discovered that the cows in the pasture behind us are the same ones that were here last summer, but one of them has a new calf! I got pictures of the cows, but that's probably not so exciting. I like Harry's ceiling better.

I went to church twice today. It's great to be back up here where the church that we know and love is close enough so that we can participate. It was sure good to see the folks we know and love. Today was my day to feed the cows here, too. I made it to 61 and never fed a cow until today and it worked just fine. I watered all the outside plants because we haven't had rain, so that was a pretty big job. I've been watering the garden and 3 little trees that Mimi has recently planted, but today everything got the water. I enjoyed it. Of course I did the daily picking up of leaves and fruit, too. (Grapefruit, oranges, tangerines and limes.) It's a wonderful place to work in the yard! It's wonderful to be able to work in the yard, too. I notice that I feel much better this trip than I did even last summer when we were here. God is so good to me! Tuesday I go to get Don and then all will be wonderful!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy in Hawaii!

This is a picture Don took Wednesday when we were on the monk seal 'hunt.' We walked all the way down this path by the fence and sat there a while watching for whales. We looked all around and didn't see the seal. The seal is actually just to the right of that tree at the end of the path. You just have to climb down a little ways to see him and know where to look. He really blends in with the white rocks, so we just missed him. Maybe he had moved that day, but anyway we missed him. We hiked all over the area to the left of that path that you see looking for him and never even saw a whale at that location. That's a pretty good whale watching spot, normally. Those of you who've been here with us will recognize this place. I just can't believe we missed the seal that day! Anyway, I saw him yesterday and maybe he'll hang around for Don to see when he gets here next week.

Don is holding the fort at Harry's and I'm doing fine holding this fort, here. I've done my watering, feeding and leaf gathering for today, so I'm headed to an early shower and hope to get to bed earlier tonight.

I look over the pictures to decide what to post and it all takes my breath looking at it, again. I thank God so much for letting us experience this. You know, we have breath taking spots in Oklahoma, too. We hope to embrace the beauty God provides wherever we are . . . but we're not passing up any opportunities to experience this!

NOTE: I forgot to mention I researched about the monk seals and there are 1100-1200 in all the Hawaiian Islands, but only about 100 or less around the major islands. So, it's pretty cool that I've seen two of them. Since they are endangered it is against the law to get within 100 feet of them, so it's a good thing we have a good zoom on the camera! That camera is sure a wonder for me; I just wish it would click when I click . . . it has to wait until it's in gear or something and whatever I was shooting is often gone by the time it decides to do it's thing. It got the seal, though, so I'm content.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Can you BELIEVE this?

I got him! I got him! I got him! This picture is the monk seal we went hunting on Tuesday. Summer called me today and told me he was back down there, so I went and got to see him! See that bit of orange on his tail? That's where he's been tagged. (Click on the picture to make it big so you can inspect him!) It was so exciting, and I was so thrilled to be able to go down there and get back by myself. It really was lots easier than all the hiking around hunting for him that we did Tuesday. He was right where we were, but we just didn't look in the right direction and we went off in the wrong direction for ages. There's another case of, "It's not what you know but who you know that matters." We knew he was down there, but we didn't know just exactly where. Summer was determined I should see him, so she went down to be sure he was there and called to tell me. (Summer is Bob's grown daughter.) Thank you Summer! In fact she's the one who told us he was down there in the first place.

I was scared about going down to see him by myself. But, Summer took Zoe (7) and Zach (4) down there, so it had to be something I could do. ????? Well, maybe not, but I DID it. The hiking stick gives me lots of confidence and it got me through. I just hate that Don missed him, but maybe he'll be there when Don gets here next Tuesday. We can go look Wednesday; we won't get home in time Tuesday.

I am so excited about this seal. If I'm not mistaken there are only about 100 of them around the Hawaiian Islands, and this makes the second one I've seen. I think that is so cool! I thank God for the seals, the whales, the waves, the beautiful water, the awesome weather, my health, our precious friends, and food, which I haven't had yet. I'd better go eat so I can clean up and go to bed. It's been too fun to stop to eat today. I'll do some research and get the facts right about these seals, but I'm going to go eat first.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I am breathless!

You may get tired of seeing these tiny little spots and wonder at my sanity, but I am just all full of gratitude tonight for getting to see this today. I dropped Bob and Mimi off at the airport and then shopped around Kona today. On my way home I was determined to stop and look from the scenic point on the highway at Kiholo Bay. Kiholo Bay is the most beautiful place on the Big Island, in my opinion. It's a tough hike out there, but it's worth it. I've posted lots of scenes from when we hiked it before with the luxurious houses, etc. The blue of the water is just awesome, and I was standing on the wall embracing the beauty when I thought I should sure take a picture of this! There were great waves splashing above the cliffs to the right and I was standing there waiting to see if I could get a picture of the splashes when two whales popped up out there. Woo hoo! Forget the splashes (which I did). I took about 40 pictures of these whales and they barely show in the pictures. It was so exciting to watch them, though. And the colors were so awesome. Look in the middle of the picture. Look in the deep blue water, about the middle between the turquoise water and the horizon; that white spot is a whale's spout or him splashing, one. I'll have to wait until I can post it and click on it to blow it up big enough to see which it was. All I know is there were a couple of whales out there; sometimes I got two spots, but I wanted to put this one on because it had the best shot of the bay, too. I was so thrilled to get to see whales AND Kiholo Bay.

If you have a FaceBook account, and want to see a great video of Bob's daughter in some great waves, let me know and I'll send a copy to you on your FaceBook account. I don't know any other way to share it.

I got a gob of groceries today and put the stuff in the fridge, but I've got to go find a place for the rest. I thank God that we have plenty of food and a wonderful place to spend the winter. Wow. We are all so blessed.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Thinking of Momasan.

The blog keeps saying it's the next day and it's really still the 6th for me. It's been a busy day. Don and I got up early and went to find a monk seal, but we missed him. We did find whales, though, and we had some great hiking looking for that seal. Then he left and went back to Harry's. I'm dedicating this post to my mom; I think the 6th is the anniversary of her death, and I think it was in 1986. Numbers, dates, details: I have trouble with all of them, but something like that was when our Mom passed away and we miss her. She would have loved whale watching! My favorite quote since her death is, "How long does a man live? Is it as long as you can touch him or is it as long as he touches you?" She touches me, still, so she lives right with me.

I'm going to post two pictures today. You dial up folks will just have to forgive me, but these pictures work together well. The first one is me, sitting on a picnic table watching for whales. How about those shades of blue water? That blue in the background is Maui. I love it when Maui is visible.

The next picture is what delights us when we're whale watching. The first thing you see is their spout. This picture shows a spout and right to the left of it is a little splash, which may have been the end of a spout or a splash that sometimes follows the spout. It's not much, but it's activity and where there is activity there is a whale. Sooner or later we'll see the whale. Whether I catch him with the camera or not is another thing! Often we see the spout, then he'll dive and we see him hump; and then we'll see his tail. Sometimes the sun reflects on his body as we see the spout, so that gives us a glimpse of him. It was cool because we'd been watching three whales heading from our left to right and I kept taking pictures, but got few with anything in them. I said, "Man, I wish they'd go over so I could get them between us and Maui." Sure enough, there they went and then I was able to get this shot. See, it doesn't take much to entertain me!

I think God's favorite color might be blue because He uses it so much. I love it, too and thank Him for all the blues in our lives.

Made it to Hawi!

The picture tonight is another of Don at Harry's house. It still has too much light, but at least the ocean shows up in the background. I wanted you to see the beautiful view we had there. Also, you can see Olive Oil on the couch behind Don; she's one of the cats we were feeding (The other is Popeye; cute, huh?) Don will be there for another week, but we're at Bob's and Mimi's tonight. It's great to get to visit with them a bit!

Our trip up here today was great. We got to stop and see Karen and her little dogs, where we house-sat last July. That was a wonderful visit! Then we went on over to the Kohola coast and stopped to watch whales play all the way up here. We had some great sights of them. Of course I can never click fast enough, so I doubt if I got any good pictures, but I'll keep shooting. We're going to get up early in the morning and go watch some more. There is a monk seal that we hear has been hanging out at one place, so we're going to look for him, too. Then Don will go back to Harry's house after lunch. We've been here so much, it feels like home. I'll have to take pictures of this place and show you how blessed we are to have another awesome place to stay.

It was so cool at one of the places we went to watch today: we pulled up and stepped out of the car and there were two whales right there in front of us. It was awesome. Don said, "God is so good to us!" No kidding! My classmate from years in Japan, who had breast cancer at about the same time I did had her check up at the MD Anderson in Orlando last week and they found a spot in her 'clean' breast! She just got the results today and learned that it was NOT cancer, but a fluid filled, benign, cyst! God is so good and we so give Him thanks! Thank you for caring and keeping up with us.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Moving on.

This picture is one we took last July when we were here with Harry. We went here today, but I didn't take the camera because I wanted to get into the water and I didn't want to get it wet or leave it up on the side. This pool is so wonderful. It's at the side of the ocean; during high tide the waves from the ocean splash into this pool. But it's actually a huge tide pool(you're seeing about 2/3 of it) that is heated by the volcano. It was warm like a warm bath; not quite as hot at a hot tub, but very warm. I loved it! We went this morning before my day got really busy. We could look down and see fish swimming all around us; they weren't awesome fish, just gray ones, about 4 inches long. It was pretty cool to see so many of them. There may have been other fish, but those are all I saw; there were people swimming around with masks on, so maybe they saw something more.

We came home and got some sun and then had lunch. After lunch I did 3 loads of laundry and packed. Tomorrow we leave for Hawi. Don will take me up there (about a 3 hour drive) and he'll spend the night. Then the next day he'll come back here and stay until Harry comes home. (6 more days) I'll Take Bob and Mimi to the airport on Thursday and stay in Hawi until Harry comes home and I'll meet him at the airport with Don and bring Don back to Hawi with me. Confusing? Yeah, me, too. I'm ready, though. I'm taking the laptop with me, so I'll be posting the blog. Don can use Harry's computer, here.

Whew. It's been a wonderful 3 and a half weeks! Tomorrow will be a full day, too. We've got a couple of stops to make on the way and then we want to whale watch all the way up the Kohala coast to Hawi. We're excited to see whales!

We thank God for this opportunity and for the health to be able to do this. What a blessing for us.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Football, football football . . .

The picture today is of Don watching football. There is so much light coming in from the windows toward the ocean, that I get too much light and can't get a really good picture. It's such a beautiful place here, though. Don watches TV and I work in the kitchen and we look out to our left to 4 huge sets of sliding glass doors and the main front (glass) door. I can only get 3 in the picture, but that whole half of the house is glass and even though we have the comfort of the house it feels like we are out on the beach. We eat at the glass table that is behind the lamp you see to Don's left. It's like eating outside; lovely!

While he's watching TV, I'm getting as ready as possible to go to Hawi on Tuesday. He'll take me and spend the night and then he'll come back to hold this fort, until Harry comes home on the 12th. Then I'll meet Don at the airport in Hilo when Harry gets home and Don will go back to Hawi with me. So, it's a little tricky dividing up everything, but it's only for a few days, so it's a doable thing. Hawi is about a 3 hour drive from here, on the WHALE side of the island! Woohoo!

I've got some shopping to do on our way to Hawi and I'm making lists. Planning is a real challenge for me, but listing helps if I can just keep up with the lists! Tomorrow will be my last minute laundry day. I thank God that I'm able to do this. Two years ago I was pretty feeble after 6 months of chemo and facing surgery and radiation; I feel great (just think all in a mix) and thank God for my recovery every day.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Picking up fronds.

The picture tonight is one Don took last week when we walked to the coast. That's a favorite walk.

However, we didn't walk today because Don's watching football. I went out and picked up fronds that have fallen from the trees. The weeds keep calling me, but Harry said not to worry about them as he sprays them. I don't want to throw my back out, again, so I'm overlooking them. The fronds are too big to overlook and I don't want them cluttering the yard when he comes home. They're kind of fun to pick up, anyway. I remind myself of a baby who drops a rattle just to see it fall; they like seeing that they have caused something to happen. I pick up a frond and it immediately looks better, so I've caused something good to happen with relatively little effort. Harry has two lots here which makes about an acre, but most of it is only lava, so there's not too much to do to keep it looking nice. It's a lot for one person, so I respect him for keeping it so well.

I am so grateful that my back is all better. I talked to Ruthie and she is doing lots better, too. She is still having a lot of pain, but if she's still she doesn't hurt, so that's a blessing. God has plans for us and He takes care of us; I thank Him for His care and for His beautiful creation and our opportunity to see it and be a part in it!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Check out these shades of blue in the water. This was a couple of days ago when we walked down to the coast. Don asked me if I was wearing the Princess Leah (from Star Wars) hairstyle; I just had to get it off my neck and face and my head gets tired of the combs and pins and bands, so this was a 'rest my head' day. I skipped the boobs, too; pardon me, but this is how it really is.

So this begins 2010! Don has enjoyed football all day and I've gotten caught up on my books for taxes. I can begin to put all the information into the program, now, so I'm breathing easy. I got some sun today and read the AAA book of things to do in Maui. I've read the guide book that I bought here, so I'm ready for Maui and ready to get taxes under my belt. We've had good opportunities to get sun while we're here, so that's good. I don't think I'll burn when we're watching for whales. Also, Vitamin D is so important to bone strength and I need that. I take lots of Vitamin D, but it's better to get the real thing.

I'm braced for the new year. I thank God that I feel so good. This time 2 years ago I was bald as an onion, but done with chemo and celebrating in Branson with two kids and 8 grandkids. That's a sweet memory, but it's so nice to have chemo, surgery and radiation in the past! Considering all that, I'm doing great and I give thanks every day for my recovery. Thanks for keeping up with us.