Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hawaii Nine 0...ta, ta, ta, ta, ta, ta,....ta, ta, ta, ta, ta.......

A Room With A View
taken on our last morning

We made it to Hawaii, oh yeah! Nine days away from worry and stress!

We arrived Friday the 29th of June at or around 7:30 p.m. Walked out of the plane and headed for our luggage only to find that it stayed in Maui and wouldn't be coming in until later in the evening (maybe). This was a new experience for me; I've been lucky enough to never have my luggage lost. It only happens to other people, you know.

So while we griped and groaned about what a lousy way it was to start a vacation, we waited for John and Pam to arrive. This was a particularly unusual vacation because we were rooming with a work associate of Juan Carlos' whom I'd met at a job site once before but had never met his wife.

So we sat grumbling and waiting and slightly anxious. JC was probably alright with the whole arrangement because, what do guys care. I on the other hand kept thinking dumb things like what if she's a knock out and has this perfect body, gorgeous smile, big ta ta's, you know the perfect woman. I'm thinking how am I ever going to put a bathing suit on in front of strangers who will be less than strangers after this trip. How? How? How? Oh, the anxiety of it all.

They arrived and with no intention of sounding demeaning, they were "normal" looking people. I was in the clear, Thank You Jesus. Seriously, I don't put a bathing suit on in front of anyone! Within the first three minutes I learned something about John and Pam, he was in a hurry, she was not. He had no patience, she has. I don't say this to be offensive, just my observation.

So we left the airport (minus our luggage) and half way to the Condo, get a call from the airport that our luggage has arrived. They ask for our address but we haven't a clue what it is so we ended up having to drive back and pick it up in the morning. Thankfully, we were only a 20 minute drive away.We're there two days and we hear "Koreans plan to send war weapons toward Hawaii". Now I ask you, how would you feel? Do you slug it off and say oh, darn, looks like we're in for another Pearl Harbor? Do you run and cry? Do you grab the first jet home and hope they're not looking for a jet specifically like the one you're in to try their weapons on? What do you do? Pam says, "well at least they're not planning on doing it until July 4th, we'll be gone by then". I was not comforted. If the Koreans are planning on testing their weapons of war, how do I know they're telling the truth about what day they're gonna do it? It would be great to make a phone call and ask someone but who? I have a few Korean friends but I don't think they're up to speed with what North Korea has in mind. Maybe I should stop one of the Koreans on the street of Hawaii and ask "why would your people do this to us". So, I talked it over with God. He said, and I quote "don't worry, you won't feel a thing". After that, I thanked Him that I had enough sense to leave a typed will near the computer that said "Only open when Mom and Dad get home". Of course I figured that if we didn't come home, curiosity would get to them soon enough.

And as if I didn't have enough to freak out about, Karina was preparing to leave for New Orleans and I, her mama, would not be home to help her. Okay, okay, she's 15, she can do it herself. I'm calm now. No, wait! She calls "mom, I'm not sure if I have everything together. I'm kinda nervous". For crying out loud! What was I thinking! How could I go on a vacation and not be there when my little girl (I know, she's 15) is leaving for a mission trip to NOLA, geez, what a bad mom! I calmly say "don't worry Karina, you'll have everything you need and you'll be with Leanne, she always looks out for you". We hang up, I text as fast as my fingers will go "Leanne, I'm near tears and feel like a terrible mom, can you please, please check in with Karina to make sure she has everything packed that she'll need, did I say please?" Leanne texts back "don't cry, I know how you feel, I'll be leaving Bella here with my mother in-law, I'm gonna miss her" (Bella of course is only 2).

So that you don't think the entire trip was one worry after another, it was. BUT I did have a wonderful time. We drove around the island several times. Visited many, many beaches and more gift shops. Ate too much. And probably over tanned. Carlos and I probably would not be recognizable except that John and Pam are, hmmm, how to say it....quite....white, so we didn't spend as much time on the beach as we would have had it been just he and I.While John and Pam were laying on the beach Carlos and I walked up and down the shore. We collected shells. We laughed and we missed the kids together. We swore we'd come back some day and bring them with us. We tried to watch what we ate but we ate a lot and then walked a lot.We didn't go to any Luau's, we didn't visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial and we didn't snorkel (bummer), but we did have a wonderful time. We saw a lot of John, from behind (always in a hurry) and Pam (she was not). We enjoyed their company and watching TV with them at night.

It was a good vacation but it was time to come home. And I'll be darned if those crazy Koreans didn't turn around and go home too. See, you gotta have connections, if I had known it was gonna turn out that way....I coulda' worried less!

Hawaii Pics

Carlos and John at the little bay across the street from the Condo on Ala Moana

Along one of our drives

Grassy Park outside of Waikiki

Somewhere along the South shore

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Move...I said Move that mailbox back right now!

I'm highly disappointed. The 9th of June we had a birthday party for Karina who turned 15. Although our house desperately needed to be painted, we we're just not able to do it in time for the party. No big deal, I'm quite over it. What I'm not over is the ridiculous rules one has got to follow in order to move their mailbox.

In preparation for the party, I actually went out and bought a new mailbox because about a year ago we started to get an accumulation of bird poop on it that was totally disgusting. The darn birds would land on the receptacle right in front of my very eyes. I felt like they were daring me to do something about it. Once, I even saw a little Sparrow stick his tongue out at me as I glanced at him out the front door. I know you don't believe me but it's true, really.

So, we hemmed and hawed about getting a new mail receptacle because we just couldn't see spending $25, at the very least, just to turn around and have these pesty little birdies do as they pleased on it. And since we haven't gotten around to painting, it just didn't seem like the right time. But with the party upon us, we just couldn't see leaving that nasty old thing hanging there and have all our guests arrive to think they were entering an aviary.

I ran out, purchased a receptacle and had JC move it just inside the porch (less than an arms length away) where everyone else in my neighborhood has theirs. This is Saturday afternoon.

Monday comes, no mail. I'm wondering what holiday I missed. Should I have made a cake? Did I forget to attend a parade? Darn, should there have been a gift involved?.......Tuesday comes, no mail, but there on the ground was a letter from none other than the U.S. Postal Service saying that my mail has been put on hold until I return the box to it's original location. I very innocently pick up the phone and call the local office. The manager says to me "you mean to tell me that you've been living there how long and just this last year the birds started pooping on your mailbox?". He, as you know, he's implying I'm lying. I don't like that he's questioning my bird tale and do everything within my power to keep from giving him a piece of my mind because...well, because I have very little left.

To make a long story short and spare you the "he said" and "she saids" of the story I'll just tell you, the mailbox is back on the pole awaiting it's first delivery and I pray it not be second encounter of a bird kind.

So bottom line is, if the mail carrier has to change her route due to a few feet, it'll throw her time off. As I said to the supervisor who took my call "So, she cannot step two feet to the right but she can stop at the end of the street to chat with a gentleman." Hmmmm, how is it, that didn't throw her route off? Seriously, when I say that this is an arms length away, I mean it. I cannot spread both arms out all the way because it's too close. I'm appalled at the idiocy of this.
Geez, I'm actually showing you guys how bad my house looks. But as you can see, two feet away.

I really don't think this has anything to do with the two feet or the moving of my mailbox. I think it has to do with an unhappy woman who's gonna make everyone pay. I feel sorry for her, I do. How miserable can she be that she'll make a big deal of this. She claims the stairs slow her down. The way I look at it, unless she's walking through my flower bed, if she takes the two stairs up, she's gotta take 'em back down. Or maybe she does a Michael Jordan and slam dunks the mail in the box. I'm gonna install a security camera, she just may be using my porch for basketball practice!

Monday, June 15, 2009

As Time Goes By.....

I realize....just what you mean to me....
Remember that? Chicago, Colour My World, 1970. What a great song.

As time goes on
I realize
Just what you mean
To me
And now
Now that you’re near
Promise your love
That I’ve waited to share
And dreams
Of our moments together
Color my world with hope of loving you

I'll bet you're wondering what made me think of that song. If your not thinking that, I'd say it's odd that you wouldn't. But never mind what I think, I'm a bit odd, at times.

This picture of Karina, Christopher and Donte (my daughter and two nephew's) began the thought
I looked at the picture and thought "Time flys. It goes so quickly". Next thing I knew I was humming Colour My World. So, what does the song make you think of?

In 1970, I was in high school. Chicago was big. I'm sure it conjured up some romantic image in my head that may not have been directed at anyone in particular. But I actually got to know more of Chicago's music because my Aunt Ruth used to take me Greek dancing. I was spending quite a bit of time with her and we'd listen to Chicago. I never owned an LP of their music but she'd put it on while we were at her house getting gussied up for the Greek dance floor...OPA!

So, what memory does "Colour My World" awaken in you? A boyfriend. A concert. A party. Slow dancing. The beach.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gene Kelly

I love Gene Kelly!

What was it about this man who, not only made you want to dance, he made you want to be in love. He made you smile and he made you cry. He made you "think" you could sing and he definitely made you dream of being beautiful. Okay, so maybe it was just me that felt that way....living in that dream world again. Wake up, Marie!

I don't know much about his personal life; maybe I should read a his bio, but on screen he had such charisma. For me, he stole the scene even when he was in the background. I think women across the country probably pleaded with God to send them a man like him, heck, even the married ones prayed believers and atheist alike.

Lucky for me, I found a man who dances. Not quite like Gene Kelly, mind you. But he dances with me and our girls. He even tries to dance ballet when Karina is dancing around the house. Which, by the way, can be very amusing. Kind of reminds me of .... hmmmm, I dont' think there's anything to compare it with. Almost like watching .... hmmmm, no, that's not it. Ahhh..it would be as if...uh, uh... Okay...so, he dances and we'll just leave it at that!

But getting back to Gene, he was smooth, he was suave, he was charming, he was cute, he was clean shaven, he dressed to the T. So, my question is, if we (or maybe just me) found Gene Kelly to be smooth, suave, charming, cute etc., what the heck are the girls of today thinking when they look at this? ------->

Are they thinking smooth, suave, debonair? Take some time, compare the two. Tell me what you think. I know times have changed, I know styles have changed but me baby, I still prefer my man untwisted. I wanna know that when I reach for his hand, I'm not gonna get a foot. I'd prefer his head not be where his butt is and that when we dance together, we touch at some point. Geez....I'm getting old!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Happy 15th Birthday Karina!

If a "blast" is something that comes from dynamite, I'd say we had dynamite party this past Saturday. It was 50's themed and to prove it, we twisted, shouted, limbo'd, hoola hooped and blew bubbles. We laughed, we fell, we hugged and we planned to do more of it in the near future.

A good 5 and a half years ago we had a 50's party when Jenifer turned 15. It made such a great impression on Karina, then 9 years old, that she couldn't wait for her 15th birthday to do it again. I was sure she'd forget about it and think of something different to do, just goes to show how little I know. She wanted the 50's theme and she wasn't backing down.

We dug out the old, but still good, decorations which actually multiplied when Jenifer used them for a High School dance. Being as what we bought for her party at home were not enough, the school gave her money to buy more; lucky us because they would have thrown them away if it hadn't been for my thrifty, intelligent, quick thinking daughter who bagged them and put them in storage. Yahoooo! I love a good savings.

And who says you can't have a mixed age group and have a good time? Who, I say who?!! While the younger group may have gathered and separated together some of the time, a whole lot of the time we were all dancing and enjoying the various games together. My guess is, the young were laughing at the old and the old were laughing at...well, the old.

I twisted and I'm not referring to the dance floor. Getting into bed that night I thought for certain I'd never again see the light of day. Thank the good Lord I had the sense to hold the Limbo stick instead of trying to Limbo. From what I saw of others, they'd probably still be trying to pick me up from the floor. I'd have the heel of my shoe in one of my ears, I just know it. And of course, I'd probably be in a full body cast because if I even attempted to arch my back as far as others did, I'm sure that I'd have caused such an uproar that half the guests would have been hospitalized along with me from ruptured muscles, something that happens when you are forced to laugh uncontrollably. I actually think it should be used as a form of torture. We'd probably save this country a whole lot of time out of courts and money spent.

My Pastor is the only person I've ever seen Limbo while holding and drinking a soda (show off!). This is a man who stops at nothing. I've seen him break dance during a Sunday sermon and live to tell about it yet, after a 15 year old's birthday party he's forced to give his entire message seated on a stool. Pray for him, please!
This photo was just the beginning.
These people were bent so far back I believe they could see the next days sun rising.

Stay tuned...as soon as I get the Limbo video edited a bit, it'll be posted for all to see. It's never quite as good as the real thing but I know you'll be impressed by the way I hold the limbo stick. Hey! I moved my feet while I held it, I'm not a total loser.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Farewell from Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This was sent to me by a friend. I found so much truth in it that I wanted to share it with my friends. To be honest, some of the stuff about sleep I might disagree with, but for the most part, I'm right there with him. So here it is:

If for an instant God were to forget that I am a rag doll and gifted me with a piece of life, possibly I wouldn't say all that I think, but rather I would think of all that I say.

I would value things, not for their worth but for what they mean. I would sleep little, dream more, understanding that for each minute we close our eyes we lose sixty seconds of light.

I would walk when others hold back, I would wake when others sleep.

I would listen when others talk, and how I would enjoy a good chocolate ice cream!

If God were to give me a piece of life, I would dress simply, throw myself face first into the sun, baring not only my body but also my soul.

My God, if I had a heart, I would write my hate on ice, and wait for the sun to show.

Over the stars I would paint with a Van Gogh dream a Benedetti poem, and a Serrat song would be the serenade I'd offer to the moon. With my tears I would water roses, to feel the pain of their thorns, and the red kiss of their petals...

My God, if I had a piece of life... I wouldn't let a single day pass without telling the people I love that I love them. I would convince each woman and each man that they are my favorites, and I would live in love with love.

I would show men how very wrong they are to think that they cease to be in love when they grow old, not knowing that they grow old when they cease to be in love!

To a child I shall give wings, but I shall let him learn to fly on his own.

I would teach the old that death does not come with old age, but with forgetting. So much have I learned from you, oh men...

I have learned that everyone wants to live on the peak of the mountain, without knowing that real happiness is in how it is scaled.

I have learned that when a newborn child squeezes for the first time with his tiny fist his father's finger, he has him trapped forever.

I have learned that a man has the right to look down on another only when he has to help the other get to his feet.

From you I have learned so many things, but in truth they won't be of much use, for when I keep them within this suitcase, unhappily shall I be dying.

No birds or bunny's allowed!

Memorial Day. Juan Carlos and I chatted about what we should do with our day. The kids were home. Why we even had an extra kid; my nephew Donte. That meant we could accomplish at least one of the projects on our list of things to do. And Juan Carlos will be the first to tell you that the most important reason for having kids is that you have someone to do the chores you don't want to do (that's a mans thinking for you). So we decided to take advantage of the fact that the kids didn't have plans and make plans for them.

JC and I made breakfast for us all and then, of course, had the kids clean. While they cleaned, we went out to the back yard and got out all the tools to start our little project of planting vegetables. We've had it planned for quite some time now but it just never seems to happen. Since we had the day off, we figured it was the perfect day. We dug a little planter along the back wall and then spent the next 2 1/2 hours pulling the grass roots out. Not an easy task but we had a strong, determined group.

Karina had the task of trimming Muñecas hair so she had no idea what we were doing most of the day because Muñecas hair looked really bad. I'm not sure but I think she was trying to pass for a Jamaican Maan. She's began growing dreadlocks for quite a few months but we didn't notice what a great job she'd done until a few weeks ago. After Karina's hand at dog grooming, we now have what looks like a poodle in the back yard. We've gone from Jamaica to France in just a few short clips of the scissors.

After finishing up outside, we all went inside for a shower and nice family meal with prayer and thanks for those who have and continue to fight for our country and the freedom we so much enjoy.
One week later we had our first sprout of the sweet white corn and three days later there now appear to be 3 or 4. They're still hard to see, but they're there.

We put up temporary wire fencing to keep the dogs out but eventually we'll get something nicer to replace it. Until then, I'm just happy we were able to get the job done and happier yet that it was a family affair.

Well, gotta go fire up the Barbi. I've got visions of sweet corn and butter dancing in my head.