Sunday, December 30, 2007

fun with pictures and music

okay students, this is a fun one.  This is like free play day or field day at school. 

It's probably always been on your pc, but you just ignore those cutsie little messages that the pc makers try to send you to get you to interested.  Don't lie to me.  You ignore that stuff just like I do.  You turn off those automated messages first thing.  So do I.

Let me tell you about this fun thing.  It's SOOOOOO easy!  You can make a movie!  It's basically a slide show put to music.  There is a windows program called Windows Movie Maker.  I didn't discover it until this mess began with my pictures.  So it may, or it may  not have always been on my pc.  Maybe it's new with Vista?  Maybe it's always been there buried under layers of other windows programs.  Who knows?  Who cares?  I found it now!   Dig around on your pc.  I found it when I was messing on windows photo gallery - which I never knew was there before.

It's so cool.  You put your selected pictures in whatever order you wish, you can add special effects, text, titles, music, video, narration and who knows what else.  And then you can burn them to cd and pass out to your relatives or send in email. 

Did I mention it was easy?  Trust me, it's easy!  And I think it's fairly intuitive, because I didn't real a single instruction and put together a cute little test movie of my marathon pictures.

This is so ideal for grandparents - so they can enjoy the year they missed and show off the grandkids to their friends - in a somewhat entertaining way.  I think it would be a wonderful replacement for those of us who are falling woefully behind in scrapbooks and can't even find the time to get pictures printed or digital pages made.

Now, you can probably do something similar in PowerPoint, but it's not something that I've tried.  I'm sure PP requires more time to figure it out.  I haven't used PP in years.  So maybe it's a more powerful tool?  You may could create something fancy in PP and add it to your movie?  If you're like me, you just want something fast and easy and looks good.

Have fun.  I know, that's not a lesson - but I never claimed to be a teacher!!  LOL!  I'm a facilitator.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

another technology lesson, this time for music

*sigh*  If it's not one thing, it's another.  Normally, you pay Walmart your 88 cents and download your song and away you go happily ever after.  Until your pc crashes.

Lesson #1: back up your music files if you really want to keep them and not pay your 88 cents again.

Lesson #2: mp3 files and wma files are similar, except wma files are protected so you don't go passing them around to all your friends.  Get mp3 if you can!!  There is a little license that comes with wma files that lets you put them on 1 pc and back up to 2 additional pc's and burn to 10 cd's.  I didn't know that, but I do now.  And I also didn't know that burning them to cd's does NOT copy the license with it.  You have to go through separate steps to do that.  Unless you have media player version 11, then just throw your hands up and give up.  The instructions were pretty vague on that issue.

Lesson #3: if you want to burn them to cd, it better be able to record audio files.  Did you know there were audio cd's??  Neither did I.  The instructions I read said to refer to the packaging to find out if you have an audio cd.  Yeah, mine says nothing.  I'm still pretty vague on this issue, so don't quote me on it.  LOL!

Lesson #4: if your pc crashes - it's too late!!  You should have done all this backing up before it crashed!  (let's review: put your photos on a "thumb drive" or memory stick and put your music (with licenses) on an audio cd or your backup pc. (lol on the backup pc concept!)

So, I've got all these songs on my mp3 player that I can never delete off of it, unless I want to pay my 88 cents again.

The up side?  All this messing around with music and photos has led me to discover some really cool stuff.  That'll be in my next post.    :-)

Friday, December 28, 2007

my digital pictures!! Ack!

I'm so upset.  I've been documenting my bc journey through photographs.  I've been very diligent in categorizing and storing my photos on my pc.  Well, my desktop broke a few months back and I paid big bucks to have all my photos on that pc copied to dvd before they fixed it.  I've been trying to access these photos.  The dvd just spins and spins and spins.  I can access my mp3 files fine.

I also have years of photos that I burned onto cd's.  When I try to access those, the cd's just spin and spin.  I think it's just too much on the graphics card or something.  I don't know what the problem is, but I do know that it renders these cd's useless.  My pictures are there, but I can't get to them. 

I don't know what to do.  I think in the future I will buy a memory stick and try storing my pictures on that and see if that makes retrieval easier.

I just thought I'd warn others out there who think they have safely stored their digital pictures on cd - they may not be safe after all!

Thursday, December 27, 2007


My heart just aches over the passing of Kim at "I shaved my legs for this?".

I don't even know what to say.  She was such a special person.  She loved her family with a passion, she lived life with much joy, she really celebrated the good times.  She knew that this was the time to live, and live she did.  With a full and present passion. 

At least this is what I gather from her posts. 

I've only been reading her journal since the fall of '06, shortly after I was diagnosed.  I think I found her journal by searching  on the words "breast cancer" in the AOL journals, and hers was the first to come up.  She was diagnosed just a few months before me.   She was so brave in that she shared her photos after her reconstructive surgery.  She'll probably never know how much reading her journey helped me.  Well, maybe she knows now.  I will miss her.  I know that sounds odd, seeing how we didn't know each other IRL.  But I always looked forward to her entries.

This year I walked the Komen in her honor, next year I'll walk it in her memory.  :*(

She's joining too many other BC warriors.  We've got to find a cure for this beast...


I just found out about another loss in J-land.  mzgoochi from Lahoma's Lament has recently passed away.  I know that she has gone through quite a few medical battles.  She also hasn't posted in a while.  I would read her journal on occasion and she would post a comment every now and then on mine.  She also left behind family.

Oh, what a sad, sad day.  Just heart wrenching.  :*(

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas wishes

Merry Christmas!!

I wish I had some super cool graphic, but alas, I don't.

My wish for you is a joyous season and a blessed and peaceful new year.  Good health and family harmony.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

more sad news...

Today in sunday school we got an update on Dotties condition.  She's the lady who has tons of kids and has metastatic breast cancer and I take them meals every so often.  She went to the doctor this week and the chemo is not helping at all.  Her liver numbers are quite bad.  So bad that they will not do another chemo.  They have one last chemo to try, but they said it would put her liver in failure if they try it.  I don't know what they are doing now.  She came into our class and she still has that same smile on her face.  I also saw her in the grocery store today.  The boys just love her.  I had signed up for another meal to take and told the boys they were going to help me with this one.  They want to make snickerdoodles for her.  :-)  I really admire her strength, but I know that she must have her moments in private.  She wants to live.  She said that today.  See, her mom is ill and has alzheimers and it's Dotty's wish that her mom passes before she does.  They are both Dorothy's, so she joked that we pray for her mom Dorothy to go home soon and for herself Dorothy to stay.  (it's okay to pray for someone to go home to the Lord)

Anyway, I've probably said too much already.  I feel like I'm gossiping, so I'll stop now.  But if you pray, would you please pray for Dottie.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

pictures from our camera

My boys spent the night with friends of ours the night before the marathon.  You will see Patrick, the bleach blonde curly haired boy, who the boys just love.  And his mom, Susan, a great friend of mine.  One of the infamous "vortex" moms and fellow Pokie Mom.  This group was my cheering posse.  I bought disposable cameras for all the boys.  This set of pictures is from our digital camera.  I'll post Jake and Ryan's next...

This is actually a picture from our digital camera taken by Gary.  I was so glad to see him because he had dry socks for me!  Yippee!  Do you see the two people in orange behind me.  The girl with the yellow bib is leading the man who is blind.  I saw at least two pairs like this on the course.  Amazing.  We're at mile 21 1/2.

Ah!  Dry socks.  My shoes still stink...

I'm off again.  Gary said it's too hard to spot me wearing white shirt and black shorts - that's what everyone is wearing!!  I'm on the middle right there.

Shortly after getting my new socks Gary spotted the vaseline crew, so I stopped to grease up my tootsies.  This is my cheering posse.  Susan is showing me the poster they made.  That's Ryan in red.

Off again, shaka brah.  At mile 22, you can see the mile marker in the back.  And in front of that mile marker are bags and bags of ice that people are sitting on!  So funny!

Coming down the home stretch.  Notice that I'm not paying a whole lot of attention to making a fast finish.

I'm in the finish there somewhere behind the orange shirts.  You can't see me.

I've been lei'd.  Twice.  Notice my Ford wings tattoo.  One of those breast cancer awareness thingies.

All done and back together with my posse.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

the Honolulu Marathon results

 (photo courtesy of Star Bulletin)

I did it!!  At my goal time too!!  Look at the crowd.  Yes, it was that crowded.  Over 27,000 people.  I placed 13,679 - so I made it within the top half!  And notice, not all the people are running.  LOTS of people walk. (lots of people shuffle and drag themselves too)  If I can do it - YOU can do it too.  You just need to train for it.  The training is so much better than the actual race.  Wearing the finishers shirt is the BEST.

My clock time was 6:59:40, but my chip time was 6:32:29 - which is what counts.  Because it took us 27 minutes to just get to the starting line.  Us slow folks who are honest are grouped in the very back and you shuffle and stand and shuffle and stand until you finally make it to the start.

I won't talk about the port-o-potties, they were disgusting.  Almost lost my cookies the two times I took a break.  Let's just say, yes, ladies CAN use urinals when push comes to shove.  <wretch>

We all got soaked from the downpours that happened before and during the beginning of the race.  So, we had trench foot.  I was terrified of blisters.  Thank goodness for technology.  I called up Gary and he met me at mile 22 with dry socks.  I had my spare shoes at the hotel, so he couldn't get them.  I ended up with blisters on 7 of my toes, but very manageable.  During the race I was ready to call the doc for toe amputation.  LOL! After the race, we practically had to stop suddenly, because the field was soupy mud.  Delicately picking your way is very dangerous.  I almost passed out twice.  I needed to MOVE.  My legs seized up and had extremely bad pain on the top of my right foot.  I think it was a tendon problem.  It took me about an hour to walk the mile to my hotel!  I'm all fine now.  Just a little sore and stiff.

There were quite a few people dressed up in crazy costumes.  One guy did the whole race backwards!  (I passed him)  I saw a couple of blind people being led.  We have a picture of one and I noticed that the girl leading him didn't have a bib.  Was she not registered??  She deserved credit for that!  I saw one girl pushing a very, very old lady in a regular wheelchair.  One lady worecapris, a straw hat, makeup, and carried a purse.  LOL!

I'll post pictures when I get a good one.  The ones Gary took I look like a maniac.  Crazy smile on my face.  I was determined to have fun.  I grumbled a lot at the beginning (due to the slowness), and gave myself a little kick in the rear that this was my long awaited event and dang it I was going to enjoy it.  So I changed my 'tude.  Hooted at the well-wishers, cheered at the big mile markers, sang with my mp3 player, and mugged for every camera I saw.  Shaka brah!

Friday, December 7, 2007

what a week - moving and marathon news


I've got my bib.  I need to pack.  I need to put gas in the car.  I need to freak out.  I need to get a decent night's sleep.

I'll need to throw up if I get any more excited.

I picked up the packet yesterday.  As I was on the road, in front of Ala Moana park, I saw the no parking signs propped up ready for the weekend.  Then I looked to my left and saw the orange street signs stacked up waiting for the race.  I started crying.  What a sap.  But finally we are approaching the moment I've been training for for a year.  It's my "take that!" to cancer.  Komen race didn't phase me, but this, I'm gonna be a basket case when I cross that finish line.


Where are we moving next??  Good question.  Last week the placement officer gave Gary a list of jobs.  Gary suggested to him staying, but he seemed reluctant since he had someone picked for it already.  So Monday Gary told him we choose the JAG school in Charlottesville.  Seemed okay.  Told the boys and got them on board and excited about it.  We even had a lead on a house.  But, as per typical of our military experience, they informed us yesterday where we were actually going to be.  We're staying!

This is good.  It actually took me getting my brain focused on moving to realize how much I actually would miss it here.  I've been teary all weekend.  And now, we are staying!  THat's great!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

windy again!

I was looking through my archives to find out when it happened last year - it was January.  We are having a major wind storm again.  Just like last year.  Except, according to the (overreacting) news people, it's the worst ever!!  LOL!  It really was bad last night.  I didn't sleep a wink.  All the windows were closed in our house, but you know how airtight these houses are (not).  The verticle blinds in our room banged all night long.  I finally figured out how to rig them to not bang and after 2:30 I finally fell asleep.  This morning when Gary was going to leave, he called to me.  The garage door had been bent inwards.  Just by the wind.  Nothing had slammed against it!  It's cracked down the center and it takes a couple of people to get it to go up or down.  So I made Gary move the car out before he left, just in case the thing decides to fall.  We have an octopus tree that I've been wanting to call the landlord to come prune - well, nature pruned that sucker!  And, only 3 oranges fell off our orange tree.  Now THAT made me laugh.  I was certain that the tree would be bare, and the neighbors would be angry.  The tree has at least a hundred oranges on it. 

All in all, we fared well.  But school has been cancelled for today.  Lots of roads are closed.  Right now it is very calm, but they say more wind is to come.

Last night I was at my cooking class - I took desserts this time.  And the power went out on us.  We were expecting it and raced to make our desserts.  We made a ton!  It was so dark in the classrooms.  Some ladies actually had little flashlights in their purses!  i flipped open my cell phone to get a little bit of light.  They eventually sent some people from the office with flashlights to escort us to our cars.  This morning I read online that a palm frond had slammed into a power line, cutting out power for 1600 homes.   The neighborhood we live in has all underground cables - very chi-chi.

We have no television service, but the cable is working for the internet.  Weird.  I don't expect all this power to last all day, so I'm going to shower now. 

Thursday, November 29, 2007

my dream - freudian?

Not one of THOSE dreams!

It was one of those dreams that the feeling sticks with you all day.  I dreamed that tada! suddenly I was pregnant and in the hospital ready to give birth to twins.  I know it was a dream because my tummy was little and I was eagerly anticipating labor to begin.  I was actually disappointed that I wasn't feeling anything yet. 

Also, at some other point in the dream, I yelled out the F word (not in the context of labor).  I clamped my hands over my mouth but no one heard me.

One of my friends in the vortex told me that it was definitely about the marathon.  I'm very frustrated over being in the taper period before the marathon and anxious for the race to begin.  That's  true.  Maybe she's also telling me that she's sick of hearing me yap on and on about the marathon.  LOL!

Um, and NO, I'm not pregnant!  No chance of that!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

history - exciting??

I've never liked history in school.  My most disliked subject.  Dates and conflicts and names -memorized.  Dry, dull and boring.  Hate it.  (please take note history teachers)

Until this study of Daniel.

History in the context of prophecy fullfilled - kinda mindblowing!  Especially the detail and all the drama in how it came to be.  And what it means.

Over the course of this study, I have become thoroughly convinced that we (as a people of the human race) are robbing ourselves of some serious wisdom by Jews and Christians being so separate.  This has been revealing itself to me little by little over the past year.  As a Gentile, I know little to nothing about Judiaism (even how to spell it), apart from what is read in the Bible.  And that itself is difficult to understand, not being raised in the culture.  Reading the words and understanding the meaning complete with the nuances are two different things.  (who knew that when Christ talked about his yoke being light he just might not be painting a word picture about an oxen yoke?)

Oh how I mourn this!  How rich Bible study would be if we could come together!!

This particular Bible study makes this clear because the prophecy in the book alternates with it's relevancy to Israel specifically and to the world in general.  It's so fascinating!  And startling.  I've gotten a lesson as to the background of chanukah (sp?) from the historical and prophetic standpoints.  Previously, this has been a mysterious Jewish holiday - very secret and exclusive.  Well, it's a mystery no more.  (I've already over used the words exciting and fascinating - and I don't want to offend anyone by making it sound like good fiction instead of the serious reality that it was)

I'm learning all about the Ptolemies and Seleucids and Greece and Rome and Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon...  Don't ask me about dates, and my grasp on the names are tentative at best.  But I'm coming out of this study smarter than when I entered it.

I'm looking forward to the day, at the end of this world as we know it, when Jew and Christian come together.  Once we get to gabbing, it'll be one great big Aha moment.

(disclaimer - These are my own personal thoughts.  Please don't bash me!)

Monday, November 26, 2007

no longer blushing... (crazy venting)

I had my appointment with my plastic surgeon today.  I asked him about my neighbor, the new plastic surgeon at the hospital.  No.  My PS will not be abandoning me.  Whew!  Of course, we got into a discussion of who lived where.  He lives not far from me.  At least he doesn't live next door!!  It seems there are quite a few doctors in our neighborhood.  Anyway, the upshot is, my next door neighbor will NOT be seeing me naked!  Woo-hoo!  (now, if my neighbor were the janitor, then he'd already have seen me naked - you know how those things go...)  just kidding...

So, I don't have a surgery date yet, but am getting one soon for after the new year.  I got the requisite booklet talking about silicone implants.  Of course they have to bring up the scary stuff, however slight the risks are. 

I must say, over time I've become accustomed to my recon side.  No, it's not perfect, but it's not bad.  However, I still avoid bathing suit and bra shopping.  THAT has not improved.  And therefore, that's why I'm going through with the surgery.  (I want those surf lessons)

I tried to talk about all this with Gary.  He just won't give me an opinion!!  So frustrating.  He just wants me to be happy.  I told him I'd be happy if he gave me an honest opinion...  I'm sure he doesn't want to hurt my feelings.  But, according to him, if he were me, well, he didn't say it directly, but he wouldn't have done a thing.  What he did say was, "you're talking to a person who's afraid to get knee surgery".  Yep.  Talking to the wrong person.  I'm not afraid of surgery - I can't be!   I've had too much to be afraid.  HE still has his tonsils for crying out loud!  He was born pretty.  He just doesn't understand...

Gotta go pick up the boys at school.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I'm so mad at myself!

I could just kick myself from here to China!

I had made a hotel reservation for the weekend of the marathon, but for the life of me I cannot find the paperwork.  I made online reservations.  And I know I would have printed out the confirmation number.  I thought there would have been some sort of email confirmation, but if there was, I did not save it.  grrrrrr.  I cannot even remember which hotel I finally settled on.


I'm not this irresponsible.  Disorganized, yes, irresponsible, no.

And I'm embarrassed to say that I've done a frantic search and am just now thinking that I need to pray about it.  That should have been my first response.  Well, it's bedtime, everyone else is in bed, so I can't continue to search.  Good time to pray.

Meanwhile, I have lovely thoughts of Thanksgiving dinner dancing through my head.  We are going to a friend's house for the big meal and we discussed today who was going to bring what.  I hope I didn't impose myself on her because she made the comment that she thought I was bringing  a lot.  I'm only bringing 3 things - plus my whole family!!  (and 2 hungry sailors will be there) I'm doing the traditional green bean casserole (yum!), a cranberry thing, and a pie.  Easy peasy.  And it will save her some refrigerator and oven space.  Her oven is as small as mine.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

the result

Not what you thought.  It's not good.  We got passed over.  :-(  And this is really not good news.  When you are passed over, you are like the red-headed step-child (I'm sorry if that offends anyone, it's an old phrase).  You don't get the choice jobs, because they want the choice jobs to go to the guys who have a chance at promotion.  The chance of getting picked up "above the zone" is very slim.  Like 5%.  So, your career is over.  Yes, there are some who linger for years...  Who knows?  We may fall into that group...

I'm doing my best to not think of this as bad news.  Yes, it's disappointing.  But my head keeps telling me that God is in control and has another plan in store for us.  My heart is trying to catch up with my head.  (I've got a bruised ego, you know)

I Thessalonians 5: 16-18 "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

So I spent a significant amount of time in prayer yesterday.  I was picking apart a cooked chicken (great way to soften your hands) for a meal that I'm taking to a new mom today.  As usual, when I make meals for other people, I pray for that family while I'm fixing it.  So I started to pray for them, and all these other people came to mind and I prayed for them, and then I started to count my blessings.  Boy, let me tell you, that was a good time.  Good for my soul.  I'm really trying to not even go down the road of bitterness, and desperately trying to not talk bad about the person who we feel is the reason that Gary got passed over.  (yes, that sentence needs restructuring)  I need to work on the "be joyful always".  I so dearly want a pity party!  Have you ever felt that??  But a pity party gets you nowhere.  And who wants to be pitied?  So my new quest is to find that joy.  To anticipate what God has in store for us next.  Because, he may be saving us from certain disaster or saving us for some exciting adventure!  His plans are always better than ours, and let me tell you, our plans had us pegged to get promoted, work a few years and retire sometime at a good pay scale (very safe and milqtoast).  We may stay here another year.  I'm not sure that our Hawaiian adventure is over with.  I definitely felt that God had something in store for me to do with Asian people - I don't know whether Japanese, Korean, Chinese, or who  - so maybe that will come into play.

Ahhh.   There it is.  Hope.  That's what I had forgotten.  Yes.  Hope as in, looking forward to, anticipation, expectation.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

the list...

The big thing that has been consuming our lives for the last few months is the promotion list.  Gary's promotion board met a few months back and we found out last week that the list would be released on Wednesday.  Gary's boss gets early notification.

So this is a big deal for us.  It comes with a significant pay raise and better housing and a parking spot at the commissary!  Rumors fly.  Rumor has it that two people got promoted above the zone - Army lingo for, 2 people promoted who had been previously passed over.  That's great for them, but it takes away 2 slots of an already tight situation.  I have not been feeling good about this promotion because Gary has not been sent to Iraq and because he's on permanent profile due to his destroyed ACL.  Gary, however, is eternally optimistic.  And he has every right to be, since he's a good egg.  He loves the army and his country and works hard for them and is liked by all. 

But me, apparantly being a pessimist (I never thought I was), was feeling anxious and just felt compelled by God to pray with Gary about the situation on Sunday night.  Now, despite being very serious about our faith, we don't really pray together as a couple very often.  But we did.  Mostly prayed that I would have patience and peace with whatever the outcome, and thanked God for all the good that he's blessed us with so far.

We found out yesterday.

But I can't tell until tomorrow.  The list officially comes out at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.  Stay tuned...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Irish Spring or Dial?

This falls under things learned on the playground...

It has come.  The day that I've dreaded has come.  Well, one of the days I've dreaded, since you are probably thinking they learned about sex.  No, that's yet to come.

They learned the word.

THE word.

The F word.

And I'm not happy about it.  At all.

What I wanted to do: cut out their tongues and their friends tongues.  Okay, that's a little exaggeration.  I couldn't ever do that.  But...  I really wanted to cry.  It broke my heart into a million pieces.  (yes, adolescence is going to kill me)  I also wanted to ban them from seeing these friends ever again.  But, they are just kids and practicing naughty words.  Innocent - sort of -  as long as it stops at this point.

What I did: pulled out the mom lecture.  And the added bonus of scriptures about unwholesome talk and a little demo involving toilet water and milk.  I got the demo and scriptures from the Creative Corrections book by Lisa Welchel.  (yes, the Facts of Life girl)  She's married to a minister and has some really good stuff in that book.  I'll explain the demo, since I'm sure not many have this book:

You take two cups.  While the child is watching, you fill one with tap water and the other with toilet water.  Then you dump the waters out.  Then you pour milk into both cups and ask them which do they want to drink from?  Of course, they are repulsed by the toilet cup and choose the tap cup.  You explain to them how the toilet water has contaminated the pure wholesome milk.  And then you explain how people remember your unwholesome words (like you remember the toilet water) and all the good wholesome things you may say about  Jesus are spoiled by the bad language just like the wholesome milk is spoiled by the toilet water.  Yadda, yadda, yadda. (of course, you have to put out of your mind that the tap water is not filtered and the milk has bovine growth hormones - that just ruins a perfectly good picture story)

Of course, this demonstration only works if your kids care about Jesus - I guess you could change it to mean whatever you want.

I know a lot of people fall into the "words are just words" camp, but me, not so much.  One of the other moms falls into this camp, so she told her child how he shouldn't say certain words since they offend some people, and that is a particularly offensive word.  Then she went on to regail us (moms only) with tales of inappropriate uses of that word, actually saying it multiple times over, in the context of the story.  *sigh*  She's a good egg in general, but her New Yorkness really highlights the differences in the cultures we were raised in.

Back to my kids.   It just saddens me because I never heard this word until I was an adult.   I wish I had never heard it at all , but I'm glad I was much older when I did hear it.  I mourn for the loss of innocence for my children.  I've never even said it or typed it out, yet they've said it.  My babies.  :*-(

My dreams of a utopian childhood for them is rattled.  Again, this parenting thing is tough.  I've got a big learning curve ahead of me.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

here's one for the scrapbook, too bad I didn't have a camera!

You know how on my sidebar I say that people amuse and befuddle me (or something like that) - this entry goes under that section.

I walked on the beach today, first time in a long time.  Just for a change.  I brought my backpack to put my shoes in so I could splash while I walked.  Walk over and I had just changed into my shoes.  I was shaking out my towel, folding it up and concentrating on putting it in my backpack, all hunched over.  That's why I missed her coming.  When I stood up, I caught her passing in my peripheral vision, so naturally I turned to look.

Now let me pause here to say, yes, this is Hawaii and lots of people are on vacation here.  Please don't forget that lots of people live here too!

This gal was wearing long pajama pants and a long sleeved shirt.  The pants were pulled down far enough to expose the top of her crack.  The shirt was pulled up - yes up, to expose her naked boobies.  yes, naked.  Because I saw enough to know.  Saw too much if you ask me.

(Why do I feel a booby theme in my life?)

And she walked slowly, straight into the ocean.


It boggles the mind.

Why not just go topless?  (other than the fact that it's illegal)  Or at least whip off your shirt at the last second and plunge into the ocean?

This is Hawaii, U.S.A.!!  Not the south of France!  Travel tip: if you want to go to a nude beach, there is a beach on Maui called Little Beach.  It's next to Big Beach.  You can frolic in your nakedly nude glory all you want.  But for crying out loud - don't subject the locals to your nudity!!  That's what they make the teeny weeny bikinis for!

This was not an empty beach.  Lots of folks with their dogs.  It's pretty much a locals beach, lots of dogs.  (don't get me started on the dogs...) If you see a dog, then the human attached to it lives there.  Not a tourist.  We deserve time away from tourists and their fantasies.  Respect us!!!!!!

Listen to me rant like I was born and raised here.

But I laugh.  It WAS funny.  And all this weirdness is what makes the world go round!  Gotta love it!  :-D

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

am I blushing??

Y'all know me well enough by now to know that I'm modest and get giggly and embarrassed fairly easily.  So today, I'm at the school doing my volunteer work.  One of the other moms is my new next door neighbor.  When her husband introduced himself shortly after they moved in, all he said was that he worked at Tripler, the military hospital.  I didn't ask him what he did.  I found out today that he is a plastic surgeon.  Really?  <blush>  Oh lordy, has he been in on my 3 month follow up?  See, my plastic surgeon is always having other people in on our appointments - you know how it is.  Somebody's always got to learn something....  It's one of those situations where you are sure that even the janitor has seen you give birth or look at your boobies.  She asked me if I had been in the last 2 months.  Well, no.  But it was in August, and they've been here since July.  Hello, it's been longer than 2 months.  He could have easily been in that room, because I didn't pay one bit of attention to the other folks.  I focused very much on my doctor because I had questions that needed answers.

And then the paranoid thought comes to me: what if this new doctor means that MY doctor is going to leave?  Ack!  That would mean he would get my case.  I don't care so much about the surgery where I get the new implant - what I worry about is the NEXT stage.  The uh, making of the nipple.  Hello!  Can't ignore that one.  Or the conversation that it requires.  You just can't talk about "n's" with your next door neighbor.  And have him build the new one to look like the other one!  <faint>  I don't even want to go there.

Gary just laughs.  Men just don't understand the indignities we women endure.

On a semi (un)related side note: Gary and I were driving down the street and saw this very same neighbor running.  He runs shirtless in little running shorts.  I commented that I would only be able to recognize him half naked and not fully clothed - since this is the way I see him the most.

Shall  I say it?  Tit for tat....  LOL!  I can't believe I just went there.  :-D

I have got to find out a) if he was in that room, and b) if my PS is going to leave.  I don't know when I'll see him again and if I'll be able to screw up my courage.  But I have got to find out.  I'll report back if I find out anything...  Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

halloween pictures and miscellaneous

This is a picture of Jake and Ryan before school - they have a costume parade at school.  My marines look so serious!!

This is a picture of the boys before trick or treating.  They are at my front door.  My lame attempt at decorating this year.  The neighbors went nuts.  One neighbor even passed out fresh made cotton candy.  He also handed out tooth brushes.  A dentist I suppose.  We had tons of people.  It started at 6 and we ran out of candy by 7:35.  Thankfully the rain came down heavy at 8 and cleared everyone out.  It was getting loud and raucous outside.

I walked my first 20 miles today.  I have two 20 mile walks on my training schedule.  The marathon is getting closer!  By the way, I have a myspace page where I've been sorta documenting my long walks.  I'm twinbubbas if you want to check it out.  I just don't want to advertise it on the sidebar here, since I don't keep it up too often.

Great news!  Despite all the candy eating, I'm am currently wearing an old pair of size 8 shorts!!  I'm sure I'd be huge if I weren't doing all this walking.  I need to get back in control of my eating soon!  I do believe these shorts must have stretch in them, because I don't fit into any of my other size 8's.  LOL!  Still, it's something.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

he's all mine girls!

So Gary makes an announcement yesterday.  He doesn't usually make announcements or have hair brained ideas, that's my department.  (must be going through mid life crisis)  He announced that when he retires, he wants to start cooking as a hobby.

LOL!  Yeah.  Oh, you're serious.

He said that it shouldn't be surprising with all these cooking shows, Top Chef, Iron Chef, Dinner Impossible, Bobby Flay, Paula Dean... Yeah, the Paula Dean one had me concerened that all he was going to cook was butter and sugar.  But he said, "I'm not going to cook every day!"  LOL!

This is the enviable part, ladies: he said we're gonna need a large kitchen.  YES!!  Now you're talking.  But before you think he's become a woman, he also said, "it'll be attached to the large family room with the huge flat screen t.v.".   He's been dreaming about that t.v. for years and years.  He ain't getting one until we stop moving.  Might as well burn the money...

I'll post halloween pictures soon.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

book controversy

just a quick entry to answer Becky's comment.  Yes, I know about the controversy.  It's kinda crazy how people are so passionate about it.  To explain, it seems that there is another book out there called "The Sneaky Chef" by Missy Chase Lapine, that is basically the same premise.  Her book came out in the spring of this year.  So her fan club seems to think that this gives her the right to be considered the originator.  Although, sneaking vegetables is a concept as old as moms ever existed. 

I found out about both books via an email I got from Borders.  It had both books listed side by side.  (ironically I can't find either book at our local Borders)  I had every intention on buying the Sneaky Chef book - but I like to actually hold the book and flip through it before doing that - and I can't find one.  So I find the whole controversy hilarious.  I bet there are more Sneaky Chefs flying off the shelves now than before the DD book came out.

One last note, I just went to the SC website and she is going to be on the Today Show on the 25th.  LOL!  There's no such thing as bad publicity!

another recipe review

I did the mac and cheese recipe from the Deceptively Delicious book - using pureed cauliflower.  I don't usually make mac and cheese, and certainly not the hard way, making the sauce and all.  I thought a few times that I was going to scald or curdle the milk, but it turned out fine.  Actually, ultimately, the thing tasted sour.  And it finally dawned on me that it was the cream cheese in it.  Who puts cream cheese in mac and cheese?  (I hate cream cheese)  Yuck.  Jake, my eater, couldn't eat it - he said it was sour.  He really was trying, but was making awful faces and taking these bites and grimacing.  He's such a good boy, trying to eat it.  :-)  Ryan wouldn't even touch it.  He chose the broccoli over it!  Dont' get too excited.  He ate the smallest piece of broccoli.  I figure that was a victory - why make him eat sour food?

The verdict:  the cauliflower puree doesn't ruin mac and cheese.  It thickens it, so I would try it with a different recipe.  If you like cream cheese, if you like sour - then go for it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

the Komen race - today

Team Pokie Moms!  (at least the race participants - I do have some mainland team members who couldn't join us)  From the left: Vivian, me (in pink of course!), Susan and Jenny.

After the race, notice the blatant Go Girl product placement.  Try not to notice the chunky lily white legs.  We were trying to show off our pink ribbon tatts on our arms.  It shows up brighter on me since I'm so fair.  Believe it or not, this is me tan...

We didn't win anything, but had a great time.  Everyone else ran the race, I just walked fast.  Faster than I normally walk, so I was worn out.  I did the 5K in 42 min 30 sec.  There were lots of freebies being handed out, so the Go Girl was free.  I bought some hot pink shoe laces for $1.

I'm kinda sleepy, so I might take a power nap before eveyone gets home from the camping trip.  I got up this morning at 4:30.  The boys have been camping all weekend and Gary was with them.  So I've had a little "me" time.  It went too fast.  Gary leaves tonight to go to Alaska until Friday. 

Friday, October 19, 2007

brag, brag, brag, brag

BOTH teachers had nothing but great things to say about the boys.  (my chest is welling with pride as I type)

Their progress reports are too long and complex to repeat here, but they've both fared very well.  They are both grasping math concepts quickly, they are complex thinkers, they get along well with the other students and are respectful with the teachers.  Ryan is reading on a 6th grade level and Jake on a 5th grade level (he is in her highest reading group).  Jake's teacher explained how she had the class divided up and what they do during the reading block and I was so totally impressed.  I LOVE these teachers.  (it helps that the boys are doing well).

Ryan's teacher said he is an ideal student and he has the ability to calm and focus himself when he takes tests - and this will serve him well in school.  She also recognizes that he is sensitive.  She told us about how she saw him reading a Junie B. Jones book and teasingly fussed at him that she didn't want to see him ever reading that again, because he can do better than that.  She said she could see his eyes welling up, so she apologized and sent him to the restroom.  Ryan takes school and authority figures very seriously.  So now she knows that she cannot have that sort of casual banter with him.  I also told her about his distress over some of the girls being impatient with him, and she totally knew what I was talking about and has already talked to them and will do so again. 

Jake's teacher totally recognizes what a sponge and avid learner he is.   He loves scientific things.  Got some cute stories out of her.

The not so good parts:  Ryan's handwriting.  It's inhibiting him.  This is why she is so surprised at his reading level- because he's not able to express it in a written way.  He just wants to rush it.  Plus, he's shy, and his speech is not very good - so that doesn't help either.  But he's got all points firing up in that brain.  We have typing software and we need to get him back into practicing that.

Jake is focusing better, but she suggested he have his hearing tested.  She thinks they can do that at the school, so we agreed to that.  Plus he still needs to work on his handwriting.  She cracked up when we talked about him laboring over his cursive writing. 

I feel good that they are getting a good education, in a pleasant, challenging, safe environment and the teachers are totally on the ball and very impressive.  Our school has been getting a bad rap this year, but these teachers are tops!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

THE brownies...

Okay, so I made the brownies today.  Ahem. 

First, how I adjusted the recipe.  It calls for 1/2 c. carrot puree and 1/2 cup spinach puree.  I used all the carrots, but I did 1/4 c. spinach and 1/4 c. blueberries.  Someone had said the blueberries was good.  Everything else I used as prescribed.  You could use either oat flour or all purpose.  I used a-p.

Everything else I followed to a T.  First, when I mixed the chocolate with the purees, I did a litle taste - not bad.  I never did encounter a spinach smell.

The review:  The brownies are strongly chocolate.  No hint of vegetables at all.  Not very sweet.  Dense and chewy, but not in the good decadent brownie way.  More in the "what happened to the levening?" way.  I guess it had the "healthy" feel to it.  Whatever, the science to the baking was messed with and not perfected.  I think it would be better to use a tried and true recipe.  I'm going to dig through my heart healthy cookbooks, use those recipes and add the purees to it.  I've also heard that the "no pudge" fudge brownies box mix is good.  Maybe it was the fact that I used the smart balance - that's what the recipe calls for - but I had the "light" on hand.  Too much water or air?  Maybe the oat flour would've worked better?  I'm gonna also try the Sneaky Chef recipe.

The family's take on it: Jake loves it.  He's just happy to have brownies - they don't have to be good!  Mom never makes dessert!  Ryan took a nibble and declared them bad.  Well, he said they were okay the first bite, then after it went down, it got a strong chocolate taste.  The child is not a big chocolate fan.  (so now you see what I'm dealing with, the child doesn't even eat chocolate or ice cream!)  Gary is not a fan.  But again, some dessert is better than no dessert.  He didn't detect any vegetables either.  Just that bad heavy texture.  He'd be happier if he had a big dollop of ice cream and fudge sauce.

I wish someone involved with the making of this cookbook would make the recipe as it is printed in the cookbook and tell me with a serious face that those are "death row brownies".  Surely they missed something in the printing.  That's all I have to say about that.


Tonight I tried another new recipe.  A weight watchers crockpot recipe.  Basque-style chicken stew.  It has chicken, turkey bacon (just a little), red and green peppers, onion, olives, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, etc. etc.  It was soooooooo good!  It's a keeper.  Jake ate it up.  We had to make Ryan eat the chicken chunks and at least 6 pasta spirals. *sigh*

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

blue angel video, sneaking vegs, komen

Footage of the blue angels flying right over our house!  I'm standing in our driveway filming this.  So cool.  And so loud.  The little green house with the flag thing you see at the end of the video is our house.

I've bought that Jessica Seinfeld cookbook, Deceptively Delicious.  You wouldn't believe how many people get their panties in a wad over the idea of sneaking vegetables into a child's meal!  The horror!  As if we aren't daily banging our heads against a brick wall trying to get them to eat their veggies.  We're horrible if we don't force them.  Anyway, I'm sick of hearing the judgemental lectures, so please don't lecture me.  I have a spine, thank you very much.

I think it's fun, and Gary is horrified.  I made the chicken nuggets with broccoli.  Not so good - well, not bad, because I like broccoli, but it had a very strong broccoli taste.  Not fooling anyone there.  Gary was good about it.  He gave me the eyeballs, but managed to not make a face, and he ate his share without scraping off the breading.  I know he wanted to though.  Ryan didn't like the taste of it.  I fried 1/2 batch like the recipe says, and baked the other 1/2 and asked them to tell me their preference.  Jake preferred the baked batch, but didn't think it was all that great.  Ryan preferred the fried batch, but it was just the lesser of two evils.  I will not use broccoli again in that recipe.  I'll find a less obvious vegetable.  Tonight I made tacos, it was totally spur of the moment.  I never make tacos, but I had to think of something to do with ground beef using what I had in my pantry.  Then it hit me, sneak in a vegetable puree.  I've got a freezer full of them.  So I snuck in carrots.  I had also pureed a can of tomatoes (because they would pick the tomato chunks out, they do that with chili - including Gary).  Turned out really good.  No one suspected a thing.  I'm going to experiment on my bible study group.  I'm going to make the brownies that have the spinach and carrots.  She says to serve it cold, otherwise you taste the spinach.  So I'm making it tomorrow, bible study is Thursday.  I'm also going to make boxed brownies - as a safeguard.  I'm going to tell everyone that one batch is boxed and the other is homemade.  It will be obvious which is which, but I want to know if the homemade is edible.  LOL!  I'm terrible about trying out recipes on unsuspecting innocent people.

I picked up the Komen team packet today.  It has our race numbers and t-shirts.  I'm excited.  Our team has raised over $500!!  One of our team members has a sister who had breast cancer and she is one of 5 siblings - so they all pitched in.  The race is sunday - bright and early.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I don't understand... (vent)

First, have you check your bosoms this month and have you been squished this year?  If you answered no to either, then get on it!!  (get your pap too)

There seems to be a lot of grumbling and disgruntled people concerning breast cancer awareness month.  I don't understand it, and I don't know if it's unique to this year or has been a growing trend.  I kinda understand it coming from gals who have/are dealing with breast cancer themselves.  They are sick of the subject and feel that it's a money making opportunity.  yeah, well what isn't?  But I can understand being sick of the subject - and do not doubt their desire that their friends and family understand the importance of early detection. 

But I still don't understand the backlash.  Particularly from those not affected by it.  Yeah, I see it some, but not as much as what people say.  Okay, so there are pink baseball bats and tennis rackets.  So what?  I like pink, and if someone sees a pink ribbon and it plays on their guilt for having skipped making that appointment, then a good thing was done.

I read a blog today that I should have not.  They were railing on and on about it for much longer than this entry will be (I hope).  Stating that breast cancer is a curable disease.  Um, tell that to some of my friends.  Thems fighting words.  The blogger is dealing with their own physical (and who's not to say mental) problems which are daily discussed and much fodder for anything food related - but since there isn't a month or color (oh, but there is a ribbon) for their disease, this person had to go on and on about it.  This person is very knowledgable about many things, but not everything.  Asking what about other cancers?  well, the ones they listed ARE related to BC.  Oh, the bowing and scraping, this person says they don't mean to put down BC, blah, blah, blah.  Yeah, say that about the disease they are dealing with and see what you get...

Of course, it got me all defensive, so I left a comment.  Short and to the point.  But this person is clever with the internet and will probably figure out who I am and then let all you know what loose upon me.  Of course, I do regret making a comment.  It's not my style to drop bombs, but it happened like an out of body experience.  Regretted it as soon as I clicked the mouse.

In lighter news, the blue angels have been here this week, practicing over our house.  I have video and some really bad pictures - I'll try to post tomorrow if we don't go to the show tomorrow.  Gary really wants to avoid the crowds and traffic, and so he's been saying that we've seen the show!  cop out!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

my friend

Our sunday school class is something else.  Today is another one of those days that hits the bullseye on what makes our class special.  Remember my friend Dottie, who has all those kids she homeschools and has been battling cancer for 9 years?  She came into our class today (she usually teaches a children's sunday school class - my boys' class) and shared her most recent health situation.  She was recently tested to see how her newest chemo is working.  It isn't.  The cancer is growing.  It has spread to her skull and she fears it going to her brain.  You know how it is, the more a person talks, the more stuff you learn about them?  She said that 8 years ago they gave her 6 months to live.  God has given her 8 years, so far.  But the doctor said that this time is probably it.  She is running out of chemo's to do.  She's been through at least 8 of them, she says.  Her kids think this is just another chemo change.  She has told them that they are running out of chemos.  She said that this week she is going to talk to each child individually.  She says she feels she has 8 years worth of stuff to teach them and has wasted the last 8 years.  I'm sure she hasn't - but a person feels what they feel.  And do you ever feel you are done with your kids?  She says that she has to decide what to do next - in the past she has been taking the hardest hitting chemos, but now they may take a different route, to suppress hormones.  I know what you are thinking, because I'm thinking it too - that should have been done right off the bat...but I don't know her situation - I'm sure the doctors know best.

Anyway, instead of doing our lesson, we cried and prayed with her.  And then sent her off to teach her class - while we discussed our meal ministry to her and another ministry we are doing.  Sometimes you just have to care for the family and set the lesson aside for the day.

And to think I was getting a little (just a little) grumbly that I was doing the meal thing so frequently...Now I think I"m not doing enough!!  I know I'm not...

And the irony of it all.  After she left, a lady came in to the class and gave me a rose plant.  See, between the early service and sunday school there is a break and tables are set up with snacks for fellowshipping.  The ladies had done pink snacks and pink decorations in honor of - you know it - breast cancer awareness month.  So, as being a survivor, I got a beautiful Victory Rose.

How can I feel victorious when one of our sisters is losing the battle?  :*(

So, I'm doing this Bible study on Daniel, and we recently did the Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego story - you know, thrown into the fiery furnace.  And we went over three scenarios of when people of God face a fiery trial: you can be delivered from the fire (as in, "it's not cancer") - your faith is built.  Or you can be delivered through the fire (as in, "it's cancer" but you beat it) - your faith is refined.  Or, case 3, you are delivered by the fire into his arms - your faith is perfected.  That's where Dottie is, or soon to be.

This has been a very important study for me, and the timing is incredible.  Because Dottie's situation has really made things real to me.  Too real.  Thinking and crying and facing reality is good.  Real good.  It makes life meaningful and focused.  Can you be focused and standing back and seeing the big picture at the same time?  Well, there you go. 

Thursday, October 4, 2007

James Gandolfini

I don't know if I spelled his name correctly.  We don't have HBO, so we don't watch the sopranos.  Gary said he saw J.G. at the Safeway when we were there doing popcorn sales.  (he didn't buy popcorn - but who can blame him? he was on vacation I'm sure!)  Gary said he saw somewhere that J.G. had been spotted in Hawaii at a restaurant, so it's likely that was him.

Just wanted to report that to the star watchers...  I'm a horrible name dropper, aren't I?

zoo trip and pictures

This is a picture of Gary and the boys in the stadium, waiting for the game to begin.  We are quite early, plus in the nosebleed seats.  Notice the shaka (hang loose) foam hands, instead of the foam #1 finger.  Very cute.  The "Bows" are having a great winning season - no losses so far.  Their quarterback, Colt Brennan, is a Heisman hopeful and was on the cover of the most recent ESPN magazine.  (the only reason I know that is because we just started getting it!  what a koinkydink)

The zoo was a zoo!  The shenanegans began with a loud noise.  So of course we had to investigate what animal was making the noise and why.  Here's a picture:

Yep, stacked tortoises.  That's my term for it.  They are LOUD.  And not fast.  It went on and on.  Oy, the embarrassment.  Ryan took this picture.  I couldn't even hardly look at them.

Later, the boys were playing on the zoo playground and a peacock walks by.  With nachos on it's back.  Yep, chips and cheese.  Weird.

Then the chimps!  They were a bunch of disgruntled, sullen, angry adolescents.  They slammed into the glass wall, threw rocks at each other, screamed and fought.  It was scarey. Word has it that they have already broken the glass, and someone has reported that they even have flung poo over the glass at the people.  Oy!

We spent 4 hours there and didn't even see everything, and it's a small zoo!!  Here are pictures of the zoo crew:

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

fall break

This is the week of fall break.  Sometimes super busy, sometimes totally unbooked.  Monday we went with friends on a hike to Makapu lighthouse - hike is a fancy word for walk up a paved path for 1.2 miles to a lookout near the actual lighthouse.  It would be a great place to go whale watching when they come in December. 

We've also had tennis lessons, the first flag football meeting/practice (wanna be coach?  we need a coach!) and tomorrow is the zoo.  I'm exhausted.  We've had a lot of late nights recently.  Gary's been overbooked too at work, since the boss is out of town.  He was pouting tonight because I wanted to put the boys to bed at a decent time.  He hasn't been here to realize how little sleep the boys have been getting.    The kids are incapable of sleeping past 6:15a.m.  Put them to bed at 8:30 or 10:00, it doesn't matter.

I'm pouty myself that we didn't make fish tacos, as promised, on our last night of cooking class.  I know it sounds gross, but I wanted to try them!  I don't want to make them or order them in a restaurant not knowing what to expect.  You know?  The teacher kept saying how wonderful they are and how famous they are from this restaurant in San Diego.  I don't see going to San Diego anytime soon, or in my lifetime.

My spiritual life has taken an interesting turn.  A spurt of growth.  Growth spurt!  It's great, wonderful.  I won't elaborate, because I couldn't do it justice.  Let's just say that knowing God, being a Christian, is not boring.  It's an adventure.  And if it is boring, then you must be sleeping because, woo, it's not boring.  And if you beg to differ, then just take a gander at creation.  It takes a creative, interesting God to come up with some of his creations.  I can't wait to see some of them at the zoo tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

LOST sighting, this is a biggie!!

Matthew Fox - confirmed!!

Our family was eating at Quiznos Saturday afternoon.  We almost ate at Big City Diner, but it had a line.  So we were eating our subs, sitting on the stools inside, and I glance over at the man who was ordering.  I noticed he had several tattoos.  He had his hand on his hip and I was looking at the rather large, cartoonish (very colorful) tattoo on his arm, around his inner elbow area.  What an odd place to have a (awful, IMO) tattoo, I thought to myself.  Then I saw his profile.  Gasp!  Is that Jack?  So I punch Gary and ask him.  We got several full face views of him.  He looked directly at us.  I'm sure he thought we were nuts or rude because we didn't even smile - if he were a regular person, I would've smiled.  No, I gawked and analyzed.  His voice did not rule him out.  But we didn't know if he had children.  He was with a girl.  What really threw us off was that he was so thin.  "Slight" is the word that came to mind.  Gary just told me he googled Matthew Fox and found out he indeed has a 10 year old girl and he has tattoos where I saw them which are covered up in LOST.  Bingo!!  We have a winner!!

But wait, the excitement continues!!

From Quiznos we went to Long's drugs.  They were having a sale on Ma Po Tofu packaged sauce and I just had to have some so I could try to make it myself at home.  We were still kinda talking about M.F.  I was in the chinese foods aisle all by myself when Gary rushes up to me and whispers that Hurley (Jorge Garcia) was in the next aisle!!  So of course I make my way over there and pretend to look at stuff nearby.  Hurley was standing there, stock still, contemplating the Pam and oils.  Gary told me he bought some basics, like oil, and a pot and detergents.  So, my first thought was that the LOST cast has moved back and they are filming again.  But then again, didn't we just see Jorge at Buzz's a few months ago?  Did he move away and back?  Why does he need to restock? (and at Longs for crying out loud) Or is he buying stuff for someone else?!!

Stay tuned.  I'm keeping my eyes peeled.

Monday, September 24, 2007

my team for the Komen race for the cure...

Well, I created a team.  Here's the link if you have any notion of donating:

It is bare bones basic folks.  I do not  have the time to do all the fancy stuff, not that I wouldn't love to though.  What's even more pitiful, is that when I created the team, I was in a hurry, so I didn't make an extra donation at the time, just paid the race fee - and went back later to make the donation, in the wrong spot!  So the team didn't get credited for the donation!  Fooey.

Now I have to drum up team members.  They require 10 for a team.  3 of my friends have told me they would do it - we'll see.  I invited some friends from church - again, we'll see.  I'll ask some moms on the playground.

The playground.  major drama there.  Conflict with the school, the state, the PTSA and the community.  It sounds like lawyers were involved.  Talk of fencing it in and making it a school only thing.  This has got all of us in an uproar.  It is truly a special playground.  I need to post pictures.

We went to the University of Hawaii football game last night.  A first for the boys.  It was good for them because UH scored over and over.  A very high scoring game (for us).  What I didn't like is that the fans shred up the bulletins and throw it like confetti.  Pure trash on the field.  Nasty.  Too ghetto for me.


*edited to say that my team name is POKIE MOMS

Thursday, September 20, 2007


so I'm googling pokemon and clipart and breast and all that stuff to get t-shirt ideas.  And a medical article pops up about pokemon and breast cancer.  What??  Here's what I found:

In a January issue of the science journal Nature, Pier Paolo Pandolfi of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York described the cancer-causing POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic gene, calling it Pokemon in the process.

Not pleased by the rush of headlines proclaiming <A class=gslink href="" _element_extended_="true">"Pokemon causes cancer," Pokemon USA threatened legal action against the center to have the name of its popular game and trading card series disassociated from the gene, reports the latest issue of Nature. The center has complied with Pokemon USA's demands, and now refers to the gene by the much less-catchy name Zbtb7, Nature reports.

Is that not weird or what??

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

musings about marathon

I was realizing that if I had not signed up for this marathon, if I did not have this goal, I would not have exercised as much and as consistently as I have done.  It would be so easy to say, "it's too hot", or "not on a Saturday, that's family time", or "it's cloudy and might rain".  But, now that I have this goal, I do something come what may.  Now, if you are an athlete, you probably knew this.  But I'm not even remotely athletic.  This is such a revelation to me!  I think I may have to string together race after race for the rest of my life!!

Speaking of races... I'm getting a team together for the Komen race for a cure.  I just thought of it today and have recruited 3 friends so far.  I'm very excited!  We need to think up a team name, and maybe put together a team shirt...  tee-hee!  Not to mention I need to start running!  I don't know if I can run 3 miles - much less 1 mile.  I wonder if I can speed walk it and still not come in last place?  (considering I'm not much of a speedwalker)  We were tossing around team names - I came up with Pokie-Moms, since our boys are so into Pokemon.  If the dads join then they can be Pokie-Dads, and if the kids do the fun run then they can be the Pokie-keiki.  I'm open to ideas.  We could even be intimidating... like the skull crushers or something.  (should that be boob crushers? but that's not for mixed company...)

We have to register by the 27th and the race is October 21.  That will be one week and one year after my mastectomy.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I saw my future...

I saw my future yesterday, and it wasn't pretty.  I dunno.  Have I been deluding myself?  What happened was during my walk I passed an older lady walking.  Wearing regular clothes, not exercise clothes.  And she had one perfect, perky, immobile boob (obviously an implant or a falsie), and one natural, droopy, mobile boob.  Very obvious.  Kinda odd.  So.  That's what I'm going to look like in a few years when my lifted boob decides to succumb to gravity.  I'm not going to dwell on it - but I was just surprised that I was able to actually see that.  Yes, I'm fixated on women's boobs - but not for the reason men are!  It's just a natural occurance from this wild ride I've been on.  What surprised me was how obvious it was - yes, it was.  And more surprising was my reaction.  Averting my eyes, quickly.  I can't even describe my emotions.  Which further solidifies my resolve to get things right.  And to make sure I wear good bras.  She could have used a good sports bra - all that mashing helps even things out and pins things down.  Or something supportive...  Anyway, it's more a note to self...

The tofu cooking class last night was so fun!  I can't wait for tomorrow.  We made the best chocolate pie.  It was so rich and delicious.  It had kahlua in it.  I don't drink at all, but it was good anyway.  Last week they had made a traditional recipe that the teacher had frozen and she whipped that out and nuked it for me and another lady who had missed the class.  Um, it is an acquired taste!  She was totally gracious about it.  I'm just a haole.  But, hey, it had fungus in it and I hate mushrooms, so I think I'm quite the sport for tasting it at all.  All in all, I gained a few pounds last night!  LOL!  Can't wait for tomorrow!


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I'm still here...

but oh so busy!

I'm still training for the marathon.  I was scheduled to do 12 miles Saturday, but due to route change, I did 13 miles.  First time eating during a walk and it made me miserable!  And I didn't eat much!  My stomach has got to get with it and learn to digest while walking.  I hit the wall at least a dozen times.  It was awful.  But, that's what the training is all about.  Work out these kinks so it won't happen during the marathon.

I've got a group of moms that come to my house on Fridays to pray for the schools and our kids for an hour.  I'm not the leader, just the host.  And I'm glad to do it.  Did I already write about this?  it forces me to clean my house every week - so Gary is happy.  But that's not why I'm happy to do it.  I've been praying for an opportunity like this ever since I started going to moms in touch.  I tried to host before, but I had a cat, which is terrible for people who have allergies.  No cat this time!  No excuses.

On Monday mornings I go in to the school and help the parent liason - mostly making copies and distributing things.  No big deal.  Just helping ease her load.

On Monday nights I doing a Beth Moore bible study.;  That started tonight.  It's gonna be good!!  So that may consume all my extra time - may not get to journal with any sort of frequency.

My tofu cooking class started last week - and I missed it!  I had it in my head that it was starting tomorrow!  Wah!  It's like a nightmare...  And there are only 4 classes.  Well, I guess it's a good thing that I'm not being graded - but I really wanted to learn some things.  We'll see what happens tomorrow.  Maybe there were some handouts - or I'll get a refund and take it next semester.

The boys are doing good.  We are working on writing thank you notes.  It's slow going.

Still doing weight watchers.  Weighed in today.  I lost another 1.2 pounds putting me at a total 10.8 pounds lost!!  yeah!

Oh, I wanted to add that I'm taking another meal to my friend that is going through chemo.  I believe I"ve mentioned her before - she has 7 kids, homeschools them and her husband is deployed.  He was due home today - I hope he made it home fine.  I'm not about to call and disturb!!!  Anyway, I found out that she was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was pregnant with her youngest - who is now 9!  She became wheelchair bound just a year after diagnosis.  Her cancer metastesized into her bones, I think, and just recently was found in her liver.  So she's been battling this thing for at least 9 years!  She's totally sweet.  She works in the boys' sunday school class.  I tell them when I'm taking a meal to her family and, in typical boy fashion, they say "again??"  I have to remind them that she is ill and on chemo.  I guess her personality transcends the wheelchair.  I'm going to get them to draw a picture for her for when I take the meal.  I'm feeling like breakfast, so I'm taking a apple-cinnamon raisin french toast strata.  And sausage patties.  I got the strata recipe from one of my online friends.  She says it's her Christmas breakfast staple - I haven't eaten it, but if it's good enough for a special meal like Christmas breakfast, then it's good enough for Dottie.  Unfortunately, Tuesday is Dottie's chemo day, so she may not even get a chance to eat any.  But I hope her family enjoys it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

birthday bash!

I've been a little busy (who hasn't?).  We've been celebrating this birthday for days now.

The bowling party was a blast.  I'm sure the manager is glad we are out of there.  The kids were loud, wild and crazy.  They did little break dances after each bowl, chanted "ryan! ryan! ryan!" (or whoever's name), and the Pokemon card trading!!  Oy!  Worse than the exchange.  I had put a Pokemon card in each of the goody boxes and I made the mistake of letting them open the boxes.  Immediately the trading began! 

But, it's over.  Phew!  Finally.

The boys' big gift from us were skateboards, complete with new kneepads and elbow pads.  They love it!  As you can see they immediately began playing with them.  They are not adept, but I imagine that will soon be overcome.

You'll have to excuse the fashion in the pictures.  The boys were still in their sleep clothes.  Which is underwear and pajama tops or t-shirt.  Ryan had his on inside out and backwards!  Typical.

Yes that is me in the present picture wearing the blue shirt and glasses.  Little story on the glasses... I was awoken early saturday morning (1:30 am), rudely awoken, by my bladder.  Oh the pain!  Of course these things happen at the worse possible time.  So I ended up in the ER - it was an empty ER and they were glad to take me.  Gave them something to do.  I now have antibiotics and that lovely med that relieves the pain, but can stain your contacts.  Small price to pay for relief.

I lost another 1.8 pounds, despite all the birthday cake and junk food on Saturday.  I'm liking this weight watchers thing.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

emotions - not mine

I know that girls are notoriously emotional creatures, drama queens.  Well, it's not exclusive to the female gender.

The boys' birthday party is coming up this weekend.  I do believe that each boy invited has a controversy with at least one other boy in the group!  Bear with me... Patrick and Ricky had a little tiff last week, but I think they have worked it out.  Thomas declares that Patrick wants to break up his friendship with the twins.  Andrew doesn't treat Thomas kindly.  Jake didn't want Mickey invited - I don't know what Jake's beef is with Mickey because they were in the same class last year and are in cubscouts together.  Mickey is a nice boy, but he is a little delayed.  I think that is the reason, but it's really hard for a mom to admit that their kid is discriminatory, ya know.  Nicholas and Sean have both had frackuses (is that a word?) with my guys, even though they are all fine now.  LOL!  This is going to be an interesting party!  Hopefully the bowling will be so much fun that they won't have time to go all dramatic.

Also on the emotional front... Last night Ryan burst into tears saying that he didn't want to move, he likes Hawaii and he'll miss his "fwends".  I know he is crying about this because Sean, who lives next door, is in the process of moving to a house on post.  I feel so bad for him.  But I tried to reassure him that we would email his friends and it wouldn't be for another year and to enjoy his friends now, and that even if we stayed, it wouldn't stay the same because his friends would move...  yeah, logic doesn't make you feel better.

Oh, one emotional thing for me.  Paranoia?  Last year the administration declared that they thought children should go straight home from school and do their homework.  That didn't work for a lot of us.  I want my kids to have time to blow off steam after a hard day of school and socialize with their friends who are in a different grade.  Plus the playground is exceptional.  Then they asked that the kids not play on the playground for 15 minutes after school, so the kids waiting to be picked up will be sitting on the wall ready to get into the car when their parent drives up. (we do not have a bus system, well, it's a privately owned thing and hardly anyone uses it)  So this year, the principal has declared that no one play on the playground for 30 minutes after school.  Mind you, this is a public playground.  It is on community property that happens to be adjacent to the school.  It is not under the school jurisdiction.  The principal actually brought out her microphone to get the kids off the playground.  She has personally reprimanded my kids.  This will not be dropped by me and the other moms that also want their kids to play after school.  We did not confront her at the playground in front of our kids, but she will hear it at the next PTSA meeting.  Not that it will do any good....  What an ogre.  No wonder kids are being pulled out of the school en masse.  Did you know there is a rule of "no running on the playground"!  The horror!  How dare kids actually play!  Anyway, some moms are buying into the "party line", that they can't possibly know who is supposed to be sitting on the wall to wait for their moms or not.   And some moms are also making up other excuses for the admin. like "maybe they were threatened with a lawsuit".  Ha!  I say the principal is on a power trip and really wants the parents to take their kids straight home to do homework like she thinks we ought to parent.  Now, if you know me, you know this is so unlike me.  I've really got my hackles up.  I'm a very compliant person, by the rules, not totally sure of my parenting and I never "read between the lines" or see conspiracy in anything (I'm very naive).  To me, this is a slap in the face.  Plus I think she needs to worry more about her release policy.  It's bell rings, and the kids scatter to the four winds.  No protection.

There.  I said my piece.  At least for now.  Open House at school is fixin to happen.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I just want to put out a plug there, that FORCE (facing our risk of cancer empowered) is putting out a calendar of women who have had mastectomies with and without reconstruction.  I think this is a great idea.  I ordered two.  I'll definitely give one to my PS and possibly to the surgeons in general at the hospital, so they'll have something to show their bc patients.  I've only seen pictures on the web.  I don't know if it has to do with being a military hospital but I've not been shown pictures there.  It possibly has to do a lot with the fluid nature of the staff.

I've got so much to say, but I don't know if any will get said.

Tonight had an interesting conversation with the boys.  The new devotional book we've been using is quite modern, and probably "cool".  Every day has a bit of trivia of something that happened on that day and the devotion at times has to do with that trivia.  Today is women's equality day, and the discussion was about that.  God created women distinctly and separately  - we are unique. (which does not negate equality)  Anyway, the day's "to do" was to compare and contrast mom and dad.  So we asked the boys how are we different.  LOL!  They came up with some physical traits, but when pushed for thoughts about our actions and attitudes - they really didn't come up with much.  They *could* compare us with them.  So that tells me, they see us as the same.  You know?  We are a unit.  (I guess that explains why they call me daddy and Gary mommy!)  It shouldn't be surprising to me.  We come out of the womb self absorbed, and I think that's a trait that takes work to change.  I also find it interesting because, as a parent to twins, I have always done my best to make an effort to see their differences and try oh-so-hard to not lump them together.  It's hard to do sometimes.  Meanwhile, they are NOT making the same effort and we are lumped together.  I don't mind, because I'm an adult and don't take it personally - that's just the way it is.  But I do hope there comes a time when they can see me for myself, not just "parent".

Okay, since I brought up the subject of differences between men and women, it's a good segue (sp? segway) to an article I read in today's paper.  It's about something that is common in Samoa.  A "third gender".  Called fa'afafine.  It's little boys raised as girls.  The article said it was common in large families.  The parents make the decision - if a boy has feminine characteristics or if a family just needs another female in the household to help out with chores - the boy is raised as a girl to help with the household duties.  Now they didn't get into details and statistics, but I think it's interesting how it shows how strong nurture is in influencing sexuality.  (I'm not saying that nature doesn't exist, but it's certainly not the sole influence)  Because they did say that fa'afafine either date straight men as a straight woman would, or they try to put aside that and marry women in order to have children.  Anyway, they highlighted a person who came to america, thinking that she would be easily accepted, due to her ideas gleaned from t.v.  Think Ru Paul.  (and Maury, I'm sure)  She did not get the open arm welcome she imagined, but is taking it very well, I think.  Considering she did this article, her goal is to educate us.  I am referring to her as her, even though she is a he.  It's confusing.  And since it's part of the Samoan culture, they are accepted there.  In the "christian" families (and I put that in quotes because people use that term loosely and I don't know what's what and think it's interesting that a christian family would do this to a child) the fa'afafine are accepted if they appear publicly as celibate.  (and since they stated it that way, do they sneak around? I dunno)  Anyway, this is not something I had ever heard about and was just fascinated by the whole article.  They had pictures of the gal featured in the story and she is huge!  Everyone in the picture was looking up to her towering self (samoans ARE large people).  So I bet she does get a lot of sir, uh, ma'am.

Bedtime.  That's about all I can cram in at the moment.  Prolly too much said anyway.  I have another subject to discuss at a later date.  I'm a bit consumed with birthday party planning, and am totally in a tizzy because I put the wrong times on the invitations and don't have everyone's phone number!  Ack!  I've got to fix this mess!

Friday, August 24, 2007

3rd grade - and my broken heart...

Why didn't anyone warn me about 3rd grade?  <sob>

I can't kiss them at the classroom door anymore.  <bawl!>

My babies.

I don't recall giving them permission to grow up.  Disobedient children!  Hmpf. <sniff>

Better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.........

They're still my babies.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

3 month follow up (long rambling junk)

You may want to skip this entry, it's long, doesn't make sense, and is boring...

For some reason, I'm having a hard time writing about this, although I need to get it out.  I went in for my follow-up today.  3 months since the exchange surgery.  I hardly slept at all last night, because I figured I'd have to fight to get revisions.  So I went in and he asked me how I'm doing and I said fine, but I'm not happy.  And he said, well, tell me about it.  So, I'm so bad with words, I bumble around a bit and finally spit out that I'm concave on top, still have this flat-ness, weird point, creases don't match, weird bumps - it all comes out in a jumble.  So he takes a look and pokes and prods and we discuss putting in a silicone gel implant, and what he can and can't fix.  whew.  Frankly, I think he's happy with the outcome, but *I* am not happy.  And he thinks we can do better.

I have to wait until I'm more healed.  He said my scar needs to fade - and he gave an explanation that I don't remember.  But he said the outcome would be much better if I'm fully healed, less internal scarring.  So we are going to do it after the marathon in December.  He promised me that we could have it all done, nipples and tattoos by March.  He wasn't going to let me move until we're done.  :-)

I have a headache.  I took pictures last night to show him how awful it was.  But the pictures were so very awful, I couldn't bear to print them.  The thing is, I've seen worse.  I mean, really worse.  Why risk it?  ----- ugh!

As you can tell, (at least I can tell), I haven't been praying about this and haven't been in the Word, so I'm totally discombobulated.  discomboobulated.  LOL!  I made a funny.  Still have a headache though.

Vanity is a weird thing when you are not used to being pretty.  You still have a set of standards even though you know you'll never be pretty.  So it's disconcerting when you don't even reach the barest minimum standard.  It's like living a rotten hair day, all the time.

Okay, time for this post to end.  Gotta make the kids do homework...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

dare to dream

So the other day we're sitting in the vortex and Ryan walks up.   He announces that if he doesn't become a ninja or singer when he grows up, then he wants to work at McDonald's.  I look over and catch Susan doing her best to not burst out laughing.  So I ask him, what do you want to do at McDonald's?  And he says he wants to boil the french fries and chicken nuggets (since that's what he likes).  And I said that he'd be a fry cook like SpongeBob.  And he says, but not flipping burgers.   It's good to have standards...

So later that evening we are telling Gary and Gary says to Ryan, you know, you can start working at McDonald's in a few years... Achieve your dreams early.  (then what?)

Then Ryan starts talking about opening a gourmet restaurant that serves all his favorite foods.  Pizza, chicken nuggets, peanut butter crackers, pancakes, and for dinner, to be fancy, tortellini. (frozen, don't you know)

I love my kids.  They are so funny.  :-)

Tonight the family went to a lighted tennis court and played, er, fooled around.  It was so much fun.  It may become a regular family activity.  Jake has some pretty good natural talent, but he gets bored easily and spent a lot of time laying on the ground and being our target.  don't ask...  LOL!  I'm a lousy tennis player - just not athletically inclined at all.  I made a C in tennis in college.  Who makes a C in tennis??  I only took the class because of Gary.  He was on the tennis team in high school.  So at least he's good enough to keep the ball in volley.  I got better as the night wore on.  But now my arms are a bit shaky.  Plus my hand turned black due to the deteriorated tape on my racket.  Gotta change that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

cholesterol results are in...

better than before, but still not great.

total: 224

hdl: 41

ldl: 156

triglycerides: he just said normal

I'm sure I shouldn't be putting this out there on the web, but I need a record of it.  I can't remember my last numbers, I'll have to dig for them if they are stashed around here anywhere, but I do know this is better.  He told me I need to increase my fiber (check, doing that), regularly exercise 3 to 4 times a week (check, I walk 6 days a week), and modify my diet (check, I just started that a couple of weeks ago).  I know it will take time, but I'm sure if I stick to this path I'll have good numbers.  I'm gonna see if I can get tested again at least by next spring.  If I stay doing good and my numbers don't go down, then I'll have to do something more drastic.  Like start running.  Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!  Yeah, right, that ain't happenin'.

Flossie is fizzling...

They say we, here on Oahu, are supposed to get winds, high surf and not much rain.  Sounds like winter!  It's been a nice break from the heat, actually.  There are lots of clouds, but not much rain.  Actually, none during the day yet today.  I'm not sure where Flossie is, right now.  The t.v. is not doing the split screen today. (half show, half radar)

I'll be glad when she's gone.  It's affecting my mood.  So grouchy.  Gary said he was grouchy at work yesterday too.  Plus I have this pressure in my head, just a mild headache.  It has to be the weather (or perhaps the stress of impending doom).  I don't know how the people in Florida and the Carribean can stand it.  Oh, yeah.  The whole paradise thing.

I put a call in to my doctor to get my cholesterol results.  I'm a little anxious, but he said he'd be calling me if it was bad.  So it must not be that bad.  At least not as bad as my last test.  He looked at those in my chart and made a face.  Like, good gracious that's high! kind of face.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

last year this time...

I was given my diagnosis.

So, what am I doing today?  Check it out, this is so awesome: I'm making a meal for a family who just adopted a newborn!!  I'm helping someone else out, instead of being helped.  And it feels awesome!  For me, this is so much better than any party or dinner out.

Thank you Lord for this gift of life.  May you be honored and never shamed by my words or deeds, regardless the situation.

an interesting next few days

well, you know the hurricane is coming.  last week the volcano started flowing from a new site, close to the usual one (Kilauea has been flowing lava for years and years continuously).  Tonight an earthquake 5.4 shook at about 7:40 pm, they say 25 miles south of Hilo (big island) which is just about where the volcano is)  You ask me, I'd be afraid it's going to blow.  Maybe during the hurricane.

Of course, the earthquake causes tsunami watches and there will be aftershocks.

Don't be surprised when you hear about the Big Island needing a little FEMA...

I"m watching the news, the weather, and that hurricane took a turn and is heading right smack dab to Big Island and the direction it's going, all the islands will be affected.  They had told us earlier that it would hit the big island, but pass south of us, since we are a bit north and several islands west.  Ah, I see schools are closing.  I still need to buy peanut butter...  Maybe some ice.  Heck, I'll just join the other panickers and buy whatever I can lay my hands on! 

I'm just saying...

stephanie needs, gary needs

Got this idea from Brit's blog.  You google your name like this "stephanie needs".  I did myself and Gary and it's hilarious.

Stephanie needs...

1. Stephanie needs some help Look at those pants!

2. Stephanie - Need input! The last 24 hours has been a serious strain on my grey matter.

3.  Stephanie needs to be in a family where there are no other children or animals. ...

4. Stephanie needs a strong manly shoulder to lean on

5. Stephanie needs to get the women together in an alliance. (Of course.) ...

6. Stephanie needs the next three weeks to just pass by. ...

7. Stephanie Needs Midole?   (Midol maybe)

8. Stephanie needs to get whats coming to her.

9. Stephanie needs someone who is going to tell her like it is.

10. Stephanie needs some quick cash

Gary needs...

1. Gary Needs a Job.


3. Gary Needs a Hand.

4. Gary needs me! — 1 year ago.

5. Gary needs to be set up with a woman who is more OCD than he.

6. Gary needs to take his meds and then apologize to me.

7. Gary needs a face lift. ...

8. Gary needs to get back in orbit, way high up in space. ...

9. This is what Gary needs: The Garage. ...

10. Gary needs to get him some serious help and anger management.