Friday, February 29, 2008

Long Day... & HAPPY LEAP DAY!

I don't think I've posted this photo before... here's the details about this temple:

Located at the foot of the 2,000 foot Ko'olau Mountains in the Valley of the Temples in Oahu's Kaneohe Region sits the beautiful Byodo-In Temple. While always a popular stop for visitors who seek locations off the beaten track, the Byodo-In Temple has become more popular since it was used as a filming location in the first season of the ABC Emmy Award winning drama series Lost, where it served as the home of the Korean woman Sun's powerful father.
The Byodo-In Temple was built in the 1960's to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrant workers in Hawaii who came to work in the sugar plantation fields. It is a replica of the 950-year-old Byodoin Temple located in Uji, Japan on the southern outskirts of Kyoto.

Just thought those of you who haven't seen this photo might enjoy it.

So... it *has* been a long day... from the start at 5:45am until a few minutes ago when I finally arrived home shortly before midnight. (Well... I did stop by the house for about 10 minutes about 6:45pm). After work I headed over to the Commissary to get the groceries for the picnic on Sunday (I got spare ribs & chicken, that's what I'm responsible... and other stuff I didn't really need... it serves me right to go before eating). And I did NOT go to the gym (so I've only been there one day this week due to my mammogram appt Monday (which came out okay) and the conference on Weds & Thursday). I was supposed to stop by the Car Wash in Mililani on my way home... but the commissary was WAY slow... and I didn't make it. They are going to give me $100 to pay for my broken mirror. The mirror will cost about 75 to buy a new unit, and then I have a friend who does mechanical work who has said he will put it on for me. (thank goodness for friends!).

After I left the base I noticed I had a message from Janis... she called to see if I wanted to go to the Opera tonight in her stead. (of course... I said "YES!"). She also said that she & her mom are going on a 7-day "around the island" cruise starting tomorrow night! WOW! Tom apparently doesn't get to go with him, as he is unable to get the time off from work (tonight he said he should just quit and go anyway... but he won't). So... my guess is that Janis is trying to save her strength for the cruise. She and her (now deceased) husband were supposed to go on the cruise around the island before he died... they even had tickets, but he died (of lung cancer) before they could go. So now is Janis' turn (she should make it through to at least get on it tomorrow!). She said it was one of her things on her "Bucket List" (see the movie... it was good). I asked Tom how she was doing, he said it's becoming increasingly difficult for her to breathe. He doesn't think she will hardly make it out of their room on the cruise ship... I hope she gets to get out and see the lava flowing into the ocean when the cruise ship rounds the Big Island on its way to Hilo Bay. That's one thing I would like to do (take the cruise... yes, but see the lava actively flowing into the ocean at night... from the sea).

Anyway... I came home and dropped off my groceries... but the cold stuff away and headed out. It was about 6:45 and the Opera started at 8. I went with Tom. It was "Romeo & Juliet." This was the first time I've ever been to an Opera, they did a great job. Tom's brother Dan, was part of the chorus and dressed up as a villager. The music was soothing (not as annoying as I thought it could be)... and at some points... I felt it hard NOT to be lulled to sleep. (I did a pretty good job staying awake). It didn't get over til about 11:30, after that, I had to ride back over to Tom & Janis' apartment to pick up my car before coming home. I kept my fingers crossed all evening, because I'm on call... and fortunately... no calls to distract me away from the Opera! YEA!

Okay... it's past my bedtime (I'm going to put my groceries away tomorrow!).

- Kris

P.S. Hope you all had a nice LEAP Day!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Back to work tomorrow...

Today was spent at the "Stress, Violence & Trauma" workshop again. It's been interesting and a great networking opportunity. I got to meet a bunch of my military cohorts that I probably wouldn't have met otherwise. And no... I didn't get stuck behind any pillars or posts today! *smiles*. I *did* get to see one of my former co-workers and sit with her for a couple of the sessions. She went through weight-loss surgery after I left that place of employment and I hadn't seen her since then. I swear she looks 20 years younger! She said she's only lost 60 pounds... sure looks like a lot more. It was really nice to see her. She said she didn't make it yesterday because she had too much work, and my other co-worker couldn't make it to either day because their boss is on the mainland and Marie is having to fill in for her. Darn.
After work I stopped by and spent time with my "oldies but goody" friends... there were six of them there today (and all will be participating in the bbq on Sunday, along with another older couple). When you are here as tourists... or "snowbirds" you don't get to experience the Ohana (family) kind of bbq that so often happens at the beach and parks here. It should be fun... they are great people. I'm also hoping Janis & her family can come as well (Janis, Tom, Sarah & her boyfriend, and Janis' mom).
When I got home I had a package in the door... it was my new business cards for work... darn... wish they would have come yesterday, I would have had them to give to people today at the conference. Oh well.
Okay... time to sign off... Survivor is on, and "Lost" will be on soon.
- Kris
P.S. If you want to see something cool... click on the link below... they did a thing where 207 people participated and unbeknownst to others at Grand Central Station, they "froze" in place for a few minutes. It's funny to see... and watch the reactions of others who weren't in on the scheme. *smiles*

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

More sunset pictures

So... because I was in town today, I got to go watch the sunset... and it was another beautiful evening. I attended the Stress, Violence & Trauma conference today... saw a few people I knew, but neither of my former co-workers were there (even though they were registered). I saw a couple of my old professors, saw a former classmate, and met some other Social Workers who work up at the same military installation I do (and my former classmate just started up there as well!). It was nice to do some networking. The workshops were pretty good... but I was on the military track and the room they had us in was TOO small! On the 2nd military workshop, I ended up having to sit behind a square post, to where I couldn't see the presenter OR the screen and they ran out of hand-outs! Supposedly they are going to email me a copy of the handouts. I hope so, because it was probably the best workshop I attended today.
I got there this morning thinking that they were going to have a continental breakfast... and wouldn't you know it... it was the first one I've been to, that hasn't! So... I wandered up to 7-11 & got a soda & a scone for breakfast (real healthy, I know... tomorrow I'll eat breakfast before I go!).

Anyway... after the conference I stopped by to see Walt & Bette, then Guy & Nikki came on over. It was good to sit by the pool and visit with them. We are making plans for a Barbeque at Ala Moana for Sunday. (We'll have Bob & Barb there (they are in their late 70's or so) and Carol & George (He's 82, she's probably about 75). So... it'll be old crew day at the park! *smiles* (Well... it makes ME feel young anyway! LOL). I talked Bette & Walt into going down with me to watch the sunset at Magic Island... they haven't been going down as much this year... trying to watch their hearts, I guess... because they have both had some heart issues the past couple years.
I guess I'll sign off and go figure out what I'm wearing to work tomorrow.
- Kris

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Aloha! A random picture from my "favorites" file.

Today didn't end up being as busy as I had thought it would be... of the five appointments, two called to reschedule and one called to cancel (I need to follow up with her). So... only two appointments, but I still kept quite busy. This afternoon I emailed the company I work for to see if there was any additional (like a stipend) I could get for attending the conference that I'll be attending the next day, since apparently I won't get paid for it (we had hoped... but found out otherwise... my other co-worker that was supposed to go has chosen not to go because she can't afford to take the two days off without pay (she was off about 3 days last week). My supervisor asked if I could get materials and bring them back and then kind of give a presentation to my co-workers on the workshop (but... I don't get paid for the two days I'll be missing work to attend).
Oh well... things work out the way they are supposed to (don't sweat the small stuff). I'm on call all week (as I think I mentioned), so that will make up for some of the loss in pay.
Tonight I went over and had dinner with Walt & Bette, it's good to see them. I helped Bette a little with her cell phone (she's still learning how to use it). It's now after 10pm though and past time for me to go to bed (and hopefully I won't get any calls tonight).
Tomorow will be the "Stress, Violence & Trama" workshop (and Thursday), I'm looking forward to seeing some of my former "State" co-workers.

- Kris
P.S. I called my oldest daughter this morning to ask when she finds out about the job she interviewed for... my oldest granddaughter answered and I asked what she was doing home... she asked if it was a school day... "I don't know... it's Tuesday)... come to find out she & her mom had overslept the alarm. *smiles* Glad I called.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Nice sunset!

Take your pick... these are all nice sunset pictures! *smiles* It's not very often I make it back down to my neck of the woods to watch the sunset... but I made it today!
Today... my morning was busy... I had three appointments (9,10 & 11) all back-to-back. My original 10am appointment cancelled... and by 8:20 or so my 8am appt hadn't showed up... so I thought I was going to end up with just one appointment. But... then my 8am showed up late, and we had a walk-in come in and ask to see me, so she was put into the 10am slot. So... it all worked out. The walk-in was a Gastric Bypass patient that I had met last week... and for reasons beyond me, she can't get any support here locally because she didn't have her surgery at the local military hospital. It's one of those situations that just kind of make me shake my head... I've heard the reasons... but don't necessarily agree with them. Thankfully, I'm here to provide her some support. I'm hoping at some point in the future, when I am seeing enough Gastric Bypass patients, that we can get a Gastric Bypass support group going up where I work. I think there's enough of a need.
Anyway... on to the rest of the day... I had a Mammogram appt for 2, so had to leave about 1 to head into town. The appointment was quick, and so I decided to head down to the Psychiatric Outpatient Program to see where they are located and to introduce myself. One of the guys down there used to have my old office (and I've met him several times). It also justified (at least in my mind) my taking off early and not returning to work. After leaving the hospital I headed into town to get my nails done (with my giftcard), and got a bite to eat at the mall before I went over to watch the sunset and head home.
I called Bette tonight to see if she had heard from Guy & Nikki, she had. Guy had his eye surgery this morning... so I need to call them. (Nikki asked Bette to tell me to call her). It looks like I will be giving them a ride to the hospital in the morning on my way to work (because I go so early anyway). I guess Guy has to have his eyes checked tomorrow.
Oh yea... Hawaii lost a Hawaiian music legend today... Auntie Genoa passed away today (Here's a little note about her): Auntie Genoa Keawe is known for her singing in a high voice, the famous Hawaiian falsetto and for holding a high note for more than two minutes"). She was something like 89 years old and died in her sleep.
Okay... I'll sign off for now and go call Guy & Nikki... then hopefully get to bed at a decent time.
- Kris

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Weekend's over..

Walt & I got over to Kaneohe before my neighbors did... so we walked over to the Marine Memorial which is just inside the gate. I love how clear the mountains were yesterday. And... I picked a GREAT day to do the Sandbar trip... today was cloudy & rainy for the better part of the day. So... I relaxed this morning and this afternoon I went and saw the movie "Fool's Gold."

Tonight I went down to Rumours (a nightclub) with my neighbors. Michelle's son is learning Judo and they had a fundraiser at the club. It wasn't a bad deal for me... the ticket cost $10, and I bought $5 in raffle tickets and won a $100 giftcard for Ala Moana mall (so... I think I'll go get my nails done tomorrow after work!).

Okay... it's after 10... past my bedtime, so I'll say...

Aloha & Goodnight!
- Kris

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Play day in paradise!

Today was our sandbar day... I went out with my neighbors and Walt (I still think Bette would have done okay!). I think if I get to take them out again next year when they are here, we might be able to talk Bette into going. Walt had a great time (we all did!). Had plenty of room on the boat... I sent some pictures to my family (and nephews) via my cell phone out there... with a message that pretty much said "wish you were here!" My nephews would have a GREAT time out there! *smiles*

Here's Walt relaxing on the boat on the way out (we were motoring slown in the "no-wake" zone.)

The people in the photo below put their "pop-up" up and then had a barbeque... Maybe someday I will do that out there. We did get out there at the best possible time... and as you can tell from the pictures... we had AWESOME weather!

Fun & Play on the sandbar... Walt & Kaleo playing with a Frisbee.
Kaleo getting a boogie board off of the pontoon boat so he can float around on it.

Good neighbors, good friends (Michelle & I).

After we got back to town from our long morning excursion to the Kaneohe Sandbar, I dropped Walt off, then came home & took a shower... then went back and picked Walt & Bette up. I took them up to see my office and then headed up to the Kolekole pass. I made them hike up to the Kolekole Pass rock... the rock has a "bowl of sorts (right below where my head is) and a trough that runs down from the "bowl". Legend has it that defeated warriors were brought up here and beheaded! Thankfully... I *wasn't* beheaded! *wink*

Then we went on up to the lookout on the top of the Kolekole pass... a short drive from where the hike up to the rock is. What a beautiful view! Although there was a LOT of vog today (Vog is kind of like smog, but caused when the hot lava flows into the ocean and creates a fog of sorts from the sulpher. When there is wind coming by way of the Big Island... we get a heavy haze).

Walt & Bette... up at the Kolekole pass lookout. After we stopped here, we headed down to Nanikuli (no photographs are allowed after the lookout point). We stopped in Kapolei for an early dinner (about 5) then headed out to the Coast Guard Barber's Point to hopefully watch the sunset. The military police kicked us out before sunset though... so we drove down the road just a little bit and I got out and shot this picture below. When it is "voggy" it makes the sun look red.

Friday, February 22, 2008

YAY! It's Friday!

Here's a picture of where I will be tomorrow... at the Kaneohe Sand Bar. But... what's that saying? The best laid plans of mice & men often go awry? Well... I reserved the pontoon boat a couple months ago to ensure I'd have the best low tide date on a weekend that I could get... Planned on taking all of my snowbird friends (Walt, Bette, Guy & Nikki), then Janis, Tom, Sarah (Janis' daughter, and her boyfriend) Will. Well... Bette can't go because she has a 2 hour bladder (and there isn't any place to use the bathroom out in the middle of the ocean. Then... Janis has decided she shouldn't go... the last time she was out for 5 hours, she was laid up for two weeks (fair enough), Tom and Janis' mom won't go without her. And Sarah has to work (and Will won't go without Sarah). Nikki & Guy won't be going, Guy has had some eye problems and they went to the eye doctor today and spent most of the day there... they repaired a couple tears (like tearing paper, not crying tears), and he has a detached retina, so they are going to do surgery Monday for that (he has to go into the hospital for the surgery) so, they've decided that maybe they should bypass on the boat ride. SO... I have a fairly empty 10 passenger boat. I did talk to my next door neighbors, and they're going (that'll be three), and Walt *is* going. I just got off the phone with one of my former co-workers, she & her husband *might* be able to join us, but Nancy gets off at midnight tonight, so I'm not sure she'll be up to going, but I'll keep my fingers crossed... I'd love to see them.
Let's see... what else? My daughter Kati had an interview at a library closer to where she lives, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she will get it... it's something she's wanted for a long time, it'll save her from the longer commute into Fairbanks. In fact, she'll be able to walk to work if she gets this job. (currently she works at the library in town).

Work went okay... just one appointment and the client brought in her husband, so I got to meet him. Monday and Tuesday are looking busy... Monday I have three appointments in the morning and Tuesday I have five appointments (all day). So, I spent some time making appointment cards this morning and then just decided to go online and order some cards (in addition to the ones I made).

Well, I'm going to sign off... it's almost 11 and I need to be up at 6am. I'm looking forward to having fun tomorrow!

- Kris

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Busier day...

This is Hanauma Bay... a GREAT place to go snorkeling... and it's been far too long since I've been there... I *really* must get there again sometime soon. This weekend I'm spending some time at the Kaneohe Bay Sand bar with my snowbird friends... I'm hoping the weather cooperates... I'm looking forward to it... just disappointed that my friend Janis isn't doing well enough to go with me.

Work-wise, I had a busier day today, I had two scheduled appointments and a walk-in. After work I went to the gym for about 45 minutes on the Elliptic machine and then I met up with about 18 Gastric Bypass patients (pre- and post-op) when they met at the field to walk. I wanted to introduce myself and let them know that I'm available if they need someone to talk with as they go through the process. I think it was time well-spent (and I walked a couple laps... even though the blister on my foot still hurts like the dickens).
Other than that... the only other big news is that my youngest granddaughter, Kiara (5), lost a front tooth today... what a QT!
- Kris

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

another quiet day

Drew gets up close and personal with a penguin...

Drew with the dolphin trainers at Sea Life Park on Sunday

Well, it was another quiet day, the one appt I had was cancelled because her daughter is running a temp (good reason). I did call three clients today, talked to one for awhile, she's dealing with some medical problems. Of the other two phone calls, one is coming in tomorrow, and the other wants to call in at a later date to schedule an appt... I just let her know we are available if she needs us. So... tomorrow I have *two* appointments. [rolling eyes]. I need to be grateful right now because one of these days it will be so busy I won't know if I am coming or going.

I *did* make it to the gym for an hour on the Elliptic machine (can you tell what I like to work out on the most?). Then I stopped by Janis' apartment on the way home. We watched "Breach" it was a spy/espionage movie based on a true story. I did talk to Janis a little... she said her doctor suggested that she go the hospice route (because the Revlimid isn't working anyway, I guess... although she's still taking the Revlimid). She's concerned though... because the Hospice nurse told her that if she chose to use Hospice, that she couldn't call 911 and go to the hospital. Her doctor said she could do it anyway (and at that point terminate the hospice services). She was looking okay, a little tired, but alert. She did make it to the Opera for 2 hours last Friday night (Tom had to bring her home early). She said she won't be able to make it on Saturday for the Pontoon boat ride... the last time she was out that long, she was laid up for 2 weeks. So, I guess she's right... she shouldn't push it. I should have asked her if Will & Sarah were still interested in going.

Well... guess I'd best sign off, it's almost 10pm and I need to head to bed. Tomorrow's another day. I still need to get my gym stuff ready for tomorrow. I'll be going to the gym for awhile, then joining up with some gastric bypass patients who are going to be walking up by where I work. I want to introduce myself to them and get to know them and let them know that our services are available up there at the base.


- Kris

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Quiet Tuesday

... just a couple pictures from the dolphin show the other day at Sea Life Park.

Today was a quiet day, I had two appointments today (and both showed, for which I'm grateful). And despite blisters and all... I *did* go exercise at the gym after work. I did 45 minutes on the Elliptic machine.
I'm watching "The Biggest Loser"... so I'd better sign off...
- Kris

Monday, February 18, 2008

GREAT ALOHA RUN and beautiful beach weather!

This isn't a very clear shot, but it was before the sun actually came up. At the start of the Great Aloha Run, they have the "Sounds of Freedom" which are the thousand or so military that run with their various units. (We have a LOT of military from Hawaii currently overseas - deployed). Everyone likes to cheer and applaud when they run by as we wait to start our own race (they go before everyone else).

Looking forward, looking back... I'm in a sea of people as we await the start of the Great Aloha Run (GAR).

Heading toward Pearl Harbor (on the Nimitz Highway)

It got to be where every mile was a celebration. I've been in better shape when I've walked this before...

I finally crossed the finish line, I'm hot (and have the blisters to prove I walked it all!). It's been 8.15 miles. (and then the distance to get to the starting point... but that doesn't count).

And the prize? Another tee shirt! A much coveted FINISHER T shirt!
And then... what a better way to rest and recuperate, but on the beach!

I went down to the Hale Koa beach this afternoon... it was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day to spend at the beach. I went down to Ala Moana... but there already were about 50 cars circling the parking lot looking for a place to park... so I headed over to the Hale Koa (it cost me $3.50 park, but I didn't have to complete for parking).

On my way home, I stopped and visited with Walt, Bette, Guy, Nikki and another couple, Carol & George (all are in their 70's and 80's). It was a good visit. I didn't go down and watch the sunset though, I needed to get home to prepare for tomorrow (going back to work) and I want to make some fudge for my neighbor (Ethel) her birthday is tomorrow (I think she will be 75 this year).

So... will sign off and say...
- Kris
P.S. I got a text message from my youngest daughter this morning when I turned my phone on. My nephew had passed out in the bathroom (against the door!)... so he was rushed to the hospital (again) and is back in ICU. They've decided NOT to do another Endoscope, because they've done 5 of them and he still has internal bleeding. So, they put some kind of dye into the blood they were giving him today and did a scan, which still didn't show anything. So, he was getting more blood transfusions and he had three different tests done today (and it still doesn't sound like they found anything). They are talking about doing a risky test where they give him blood thinner and then put dye in the blood to see where he's bleeding out). In the meantime... he's back in the Cardiac ICU unit. Keep him in your prayers... Thanks!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dolphin Encounter...

Close encounter of the Dolphin kind! *smiles*

Peek-a-boo Drew! This is Drew. I had the pleasure of meeting him and his family (Dad & Mom, Mike & Keri, and grandparents). Drew is in Hawaii courtesy of the "Make A Wish" foundation and came all the way from the Boston area. He went through Leukemia when he was about four, he's six (and 10 months now... as he will so proudly tell you!). I had a great time meeting them all, they've been through so much. AND... I can't write much now, because I'm going to meet them down at my favorite Chinese food restaurant in Chinatown... then I will need to hustle back home and get to bed because I have an o-dark thirty wake up call so I can go do the Great Aloha Run tomorrow (seriously... I think I have to be at the stadium by 4:30am!). I'm going to be one sore puppy tomorrow!

I thought I would share these pictures of ME from the dolphin encounter today. They are pictures of pictures. I paid for the three pics ($32!) and then rather than come home and hook up my scanner, I thought I would just take pictures of them with my camera! *smiles*

Can you tell I had fun? It was a BLAST! I'd highly recommend it! *smiles*
Okay... I've got to go get ready!

- Kris