Monday, March 31, 2008

Rainbows over Hawaii


I haven't posted any pictures of rainbows lately and I saw a couple on the way home, so thought I'd take a couple pictures and post them... although the pictures above are of the same rainbow.

Work was REALLY slow today... I had one cancellation and one no-show... and a staff meeting. Tomorrrow should be busier... I think I have 3-4 scheduled.

I did go to the gym after work and did 45 minutes on the Eliptic machine. I also showed Lori my photos from AZ... she was quite impressed *smiles*
Okay... time to sign off...

Aloha!
- Kris
P.S. For those who haven't already heard, Aloha Airlines is shutting down *awwww*... today is their last day of flying.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Whale Watching Tour...

Your's truly with Diamond Head in the background...
Aloha Tower... where most of the tour boats (and cruise boats) sail in and out of the harbor.
Wait... I think there are whales out there! (*smiles* actually, I was probably one of the very first to see the whales, because you were supposed to yell if you saw one... and I didn't hear anyone else yelling). This was a pod of about 4 whales.
Some closer shots of a couple of the whales near an oil tanker... not TOO far off shore...
The water's a little crooked in the shot... but oh well...
So... the boat boarded at 10:45am this morning and pulled out about 11:30am. For those who had paid about $30 more, there was lunch on board. Next year I'll know to go on the smaller boat (the "Starlet"), I was on the Honolulu Star, which has about 5 decks. It was really crowded... but at least those on board that wanted to... got to see whales. (They guarantee that you will see whales or you get another cruise for free).

After the cruise I went to Barnes & Nobel and spent too much money on books... alas... the downfall of my existance (just kidding... and the only books I bought were work-related... still had to shell out over $100 for 3 books though... *ouch*).

Okay... I'm going to sign off... it's still relatively early... I need to fold & put away clothes and clean up the apartment and get ready for the new week.
Oh yea... I talked to Nikki (of Nikki & Guy) and they made it back to St Louis and are getting settled back in there (no problems with the flight or when they got home). Yea!
Aloha!
- Kris





Saturday, March 29, 2008

Yea! Got to go to the beach!

This is what it looked like at the beach today! Nice, eh? I enjoyed a few hours down at Ala Moana, it seems like its been a month since I have had some quality beach time! Sure felt good!

I went to the beach about lunchtime... then later went & saw "Vantage Point." It wasn't as good as "Stop Loss" was last night... but oh well. And then tonight I have been watching a video that one of my client's talked about "Out To Sea" with Walter Matthau in it. It was good to see a comedy.

Okay... this is going to be a short post... Will write again tomorrow and hopefully post some pictures of whales (I'm going to go on a cheap whale watching tour for a couple hours!).

Aloha!
- Kris

STOP LOSS - laugh & cry...

Well, I went to see Stop Loss tonight. Its about some Army guys who are in Iraq and have 28 days left until they are due to return to the US. Two close friends are planning to get out of the military when they return (to a hero's welcome). I don't want to spoil the movie for anyone so I won't say much more about it. But... I'm not a big crier at movies... but I *did* cry at this one...and even after its over... I *still* want to cry. I don't know if it just hits home for me more (because I've been in the military, because my brother was a Marine in Viet Nam... or because my friend Julie's son was so affected by his time "down-range" or if it's because I work with the Army now...), or if everyone is similarly affected. At this point I think when Bush retires as President, he should enlist and serve time in Afghanistan or Iraq (and I'd personally like to see him become a field medic... let him feel the effects of war on an intimate basis). Although as I say that... if it wasn't Bush sending our troops over there, it would have been someone else.

Anyway... if you are up to it... I'd recommend "Stop Loss." I think it paints a fairly realistic picture of what our soldiers (men & women) are facing.

- Kris

Friday, March 28, 2008

How many ways can you be in 4 places at once?






Well... I tried as many ways as I could think of... lol! As you can see... it was pretty barren... not many people there, so we could do all the antics we wanted (although Michelle was content just to sit on the spot! *smiles*... I had to do all the posing!).

Work went okay today, quiet day... I only had two appointments, but I also spent time this morning calling clients who hadn't been in for awhile and then doing the subsequent documentation. I stayed pretty busy all day. I was supposed to have my supervision today, but my boss got busy and time has away of passing... so we'll meet up next week.
I *didn't* go to the gym today, I decided to leave early (about a half an hour... but then I worked an extra hour yesterday), stopped by the Post Office to mail a birthday card to a dear (old) friend up in Portland. She taught my daughters when they were young and in private school.

Since being home I've done three loads of laundry (one was of towels that have accumulated, and I had all my laundry from my trip... etc). I managed to break one of the washers... I stuck my key in it to keep the water flowing as I was loading it and now the switch doesn't work (my guess is that it is worn out... I've had no problem doing that before).

I'm thinking that I might catch a LATE movie tonight, hoping the crowds won't be so bad... I want to go see "Stop Loss." The previews make it sound like something that a lot of our soldiers (where I work) have to face. I have a couple spouses that are hoping their husbands are going to be able to get out in the fall when their time is up, but they know that their units are supposed to deploy about that time. One spouse I talked to yesterday, her husband (she is newly married), has been in the service about 8 years and has been on 5 deployments... that must be a record!
Well... I'd better sign off and get something to eat...
Aloha!
- Kris

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New Purse... & Grand Canyon Pics


So... this is a new purse that I bought today. A couple of my co-workers have bought them, the prices range from $40+ depending on the size & design (this one was $50). What I like about it... is it's design. It's cool... it's made out of seatbelts. They come in many shapes & sizes and they are unique. A woman on the Army base (from Idaho) makes them. I am mainly posting this so my older two daughters can see it, they are both crafty!

Okay... a couple pictures from the Grand Canyon...
That's one mighty BIG canyon!
After reading "Over the Edge: Deaths in Grand Canyon" I'm glad I didn't succumb to any desires to hop from rock to rock... if there weren't such a big drop... it would be fun to climb around on these rocks. I liked how this tree kind of grew between the rock formations.
Not much else to write about... work was busy, I had five appointments today (I had one cancellation but was able to fit another appointment in)... so it was one of my busier days. Tomorrow is supposed to be a slower day, which will give me time to call some of the clients who haven't been in for awhile to see if they want to set up an appt. Three of my appointments were this afternoon, including a new intake which takes longer to document, so I didn't leave work until 5:30pm. I could have put off doing the documentation, but I'm the kind that likes to get it done the same day and not put it off. My mind is fresher if I do it right away. Consequently, though... I'm hoping I can take off about an hour earlier tomorrow.

After work I went to the gym and did 45 minutes on the treadmill, it was about 7pm by the time I finally got home. Time to go vegetate and think about bedtime already.
Oh yea! Bette called and let me know that they made it home okay. I'm going to miss them. Their time here this year went WAY too fast!
Aloha!
- Kris

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Monument Valley pics...

So... the above is one of my daughter's favorite pictures taken at Monument Valley... it's all about the angle! *smiles*
These sandstone rocks were fun to climb on...
One of the "mittens"... they were beautiful, especially at sunset!
Here are the three main "monuments" as the sun was setting...
I enjoyed using this tree as a "prop" for a couple of my pictures... it had a LOT of character!
And... framing the sunset by the tree was nice...
Okay, enough pictures for tonight. After work I went to the gym and exercised on the treadmill (I need to get back in gear with my exercising... although we did do a LOT of walking this past weekend while I was out in AZ!). After the gym, I went to Walmart and picked up a bunch of pictures (I ordered 77) and stood there and put the 4x6's into a photo album so I have them to take into work tomorrow. They had messed up on one of the 8X10's I had them develop so I had to wait for them to re-develop it. Then... stopped for a bite to eat.
Now it's 9pm and my bedtime... so I think I'll stop here, other than to say Bette & Walt are leaving tonight for Duluth... I wish them lots of love and safe passages!
Aloha!
- Kris

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tuesday night


So... these pictures are from the Sedona area, thought I would share just a couple of the photos. It's after 10pm and past my bedtime. I spent the evening visiting with Bette & Walt as they will be gone out to the airport tomorrow before I get home from work.


Anyway... I hope you enjoy the photos... I'll try to upload more each night so that you can enjoy some of Arizona vicariously through my pictures *wink*


Aloha!

- Kris


Hey... I made it back!



Hey... Just a short note to say that I've made it back to Oahu. I had a FANTASTIC time and will upload more information and pictures either tonight or tomorrow.

My flight was delayed out of LA on the return (due to problems with over-filling the plane with gas in Atlanta!), so I didn't get in until about 11pm last night. Fortunately I slept on the plane quite a bit, so I don't feel too sleep-deprived.

Today I'm working and tonight I'm headed into town right after work to say good bye to my friends Guy & Nikki, they fly out tonight, and then Walt & Bette fly out tomorrow early evening (so it will probably be the last time I get to see them until next year). Walt & Bette want me to pick up their leftover groceries (rather than throw them out). It'll be bittersweet to see them, knowing I have to say good-bye as well.

Okay... I'm signing off... I'm at work so don't want to take too much time, as I mentioned, I will try to post later tonight.

Aloha! (and thanks for the birthday wishes!)
- Kris

Sunday, March 23, 2008

HAPPY EASTER!

Well... I didn't know how special my birthday was this year... It's the only time in my life I will ever celebrate my birthday on Easter. That's pretty amazing... read further...

Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20). This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify Passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar.

Here's the interesting info. This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see, and only the most elderly of our population have ever seen it this early (95 years old or above). None of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier! Here's the facts:

1) The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228 (220 years from now). The last time it was this early was 1913 (so if you're 95 or older, you are the only ones that were around for that).

2) The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was 1818. So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than this year!

Interesting, huh!

- Kris

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Aloha from Arizona!

Wow... the last couple days have been awesome! Let me recap a little (and I *may* not be able to upload pictures on my blog until I get home, and since I don't get back until late Monday night, it may not happen until Tuesday.

So...
Thursday - arrived in Phoenix just before 10am. Lunch in Sedona... hiked around and did a little sight-seeing. Then drove up to Flagstaff, checked into our hotel, then went and explored Flagstaff (Michelle really liked the Flagstaff area). We had dinner at the Olive Garden Restaurant.

Friday... up and out of the hotel by 4:15am. We drove up to the Grand Canyon in the dark, arriving there about 5:30am. BRRRRR was it cold (and there WAS snow on the ground in patches). We waited with a BUNCH of other people to catch the first glimpses of the sunrise and it was a spectacularly clear morning. After having breakfast in the park, we then headed out to the Airport to catch our helicopter tour. That was fantastic too... and Michelle thoroughly enjoyed her first ever helicopter ride (I've been on helicopters a couple times in Alaska and once in Germany). We went back into the park (we didn't have to pay when we went in at 5:30am... but *did* have to pay later because they were open... they charge $25 a car to get into the park!). We got to see where the donkeys go down the trail into the canyon and walked around quite a bit there. I picked up a book there that I've already started to read "Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon." It's a great book! We left about 1 heading east (which had some fantastic views of the canyon while we were still in the park for about 30 miles?) We headed to the small town of Kayenta where we decided to spend the night. After checking into a motel there, we headed 20 miles north and went up to the Monument Valley where we enjoyed the scenery and watched the sunset. (The light reflecting off the "monuments" was awesome!). After heading back to town we had a bite to eat and headed to our motel.

Saturday (today) we got up relatively early and after having a continental breakfast at the motel, we headed to the 4 Corners area where we took a bunch of pictures in various poses of us standing (and sitting) in four states at once! Now I can officially say that I've been in 4 places at once! *wink*. After leaving the 4 Corners area we drove over 400 miles back down here to Tucson, enjoying the scenery as we came.

Tomorrow... I'll be celebrating my birthday for the only time in my life, on Easter. I'll fill you in on my day tomorrow.
It's bedtime tonight!

Aloha
- Kris

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Arizona here I am!

We made it to Sedona in the Red Rock area.  It was beautiful! I'm looking forward to seeing the grand canyon tomorrow.  Can't write much because it's going slow and I am using my daughter's lap top.  And I can't seem to upload any pictures... sorry.

The flight went really well, although I didn't sleep as much as I had hoped.  It's good to see Michelle though... and I'm looking forward to next summer when I can fly up to Spokane to see family & Friends there... and my youngest daughter & granddaughter.

Okay... gotta scoot!

HUGS!
- Kris

Tuesday, March 18, 2008







Just thought I would post a couple pictures from my trip to Kauai from last weekend. The top two pictures were taken the last day I was on Kauai... it was VERY voggy (from the volcanic ash smoke coming in from the Big Island...). The first one is from the Kalakaua Valley Lookout of the Napali Coast, the 2nd is the Waimea Canyon... known also as the GRAND CANYON of the PACIFIC... the last one is of the North Shore of Kauai taken from the Kilauea lighthouse area.
Not much to write about today... I had three clients to see. I did about 65 minutes on the Elliptic machine after work, and I've been packing tonight for my trip tomorrow night. I had made a list and so it hasn't been too difficult. I've been charging my camcorder battery tonight so it's ready to go... and just basically getting all my electronics ready to go. Did I say that I'm taking two digital pocket cameras, my larger digital SLR camera AND my Camcorder???? Think I'm over-doing it? Well... I'm not 100% set on the SLR camera because it's kind of big and bulky... but I'm thinking about it.
Okay... time to sign off... its past my bedtime... I watched "The Biggest Loser" and then made a fruit smoothie with some fresh strawberries and a banana. mmmmm good!
By the way... I'm assuming I'll have time to post tomorrow night... if not... don't worry about me, I'll post next Tuesday evening (unless I manage to post from my daughter Michelle's computer while I'm in Tucson).
Aloha!
- Kris

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St Paddy's Day!


Guess I'd better explain this picture first! *smiles* Walt & Bette wanted to treat me to dinner before I left for Arizona because I'll be gone on my birthday (and they like to take me out to dinner on my birthday). So... we went down to the "Little Village" for Chinese food... mmmmm... good! Afterwards, because we had eaten so much, I thought it would do us good to take a walk... so we walked down to where they were having the St. Patrick's Day block party. (BIG CROWD... LOTS OF DRINKING!). We just walked from one end to another... Bette got a kick out of this guy with a huge hat on his head, so I asked him if we could have our picture taken with him (and I have NO idea who the guy is that is behind me and OBVIOUSLY wanted to get in the picture too! LOL... probably 1 too many drinks?). So... that's the deal with the picture.
Work went okay today... another slow day. The next two days are promising to be busier... as long as no one cancels or doesn't show up.

And I *did* make it to the gym and did just over 50 minutes on the Elliptic machine. I was a good girl!
Okay... it's bedtime for me... because after dinner (we had reservations for 7pm), then walking through the block party area... then we went to "Bubbies" for home-made ice cream... and now it's about 9:40 pm. Where did the night go?
So... Aloha...
- Kris
An Irish Proverb:
Be kind to those that meet you as you rise, you may pass them again as you fall.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Two blogs in one day...


So... I stopped by Walmart earlier today... and managed to catch up with the Easter Bunny... and of course I had to get my picture taken with the Easter Bunny! *smiles* It reminded me of the time I had my picture taken with Ronald McDonald, I still have that picture in my wallet!


Parties and picnics... here's my next door neighbor grilling meat for the birthday party!

Here's Kaleo's cake... the picture on the cake was taken a few weeks ago when we all went out to the Sandbar at Kaneohe.

I managed to get a picture of Nikki in the kitchen tonight. Dinner was GREAT... but I overdid it on eating today... sure was good food!

This picture was taken looking out of G&N's window. They are on the about the 12th floor (I *never* pay attention). Nice rainbow out the window this evening!
Okay... not much else to write about... I'm pretty tired though... so I'm going to go get my stuff ready for work tomorrow and head to bed.

Aloha!
- Kris

My dog tag...




Here are two pictures of the dogtag I had made in Janis' memory. I took a picture of each side... but it was difficult because they have mirror finishes and it's hard to take a picture without a lot of reflection. But... since my oldest daughter asked... I thought I would go ahead and post a couple pictures.
Right now I'm cooking up some Rouladen's. I got enough for 2 pieces each, but dang... when I picked up the meat yesterday, I didn't realize how thick they would be cut! I think we'll do good to eat ONE each! I'm half tempted to just leave them simmering until I get back from Kaleo's picnic. I probably should had just waited to cook them when I got over to G&N's apartment, they cook relatively fast. All I have to do at this moment is to put the gravy mix in. I can't wait for dinner tonight! I don't get to see too much more of Walt & Bette, Guy & Nikki, because I will be flying out Wednesday, getting back next Monday, then G&N fly out Tuesday and W&B fly out on Wednesday that week. I'll miss them.
Okay... I've got to scoot to head over to Kaleo's party.
Aloha!
- Kris

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Island trip...


Scary photo, huh! *smiles* I didn't realize I had my camera on zoom when I took this picture, but I like it... Walt's face has a lot of character (probably because he IS a character! LOL).


Smile, you're on candid camera! This was taken over at Chinaman's hat... it was overcast and VERY windy there today. And Bette has instructed me to NOT take any pictures where you can see any of her wrinkles! So... you DON'T see any wrinkles here... that's an order! (Don't they look great for "pushing 90" as Bette would say? I think Walt is going to be 83 this year, and Bette will be 81). I can only HOPE to look that good at their age!

And... this is a photo of the Mokalua islands off of Lanikai. This particular photo was taken from Bellow's Air Force Station. Janis wants her ashes scattered out by these islands. When I talked to Tom last night, he said she will be cremated this coming Monday and her ashes will be flown back over here on Tuesday. Speaking of Janis, her obituary was in the paper today.
Last night after work I went down to Ala Moana mall... I was hoping to get my nails done, but Angela, the woman that normally does my nails was real busy last night, so I got my nails done tonight. Anyway... so I wandered around the mall... walked through the NEW Nordstroms (and no... I didn't buy anything!)... I had dinner at "Bubba Gumps" (mmmmm!).... and then I went on a quest for something I wanted to get there at the mall. Have you ever seen those dog chains (and other things) where the image is engraved on them? You can take a picture down there and they will laser it onto a cigarette lighter, a pendant, etc. Anyway... I took the picture of Janis & I that was taken over on the Kalalau Valley trail (I posted it on Friday, March 7th "Aloha Oe") and had them put it on a dog tag and then on the back I had them inscribe:

In Loving Memory
Janis Schwartz
3-08-08
on the back. It came out really nice and I wore it today. I thought it would be a nice memento our of friendship.
Speaking of yesterday... I didn't post. I was at the mall (right after work) til late, then rented the movie "Death at a Funeral" (a lot of cussing in the movie and kind of an absurd sense of British humor... it was recommended by a couple co-workers). Work itself went fine... I had three appointments and was the last one out (again) because I wanted to get my notes done before I left. I don't like leaving that kind of stuff left undone. (I had co-workers who didn't get their notes done either... but they will get them done on Monday).

Tomorrow will be a busy day... I will be getting up and making "Rouladen's" (a German dish), at least getting the meat rolled up with the proper ingredients... and then refrigerate it until I'm ready to head over to Guy & Nikki's about 5. I'll cook them over there. (At that point I should just have to put them in the gravy and let them simmer for a little while). But... in between making them up and later heading to Guy & Nikki's... I have a birthday party to go to, for my young next door neighbor (Kaleo). He turned 8 last week. His party is at 2. So... I'll stay a couple hours and then head to G&N's. (Walt & Bette will be at G&N's). Later tomorrow night I need to get my suitcase out and start packing for my Arizona trip.
Okay... it's WAY past my bedtime... so I'll sign off. Sorry I didn't post last night.
Aloha!
- Kris

Thursday, March 13, 2008

mountain streams...


This is actually a small waterfall that you see as you hike down to "Queen's Bath" on Kauai. It's pretty and I always enjoy seeing it on the way down... it just seems to beckon for a photograph.

Today was relatively uneventful... two appointments (I had four scheduled, a new client that never showed up and the other called to reschedule). I'm amazed at how many "no shows" our clinic has, but it sounds like it has always been that way. So... I spent a couple hours helping my "computer-challenged" co-worker. She said that she owes me dinner at the restaurant of my choice for all the help I've given her. As a person, I love her... and I know she's a great therapist, she really gets into the heart of the issues, but when it comes to paperwork and computers, she's VERY challenged. I think she must have about 30 cases now... and told me today that not a single one has a treatment plan in their charts (YIKES!). So... I got her set up with a generic treatment plan on her desktop (on her computer, so it is right there on her screen when she turns on her computer). I also reviewed with her how the charts are set up (she's got papers just stuck in the folders, not even attached!). She's supposed to have five charts for our supervisor to review (and she's supposed review five of his charts... I think they were supposed to be done by tomorrow (mine were done by the middle of last week). I also helped her learn how to do online telephone consults (how to enter it into the computer). I made her a "cheat sheet" to follow and we went through 3-4 telephone consults and she was able to follow the cheat sheet pretty well by the end. Hopefully she will continue to be able to do so. There's a part of me that says what I am doing is really my supervisor's responsibility, but on the other hand... if I were in her shoes... I would be VERY grateful if someone helped me and my supervisor didn't have to find out how far behind I was, or how unskilled I was. We all have our strengths though and I'm fortunate that I've worked in situations with other co-workers (i.e. JULIE) where our strengths complimented each other and it made for a very effective working environment.

Of course... then I didn't get out of the office until just after 5. The two appointments I did have were at 2 and 3, so I didn't finish up with the 2nd one until 4... then had to do my documentation (I could have left it for tomorrow... but I'm the kind that would rather get it done today). I also went ahead and completed my timesheet (which needs to be faxed tomorrow) and caught up the military time accounting form online. So... I *did* make good use of my time (too bad there's no way to really account for the time I spent helping my co-worker... but oh well). It's about Batchi (I think that's how you spell it)... what goes around, comes around. Right? And that old adage... do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Okay... nuff for tonight... it's 10pm and my bedtime.
Aloha!
- Kris

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sunrise... Sunset


A nice sunrise on the western shores of Kauai.


This is the Kilauea lighthouse on the Northwestern part of Kauai. Last year when Janis & I went, it was closed, so we could only go to the lookout. Sunday it was open and I could go onto the property (they charge a $5 admission). As you can tell... it was a *beautiful* day on Sunday.



This is "Queen's Bath." It is said that the royalty used to swim here. It's on the compound of the Princeville Resort. Last year when Janis & I were here swimming, we were blessed to see a whole pod of dolphins swim by... it was a great experience. I really enjoyed my time here Sunday and met some nice folks from Rockford, Ill who were visiting their son who is in the Navy over at Pearl Harbor (he was there with them on Kauai visiting).


Sunset looking towards the Napali Coast from near Ke'e Beach on Kauai. A little over a year ago I sat with Janis and watched the sunset from almost the exact spot.

I have more photos to share from Kauai, but I'll save them for another post.

In other news... I didn't post last night because my internet service provider was down. (Darn it!). Not much to write about yesterday. I went to the doctor for a routine appt in the morning, they took 5 tubes of blood, a urine sample, took xrays of both knees and then irrigated my right ear because she couldn't see the ear drum (and I had been hearing a cackling sound). Guess there was too much wax in there. They don't think they got all of the wax out, so she put in a consult for the ENT clinic to have the rest removed. I also had her look at a spider bite that I got Friday night (I think) on the side of my neck, she said it looked okay. But then, today I noticed that there's a bump behind my right ear (same side as the spider bite). I'm pretty sure there isn't anything to worry about and my guess is that some of the spider bite stuff got into my system and the little nodule (pearl size) is just a lymph node swelling in reaction. I've had it happen one other time and it eventually resolved itself. SO... and since I *can*, I took a couple pictures of the nodule and emailed them to my doctor to see if I need to come in and have it looked at. (It appears to be sub-dermal... below the skin, with no break in the skin).

I received a blessing today. I went to the gym after work as I normally do... and I've gotten to really like the women who run the gym I go to... they are sweethearts.. especially Lorrie & Tami. And I usually spend a couple minutes chatting with them before I exercise. A couple weeks ago I took in a CD of my pictures for Lorrie to see (she's from Hawaii... short, about 5' tall and all of about 100 pounds, if that, and probably around my age, she's also a Christian). Anyway... today we were talking and she complimented me on a necklace I was wearing. Then she asked me to wait a minute and she ended up giving me a very pretty Tahitian necklace. It's oblong, barrel shape with a gold overlay of a "mask" of sorts over black coral. I'll take a picture of it soon and post it. It's beautiful and I got all teary-eyed... that was such a nice gesture.

After leaving the gym I called Walt & Bette and invited myself for dinner (I don't eat much! *smiles*). I had taken over some speghetti sauce and another box meal last week (because I eat with them every now and then), so called to see if we could have Speghetti tonight (they are like parents to me... so I can do that! *smiles*). I picked up some garlic bread and some noodles. Bette called me back a few minutes later when Walt wasn't there, to let me know that they really appreciated my wanting to come over tonight. Walt had gotten news last night that his younger brother died (from a heart attack). So... unbeknownst to me... I had called to see if I could come over. Good timing. Walt wasn't up to talking too much about it, but appreciated that I was there and he knows I deeply care for both of them. It was a nice evening.

And... speaking of evening... it's past my bedtime (it's 10:15am). Morning comes early. One last thing to add... is that I started really looking at my itinerary for next week's trip to Arizona... I'm really getting excited about the trip and making plans! And Bette gave me a book to read, that I'll probably read on the trip, or at least on the flight back. It's titled "The Glass Castle." Carol (of Carol & George who we had the barbeque with about two weeks ago) left it with Bette to read... now it's my turn.

Aloha!
- Kris
Okay... gotta scoot!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Once we were two...


The last time I was up here at this spot, my closest friend Janis was with me. (see blog below).
Janis passed away on March 8th, at 3:35pm, with her mom & I at her side. We tried to make it as comfortable as possible for her... I had her listening to classical music & Hawaiian music on my Ipod (she was unconscious and unresponsive when I got there about noon on Saturday (the 8th). We kept pushing the morphine pump for her to keep her pain at bay... we talked to her and shared stories... they say hearing is the last to go. Sarah, her daughter was having difficulty watching her mom pass away in those last few hours, so she & Tom left to go see a little bit of the island, hoping that it would help Janis to let go as well (she didn't really want to die in front of Sarah and have to put Sarah through all that). In the last few minutes, Janis' mom held one hand, and I held the other as we saw her pass onto the other side. Go with God Janis.

I chose to stay until this morning (Monday) and spent the time revisiting many of the places where Janis & I had visited in the past (the last time I was on Kauai, was with Janis). I went to the Kilauea Lighthouse, swam at Queen's bath on the North shore (no dolphins this time), had a late lunch at the restaurant where we enjoyed and wonderful dinner and Hawaiian music last year in Hanelei. I went to the T-shirt store (where they silk-screen the T shirt right there)... and talked to the woman that works there, Janis met her last year... and come to find out... this woman's husband also has Myeloma (although he is in his 70's). To cap off last night, I went out to the end of the road and hiked out onto the rocks and watched the sunset off the Napali Coastline. It was beautiful (and I saw a lot of whales at my various stops during the day). And as a special symbol, there was a lone dolphin just off shore who jumped a couple times and then swam away.

This morning I went up to the Waimea Canyon and the Kalalau Valley look-out. I was pleasantly surprised (expecially since I was running short on time) that the road was open up to the end where the trail starts (last year Janis & I had to walk a mile or two up this road before we got to the trail-head). So... I had enough time to go to the trail head where the photo in the blog below was taken. I met a couple from Richland (or is it Richmond) WA, and asked them if they'd take a couple pictures of me there.

From there, I had to hurry back down to the airport to catch my flight. I felt my tribute to Janis on Kauai was over... but I was in for one last surprise. There were two elderly women singing in the terminal (the older one's voice reminded me of Auntie Genoa, an elderly Hawaiian woman that passed away a little over a week ago)... and as I stood there, she sang "Aloha Oe'." THAT made me bawl. And... as I was boarding the plane, Tom called and asked if I would meet them for dinner tonight at the restaurant that has been our favorite for quite awhile now "The Little Village" in Chinatown. What timing.

So... if you missed a couple days of my posting... that's why. I've been away. I *did* call in sick today. I had let my boss know a couple weeks ago that I might have to take some unscheduled time off, because I knew Janis' time on this earth wasn't long. I'll be going back into work tomorrow.

Aloha Oe'... til we meet again.

- Kris