Thursday, July 31, 2008

What a nice day!

It was a beautiful afternoon to spend some time at the beach... wish you were here to enjoy it with me! (No... I don't know the couple in the chairs).
Some guys were out fishing on the North Shore where I went up to watch the sunset!

Yea! I found a green sea turtle up there on the beach, so I got to have some [good] company while I watched the sun set this evening.
SO... today. I putzed around the apartment, straightened up a little, did a little laundry and before I knew it, I had to head out to meet my former supervisors for lunch. It was a good lunch, I got to catch up a little on old times and get updated on how things have been going and then to fill them in on how my current position is going.
Speaking of which. I had a message on my phone that it didn't look like we were going to be able to swear in tomorrow, they still needed the waiver & hadn't gotten the pay information.
So, this afternoon I called one of my supervisors. She called me back and said they were still working on it... then sent me a text message later saying that I'm supposed to swear in tomorrow (Friday) at 1pm. At this point, I'm telling myself "I'm either swearing in tomorrow, or I'm *not* swearing in." Right? *smiles* And again... I know it will all work out in the end.
Now it's really late, because I decided to upload my two digital cameras that I use most often, to my new laptop and didn't realize that between the two cameras, I have over 1000 pictures on them! YIKES! Needless to say... it took awhile to load them all... and then of course, I had to look at all the pictures via a slide show (many of the pictures were from Spokane). But at least I now have a wider selection of pictures to choose from when I blog from my laptop! *smiles*
Anyway... time to sign off & head to bed.
Aloha!
- Kris


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hrmph!



Well... shucks! So, I talked to my head supervisor today, they got the final answer on the status of our pay. They had been requesting a higher salary range & were turned down by people above them. SO... what that means for me, is that I will get about a 10K pay CUT.

And you know... way back when... when I knew I wanted to convert over to Civil Service, I assumed it would be at the range that I am now supposed to be paid at, so in a way... back then I had anticipated taking a pay cut (although originally I thought I would be able to earn the higher contract pay through about October).

But today/tonight I am feeling angry. I thought a good case was made for the higher salary. And as I think I've mentioned before, that there are other positions that provide similar services (there are psychologists who perform the same service we do), who get a pay INCREASE when they convert and yet, we are expected to take a pay CUT.

But it isn't just that... For me... I've been pursuing a Civil Service position for quite awhile, it's what I want. I'm willing to take a pay cut, because I'm working toward a goal.

The problem I have, is waiting until the 11th hour to tell us... oh by the way, you have to take a pay cut if you want to remain employed. For someone in a similar situation, they may not be able to handle losing almost a 1000 a month in [gross] pay. And it isn't like they let us know last month, so that if we had wanted to seek another position, we would have had time to look for one. We are finding out a day & a half before we are supposed to be sworn into our new positions. AND... at a day & a half before being "hired", I still don't know how much it will cost me to have insurance, and I've not been informed what my benefits are, (Fortunately... I "google" so I've been able to find *some* answers) etc. So yes... it feels like we are getting a little bit of the short end of the stick. It's like they know we aren't going to quit, so we are caught between a rock & a hard place. I did email one of the people who are supposed to be in charge of trying to get our benefits and asked if they could consider paying on my student loan. The govt has the ability to offer an incentive of paying an employee's student loan, up to 10K a year. If I read correctly, they can use it as an incentive for hire, or an incentive to retain an employee.

So... supposedly Becky is going to inquire about it, but doesn't think she'll have an answer before Friday. (do you want to wager what the outcome of whether they will will offer the incentive?).

Speaking of Friday... I have no idea where or when I am supposed to be sworn in. I *do* know that I have 6 clients I am supposed to see that day (starting at 8am). I don't even know 100% sure that I *am* being sworn in. And... if for some reason I don't get sworn in (i.e. the waiver doesn't get approved)... and I cannot convert until the 18th... then what happens for the next two weeks... will I continue to be a contract employee? Who knows. Also... I am understanding that I am being hired as a "permanent employee" I am considered a "term" employee (2 year term, but that makes me considered to be in a permanent position). What I *don't* know, is if there is a probationary period I need to get through. (For example, how long do I need to work before I can be considered for another Civil Service position?). I'm thinking I need to be in this new classification of employment for a year.

So... this is where I remind myself to "trust the process" and remind myself that "things work out the way they are supposed to." It just would be nice to be a little better informed. I prefer to make "informed decisions."

Okay... I'll put all that aside for now. Work itself went okay... we had a going-away party for a co-worker who is leaving to take a better paying job and I found out that the one co-worker that was pregnant, had her baby this past weekend. A nice healthy 7.2 pound, 20" baby girl (who is adorable... thanks for the world of digital photography!). I had a couple no-shows, so my day wasn't crazy busy. I won a "gift-card" for a drawing I had entered at the exchange (nothing exciting... it was 1/5th of 113 (representing the anniversary of the Exchange), so $22.60, but it beats a kick in the butt! And, I *did* go exercise again after work (I exercised yesterday as well).

I'm off tomorrow (Thursday). I'm going to go have lunch with my former supervisors (I haven't seen them since I left, so it will be really nice!). (I'm giving up a day of pay to do it... but oh well). I'm looking forward to enjoying the day off. Hopefully, I'll get a call from my [current] supervisor sometime tomorrow afternoon letting me know what I need to do on Friday.

Other than that... I'm still on call this week, but it's been a quiet week so far [knock on wood]. And I'm going to sign off for tonight... it's bedtime now.

Aloha!

- Kris

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Easy Day...

What a nice easy day! I spent this morning dealing with the Civilian Personnel Office (I'll refrain from any derogutory comments here) and got through that. I stopped & did a couple errands on my way back (and had to stop & get a pee test done, which took WAY too long). It was almost noon before I got back to work.

My "group" was supposed to start this afternoon, but because I was unsure if I was going to be there, they had cleared my whole schedule for today... and no one called anyone to let them know that the group would be starting today. SO... even though I came back & spent my lunch hour prepping for the group, it ended up that I didn't run the group. So... I have all the materials ready for when I *do* start the group. And... I didn't end up with any walk-ins this afternoon... so I had a *very* relaxing group. I was able to sit down with one of the docs & discuss a client I have concerns about, I was able to talk with a co-worker who will be going through the same process I will be going through. And I was able to talk with our supervisor (trying to get additional questions answered, that didn't get answered today). For example, even though I may be converting effective on Monday, I still don't have a clue how much I am going to get paid. Supposedly I'm going to get "sworn in" on Friday... and supposedly they are going to let us know before we get sworn in (one of my co-workers is in the same position).

Well... at least I should know more by Friday? Although... they said it would take 2 weeks to get the results of the pee test, supposedly they are going to try & get a waiver. Time will tell... hopefully everything will work out okay.

Other than that... apparently when they put my July schedule in the system, they forgot there were 31 days in July, so when I was checking my schedule for the rest of the week, I realized that I don't have ANY appointments scheduled for Thursday. (yea!). SO... I asked if I could take the day off (I *could* go in and see walk-ins that day if I wanted to... but...). They said it as okay! SO... I have Thursday off, with no plans, no itinerary. Isn't that great? I'm SO looking forward to it. I'm scheming how to spend my wonderful day off (i.e. should I spend some time visting old co-workers?).

On another note, we got the on-call schedule for the next 3 months... and I'm on-call every third week (we dropped 2 of our on-call workers). I'm not sure how I feel about that. In one way, I'll get an extra day off every three weeks (but I have to plan it 2-3 months out?), but on the other hand, if you compute our on-call rate, I lose 50% by taking a comp day instead of being able to get paid for being on call.

Oh well... things will work out the way they are supposed to.

It's time to sign off... it's "news" time. *smiles*

Aloha!
- Kris

Monday, July 28, 2008

BUGS!


Is anyone familiar with bugs in Hawaii... this *little* pest is driving me nuts! These pests are about the size of a sesame seed, they fly, but when you look at them with the naked eye... I swear they look like sesame seeds (when they aren't flying). They seem to die pretty fast, nothing seems to come out of them when I try to "squash" them. I think they are seed weevils, that's about as close as I come to knowing what they may be. Having said that, they seem to be mostly in the kitchen (I've checked my cupboards for any open cereals or grains). I've never seen these bugs before, they seem to like the warmth/heat, they fly around in my apartment (so, actually, they are about as much in the living room as they are in the kitchen). I want to say I probably have a thousand of them. I got some sticky fly paper stuff hoping that would attract them and they would go away, but so far, other than the errant one that my fly there, there's only a couple on the sticky fly paper stuff.

So... anyone know what they are and how to get rid of them?

I'm thinking that I haven't seen them before because I used to live in a concrete jungle, now I have luscious tropical plants around my apartment (and just outside my lanai).

Help???

Thanks!
- Kris

P.S. sorry... that's the best I could do with my cameras (and I tried my 35mm (digital), but I don't have a macro lens). I do have 1 more camera I'll try.

Whew!

Well, this morning started off very easy with some no-shows, it allowed me to make sure all my paperwork is in order for tomorrow when I need to go in-process for the Civil Service conversion. (There's a TON of paperwork!). I also needed a couple letters of recommendation, so I got one of the docs I currently work with and my former supervisor at my old position (when I used to work with family members).

Then this afternoon I got busy. I had three appointments, one was a new intake, one was a walk-in and one was a regular appointment (who is doing quite well now, thankfully). I have some concerns for the other two, especially the new intake because I feel he is "med-seeking", he's been into our office something like 3 times this past month, two of those times were last week, and each time he was prescribed a controlled substance. Last week he got 12 pills one day and then 2 days later got 42 (to "last a month")... Fortunately I usually try to read the history on my clients before I see them, (for several reasons... to review my notes from last time if I have seen them before, and then for new ones, to try & get an idea what they might be dealing with), anyway... I had seen the "pattern" of this new client and talked with the prescriber from last week. After talking with the nurse, I decided to see what happened in today's session, and sure enough... he asked if he could try a different form of the same medication. Normally the doc probably would have allowed him to try a different type, but I had given her a head's up, so she told him he couldn't get any more until his next appointment. I haven't read her note from today, but she said she put a comment in her notes about potential med seeking behavior, and I did the same. The only problem is, when clients come in, it's a crap-shoot as to which prescriber they see (we have a pool of about 6 providers).

Anyway... it was a busy afternoon. When I finished my last appointment about 4:10, I talked with one of my former co-workers (I'm taking on-call duties over from her this week) for a few minutes, and then when I got back to my office a new co-worker came in to ask my opinion about a client she saw this afternoon. THEN... my pager went off and I was thankful that I was still at work because I could provide more information than had I been at home... so that worked out. THEN... I still needed to do my documentation from this afternoon... I got that done... THEN I went back through all the paperwork that I need to turn in tomorrow morning, to make sure it was in order (it is).

I got home about 6:30 tonight and have been relaxing, watching TV.

So... I guess I'd better sign off... I still haven't eaten dinner. YIKES!

Aloha!
- Kris

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Come visit with me...

Hello... stop on by! *smiles* I've got my lanai furniture put together, I have my grill ready to go (I'm currently boiling some ribs to cook tonight), due to the lighting, you can't see the ocean off in the background, but it's right there.

Today's been a busy home day. This morning I got the lanai furniture put together, which means I had to finish cleaning OFF the lanai, weeding through what to keep, what to throw... and I brought the rack that I had on the lanai, and put it in my laundry area... in order to do that though... I had to take everything out of the laundry closet and then I reorganized as I put everything back away. So... slowly but surely, I'm making progress. I still need to unpack boxes in my spare bedroom (where I sit at my desk on my desktop computer and look out at Diamond Head *smiles*).

Okay... I'm going to sign off... I'm trying to get my laundry done. One of the other things I bought today was a good-sized wicker basket to put in the bathroom, because I now have rolled up towels and put them in there, giving the bathroom (hopefully) a little bit of a spa feel.

Hope you all have a wonderful Monday!

- Kris

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Another beautiful Day in Hawaii Nei

Yes, it was an AWESOME day today here... just beautiful! I lounged around this morning, not doing too much, feeling pretty lazy, then this afternoon I headed down to the Hale Koa and lounged by the pool for a couple hours (I like going into the pool for the 10-15 minutes every hour that kids have to be OUT of the pool, it's not crowded at all then, and I can float & listen to my Ishuffle. It's awesome!).

On my way home I stopped by the Navy Exchanged, dropped off some more watches that I found whose batteries had gone kaput, so now I have 3 more watches to choose from. (okay... okay... I probably have enough watches now!). I also got my quarterly supply of vitamins & protein drink mix at the GNC there, and had dinner. I also looked at some patio furniture & Barbecue Grills there, but decided to wait & look at Walmart. SO... guess what I now am the owner of... yep... a new Barbecue Grill & some patio furniture. It's just two chairs (that rock, literally) and a small table. Guess I will finish clearing off my lanai tomorrow morning & making room for it.

Okay... it's almost midnight... time to say Aloha!

- Kris

Friday, July 25, 2008

Day is done...

I had an easy day at work today and was able to get out of work once more on time. Interesting variety of clients today, including one that was at the Pentagon during the 911 attack. I'm getting clients from my co-worker who recently moved on.
Tonight I went and saw the "bestest" movie ever! I highly recommend it! It was "Momma Mia" with Meryl Streep (and Colin Firth was in it Michelle!). It's a musical and as I watched it I couldn't help but with my friend Janis could have been there enjoying it with me in her healthier days, (even in her not-so-healthy days she would have enjoyed it!). It reminds me of how much I enjoyed "Under the Tuscany Sun" and "Ya-Ya Sisterhood" and it's kind of a cross between them? Anyway... it was great to have a good laugh and I loved the ending. SO... GO... ENJOY!
Okay... I'm going to sign off...
Aloha!
- Kris

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bowling with Kiara...


My youngest granddaughter Kiara cheers on her aunt Shelli and taking turns with Grandma (top pic), these pics were taken in Spokane during our trip to Spokane.

Not much to write about today... work was relatively uneventful and it was another day where I was able to get off relatively on time (yea!). My first appointment was a walk-in that thought he had an appointment scheduled with another provider (but... she wasn't in today??? and didn't have anything scheduled????). I think it was what? Synergistic? Fate? Not sure what the word is. As a Christian I don't necessarily think that things happen by accident, and this guy was also a Christian. Normally I am very cautious to keep my religious views to myself and I also consider myself pretty broad minded. Anyway, this guy brought up his belief and I feel I was able to use it to (hopefully) motivate him in the right direction and to give him a sense of hope. He initially came in angry because he wasn't seeing the therapist he thought he was going to. He was hoping to see her and get a determination to make a different decision. But... somehow he lucked out with me. Because of my own history, what I've gone through in my own life, I feel like I had a greater understanding and compassion to work with him. By the time he left, he was smiling and I felt like he too felt that it was more than a "coincidence" that he saw me today, some might call it a "God-incidence." In either case, please pray for "V" over the next month as he faces some challenges. In fact, some of what we talked about today was how God sometimes puts our feet to the fire to purify us and make us stronger. And I know the quote that says "what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger." I gave him the option of who he wants to see for his next appointment, myself or the other provider and I think he ended up asking for me. (I don't get to set appointments, it's up to the front desk).

Okay... so enough about all that... 9pm news is on, I've been kind of listening to it as I type. I *did* go exercise again today. I sure like the staff that works at the gym, they're the highlight at the end of my workday! *smiles*.

Hope you all have a TERRIFIC Friday!
- Kris

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

one more step done...

another old pic (these were actually on my AOL account, and since all my "recent" pictures are on my desktop computer... and I'm using my laptop, I'm just using what I have acess to from the laptop).

Anyway... today wasn't too busy, it was the earliest I've gotten off work all week (I got out of there about 4:40pm). I had a couple cancellations and one walk-in (found out yesterday he's leaving Friday for a month... not much notice!). So... it wasn't a bad day as far as seeing clients goes.

This morning they called from the Physical Exam section and were able to fit me in, fortunately I was able to see my 9am appt early (they are supposed to be there an hour early to do a computerized assessment, but the system has been down the past couple days, so she was there early). And because I had gone through the audiology exam a couple weeks ago, I didn't have to repeat that one, they were able to just document the information. SO... I think that part is all done. (I'm healthy... at least for the most part... at least healthy enough to work). Tomorrow one of my co-workers goes down to the Civilian Personnel Office to inprocess, that'll give me a better idea about what to expect next week (and hopefully about the pay situation... as far as I know, she & I are supposed to make the same pay when we convert). It sounds like the Psychologist actually come out ahead when they convert and typically the Social Workers lose out a little. Hopefully because they are trying to bring us in at a higher pay grade (1 step higher), it won't be too much of a loss (and I think, if they can bring us in at a higher step within the range, then we may break even pay-wise). Having said that... as long as I am in Hawaii, 25% of my pay will be non-taxable for federal tax purposes, I should get 3 1/2 weeks of vacation (I currently get 2 weeks) AND I will get sick leave. In addition there are the other benefits (i.e. retirement & educational) that I will be entitled to.

After work I *did* make it to the gym (yea!)... although I'm only doing a 1/2 hour, I need to work back up to 45 mins to an hour. Unfortunately many of the machines are broken, so it limits which ones I can work out on. I keep thinking that one of these days I'm going to go check out the pool and possibly start doing laps occasionally after work, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Oh... and sad news... I lost two of my fishy's today... this morning it was the smaller sucker fish, tonight when I got home it was one of my sharks (probably the one that was tormented by the other). I did clean out the filter. My Beta fish seems to be doing okay in it's tank.

Let's see... what else? My son-in-law got his (belated) birthday present today. He LOVES it. *smiles* He said it's going in the LIVING room (not the spare room), even if he has to take down their family photo to put it up. *smiles* Scott is an AVID Green Bay Packer's fan, and a few years ago I saw a picture (product) in the SkyMall magazine. It looks like a photo taken in the football team's locker room, it has the Quarterback's last name on the back of a jersey and a couple other team-mate's names on the back of their jerseys, and the 4th (in the middle somewhere), has whatever personalized name you want. SO.. I had my son-in-law's last name inserted, so it looks like he's a part of the Packer's team. (Not sure I can explain it any better). Anyway... as I said... he LOVED it. I usually forget his birthday, but I think this is one gift that makes up for many not sent! *smiles*

Speaking of football... the season will be upon us soon! I've already got my season ticket ordered, and I've decided to spend another $100 to be able to watch the "away" games here at home. I figured I probably would have gone to a bar or something to watch it anyway... and it probably would have cost me that much to buy a couple drinks (even soda's) and some snacks... so this will probably be a better deal. AND... I'm thinking I will open it up for whoever from my "meet in" group that would like to come over and watch. It'll be a BYOB and bring some snacks. Afterall... my set up is just about as good as any bar would have! (50" TV with surround sound).
I hate to say it, but I fully expect that we will lose our first game, and possibly our 2nd, but I tend to be a loyal fan... so will watch all the games anyway. (It gives me a chance to yell & scream and not get into trouble for it!) *smiles*

Okay... time to sign off...

Aloha!
- Kris

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another day...

I thought I'd post an old picture of a sunset... it's one of my favorites.

Work went okay today, thankfully I had a couple no-shows, because I still had 6-7 appointments, with a couple of them being new clients which require additional paperwork to be completed. With my regular clients I can do my documentation in 10 minutes or less, with new clients it takes 20-30 minutes. So... when you see 7 clients with 2-3 new ones... it's impossible (for me) to get everything done within the 8 hours.

I had one client today that is still trying to figure out whether or not she can trust me, we are still in the "developing rapport" stage. I had another one that has come in several times over the past month (usually as a "walk-in") and just got news his younger brother may have cancer (brother is 19). I have to say, every day is different and brings new challenges.

One good note today is that I *did* go exercise after work. I haven't been in the gym since before I went up to Spokane. It felt good to get back in there... and I definitely need to get back into the habit of going! No more excuses.

Okay... time to sign off...

Aloha!
- Kris

Monday, July 21, 2008

Aloha!

These sailboats remind me that I should get to see my sailboat friend Bob & his wife Caryl sometime in the next month. I'm looking forward to seeing Bob & meeting Caryl (they recently got married). They are on their way back this way from New Zealand.

Other than that, work was busy, I saw 7 clients today... needless to say I stayed until almost 6 to get all the paperwork done. One client that stands out today could use your prayers, he's a new, young father of a very premature baby. He's having trouble sleeping, not really knowing how it will turn out for his baby.

On another note, I talked with my supervisor about the conversion of my position to Civil Service, it looks like pay wise I should fare okay, although we haven't been given any hard figures. And it looks like my conversion will be effective August 4th, however that poses one small problem in that I won't get paid for August 1st. So... I will have the choice of taking off the 1st, or taking a "comp" day later. I'm leaning toward the latter, because I have clients already scheduled for the 1st (although I guess I can look and see WHO is scheduled for that day). As far as dealing with the "on-call" status, they've been trying to figure out how to compensate us if we pull on-call, one solution is to give us a "comp" day off for each week we pull on-call. I pull on-call about once every 5 weeks. So that means I would get a comp day once every week. When we pull on call, we are basically restricted to being within ear shot of our phone for all non-duty hours that week. The last time I was on-call, I had 3 calls, the longest one lasting an hour. So... what IS fair compensation? Originally they were saying a 1/2 day, and I don't think that is adequate. However, how do you compensate someone that may end up with a couple on-call days as I did Memorial Day weekend. My co-workers had Friday AND Monday off, so I had 2 extra days of on-call (24 hour days). That will probably be something else they need to consider.

Anyway... so that's what is going on with me work-wise at the moment. I'll probably post more when I know more. One nice thing about the pay, is that for Federal Tax purposes, 25% of my pay will be non-taxable, but it sounds like for the State, I'll have to pay taxes on it.

I still haven't made it back to the gym yet... besides not leaving work until about 6, I wanted to go get my nails done, so I did that after I got off work, so it was about 7:45pm by the time I got home. I stopped & picked up some Garlic shrimp for dinner & brought that home...mmmm!

Okay... time to sign off... news will be coming on soon, meaning it's almost bedtime for another day. It's hard to believe this year is almost half over... where does the time go? I *am* thankful that I had the opportunity to spend time with my siblings and my kids this year.

Aloha!
- Kris

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Laptop...


SO... this is what my laptop looks like. And here's some information about it... Sony VAIO VGN-NR430E/L 15.4" Laptop (1.86 GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core T2390 Processor, 2 GB RAM, 160 GB Hard Drive, Vista Premium) Blue,
I probably *could* have gotten something cheaper... but at least I didn't have to pay any sales tax on it. Today when I finally got moving... I went & got a wireless keyboard & mouse and a VGA cord, so now I can sit on the couch and have my big screen TV be my monitor... how cool is that?

Today... not sure if it is just life catching up with me or what... but I've been SOOOO sleepy all day, it was all I could do to get a shower & get out for a little bit. I've been sleeping most of the day. I don't think there's anything wrong... I'm just tired... and all my go-go-go has probably just caught up with me today. It was a nice day to stay home & relax most of the day, it was raining off & on most of the day.

Okay... I'm going to sign off... it's already time for the news.

Guess my body needed a day to get ready for the coming week.

Aloha!
- Kris

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A nice Saturday...

So... it's been a nice Saturday. I got up this morning and cleaned up around the apartment, doing some laundry, washing dishes, vacuuming, etc. Then about lunchtime I went on into Ala Moana beach and lucked out in finding a parking spot fairly quickly. That was after I stopped to pick up some "California roll" sushi for my lunch and catching up on the news with my friends Walt & Bette in Duluth, MN. I enjoyed a couple hours on the beach, then it wanted to sprinkle, so decided to go do some errands. I mailed some "slippahs" to my friends Jim & KK in Alabama (sorry it took so long if you two read this!). I cashed in my pop cans (hey! I got $7.00!), bought a Beta fish (I had gotten a fish bowl type thing and have it on the small shelf between the livingroom & kitchen, so decided I might as well get a fish to put in it). I also bought 4 more neon Tetras for my regular tank, as I was down to 2 (so 2 have died/disappeared). I still enjoy my sharks.

Let's see... then I went over to the Navy exchange... did something I've thought about doing for awhile... I bought a new laptop. It was $173 off the normal price, then I ended up getting another $40 off... so I got it for about $650... and I went ahead and got the extended warranty, which also covers any damage to the screen, or if I were to accidentally spill something on the keyboard. I also bought another watch (as if I need one)... but my justification is that "its green!" I've been looking for a watch that I can wear to the UH football games... I tend to like to wear green when I go to the games... I even have green Tevas, UH slippahs (Flip-flops) and UH Wahine (white with green trim) tennis shoes. I think I've mentioned that I have ordered my Season ticket for this year, I'm going to sit on the North end zone where I usually end up sitting anyway.

After spending way too much money at the Exchange, I went to the Commissary & stocked up... my poor freezer was getting pretty empty. I broiled a steak for dinner, had a small baked potato and some caesar salad for dinner.

Since then, I've been working to get my laptop hooked up to my wireless system on my desktop. Now I can sit on my laptop & blog and don't need to be in my spare room to be on the computer.

Okay... I'm going to sign off... and play with my computer while I watch the news.

Aloha!
- Kris

Friday, July 18, 2008

I'm tired [yawn]


I went out to dinner tonight with my former neighbor/friend Michelle for her hubby's birthday, Kaleo & her Mom went along as well. We went to "Bubba Gumps" for shrimp... I *love* that place! Or as my daughter Michelle would say I *heart* that place. *smiles*

The above photo was taken in Spokane... the "blocks" are made of Cement and spell out "City of Spokane" My daughter Taylor is standing on the "S" block. This photo was taken down in Riverfront Park.

Work was interesting today, I guess it was a day off for most of the soldiers... so 3/4's of my clients were no-shows... but then I *did* have a couple walk-ins and I was trying to get some stuff done towards my Civil Service conversion (i.e. I had to print out about an "inch" worth of paperwork when I finally got it late this afternoon (and stayed after work to download it and print it) and I had to try & go arrange a physical, which didn't make the personnel people happy because they generally set up the appointment at the main hospital and someone on the right hand, hasn't told the left hand, that we could get them done up where I work, so that we don't HAVE to travel down to the main hospital (and have to miss even more work!). Anyway... not sure that I got a LOT accomplished... but did some things. I talked to one of my former co-workers, she's farther along on the physical part... but hadn't gotten a call with a job offer. And as she pointed out... NO one has yet said how we will be compensated financially (show me the money!). One of my supervisors that is trying to coordinate things did ask how much I am making... hopefully that will help go into determining how much we are offered (I actually make more than most because I don't need "insurance" from the company at this point). Anyway... what I *did* find out today, is that they are trying to have all of our positions converted over by August 1st! (wow!).

Other than that... I had a couple "crisis" walk-ins, one of which we got admitted to the hospital and I had a "crisis" phone call with another client at the end of the day... and then a phone call to a parent worried about her son (I had consent to talk with her).

All-in-all... a busy day (but not as busy as it could have been!). I'm looking forward to having the weekend off... and am hoping I actually get my rump out of bed in the AM in enough time to go do something! IF not... I'll get some quality beach time in, I hope.

Time to sign off...

Aloha!
- Kris

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Good food, good meat, good company...


Sunset from my younger brother's place at Lake Roosevelt.

Well... I spent all day in an Ethics course, it's required every 2 years to maintain my Substance Abuse Certification. I'm coming up for renewal of my certification in November, so thought I would go ahead and get it out of the way, and with it, I was able to finish up the Continuing Education requirements for my renewal... SO... I took my renewal packet out and gave it to Chris, he's in charge of the certification process for the State (I've also had him as an instructor when I was getting my Master's degree). Anyway... everything is done for my certification now and I won't have to worry about that again until November 2010. (And I'll need to get another 40 hours of documented training by then). I did see a couple people I knew and met some new people who are in the field of addiction, that's always nice to interact with peers.

After the training I headed to the other side of the island (well... the other side of the south side) to Will & Sarah's for dinner, they invited several friends over (all friends of Janis'), so Tom, Dan, Roger, Carmel & I were there. I had gotten Tom a "Harley" T shirt (He was Janis' fiance) and he loved it. I got it up in Couer D'Alene, Idaho. I had also picked up a Celtic necklace for Sarah which she appreciated as well. Dinner was salad, baked potato and a Balsamic Chicken. I brought a cheese cake that I had gotten at Sam's Club, it was one of those with 3-4 varieties in one... sure was rich & good... but that's about the only time I can enjoy something like that (or buy something like that), is if I can take it to share.

Oh yea! And they called me today from the Army Personnel Office & asked if I was interested in accepting a Social Work position (duh... of course! It's the job I currently do). SO... either next week or the week after I need to cancel all of my appts and go down and do some inprocessing with them. I'm getting one step closer to becoming a Civil Service employee!

Yea!

Time to sign off and go watch the 9pm news so I can get to bed at a decent time.

Aloha!
- Kris

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wildlife... some wild... some not...


More pictures of the adorable puppies we got to play with (and so hard to not want to bring one home!).

Standing on my brother's balcony (actually the porch in front of his trailer... not on his house), we spent some time watching these black-tail muley deer as they grazed on the field across the way. I think we ended up counting about 6 in the field (in the near proximity to the ones shown in the picture above). The photos were taken out at Lake Roosevelt.

Work-wise... things went okay. I had a couple no-shows, they were "new" clients... so maybe they got their issues resolved & didn't have to come in? I hope that was the case (and not that their duty sections wouldn't LET them come in... that happens on occasion). Work was still busy, because I tend to get walk-in appointments (people who are in crisis) when I have a cancellation and today was no different. I ended up working until after 6 to ensure all my documentation was done. I'm out of the office tomorrow doing a [boring] training all day. Hopefully I will be able to stay awake! The one nice thing about it, is that I will hopefully get to have lunch with a former co-worker.

Okay... time to sign off... I need to figure out what time my training is tomorrow... I'm not sure what I did with the letter with the information. (Yikes! I hope I didn't leave it at work... but that's what I'm thinking at the moment).

Aloha!
- Kris

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Spokane Bowl & Pitcher


Just a couple shots of the "Bowl & Pitcher" at the Spokane Riverside Park.

Work went well today... busy though! I had seven clients that I saw... consequently, I was there an extra hour & a half ensuring that all my paperwork done. We've had a bunch of people coming through from another Pacific area on their way overseas, so we have to check them out to ensure they are ready to go. And then after work, I ran into one of my clients I've seen a couple times... do you think I remember his name??? I usually don't acknowledge someone unless they speak to me first (that's kind of protocol in this field of work), but he spoke... and asked if I heard the news about him... having been gone, I kind of went *gulp* and said "no" and he let me know he's being discharged... something that made him happy... so that's a good thing.

I've been trying to decide whether to go over to the Big Island for Labor Day weekend... and without all of my friends to share the cost, I've decided it's just too expensive. I had planned to stay in Volcano Park (at the military facility there), but between that, airfare, car rental and the rest of the expenses (gas, food, etc), I've just decided that I don't want to spend upwards of $700 for a couple days right now. However... having said that... and part of the reason for my decision, is because I want to turn around and go over 2 weeks later to attend the "Wheel of Fortune" live taping! (How cool is that... if I can't be a contestant (no one's called to offer yet!), then I'll have to settle for being in the audience). My plan is to go over & just spend 1 night, and possibly make the best of 2 days (maximize my time there). So... keep your fingers crossed that all will work out.

Tonight I did go ahead and bought my UH season football ticket (yea!). Now, THAT'S something I can enjoy. I'll be sitting in the North End Zone, about where I normally like to sit, where the season tickets run about $100 each. I'm looking forward to the upcoming season... although I know they have a tough season ahead of them. UH lost a lot of their seasoned players this past year, including the main quarterback (It will give the 2nd string quarterback a chance to shine though... and he's had at least one year where his passing record was better than Colt's). It will also be my former neighbor (Khevin's) final season... I hope he is able to get out and get more field time this year. It will also be the first year under the new head coach. So... should be an interesting year.

Other than that... not much going on... I incorrectly said my son-in-law's birthday was today... it's actually tomorrow (Weds... I *did* have it in my calendar correctly). I've ordered him a special gift that I think he'll really like (I'm keeping my fingers crossed).

Guess I'll sign off for tonight... I hope all of my friends out there are doing well (especially YOU Bette & Walt... and Maime & Drew!).

Hugs to all!

- Kris

Monday, July 14, 2008

This made my heart race just watching!

El camino del Rey

Originally built in 1901, this walkway now serves as an aproach to makinodromo, the famous climbing sector of El Chorro.

Click on the link below and then for best effect show screen at full size. (And no... there is NOT a scary person that jumps out at you... I promise... - Kris)

http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1438490562

My wonderful granddaughters...

Kiara (age 5 1/2) hiking near the Bowl & Pitcher on the Spokane River... stopping for a rest (and a pose)
Kiara goofing around while waiting for the fireworks to start at Riverfront Park
Taylor (10 1/2) cuddling with one of the 11 puppies we got to play with at the family reunion...
Taylor goofing around while we were waiting for the fireworks at Riverfront Park
My granddaughters & I waiting for the fireworks to begin... my girls used to hate it when I dressed them all alike, especially when they got older... fortunately for me... my granddaughters didn't mind on this day.
Kiara & Taylor with some mascot down at Riverfront park... not sure who or what it's supposed to be.

So... just thought I'd share some grandmommy pictures (smiles).

All was well today, busy first day back at work, although I had as many cancellations as I had appointments today (I saw 5 clients). It was nice to meet a new co-worker (she's a psychologist & started last week while I was gone).

After work I went and bought myself a Jewelry Armoire. I had a somewhat nice set up at my last apartment, I had taken some plastic craft materials (square with tiny holes) and used that to hang my earrings from, but now I don't have that in my new apartment and don't want to put a nail in the wall to hang one... that and I have a ton of necklaces... some I wear, some I don't... and I hate to part with things (as my daughters can tell you)... SO... I spent the better part of the night organizing my jewelry (now... how long will they STAY that way?). I spent considerable time untangling things... and I still need to go through another small box of costume jewelry to put away.

Subsequently... it is now after 10pm and I need to head to bed! I *didn't* go exercise after work, because I thought maybe I had left my exercise bag at work, but didn't... it was in my closet. SO... tomorrow morning I need to get THAT stuff together & get back into my exercise routine.

Tomorrow my middle daughter has a doctor's appt to find out the status of her "elevated" sugar (and she's my healthiest eating daughter, I think... must be all that wine Shelli *smiles*)... and tomorrow is my son-in-law's birthday (Happy Birthday Scott!). For me... it will be another day as usual (I hope).

So... time to sign off and say Aloha!
- Kris

P.S. I forgot to mention that my former neighbor Michelle got a scholarship she applied for (for graduate school) YEA! I helped her with some editing of her essay... but she did the writing and got it! HOORAY! AND... I've been invited over to Sarah's (Janis' daughter) for dinner Thursday night... that works out well because I found a neat Celtic pendant for her while I was in Spokane.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Oh yea... our tattoos...

This is what my daughter Kati's tattoo looked like right after she got it done. It's something she's wanted to do since she was 17 and she's had this design picked out for 5 years. In case you can't tell, it's at the base of her neck.
My foot is on the left, my younger sister's is on the right. Again... this is right after we got out tattoos... the daisy really *aren't* red! *smiles* I have to say "DANG" that hurt like heck! Not the easiest place to get a tattoo! Hopefully it will last a long time and not wear off. The daisies are white, with a yellow center. The color isn't too bright... but at least we got them done.

Okay... NOW I'm signing off...

Aloha!
- Kris

I'm back home!


So... a quick family picture, minus my youngest brother David. (he didn't make it). This photo was taken out at my brother Don's place at Lake Roosevelt. It was a lot of fun, my granddaughters got to go out on the lake in the boat with Uncle Charlie (in the middle). My niece Barbie & her husband brought their 11 puppies (lab/retriever mix) with them, because they couldn't stay home that long by themselves (with their mother)... so we all got to socialize 4 week old puppies. They were absolutely adorable!

Well... I'm not going to write much tonight... it's been a long day. I woke up at 3:30am, my alarms were set for 4:30am... I managed to get out of my brother's house without waking anyone up... I did sleep on the plane... I changed planes in Seattle & Portland before my last leg to Honolulu. And, I'm proud to say that I've got almost everything unpacked & put away! I dun good! *smiles)

I'll post more pictures each day from my trip. It was a good trip. There was only 1 dear friend I didn't get to see, she's been ill and she's getting up there in age. She's like a mom to me and I love her dearly. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to spend time with her next year.

Time to sign off...

Aloha!
- Kris

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Another Strawberries shot...

Aunt Michelle & Niece Kiara being silly! LOL!
Here are my two older daughters (Michelle, Kati) and my two granddaughters (Taylor (belongs to Kati) and Kiara (belongs to my youngest daughter Kori) at the end of our strawberry pickin' the other day... it was fun... we're still eating strawberries *smiles*

Today my middle daughter & I picked up Kiara after daycare and headed down to the Spokane River State Park to hike around the "Bowl & Pitcher" area a little.  Sure was pretty down there!  I'll try to upload some pics later.

Gotta scoot... we're all heading out to dinner... which reminds me... my oldest daughter, Kati & my oldest granddaughter Taylor, made it back to Fairbanks, Alaska okay last night. 

TTFN
- Kris

Monday, July 7, 2008

Strawberry fields forever...

This is my oldest granddaughter holding the fruits of our labor yesterday!
Had a great time today... we went to Silverwood Amusement park and played for a few hours in the water park and then we rode the rides.  Taylor (above) and I rode on the two BIG wooden rollercoasters... it was fun!  It's the first time Taylor has been on a large rollercoaster... My middle daughter Michelle went with us.  It was a good (but long) day!

Right now we are at my youngest daughter's house... the only place we have internet access... and again, I'm on my middle daughter's computer.  Tomorrow my oldest daughter & oldest granddaughter fly back to Alaska... awww... I'm going to miss them!

Time to sign off...

Aloha!
- Kris

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Strawberry pickin!

Hello!
Had a great time this afternoon picking strawberries with my 2 oldest daughters & my two granddaughters... of course we ate as we picked... sure was good... mmmm... fresh strawberries!  We got several pounds of strawberries... plenty to share!  We'll have strawberry shortcake for dinner.  After dinner at my daughter Kori's house (mmmm good!) we're going to the Spokane Indian's football game.

Gotta scoot!

Hugs!
- Kris

Saturday, July 5, 2008

HAPPY 4TH!

Hey... just to let you know I made it to Spokane okay... I've been having a great time with my kids.  Flights were okay.  I got my new tattoo on my toe (left foot, 2nd toe, the stem is on the toe & comes in towards my foot and the flower is on my foot), sure hurt like a son of a gun to get! *smiles*  The fireworks were awesome last night... and my granddaughters had fun riding the carrousel that I used to ride as a kid (and helped to save).  At the moment I am at my youngest daughter's for brunch and then we are heading out to a younger brother's place at Lake Roosevelt for the afternoon/evening.  We should be headed out there already... so need to get going.  My daughter Michelle brought her laptop and was wonderful to let me get on real quick while she eats.  

Okay... going to sign off...  Will try to write again sometime this next week.  I've been taking a lot of pictures, I'll look forward to posting some probably when I get back.

Aloha!
- Kris

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I'm leaving... on a jet plane...

Hey,
I'm just getting on to say good-bye for now... I'm going to head out to the airport in about an hour. Work was good today... uneventful for the most part, although I had one of my clients come in and tell me that I also see a friend of hers (*I can neither confirm nor deny*)... she seemed upbeat about it. Also... yesterday I had forgotten my computer ID card, so had someone log me in... but when I tried to log on today, the computer said my card had expired. SO... long story short... I had to call my contract agency, get my new contract # (which has been extended until Dec 31st, thank goodness) and then do some runaround. Fortunately I had a no show this morning and was able to time it just perfect to get into the ID office (when I got there, there was only 1 guy ahead of me... when I came out, there were at least 15 people waiting!).

I wrapped up my afternoon on time... and headed home to finish last minute packing stuff.

I talked to my oldest daughter... she's having some anxiety about flying... I'm looking forward to seeing them tomorrow morning in Seattle. Tomorrow afternoon she & I are going to get tattoos (I'm getting matching ones with my sisters... my daughter is getting her first tattoo... yikes!).

So... time to say Aloha... and I'll try to post later in the week to give you an update. \

Aloha!
- Kris

Denali

So... "the mountain is out today"... Denali (above). http://www.nature.nps.gov/air/WebCams/parks/denacam/denacam.cfm

Every morning I go to the http://newsminer.com/
and catch up on the local news in Fairbanks (where I lived for 18 years) and I also check the arctic cam which is mounted on the Fairbanks Daily Newsminer building (where I worked for a year during my time in Alaska... and then moved onto a better job with the State).

http://newsminer.com/arcticcam/

They've made some modifications to the webcam site over the last year, so now people can post comments on the website and someone there listed the Denali website today. Thought I'd check it out. If I recall correctly, only about 20% of the tourists ever get to see Mount McKinley out in full view, so it's a rare treat. Enjoy.

Time to get ready for work!

Aloha!
- Kris

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Nutin' fancy...


This just a picture of the gym I go to... I was showing Lorrie my camera the other day and took this pic... not the best... but you can get an idea of what the gym looks like. I *did* go to the gym after work, got a short work-out in anyway.

So... the "crisis" issue from last night wasn't resolved until about 11:15 this morning, but it was resolved "peacefully."

Work went okay... not as crazy busy as it usually is (thank goodness), got to see one of my "oldest" clients, she's doing better, so it was a good way to start off the day. I had one that is in a crisis situation (not suicidal), and feel comfortable at what we were able to accomplish to help him today... I'll keep my fingers crossed that it all works out.

I'm excited about flying out tomorrow night. Which reminds me... oh yea... I need to go pack! *smiles* No... I haven't started (does preliminary planning count?).

By the way... after tomorrow night you may only see 1-2 blogs from me (at the most) as I will be traveling without my computer (I don't have a working laptop) and the only computer I'll probably have access to will be my middle & youngest daughter's computers... and they both are avid computer users themselves (my girls are all computer addicts like me... what can I say???).

Okay... time to sign off and go pack.

Aloha!
- Kris