Sunday, August 31, 2008

On the road again...


At the Alabama/Mississippi State Line... and I even stood in the middle of the road (this road wasn't busy), so I got to be in both states at one time! *smiles*

On my way back to Atlanta from Jim & KK's, about 90% of the cars were from Louisianna as they were headed to distant places to get out of harm's way. Some were in obvious car pools, groups of cars, others were on their own, or perhaps with a spouse in another vehicle behind or in front of them.

Couldn't just take a picture of the Alabama & Mississippi pictures without taking one of the Georgia state sign. (I had to take this while driving since I was on the interstate). I liked the sign. *smiles*
Tonight I'm staying at a Motel 6 not too far from the airport, because I have to be there at 8am or so. At least it is a holiday tomorrow so traffic shouldn't be too bad. When I checked in here, the manager said he has a whole list of people on their way from Louisianna. Doesn't sound like he was too thrilled about it either, said last time the LA people came, they were here for 10 days and he lost 10 pounds. He said they were VERY rude. (Of course, I'd probably had been irritable in similar circumstances).
Fortunately, tomorrow I should be out of here well ahead of storm, but I've been actively watching it. It reminds me though how close I came to being able to come down here 3 years ago to help out. (I was asked to be a part of the team from Hawaii, but I hadn't had the training. I was supposed to have gone through it the week before, but the class was cancelled due to lack of participants).
Okay... I'm going to sign off. It's hard to believe that tomorrow night I will be back home. It's been a fast, whirlwind trip. I will have traveled over 10,000 air miles, and have been in three states. And... I will have gotten to spend some wonderful times with wonderful friends. *smiles*
Aloha!
- Kris



Saturday, August 30, 2008

Alabama wants me...

Hello & Greetings from Alabama! I'm here at Jim & KK's house. I got here in time to watch UH lose BIG time to the Florida Gators... oh well... it was to be expected. Afterwards, I asked if we could all drive over to Mississippi (Alabama & Mississippi are the only 2 southern states I hadn't been in ). So we did... and I have a picture of me by the Alabama & the Mississippi signs. I even straddled the road so I can say I was in 2 states at once today. (I didn't get a picture of that). And tonight we had dinner at a "Crakerbarrell" I haven't been to one of those in a long time, so it was neat to go in & explore some more.

Okay... I'm going to sign off. Jim & KK have very limited internet service here and even worse phone service. I'll be heading back to Atlanta tomorrow & will have to fly out by 10am on Monday. It will have been a whirlwind trip, I'll cherish the time I've been able to spend with my friends & going to three different states & earning over 10,000 airline miles.

Aloha ya'all!
- Kris

Friday, August 29, 2008

With my friend Mary Ann!

This is my friend Mary Ann's house, it's beautiful, out in the country and it's a very comfortable place.
Here's a photo of Mary Ann & I. It was interesting, because I got up this morning and put on my University of Alaska Alumni shirt and then a short time later found out that Governor Palin (of Alaska) was selected to be McCain's running mate.

And of course... I've LOVED playing with Mary Ann's cats. This one is Angel. She also has a couple white flame points, one, I love is Coconut, he's only about 5 months old.
Tomorrow (Saturday), I head over to Alabama to see my friends Jim & KK. I plan to get to their place in enough time to watch the UH versus Florida Gator's football game. I'm going to wear my UH tee shirt, my UH jewelry & I even brought my little UH pom-pom. *smiles*. Unfortunately, I predict we will lose, but I'm going to be rooting for a win!
Okay... I'm going to sign off.

Aloha ya'all!
- Kris

Thursday, August 28, 2008

In Atlanta

I primarily took this picture for my friends Bette & Walt, when they fly out of Honolulu they hang out here until their flight leaves.

I *did* make it to Atlanta okay. I had some delay leaving Honolulu, the power was off to the concourse & we had to wait on 100 people that were supposed to be making a connection in Honolulu, from Guam. Needless to say... a BUNCH of people were upset. I think at least 100 people missed *their* connection in Houston as a result of our leaving about an hour & a half late. When I walked into a darkened waiting area, I heard someone ask "aren't you Jim's friend." It was Dominic. I've ridden with his group on motorcycles, and he was at Jim's Thanksgiving dinner a couple years ago (the year that Janis, Susanne & I had a *great* picture taken on the beach behind Jim's house there in Laie). It was nice to see him and have someone to talk to while I was waiting.

On the flight, I stayed up for "dinner" then watched most of Kung Foo Panda, before going to sleep. My seatmate was a nice young guy from Saudi Arabia. I didn't ask, but I think he may be training with our military, as he had a military ID. (But... he is NOT an American, that was clear).

Other than that, I was fortunate getting to the airport on time. There was an accident on the road I come down from where I work, it closed the road. My best guess is that it happened within 10 minutes of when I came down that road. (Whew!). As it was, I was cutting the time short to get there (but as we now know... it didn't matter because our flight was delayed).

Let's see... oh yea... they did a "touch & go" on our approach to Houston. Apparently there was another plane on the runway (the pilot didn't actually touch down, he just came down for an approach & had to pull up).

Okay... I need to sign off. I'm having a good time visiting here in Atlanta & we're watching the Democratic Convention as I write this. History in the making.

Aloha! (or shall I say... "good-night y'all!).
- Kris

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

So... I may be changing jobs...

Hrmph! I don't think I mentioned yesterday, but I got an email from my former company (with whom I was a "contract" employee). They let me know that they have 4 Social Worker positions open in another department (near where I currently work, within a 1/2 block) and asked me if I was interested. This position would focus primarily on Domestic Violence work. I would receive the appropriate & necessary training to do this job (in exchange for a 1 year commitment). In some ways, it would allow me to broaden my experiences, I would have a broader background to draw on for future opportunities. Originally when I got the email, I kind of "blew it off" (It just came yesterday), because my current position is more in-line with my long-term goals to travel & get retirement benefits, etc.

However. Then, later in the day I got my first pay statement. Holy Smokes! (I'd like to swear here... but I try hard not to cuss too much!). My NET pay, went down OVER $800 a pay period! That is SIGNIFICANTLY a LOT more than I had anticipated. And that's just comparing 80 hour pay-periods, that does not take into account the amount I was getting for "on-call" pay (another minimum of $615 gross pay). So... I'm taking roughly, a 2K monthly pay cut. It definitely is enough to give me 2nd thoughts and make me reconsider my long-term priorities & goals. I do have to say, that I have an extra $200 or so coming out each payday towards retirement... but still... even given that amount, it's still $1800 or so pay cut.

SO... I sent an email to one of my supervisors, and to a couple people in our pay department and let them know that I'm being recruited, and given the substantial pay cut (which we weren't informed of until a day & a half beforehand & didn't know the depth of the pay cut) that I will be considering whether to apply for the job, over the weekend. This was also while asking them if they had gotten any word on paying on my student loan, an option they have... one I asked about a month ago and haven't gotten any feedback on.

I talked with my other co-worker who is in another section, but was switched over at the same time, and she's FURIOUS. My guess is she will definitely put in for 1 of the positions. We're crazy not to. Our head boss over both of our sections knows that we are being recruited & are sorely disatisfied with our new pay (especially since we were doing the exact same job before!). He's going to be in a bind too... because, let's see there are 3 therapists full-time, 2 part-time (we've already lost 3 therapists), and currently, including the head boss (who has a lot of administrative duties), there are 4 1/2 docs & 1 nurse that do prescribing here, as far as I know they are definitely losing 2 docs due to relocation and 1 more doc looks like they will be going to another clinic. SO... in another month, they could have 2 PT therapists & 2 FT (no where near enough to do the job) and 1 & 1/2 docs & 1 nurse. YIKES. I wouldn't want to be in my head boss' shoes. (Ideally they need at least 4 docs on staff and about 6 therapists, minimum).

SO... that's kind of been the stuff on the forefront of my thoughts today.

Work itself has been easy, with more no-shows than appointments (in steep contrast to yesterday), I just have 1 more appointment and I'll be able to head out for my flight (yea!).

If I don't post much over the next couple days, it's because I will be traveling. I'm taking my laptop with me, it will just depend on service availability.

Aloha!
- Kris

Monday, August 25, 2008

more pics




So... I thought I would post some more pictures of water activities that I took yesterday. Hope you like them... and yes, Kati, the water is beautiful! I can't wait until someday when Taylor (and you?) can come down and enjoy my favorite beach(es) with me.
Work went okay today, it was steadily busy, I managed to keep up. Looking ahead I have a fairly easy schedule tomorrow (because I am supposed to have group in the afternoon, and I get an hour after that to do documentation. I'm a little worried about Wednesday, I'm scheduled for 7 clients. Thankfully though, they are all repeat clients, so the documentation will be a little easier, I'll just need to stay on top of things.
I did get to the gym after work, didn't exercise long enough, but when I got there, half the TV's weren't hooked up to machines, they just got a bunch new machines that still need to be set up. Hopefully by the time I get back, everything will be done. I'm not planning to go to the gym tomorrow night and I *won't* be able to go on Wedsnesday night because I'll be traveling.
Not much going on tonight... I've just had a relaxing evening watching some TV. I'm going to sign off and do something productive (like maybe pack a little more?).
Aloha!
- Kris

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What a nice Sunday!









So... I thought I would share some pictures from today at Ala Moana. Talk about a nice day... it was *wonderful* at the beach. I didn't get down there until about 2, and unfortunately I had to spend about 20 minutes looking for a parking spot, but then I spent about 3 hours soaking up some sun & sand. I got out on my floaty for about 45 minutes or so (and took my Olympus camera with me). I did leave for about an hour & went over to the mall, but got back just in time to take some last minute sunset photos. Nice shot, huh!


Other than that, I stayed up late again last night (well, til about 3:30 this morning), but I've done all that I wanted to do in the spare room. Now I've just got to decide if I want to get a loveseat sofabed (it would be twin size), or if I should just get a Queen-size blow up mattress. I'm not going to worry about it until after my trip though.
Speaking of my trip... wanna come house-sit? *smiles* I was talking to my older sister tonight & she suggested that she should come house-sit while I'm gone (hey... 5 days in Paradise & you can borrow my car... as long as you get me two & from the airport). Unfortunately... time is short, so she won't be able to do it. (She's on jury duty this next week anyway).
And speaking of my apartment... Whew... I got a lot done this weekend, I felt like it was very productive (tiring, but productive). I got rid of the last of the boxes I used for moving. I put an ad on "Craigslist" and had a bunch of offers for them. I also had a lot of stuff to donate to the Goodwill... but I let my little neighbors next door go through and see if there was anything they wanted... so they got a few things. And when I got home tonight I did some laundry (it's almost done), and I vacuumed, so my apartment is now all clean. (I love having a clean apartment, especially to come home to after a trip!).
Too bad my friend Bob & his new wife haven't gotten here yet, they could stay here. Bob's pretty familiar with Hawaii, but I don't know if Caryl has ever been here. They'll probably get here while I'm gone, but I think they'll be here for a little while, Bob's going to have some work done on his sailboat (he's got a 44' ketch). Last I note got from them they were on Palmyra Atoll, which is about 500 miles southwest of Hawaii (if I recall right). At that time (several days ago), it sounded like they were on their way and would be here in about 10 days... but I haven't heard from them since, and I generally get location updates when they are on the move.
Oh well... I guess I'd best sign off. It's almost 10pm and I *really* need to get a good night's sleep tonight.
Oh yea... and this morning... (besides waiting for the woman to come pick up the boxes) I watched our "Waipio" Little League boys win the Little League World championship for their age group (12-14?). They beat out Mexico, something like 11-3. One kid did an AWESOME slide to catch a ball out in the outfield. I think the games were held out in PA. Waipio is only about 3-4 miles from where I live. It's a fairly nice area. A couple years ago, a team from Ewa (pronounced Eva) Beach, won the world series. Hawaii is growing some awesome baseball players (and football players).

Time to sign off.
Aloha!
- Kris

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dragon Races


I made it down to Ala Moana beach today and they had "Dragon races" going on today (paddle races in "Dragon" boats. The boats were cool!

I didn't spend too much time down there... for one thing I got a late start. I had stayed up until 5 this morning working on my spare room (yea... takes a long time to sort through paperwork and all that), then I slept for about 4 hours and started in on sorting stuff some more. I hate to throw away receipts (of course... nowadays they disintegrate anyway!) So... I had a bunch of stuff to shred. Tonight, shortly, I plan to tackle my file cabinet drawers and sort through all that stuff. (Hey, I might as well as take care of the energy while I have it!).

Anyway... I also got my cans recycled today on my way to the beach... then when I got there I had to shoot a bunch of pictures of the dragon boats... then I laid down and had only been laying down when three young ladies decided to come lay about 6' (literally) away from me, with their radio & talk boyfriend stuff. Sheesh... they could have gone 30' away, and had plenty of room... I don't know why you would plant yourself next to someone who looks like they are sunbathing (I had my Ishuffle on and I *was* trying to take a nap!). So... after about a half hour of that, I gave up and prayed for better weather tomorrow and hoping I can go down to the beach then.

On the way home I stopped & got some distilled water, because my chore for this weekend (that absolutely NEEDED to get done) was to clean out my fish tanks. I have my little 5 gallon one (I'm thinking about upgrading to a 10 gal) and then I have "blue" my beta fish in a fish bowl. SO... hopefully my fish aren't so traumatized now, that they die on me! *gulp* But... that is done! I still need to get my suitcase down and start packing. I don't think that will take too long though (not as long as going through my filing drawers and getting THOSE organized!

I talked with my friends Nikki & Guy this afternoon. They are coming over December 17th for 3 months (yea!). The cost of their tickets have about doubled though... darn it. I can't wait to have them and Walt & Bette up for some barbecues while they are here. Guy is recovering from all his eye problems, but he has to see a doctor next week, and I think he's getting a cataract or something removed. They said they've been having some awesome weather in St Louis.

I also talked to my friends Jim & KK down in Alabama... I'm planning to spend next Saturday night with them. I think Jim said it is about a 4 hour drive from Atlanta, and then if I want to go on over to Mississippi, it's only about 30 minutes away (maybe I can have dinner in MS??? with them???). I'm really looking forward to seeing my friend Mary Ann, and then to seeing Jim & KK. Jim & KK have some serious, chronic medical issues, that it's amazing (literally) that they are still alive this year. Don't be surprised if I come back talking with a southern accent! *smiles*

Okay... guess that's about it for now. Oh yea... and my friend Bette's daughter finally got out of the hospital, she's still got some recovery time to do... but at least she's home now, let's pray she gets to STAY home... and not have any more complications!

Time to sign off... I'm listening to my Hawaiian music while I work in my spare room.

Aloha!
- Kris

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday night live...

Aloha!

Just got in from a "night out" on the town. I went to a club that I haven't been to since I moved. I got an email from my friend Donna asking me if I wanted to meet her there... so since I hadn't been there for a long time, I thought "what the heck." It was SO nice... I saw so many friends that I haven't seem for a long time. Tom & Dan were down there too, so I danced with Tom for a little bit. I saw my friend Barbara, her friend Cindy, I saw gosh... so many friends, too many to name.



Work went okay today. I had a couple no-shows, but I had enough to keep me busy. My very first appointment today was escorted to ER (by me). He came in to see me and I won't go into all his behavior, but he had a massive migraine (to the point of throwing up & other physical effects). I didn't think he could make it to ER on his own, so I walked him down. (it's not far from where I work... about 3 buildings away). They ended up putting him on an IV drip and giving him some powerful medications. This afternoon I met a new client that I have some concerns about. I think he has some severe attachment issues due to incidents in his early childhood.



Other than that, I got my TB test checked today, that went fine and I got one more thing crossed off my "in-processing" checklist. I just have a couple more things to do, which will require driving down to our main hospital. It'll get done eventually.



Okay... I'm going to sign off... it is just after 11, I'm tired, but feeling like I need to go in and work on the spare bedroom for awhile before I hit the hay. No specific plans for tomorrow, but if the weather is cooperative, I'd like to spend some quality time at the beach. I need to take in some soda cans for recycling and I need to think about starting to pack for my upcoming trip on Weds evening. (I need to get the suitcase down out of the storage section it is in). I also need to change out the water in my fish tanks, so the fish have some fresh water before I leave.

Oh yea... and I rode my motorcycle to work today. It's been WAY too long since I've rode my bike. The boots I wore today had belonged to Janis, it's the first time I've worn them and they fit like a glove... I felt like Janis was right there riding with me.

Okay... now to sign off!

Aloha!
- Kris

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hello...

Work went well today, only saw half of my scheduled clients, (and attended a staff meeting), but then I was able to get fitted for the respiratory mask. I hadn't thought what was involved, but first he sprayed some stuff in my mouth (for those who know me well, would understand how uncomfortable this would be for me... I have a VERY strong gag reflex), anyway, it was bitter tasting, and it *was* just a small amount (diluted) of what I would be getting sprayed with to test out my mask. SO... if the mask works...I *wouldn't* be able to taste/smell the substance. SO... he fitted the mask on me (pinching at the nose) and then put a hood thing over my face (with plexi-glass where the face is). Once that was secure, he then sprayed the substance in through a valve into the hood. (think of a spacesuit hood). I had to shake my head back and forth, then up & down... and I had to read something. Anyway... I guess my mask worked okay... I didn't smell or taste the stuff (whew!). So... now I know I need a small mask, should I ever need one. (the mask is similar to what docs where over their mouth and nose when they are doing surgery, but it's a little thicker, I think).

Other than that... I *didn't* go to the gym. I had someone interested in buying my old TV, so I took it in and delivered it to her today (she offered to come out and get it this weekend, but I didn't want to continue driving around with it in my front seat any longer!). The person that bought it lives about a mile from where I used to live, so I called Michelle & offered to take her out to dinner. She started a new job today. We just went to Zippy's, but we had a good dinner & got to chat for awhile (Kaleo stayed home with his daddy). I didn't get home until just before 9 tonight... so now it's after 10... past my bedtime and I still need to get things ready for tomorrow... so I'd best sign off.

Aloha!
- Kris

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

ehhhh

This photo was taken the other day out there at the beach in Waianae... someone took the time to carve some turtles out of the sand. They did a great job! *smiles*

Today was relatively quiet, I had a cancellation & a couple no-shows, which ws just as well, because I wasn't feeling all that great today. In fact, when I went to meet with my 11am appt, about 15 mins into the appointment, I felt like I was going to hurl... you know that feeling where you start salivating more and feel your throat having spasms??? Well... I was there. I'm not sure how I made it through, I just kept thinking about distracting myself, so I wouldn't wonder what the client would say if I hurled into the wastebasket (best option as the bathroom is down the hall & around the corner!). I finally got up to look up the client's meds on the computer as we waited for the doctor to come in, which helped me to stop thinking about the feeling in my throat... and then I cut the appointment short (the client was doing well). Fortunately, it was right before lunch, so I laid down on my couch (love seat) for a little bit. I still feel a little bit under the weather, but no more nausea. Not sure what that was about. The afternoon was relatively quiet, then I left about 5 minutes early and just came home.

I know that part of is that I am staying up a lot later than I normally do, because I've been watching the Olympics (can I blame the Olympics for making me sick? *smile*).

I've just been relaxing since I got home. I did go on a website & I'm thinking about making flight arrangements for my next birthday. I need to wait and see what my take home pay looks like since my conversion... but I'm thinking about going on a 10 day trip to Australia. I'd spend time in Sydney, Brisbane, Aidelaide and on Kangaroo Island. While in Sydney, I'd take a side trip for a day of scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef. (It's a 2-tank dive). The cost would be about $2500. I'd need to put about 1/5th down now and would just have to pay off the balance by mid February. I've already got my passport. Anyway... it's just something I'm thinking about. Australia is a place I've always wanted to go. And I figure I should go while I'm still in Hawaii, and my next birthday in Hawaii, might be my last birthday in Hawaii (because I'd like to go to Spain or Italy, or someplace in Europe). (Just think of the miles I'd accrue!).

Okay... I'm going to sign off.

Aloha!
- Kris

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday, Tuesday...


This photo was taken this past weekend out at the beach in Waianae.
Hmmm... not a lot to write about today, it was another busy day. I thought I was going to be able to get my annual TB test, but no... it wasn't meant to happen today. Hopefully I'll get a cancellation tomorrow, or a no-show, so I can get it done tomorrow (and have it read on Friday). I also have to get fit for a "respiratory mask" just because I work within a medical facility.
I *did* make it to the gym after work, felt like I got a good work-out. Tonight I've been watching the Olympics (as usual). I'll sure be glad when they are over so I can get other things done in my life. *smiles*
I mentioned last night that I got my Wheel of Fortune ticket. (I actually got 2... do you want to go be a part of the audience with me??? *smiles*). So... last night I went online and made my airline reservation and I also made my reservation to stay at the Hilton Waikaloa Villiage where the Wheel of Fortune (WOF) show will be held (or at least it will be near there). I plan to get there (to Kona, HI) early on the 15th, I just have to be in the shuttle lot for the WOF by about 4pm. I'm giving myself all day to putz around in Kona, hopefully I'll be able to check in early at the hotel (it's a world-class hotel). I've requested a room with a King-sized bed (I think it's neat to do that... have a BIG bed *smiles*). As part of the hotel package, supposedly I'm should get 2 more tickets for the WOF show and a WOF goodie bag. So... I get there early on Monday, check in sometime after lunch, go to the early taping, and if I keep my fingers crossed, maybe I'll also be able to attend the later taping. Then on Tuesday, I'm catching a fairly late flight back to Oahu, so I can relax in the morning and enjoy my time at the resort. By the way, Bette emailed & asked if I had to pay for the WOF ticket, the answer is "no." The audience tickets are free. Bette also asked if I can get selected to participate on the show by being there, the answer is, "I don't think so." (Although as I said before... I'd *LOVE* to be on the show).
Okay... I'm going to sign off... & go back to watching the Olympics.
Aloha!
- Kris

Monday, August 18, 2008

Yea!

So! I got my Wheel of Fortune ticket today! YEA! I'm SO looking forward to going and being a part of the audience (although I sure wish I were on stage with my older sister! She's AWESOME at WOF (even better than *I* am)). Now that I got my ticket (and know which day I put in for), I need to make some reservations. I haven't figured out if I should spend the night there or not... I'm leaning towards it... but I haven't made my reservations yet.

Other than that... work was crazy busy today, I saw 7 clients today. I didn't get all my notes done (I save doing the notes on one of my intakes for tomorrow and one other individual session note). I stopped on my way out of the door and talked with Dianne, then I went to the gym & did my exercising. While at the gym one of former co-workers stopped by to say hi and ask how things were going. She's enjoying not working for now. I can imagine... I would enjoy a couple months off. *smiles*

Okay... I'm going to sign off.... I still need to eat and I want to watch the Olympics.

Aloha!
- Kris

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Is the weekend really over?

Where has the weekend gone? I feel like it has gone by and I didn't even notice (or take advantages as much as I feel I could have).

I stayed up last night working on the spare bedroom (it looks like a disaster hit it right now!). I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, so didn't get up until just after 10 this morning. And I did things like clean out old leftovers out of the refrigerator, I played Mahjong on my computer (my most recent time-wasting activity!) and contacted someone that said he was interested in buying my old TV. He originally said he was going to come over this morning, or, well, just after lunch... but after waiting about 2 hours (he said he would be here in about 45 minutes), I called and he said he got caught up on his errands he was doing and assured me that he would be over. Then... he called & said that his fiance had called & he needed to go do some things for her, so it would be later. I told him I had some errands to run in town, so he suggested that if I took the TV with me, he could meet me in Pearl City and get it from me there. Well... I finally connected with him about 5:30, and even though I had posted pictures of it, he decided it wasn't what he was looking for. Oh well. SO... it's still in my car. I'm waiting to hear from another person that expressed interest in it.

Other than that... I went looking for a love seat sleeper sofa. I've got very limited space in my spare bedroom (my computer & chair take up a lot of room). I finally found one that might work, but I think it's still about 5 inches longer than the space I have to put it in. My guests may end up on an air mattress on the floor.

I do feel like I've made significant progress in the spare room. I'm one of those people that have to make a bigger mess before I can clean it up. Oh well.

Okay... I'm going to sign off for now.

Aloha!
- Kris

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sunshine








Some shots taken today at a beach out in Waianae. After a VERY lazy morning, Michelle (former neighbor) called to see if I wanted to go out with her out to the beach in Waianae. It's the first time I've been to this particular beach, but I've wanted to go there for awhile to check it out. It was nice... but I still like Ala Moana beach better.
Not much else to write about tonight... so I'll sign off & go back to watching the Olympics.
Aloha!
- Kris


Friday, August 15, 2008

Fun (but late) night!

First... I was going down the stairs at work and was kind of startled to see this Praying Mantis on a step. I don't think I've seen a praying mantis since my youth! I'm not afraid of them, it's not that at all, I was just caught off guard (and glad I didn't accidentally step on it).
This was most of the group that I went to the "Bodies" exhibition with. I didn't check my camera before I handed it off to someone to take our picture & had left it set on Macro, so the pictures here came out blurry (you can't take any pictures inside, so I only had a couple from outside).

Okay... silly pose, I know.
SO... first, the Exhibit. It was awesome. I ended up keeping pace with Dave and we were the last ones in the group to finish. I guess Dave & I were the most inquisitive of the bunch. Although, I swear, I must have been a nurse or a doctor in another life. Dave gave me a bad time about my running commentary. For example... about the foot... and plantar faciitis... about the Medial Miniscus (I had mine repaired), about the skeletal system (and how my best friend's basically imploded on itself), about Gastric Bypass surgery and what it bypasses (versus just banding), about the spleen, if it is ruptured can cause you to bleed out pretty fast (it's bigger than I thought it was), about gall bladders how stones develop in them with rapid weight loss. About the sigmoid colon and how when they do a sigmoidoscopy it hurts, besides you should ask for a colonoscopy, because they can't catch all the polyps that could be up above the sigmoid, if they just do a sigmoidoscopy. Anyway... suffice it to say, they thought I was pretty knowledgeable. Yep... I am. It *was* neat to see an example of a "dermoid cyst" one that is an egg that has been fertilized but grows into a mass with hair & teeth but no substance to speak of. My older sister had one during her 2nd pregnancy, but they didn't find it until after she delivered (and had gone into labor prematurely several times, but at the time, they didn't know why). Then they also had an ovarian cyst. The one they had was only about the size of a baby's hand... and I was reminded about how big my oldest daughter's ovarian cyst was (it was about the size of a softball if I recall).
Things I learned tonight. In my opinion I have a terrific Cerebellum. It controls your balance, I have great balance. I'm wonder if I may have injured my Hippocampus at some point (and I had to write it down to remember it, and even having talked about it several times, I still can't remember the name Hippocampus without looking at the sheet I wrote notes on). Anyway... the Hippocampus is where your short term memory is stored (what's stored there???).
I'm not sure if this is accurate or not, but I believe that if I have a stroke, I'm more likely to have an ischemic stroke versus a hemorrhagic stroke. Hemorrhagic is more common in people with high blood pressure and I have always had pretty low blood pressure. Ischimic strokes are caused by blockage, where as hemorrhagic strokes are caused when a blood vessel ruptures.
I learned that a male's sperm is the smallest cell in the human body, while the female egg is the largest (did you know that???).
I also learned that the right side of your heart pumps blood to the muscles farther away, while he left side pumps it to organs that are nearer to the heart.
And, the last thing I'll mention here, is a man's brain represents a smaller percentage of the body than a woman's, but that's just because the male's body tends to have more muscle (lean body mass). But the way it was written, it made it sound like a woman's brain was bigger ( I like that idea! *smiles*) Oh yea, and the exhibit said that the human brain is 80% water.
So... if nothing else... YOU also learned something by reading my blog today. If the exhibit travels to a city near you, I'd highly recommend going to see it. Oh... and I ran into my friends Tom & Dan there. That was a nice surprise!
Other than that, work was great, I had 3/4 clients show up this morning and then the 2 I was scheduled to see this afternoon were "no shows" (probably because they ended up with the day off). SO... I left work at 3! (WOW!) But after staying late yesterday to do the online course, I didn't feel bad about leaving early. I needed to go get another signature on my inprocessing form, so I did that too. I wanted to make sure I could make it into town in time to meet up with my friends.
After the exhibit we went to the mall & met up with a couple others from the (online group that I belong to) group and had dinner. Then 4-5 of us went on up to where a bunch more were doing some glow-in-the-dark bowling and we bowled a game. I didn't get home until after 1am and now it's after 3, so I'd better sign off and get to bed.
Hope you have a great day & a great weekend!
- Kris

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Quiet day

It was a quiet day at work, I only had 2 appointments this morning, which allowed me a couple hours to get some of my "in-processing" done. I've only got a little more to do. This afternoon I had a training "Prevention and Management of Disruptive Behavior." The instructor was informed that we had all been through the longer (8 hour) training, because they were trying to minimize how much time we were away from the office. So, this one was a 2 hour training that built on the previous (and it should have seemed apparent to the instructor that we hadn't had the other training). Oh well. Yes, I did feel like I learned a little (it's the first "official" training that I've had in de-escalation & safety training). Although... I kept thinking about how important it would have been to have this training in my last position. I did ask the instructor afterwards if they ever offer the training for civilians, he gave me his supervisor's name. I wish I could get his power point presentation, I'd email it to one of my former supervisors, I think she could easily use the presentation to give to staff. I still worry about the staff (in my old position) that work the most with clients and have the least amount of training.
After I got back to my office, I had another online training to complete on Internet Security. I thought that maybe I had done it within the last year, but as I got into it, I realized I hadn't. And so it took me about an hour & a half once I started... so I ended up being at work an extra hour. I probably could have requested an hour off from my regular schedule, but maybe if I'm lucky, I can get out of work a little early tomorrow (I'll let my supervisor know that I stayed to complete the training). I still have 3-4 signatures to get for my form before I can turn it in... and I may have to get another TB test in order to complete the form & turn it in. (Yuk!). Tomorrow a lot of the clients I work with will be off, so maybe I'll get some no-shows. (I'll keep my fingers crossed).
Other than that, I'm just watching the Olympics (and no... I didn't make it to the gym this afternoon). I'll be glad when these Olympics get over so that I can get busy and finish unpacking boxes. I'd like to have them done before I go on my "mini-vacation" over Labor Day weekend.
SO... I'll say Aloha for tonight...
- Kris

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Slow day

It was a slow day at work, which gave me a little time to work on other things. (Like trying to put my new time sheet in, trying to access our national website so that I can see about doing a "Rosetta Stone" course (free). I needed shockwave and even though I tried to download it, and it said that it downloaded... and I re-booted my computer, it still didn't work. I'm going to check out the site from here at home (if I remember) to see if I can access it from here.

I went to the gym after work, then went to a self-wash place to hose down my car and my car mats, then got home & realized I had left the mats hanging in the car wash... so I had to turn around & drive back (at least it's only 14 miles round-trip now instead of 50!). Fortunately I got there when I did, because some fairly young guys had them (they were actually holding them up because they were still wet, but it looked like they were getting ready to put them in *their* car. SO... thankfully, they were nice enough to give them back. But... had I been another 5 minutes or so, I would have probably been buying a new set of floor mats for my car.

Okay... not much else to write about tonight... back to the Olympics! (And all those nicely sculptured bodies!).

Aloha!
- Kris

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Whoops!


The sunset was beautiful on the way home from work, so I pulled over and took a couple pics. Not quite the same as setting over the water, but pretty none-the-less.
"Whoops" I forgot to post last night! *smiles* I guess I just got busy watching the Olympics, and I was doing some chores... and I completely forgot to post.... and my friend Bette emailed me to let me know she had missed me! *smiles... I love you too Bette!*
I actually got on my 2 older daughters today as well... because they have been *really* bad about posting lately. I finally called my oldest one to make sure she was alive and doing okay (I began to think that something had happened to her computer). Fortunately, she's doing okay, she's just been busy being a soccer mom (I remember the days she said she didn't *want* to be a soccer mom... but she's doing a good job as a soccer mom *smiles*). My middle daughter's time has been very limited... she's had company... her Dad. He's there visiting, probably for about 6 weeks and she's the kind that values her independence, her solitude. I had to chuckle at her at her accurate description of him... "he's a homebody that happens to be living in MY home at the time." *smiles* Poor kid. She loves her dad... but they are polar opposites.
Other than that... I had a problem with my password at work yesterday, so I wasn't able to do my online documentation. Fortunately I had some cancellations today (no shows actually), so I was able to get caught up on the documentation. Right now I'm owed 2 "comp" days, I had planned to keep them until the middle of September when I plan to go over to the Big Island to be a part of the "Wheel of Fortune" audience, but I will have earned 2 more comp days by then (for being "on-call"). So... in looking at my schedule, I only had 3 appointments scheduled over the 28th & 29th, so I'm going to take 2 comp days then. (I don't want to accrue a lot of comp days... because I want to ensure that I actually get to take them). So... I'm tentatively planning to take a mini vacation over that long weekend. I have a dear, old friend that I haven't seen for many years. She's a nurse by training, but is also in the healing field. I was looking online tonight and found I could get a ticket (to the mainland to see her) for less than $500. So... I'm going to email her and see if it can work out. I *hope* so. (SO... this is a forewarning that I may be off-line a lot over the Labor Day weekend).
Other than that, I had to run into the smaller town near where I work, at lunch time... and decided to stop by Taco Bell for lunch... as I pulled into the parking lot... who did I see, but my former co-worker Julie! I was SO happy. We've talked by phone and we have played telephone tag... but it's the first time I've actually seen her in over 9 months. We were both so happy and wrapped each other in a big hug and wanted to cry in happiness of seeing each other. She's a fantastic person. She's been going through some struggles... and her son (who was deployed to Afghanistan) is still participating in the in-patient Post Traumatic Stress Disorder program. He's going to graduate from the program on the 20th. I wish it were possible to attend his graduation, but it's unlikely that I can go.
Okay... I'm going to sign off... it's about 9pm and I'm watching the Women's gymnastics.
Aloha!
- Kris
After work yesterday & today, I did get to the gym, yesterday I did an hour, today I did a 1/2 hour.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Quiet Day

So... not much to write about today... I played on my computer, trying to set up a spreadsheet for an upcoming project that I'm going to be working on (personal, not work-related). I cleaned up my apartment, sorted through a couple more boxes. My goal is to have all of the boxes complete unpacked within the next three weeks... and I may move bookcases around before all is said & done (they are in the spare bedroom).

Michelle, her husband & Kaleo came over for dinner, but Shaun didn't. Not sure why... he was supposed to be here at 5, I called him about 5:35 and he said he was on his way... but didn't show up. I finally decided to serve up dinner about 7. I guess the way I look at it... Shaun is the one that missed out. He wanted to meet Michelle's husband... and had his chance. Oh well.

Okay... I'm going to sign off... news is on and I still need to get ready for tomorrow (work).

Aloha!
- Kris

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ouch!

The "Man-Of-Wars" were out in full-force today at Bellow's beach, while I was there at least a dozen kids were stung, including one that apparently had an allergic reaction and had to have paramedics come out (most kids just get sprayed with a vinegar solution).
It *was* a beautiful day at the beach, as you can see from the picture above...

The waves were pretty good for boogie boarding (I decided to stay out of the water!)

I love the color of the water on the "Waimanalo" side (where Bellows is located). That's "Rabbit Island" as seen from Bellows. It was VERY windy over there today (hence the reason it is called "the Windward side."
My friend Carmel invited me to join her over in Waimanalo for a slack key/fundraiser concert. It as great! The performers were under this shelter and there's a large lawn area to sit & enjoy the music.
One of my most favorite Hawaiian performers were there... the guy in the hat is Jerry Santos, I've listened to him many times down at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, so it was nice to listen to him today at the park. (I just wish he could have sang more songs... but there were also a LOT of performers there today... it was amazing how many came out to support the family (of musicians) who organized this event today).
I've seen this guy before, he's doing the "hula." I didn't catch his name. They had a few hula dancers there today.
Other than that, I finished dinner a little bit ago and I still need to finish up my dishes. When I got my new laptop, it came with more games than my other computer had. This lap top came with the Mahjong Titans game, it's an oriental tile game. I've been mesmerized with it and rationalize my continuous playing of the game by thinking it is challenging my brain. *smiles*
Okay... time to sign off.
Aloha!
- Kris






Friday, August 8, 2008

TGIF

Aloha!
I hope you have all had a good day. Mine went pretty well, I only had 3 clients today, the first one is coping with an infectious disease, the 2nd one may be experiencing his first psychotic break and the last one has PTSD and has gotten to the point where he is able to trust me enough to share some of the details of his trauma. All three presented their own challenge. The 2nd one is a challenging case and I'm about the 4th person he's seen, he's resistent and fighting what may be the inevitable (mental illness). I think deep down he's scared and it is exacerbating his situation. I feel like I was able to *connect* with him and have him leave feeling like someone actually gives a damn about him. I was kind of hoping when we were done, that he had already been set up for a follow up appointment with one of the other two providers that I work with (that he has already seen), but alas, he hadn't... so guess who gets to follw up with him and see him on a regular basis. Yep... me.

Because of a cancellation this afternoon, I was able to leave for a little bit and go get my new ID card (then I verified it worked before I left work). That's one less thing I need to worry about now. And I actually got off relatively on time (Had I not taken the time to consult with a co-worker about the psychotic break kid, I might have even been able to leave a couple minutes early). I didn't go to the gym... just came home. I talked with my youngest daughter, she was facing a severe thunder & lightening storm, something she didn't experience very often up in Alaska. I also talked with my good friend Bette and found out why she has been noticeably quiet over the last couple weeks (I had planned to call her this weekend to make sure everything was okay). Come to find out, her daughter who is my age, had a hysterectomy & ended up with some massive infection which resulted in multiple re-hospitalizations & surgeries. Walt & Bette have been spending about 6 hours a day at the hospital and it sounds like things were kind of touch & go for awhile, and now she has wound dehiscence (where the wound has to heal from the inside out and you need a suction device to keep any infection from setting in). It's quite an ordeal to recover from.

SO... keep Walt & Bette in your prayers, as well as their daughter Ellen. I'd appreciate it and I know they would too.

Other than that, I went to see the movie "Sisterhood in Pants." It wasn't all that great. I can't remember if I saw the original movie or read the book (but I had done one or the other)... but this movie was rather slow. It was no where near as good as "Mama Mia".

Okay... I'm going to sign off. I'm trying to see if I can find any re-runs of the opening of the Olympics games, I thought I had set my TV to TIVO it... but I guess I don't know how to do that yet, because it didn't record (darn it!).

So... Aloha for now...

- Kris

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

This morning was very busy, I saw 5 clients before noon (whew!). Then, while I probably should have stayed & worked on documentation at lunchtime, I chose to go to work with one of my newest co-workers (her name is Dianne) and I'm glad I did. It gave us a chance to get to know each other on a more personal level and we found out that we have a lot in common. It was nice. Then it was back for a staff meeting and an informal meeting with our Clinical Director before seeing the last couple appointments of the afternoon. SO... guess when I did my documentation... after work. I could have gotten out of the office about an hour earlier, but I like reading through notes to get an idea what the clients I'm due to see tomorrow are going through. I also did an on-line check on my client that is currently in the hospital. (And talked with Dianne who stayed later than I did... but she lives near where we work, so it's not far for her to go home).

Other than that, I've been in email contact with a young guy who is coming out here to Hawaii and recently got here. I'm thinking about inviting him up for dinner and then inviting my friend Michelle & her husband, because Shaun wants to meet her husband (they both enjoy Mixed Martial Arts).

Well... I've got to sign off...

Aloha!
- Kris

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hello...

Hello! Today was another relatively quiet day (I think I only saw 6 clients today). I would have been out on time had I not stopped to talk to my co-worker next door (we kind of process the clients we have seen that day). I got to work a few minutes late today because there was an accident on the 2 lane road that I drive to work, it delayed me by about 25 minutes (I would have been to work by about 7:15am). Fortunately we don't see clients until 8am, unless there are walk-in's.

I did NOT go exercise after work like I should have... no excuse. And I haven't done anything here at home tonight... made some dinner, and watched TV. So... no excuses.

Today was my friend Nikki's birthday. I called Nikki today and sang happy birthday to her this morning, (they weren't home) and then I called back after work and was able to talk with them. She & Guy live up in St. Louis and come down for the winters, although with the high airline ticket prices, they haven't gotten their tickets to come down this next year. If they are going to come, they have to decide by the first of September, so they can get their usual apartment that they have been staying in for many years now. Guy recently had some eye surgery (while he was here, he ended up with a detached retina, so they did some emergency surgery and had to put some oil in his eye (under the retina?) until the eye could heal), so... he had the oil removed and surgery went well and his eye has healed well. He stil has a large cateract that he needs to have operated on. They have also been working on their house, including getting new windows put in.

Okay... time to sign off...

Aloha!
- Kris

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Another busy day

Well, today was another busy day... I saw 4 clients this morning, this afternoon I saw 2.5 *smiles*... I started to see one client but then turned her over to one of the docs who agreed to assess her for hospitalization (and he decided to go ahead & admit her). I was supposed to start my "Depression" group this afternoon, but no one showed up... does that mean they are too depressed to come? *sad smile*. I had one of our mental health techs call as many as he could yesterday (that had signed up), and two said they would come, but only 1 showed up (the one we ended up putting in the hospital). I stayed until 6 doing paperwork and preparing for tomorrow. One of my newer co-workers stayed late too and we talked a little while. She asked me if I am a perfectionist, I said "no", because I don't consider myself to be one. Sure, I like to stay until my paperwork is done, I like to be prepared for the next day, but I think that's just my way of compensating for my deficits (?... not sure if I should say I feel like I have always had Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder... so I think I just try to do more, to compensate for often being distracted & having difficulty with following through at times). In any rate... sometimes I don't always get my work done during normal hours, so I tend to stay to get it done.

Not much else to write today, tomorrow is my friend Nikki's birthday and I have yet to get her a birthday card and get it mailed. I guess I'll have to call her & tell her "Happy Birthday" in person. (It's Wednesday).

Hope you all have a fantastic day!
- Kris

Monday, August 4, 2008

Cheaper labor...

What is this? It is actually a coconut that I found on the beach a couple years ago (I took the picture several years ago). I think it resembles a face mask.

Well... today was my first day as a Federal Employee. Cheaper labor... I made about $5.00 an hour less than I was making last week. That sucks... but I remind myself that it will work out in the end. It *will* be interesting to compare my net pay when I finally get paid by the govt (I think that will be the end of the month, but I *do* have another paycheck coming from my current company).

Today started out VERY busy, I saw 5 people this morning (one walk-in and four regular 1-hour appointments). It's always something! And, I think I will have a guy coming in tomorrow as a walk-in. Today's appointments were rather random, one was a follow-up from last week (the walk-in), I had two that transferred from other co-workers who are no longer with us, at least one clients is on his way out. I enjoyed three new clients I met today.

So... for the most part it was a busy day, although I had 2 no-shows. If I had known that they weren't going to show, I could have ran down to the office in town to take care of paperwork there. It doesn't help that two of my supervisors are out of the office for a few days (I think one of them has gone to a conference here on the island that I had requested over a month ago, to go to). I don't think I can do much until they return. I don't think it's any big deal, I don't think I'm really limited by not having it done at this time. It will happen in time.

Not much else to write about... I *did* go exercise after work, 45 minutes on the recumbant bike. I talked to my two younger daughters... my poor middle daughter is putting up with her dad staying with her for over a month. It's kind of crimping her style, as she & her dad are almost polar opposites in their views of life. I think the one thing they have the most in common is their love of cooking, but can you imagine when you are used to being single and having all that freedom, then having your Dad live with you for over a month? Poor kid.

My youngest daughter is doing good, she's hoping to take my youngest granddaughter to the circus this weekend. She's had to put up with her dad being in town for about a month not too long ago, but at least her dad didn't stay at her apartment with her.

My oldest daughter has been living with some of the worst rainy weather her neighborhood/city has seen in a LONG time, she's been busy with work & with trying to garden with mixed results. My oldest granddaughter had her first soccer game tonight in rainy weather, hopefully they won the game without too many injuries (and I worried about her playing hockey? It sounds like soccer can be just as dangerous!).

Okay... it's time for me to sign off... I need to get my stuff ready for tomorrow... and I still have a couple things I want to get done tonight.

Aloha!
- Kris

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Blogging now...




Okay... thought I would just post a couple more underwater pictures from yesterday when I went snorkeling.
I'm sore today, so no sunshine for me today. I went down to Denny's for breakfast, then came home and took a nap (a nice thing to do on a Sunday) and since then I've been putzing around the apartment, going through old papers, shredding stuff that needs to be shredding (outdated bills that I still get the paper copy for), I got my new 2 drawer filing cabinet and put some files into it (I need someone to come organize my filing!). Now I'm taking a brief break before the Barnett family comes over (three brothers & one sister-in-law). Tom actually comes from a BIG family, with 7 or so siblings (I can relate to that!). Right now they are at an Opera show, and will be out in a couple hours. I figured that since it will probably be late with them here, I would get my blog done early. I'm barbequing some chicken, cooking up some beans, we'll have some chips, and then for desert I'm making my German Chocolate Cake with home-made frosting. I've got the cake done, I just need to let it finish cooling off before I cook the frosting & put it on top.
Okay... I'm going to sign off.
Hugs to all!
- Kris