Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A better day...

This picture was taken from Sea Life Park with Makapu'u Lighthouse in the distance.

So... today was a pretty good day. It's my oldest granddaughter's birthday, she's 11 today! (Happy Birthday Tay!). I heard rumors that she is playing her Wii American Idol game today (her present from me).

Work was work... typical. My group didn't have as many participants as I had hoped, but that just meant I didn't have as many notes to write. I was able to get out of work relatively on time and I went to the gym. I *did* send the *final* offer email to my supervisor with a date of the 7th (drop dead date *smiles*), for the response. Which reminds me.. I need to get busy & fill out the paperwork to send in for the other position, so it will be ready to mail on the evening of the 7th.

Oh yea... and my middle daughter got some good news, she was selected to present a paper at her national convention/workshop in Vancouver, BC.... how cool is that?

Okay... time to so sign off... I'm watching "Biggest Loser" and the first hour is already over and I want to get on my gazelle for at least a 1/2 hour while I watch the 2nd half.

Aloha!
- Kris

Monday, September 29, 2008

Counselor of the day?

Rabbit Island

Hello... what a long day! And a busy day. I saw 7 clients today, including a couple intakes (which always take a little longer for documentation) and then, because our docs have been so busy... there was one client that I didn't get out of my office until about 12:20 (so... cutting into MY lunch hour), and then I had a walk-in at about 3:40pm... I should have just told them to have her come back tomorrow morning (she wasn't in a crisis). I told the front desk that if I took her, I probably wouldn't get out until at least 5:30... and I was wrong... it was almost 7 before I got out of there (because in addition to the documentation, I needed to prep for my group tomorrow).

Then... being the "super" counselor that I am... I drove down to the hospital to see a client that is in the hospital and it was after 8 before I left there. I wouldn't do it for just anyone, but I've got the longest history with this client and she's having kidney failure and it doesn't sound like they know for sure why. She had called me about 4:20 this afternoon and after talking with her for a little bit, I told her I would come down to see her if I could.

So... other than work... not much else going on... so I'm going to sign off & go make some Peanut Butter cookies (the rest of my recipes are on my other computer & I haven't put the printer software on the desktop yet... so I can't print out the recipe I wanted to use anyway (I was going to make cornflake cookies).

Aloha!
- Kris

P.S. I ended up going online & finding the recipe for the corn flake cookies (with nuts & coconut) and I am making them... I guess it will be another late night, as it is almost 11pm.
Also, I've drafted an email to my supervisor with the following conditions for consideration of staying:

1) I want the amount proposed added to my base pay (not after the COLA).
2) I would like the final determination in writing by October 7th, with a statement that the pay increase will continue annually with pay raise considerations based on appropriate work performances annually.
3) I would like a determination on the student loan repayment.
4) I want to know that I will be allowed to attend the upcoming trainings for PTSD (PE, EMDR) and the Suicide Prevention workshop

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New computer...

So... where do I start with my day? I got up this morning and went to church and sang in the "Gospel" choir, we sang "Oh Happy Day" - I got to sing alto, thankfully my good friend Karen was also singing Alto. It was good to see my old friends there (I went a couple weeks ago, but haven't been to church there for awhile, in part because I've moved so far away). "Pastor" Dean has been a friend since before he became the pastor there, I had dinner with him at his house on my 2nd Thanksgiving here (along with several others). He's got a great heart, and for that I love him dearly. (I seem to love a lot of people lately).

After church, I picked up my "Gazelle" from my friend Michelle... and brought it home & lugged it up the stairs. Sometimes I don't like living on the 2nd floor... especially when it comes to lugging groceries, but then I remind myself that I am burning a few extra calories each day. I also loaned her my Office software, she had to get a new hard-drive or something. I guess I'll have to get it back, so I can put it back on my new computer.

Yes... new computer. I'll come back to that. I went & got my nails done, I get acrylic & gel, but I don't like the gel they used today, it didn't harden like it is supposed to , so now my nails look all funky.

Then I went up & picked up my old computer. I did ask at "Best Buy" about buying a new motherboard & processor... and it just sounded easier to buy a new CPU tower. So... I got a new Dell, model i530-110B. It has a 2 Q6600 Quad-Core Processor (8MB L2 cache, 2.4 GHz), it has a 6GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM Memory at 667MH-4DIMMS (whatever that means), it has a 640 GB Hard Drive, it has a DVD +/- RW (plays & creates DVDs & CD's... I didn't really think I needed Blue Ray capability at this point), it has an "Integrated Intell Graphics Medial Accelerator 3100, and it has a 19 in 1 Media Card reader (so I can put the card right in from the computer rather than run it through a cable, if that's what I want to do). I think I'll be happy with it. I also bought a battery back-up for the desktop. I used to have one when I lived up in Alaska (where power outages were fairly frequent).

So... after watching "Extreme Home Makeover" and almost falling asleep in my chair, I finally got up and went to my spare room/office & spent a half hour or so sorting through cables. I'm not sure I have my speakers in the right plug-in yet, but at least I got the computer & battery back-up hooked up and they seem to be working (I'm typing this on my laptop). Right now I'm copying the stuff off my old Vaio (via my external hard-drive), so that takes awhile. I had a LOT on it. Hopefully I won't be up too late, it's already past my bedtime... it's almost 10:30 (I'm watching the last of the 10pm news). Which reminds me... I need to go put my leftovers from dinner into some containers and put them in the refrigerator. I got a Lasagna dinner thing from "Sam's Club"... it was good. (One that would serve 1-2 people will serve me for 4 meals... I'm thinking they will make a good lunch option for the rest of the week... or at least 3 days this week).

Speaking of "this week"... I need to make a decision whether to stay in my current position or change positions.

One thing that will need to happen before I even consider staying, is that I want it in writing what my pay increase will be, before the end of this week. I want to know if the raise is to my base pay, or if it is after the Cost of Living adjustment. I also want it in writing that this isn't a one-time thing. And, I've never heard anything back on the student loan repayment thing I asked about when I was first offered the other job.

It's a tough decision... even with the pay raise promised. For one thing... I'm not feeling very trusting of my leaders (who supposedly had tried to do something like this before we converted and told us a day & 1/2 before that they weren't able to do it... too late at that time for us to find another position before converting). I guess I worry about that happening again.
Another thing... I've accepted a position (I haven't done the paperwork yet though) and I don't want to burn that bridge (with the other company).

Pros for going: 1) I expand my professional abilities. 2) I know what my pay will be. 3) I have heard good things from several sources about the new supervisor, everyone seems to like him, 4) I would get a free trip to San Antonio & get to see my friend Susanne, 5) I think the workload would be easier (heck... they get to go to lunch at 11:30, and it sounds like they go back to work at 1)... I'm lucky if I get a half-hour for lunch, because I'm busy making calls or doing paperwork.

Pros for staying 1) I don't have to move all my crap from my office (I'm getting tired of moving). 2) I remain Civil Service, which leads me to my ultimate goal of being able to go overseas on assignments, which I would like to do at least once. 3) I know my job duties. 4) I get a little more time off than I would in the other position. 5) I'll get to keep my old clients that I've come to enjoy working with.

Cons for going: 1) Domestic Violence hasn't been the area that I thought I would ever work in. 2) I have to move all my crap (I have a LOT of books). 3) I'll have to get used to a new set of co-workers (but at least I do know my former classmate that is over there). 4) I feel like I'll be dealing with less-desireable people... those that beat their spouses & their children. 5) I'll probably go through bouts of insecurity about my abilities for awhile.

Cons for staying: 1) Lack of trust in leadership. 2) No rest for the wicked. 3) Frustration that it feels like we only have time to do the band-aid approach for care, because we are lucky if we can see clients once a month. 4) I may burn my bridges with the company I am being hired by, and they are one of the main contract providers for jobs in my field in the area I work in.

So... there are a lot of pros & cons. What do you think? (Any constructive advice would be appreciated).

On another note, I talked with my friend Bette today, she checked into seeing if we could stay at the "Grand Hotel" while we were on Mackinac Island, but it was completely booked. I did a google search, and apparently they hold a Women's Retreat (with Tony Compolo as the main speaker) each year in October and it just happens to coincide with our time there. The 'Win-Some Women's" retreats are about 6 times a year at the Grand Hotel and have something like 6000 participants (I hope all 6000 aren't going to be there when WE are planning to be there! Otherwise Walt's going to be having his head swimming with all of those women on the island!).

Okay... past time for bed... I need to go check on my desktop & probably shut it down & look at it tomorrow. (Monday nights there really isn't anything on TV that I like to watch... so that works out).

Aloha!
- Kris

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ugh!

So... UH lost tonight to San Jose State... 20-17. And there was really no reason for it... we lost it on penalties & turn-overs! GRRRR! On a bright side... Tom (was Janis' fiance) went with me to the game, it was nice to have company. He's so much like a brother to me... I miss him when I don't see him very often. I love him & his brother Dan, they are both great guys.

Other than that (my favorite phrase), they called me about my desktop today, the motherboard is fried and to replace that and the processor would be $400-500 and they suggested I just buy a new desktop computer. They did say that if I had an external hard-drive, that they could save the stuff off of my hard-drive, so I ran my external hard-drive up, I'll go pick it up tomorrow. I've been kind of looking online to see what my options are... and I'm going to check the sale ads tomorrow. I'm thankful that I have my laptop.

I had a long talk with my friend Bette today, we discussed my upcoming trip to Duluth, MN and the itinerary for while I'm there. It's going to be a busy time. I get there about 4:30 on Saturday, I will be there in Duluth all day Sunday, and then Monday morning we head down towards Hammond, IN and will stay somewhere down in that area. Tuesday we head on over to the Ann Arbor, MI area. There's a "snowbird" couple over in the area, they are friends of Nikki & Guy's. Their names are Carl & Mikki. I've met Carl, he was in my group piano class a couple years ago. I was impressed that at over 75 years old or so, he would sign up for piano lessons. We found out over the course of the class, that we had mutual friends (Guy & Nikki). Carl is a WWII vet & former POW. An interesting person. Anyway... I called them today to see if they were going to be home that Tuesday, I'd like to see them and then finally meet Mikki. They used to have a Bed & Breakfast, their daughter took it over. It's in an old Flour Mill that was owned by Henry Ford (of Ford Motor Co). I guess Carl also did a stint working on the railroad & Mikki's Dad also spent a lifetime on the railroad, so I suppose they will have a lot in common with Walt. So... it would be good for them to meet. I don't think Walt & Bette have ever met them, even though they are mutual friends with Guy & Nikki.

Anyway... after spending Tuesday night in the Ann Arbor area (and Mikki & Carl did invite us to stay with them if we'd like)... we head up to Mackinac Island (pronounced Mackinaw Island). I'd never really heard of it before until Goldie mentioned it last night, so I spent this morning doing some research on it. Anyway... I've gone ahead and made reservations for us on the ferry to Mackinac Island & for a night at the Harborview Inn. I think we will make it there in enough time to take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the island (there are NO motorized vehicles on the island). We'll spend Wednesday night there, then we have a full day of travel the next day back to Duluth, up across the Northern part of Michigan. I'll spend Thursday night in Duluth, and then I have an early departure the next morning to come back here to Hawaii.

So... a busy trip (Just the kind I like!). And I'll still have time off that weekend to recuperate before I start my new job (or stay in my current position).

Okay... time to sign off. Tomorrow's a busy day. I am singing in a small choir at church tomorrow and then heading over to Michelle's place (former neighbor). Not sure if we're going to the beach or what we will be doing.

So... Aloha for another day...

- Kris

Another late night


Well... it's almost 1 am and I'm still up. Although I took a couple over-the-counter sleep pills... so I may not last too much longer.

Work was busy (as usual)... It's my day to have an hour off to do paperwork & I still saw 7 clients and made several phone calls (work-related). My first client learned an expensive lesson... spent $1600 at a Strip joint last weekend, then had the audacity to blame it on a counseling service that refused to talk with him after finding out he was already involved in a clinic. (If they had only talked to me, this wouldn't have happened). Nothing like a little externalizing there! Not sure that I got through to him that he made the choices all on his own... and then made suggestions to deal with his impulsivity. I had another client that terminated her 3rd pregnancy (it would have been the 3rd child each with different fathers). That's just a sample. I spent quite a bit of time talking with our medical providers today dealing with issues, some that I was dealing with, some others were dealing with. Oh yea... and then there's the client that thinks there will be a major catastrophe on earth on October 16, so he's labeled delusional (I guess we'll know by the the 17th or so, right?).
After work I met Goldie at the movie theater & she watched "Nights in Rodanthe" with me. I thought it was a good movie... although I have to say, it reminded me of "Bridges of Madison County." I got home about 10, because I stopped at Wally World on my way home.
My supervisor has tentatively offered a litle over 10 thousand (extra annually) if I were to stay (but it isn't finalized). I suppose I could still take my week off (I wouldn't be scheduled for any clients)... but I haven't decided... it isn't in writing...
Okay... I'm going to sign off. Oh yea... the movie... I thought it was pretty good.

Aloha!
- Kris
P.S. Tomorrow I've got to take my bike into the shop & then tomorrow night is a home game. Tom (Janis' ex (?) fiance) called me tonight, I hadn't talked to him in a few weeks... I asked him what he was doing tomorrow... he may go with me to the football game. I hope so... otherwise I have to "peddle" my ticket.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Argh!



First... a couple turtle pics...


Then... today... at work, things went fine... I finally had some no-shows and so it wasn't quite so rushed, although I did have to admit my first client of the day to the hospital (which takes awhile to do all the paperwork). At lunch they had a good-bye potluck for all of us leaving (I think there are 5 of us leaving for various reasons), although when my boss found out I'm not leaving until the 10th... he jokingly said something about having more time to sabotage my ability to go to my new job. I did tell one of my supervisors that I'd stay if I could convert back to a contract employee... but that doesn't sound like an option. Oh well. AND... I was ready to get out of work relatively on time, but started talking to my co-worker Dianne... she's leaving on Emergency leave Saturday to fly down to Texas, her son & his wife are getting ready to deliver twins, and they are having to take the babies early because one is getting 80% of the nutrition, while the other is only getting 20%, so right now they estimate one to be about 5 pounds and the other to be 3 pounds, I think she is about 34 weeks along. Dianne is a nurse by training, so she knows the complications that can develop and wants to be there (of course). Anyway... we ended up talking for about an hour. BUT... I *did* go exercise... I did 30 minutes on the treadmill. Then I came home & promptly planted my rear in my rocker/recliner to watch "The Survivor" show, I didn't know it was starting back up. It's traditionally been one of my favorite shows to watch.


The "Argh" came in, because I went online to try and make reservations tonight to fly to Duluth, MN (I at least have my leave slip now... but I haven't gotten it filled out yet). Anyway... I found a fairly good price, leaving here on Friday night the 10th, and getting there the next afternoon about 4:15pm, and then I leave there about 7am on the 17th and get back to Hawaii a little after 8pm. So... a couple VERY long days of flying... but nothing I haven't done before and at least I'm giving myself a couple days off (the weekend) to recover when I get back. Anyway... I kept trying to make the reservations and kept running into snags. After a couple hours of fighting it... I called Customer service... they wanted to charge me $20 to make my reservations through them, even though I couldn't do it online... it kept giving me errors. That lady finally put me through to the online computer people & after much going back and forth (and looking at my online bank statement)... we/I finally figured out that when the bank changed my address, they didn't change the city & state. So... because they verify that information when you book your ticket... it wouldn't verify. SO... after I *did* make the reservations... I called my bank customer service (and yea! I got to talk to a live person... even at 10:30 at night) and she went (after all the security questions...) and she got my address changed so it is reflected correctly everywhere.
Whew! What a hassle. But at least it's done. Now... its another late night... it's after 11... but I've *got* to do my blog (Bette would shoot me! *smiles*).
One other thing... I got an email from my friends Jim & KayKay... (It was actually from Kaykay), her mom passed away last Saturday night & they buried her on Monday. KayKay got to be there with her mom while she passed on. She said she took comfort in a conversation she & I had about when my dad passed away (many years ago now)... It may sound silly... but I sang to him, I prayed out loud over him, I gave him permission to die, (my mom didn't want him to die because she didn't think she could live without his retirement income and he'd been in a coma for almost 6 weeks at that time), so I gave him permission & told him that we would take care of Mom and I told him if he saw a white light... to go towards the light... things like that. My guess is that KayKay gave her mom permission to die, to let go and that she also prayed over her mom & said she would help take care of her dad.
Anyway... please say a prayer for KayKay, I know this time isn't easy for her. Thanks.
Okay... time for me to sign off and think about going to bed.
Aloha!
- Kris

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Come walk with me...





Come walk with me... these pictures are from the Akaka Falls area over on the Big Island, when I was over there a couple weeks ago... I thought I would post them today on my blog... it's a beautiful area!
So... how was YOUR day? Mine was VERY busy, how many work hours are there in a day? 8, right? Well... I met with 8 clients today & then had to do all the documentation on all of them... and yet, somehow I managed to get out of there almost on time (has something to do with only taking about 20 minutes for lunch). I was the only therapist there again today. I thought my one co-worker would be back from her Emergency Leave today... but alas... she wasn't.
I think I'm afraid that the next couple weeks are going to FLY by! I've only got a couple weeks left in my current position. I'm a *little* nervous... there's a lot I want to accomplish during that time... I need to talk with my supervisor to allot me some hours to get some stuff done (with charts), so I'm not leaving things undone. I *really* don't want to work a bunch of hours overtime, on my own time (I do enough of that already... I'm always the last one out!).
Other than that... I *did* make it to the gym and did a 1/2 hour on the exercise bike... I had tried to increase the resistance... I did do that okay... but then I couldn't get it to go back down & instead it just kept increasing. Yikes. But... I made it through. Then I came home & became a couch potato... watching the news... wheel of fortune, some "reality" TV, and then "America's Got Talent." Now the evening news is on, which means bedtime is right around the corner.
I probably should have done some baking tonight... we're having a potluck tomorrow... but I've been feeling lazy tonight. I have been staying up til about 11 each night, and I'm feeling the shortened sleep hours.
One piece of good news (for me tonight), was that I thought I had accidentally thrown away a ring that has a lot of meaning to me, on Sunday. When I finished up at Hanauma Bay, there was a lot of sand in my bag... so I thought I would empty out my bag (which has pockets). I basically took everything out and then turned it inside out. I had forgotten that I had taken off my ring the day before when I was going to swim with the dolphins, the ring was a Black Hills Gold ring that I got when I graduated with my Associate degree back in 1982. I remember something falling out of my bag that seemed a little heavier than just paper, and tried to look into the garbage can to see if I could tell what it was, but didn't see anything special. Then Monday, I had a pit in my stomach... oh shoot... I had taken my ring off & put it in the bag (something I wouldn't normally ever do). I finally looked in the bag tonight, and was relieved to find it zipped away in one of the pockets. Whew. I feel very fortunate (and happy!).
Let's see... anything else? I'm looking into possibly going up to Duluth, MN in October for those days off that I am hoping to take. I can't make the reservations until I've confirmed I am able to take those days off without penalty. But... I've been SO busy... I haven't even had time to take 10 minutes to talk with my supervisor about it.
Okay... time to sign off... see you tomorrow (which is my youngest granddaughter's 6th birthday!).
Aloha!
- Kris

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More on swimming with dolphins...

Aloha!

Hopefully you have had the opportunity to watch the edited video above, I found a free converter program which allowed me to convert the video from DVD, to something I could upload here... however... because it was free... it didn't let me upload the whole thing (because they want you to BUY the program). Anyway... the first part shows me when I got my dolphin ride... holding onto their dorsal fins, and towards the end, you should be able to see me when I get my toe push ride (where I fly across the water like Superman *smiles*). You'll see the others who were there with me, my nephew Kevin, his wife Michelle & son Riley, and then there were two young teenagers, I believe they were hispanic... nice kids!

Work was hectic today. I did take in the cookies, they didn't all get eaten, so I left them in my Tupperware container in the kitchen. I'm sure they will get eaten tomorrow. I saw 5 clients before noon (whew!)... and then had to prep for my group over lunch, group was at 1, and I had four participants. I did have a "free" hour at 2 and got about half my paperwork done during that hour, had another client at 3 and didn't get out of work until 5:30 (an hour late). I was going to head to the gym, but instead had a long phone call with my middle daughter... I hadn't talked to her for a few days, so it was nice to catch up with her (or for her to catch up with me! *smiles*).

Anyway... haven't done much since getting home... I spent most of the time trying to figure out how to convert the DVD (or figuring out what a .vob extension was) to a format that I could upload to my blog. While messing on the computer, I also watched "Wheel of Fortune" and then "Biggest Loser" - a couple of my favorite shows. The evening has whizzed past and now it's after 9 & I'm catching up on local news.

Oh yea... and since my desktop went belly-up this past weekend, I'm getting my email files set up under outlook. I can go look at each of my email accounts (don't ask... I've got too many email accounts!)... on their respective websites, but I like having most of them in my Outlook, so they can be consolidated there.

Okay... time to sign off... I'm still having a problem with my gmail... getting that to load into my Outlook, so will try to fix that yet before I go to bed.

Aloha!

- Kris

Monday, September 22, 2008

more dolphin pics

The dolphin cradle
Kissing the Wolphin... oh what a surprise! *smiles*

Awww... the wolphin loves me too!
So... I know I posted one pic the other day of me being pulled along in the water by a dolphin and the wolphin (wolphin is part false killer whale & part dolphin, as far as I know, the only one(s) in existence is at Sea Life Park here in Hawaii), so thought I'd post the other three today. Now... just so you know... I took pictures of the original pictures with my cellphone... so if there's a little glare, that's why.
Tonight my nephew, his wife & step-son left to fly back to Washington. They didn't make it out to my apartment for dinner (darn it)... they were running short on time, and I understand - the priority was for Riley to spend as much time with HIS dad as possible. So... I went into the airport to meet them (and to pick up my boogie boards & GPS stuff from them). I picked them up & took them over to the Navy Exchange, figured that was as easy of a place to get a bite to eat as any place. I gave them a quick tour of the exchange & after eating, I dropped them off about 15-20 minutes before their flight was due to start boarding (they had already checked in). It was good to see them again, even if it was just to say good-bye. I think they've been bitten by the Island bug... so hopefully they will be back (they sure WANT to come back!).
Other than that... work was crazy busy, we had one of the interns there today, but otherwise I was the only therapist on duty today. I had a no-show for my 1pm appointment, which was nice, because that allowed me to finish getting all my morning documentation done (I had an "intake" this morning which requires additional documenting). Three of my clients I saw today will be leaving the island next month, so at some point, I'll need to close out their charts. It's nice, because I'm not having to say good-bye to them because *I'm* leaving. Another client is in the process of transitioning to other providers, so he will be in good hands.
While at the airport tonight I managed to get my oldest granddaughter's birthday present off in the mail to her. She'll be 11 on the 30th. (Wow!). My youngest granddaughter turns 6 on the 25th, she got her birthday card today.
I got a nice letter in the mail today... it's from my "telephone mom." *smiles* It's a long story, but she's been a dear friend since I was about 12 years old, a surrogate mother of sorts. Her health has been failing and she had to transition to a skilled care home... I don't know if she'll ever get to go back home or not. Anyway... I had sent her flowers, so it was a thank-you note. I'm hoping to write out a short note... or see if I have an appropriate card to send her... I feel the need to let her know how much I love her and how thankful I am for her part in my life. I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again... she is a big part of the reason I am who I am today and that I'm a Social Worker.
Okay... time to sign off... it's almost 11pm. After I got home from dropping my nephew & his family off at the airport, I had to bake some cookies (I made oatmeal walnut cookies), so I can take them in for my group tomorrow. (I have the Depression class tomorrow).
Aloha!
- Kris



Sunday, September 21, 2008

Snorkeling today at H Bay

This is a little hard to see... the little lime green guy (a flat fish... not sure what it is), kept being very evasive... this is the closest I came to taking a picture of it.
Got an "okay" picture of a trumpet fish...

Nice shot of a turtle, eh?

Going up for air...
Swimming along...

And now a video of a turtle swimming along...
SO... yes... I *did* make it to Hanauma Bay and hung out there with my nephew & his family. It has been good to see them.
Other than that... I talked with my friends Guy & Nikki. Today has been Guy's birthday. I guess he almost didn't make it to his birthday. He had to get some labs the other day and on the 3rd vial, I guess it was more than he could cope with... and he passed out. However... he didn't just PASS out... they couldn't find a pulse (guess the needle literally scared him to death! *awww*), but then got a pulse, but then he had an irregular heart beat, so he was hospitalized and the end result was told that his heart is just fine. *whew!* On another note... they got my card... they said they knew it was from me by the return address... BUT... I forgot to sign the card! *yikes!* I'll claim that it was a senior moment. I had three cards to send last weekend, I think I got letters written & put into the other two... but forgot to write a note in Guy's card. yeegads.
I also talked with Walt & Bette today. I'm thinking about going to see them during that 10 day break that I'll have between jobs. They live up in Duluth, MN. The only place I've been in MN, is just across the border from Fargo, ND. I'm thinking that if I go up there... I can see them for a couple days, and now it sounds like they may accompany me on a side trip down to Ann Arbor, MI. Why Ann Arbor? Because in order to get there, I'd have to go through Wisconsin. Wisconsin & Michigan are the only two states left that I haven't been to. Guy & Nikki have some good friends over near Ann Arbor, Mikki & Carl Weller. A couple years ago when I was taking my "group" piano lessons, Carl was in my class. He's a WWII vet and had been a POW back then. I've never had the pleasure of meeting Mikki, but I hear she's a wonderful person. So... we might be able to visit with them while we are out there. I won't be able to keep Walt & Bette too far away very long, their daughter Ellen is still very much in recovery from her surgery & all of the complications she had.
I was talking with my oldest daughter this evening & talking about the states that I have been to this year... Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Washington, Georgia, Alabama & Mississippi. That's quite amazing! I may now be adding Minnesota, Wisconsin & Michigan... and who knows... depending on when I have to go for training... I may be adding Texas to the list. I've also been to a couple outer islands... I was on Kauai & the Big Island this year. Wow... this year is going to be hard to top as far as memories go... I've been blessed with a lot of good memories... and the sad memory of my closest friend, Janis, passing away.
I read one time that you should doing something at least once a year that you will remember 10 years from now. What will stand out for me in 10 years? Janis' death & my time on Kauai? Being a part of the taping of Wheel of Fortune? Flying over the Grand Canyon? Standing on the 4 corners? So many things...
Let's see... what else? I'm still very happy about my swim the dolphins & wolphin yesterday... it'll be a memory to cherish for a long time!
Okay... time to sign off... it's 9:30pm and about time for me to head to bed...
Aloha!
- Kris

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Guess what I did today!

I went swimming with the dolphins & the wolphins! It was a blast, this is a picture of me being pulled along by them.

I didn't make it snorkeling, instead we drove around the North Shore so my nephew & family could see it. That's okay... we had fun & even found a small turtle on the beach (Ali'i beach).

I'm going to keep this short as I'm dog tired & falling asleep here in my chair.

Aloha!
- Kris



Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kahuna & Akaka Falls

Hi... come hike with me to look at some falls, this is Akaka Falls, one of my favorite waterfalls. I also love the song (I can't remember who it is sang by... an older Hawaiian woman in a falsetto voice) about Akaka Falls.
Here's Kahuna Falls, located near Akaka Falls, when you get to the parking lot, you can do a circular hike & see both Akaka & Kahuna Falls. Kahuna Falls is 400 feet high.

If you look through the brush... you can see another view of Kahuna Falls

Another smaller waterfall along the trail... these pictures really don't do it justice... the hike is a walk through one of the most beautiful tropical forests.
Here's another view of Akaka Falls. It is 11 miles north of Hilo. Akaka Falls is 442 feet high.
The circle loop hike is less than a half mile... so very doable. I'll be posting some pictures from along the trail in another post.
SO... today was one of those crazy busy days. I had seven clients, including an intake (which takes longer for documentation). In fact, I think three of the clients I saw today were new. This morning I had a psychology intern sit in with me for two of my appointments (she's working on her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology degree). Needless to say... I ended up working late... I stayed an hour & a half late. I'm wondering how that will change in my new position, if it's any better in that regard, although I have to say... I've been doing better in getting out on time (I think). I know that before I leave my position I will need to stay late a few nights to get some work done on the charts (updating treatment plans), so that they are ready to turn over... and I'll need to close out some charts.
Tonight I haven't really done anything... I had taped "The Biggest Loser" show while I was gone to the Big Island, so I finally sat down and watched it tonight. I talked to my nephew tonight and I'm going to meet them at Hanauma Bay tomorrow morning at 9am for some snorkeling. I need to make sure my underwater camera is all charged up & ready to go. *smiles* Tomorrow afternoon they are going to do the dolphin swim, so I *may* just go join them... or I may decide that I will just watch, so that I can be a photographer for them. I'll think about it.
Okay... I suppose I'd better sign off so I'm not up too late & so I'm ready to go in the morning. I already have my beach stuff in my car... I may decide to throw my 2nd boogie board in the car & if we have time, I may talk my nephew into doing some boogie boarding with me at Bellows after the snorkeling & dolphin swim, depending on the weather.
Aloha!
- Kris

Lapakahi State Historical Park






Thought you would enjoy these pictures from the Lapakahi State Historical Park, it is a beautiful place with a lot of history, AND it's educational to visit.
Work went okay today, it was steadily busy. Nothing really to stand out... I had concerns about one client, so let one of my supervisors know about the situation. It's going to be difficult to say good bye to some of my clients over the next few weeks, especially since they won't be able to get in and see anyone for awhile. I *am* looking at having my last actual day at work be the 10th, and then start at my new job on the 20th. I don't know what I'll do with my week off... but I'm looking forward to it.
My nephew, his wife & step-son got here this afternoon. They ran into some problems with their hotel... it took the hotel about an hour to find their reservations. They were all VERY tired too, as they got up about 3am this morning and then weren't able to sleep on the plane (they had a baby behind them). They still needed to eat though... so I took them to one of my favorite places to eat... we went to "Bubba Gumps." (mmmm... good!). We got back to their hotel about 8pm & it was time for me to head home. I talked with my friend Goldie on the way home, I was excited to hear that she might be changing jobs & able to work from her favorite island of Kauai. I hope it works out for her.
Okay... time to sign off.
Aloha!
- Kris

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Water Play...


Come play in the water cave, you can sit here in the hot tub with me!

Or... lets go swim under some waterfalls!

Plenty of room to swim... the pool's not crowded at all... or we can go across the swinging bridge...

Or... you can go down the water slide with me... this is always fun! (and neat to video as you slide! *smiles*)
So... some pictures from playing in the water over at the Waikaloa.
How was your day? My day was a busy one back at work. I was the only therapist there today. One is out on Emergency Leave (her father-in-law passed away), two are busy with another assigned job for a couple weeks. So... it was just me. My day started busy, but I managed to keep up... then the last two appointments were no-shows, which allowed me to talk with one of my supervisors, do some filing, call a couple clients and take care of some emails.
SO... the good news of the day... I *did* get the other job (there wasn't much doubt in my mind), and I will either start October 14th 0r 20th. I may have enough leave time to have my last day be the 10th, and start the new job on the 20th... that'd be kind of neat! (The 13th is Columbus Day, so it's a holiday). I *never* take time off between jobs, so it would be nice to enjoy a week off in between these two jobs. Time will tell.
I came home right after work... I planned to get on my Wii while watching TV, and then duh... I remembered that I can't do both at the same time. LOL. So... after getting home and falling asleep in my recliner for about a half hour, I ended up talking for about 45 minutes on the phone with a friend who is dealing with a BIG decision in their life... I've got to be careful not to give too much advice, because I don't want to suggest someone do something and then have it fall through. Anyway... since then I've been watching "America's got Talent" and surfing on the web.
Other than that... my nephew is coming to Hawaii tomorrow night. He & his wife and young son are coming. They are going to stay down in Waikiki... although I chided my nephew for not staying here with me... maybe next time? I told him I would meet him in town tomorrow night for dinner (so no exercising tomorrow night after work either... today I had forgotten to take my exercise clothes... so that was my excuse... that and being tired all day). Then I will most likely spend Saturday & Sunday showing them around my island. Kevin wants to go snorkeling, so I have to decide between Hanauma Bay & Shark's Cove on the North Shore (it will probably depend on the waves & whether or not we have any jellyfish in (they come in about 10 days after the full moon... so they shouldn't be here yet)). He also wants to swim with the dolphins, so I'll probably take them over to Sea Life Park. I'll let him visit the USS Arizona on their own, although I want to take them over & let them see it from Ford Island. That won't take very long though. I'd also like to have them up for dinner and take them out to my favorite spot to look for turtles. So... I have a VERY BUSY weekend ahead!
Okay... time to sign off...
Aloha!
- Kris
P.S. the photo in yesterday's blog of me with Vanna & Pat... for those who couldn't tell... it was just a cardboard cut-out. Wish it could have been with them in person... but alas... that didn't happen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

V, P & I, and Dolphins playing at Waikaloa

Well... the best I could do for the WOF fortune pictures, was to have my picture taken with Vanna's & Pat's "cut outs" *smiles* Iwill post more [pics] when I am up to it. Right now it's past my bedtime & 'I'm sure will be busy as usual!


I hope you are able to watch this video, its some dolphins playing with each other, I thought it was cute.

Otherwise.. I played in the regular pool for awhile and even went down a slide. Then after I checked out of the hotel, I tried to see if I cold catch a helicopter ride.. but alas... it did't work out. So.. I headed over to towards Hilo. I went the north route on the way over & came back across saddle road... it's slowly getting improved, but surely getting better. I hiked around Akaka Falls while I ws over there. It ws fun.

But...now it 's back to work... back to the grind.

Aloha!

- Kris

P.S... I had to come back and edit this post from last night... I was so tired when I typed it and I had taken my Ambien... so I had a LOT of misspellings... LOL!

Wheel of Fortune taping!

So...
First, I got to the Big Island this morning, arriving about 9am. As I was getting off the plane, the pilots were standing by the door & there was a friend, Bob! (We met through a mutual friend). I hadn't seen him in at least 3 years I think, nice to see he's still flying for Hawaiian... so he gave me a kiss on the cheek (Hawaiian way of greeting, it's very common here) and asked me what I was doing over here... *smiles* So... it was a nice way to start off my Big Island mini vacation!

Then I drove up around the NW side of the island, the only part I haven't been to (the one time I came over with my former co-worker Marie & we were headed up that way, there was a big fire, so we couldn't go around that side). The photo below was taken when I stopped at the Lapakahi State Historical Park and took a little 1 mile hike around the area (I was on a designated path, there's a lot of history & spirituality in this place).

So... below are views from my room. (I took these photos with my phone... I forgot my camera cable!). Anyway... I have a partial ocean view & I am right above where the dolphins are!


Looking towards the Lagoon area....
I tried to lighten this photo up, but there are a couple dolphins swimmng in it. I took this from my balcony... I enjoyed about a half hour of watching the dolphins frolic & mesmerize me *smile*. I saw at least 5 dolphins at one time in this pool... although it appears they are free to swim among the various pool area (including the larger area in the picture with the ocean view).

Another shot towards the Lagoon... you can kayak in the lagoon if you want. This is a HUGE property. On my way over to the Ocean Tower area where the taping was, I took a gondelier (sp) ride (boat ride), then on the way back, I took the tram.
I'm sorry to say I was NOT able to take any pictures at the taping... although I could kick myself... because other people were there with THEIR cameras & their phones (I could have snuck my phone in at least & taken a picture or two between sets). I was hoping that they would let you have your picture taken with the "Wheel of Fortune in Hawaii 2008" on the board... there were some select (elite?) people who got to... but not me... darn it! I did get a "Wheel of Fortune" tote bag & a WOF commemorative tee shirt (WOF in Hawaii 2008).
I *did* get an awesome seat! I met a couple women, Trisha & her mom Pat from Oahu when I first got to the tent where we had to wait. Pat was using a walker & she can't go up & down stairs. So... handicap people got to be seated first. SO... when they asked if I was with Pat & Trisha, we said sure! So... I got to go ahead of everyone else and sit in like the 3rd row! WOW! It was nice talking with Trisha (her mom isn't all there... maybe has the beginning stages of Alzheimers?). Trisha was on the WOF show back in June of 1986, so it was neat hearing how it was from a contestant's point of view. It sounds like she did pretty well for herself, she won something like $8,000 & a couple trips, including one to the Carribean. We had about 2 hours to talk before the taping. Trish & her mom only stayed for the 1st taping (3 shows). By then, I had gotten to know a couple women sitting next to me... one of them reminded me so much of Auntie Carol that I used to work with. Her name was Joanne & she lives here on the Big Island on the Hilo side, she was with her friend (or sister?) Billy. Both were wonderful (Hawaiian) women. We were laughing in stitches between sessions. Oh yea, and I met a guy named Alan & his wife, during the first taping. Alan had been golfing this morning with the guy who coordinated everything on the set (John) and got invited to the taping. Alan is semi-retired, but flies, he learned how to fly in the Navy (wow... kudos to him!). And there was a couple from Huntington Beach, CA (Alan & his wife are from Newport Beach, CA). The couple from Huntington were nice as well... she's a nurse at Fountain Valley Memorial Hospital where I had my surgery back in Dec 2001.
Anyway... those were just SOME of the people I met. And then of course... there was Pat & Vanna. Both were very personable & would occasionally come out & greet the audience. No... I don't think Pat wears a girdle as I had once heard, and he was born in 1946 (so not as old as someone had told me). Joanne told me I should audition for the show, she was amazed at how quickly I solved the puzzles (I did put my name in (email) to be a contestant, but never got a call back). Instead of trying to whisper the answers, I would jot them down on a scrap piece of paper I had! *smiles* The tapings are going to be aired November 5th (day after the General Elections) and will go for 3 weeks. Then they are doing another segment that will air for a week in February. I guess they can use any of the audience shots for any of the shows (once they do their editing bit). I was wearing a lime green (and black) aloha shirt. And I saw myself on the big screen several times... so we'll see what that translates to (he also did a close up shot of me once or twice). You can bet I'll be taping them when they show up! *smiles*
This picture doesn't do my room justice... I have a KING size bed... and there's a stuffed dolphin on the bed (that I can take home for an extra $15... but I may just do that). And... my bed is calling me... so I think I'll sign off & hit the hay. I got back to my room and have been snacking & having a soda... because I haven't had anything substantial to eat since lunchtime (and even that was just Mc Donald's!). I didn't want to lose my good spot (seating) between the tapings, so I thought I'd best just stay where I was. *smiles* But... at least I got to blog tonight!
So... Aloha & good night!
- Kris

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Long day...

So... after getting up & watching Skye preach on his 9am live webcast, I got dressed & headed into town to where I used to go to church (Central Union). My friend Karen called me last week & asked me to come. So... I did. It was great to see old friends & meet new friends.

My friend Karen & I.
Here I am with Karen, a couple of her friends, and Dean, the current pastor.

Dean & I. I was on the welcoming committee the very first Sunday that Dean set foot in the church, and then I was there to support him when he became a member... he's come a long way since then, he's now on the Pastoral staff. Dean is awesome & I love him like a brother. After our various picture takings... I stayed & sang with them as they practiced "Oh Happy Day." I guess they are going to sing it at the 11:30am church service in 2 weeks... guess I've got to go back for the "choir" now. I'm singing the alto part... and as long as I'm singing with someone stronger, I do okay... I tend to like to sing melody.

I didn't get out of church until about 2, then headed over to Michele's... I picked her & Kaleo up & we went bowling and then did some shopping. Our last stop of the day was a new place called "Yogurtland." They have a bunch of different yogurt flavors & about 30 toppings. They sell it by the ounce. They had a lot of good flavors, although I primarily had vanilla & chocolate, I also had some peanut butter (Michele insisted I try it). I also sampled the mango & taro. The Taro was surprisingly good.
Okay... so... I'm home and I've got a lot yet to do tonight and I don't want to stay up too late, because tomorrow is going to come early. I've got to meet up with one of my supervisors & give her the on-call stuff to take into the office for me, I've got to be at the airport not later than 7am or so. (yikes... and battle rush-hour traffic to get there!
I probably won't be posting tomorrow as I don't think they have wireless connection at the airport. As I think I've mentioned before... I won't be able to take any pictures at the Wheel of Fortune taping. If I don't get to post tomorrow night... don't worry about me... I'll post on Tuesday night!
Aloha!
- Kris

P.S. Ooops... I forgot I had put this picture in. I took it on the way home & it doesn't do it justice, but the sun was bright red. We've had a LOT of vog today... so bad that I couldn't see the Waianae mountains from town & couldn't see Diamond Head from my apartment.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

UH needed to be rescued today!

Wow... the football game was horrible today. UH lost 45-7 against Oregon, it was painful to watch... but I'm still a loyal supporer of the team.

I got my motorcycle serviced today, but need to take it back in because the timing is off. When I idle, it wants to stall. I called the dealership & I'm going to take it back in next weekend.

Tonight I went & saw two highly recommended movies. The first on was "Man on Wire." It's a documentary about a French guy who comes over to the US & manages to sneak up on the World Trade towers (with cohorts) and rig a tightrope across (unbeknownst to security) between the two towers. Then, with daylight, he walks across (unprotected). It was a pretty good movie, a little slow at times. I couldn't help but think that my oldest daughter would like it because there's a lot of French (with sub-titles) in the movie. The other movie I saw was "Frozen River." THAT was a good movie! It's about two women who make up an unlikely pair to transport illegal aliens across the border. I'd recommend watching it, if you can find it playing. With all of our theaters here, it was only showing at 1 theater. It may be an "independent" picture. SO... the better part of my day was spent in front of one screen (tv) or another (theater). I *did* get my bike serviced & got the safety check done on that, and I got my laundry done. Tomorrow I'm planning to head into town to go to church where I used to go. My friend Dean is now the main preacher for that service & I haven't seen him for awhile. My friend Karen called me last week & asked me to come to the service, I'm looking forward to seeing her tomorrow.

I still need to pack for my trip to the Big Island (I fly over early Monday morning). I pretty much know what I'm going to take/wear and I still have my suitcase & carry-on in my spare room. I'm hoping to just go with a carry-on, although there's a part of me considering whether to take my snorkeling gear (if so, I can't get away with taking just the carry-on). BTW... I *can't* take any cameras or even my cell phone to the Wheel of Fortune taping. (Darn it). I *am* looking forward to having a behind the scene viewpoint... and I'm looking forward to seeing Pat & Vanna (I hear that Pat wears a girdle...hmmm???).

Okay... time to sign off... I don't want to be up as late tonight as I was last night. (So, probably no more playing with my Wii tonight).

Aloha!
- Kris

Friday, September 12, 2008

oops!

So... I'm actually writing this at 1am on Friday night/Saturday morning. I've stayed up WAY too late. I did something tonight that I hope I don't regret. I spent WAY too much money (so what else is new?). I've joined 2 out of 3 of my daughters and bought a Wii. I also got the Wii Fit and I got another program that is called Outdoor Challenge (I think that's what it is called). So... I spent the rest of my night getting my Wii hooked up & trying out some of the various games. I do pretty good at bowling, I'm horrible at tennis, my baseball isn't good either. I did good on boxing though! *smiles* I only did like 1 game on each sport (I didn't do the golf or any other one that may have been up there). I created my little screen character who is supposed to look like me and I got my Wii Fit hooked up, but after doing the balancing on it and getting my initial weigh-in, I decided that was all I was up to for tonight. (I did start trying the breathing technique thing, but that's where I gave up). But... I've spent the better part of the night trying to get it to work with my TV... and trying to follow instructions to hook everything up.

So... hope I don't regret shelling out the $$ to buy everything tonight. I also bought a spice rack. I didn't have one.

Other than that... work was busy. I saw 7 clients today, with the majority being walk-ins. I did manage to get out of work by 3 & head down for my interview. I thought it went okay, although as I said before, it was a formality. I'm glad I've finally had a chance to meet her (the head Social Worker).

Okay... I'm going to sign off. Morning will be here soon and I've got to get up & take my motorcycle down to have it serviced 1st thing in the morning and then I've put it out to a listserv that I am on (Meet In), that if anyone is interested in coming over to watch the UH game tomorrow, they are more than welcome. I didn't set it up as an official event though... so I'm not sure if anyone will read the online note & come on over.

BTW... they have a 289 foot sailing yacht in at the Harbor. I think it's called the Maltese Falcon, it's over 100 million in cost. Wow. It must be neat to see it with it's sails open. I guess it is here until Monday... I'll try to get down to take some pictures this weekend.

Okay...

Aloha!
- Kris