Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Tsunami Tee Shirt...

So... I was horsing around tonight on the computer and came up with the design above for a Tsunami tee shirt. Not too bad. What you can't see, on the upper right hand shoulder (left side of the pics) is an outline of the Hawaiian islands. I couldn't figure out how to color it in black (because the copy was in gray).

I liked this design better than the one that Crazy Shirts came up with.

Other than that... today I went in and picked up Bette & Walt, Guy & Nikki (mainly because Bette didn't think she could walk very far). Bob & Barb took the bus out. So, I had a houseful, but had a good time. We watched some of the Olympics (the ending of it).

For appetizer we had Wheat thins with cream cheese, crab & chive spread. For dinner we had barbequed hamburgers & hotdogs, baked beans & chips. For desert we had "Chocolate Delight" (mmmm, good!).

I took them back into town about 6pm, and tonight I've been trying to create my OWN version of a "Tsunami Survival" teeshirt. I also watched "The Amazing Race" and "Undercover Boss."

Now it's just after 9pm, I'm watching the news and will be taking the pups out for a walk shortly before heading to bed.

Aloha!
- Kris

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tsunami or no Tsunami...

So... this was the view from my apartment this afternoon. I got to spend most of my day safe & secure in my apartment after being awaken at 6am by the air raid sirens. (that was a weird experience). I knew of the earthquake and tsunami alert last night. But, it was a shock to be awaken by the sirens. Then it seemed more real, like there could be more damage.

One of the first things I did, was to call my snowbird friends to make sure they would be safe and to invite them up to stay with me if they needed to evacuate. As it turned out, they stayed put and did just fine. I think they said that it only hit .6 of a foot here in the Barber's Point (closest to where I live).

After checking on my snowbird friends, I headed down to Walmart. I think I was more worried that any damage would knock out the power to the state (doesn't take much here to do that!) and if previous experience is an example, then it would be awhile before the power could come back on. Fortunately, the Tsunami was a false alarm (or at least no way neared what was feared) and we didn't lose power. But... I did spend about $100 on supplies "just in case." (Anyone want to have a "Cup of Noodle" soup party?). I *really* didn't need to go down, but one of the things I *didn't* have... was cash on hand, so I figured I'd get some cash out while I was there.

So... how prepared was I? I had plenty of water (I filled up all my jugs and I have 6-7 of them, along with three large pitchers that I keep in the fridge). I have flashlights, transistor radios, a grill with 3 propane bottles (when my neighbors next door moved out they gave me theirs). I have PLENTY of food (comes from being a child in a large family... my mom had 10 kids... it has the same effect of growing up in the Depression era I think). I had plenty of Dog food (enough to last a month, I think), hmmm... what else? My car was 3/4's full of gas, so no worries there... and I have my motorcycle if needed to skirt around traffic congestion *smiles*). Now I am even MORE prepared, for whatever may come next. (hopefully not anytime soon, this past week has had more excitement/tension than I care to have for quite awhile). Speaking of this week though, I earned 8 hours of comp time... that's ONE more day of leave that I will be able to use in May when I go on my vacation.

Anyway... I did manage to bake some home-made banana bread while being glued to the TV all day. I have a HUGE flat screen TV (50"), so it was almost as good as "being there." It was probably better, because had I been down by the beach to watch, I would have just seen that area, whereas the TV cameras were panning several areas and had a webcam fixed on Hilo Harbor that gave the best evidence that the Tsunami even came.

It *was* weird to go down to Walmart before the sun came out, to find the upper parking lot turned into a camp grounds for those who live in the low lying areas. Well.. there was 1-2 tents set up (the pop-up type) and the parking lot was almost completely full, with kids running around and people hanging out in the back of their trucks with their pets. There were a bunch of Tsunami parties that crept up in the higher places that people evacuated to. I think the biggest lesson from THIS natural disaster was the lack of evacuation plans. People on the leeward side (out the Waianae way) drove in towards town (there is only *ONE* road in and out of the western side there) early, before dawn and headed up to the hills. Apparently Makakilo (above Kapolei) became a huge parking lot (I'm sure those who lived up there weren't prepared for that, or expecting it!) and there were problems with people being up in that area without adequate sewage services (i.e. public toilets, running water). So, there *are* take-away warnings and we all can be thankful that we were once more spared from anything significant.

Apparently there will still be some wave action over several days as the area near Chile continues to have aftershocks (I think this afternoon they said they had 56 aftershocks). Those aftershocks can still apparently cause some wave action.

Other than that... I need to get my apartment cleaned up (I don't know how I can be so messy!) because my snowbird friends ARE going to come up tomorrow for lunch/dinner. I am going to straighten up tonight and then tomorrow I plan to get up early to make "Chocolate Delight" for desert before I go in to pick up Bette & Walt (and Guy & Nikki?). We are going to barbeque hamburgers & hotdogs (only two weeks late!). It'll be good to have them up here again... Nikki & I will have to help Bette hobble up the steps. *smiles* This will be the last time Barb & Bob can come before they head back to MN on Thursday. I *would* like to see them again before they leave.

Okay... time to sign off.

Aloha!
- Kris

Friday, February 26, 2010

Yea! Another Friday is finished!


This is where I will be on May 16th. Dubrovnik, Croatia. Looks beautiful, huh! I'm SO looking forward to it! Tonight I've been looking at cruise stuff (I had to make the last payment on my cruise this week).
Work was quiet and slow this morning, but made up for it this afternoon. I ended up leaving work just before 6am.
My head cold is still bothering me a lot. This afternoon/evening it has given me a headache. Tylenol doesn't seem to help. Oh well. Maybe with some rest this weekend it will get better.
I just found out there was a big earthquake off the coast of Chile that has put the PACIFIC on Tsunami alert, someone posted that we could possibly see something around 11am to noon. I don't suppose it will be much (and it wouldn't affect me where I live... only if I decided to go to the beach). Someone on the same posting said that people may want to stay out of the ocean at that time due to a possible strong current. I'm sure we (Hawaii) will find out more as the time passes. I am thankful that where I live, if there were a Tsunami in the middle of the night, I wouldn't be affected (I don't need to worry about having a Tsunami wash over where I live).
Okay... time to take the dogs for the night walk before watching the 10pm news and going to bed.
Aloha!
- Kris

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Feeling better...

I'm feeling better, at least 50% better... I'll continue to improve, at least the worst of this cold seems to be over.

Work went okay today, thankfully I had a couple no-shows, so I had a couple breaks and only worked 1 hour over.

Another short post...

Aloha!
- Kris

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dragon head...

This is a photo I took last year of the head of a dragon boat. *smiles* they are quite elaborately painted/decorated.

So... work. I had one of my clients call & say he couldn't make it first thing this morning. That's good, it helped me kind of focus on some other things to prepare for the day. That and my head feels like a bowling ball with this head cold I've got!

The rest of the day was steadily busy. I think I saw 7 clients today and I have 8 scheduled for tomorrow. Then this afternoon I got a letter from a doc questioning why I had given one of my clients a specific diagnosis. (As if I am not qualified to do so... but I *am* qualified! I usually don't give some random diagnosis without justification or if they have already been given that diagnosis. This person had spent some time in a psych hospital so I looked at their inpatient record and sure enough, they had put the same diagnosis on the discharge paperwork!

So much for getting things done. About 5 one of the supervisors stopped by, and my co-worker has to go in front of the whole group and the head boss tomorrow, Yikes!

okay time to sign off.

Aloha!

kris

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

ugh...

I feel miserable. I started coming down with a cold a couple days ago and I am feeling VERY miserable. I felt like I coughed all night last night and slept really bad. I've been coughing a lot today and my head feels like it is all plugged up.

Work went okay today, we've still be dealing with an issue that happened yesterday (one of those things where... this too shall pass.).

Okay... I'm going to keep this short.

Aloha!
- Kris

Monday, February 22, 2010

Long 12 hour day


So... say a prayer for my co-workers & those we work with. We got some sad news (that I can't go into here), this morning, so today has been a LONG day. I didn't leave work until 8pm. And it doesn't help that my supervisor is at a workshop in Miami (believe me, I think she is wishing she were here!).
Not a whole lot else to write about tonight. I need to take my pups out for a walk and hopefully e in bed by 10pm.
Aloha!
- Kris

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Darn, the weekend is over...


This little turtle was at a pond at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
So, I guess this weekend has been about resting. I've done quite a bit of it. This morning after taking the dogs for a walk, I came back and laid down until about noon. Then I went into town to Bette & Walt's for a potluck. Bette got to relax on the bed and we all got to enjoy everyone's company!
On the way home I stopped & did some grocery shopping, I guess I'm ready for another week (not really, but as ready as I can be).
I know this week will be busy, and my supervisor is gone for the next week & a half. I'll miss her (but you can bet none of us will be slacking off in her absence!).
Time to sign off.

Aloha!
- Kris

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Shack



I just finished reading the book "The Shack." Great book and I highly recommend it (especially if you are spiritual in nature at all). When I was over visiting Bette one day this past week, she had the book there. It had been loaned to her by another woman who comes down every year from MN as well. So... while we were all sitting there and I was kind of absent-mindedly listening to the conversation, I started reading this book. Bette was gracious enough to let me read it (even before SHE had the chance to read it!). So... tomorrow I will be taking it back to her. It is one of those books you could probably read a couple times and still get something out of it each time.

There were a couple quotes in there that I liked:
"Paradigms power perception and perceptions power emotions."
Wow... what a short sentence with so much meaning! As the book says, "most emotions are responses to perception - what you think is true about a given situation. If your perception is false, then your emotional response to it will be false too. So, check your perceptions, and beyond that, check the truthfulness of your paradigms - what you believe. Just because you believe something firmly doesn't make it true. Be willing to re-examine what you believe. The more you live in truth, the more your emotions will help you see clearly."
And another quote:
"You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you." (By Frederick Buechner, "Telling the Truth").
So... you have some food for thought there. *smiles*
This morning was great. After taking the dogs out for their morning walk, I laid back down and slept until about noon! YEA! Then I ran some errands and took the pups to a park to play. They had fun chasing the birds! I still need to work with them on obedience though (i.e. get back here when I call for you!).
Later this afternoon, I took a friend to have his arm looked at. I guess he had been cleaning some windows, and had a 4" razor blade thing on a handle (that he scrapes the windows with as needed?) on top of a ladder. He said he neglected to put the cover back over the top & the razor blade thing came down and cut him on his forearm. He came over & showed me his arm and it looked like part of it was pretty deep (it was about 2 1/2 long, nice "clean" slice). So, I offered to drive him to the Urgent Care clinic in Kapolei (after looking online to verify their hours, which stated they were open until 8pm, it was about 4pm at the time). Well, when we got out there, no one was around (and I'm not even sure they had their hours listed on the door!). So, my friend said he thought there was another urgent care clinic out there, so we stopped by that one, (don't know if it was an "urgent" care clinic or not) but it closed at noon. The next closest place to go was St Francis West hospital, just down in Waipahu. (Not far from where I live actually... and had I just taken him there first, it would have saved about a 10 mile round-trip to Kapolei).
I've never been to the St. Francis West hospital before and I hope I never have to go there again. I mean, the staff were nice, but the rest of the experience left a lot to be desired. First of all, when you walk in, it's like you are going into a county jail's waiting area. There are one-way windows, with phones to call in on, and ask for assistance. Then someone comes to the door, they escort you back (after finding out what you need), to take your vitals & insurance information, then you are sent back out into that VERY unappealing waiting area. I think someone had been brought in earlier that had passed away, as there was a local (Filipino?) family of about 25 that were going in and out (despite a sign that says only 1 visitor at a time) and as they would come out, they were in tears. We had to wait about an hour and a half to go in, (they did tape a large gauze pad over my friend's wound), and then all they did was put some liquid band-aid stuff on it, and steri-stripped it closed. HECK. I could have done that! I have some liquid band-aid stuff here, because one time when I was clipping Peanuts nails, I cut one too short & it took forever to stop bleeding. So I used that on it and it stopped it pretty quickly. And I have tape here from my last surgery (I always keep the left-over stuff). Oh well. And my friend didn't need to get a tetanus shot, he apparently had one last fall.
Better safe than sorry though. And I learned that I hope I never have to go there. (At least I know what is there now). I got treated to dinner afterwards, so that was nice.
Okay... time to sign off. It's 11:30pm (I've been up reading the book). Tomorrow I'm going into Bette & Walt's for a potluck (with my other senior friends). I talked to Nikki & Barb tonight and we all decided it would be easier on Bette to just have it there at her location (hotel??? whatever you call the Pagoda). So, I'm going to head in a little after noon and pick up some KFC to take.
Aloha!
- Kris

View from the top

Views from my snowbird friend - Barb's - apartment. She lives on the 32nd floor of the Discovery Center (don't know why they call it that). She & Bob generally try to stay in the same apartment each year. In this shot, the land kind of jutting out in the middle is "Magic Island" you can see the lagoon at the end. Magic Island has always been a favorite place of mine to go walk & my favorite place to watch the sunset during the "winter" months.
Looking down at the Ala Wai Boat harbor... my friend Bob used to keep his boat "right down there." *smiles* He's still in New Zealand at this point (last I heard).

The parking lot I generally park in when I go down to Magic Island & Ala Moana Beach. In fact in the lower (sort of ) right corner, you can barely make out the lifeguard stand. When I go lay out on the beach, it is usually about 10 yards or so to the left of the lifeguard stand. Speaking of which... I *did* get a little sunburned yesterday.
So... today was the last day of my training. It went okay, but a LOT was crammed into one day. I think they could have easily stretched it out for a 2-day training. At lunch time I stopped by Subway and picked up a sandwich and then went up for lunch with my friend Barb. (Bob had gone to check out the military museum). The photos above were taken from their apartment (for 2 months of the year when they are here visiting). They are on the 32nd floor and have an awesome view! They can watch the sun set every night from their apartment, how cool. I think their building has something like 41 floors. So they aren't *exactly* on the top, but close enough!
After the training finished I was able to meet up with one of my former supervisors/co-workers, from when I worked with the mentally ill addicts. We had a good, long, heart-to-heart talks. I always felt like I could trust her more than my other supervisor and she was easier to talk to. She's kind of looking for a new job, it's a long story, but it boils down to being a safety issue for her... and doesn't want to burn any bridges if/when she leaves. I think she does need to leave, because safety should be her utmost concern. So... I'm going to be keeping my eyes open for her.
It was after dark by the time I left. After coming home to walk the dogs, I went to see the movie "Valentine." It was cute. Sometimes it was hard to following the jumping from scene to scene, but it was still good.
Now it's about 1:15am... I think I should head to bed soon. I missed the regular news at 6, 9 & 10, so I may wait up for it to come back on at 1:30am. There was a pedestrian killed this morning by a school bus carrying 42 students, I'd like to see what they have to say about it. (What can I say, I'm rather morbid at times! *smiles*)
Aloha!
- Kris


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Time at the beach...


I took the photo Tuesday when I was at the beach outside of the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Today...
Mammogram... turned out okay. They have switched from doing film xrays to digital x-rays. The increased clarity made the doc wonder about 2 spots that were a little different this year than last year, but after viewing additional shots today, they look okay (I saw the x-rays, last year's & this year's.
Half day training went well. I've enjoyed the training and feel I have more tools in my workbox now.
I went to the beach this afternoon, it was "chilly" by Hawaiian standards. My guess is that the water was about 75 degrees (or a little lower). Needless to say, I didn't stay in the water too long.
I went & saw Bette & Walt and was happy to hear that Walt picked up Bette's medication.
I went over to teh Humane Society & paid for a spay & neutering certificate. Now I just need to call around to see where I can get them in, and when.
Okay... signing off.

Aloha!
- Kris

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Penguins in Hawaii?

Group Shot!

Betty... is that you??? *smiles*


So, I'm still going through training down at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Today I had lunch with a couple other Social Workers who work near where I do (and we have clients in common and one of the Social Workers lived up in Alaska for 18 years and we know people in common). Anyway, they didn't know about the penguins that were there at the resort, so we walked over to where they were, so that they could see them. So... of course I had to take some pictures. *smiles*


After the training I went over & spent time with Walt & Bette, Guy & Nikki. Bette was actually sitting out in a wheelchair when I got there, I was VERY happy about that! I also got a call from one of my former supervisors where I worked with mentally ill addicts, and it looks like we may get together after my training on Friday. It will be good to see her, she was one of my favorite people there. She lives in Waikiki, so it would be convenient.


Okay... signing off early so I can *hopefully* get to bed early... Tomorrow morning I have to go for my repeat mammogram (Fun!- Not!).

Aloha!


- Kris

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A beautiful day in Hawaii Nei...


So... if you have to go through training in Waikiki, you might as well make the best of it. First... the training is going good. I'm learning about Cognitive Processing Therapy (similar to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). I'm still VERY tired from yesterday's Great Aloha Run... and sore. I was having difficulty staying awake this morning during the training, so at lunchtime I walked over to the Hale Koa and took a nap on one of the lounges near the pool (well, at least dozed off and on). It felt good, but I *did* feel out of place. All the others had swimsuits on... me? I had on my long Khaki pants & a black 3/4's sleeve shirt. I didn't care. I was tired & wanted a place to lay down for awhile. And ahhhh... did it feel good! *smiles*
I stayed in town to avoid the rush hour traffic comng home. (This morning in rush hour traffic, in one section it took me 45 minutes to go 6.9 miles! Hawaii has the WORST rush hour traffic!). Anyway, I went over and saw Bette & Walt. She's recovering, but I am worried that she's putting too much weight on her foot and doesn't realize the seriousness of her injury. I was hoping I would go find her next to the pool (in a wheel chair), but at least I did find her upstairs with her leg propped up on a chair. And I was disappointed to find out Walt had not gone to get her medication yet today (the Tylenol with Codeine, in case she needs it). I hope he went and got it tonight (he knows he'll have to answer to me tomorrow! *smiles*). While I was there, Nikki & Guy came over, and then Barb & Bob showed up as well. It was good to see them all and hopefully having us ALL up there wasn't too overwhelming for Bette. Oh yea, & Bette was able to contact the Doctor's office today, she has an appointment to see him next week.

I stayed til about 6:30 and then came home to watch "LOST" on TV. I'll miss it when it isn't on anymore.
Okay, time to go walk the dogs & head to bed.
Aloha & Happy FAT Tuesday!
- Kris

Monday, February 15, 2010

Another one bites the dust...

Everyone getting ready to run (or walk) the 26th Annual Great Aloha Run.
At the beginning of the GAR
The Great Aloha Run starts at the Aloha Tower

It's VERY crowded at the Starting line!

And the countdown begins... 1 mile done and 7.15 to go.

Watanaba Floral hands out their left-0ver Valentine roses to race participants as they pass their store. (I got the pink ones in the forefront of the picture).

Made it 2 miles so far... still doing okay...

Various school bands play along the route... Mahalo to the kids!

Heading onto the Nimitz...

What an inspiration! Here's a young girl walking with a crutch (I believe she made it all the way).
Mile #4... almost half way there! Hooray!

I stopped by the Krater booth along the way to get my pic taken with one of the DJ's (I was wearing one of their "President's Club" tee shirts.


Mile 5... just starting to feel some blisters beginning... how can I walk to avoid them????

I love the Taiko drummers each year, they sure have a LOT of energy!


And mahalo to the 4,000 volunteers, here are a couple cute little princesses handing out water to runners & walkers.

Still two miles to go, but as you cross over the H1 freeway, you get your first view of the Aloha Stadium (in the distance).

Mile 6... starting to limp.

Still a lot of people behind me... (even with stopping for all the photo ops! *smiles*)

Whooohooo... a little over 1 mile left to go! (still limping!)

America's finest help with handing out water to the runners & walkers


Mile 8, just outside the stadium (you have to walk half way around the stadium to the North side entrance).

YEA! The FINISH Line! It took me about 3 hours to complete the Great Aloha Race this year. So glad I have another FINISHER tee shirt to add to my collection!
After the race, I went into town to check on Bette & Walt. I had Bette's sunglasses that I needed to drop off. This afternoon I've just been home relaxing/resting with my pups. I have to get up early every day this week because I'm attending a training in Waikiki all week. I *am* going to look forward to watching the sunset from downtown this week.
Okay... signing off!
Aloha!
- Kris

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Long day...


Well, as it turns out, I didn't have the snowbirds over. I did see them today. I went into town and before I get into the details, I just have to say it is neat that Bette & Walt have been married 62 years, Barb & Bob have been married something like 58 years and Guy & Nikki about 47 or 48 years (my memory of what they told me is bad). Anyway...

Bette was walking to the bus stop (with Walt, Guy & Nikki) and she fell crossing the street. That was about 10:30am. I went in about noon and took her to an urgent care center (someone had recommended) and after waiting for over an hour there, the med tech was going to come clean up the abrasions on Bette’s knee and we asked when they would do x-rays, they said they couldn’t do them today because the doctor on duty is pregnant and can’t do x-rays. Wonderful. So… we basically refused treatment after that and I took Bette to Queen’s hospital (it was closer than the urgent care clinic & I should have just gone there in the first place). She had to get a CT scan on her face to make sure she didn’t break any bones there (she only hurt her knee & badly bruised her nose) and an x-ray on her knee. We went back up to ER, and then after awhile the doc decided they wanted a CT scan of her knee. It took forever the second time. As it turns out, she has a small fracture on her right tibular plateller (the bone right below her knee, where the tibular comes into the knee). Then the question was whether to brace the knee, or do surgery. They decided to just brace it for now, but she has to call the Orthopedic doc tomorrow & figure out what to do next. We were at the hospital for about 6 hours (over and above the Urgent Care place).


It’s almost 11pm now, I just got home and I have to go do the Great Aloha run in the morning (be up by about 4:30am). I'll post again tomorrow (I cut & paste from an email I sent my youngest daughter).

Aloha!
- Kris

Beach time and Beach Boys!

It was a beautiful, but busy day at Hickam beach today
Doesn't this just look inviting? Hey... they're saving a lounge chair for you! *smiles*
So... I got up and did my dishes, cleaned my kitchen, then went and spent too much money on groceries, vitamins & protein drink. After I got my groceries put away, I headed to the beach for a couple hours this afternoon. I think I would like to find an "adult-only" beach that is close with easy access. I am getting cranky in my old age... when I lay down away from all the kids, so I can snooze & listen to my Ipod... the last thing I want is to have some family with their kids & their friends (I think there were 8-9 kids) come set up within 10 feet of me! So much for peace & quiet! (But I still enjoyed laying at the beach).


Wow! John Stamos (from Full House) was there playing with the Beach Boys! He was great too... good on the guitar, the drums AND singing!

John Stamos & Mike Love (I think that's him).

I had a great seat at the concert, I was in the 8th row!
The concert was great. And at the concert I met someone that grew up in Spokane and graduated from Ferris HS 3 years after I graduated from NC. *smiles* It's a small world.
Okay... not going to write much. It's after midnight and I still want to make some crab dip up tonight so that it has time to absorb all the flavor! Tomorrow when my Senion friends come over, I am barbequing hotdogs & hamburgers. Mmmm... should be good!
Aloha!
- Kris




Friday, February 12, 2010

Birthday and gifts


First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHELLE! Today has been her 29th birthday and she got a wonderful birthday present today. She was officially offered & accepted a position at Whitman College in Walla Walla! YEA! She will be moving up there in August, now all she has to do is finalize her dissertation and she can have her PhD. She is supposed to accomplish that before I whisk her away to Italy for a cruise, the middle of May. It's her graduation present for having *suffered* through 25 years of schooling! (YIKES!). And I guess I'll have to call her Dr. then. LOL! I'm excited about the trip (but still have to finish paying off the cruise and then to buy the (expensive) plane tickets. Tentatively we will fly over to Rome, spend a couple days & nights in Rome, then catch the train up to Florence where we *may* spend a night, I want to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Then we head over to Venice for a couple nights before we board our ship. While in Venice, I'd like to take a day trip or two, over to Murano & Burano. I have several Murano glass pendants, and I'd like to get a couple more. On our cruise we will head down to Croatia, then to Ephesus, Turkey, then to Corfu & Santorini, Greece, then we sail back to Venice.
I'm most interested in Italy, and I'm thinking I need to buy one of those THICK Turkish towels (what else do you buy in Turkey, I guess I will have to find out). And Greece is supposed to be beautiful. I need to save all my extra money between now and then so I have some spending money. I think the time in Italy won't be cheap, maybe we can find some youth hostels to stay in. I'm not the type to travel light though... gotta have that big old suitcase to lug around. So... that means we will also need to find someplace to stow our luggage while we sight-see. I've got less than 90 days to figure out all the travel arrangements. It's amazing how fast the time will be upon us!
Fortunately, I did my taxes today, so that should help with the airfare costs. I sure wish I were getting my STATE taxes back before August (before April would be nice!). GRRRR. That's a sore subject with me... THEN when I was doing my state taxes, they have the gall to ask me if I want to apply the return to NEXT year's taxes. NO... a BIG fat NO!
Okay... nuff about that.
Work was hectic and I had a client in crisis today. I'm worried about the client because I won't be there next week. I have asked a co-worker to cover for me. Today was my supervisor's last day for about 2 1/2 weeks and it was panic mode for her all day. It was one of those days, where the hurrier I go, the behinder I get. She misplaced her appointment book (it was found in a notebook she had taken to a meeting earlier), she had to go to a meeting and her husband had the car keys and she couldn't reach him (he was probably in a counseling session), then he denied having them (she found them under the front seat of the car where he had left them). She never did get all her work done today and said she would have to come back in tomorrow sometime. She's got quite a bit on her plate. I'll be seeing her this coming week because we are going to the same training together all week.
Other than that, I think I mentioned that I had a mamogram done on Monday. I got a call today, the Radiologist wants me to come in for another x-ray. That has me a little worried. When I finished with my last one, I was talking to the tech and saw my x-rays up on the monitor. I could see some white mass looking stuff (looked sinewy), figured/hoped it might just be fibrous tissues. There is a part of me that is worried... I think the natural tendency is to think worse-case scenario. I told my daughter though... if it WERE cancer... I'd rather have breast cancer than any other type, because it seems to be the most treatable. But... I won't go there yet. I'd rather have it be nothing at all... just an inexperienced radiologist, or maybe I didn't hold still enough, or maybe he hasn't compared the results to my previous mamograms that were done there in the past to see what is "normal" for me. Anyway... bottom line is I will have to stop and get another mammogram done on Thursday morning and then probably won't find out anything for at least a week after that. Fun.
Tonight I finished up my taxes (whew!). FINALLY, a year where I DON'T owe any taxes. I hope to keep it that way! I used Turbo tax. I guess it seems to be the easiest and quickest way to get them done. I think I have mentioned before that the State is holding all income tax refunds until after July, so I probably won't see my state return until August or September.
Did you watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics? I watched the last part of it... I felt bad for them when the one leg/arm didn't raise for the lighting of the torch. I appreciated that they dedicated it to the luge athelete that died during trianing.

Time to sign off for another day.

Aloha!
- Kris

Thursday, February 11, 2010

RIP Jerald Mohatt


Described by many as a wonderful teacher, model administrator, innovator and visionary who was passionate about his family and his work, Gerald “Jerry” Mohatt, 69, director of the Center for Alaska Native Health Research, passed away peacefully Wednesday morning surrounded by his family at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

Mohatt’s friends and colleagues always included in their litany of his many talents and attributes the highest praise: “He was a good man.”

For the past four years, Mohatt had been battling chronic lymphocytic leukemia and was undergoing chemotherapy in preparation for a stem cell transplant in April or May.
So, Jerry died yesterday.
I read it in the paper this morning. I'm sad to see that he has passed away. My biggest regret is that I did not contact him in the past few months to let him know how I have been doing. He had been on my mind and I regret not listening to my instinct. Because of my belief system, I believe he NOW knows though, where I'm at, what I'm doing and the positive impact he has had on my life.
I saw Jerry for counseling while I was attending UAF. I was going through an extremely difficult time in my life and he was "there" for me. I've often said/thought "he believed me well." His belief in me is part of the reason I am where I am today. Ironically, he died one year after the one other person that had as big of an impact in my life did. A year ago today, my friend, my mentor, Clare died. Clare is the reason I became a Social Worker, I would have to say, Jerry is a big reason that I am here today TO be a Social Worker. I cannot fully express my gratitude to both Clare & Jerry, I can only pay it forward.
On a POSITIVE note today. It looks like my middle daughter will be a resident of Washington State within the next year. She should get final notification tomorrow. HOOOORAY! WAY TO GO MICHELLE! She's looking forward to being able to spend time with her youngest niece and getting to know some of her extended family. What an awesome birthday present for her, she will be 29 tomorrow. *smiles*
Work wise... I had a busy day... nothing new to that. On a good note though... I slept pretty well last night. I did make it to the gym tonight for an hour. It's now about 10pm... bedtime AFTER I take the dogs for their walk. I've watched "Survivor" and "The Mentalist."
Aloha!
- Kris

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Argh!!! Cutting dog nails is tough!

So... tonight was Bruno's turn to get his nails cut... what a whiner! And I didn't even cut any too short! I've tried using the sander one "as seen on TV" but it doesn't do that great of a job. His front claws are done for awhile now.

Today was supposed to be all about some online computer training. It took quite awhile to get INTO the program. Tal about a pain. The password had to be 15 characters long, it can't have any dictionary words, it has to have at least 2 uppercase, 2 lower case, 2 numbers and 2 characters. And as I said, it had to be 15 characers long! Yea... and try to remember THAT one! In addition to about 6 others I have JUST for my various work accounts (with various requirements in the password set-up).

In addition to the computer training, I saw 4 clients (unscheduled) and I got to go pick up my new Blackberry phone for work. It's nice, because it has already been sync'd with my Outlook account. So... now I have another "leash' for work... (something to tie me to work outside of work hours). No... I don't get any extra pay for carrying it, but I also don't expect many, if any calls outside of work hours.

Okay... time to go walk these puppies before I head to bed.

Aloha!
- Kris

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

busy day again...

Lighthouse at Mokapu'u

So, I had one no-show this morning, but I still saw something like 5 clients today (one of my clients came in with their spouse and child). I worked through lunch and then left about 2:30 (after getting all of my documentation done) and had to go to the doctor's for my annual Mammogram. (fun). It went pretty quick. I was back on the road by 3:30pm. I stopped by Taco Bell on my way to 24 hour fitness where I worked out for an hour on the Eliptic machine and then sat in the jacuzzi for about 20 minutes. Then it was time to come home & take the dogs out for a walk.

Tonight I'm watching "The Biggest Loser" (trying not to fall asleep because my dog kept waking me up from 3am, until I got up about 5:15am with them). I'm hoping to make it through "LOST" yet tonight before I go to sleep.

I *did* talk to my middle daughter today. She finished her on-campus interview today and it sounds like it was a positive experience for her. The college is in a rural area, but she's used to rural (she grew up in North Pole, Alaska!). This is a college that is at the top of her list because she will be within 3 hours of my family.

Other than that... a couple prayer requests. Pray for my friend Janis in Sydney. Her mom passed away last Thursday after a long illness. So, in some ways, it's a blessing for her. It's been a tough 6 years or so for her. Also pray for my friend Carol. Her mom passed away on Sunday night after contracting Guilllian-Barre syndrome (not sure it isn't related to getting a flu shot the previous month). Carol's mom passed away within a couple weeks after getting a diagnosis. In some ways it is a blessing that the disease did not drag out a long time. Carol's mom (GG) died about 29 hours after they decided to stop aggressive treatment (which didn't seem to be working anyway). Carol's mom was a part of the decision making process to stop treatment. I went through something similar with my mom when she passed away. I count it as a blessing that my mom was cognizant until about 10 minutes before she passed away, and that I had the opportunity to be at her side when she passed.

Okay... time to sign off.

Aloha!
- Kris

Monday, February 8, 2010

This is amazing!

You should watch this video of this guy... he's amazingly talented

YouTube - azoazotube's Channel

Long meetings...



So... I had three appointments scheduled for this morning, but one of the clients was a "no-show." This afternoon, I had a meeting from 12:30 - 4:30. It was 6:30 before I left work. (I didn't meet with my supervisor until after 5:30pm to review an audit form I created for our charts.
Tonight I've just been watching "The Bachelor." I'm sad that Ali didn't stay.
Okay... signing off!
Aloha!
- Kris

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday!

Nikki, Bette & I (we were walking the dogs in the park).


A couple pictures of the park next to my apartment complex. This is where I take my pups for a walk on the weekends. they enjoy running around here!
So... I had Guy, Nikki, Bette & Walt up for dinner. We had Barbequed chicken, potato salad, beans & chips for dinner. (that's after our appetizer of tortilla chip scoops with Spinach dip). We watched the football game, but none of us were really invested in who won. I guess I'm glad that the Saints got their first Super Bowl win.
Okay... I'm going to sign off... I'm going to lay down and watch some TV.
Aloha!
- Kris