Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December 24, 2013: Christmas Eve

This Christmas is much easier than last year.  I was still married last year at this time but in the process of divorce.

I let "he who does not deserve a name" stay in my house until January 14, 2013.  I filed for divorce on December 12, 2012.

I don't even remember last year's Christmas eve.  Tonight my friend, Bert is coming over and he will make a seafood dinner.  When we are alone together we have a good time. We enjoy each other's company.

Tomorrow Andy will make brunch.  My friends, Jimmy, Lupita and Woodie are coming over, too. They are like family to me.  We've celebrated holidays together for years now.

Jimmy was my ex' friend originally.  As the years passed I grew closer to Jimmy and his wife, Lupita. In the last couple of years my ex did not only reject me but also his friends.  If I were a psychologist, I would say that Jim was projecting his feelings of self-loathing on those closest to him.

I am lucky.  My self-esteem is growing.  I regret all the years I spent with men who did not love me. But, at least, I am capable of loving.  Despite all the beating down from these men, I am resilient.  It has taken work.  I have been working with a therapist for the last couple of years.  She has the training and experience from years of helping people.  I listen and learn from her.

I am looking forward to a new year untainted by an unhappy marriage.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December 8, 2013

My friend Lupita and I went to Fredericksburg this weekend.  We watched their little night time Christmas parade while freezing in the 20 degree temperature.

The town is very cute.  Yes, it's a touristy place but that is probably what makes it so cute.  The trees in the market square were all lit up.  There were even some lights that flickered to make it look like snow was falling.

On Saturday we went shopping.  I rented a doggie stroller from the store, Dogtopia.  It was a bargain for $10/day.  Sweetsie has grown and she is too heavy to carry for very long.  When she walks on a leash everyone wants us to stop so they can pet her.  She got nervous with so many people and did better while she was protected in the stroller.  All the stores allowed her to go inside.  I guess restaurants have to restrict dogs for legal reasons.  We left Sweetsie in the hotel room so we could eat dinner.  She was not happy about that.

All the lights and decorations got me in the holiday spirit at home.  This is the first time that I've decorated alone.  The decorations are pretty much just for my own enjoyment.

It's another bittersweet experience.  I miss being with family.  I long for the happier times of the past. But then, this year is SO much better than last year.  Last year my now ex-husband was still living in my house.  I filed for divorce on December 12, 2012 but I allowed him to stay until he could find a place to live.

December 2011 was very sad, too.  My ex had come home from the hospital and we (or at least I was) were trying to adjust to our new life with him being an invalid.  It was a very stressful time.

December 2010 was the worse year ever (so far).  My ex was terribly injured and in the hospital.  Anguish best describes my feelings back then.

For the first time in months I have tears in my eyes.  This is a positive statement.  I've worked at it and I've become comfortable with my new life.  So much so that I am usually very happy and I no longer mourn all that was lost in the past.

My experiences have led me to a greater empathy with people.  I think now of the losses of others:  the pain of losing a child,  being suddenly left alone because one's friends and family have passed away, becoming suddenly ill or knowing that this Christmas will be their last.

I'm not lingering over these sad thoughts.  Writing them down helps me deal with them.  I appreciate anyone who reads this and makes a comment.

I've heard from people from all over the world since I started writing this blog.  It is a wonderful experience to connect with someone who shares their feelings about what I've written.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving has never been a favorite holiday of mine.  95% of my adult thanksgiving days were spent alone in the kitchen - first, cooking and then cleaning.  Don't get me wrong.  I really like to entertain but there is just too much pressure on thanksgiving.

Last year I spent with my son and his family in Tokyo.  That was a wonderful day!  Unfortunately, when I returned home two days later I learned that my supervisor of seven years had died.  I came back too late to attend her memorial service.

In 2010 I spent Thanksgiving in ICU at Memorial Hospital with my former husband.  That was the worse one ever.  2011 was bittersweet.  My ex was back home but was quadriplegic.  Life was so difficult then.

I was very optimistic this year.  My man friend and my son wanted to do the cooking.   It still was a lot of work for me - getting things organized and cleaning up.  It was a wonderful gathering of friends and family.  The food and company was great but the tension was very high. That was unfortunate.

Today, Black Friday, is a much better day for giving thanks.  I am grateful that another thanksgiving holiday is over and done.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

November 23, 2013

What a bad little (?) blogger I am!  I've been busy.  I have a beau now so I'm busy every weekend.  Ah, a social life once again.

Today is one of Houston's wintry days.  The temps are in the 50's.  That's not cold to us yankees.  But it is wet and dreary out, too so it seems much colder.

Sweetsie and I were the only walkers out this morning.  I had her wear a little sweater with sparkly buttons.  She looked so cute as she jumped over the puddles on the street.  We went early in case the rain started up again.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October 3, 2013: health/diet food

My puppy, Sweetsie has led me to a new discovery.  It's a fantastic weight loss product.  Sweetsie eats maybe 1/2 cup of dog food per day.  However, she poops at least twice that much every day.

I was thinking I could repackage her dog food into 8 oz. sized bags and market it to a weight loss clinic or a health food store.  I'd label it "Sweetsie' Wonder Food."

Women would pay big bucks for such a simple weight loss product.  No exercise needed.  Eat whatever you'd like all day.  Just be sure to eat one bag of my product every day and the weight will just fall out of you!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

September 19, 2013

Sweetsie and my pink poodle tissue box!

I have had a fascination with pink poodles since I was a little girl.  I must have seen a stuffed animal or a picture of one somewhere.

Now I have a real living pink poodle!  I got an okay from the vet to dye her.  First I gave her a bath and rinsed her well.  Then I did a final rinse with 2 quarts of water with about a third of a packet of strawberry lemonade sugar free drink mix dissolved in it.

Her white fur took the color so quickly.  I didn't think she would turn such a pretty color.  When she lets me brush her she's looks like a little stuffed toy.

I tried to get her to pose with my group of pink poodles.  She was just too excited.  I put her on a table with my small tissue box and she posed so nicely.  I would have tried to get a better photo without all that reflection from the table but I felt lucky to get the photo at all.

Sweetsie got more than her usual attention last night when I walked her.  The neighbors shouldn't be too surprised.  After all, I painted a pink poodle on my mailbox.

My pink poodle mail box is now installed by my front door.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

September 14, 2013: My new puppy!

I love poodles!  They have such cute curly hair and sweet dispositions.  For years I have been wanting a tiny poodle for a pet.

In 1999 I adopted a 3 year old dog that one of my co-workers was wanting to dispose of.  She told me that it was just an itty bitty dachshund mix.  She brought him to my house in a tiny pet carrier.  She said that he stayed in that carrier all day when she was at the office.

He was no tiny dog - at least 20 pounds - but he was cute and he needed me.  I kept him until he died in 2011.

I couldn't get another dog back in 2011 because I was still coping with my 3 cats, my job and a quadriplegic husband.

Then that husband decided he wanted to marry his young caregiver and he moved out.  The divorce was final in February 2013.

After adjusting to my new situation I decided to search for a tiny white female poodle or poodle mix.
I went to one shelter that had a cute dog,  but I would have had to take her brother, too.  3 cats plus 2 dogs just seemed kind of ridiculous to me as a single woman.

I would look through the petfinder's website every day.  Then I found the cutest little girl.  She was at the Pearland Animal Shelter.  Pearland is a small city about 25 miles from Houston.  I called and she was still available.  I zipped over there, filled out the paperwork and passed muster with the shelter people.  I got my beautiful approximately 8 month old puppy for a mere $35.00!

She was just so cute that I kept calling her Sweetie.  Her official name now is Sweetsie.  The animal shelter would not let me take her home until she had been spayed in a Pearland animal clinic.  I found one that could do the surgery the next day.  Sweetsie came to her new home the next evening.

I walk her in the morning and evening every day.  I have to go with her to the backyard because the new fence is too high off the ground.  She had a few accidents during her first few days.  But, she is learning and walking her helps.

The only problem is my poor kitties.  They have holed themselves up in my sewing room.  If Sweetsie sees one out she chases the poor thing.  The cats get so scared.  I've learned to hold her back when we return from a walk or when we come out of closed room.

Tonight I didn't see poor Stella in the hallway in time.  Sweetsie chased her throughout the family room and kitchen while I yelled "no, no!" at her.  I had to give her a spanking and then clean up the glass broken by Stella jumping all over the place.

I feel sorry for the cats.  All they have to do is jump up on a chair to evade Sweetsie.  But instead they start running.  I miss my kitties.  I hope everyone will adjust soon.

Sweetsie is so happy to see me when I return home.  I have to pick her up and she is just ecstatic.  When I'm home she is my constant companion.  I have even started letting her sleep in my bed.  She has had no accidents during the night.

Sweetsie is so excited to be lifted onto the bed at night.

The photo in this post was taken by a Pearland police woman at the shelter.  Isn't she just the most adorable little dog?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

September 14, 2013: The owl by the door

I work at Rice University where the owl is the official mascot.  There are owl flags, an owl mobile, a giant owl statue, owl facades, etc.  Right outside the door to the building where I work is a real live owl in a tree!  This is the first owl that I have ever seen in its natural habitat.  I stood under the tree to get this photo.  I woke the poor owl up.

Other people have told me that they have seen owls on campus.  One professor who was working late and walking to her car got knocked over by a flying owl.

I went to a talk given by a retired professor who photographed a nest with 3 baby owls and their parents.  He followed their progress on campus.  Then the mother owl disappeared.  He said that a major danger to our native owls is rat poison.  The owls will catch and eat a poisoned rat that has not yet died.  The owl then dies from the poison in the rat.  The owls are safe on the Rice campus but just across Main Street is the Medical Center.

Working at Rice is kind of like working in a park.  The squirrels are so tame that they just stop and beg for food as you walk by.  Once I thought a squirrel was dead but it turned out that it was just sprawled out on the sidewalk napping.  I've seen bunnies jumping through the hedges in the morning and evening hours.

I am so happy that the cooler weather is only a month or so away.  It's just too hot to be outside now. I look forward to walking to the student center for lunch and admiring the beauty of the campus.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

September 8, 2013: Progress

I just did something unusual for me.

A man I dated twice told me he wanted to take our relationship to the "next level."  After the first date he was calling us "a couple."  I told him that we didn't even know each other yet.  He kept texting me all day yesterday and even asked what I was doing and where I was. I do not have to answer these questions from someone I just met.

But, I still went out to a movie with him last night.  He gave me a couple little kisses during the movie. I let him put his arm around me.  We drove back and he dropped me off on my driveway and said he was going home.  That was kind of weird.  If he wanted me to at least kiss him, he would have gotten out of the car.

Then the texts start up, again even though I told him that I don't carry my phone with me all the time and that I'm better with email.  His texts were basically an ultimatum.  Either intimacy on our next date or no more dates.  I wasn't sure if I was even attracted to him yet so I wasn't ready.  I texted him that I had read his text and was thinking of my response.  A few minutes later I get "Well?????" Then "Joann, r u going to answer???"

That was enough of that.  I emailed him (not texted) that I didn't think we were compatible and wished him luck and good bye.  He wrote me back, all in caps, seeming surprised that I was calling it quits.  He continued to send me multiple "flirts" through the dating website until I blocked him.

I know I did the right thing.  It was nice to have him take me to the movies but I wasn't really into him. Last night on the way back to my house he stopped on the side of 45 and started looking for a cd.  I told him that that made me uncomfortable but he didn't respond, just kept digging through his cd's.  If a man isn't respectful to a woman in the very beginning of a relationship, that does not bode well for the future. Plus, if he wanted some affection, he could have at least gotten out of the car.

Anyway, I am actually proud of myself.  I didn't like him being so pushy and bossy.  He didn't listen to me nor did he have much to talk about.  (He had told me a bunch of his physical ailments during our first date. We all have our share of problems at this age but he told me some of his physical shortcomings that made him very unattractive for intimacy - ever.)


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September 3, 2013: Match.com

Today I cancelled my Match.com account.  Every day Match would email me with 24 "matches."
These men rarely were compatible with what I was looking for.  I would go through their profiles.  It was disheartening to read profiles that only jived with my search criteria in terms of being "male."

I didn't match what they wanted either.

90% of the "matches" I received were for men looking for "slender" or "athletic and toned" women.  I am neither of those.  More than half of these men were far from being slender or athletic and toned themselves.  (Oh, to be a man and have such a wonderful body image of myself!)

 I also listed myself as "spiritual but not religious."  I'd get profiles of men stating how they were looking for the woman "god meant " for them to meet and men whose only reading material was the bible.

I'm a liberal and I'd get profiles of men who listed themselves as ultra-conservative.  (I don't understand how someone "religious" can reconcile himself with being "ultra-conservative."  But, that would entail an entirely different post.)

There are other dating websites that are far superior to Match.com and some of them are free.  One site doesn't allow anyone more than 13 years younger or older contact you.  I love this site! Another free site gives you the opportunity to answer a variety of questions.  When you open up a man's profile there is a tab "y'all have issues."  Click on that tab and you can compare your answers to theirs.  What a great website!

I've given out my card to some of the men I've met.   I am not going to name these sites just in case one them were to check my blog.  Let them do their own web research.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 29, 2013

The dating world is a tough scene.  I met a guy I really liked.  We were supposed to go out tomorrow.  He emailed me that he is in another relationship and cancelled our date.

That's the trouble with online dating.  It's kind of like a smörgåsbord  (buffet - but I like the sound of smorgasbord better) of people:  try this one, go for that one...

When you're on one of the websites you can see if someone you've been in contact with is also on the website.  So, you're chatting with someone nice.  You log back in later and he is still there, presumably chatting up someone else.

It's disheartening.  But, it's part of the process.  You have to be willing to be hurt and rejected and hope a good one comes along and stays put!

I'm guilty, too.  I had the date for tomorrow but I still responded to emails from the dating sites.  It's necessary to not be exclusive to someone without the expressed agreement to be only with each other. Both parties have to agree.  If one doesn't live up to the promise, then you have a legitimate reason to be upset.

Maybe I'll just go get a dog.

Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013: Walking - again!

Walking is definitely my favorite form of exercise.  Back in my college days I would walk the loop around the campus of SUNY Albany.  That was back in the olden days before walking and jogging became popular.  I'd be pretty much alone the whole time - no other walkers.  Drivers always wanted to give me a ride - of course, I was pretty cute back then.

I've walked between 1 and 2 miles three times in the last 5 days.  I am ecstatic!  It has been years since I could indulge myself.

First, I had the left knee problem - no cartilage, but I kept walking.  The torn achilles tendon finally did me in.  I had that repaired in 2010 along with a knee replacement.  All I had to do was wait until I healed and I'd be able to walk again.  Then 2 toes on my right foot decided to buckle under - I couldn't wear anything but sandals.

I would have just walked in sandals but then the ex' accident happened in November 2010.  My only walking was up and down the hospital hallways.

Now I'm free- AT LAST!  I had my toes fixed in May 2013.  They are all healed and I bought a pair of walking shoes.

It was raining earlier this morning so I thought I would have to just use my indoor bicycle.  Then I saw on the news that it was in the 70's.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to walk in relatively cool weather (for Houston).

My varicose veins are still acting up but I think the walking will settle them down soon.  Yesterday I spoke to my brother.  He has the same problem.  He had a vascular ultrasound last week, too.  This is old hat to me.  But, John isn't familiar with the vein thing.  Mine started when I was pregnant with my second baby.  Mostly they don't bother me at all - just look ugly.  My brother is a professional golfer.  He exercises all the time.  I guess I'm lucky that my problem isn't worse since I'm female, pleasantly plump and was relatively sedentary for the last few years.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

August 22, 2013:

Just now I almost published my blog that is private.  That would have been interesting to a few people!

I was looking at the dating sites and reading men's profiles.  They all purport to wanting friendship that would hopefully grow into an intimate loving relationship.

If that were true for at least half the men, finding a good man would be a lot easier.  Unfortunately the web is full of weirdos and crazies.  I don't mind the weirdos but the crazies scare me.  The guy I spoke to yesterday revealed his nasty temper.  I'm glad I never was alone with him.

I think some of the men have gotten burned out, too.  They rarely visit the dating sites.  (You can tell when somebody last logged on.)

Still, internet dating does really expand the quantity of men that I could meet.  I just need one - someone intelligent with good self esteem who is ready to love and be loved.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 20, 2013: Dating

I haven't blogged about my dating experiences.  My friends know all about them.

It's funny when I'm married, I am totally faithful.  My first husband moved out of my bedroom 2 years before I had even filed for divorce.  It was a painful time and I needed my friends' support.  I never even looked at other men.

After the divorce was final I got "boy crazy."  My friend Susin was relieved when I met my second husband so I would quit talking about men.

My second husband got injured and became quadriplegic on 11/21/2010.  In 2012 he wanted to end our marriage to marry his young caregiver. Our divorce was final on 02/12/2013.  So I had another 2 years without a man in my bed.  Again I remained completely faithful.

I joined my first dating site the day my divorce was final.  I figured I had already mourned the loss of my relationship with my husband - first, after his injury and then again after his betrayal.

So, here I am "boy crazy" again.  You'd think I would be too old for this.

I'm not going to blog about my dating.  I have actually done quite well on the dating websites, even though the younger women try to date the older men.  The dates I have had are with men mature enough to know that the younger women are not looking for their companionship.  Those women are after their money.

I do consider my life as pretty much an open book.  But, my dating experiences are private.  Besides, I know my ex-husband reads my blog and he can go get his own thrills.  He is no longer my problem and I wish him no harm.

Also, I have given out my blog address to a couple of the men I have met so they can know more about me.  I respect their privacy.  I keep an unpublished journal for my new experiences.

Monday, August 12, 2013

2013-08-12: Bra Tutorial

It's necessary for me to wear supportive bras with underwires.  The good ones are very expensive.

I've found that the expensive ones as well as the cheapos end up with the same problem:  the underwire pokes a hole through its casing and starts jabbing into my body.

When that happens I push the wire back into place, sew up the hole and cover it with a piece of felt.

The stubborn underwire eventually breaks through the felt making it necessary to repeat the repair.

Then I realized that I could use a non-tear material that is actually washable:  "Tyvek*."  (I actually got this idea after watching World War Z.  The humans covered their limbs with tyvek because it protected them from zombie bites.)

These are the steps I take now to repair bra tears.

Notice the yellow underwire poking out of its casing.

I used "tyvek" material from a used FedEx envelope.

Cut a small strip of "tyvek" and a slightly larger piece of felt.

First, I sewed the "tyvek" over the torn portion of the hole made by the protruding underwire.

I sewed the piece of felt onto the bra, covering the "tyvek."  The felt feels more comfortable against the skin than "tyvek."

Here is the finished repair.  The flesh colored felt blends neatly with the bra.

 This repair will extend the life of the bra immensely.  Now the bra is wearable until I wear out the elastic in the back.  Then it's time to go bra shopping again!

Since the initial discovery in 1955 that led to Tyvek®, DuPont has been a recognized global leader in selective barrier technology. Lightweight and durable, DuPont™ Tyvek® has introduced new dimensions of protection, security and safety in a wide variety of industries.

2013-08-12: Why bother?

I'm back in the dating world again.  It just takes work, willingness to take rejection, trial and error.  But, am I wasting my time?

I have been married twice.  In the first one I was unhappy most of the time for 23 years.  But, I married "for life."  It's just that my spouse didn't see it that way.  He wanted to stay married until something better came along.

Then I married a second time.  I was happy for the first 10 years.  My spouse had a terrible accident.  I stayed by his side and gave him as much support and encouragement as I could.  His accident sent him on a downward mental spiral.  I stuck with him even after heartbreak and betrayal.  It was futile.  More years wasted.

Of course considering my time wasted presupposes that my life is supposed to serve some sort of purpose.  That is not me being negative, just objective.

I think a person should try and be as happy as possible during her lifetime.  So, in that respect, I have had a lot of failure.  I have had success also - 2 wonderful sons and a sweet grandson that I love spending time with, good friends, a job that I enjoy, meaningful hobbies, etc.

But, my alone time can be difficult.  I don't like living without a partner.  But, did I ever really have one at all?  Is it worth trying again?

I have had friends tell me to just get a dog.  A dog can be a wonderful companion.  Maybe I'll get one soon.  But, a dog is a dependent, not a partner.  I guess I'll keep looking.  If I don't find love, maybe I can at least have fun trying.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

August 4, 2013

Yesterday was Mama's birthday.  Andy and I met up at the private care home, Bedford Place, where Mom resides.  She was happy to see us.  I don't think she realized it was her birthday.  She was amazed that she was now 92 years old.

I definitely understand her amazement.  Everyday I wonder "how the hell did I get so old?"

Coincidently, last month, I bought tickets for the Tamarie Cooper Show for 8/3/2013.  The show was about growing old.  Tamarie thought she was old at 42!  I thought I was old when I was 42, also.  I think it is probably a universal thought for people who are "lucky" enough to grow old.

Tamarie writes these semi-autobiographical plays every year or so and the plays are performed at the Catastrophic Theater.  I wonder if she will look back at her current production in 20 years and think about how she wasn't really old in 2013.

I don't like to admit my age.  Most days I don't feel old.  Lately, I feel young!

In 1969 I was in a car accident that shattered my left kneecap.  It was surgically removed which gave my leg an immediate 30% loss of strength and mobility.  That disability became worse as I grew older and chubbier.  In 2010 I had a knee replacement in that leg.  The doctor advised against trying to give me a new kneecap so I still have a disability.

I had a few months of physical therapy which stopped when my (ex) husband had his terrible accident.

I have been free now to pursue further rehabilitation. My ex decided to destroy our marriage and the divorce was final in February.  I have been doing rehab on my own.  Since then I have learned to walk without the security of my cane and I forced myself to learn how to go down a flight of stairs like a "normal" person.

For the first time in many years my leg no longer aches.  I feel great!  So, why can't I reverse my age?

Other days I feel really old.  How can I be so old and divorced again?  The only sensible answer is "shit happens."

I can only hope that "shit" stops happening to me.  I try not to think about the future and live in the present.  That is not always possible.  I realize that what happened in my life in the past 3 years was lightyears beyond my imagination.  So what else could be in store for me?

That causes my depression to make another appearance.  I have been battling depression for years, all my life maybe.  I'm strong and resilient.  I can say that because I am still alive and actually doing quite well.  I am extremely grateful for the antidepressants that contribute to my strength to fight.  I'm not sure I would have survived these past few years without them.

It's weird.  When I started this post I was planning to write about how much fun I had with my friend, Lupita last night.  We went to the play.  I got kind of lost driving home.  We just laughed when I finally acknowledged that the compass in my car was correct and I was wrong.  I thought I was going south towards home, even though the compass said we were going north.  I made a u-turn and drove down Shepherd.  All that driving around made us hungry.  We stopped at the 59 Diner and ate salads and fried mushrooms and laughed.

Life is good.
Mom on her 92nd birthday

me at the theater
Lupita at the 59 Diner

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Day 7 in Hawaii

Yesterday I got a text from United Airlines with my boarding pass.   I thought I left on Thursday PM so wasn't Tuesday too early for this?

I checked my ticket and my flight was tonight!

Tomoko had a toothache so we didn't have any big plans anyway for this day.  We found a dentist for her.  She had an infection in one of her back teeth.

Then we did more shopping for souvenirs and went back to the condo.  I started packing, Tomoko took a nap and Kevin played with Kenny.

For lunch Kevin cooked hamburgers on the grill.

Kenny and I both developed a taste for "Maui Chips."  He let me hold him for a photo op as long as I gave him chips.

We drove to the airport and Kenny fell asleep in the car.

I had a direct return flight to Houston.  Unfortunately,  even though I asked for special seating I ended up in a very cramped economy seat for 8 hours.  I couldn't even get out of the seat when the row in front of me reclined.  Luckily the stewardess was able to raise the aisle armrest to let me out.

I got up at least 4 times, walked around, did leg exercises.  Despite all that I am stuck here at home with a case of phlebitis.  I'm wearing horrible support stockings.  My doctor is going to send me to a peripheral venous specialist.  United had given me good seats on my flights to Hawaii.  I had no way of knowing how bad my seat would be until after I boarded the plane.  Then it was to late to switch or upgrade.

I will have to buy economy plus from now on.  United Airlines wanted $600.00 for the economy plus seat which would have provided me with one extra foot of legroom.  My whole round trip ticket was $1200.00.  In hindsight, I now realize that I should have paid that extra money and I could be at work today.  At least I'm getting my blogging accomplished.

Day 6 in Hawaii: the lagoons

We drove out to an area with 3 manmade lagoons and 3 big hotel resorts. We parked near the Disney resort, Aulani.  We were able to hang out on the beach since all Hawaii's beaches are public.

The lagoon was good for kids - not too deep, no big waves.  But Kenny still didn't like the water.  He wanted to go find Donald Duck.

This silly resort did not have Donald Duck or Tigger, not even in their gift shops!  We did see Mickey and Chip and Dale posing with kids.

We had lunch on the veranda of one of the hotel's restaurants.  Kenny sang and colored until his lunch arrived.  He enjoyed eating his macaroni and cheese and practiced his gargling.
After lunch we drove over to the outlet mall where Kenny enjoyed handling the stroller and playing on the children's rides.  He convinced Kevin to get in the little truck with him.  He wanted me in it, too.  I just leaned in through the dashboard.
I bought the best Hawaiian ice I ever had there at the mall.  It was the real thing - the ice was shaved and had a scoop of ice cream in it.  I was too busy eating it and forgot to take its picture.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Day 5 Evening: Kahala

On August 8, 2009 Kevin and Tomoko were married on the grounds of the Kahala hotel - in front of the gazebo.  And then there were three.
The Kahala Hotel is a very swanky place.  Here's the lobby:
Poor sleepy Kenny was woken up so he could enjoy the dophin, turtle and manta ray pools on the grounds.

We decided to have dinner on the veranda of the hotel.  There is a grassy area between the beach and the restaurant.  Kenny (and Kevin) had a great time running around there with the other children.
The food was great.  Kenny gobbled up his spaghetti.  I had pork on top of a sweet potato taro mixture.  Kevin had surf and turf.  Tomoko had roasted chicken.  All dishes were delicious.

We watched the moon rise over the beach.

Day Five: Waikiki

We walked the one block down to the Waikiki strip for breakfast.  The waitstaff wore grass skirts over their clothes.  We all had pancakes adorned with little umbrellas.  Kenny had a little bit of everyone's plus all the umbrellas.  I had pineapple pancakes.

Since I was sunburned I walked along the strip while the others went to the beach.  The beach is just across the street from the restaurants and shops.  There is a sidewalk and a green area between the road and the beach.  There are statues, picnic tables, gardens and benches in this area.

 There were no seagulls on any of the beaches we went to.  There were lots of pigeons and doves.  I took a photo of a banyan tree where the birds were nesting.

There were also cute little jays with gray and white bodies with a red crest.

Day 4 of Hawaii trip

We drove to the north shore of Oahu today (Sunday).  The island is beautiful.  Besides the beaches there is beautiful greenery and flowers all over.

I noticed a tree with big balls hanging on it.  When we got close we could see that they were buoys.  Artsy! 
We passed the Polynesian Cultural Center.  It was closed but the grounds were beautiful.

We drove along looking for a place to have lunch.  Luckily we found a great place.  The food was vegetarian and all the vegetables were grown there on the farm.  I even had homemade ice cream for dessert.  Kenny had fun running around the huge grounds between the eating area and the farm.

Kevin wanted to go snorkeling at Shark's Cove.  We parked in the wrong place.  It was just a tidal pool.  We set up in the shade.  Then a couple of bums started fighting and swearing loudly.  I called 911 because they were driving people away and Kenny had fallen asleep.  A cop showed up and said that bums arguing was not considered disturbing the peace.  They could do and say whatever they wanted.  He said that's how it is in Hawaii.  No wonder there are so many homeless people in Hawaii - good climate, all beaches are open to the public, few rules for behavior.
Since Kenny was sleeping, Kevin and Tomoko went off to snorkle together while I stayed with Kenny.

Kenny woke up and was very disappointed that I was not "mama."  I was afraid that he would run off but he stayed and cried for a bit.
Then we moved over to Shark's Cove.  Kevin and Tomoko took turns snorkling.  It was a beautiful location.  I stood on a bluff for a few minutes watching them.  That was long enough for me to get sunburned, even with sunscreen on.

 We continued our drive and had dinner in a little town.  The stores looked cute but they were closed - saved me money.

 It's hard to see in this photo but there was a huge moon early that evening.  It's low on the horizon at the end of the road.