Sunday, September 30, 2007

United Airlines

Hubby got a letter in the mail on Friday. Very nice letter from United Airlines apologizing for the inconvenience of the 4 hour delay in taking off from Maui. They even enclosed a $100 flight coupon. Very nice of them.

Apparently they think only my husband was inconvienced. Because I didnt get one. And I was in the seat next to him waiting that 4 hours...

Do they think only men get inconvenienced? It wasnt addressed to Mr and Mrs. Only to Mr.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ramblings

We have been so slow at work - everyone is getting way more call time than they want. Now it is my turn to get it since I am back from vacation and taking time off to meet my grand daughter. Oh well....thats the non-perks of this job!

A few months ago the battery in my watch died. Didnt know where to take it, and then got a coupon in the mail from a jeweler near a yarn shop. Oh boy! Great excuse to go over there! SI went into the jewelry store with watch and coupon in hand - watch battery replaced for $5! Yes, I can deal with that! They looked at my watch and shook their head - oh no, they said, the battery for this kind of watch is way too expensive - it is not covered on this coupon. As soon as I started arguing with them - there were no limitations printed on the coupon - all their English disappeared. And after getting nowhere, so did I. Yes, I would post the name of the store on this blog if I could remember it...

So I didnt have time to do more shopping around so picked up a $9 watch at Walmart. Sure wished I had my better one while on vacation but oh well...so yesterday on the way home from errands, I stopped at a nearby jewelers. Stopped in - yes they had the battery. So I was looking around and saw this darling earring adn necklace set - silver with tiny diamonds in it - be a nice gift (hint! hint!) if I pass my Comp Exam....and the person said, oh I am so sorry and so embarrassed, but we dont have the battery for your watch in stock - and of course, I immediately thought, here we go again....but she continued to say, but it will be in this afternoon as soon as we get our shipment from Fed Ex. No sooner were the words out of her mouth than the FedEx truck drove up! Five minutes later I had my working watch - set to the correct time and date - and was paying - guess how much??? $5 + tax!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Meanwhile I fell in love with a lovely emerald and diamond ring .... would make a lovely Christmas present (pretty nicely priced too). And yes - I will tell you the name of this jeweler atw hich I recieved wonderful service - Lance Cavalieri Jewelers! Stop in and tell them they are being bragged about!

Had some fun at the thrift shops today. Got a nice silver mesh bangle bracelet and a bunch of yarn and a pile of books! Nice haul!!! And all I originally went out to do was mail an envelope to my daughter! Oh, and 2 very nice girly brag books!

Altho the days are warm, it is cool at night. I LOVE FALL! So there is chicken stew in the crockpot...biscuits in the refrig...and leftover brownies for dessert.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

Who the heck wants to live in Fallon NV?

So I ran around all day Friday to get errands done - and took the weekend off (emergency family) to go see my new grand daughter. Friday night I thought I was getting sick with the worst cold I have had in years....downed allergy meds and took 2 doses of Airborne and the next day I was pretty fine. So was it jsut allergies? Didnt feel like allergies at all....so bless Airborne...I am going to start keeping a stock of it in my cupboard (and the Walmart brand of it tastes a little better and is approx 50% cheaper)!!!!!

Started our drive to NV. Hit the Sierras and it was raining. By the time we got close to Donner Pass it was snowing. Sticking on the ground, but not on the road. And there were all these motorcycles on their way to Street Vibrations in Reno! I felt sorry for them - but truth to tell - also a bit smug that they were getting wet and cold and not me!

Took out my camera to take some photos....and my battery was dead. Now, did I bring the charger????? OF COURSE NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Talk about being a loser grandmother!

So we get to Fallon (again - why anyone would want to live there is beyond me - altho it was a bit bigger and a bit nicer than I had pictured in my mind which is not saying much!!) and our second stop was Walmart to get a disposible camera (after checking in at the motel). And then called DD to find out directions...oh yeah, such a big town, we were 2 blocks away.

And then to look at and hold the sweetest grand daughter you have ever seen - even if my crazy daughter named her Kaia Sunflower! The idea was to call her Sunny but DD likes the name Kaia so much, she will be Kaia.

A little yellow....so it is hard to tell what her complexion is going to be. I think tho a bit darker than her brother - maybe she got some of the Sicilian genes?? She has thick thick dark brown hair, and (when I finally got to see them on Sunday) baby colored eyes. That is what I tell all our new parents when they ask what color the baby's eyes are - a very few have definite colored eyes, but most have baby colored eyes.

So far she seems like a good baby. And Big Brother loves her and seems to be okay at having her home. Of course, who knows how long that will last!

When we stopped by to see her before we left Sunday she was much more awake and that is when I could see her eyes. Even tho she is a shorty (compared to Brother) she has long fingers and big hands!

DD seems to be doing ok - hopefully she isnt overdoing. Guess it is the Polish in her!!! She and her sister both did so well after their c/sections I was surprised (and proud of them both - neither one of them whiners about the surgery after it was over and done!!). I think it is killing her sister that she hasnt been able to - and might not be able to for awhile - see the baby!

Since my digital camera was not working, I do not have photos to post yet - but you know I will post them as soon as I get some!!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Winding up Maui










Jumping slightly ahead - the first phot of the rainbow is actually from Friday night.

On Thursday we went to another beach in the Nepili area where we got to see a bunch of green turtles. They are protected by law so you cant get too close and they are apparently camera shy - so I did get some photos that I know are of them, but otherwise you cant see them.


Friday Tom and I drove around. He FINALLY got his Spam and eggs that he didnt get 5 years ago, so now he can shut up about it! Actually, the food was very good at that little cafe - and no, I had my fill of Spam growing up and didnt like it then...


So we ventured on to the I'o Valley and saw the I'o needle. Very very beautiful area. Drove around some city that starts with a W for awhile looking for the antique stores and thrift shops mentioned in my Maiu for dummy book - we saw 3 pawn shops and that was it. Stopped at the Maui Tropical Plantation and had some very delicious macadamia nut ice cream. And then back to the pool and beach for our last time...


Had to include that sign...read it if you can...talks about the missionaries that came to Hawaii to educate the 'poor heathens' (said with huge sarcasm) and yet soon, the literacy rate in HAwaa was higher than where they came from!


Saturday was leaving day, so we finished packing and cleaning up and paying the bill. My husband - who is so unlike his mom - wanted to get going. And when we did finally get going, traffic was bad - slow and backed up until we finally got off the two lane road onto the 4 lane!

But we made it in plenty of time...everyone boarded as the people were saying hurry up and find seats - we dont want to miss our take off slot! And then we sat....and sat some more....and sat more....finally the pilot told us that they were having trouble with the intercom system between cockpit and flight attendants and per FAA rules, they could not take off with this problem. So they started a movie for people to watch.


Finally he came on again and said the engineers have to replace the part - but they dont have the part - they are flying it in from Honolulu. He said that really wouldnt take long, but to be prepared, because the engineers are not 100% sure that would fix the problem.


I had to stand up becuase I get very claustrophobic when the person in front of me puts their seat back all the way, and of course that is what they did. So I was standing in the back, and let me tell you, the flight attendants on this airline are very unhappy people! Talk about lack of job satisfaction! Whew! And I thought we complained a lot at work!


Finally they decided they would let us off the plane if we chose and I chose. So I went out and bought another sandwich for later (they cant open the food refrigs. at this point, they said) and bought some ice cream for now. And they wouldnt let us back on the plane! Finally after waiting there for almost 20 - 30 minutes, they told us what the people on board already knew....that the intercom was fixed (and BTW, they apparently left SF with intercom problems but according the the flight attendants ever since they began out-sourcing their repairs, they do not do preventative maintence! Hoo boy, makes me want to fly the Happy Skies again!!!) but now so much time was spent they could not expect the flight crew to fly back to SF, it had to be done voluntarily. So the majority decided to stay in Maui overnight...and now they had to find replacements.


And those replacements had to volunteer too. They apparently text messaged the pilot on the incoming flight to tell the crew not to de-plane themselves before calling in...and they asked if any of the crew would voluntarily turn around and fly back to SF instead of staying overnight in Maui. Luckily, along with the 2 or 3 flight attendents from our flight, they were able to get enough volunteers from this other crew to make up a crew... otherwise we would have been in Hawaii until the middle of the week.


Meanwhile, out on the concourse we heard about another flight (a different airline) that was having troubles too. They were flying that plane load of people bound for Chicago to overnight in Kona, and then take off the next day - otherwise, if they tried to leave from Maui, there were no available seats until Tues or Wed!!!!!!!!!


So instead of landing at 8:08PM we landed at 12:10 AM. Got home about 2:30 AM....which actually worked out well for jet lag!!!!
And yes, it was good to be away, and I always love the beach and getting re-energized by the ocean - but no, I dont ever really want to go back to Maui. If I got a free trip and could go during whale season, well, I wouldnt turn that down....but so far, my vote remains with the beautiful garden island of Kaui!


Thursday, September 20, 2007

A day to drive a grandma crazy

Well, little Kaia (see new spelling?) is here! Finally!

After a tearfull phone call from DD who was in pain and frustrated because she was not dilating any further (she went from 2 cm to 4 cm after they broke her water and didnt dilate any more) and she was in pain and they werent giving her an epidural....guess they walked in on the melt down and gave her the epidural.

I found out later that Kaia did not like the epidural and showed it by dropping her heartrate and DD did not like it (well, she loved it except for right then) and showed it by dropping her elevated BP. Luckily, I know that both are not uncommon reactions to epidurals!

And then I did not hear anything. At all, for a long long nerve wracking time. Then the next message I got was at 6 PM and all it said (text message) was c/section. Nothing more.

After about 1/2 hour of pacing and crying and putting up with a very annoying father and his new baby I finally called for a break so I could go fall apart in private. Which I did. And thanks to loving co-workers, I was able to pull myself together and called the hospital, knowing they couldnt give me much information - and they didnt. But the tone of voice at the other end helped some. Not much but some.

Wasnt until about 8:30 PM last night that I found out that little Kaia arrived at 1807 via c/section. And she did not outweight her brother or even approach her mother's own birthweight - she weighed in at a mere 8lbs 2 oz! And DD said most of that is hair! Unlike her big brother who was 22 inches, she is only 19 1/4 inches!

Guess she had the not-so-unusual reaction to being born by c/section and had some moistness in the lungs, which bought her an extended observation in the nursery. But by about 9:30 PM DD was finally able to hold and see her new baby!

Although they kep Kaia in the nursery under observation last night, she was allowed to come out for feedings and apparently nursed quite well twice.

Now sometime today big brother will get to meet her - DD wants to wait until all her attachments are gone so she doenst scare him!

And so - a day late - but HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAIA!
And right on time - HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATIE!

I love you both and am proud of you both...now you and your sister can compare c/section scars!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Kaya?

Today Katie is being induced....for a large baby that, according to the ultrasound they did yesterday, is around 9 lbs 9 oz. The irony of all this is....Katie herself was born on 9/20 (tomorrow!!) and weighed 9 lbs 9 oz!!!

So prayers for a quick labor and safe delivery please!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Tuesday in Maui
















This was the day we did the bike ride down from the volcano. Approx. 38 miles downhill....much of it with no guard rails! And something like 16 or 69 or some awful number of hairpin turns!


Started off from 10,000 overlooking a crater that could hold the island of Manhatten, and ending up at sea level....from 35 degrees cold to 80-something degrees humid!!!










Did not get up to do the sunrise ride...after all, if I am going to get up at 0230 to do it, they better darn well guarantee that we will see the sunrise!!!










But this was fun and I did so much better than I expected! Not many chances to take photos, so here is what I have...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Some photos of Lahaina














































To continue....







So, after we spent the time under the water - diving to 133 feet - and seeing some interesting things (no sharks tho - or turtles - or dolphins) - we got back onto the tender and headed back to the Lahaina harbor.... walked around a bit and stopped for lunch.
And it was at lunch that I found out why hubby 'surprised' me with these tours....because he had made a unilateral decision that the one and only thing I really looked forward to doing, was not going to happen. No trip to the East side of the island. No driving the Hana Highway. The one and only think I had been looking forward to since the majority picked Maui as the island to go visit.
Now, if this trip was just hubby and me....he would have played golf slightly later in the day and I would have spent one day taking the ferry to Lanai....and another day driving some of the Hana Highway if he didnt want to go.
But apparently he decided that when he and our friend got lost - and they were on a crappy road - that apparently the Hana Highway was very much worse (which people at the golf course told him) and he wasnt going to go...at all...which meant I didnt go. So you can imagine this made a rough time since he was playing golf 3 times during our stay there, and I....well, what did I get to do. Hmmm, shop (and those of you who know me know who much I love that....) and go to the beach. Cant say I minded going to the beach at all but....I really really really wanted to go down the HH...not necessarily all the way to Hana but some of it becuase the scenary is supposed
to be to die for - and from some photos I have seen, it must be...but I will never know for sure.....







Next Day











So on Monday hubby surprised me and booked two trips - a submarine ride and the bike trip down the volcano (not at sunrise tho!!). I kept telling my hubby that the sub was not in the harbor...and he said he knew. So off we went for that - and we did have to do a 10 minute ride out to the sub, but after taking Bonine he did great. Of course, we also went out in the AM so it was a bit calmer...


That blurry photo up there is supposedly something called Frog Fish...fish that dont swim....they climb and 'walk'. Havent verified that but that is what the person told us when we saw them...
Time to go eat...will finish Monday's saga after dinner...

Home again!





















So I will be updating bit by bit on the trip. Along with photos now that I am home...the dial up connection I was using in Maui was way too slow.

Arrived in Maui on time after a very nice, uneventful flight. Then had to wait for luggage (of course) - after getting lei'd of course! Then struggle over to the car rental and wait in that line...but finally on the way to West Maui and our place of stay. Hmm, is this Hawaii or Baja?

The ocean tho...was beautiful when we finally started seeing it. The "airport city" as I called it was a typical US city....Kmart (which, on opening day, opened to 10,000 people who had camped there for 2 days waiting for the doors to open), BK, McD's, Home Depot, Costco...oh, and ads for spam for breakfast!

And then when we got to where we were staying -we were very pleasantly surprised. The suite was beautiful - tiny kitchen, dining area, living room area, 2 bedrooms with baths, and a balcony all around with ocean and mountain views! So by then it was mid afternoon, and we hit the beach for a walk and ended up on the patio dining for drinks, appetizers, and the sunset which was beautiful....and then to bed cause the guys were playing golf very early the next morning.
We didnt know about the complementary breakfast at the hotel....until after the fact and then they would not let yus re-book it even though it was their fault for not letting us know. So we went to the breakfast that Pleasant Holidays put on and then to shopping. Found a great crafts fair and a lousy 'swap meet'....then back to hotel to meet up with the guys and hit the pool and beach! And that sums it up for the first 2 days in Maui...
First and last impressions of the island...way too much focus on resorts and shopping...would I go back? Maybe to see the whales in winter and to do the Hana drive (more about that later)...but would rather see the volcano on Hawaii and go back to Kaui....there was so much more to do there that we enjoyed....


Friday, September 7, 2007

Aloha!


Just wanted to say - aloha! Before we take off for Maui!!

I have made one demand for this trip - and that is, as soon as we touch down in Hawaii, there will be NO talk about work from hubby!! I really thought he would quit his job this week...they are killing him with covering the 2 areas since April...


Oh yeah, my almost-5 year old grandson thinks we are going over there to get married...cause that is what his Mom and Dad did...

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Christmas Around the World Knitter's Swap Questionaire

1. Are you religious? Sort of - altho do not attend church often - born and raised Catholic
2. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider yourself a Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced? I guess I would consider myself intermediate - been knitting of and on since teenager I guess - so too many years to count - over a quarter of a century!
3. Do you have any other hobbies besides knitting? Reading, travel, cross stitch
4. Favorite color(s)? Darks greens and plums, corals
5. Do you collect anything? I wish I could say no - collect too much - dust bunnies! Balleek china - antiques - knitting things
6. Are you allergic to any fibers or animals? Very allergic to cats
7. Do you have any pets? Right now we are down to one dog only
8. Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate? Coke!....tea
9. Cookies or Sweets? cookies
10. Do you knit socks? yeppers
11. If not socks then what? (tell us about your favorite knits) Anything I might finish - scarves, baby things...
12. Do you put up a Christmas tree? If not then what do you do? Most definitely! Wish I had big enough house to put up more than one so I could put out all my tree decos!!!
13. Favorite holiday treats? Christmas cookies
14. Favorite holiday smells? Snow...Christmas trees...cinnamon...
15. Do you celebrate Christmas in a traditional or unconventional way? Please elaborate. Traditional....I dont think the family would change....Christmas Eve mass (depending on work schedule) and on Christmas Eve we open certain presents (i.e. from friends, and the kids open their presents from each other) Christmas Day is all the rest of the presents and then a big cioppino dinner (which is an adapted tradition from hubbies family - should be done on Christmas Eve but since we so often work Christmas Eve it has become a Christmas Day dinner)
16. What are your favorite holiday traditions? These questions are hard ones! When the kids were little they would get new sheets and pj's for Christmas Eve and would use them that night...hiding the pickle on the three and seeing how competitive grown kids can be
17. Finish the sentence: “For me Christmas is all about....” Family and friends
18. If you were a Christmas ornament you would be…….? Something made out of Waterford....a star??
19. What was your favorite gift you've ever received? Or given? My favorite gifts have always been books....the frustrating thing as a kid was how quickly I would devour them....
20. When do you start your Christmas? Depends on the year and the mood and how busy work is...
21. Do you send Christmas cards? Do you make them or buy them? Yes I still send them..,.buy them after Christmas for the next year - takes forever to pick them out!
22. What is your favorite Christmas dish? Tie between date nut bread and gugelhopf
23. Carolers are at your door. What do you do? Listen and enjoy and wish I oculd carry a tune!
24. When do you open presents? Christmas eve or Christmas morning? See #15
25. Do you celebrate with family or friends or both?Mainly family but some years both

Happy Anniversary!

Yesterday was our 34th anniversary. Wow. Who would have believed that? I know most people would not have taken bets that we would have lasted this long - I think most people were betting on a year or two!

I was trying to think of how to describe it all in one word - fun? yes, but...interesting? defintely, but..Challenging? absolutely, but...Finally decided on - ADVENTURE!

And that it has! We have lived in how many different places? Both sides of the country. We have traveled to where? Raised 3 challenging kids of whom 2 are raising their own challenges....and we are still adventuring on together....WHOO- HOO it has been a ride!

So how did we spend the day? At our rental - seeing the miracle that Pacific Tub & Tile worked with the tub - awesome job!!! AND came in under estimate!! Even better.

Then hubby thought he could fix the leaks in the sink without having to replace entire vanity and sink....well, we fixed 3 out of 4 leaks....all day process too.

Had dinner at the only place we seem to eat at any more down there - Abalonetti's on the wharf cause we love their squid.

Today and tomorrow is the HArvest Wine Festival that we will be enjoying...jsut wish it would be cooler...