Sunday, December 23, 2007

Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday season!

These are just a few that are more recent of Jenn and baby Aidan. Jenn and Aidan flew to Moline to my in-law's (thank you, Nanny and Poppa) where her husband Michael met them the next day. It was his first time meeting his son and seeing Jenn since he left for training on the mainland in October. I have a trip to fly the beginning of the week, then the next day, hubby and I will be on our way to see everyone for a few days. I can't wait! Aidan has grown even since I left, as evidenced by these pictures that were taken by Jenn's dad. Today I'm packing for my work trip and our trip to Moline. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and stays safe on the roads out there. Remember...peace on earth...even if you're traveling, don't let stress make you less kind to each other out there. :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Toddler Property Laws

1. If I like it, it's mine.
2. If it's in my hands, it's mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.
4. If I had it a week ago, it's mine.
5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks just like mine, it's mine.
8. If I think it's mine, it's mine.
9. If it it's near me, it's mine.
10.If it's broccoli, it's yours.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Finally finished the sundress on Aidan's 2 week birthday

I finally finished the sundress that I'd started on Monday (I think) so it's ready to iron and wear. I got the fabric at the Walmart in the next town (Millilani) but I could only work on it when Aidan wasn't in his bed, the machine is in a huge closet space that's right near his room and I didn't want to wake him up. I might just make up another one...I like the sleeves in it for going places that are air conditioned, my shoulders always get chilly in sleeveless sundresses. I guess putting some shoes on would dress it up too.

Today is the two week anniversary of Aidan's birth on November 17th. He's getting more comfortable being out in the world now, and as you can see he's a very long baby, tall like his Mom and Dad. He's really beginning to look around at the world and is very aware when he's awake. I am personally kind of partial but I think he's one handsome young man! :)

Friday, November 30, 2007

And the stash grows

I'm still on Oahu with Jenn and Aidan and today I decided to venture out on my own towards town and go to a monster fabric store. I think I've found where the rainbows that Hawaii is so famous for end, in the Fabric Mart. Although I only bought Hawaiian prints for some clothing and perhaps quilts, they had a lot of really neat things, it was nearly overwhelming. I actually was able to aquire stash and get back to Jenn's before it was time for me to cook her and I some lunch so it was a great day all around. Here's a picture from a couple of days ago of Jenn and Aidan...I dropped my camera and had to replace it...if the weather tomorrow is bright I should be able to take some new ones. It's been rainy and dreary the past couple of days.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Back again so soon

After a full day of travel again yesterday I'm back in Wahiawa with Jenn and Aidan. I'm helping here out until she gets back to semi normal. (Do you ever go back to normal after your children are born? Probably not, but in a good way.) I came back on Monday to do the work for the business and then was off to Moline with Mark and Jonathan for our annual Thanksgiving family reunion. I was sad to leave yesterday as I really look forward to the event every year, but I was needed so here I am. Here's a moment when Aidan was sleeping, poor Jen hasn't had more than a couple of hours of sleep at a time now in more than a week.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Welcome, Aidan!

This was Jenn's first good look at her beautiful baby boy while still in the operating room. He arrived at 5:33 pm Hawaiian time and is absolutely gorgeous! He's big too, he weighed 7 pounds 15 ounces and is 20 inches long! He has a big bunch of blonde hair just like mom and dad had as kids, and he has beautiful eyes to look at his mommy with. Yes, that's me holding him since Jen was unable to at the time. She had a hard and very long and difficult labor and is resting at the hospital for a day or two more. I'll be on the way back to the cold tonight.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday update

Well, I finally got to see a mongoose up close the other day. Not the one that ran across the road but one that was dining on a stryrofoam container in the bushes by where we parked to go see the Sea Turtles. He was cute but ran away quickly. As for an update on baby, Jenn and I stopped at the Walmart and the Drug store last night so she could get some Evening Primrose Oil...and she's been continuing to try the Castor oil. She is pretty miserable but nothing so far. We went today to do a couple of errands and had lunch at a great place called Cholos, seen above. It was really wierd to eat at a Mexican resteraunt in Oaha while they were showing Snow Boarding on the TV inside. We ate outside where there were chickens walking around under the tables. I had the best fish burrito I'd ever had, made with local Ahi Tuna. YUM! Jenn and I got a few more sundresses at a local shop that has them dirt cheap, and then came back to do things here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


We spent time at the NEX again shopping for last moment items and walking Jen around and then came home to pack up the stuff we're shipping home. We went to Haleaiwa and went to the turtle beach where there were three Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles sleeping on the shore. The tide was up and the waves out to sea were huge, and there were lots of surfers riding the waves. We went to Jamiesons and had a yummy seafood dinner and enjoyed the sunset as we were eating outside so we would watch.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sand and more sand

I'm just beginning to get the sand out of my scalp and ears and nose. We went to the beach at Waimea bay and the shore break was so powerful it pulled me under and I got definitely sand blasted before I could get out. Still it was a fun day with still pregnant Jen and Mark. We hit another beach first, but it was too rocky to swim in, Mark did snorkel and saw puffer fish and got a bunch of shells for Jen's collection. We also went to the old sugar cane plant where we found some beautiful sarongs and some really nice hand made soaps. We ended the outing with Matsumoto's Shave ice and then to the Dole plantation where we got some food and enjoyed the gardens. The first picture up here is Jen's very own backyard view of the mountains. (I'm posting on which sends a copy to blogger, so the pictures don't always come up in the same order on blogger), the second is us at the beach. I was beginning to have too much sun on my legs so I threw my sarong over my legs. This was right before I went back in the water and got tossed in the sand and waves. The next 2 were the view to the Right and then the Left of where we were sitting on the beach, and the last one is us at the dole plantation on the way back home. And though she's tried everything that everyone has suggested from Chili to Castor Oil, Jen is still pregnant. We've taken her out walking too...he's just not ready to come out!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Just another shitty day in paradise

Yesterday Jenn wasn't feeling very awake so Mark and I went exploring on our own. What can I say, we took pictures but it's all so beautiful how to choose what to post? This one was just around the corner from Hanama Bay on the rocks, we went to Waikiki for lunch and a little shopping and walking, then went sightseeing with Jenn. The picture of Jenn was taken near Hanama Bay. We're really enjoying Hawaii but we want Jenn to be comfortable, I know she's getting tired of not having the baby.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Busy day

Today dawned early with the time change of 5 hours between home time and time here in Hawaii. We were out the door quickly this morning and our first stop was the NEX on the Naval base at Pearl Harbor. We were treated to beautiful paintings on the ceiling of the main entry hall by a painter who does his sealife paintings on buildings. I'd seen a couple of other examples of his work in the past and the way he did this building was striking. We spent some time shopping and looking for things to bring back to the family, we had breakfast, and we then spent some time driving around the base looking at all the ships docked there. There was an aircraft carrier and some ships in from Japan...all in all fun, just like being at an airport looking at planes parked and their comings and goings too. Our next stop was the USS Arizona Memorial where we spent a couple of hours learning and waiting for our turn to take the boat over to the place where the battleships were moored on the morning of December 7, 1941. The memorial straddles the remains of the ship so you can look out the windows and get views of what is left in the water and small parts which ride above the surface. It's very solumn and very beautiful there. We then went to the North shore to watch the sunset and eat Garlic Shrimp from a roadside truck...they were fantastic! We are tired and I'm sure we'll all sleep well tonight.

Hello from Paradise

We arrived in Honolulu yesterday after being up for about 20 hours. I spent most of the day on the plane knitting some beautiful sock yarn that my friend Lorraine had picked out (I love it!) for me at Stitches. I slept only a little bit over the hours of flying, and managed to survive it ok. We had a wonderful Hawaiian purser on the flight that did a item by item description as we flew over and then into Ohau, I haven't been here in about 19 years so it's nice to be back. Jenn met us at the baby yet. We're going to go play today, shop and sightsee and hopefully go to the USS Arizona memorial. We have to get the stamp in our National Park Passport, you know. :)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Stress olympics

How does it change many dyslexics to take a lightbulb?

And yes, if you must know, I read that correctly the first time. grrrrr

Ok..I'll admit. Working on the website all day has totally fried my brain. I have more to do and no motivation. I had a beer with dinner. Now I want to take a nap.

No sense messing with the napping instinct.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Geesh...another thing to fix

I'm getting together things for the Rememberance day parade and ball in Gettysburg the day after we get back from Hawaii. I just made a cage crinoline 2 weekends ago, and I'd love to wear it with my ball gown (shown here at a camp dance in Hanover, PA in August). However, due to the size of my cage, I don't think the ball gown is long enough in the back to wear...but I'll have to put on all my undergarments and try this and my green ball gown on to see what one works best. This is just another example of how things take way longer than you think they're going to when you're under time pressures. lol I'm trying to get everything packed and ready for all the events that we'll be attending as they are all just one day apart from each other until the end of November. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Oh Rats

Ok, we're rat sitting this weekend. You heard me. You sitting, baby sitting, house sitting, rat sitting. A dear friend of our son's has a hairless rat and she is incredibly well trained and very smart. She was sitting on my shoulder while I was typing so I decided to take a picture of her. Her name is Bitsy...and yes, she comes running when she hears her name just like a dog. Yeah, my life is kind of wierd some times, but I like it all the same. :)

Nothing like a bit of retail therapy

It's been stressful, I admit. Trying to get the business things done while trying to clean, organize, pack for the trip, do laundry and the things that make the household run. And then we have the friend things to do as we went to a church fund raiser for friends of ours. And lo and behold, I figure out that I don't have any dress pants for our thanksgiving dinner and picture taking the next day so off we go for some retail therapy. I didn't feel like trying on clothes, I hate it. I'm not a mall person, and I've reduced my clothes buying for fairly dressy stuff to one store and one store only. I said I wanted to go home and then would make due with what's in the closet, wear a skirt or something like that. But my hubby who is very understanding took me to my favorite (and not the closest) Chicos and as I walked in, he settled down in one of the cozy "husband" chairs. My favorite "helper" there was in today and she saw me and immediately got started with putting together outfits and getting things for me to try on. Thank goodness. I need adult Garanimals, that's why I shop at this place, all the colors match every season making it very easy to work with everything, and the salesclerk helped me put together enough outfits to be in good shape for all the traveling that I have coming up as well as our family events over the holidays. I have enough coordinating items at home that go with what I bought to make even more outfits and I am feeling great about everything. I think that's going to go well with the case of wine that I bought at the wine discount store today to refill my sadly depleated wine rack. Hmmmm....perhaps a glass of Malbec is in order for tonight, or maybe a nice Pinot Noir? Or should I have a beer? I do have some Grasshoppers in the fridge...maybe some Sleimans...hmmmmm....decisions, decisions, decisions. I might have to leave for my daughter's at any moment...I guess it's time to stop typing and get going putting things away and to pack for the trip. :) But not until I decide on what refreshment I want

Friday, November 02, 2007

Getting excited...but must get back to reality

This pretty lady is our daughter and she's due in about a week to have her first child. Mark and I are going to go help her out because her dear husband has to be away in training. I'm starting to get excited about our "vacation" but at the same time, I have lots to do before I even think about packing...the floor of my office is full of things to process and take care of, my warehouse needs a thorough reorganization, my sewing room needs to be put back together after it was torn apart chasing a bird that had gotten into the house. All in all, I have no business taking the time even to blog!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

When you give a moose a muffin, well sort of

If you've ever read the children's book "If you give a moose a muffin", you'll know that the lesson is that one thing always leads to another. Well, Saturday morning, much to my dismay, the scale at Weight Watchers was not my friend. I'd gained a pound back, mostly, I think, from not being good about drinking water. It had also been a very turbulent week from Wednesday on, starting with Jon and I helping out at a Motorcycle accident scene we happened upon until the EMT's got there, and ending with a call from someone that hadn't called me in forever to say that my last Aunt had passed away. There were many phone calls back and forth between my long estranged sister who was very, uh, to be nice, snarky, and I and I spent the majority of Thursday verifying what she'd said Wednesday (whole other story) and spent most of Friday writing a long letter to send her.

She did give me a cousin's phone number that had been trying to get in touch with me for a very long time and she would not help him until now. That is a plus. He and I are only 1 month apart in age, and I hadn't talked to him in a long time. I called him and we talked for a long time and I'm very glad to be in touch again!

This same sister (the only sibling) didn't bother to call me back in 1996 when my dad passed away. I'd just talked to him a week or so prior, and I had no idea. I found out from that same Aunt in not enough time to attend the funeral, and have never heard from my sister since, with no explanation for why this happened. I'd let it go, content to fill my life with good friends, loving family, and people that ascribe to the same values as my immediate family and I do. Needless to say, she and I are certainly not cut from the same cloth. Most of the time, I don't even think about her, had moved on, and didn't expect to hear from her ever again.

Mark and I met friends at the Maryland Microbrewary Festival at the Beautiful Union Mills Homestead on Saturday afternoon and though I had a fantastic time (though I didn't drink much of the beer), we talked through much of my feelings about the past day's events.

Well, to bring back in that children's book reference, Saturday after weighing in, we went to our usual farmer's market and I got fresh fruit and veggies for the week. I was disappointed in the pound I'd regained, but I thought that wasn't too bad, considering all the stress I'd been through during the week. I hadn't been drinking enough water and I know that usually helps me with my weight. We'd also eaten out more than usual due to all the time I'd spent on phone calls and not on cooking suppers, so I'd gotten enthusiastic again about cooking some good foods for us at home.

I slept well Saturday night, so Sunday morning I went downstairs and decided to clean. I started on the oven and when I cleaned the floor after cleaning the oven (we're the last family on the planet without a self cleaning kind), I decided that the floor was really beyond help which led me to start thinking about replacing it. I was on a roll, so I kept on cleaning, and eventually off we went to Home Depot for some mulch and other things. I bought floor tiles for the kitchen, and began to work on the project that same evening. If you remember the old floor, I'm sure you'll agree that this is an improvement.

It took me Sunday evening and most of the day Monday to get to the end of the 3 cases of floor tiles I bought, so I drove up to another Home Depot looking for more as our local one was out. I was able to get more for the kitchen, finished it, and since I had a case plus a few extras left, decided that the upstairs bathroom needed an update too! I got the bathroom done yesterday, and I really like it! I had to piece at the end because I ran out of 12x12 tiles, but it all ended up ok. Now to get the wall in the living room painted! That might have to wait for another stretch of days off.

And you know what? The whole thing with my sister made me really appreciate again how good my life is and how thankful I am for my fantastic family and friends. :) She and I talked a few more times and she is a lot less snarky now, and since she is my sister, I've made a bit of room in my life for her. We'll see how that goes.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Almost finished projects

The most unfinished project is actually me! My day on the scale yesterday was ok, as I lost 2.4 pounds, but that only brings me to a total this time of 7.6 pounds, which is less than an average of 2 pounds per week at Weight Watchers. Still, with as much as we ate last weekend when Meg and Jon were with me, I'm shocked that I lost at all! A big huge thank you goes to Loraine who suggested that I continue the pleated satin ribbon on the bottom of this dress. It really sets off the trim on the sleeves and though you can't see it in the picture, also draws in the blue bottons on the bodice. My skirts are usually 4 panels of 44-45 inches width, I made this skirt 4 panels too, forgetting that the fabric was 62 inches wide! Yikes. This dress has one really heavy skirt, and that was a huge amount of ribbon to pleat, pin, and sew. Still, it seems to be worth the work, it really looks nice.

Here is the paletot I've been driving myself nuts working on for the past 2 weeks. It has an layer of wool batting (made from some of my own fleeces) quilted into the lining. Quilting that batting in took forever, and with having a fully lined anything you are actually making a whole 2nd garment! Still I will be the one at the Remembrance Day parade in November that is toasty and warm under my cozy coat. I found the fabric online at my favorite wholesale source, the lining at Joann's with a 40% coupon, and the velvet ribbon I got at about half price at another fabric outlet. Good thing too since it took about 20 yards of ribbon and about 5 yards of fabric and lining to make the coat. Mark is out getting buttons for me right now for the coat so I should be able to finish it tonight.
I had enough ribbon to add these decorative "keyholes" to the trim stripes. I really like the way they look on the sleeves. I've been thinking about adding one to the center back as well, coming off the line of trim that goes across, but so far I haven't decided. I will probably leave well enough alone and save the extra velvet ribbon for a dress or something else. Next up in Civil War era sewing, I'd like to make a taffeta (silk probably) ball gown for the November event. I'm not sure if I'm going to do that or make another dress as I've been selling my old ones and I actually have room in my closet now for another. :) Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A sunny day at Hyde's quarry

It was a rainy morning and chilly Saturday when we got up to go to weight watchers. We attended our meeting and then headed to our favorite farm market in Pennsylvania and then went home to get the gear and the kids for a day of diving at Hyde's Quarry. Meghann is working on getting enough dives to start her Dive Master training over Christmas. The day ended up clearing and was sunny with a bit of a wind and an air temperature of about 62 degrees, the water was in the 60's above 15 feet, then probably around mid 40's below that.
Getting together all the dive gear after so long proved challenging but we managed to find everything. I'd forgotten just how much work it was just to get everything together and get suited up for the dives. I'd taught scuba in the pools at the 2005 National Scout Jamboree with Mark, but we used their gear and all I needed of my own was my warm water wetsuit. I haven't been in anything deeper than the pool in a little over 4 years. I had done a lot of diving in the past so I have a lot of wetsuits in a lot of different thicknesses and varieties.
This is me while I chilled for awhile on the surface in between dives. They've added a school bus, car, sailboat, concrete culverts to swim through, and some other little things to look at in the water. As you can tell from the hood and the thickness of the wetsuit, we were at a cold water location. Since the water above 15 feet wasn't too cold, the thick wetsuit was plenty warm for that area, but as soon as you dropped below the thermocline, you knew it immediately by the temperature drop, no need to pick up the depth gauge and look!
Meg has an underwater housing for her digital camera and took this good picture of Jon underwater. He hasn't been underwater for the same 4 years I had been away, and he did fine getting back into it. His comfort level seemed very good and it made me proud. Jon and I took our initial diving classes together back in 2001, and we were both apprehensive in some ways back then, we helped each other a lot, I had been very apprehensive about learning to dive and he even held my hand when I needed it. It's hard to believe that's been 6 years ago already!

The fish at Hyde's quarry are trained to come around when there are divers in the water, especially to the training platforms. When I was doing assistant teaching and safety diving, we always used to bring ez cheeze to feed the fish so that the divers on their check outs would be distracted and get comfortable with being underwater while using the fish as a diversion. The fish followed us as we swam to and from the various things underwater. You can see us swimming ahead. That's Mark in the lead, with Jon to my left, and I was on the right wearing Jon's blue fins for this dive. Here's a good one of Meg after our two dives as we were unsuiting and getting the gear unhooked and put away. :) Diving is definitely a gear intensive activity and it took awhile to get organized. It was nice to have 2 cars there to carry everyone and everything. I used to leave the tank mat in my jeep all the time and my gear pretty much stayed accessible all year long. But those days have been replaced by the business and Civil War reenactment and all the other things that we now do when we used to be diving.
Here's Jon switching dive shoes with me. I'd been using my good fins and big boots that I had when I was diving every week and my legs were hurting. Jon and I traded fins and boots and I was a lot happier the second dive. The good fins take much more leg muscle strength than I had after being out of the water for 4 years, I guess I'll have to use my split fins like Jon's the next time I get into the water until I build up my legs again. I ended up getting horrible leg cramps while I was diving, probably from lack of activity.
This shot is photographic evidence that my son was being a pita underwater, riding on my back as we dove. (And yes, it's harder to swim with another person on your back! Meghann got this one so I could prove that Jon was doing this even once we got out of the water and he started acting innocent. I did so many dives as the "watcher of the students" that pretty much nothing phases me, so it was no big deal, but Jon thought he was really doing something evil.
Here are Jon and I sitting in the back of his Element eating our lunch between dives. Diving makes you hungry and tired and after id had been so long, it really kicked my butt! It was so much fun though, and I'm glad that we went all together, it was nice to dive with Mark and Meg and Jon again. It had been way too long.