Posts Tagged ‘maui’

Hindsight….. again…..

March 3, 2017

skiing-with-noraLast week, I took the kids skiing in Flagstaff on Tuesday. It is a 90 minute drive from our house, which is surprising because we live in Phoenix, AZ. But when you drive up to 10,000 feet, even in Arizona, there is snow in the winter. A blustery storm had blown through the previous weekend and the mountain was p.e.r.f.e.c.t. for my three skiers. No, I didn’t ski. Being the planning maniac that I am, I brought a list of TO-DO items that I was going to have checked off while I sat in the cozy lodge sipping cocoa. Much to my dismay, there was no phone service NOR internet connectivity at the lodge. What century are we in? And I brought NOTHING else to do. My to-do-list-checking-self had a hard time for eight long hours, as you can imagine.

At one point, I folded my arms on the table, in the middle of the noisy ski chalet between the cafe and the bar, put my head on one of my children’s discarded sweatshirts and took an hour-long nap. Nap. Check!

Wednesday, I drove north again. This time to Sedona, land of the red rocks, where my husband was on a three-day work retreat and wives were invited. Unfortunately, the first day was Tuesday… ski day. Rick and I enjoyed a flavorful Mexican meal at our favorite stop Javalina Cantina. Unfortunately, my mind was still frozen from the previous day and I thoroughly squandered salsa loaded with cilantro. Cilantro is my newly discovered #2 highly allergic food. DUH. That night didn’t end comfortably.

Thursday, for the first time in my life, I visited Jerome, Arizona. Rumor has it, people drive for forever to go there. Seven of my homeschool-mom-peeps and I were spending Thursday through Sunday at a cabin in the woods in Prescott… just to get away from it all. It was sublime. Anyway, there is a “highway” from Sedona to Prescott that goes through Jerome, a very sleepy little mining town that is truly built on the side of a mountain. I’m convinced that a map of the town would look like a Chutes-N-Ladders game. Currently it is an artsy tourist metropolis with next-to-no parking. Public restroom are in the fire hall… FYI.

The “highway” reminded me of the Road to Hana in Maui…. however, palm trees were replaced with pine trees, the drop off the cliff into the ocean was replaced with sheer rock cliffs to solid rock cavern, and the one-lane bridges were replaced with very narrow jaunts through the town. I can add this adventure and then check it off my bucket list. Jerome. Check!

prescott

Sunday 1:00 in the afternoon… pending doom hit. I got chills that were multiplying. My body’s ability to regulate temperature was losing control. I climbed under the power that the electric blanket was supplying. It was electrifying. But I never shaped up. I needed a friend to drive my van home with me in it. After days of coughing, chills, fever, sweating and “sleeping” in my green birthday chair (instead of flat on my back in my bed) I succumbed to a doctor’s visit. Prognosis: Flu and Bronchitis. She inquired if a note was necessary for work to excuse me for several days so I could rest. I declined.

Then it started. ON THE WAY HOME FROM THE DOCTOR! I hadn’t even made it to the pharmacy to pick up my meds and my very first inhaler. “Can you swing by Costco and pick up a battery for the van?” “Mom, what’s for dinner?” “Can you cut my hair?” “We’re going to the park tomorrow, right?” “There’s a birthday party on Saturday.” “Can you please change a few things on my business receipt original copy?” “Are you washing laundry?” “I got Bon Jovi tickets for Saturday night!” “There’s no milk.” Oh my stars.

Never should I have declined the note qualifying my need for rest. What in the blazes was I thinking? I could have taped it on my bedroom door…. or my forehead. (I even declined the opportunity to see John in concert…. THAT’S how much rest I need!)

Rest well, my faithful readers. And use hand sanitizer. You don’t want what I got! Trust me!

Advertisements

Phoenix… We have a Problem!

January 15, 2017

My parents were blessed to spend New Years in Maui with my sister and her family, relaxing on the beach and enduring the rooster calls on the island. Being the kind and thoughtful daughter, I volunteered for pick-up duty on their arrival home. When they booked the tickets, I remember hearing the return date as January 11th, a date that coincides with a special occasion for one of my nieces, who is from Maui. I thought it coincidental that the dates matched.

Calling my brother, who had taken them for their departure, I wanted to confirm the airline and flight time. All was good. Here’s my sticky note.

pink sticky note2.jpg

I feel the need to point out the extent of my niceness. That 6:49 is A.M. The airport is 30 miles from our house in the same direction all the Phoenix metro traffic heading downtown. Big fat bumper-to-bumper bummer.

Before I volunteered for o’dark-thirty parent retrieval, I checked with all driving family members to see if it was “more convenient” for someone else to go. Nope. Two had to go to work and one to band class. The glitch in this scenario is that our daughter had to be to her reading specialist at 8:00 a.m. From experience, I knew that I couldn’t make it back from the airport in time to take her and I didn’t want to wake her up at 5:15 a.m. either. The princess needs her sleep.

I called a faithful friend who also has a child in the reading class and asked if Nora could sleep over at her house. Sure! That’s what friends are for. I delivered her to her pajama party late on Tuesday night.

My alarm, which incidentally is only set a few times a year, blasted it’s jovial wake-up tune at 5:15 a.m. Please remember at this time that I am a homeschool mom. One of the top reasons we homeschool is so we can get the rest we need… i.e.: we sleep in…. almost every day.

I threw on sweats, brushed my teeth and hair, and went out the front door into the chilly AZ air. Brrrr… in the low 50s. Black skies laughed at me. I am always surprised when it is dark in the morning, for I rarely see this phenomenon.

Traffic wasn’t bad at all and I pulled into the parkade with 15 minutes to spare. After making mental notes of the level and parking area, I checked the screens for arrival times. 412 from Kahului just landed….6:28. Early! Good. This should go quickly. My comfy bed might even still be warm when it welcomes me back!

If you have ever landed at Sky Harbor in Phoenix, you may be aware of the dual runways and the occasional need to taxi for 15 minutes to get to your gate. It adds to the suspense of deplaning. Thankfully I remembered this little tidbit and was not alarmed by a 20 minute delay between the landing time and seeing weary travelers in Hawaiian shirts getting off the red-eye flight. Finally several vacationers trudged by wearing neck pillows and carrying pale green Hawaiian Cookie Company bags. I was a tad alarmed when I didn’t see my very own weary parents. There was no way I could have missed them walking by. There is only one gate for them to come out of. I was there the whole time. But they didn’t show up.

Baggage claim is right down stairs from where I had been sitting for 30 minutes. I decided to take a trip down there to see if Dad and Mom teleported from the plane to the baggage area. Nope. All the Hawaiian shirts were sitting on the floor awaiting their tardy suitcases.

Back upstairs I went… a bit concerned. Could something have happened to one of them on the plane? I called both their cell numbers several times. Both went straight to voicemail. I didn’t want to call my sister to see if she put them on the plane because it was 3:45 in the morning in Maui. I called my husband who was across the tarmac in his office. “I can’t find my parents,” I lamented. He comforted me by telling me they were probably just lost. Great! Where do I report missing persons?

My husband suggested checking my text messages again from Maui. I opened up my brother-in-law’s message and it read, “Mom and Dad arrive Thursday morning at 6:49.” Big fat early morning bummer. It was Wednesday.

Their flight WAS on the 11th of January… but arrived on the 12th of January. I was 24 hours early. I decided not to wait for them at the airport.

A Starbucks caramel apple cider soothed my weary soul before I left the terminal. After handing over my $5.00 for parking and I was on my way home to my snuggly bed.

(In a couple weeks I am scheduled to pick up my niece ON THIS SAME FLIGHT! Hopefully I will get it right next time.)

 

Happy New Year 2017!

January 5, 2017

Such an exciting time of year for big goals, fresh plans, brilliant ideas, new clothes (just thought I’d throw that one in there!  Shopping, anyone?) and clean starts! I pray you have begun to think about changes you could make to increase your happiness, effectiveness and joy! I have!

As 2016 came to a close, I was beyond pleased to flush several circumstances we encountered in the past 12 months… things I hope to never live through again. But instead of listing the lame-o occurrences, I choose joy. 1 Thes. 5:16 Rejoice always!

Here is my list of What I Learned in 2016 that has changed who I am and how I look at the world differently from now on. Thank you, Jesus, for opened eyes.

  1. FREEDOM! (Yelled in my best Scottish Braveheart accent with my RRRRs all rolling like thunder!) I learned that freedom is the ability to do what we see fit in our lives without anyone else dictating our actions or judging us. Freedom is power. Avoid those who wish to control you and minimize your freedom. Freedom really brings a freeing feeling. Imagine that! Be free! Is the living joy being sucked out of your life? Make some changes. Be free!
  2. GOD! We all have a hole inside of us that we are striving to fill that can only be filled by God. He gave us the desire for MORE! More of HIM! We tend to try and fill that hole with other things … leading to overworking, addictions, perfectionism, life-crippling habits, over-attention on our kids, trivial busyness, social media, etc. But God.
  3. YOU! You are the only you on the planet. You are here for a reason… so am I. I encourage you to look at your God-given talents and interests and figure out what you are supposed to be doing that no one else can do but YOU! Who are you here to bless? To influence? To encourage? To serve? The rest of us want you to succeed at being YOU!
  4. TIME! We all have the same amount of time each day. Well, that’s not totally true because some of us sleep more than others (I happened to get 10.5 hours last night, but that was post vacation recovery.) …. but that doesn’t change the 24 hours we all have, does it? But I digress. There are a multitude of activities you can and could and might participate in… but should you? Just because you can do a task, doesn’t mean you are supposed to. Which leads us back to #3….
  5. WRONG! This has been my mantra for years, but it was so evident in my life this year: IT’S OKAY TO LET OTHERS BE WRONG. Arguing doesn’t help. Even truthful facts don’t help! Simply let others be wrong and move on with your life.

There you have it, folks. And can I suggest getting away from it all even for a day or two to evaluate your life. Sitting on Kapalua Beach on Maui in early November I made a list of the things in my life that were causing me to feel angry, sad, hurt, mad and frustrated. That day I made some decisions, eliminated activities, distanced myself from a couple situations and my life has been richer, freer, more joy-filled ever since. Change is good… and I’m not a big lover of change.

Make it a point to take every thought captive. Don’t dwell on horrible instances that make your blood boil. It’s a waste of time. Choose to find something to think about that brings you joy. I started a new board on Pinterest that simply makes me happy when I look at the watercolor pictures. Makes me want to run for my paints and brushes. It’s that easy! You got this!

The cool thing is, right after this new mindset, some unbelievable doors opened up for me. Desires of my heart. Thank you, God.

Golden Birthday

November 26, 2016

A week before Thanksgiving, I was awaken in the dark of the night by a muscle cramp in my right buttocks and thigh. Not like the swimmer’s toe cramp you can just pull out of. Serious stabbing pain that made sleeping scarce. This was not fun. I like fun.

What could have brought this on, you ask? Quite possibly my almost 18-year-old son asking me if he could invite “some” friends over for his golden birthday party that he was planning while I was sitting on the beach in Maui. He would be 18 on the 18th… GOLDEN! His plan was that I would be home to cook for the party, of course. Being the nice mom, I said, “Sure! Invite some friends over.”

Next, said 18-year-old texted me to let me know he made me an administrator on a facebook event for this party for which I was cooking. That didn’t phase me until I clicked on to see why the party needed an event page on facebook. HE HAD INVITED 150 FRIENDS … while I was sitting on the beach in Maui. “Some” does not equal 150 in my mind.

As friends would respond that they couldn’t come, I would go on and type in “Good!” My hope was to scare off the kids that don’t know me well.

It went down like this: Wednesday – arrive home early in the morning from 17 days in Maui. Thursday – shop like a crazy woman. Thursday night 3:27 a.m. – leg cramps. Friday – party with 150 invites.

Thankfully only 75 of the guests showed up. There was much laughter, ping-pong, loud music, gold light-up shoes, streamers, Mexican food, a DJ, chocolate cake, line dancing on the dead grass in the backyard and 58 water bottles were opened and sampled. (Now being used to water my plants.) I am pretty sure the front and rear doors of the house were open wide from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.

keeves-18th-party-026

The birthday boy with his cousin, Whitney. So much happy! The golden shoes for the golden birthday really need a picture of their own. Sadly, they were not switched to the on position for this photo.

keeves-18th-party-028

Here you go. Not only do they light up… they strobe! BAM! Golden birthday success!

keeves-18th-party-016

More on the massive cramp tomorrow. I promise.

Still a California Girl

November 15, 2016

Last time I visited my sister on Maui, the kids would do their schooling in the morning then I would excitedly announce right after lunch, “Let’s go to the beach!” because we were in Maui. DUH! Why would you sit in the house, even if you live here? Several faces turned and looked at me as if I had horns coming out of my head then uttered ridiculous comments such as, “Now?” and “Why?” and “It’s too late” and my personal favorite: the glance to the clock and then the look of confusion on their faces.

It was 1:00 in the afternoon. Warm weather. White sand. Waves rolling just two blocks away. I did not understand the problem. At all. We had an afternoon stretching out in front of us with NOTHING to do. WHY AREN’T WE GOING TO THE BEACH!?!?

“Well, it’s kind of late in the day.” Um, no. It’s 1:00.

“It gets windy in the afternoon.” Um, yes. And doesn’t that feel good breaking up the warm air?

“We usually go early in the morning.” Um, that hasn’t happened since I arrived a week ago. So let’s go now!

img_4988

Fast forward to today. Nora, the Hawaiian Colombian princess, and I sat on Wailea Beach with the afternoon sand blasting our faces. It was a tad windy. Okay, more like gusting to 57 knots, whatever that means. Prayers were being sent heavenward that our orange beach umbrella wouldn’t do a Mary Poppins and fly away. After all the spaces between my teeth were filled with sand, we made the decision to pack up after only 45 minutes on the beautiful white sand beach.

As we drove away, I started thinking about my senior year of high school when I spent every Wednesday on the beach in Santa Cruz, California with my friend Kendle. We would drive over 17 after my only class and be on the beach by 10:30 a.m. The Maui mentality probably would have worked back then because we would lie under our beach towels until the fog burned off. It was freezing, but we could say we went to the beach every week… all year long.

Maybe this is why I find afternoons perfect for beach time? Maybe it’s because every time we get to the Maui beaches in the afternoon there are other people there? I am not the only one who thinks afternoons are perfect for lazy beach sitting.

IMG_5000.JPG

Today’s beach adventure was saved when we drove past Wailea to Mekena State Park, home to Big Beach. Although there were clouds, the wind was mild. The waves were relatively calm and the beach was, well, BIG. We spent the afternoon staring at the water and the sand and the insides of our eyelids.

My new mantra is ANY TIME IS BEACH TIME! Come on, people, this ain’t the main land.

Lahaina Drivel from Yours Truly

November 11, 2016

thumb_img_4960_1024

Maui is an island paradise. Beauty captured in every direction is astounding. The mountains and valleys just a mile or two away are incredibly green and rugged. The lush farmland is also astonishing, especially near Lahaina as it is known for little rain and hot days.

However much greenery and lush landscape eye candy there is, unfortunately there are hazards to casual sleeping-in-mornings and lazy island times. They are known as the roosters of Maui. They are even referred to as feral chickens. Previous to this island adventure, I had only heard of feral cats. You would think with the food prices here, free chicken walking around would be less common than they are. But no. They are everywhere.

There is one happy rooster who lives somewhere near my sister’s house where we are staying. Even with my earplugs in I can hear him each morning strutting his stuff and cock-a-doodle-doing to his little heart’s content.

Still being half on AZ time, I am awake each morning before 7:00. Those who know me, know how unusual this is, but sadly it is true. As I laid in bed these past mornings listening to the bird brained alarm clock, I decided to time the crows… you know, just to see if I was exaggerating the frequency of Mr. Fog Horn Leg Horn‘s clucks. He proudly announces morning’s arrival every 8 to 21 seconds. Seriously. Over and over and over and over. For HOURS.

I started dreaming of where I could purchase a gun on the island, or at least a sling shot.

Then this morning, the crowing sounded like he was sitting on the headboard of my bed! I grabbed the camera and went outside to capture the beast for posterity. It was our first encounter of each other. To my dismay, he would not come out of the shade… but oh was he a pretty bird! Opalescent green breast feathers, royal blue hues in his tail, deep red and bright orange neck feathers all mixed together in a glorious display of pageantry. Irritatingly loud pageantry.

thumb_IMG_4946_1024.jpg

Made me want to go eat at Chick-fil-A! Or Kentucky Fried Chicken! Or Church’s Fried Chicken! Or even a McChicken with a side of chicken nuggets at McDonalds!

Pray for me. I didn’t realize I had anger issues to this degree!  LOL!

THE Souvenir of Choice

November 6, 2016

My sweet girl has a challenge spending money. I do not share this challenge with her. At all. I do not really even understand how anyone can suffer from this. But over the past six years I have seen that the struggle is REAL!

Nora suffers from pre-buyers remorse. She will pick out a craft kit, or a shirt, or a bag of chips that she wants more than life itself. She will carry it around the store for an hour talking about how much she needs this item in her life and how it is her most favoritist in the whole galaxy. Then right before she is to lay it on the counter to pay for it, she decides to NOT buy it and sets it down. (I apologize to those who have “put it back where it goes” OCD issues.)

Being the loving, kind and compassionate parents that we are, we have forced her to buy these items more than once with her own money. It is not large sums. Nothing over $5, trying to show her that it is okay to purchase stuff. Kindheartedly we are helping her over this stumbling block in her life…. we hope.

Once in Justice (the animal-print-glitter-bling-bling palace of the universe) she had $75 in gift cards and $25 cash in her wallet. We spent more than an hour and a half in that teenie-bopper haven trying on every blinkin’ thing she could find, while her dad made dance videos to the store music on snapchat to the amusement of myself and all the other mothers and daughters. Nora picked out several shirts, a dress, a skirt and some shorts. When it was all added up at the cash register, the total came to $78.35. SEE THE PROBLEM?!?!?

Nora started figuring out what to put back to get it under $75 so she wouldn’t have to spend any cash. The glitter and bling *may have* gotten to my husband at some point because he grabbed her wallet and pulled out $4 and threw it on the counter. It was a bit dramatic for him, in my opinion. Nora’s brown eyeballs about fell out of her head. I’m not sure if this was a healthy way to teach our daughter that spending is okay, but that is how it went down and we are all still alive.

Fast forward to this week in Maui where she has been diligently searching for the souvenir to beat all souvenirs for herself. She has admired purple t-shirts, capri sweats pants that say MAUI down the leg, brown plastic slippers, magnets in the shape of Maui, calendars full of beautiful Hawaiian scenery, pineapple scented soap, rings with silver turtles, even coconut shells with candles in them. But with pre-buyers remorse, nothing had been purchased until today… day #7 on the island.

I still can’t figure out why the wooden pocket knife was the winning prize, but there was no pre- or post-buyers remorse! Nora showed it to me in the store and I was thinking she was buying it for one of her brothers or her dad. Nope. When I asked who it was for and she happily answered, “Me!” I did one of those mom-you-are-embarassing-me loud bursts of laughter that involuntarily slip out of my lips. Ooops.

I found it hilarious that my 13-year-old daughter who loves make up and painting her nails would be sucked in by a knife! A KNIFE! For Pete’s sake and all that is holy.

She is THRILLED with her wooden sided, engraved, Hawaiian Islands pocket knife. Makes me giggle just thinking of how perfect she thinks it is! And she paid $7 without beating an eyelash!

Pushy parent progress is being made!

 

Family Vacation Extravaganza!

November 5, 2016

My baby sister called me a year ago to tell me some thrilling news but her voice didn’t hold the excitement I felt it should have. A couple from their church invited my sister and her pastor husband (whose rapper name is Big Sexy but that’s not part of this story) on a two week cruise in the Mediterranean with 3-day stops in Venice and Paris. A DREAM vacation! I am pretty sure I was WAY more excited than she was about the cruise! I have taught Renaissance history… there are about 27 million places, buildings and works of art that I would kill to see. Well, maybe not kill, but close. Maim. Yeah. Maim.

My baby sister lamented, “I don’t think we should go because then we couldn’t come home to Arizona for Christmas next year.” I laughed loudly in her ear. A three week trip to Europe or Christmas with the cousins??? Seemed like a no-brainer to me. I felt like asking, “Are you dumb?” but I’m the nice sister, so I refrained. Then I remembered that we were going to Canada for Christmas and wouldn’t even be in Arizona. That encouraged her just a tad to consider the magnificent adventure at her finger tips.

The fervor had not returned in her voice. Still sounding forlorn she asked, “What would we do with the kids for three weeks?” HELLO!? You live in Maui. I WILL COME! Hence yesterday’s blog about Hana, the beach chair, returning joy and cat barf. So they went.

Knowing that we would be staying in my sister’s home, which is the parsonage twelve steps away from the church they pastor, (which consequently used to be the offices for a sugar cane plantation 50 or so years ago) I began to have visions of our own Crosby Family Vacation Extravaganza!  Whooo HOooooo! With some cousins thrown in! Party like it’s 1999.

Mr. Wallet and I discussed the opportunity and we enthusiastically presented it to the kids one night at dinner. Here is how it went down:

Me: (Can’t stop smiling!) Your Auntie and Uncle are going on a trip next November and have asked us to go over and take care of your cousins for two weeks. So we are all going to go and have a blast in Maui together!

(No one cheered.) (Maybe they didn’t hear me?)

Our 17 year old son: I don’t want to go. It is my last state band competition for high school.

(Again, I am weighing the alternatives: band or Maui?) (No brainer.)

Me: We could go the last two weeks so you could do the state competition and then go.

Our 17 year old son: I don’t want to go then either. That would mean I would have to have my 18th birthday in Maui.

(And the problem is?????) (I am pretty sure my mouth was hanging open.) (Well, that just saved us $600!)

Our 19 year old son: Yeah, I don’t want to go either. It would be hard for me to get my jobs covered and I’m driving bus for the homeless on Sundays.

(Since when did ministry come before self indulgence?) (KIDDING!) (Another $600 saved!)

The 12 year old Colombian princess: Do I get to go? 

(Didn’t I say FAMILY vacation?)

YES!!!! Her eyes lit up and a smile spread across her face. That’s my girl.

THEN a few months into the planning, Mr. Wallet counted his vacation days and decided he was going to save another $600 and stay home. What the heck? How can all these men be related to me? I live for vacations! My sons had free food, lodging and flights to Maui but turned them down. I just don’t get it. I am pretty sure when they are 40 they will regret the foolish decisions of their youth.

You guessed it… GIRLS TRIP! Nora and I are having a blast! She hasn’t flown on a BIG plane since she came to America six years ago, so of course she had to tell me all about them…. trays that come down out of the seat for your table… tiny bathrooms… free nuts! So many things to look forward to!

img_4870img_4872img_4856

Oh, you know I’m posting pictures of facebook, snapchat and instagram and tagging my sons. BEST GIRLS TRIP EVER!

I have Returned, Dear Reader

November 4, 2016

Currently I am labouring (Wow! My Canadian is showing through!) as a missionary for the Lord watching my sister’s kids. My sister and her husband are pastors on a remote island and needed assistance with childcare so they could take some much needed time off. I am here to help. That’s what sisters are for! A helping hand in time of need. Sacrificing time away from my family so they could have a break from ministry. We all know ministry would be great if it weren’t for the people! (That was sarcasm, in case you thought it was truth from God’s word. No.) It’s a tough gig, but someone had to step up.

Okay, truthfully, I am in Maui for 17 days… but I AM watching my sister’s kids, who are 13 and 17. So basically they watch themselves. I am just here to say things like, “Did you use soap during your one minute shower?” and “Can someone please feed the dog.” and “Do you have a library card? NO? Put on your shoes. We’re going to get you a library card.” And I did bring my little Colombian princess who simply looks like a Hawaiian princess when we are on the island. So my homeschooling duties are not flailing. Fear not!

img_4816

While lounging in my Costco beach chair that doubles as a backpack, on Koki Beach just east of Hana, I sat evaluating my life. You know, what makes me happy, sad, enthusiastic, disappointed, energized, productive. I fondly remembered you, my dear reader, and realized I deeply missed our one sided correspondence.

When I got home, I looked at my blog…. TWO AND A HALF MONTHS I have been missing in action. Sadness seeped in. I was caught up in the daily grind, not doing what I love… writing! I have missed putting my spiritual gift of sarcasm out there for all the world to see. God made me to laugh and bring laughter to others (and for a few other things) and I have missed not being here. So, today, on the island of Maui, in the city of Lahaina, at 8:08 p.m. Hawaiian Standard Time, I do solemnly swear that I will no longer neglect my blog and you, my faithful reader.

You need to laugh just like I do. You need to hear the ridiculous stories of what happens to me and my family… just as badly as I need to write them. And you need a break from the hum-drum of existence to belly laugh and feel God’s joy in your soul.

With all that said, our drive on the road to Hana was very eventful as any 27 mile stretch could be with 27 u-turns and 27 single-lane bridges. The highlights for the teens who were with me (not MY highlights, okay!) were (1.) the cat barfing at Haipua’ena Falls, (2.) the elderly gentleman who followed us on several stops who was sporting the brightest tie-dyed shirt I have ever laid eyes on, (3.) Jake “using” the bushes at Puohokamoa Falls, and (4.) the tourist van that followed us all day called Temptations Tours (with an apple logo!) See? This IS a tough gig! I told you so! A cat barfing…. seriously? And it was the first stop… but it was discussed at length the whole rest of the day.

Come home, sister! Come home!

Living Room Make-Over…. TA DA!

December 24, 2014

We painted our entry, front room and stairwell a brown-paper-bag color nine-and-a-half years ago.  I figured out I didn’t like the poopy color before it was dry….. but there it hung for almost ten years. I was swayed by popular color choices… earthy tones and textures… that I never really liked.  They were just IN. I’m not sure why being IN was a concern for me… it’s never been before. It was a dumb decision, but it is now in my past.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

???????????????????????????????

For more than five years I have dreamed of having a light turquoise room in our home for my own eye candy privilege. There’s something delicious about turquoise. To say that I love turquoise would be an understatement. Turquoise is the color of the ocean and Lake Tahoe and Greece and Colombia… all of my favorite places. Those who know how to decorate and coordinate have cautioned me that it could look like a little boy’s room… and quite frankly I don’t care. I just love turquoise. So there.

2014 was a hard year for me. I have not fully recovered from the March 2013 car accident and then my big slip-in-the-mud-cut-my-knee-open episode in October slowed me down even more. Constant low-grade pain wears on you! I didn’t do a creative thing in all of 2014… and creativity makes me happy. I needed some happy. So, in the dark of the night, when Mr. Wallet had his belly full of Mexican food and he was half asleep, I asked if we could paint the living room. He said YES! What he didn’t realize was that “Paint the Living Room” = “Get New Furniture and Wall Decore and Get Rid of EVERYTHING in the Living Room”.  Heh heh heh….and the scheming preparedness began.

???????????????????????????????

The scouring of magazines commenced. The collection of paint cards grew. The measuring of furniture and walls happened. And then Mr. Wallet escorted me to the paint department of Lowe’s.  Be still my turquoise-loving heart. Painting began.

painting 002

painting 004

???????????????????????????????

Second-hand furniture shopping began for end tables. Then painting furniture commenced.

DIY front room 013

A fabric painting tutorial was watched and then BAM, I was painting fabric like a pro.… an unskilled, untrained pro.

DIY front room 005

And more projects were found and purchased at Goodwill.

DIY front room 011

The entryway was completed first. I was still in hot pursuit of a white couch for $25… well, not exactly but real close. Mr. Wallet likes a good deal.  A REALLLLL good deal.

entry 002

Finally, last night, the white couch from my dreams appeared in my turquoise living room and all is well in my world. Merry Caribbean Christmas to me!

living room daylight 002

The maps behind the French doors are my favorite. Their order, however, caused some stress for my 10-year-old nephew as they are not all on the same scale and they are definitely NOT in the correct places. He stood there in shock and disgust….”Auntie Linda, Mexico is NOT under England. And the Philippines are WAY too big and shouldn’t be at the top.” His tone implied, “I thought you were a teacher!” I tried to explain that I picked the maps for COLOR… I like turquoise, remember! And I randomly placed them… because I had to do it from the backside. I did make sure the important places are all accounted for: Canada, USA, Colombia, Maui, Greece and the Mediterranean Sea.

Every morning I descend the stairs and I smile. Thank you, Mr. Wallet.