Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Our Hawaiian Adventure - Part 1 - Maui

In October 2008, The Husband used a big chunk of our airline points to book first class, round trip tickets to Hawaii. We planned the trip to celebrate my 50th birthday and our 15th wedding anniversary.

As 2009 progressed, we thought, “Let’s use more airline points and the hotel points I earned in my corporate travels and go to Chicago for the birthday!” Which we did and I wrote about here.

The Hawaii vacation then became a celebration of our 15th wedding anniversary.

Day 1 - Tuesday Sept 15th

We spent all day traveling. All. Day.

We left our house at 7:00am central time and arrived at the Royal Lahaina Resort in Hawaii at 7:15 pm Hawaiian time. Hawaiian time is 5 hours behind Central time, so it was actually midnight for our bodies.

Thank goodness we were in first class, which afforded more room and much more comfortable seats. The Husband said to me, “We’ve must figure out how to travel in this style all the time!” That would be nice, but unfortunately isn’t going to happen!

We had a bite to eat and were sound asleep in our Cottage by 9:30pm.

Day 2 - Wednesday Sept 16th

We were “up and at ‘em” at 6:00am. The Husband went for a quick walk to get the lay of the resort while I got ready for the day. We had a lovely, big breakfast at a table adjacent to the main pool and with the ocean just over the sand dune.

After breakfast we changed into our swimsuits and remembering the wise advice from our cab driver* of the day before, we liberally slathered on sunscreen.

* The driver said there was nothing sadder than arriving at the local hospital to pick up a tourist (who had to spend 3 days there because of severe sunburn), only to deliver them to the airport for their flight home.

We went for a walk along the beach and got our feet wet in the ocean for the first time.

Before we knew it, the time was 10am. Time for the first umbrella drink! (Don’t judge…we didn’t participate in the first drink special of the day: $5 Bloody Marys and Mimosas from 8-10am!)

Back to the room around noon to get out of the sun and, imagine this, a nap! It was lovely.

The Husband snorkeled in the afternoon. He had a great time. He saw some colorful fish and a really big turtle.

We attended the Royal Lahaina Laua that evening. Here's a picture of the pig!

We were seated at a table with three young newly wed couples. We had a great time with all of them. The couple at the laua who won the “longest married” prize had been married 63 years. 63 Years! I hope we have 63 years together!
Day 3 – Thursday Sept 17th

We were up early, partook of the yummy buffet breakfast at the resort and then picked up our blue, convertible Mustang. Isn't my driver handsome?

We drove the Road to Hana, which is an amazing. A winding, narrow road with 59 bridges (46 are one-lane) and 620 curves. For those readers who have been to the family cabin in New Mexico, it makes the road to that cabin feel like a breeze!

Here is just one of the amazing views on that trip.

We went to Whalers Village in the evening for dinner at Leilani's, which was excellent.

Day 4 – Friday Sept 18th

We got up early and went to the small town of Lahaina. Our day started with breakfast at Longhi's.

This town is an interesting mix of history and tourist commerce. The Husband and I both enjoyed it tremendously.

My favorite thing was the Banyan tree planted in 1873 to honor the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the missionaries. It is huge!

We both enjoyed the tour of The Baldwin Home, which is the oldest house still standing on Maui. It was built in 1834 and occupied by the medical missionary Dr. Dwight Baldwin and his family beginning in 1836.

There are numerous plaques placed around the town that provide historical information. They were well worth stopping to read.

We spoke to many interesting people who work in the art galleries, jewelry shops, and other businesses. Many of them came to the island 25-30 years ago from the mid-west mainland. We met several people originally from Texas and Kansas!

We returned to the resort and had a couple of drinks and a pizza for dinner. Back to the room and in bed, asleep by 10pm!

Day 5 – Saturday Sept 19th

It was quite strange when we woke up and The Husband turned on the TV at 7:00am. The college football games were already on! Being 5 hours behind the central time zone is a bit strange.

Stayed at the hotel all day. There were definitely naps involved! And lounging...lots of lounging!

Using the free trolley, we returned to Whaler’s Village in the evening for dinner. We had planned to eat at Hula Grill, but the wait was more than an hour. We checked with Leilani’s Beach Front Grill and, after a shorter wait, got a table. My fish tacos were great. Steve’s fish and chips were not.

We rode the free trolley back to the resort and were quickly in bed and asleep!

Day 6 – Sunday Sept 20th

We did not partake of the breakfast buffet, which meant we had lunch and dinner at normal times. What a concept!

I did laundry at the guest Laundromat this morning. It was the modern day equivalent of meeting at the stream and pounding our clothes clean with rocks! I meet very nice folks from Canada and California. We laughed about doing laundry on vacation, but all agreed it was nice to be able to do so.

Steve enjoyed snorkeling again in the morning. He was really pumped and happy about the experience when he returned to the room.

He went to lunch and I stayed in to read. Which meant I read 4-5 pages and then slept. J He returned with a snack for me and then he took a nap.

We took the free trolley and $1 bus back to Lahaina Town in the evening. We walked Front Street and did a bit of shopping.

We had a lovely dinner at the Lahaina Fish Company. The Husband had ahi tuna and I had scallops, both of which were perfectly prepared.

We returned to the resort and repaired to the lounge for a cocktail and farewells to the staff who had been so nice to us during our stay.

Day 6 – Monday Sept 21st

We had our last buffet breakfast and returned to the room to finish packing. We took a cab to the airport and took a short flight to the island of Oahu.

Since I didn't write notes about our Oahu activities as they occurred, you will have to come back in a day or two to read another posting!

Patio Project - Status Report # 9

It's been a while since the last status report. Coordinating the contractors and then the rain, my goodness the rain, caused a slow down in progress.

However, on 9/15/09 (the day we left on our vacation, of course) the concrete was poured.
We told the contractor to be sure and scratch the date, to match all the other dates scratched into previous projects on this old house.
We still have more tasks to be done to finish this project, but we are very happy were we are with it now.

Monday, September 28, 2009

We Have A New Family Member!

We went to the country on Saturday to meet our newest family member. Katherine Elizabeth, the new great niece of our S-i-L.

Here is The Husband introducing himself to Katie Beth.
There was quite the photo shoot organized to capture Katie in as many outfits as possible. Cousin Tosha was the "official" photographer, but there were four other "unofficial" photographers also present. The Husband and Great Uncle Bill even stopped in for a few minutes!
We can't wait to see Cousin Tosha's final proofs, but in the meantime I leave you with this shot of Katherine Elizabeth.

Welcome to the family, sweetheart!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Aloha!

I'm back...did you even realize I was gone?

The Husband and I returned home Friday afternoon from a 10 day trip to Hawaii. I promise to post a narrative and pictures as soon as I've recovered from the trip home. The 5 hour time zone change is kicking me right now!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Banned Books Week - Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Over the years, The Husband and I have discussed starting our own little book club focusing on banned books. I saw an article a couple of weeks ago describing banned book week, sponsored by the American Library Association.

Please, with an open mind, plan to read a banned book this week!

Click on the link for more information: September 26 - October 3, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How To Clean A Pan/Dish

One of our favorite Tulsa restaurants is The Brasserie.

Recently conversation with another customer, Tim, was all about how to clean pans or dishes with baked on food.

See the scalloped potato dish below, as an example of a dish to be cleaned.
Note: That's Monica in the background. Go in and see her some time!

The solution is so simple:
  • Put water in the dish.
  • Add a bit of Cascade.
  • Soak overnight.
  • Rinse in the morning. The baked on food slides right off.
You will be AMAZED at how clean your pots/dishes will be after this simple treatment.

Thanks to an old friend, Nancy from Connecticut, for sharing this tip with me a number of years ago.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What A Great Birthday!

Read the story of the boy born at 9:09am on 09/09/09.

And another great birthday story!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Time Honored Tradition

It's a time honored tradition in these parts to provide food to families who have lost a loved one.

I'm writing this post for two reasons:
  1. The Pioneer Woman mentioned funeral potatoes in this post. I can't wait to see the recipe.
  2. Our neighbors lost a loved one recently and I prepared my standard funeral meal for delivery.
We typically provide the following:
  • Sister Schubert's Dinner Rolls (frozen)
  • Salad in a Bag
  • Overnight Chicken Casserole (recipe as follows):
Overnight Chicken Casserole *
2 cups chicken (cooked and boned) {or canned}
2 cups macaroni (uncooked)
2 cans mushroom soup, undiluted
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped (I use the entire pepper.)
1/2 lb grated cheese

Mix all ingrediants together and put in a 9x13 pan and refrigerate overnight, covered. Uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Do you have a favorite dish or meal you prepare for your neighbors or friends in this situation?

What is your time honored tradition?

* From my S-i-L's collection, lovingly assembled from her personal recipes and from family and friends. Thanks, Claudia!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How I Store Seasonal Decorations

I am putting away summer decorations in preparation for bringing out my fall things.

I store everything in clear bins and put a sign on the end to identify the contents. I should go back and add "summer" to the yellow pottery sign.
The bins are stored in a small room in our basement on sturdy shelves that The Husband built for me several years ago. I can walk in there and see at a glance where everything is located.

I'll post a picture of that room after I get summer decorations put away and the fall decorations out.

How do you store your seasonal decorations?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Tomatoes are Finally In!

Remember when I posted about our planting the garden? It was on April 19th. Well, guess what? It's September 9th and we are FINALLY getting some tomatoes!

Last month we were able to harvest a few little ones that were starting to ripen on the vine, but just a few. The tomatoes are now growing big and getting ripe. All at once, of course!

It was very strange...the plants grew fantastically all summer - tall, green, healthy, with little bitty tomatoes that just wouldn't get big.

But now, we can go out every evening and return to the kitchen with this:
The neighbors are going to love us when I ring their doorbells and offer fresh tomatoes!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

One Last Birthday Post

My Sister and her family gave me a little birthday party on Sunday.

It was priceless!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Birthday Report

The Husband and I took a quick trip to Chicago to celebrate my 50th birthday.

Dining at Shaw's Crab House was definitely on our agenda. I love this restaurant. I have many happy memories from early in our marriage of time spent in the Oyster Bar.
The weather was perfect on my birthday. We walked Michigan Avenue with throngs of office workers and hordes of tourists. The flowers along Michigan were gorgeous.A late lunch at Billy Goat Tavern was mandatory.

Cheezborger! Cheezborger! No fries! Chips! No Pepsi! Coke!Later in the evening a stop at Ruth's Chris Steak House for their carpaccio. Delish!
Even later in the evening, a stop at Howl At The Moon for some music and fun.
I had such a great time with The Husband. My face looked like this the entire time!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Green and Yellow

I un-earthed a couple of my grade school pottery projects.

On the right, is my 4th grade project, a little yellow box. I've been using it in my desk drawer to hold binder clips.
The green box on the left is my 5th grade project. I really stepped it up with this item. It's much bigger and has a lid, that fits on a rim inside the box. This box has been sitting in the closet in my office.

When I took the green box out of the closet and sat it on my desk, I had the desk drawer open and could see the yellow box. It struck me then...I am still, all these years later, drawn to these colors.

Below is just part of my collection of yellow and green pottery. I put my two pieces in the tableau and they fit right in!
Well, okay, the green glaze has a blue undertone instead of the yellow undertone of the other pieces, but you get what I mean.

I'm not sure why I thought this was so interesting this week, but I did!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me!

Today is my birthday. It's the big one. 50 - Five Oh - Fifty!

Here I am blowing out the candles on my 3rd or 4th birthday (no date on photo).
Here I am on my 5th or 6th birthday (again, no date on photo).
Check out my curly hair. My mom always washed and set my hair and brushed it out so beautifully on my birthday.

I'll have to let you know how this birthday turns out later...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Patio Project - Status Report # 8

Progress has been made. The stones that make up our back yard vehicle turn around were re-laid.
The old boxes were removed from the back of the house, revealing that at one time our house was painted yellow. We still have some wires on the house that need to be brought inside and snaked through the walls.
The framing is in place for the concrete. That won't happen until next week.

Again, progress has been made but we are both ready for this project to be finished!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It Is So Exciting Here!

Yahtzee on the front porch with The Husband at 7pm in 69 degree weather in Oklahoma in AUGUST!

Note the clipboard...

I won two games in a row.

Me? Me!

I never win!