Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A little boy's birthday

This past weekend we were in Kansas for Braylon John's 3rd birthday. It was a very big weekend for that little boy. His theme was motorcycles and oh my goodness - it was quite a celebration!

Phil brought over his dirt bikes and Braylon got to sit on them. He wore the helmet and boots - but when it came to actually riding with Phil on his bike, he just couldn't quite do it. Maybe next year...

Here he is with his new boots, cowboy hat and rope. He is ready to rodeo!

He really loved it when the candles on his motorcycle cake were lit and everyone sang Happy Birthday to him. He just beamed!

Here I am with the birthday boy!

And here he is with his mama. It was a wonderful party and so much fun to be there with my children for the entire long weekend! Happy Birthday Braylon John! Nana loves you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pearl Harbor

One of the places I visited while on Oahu was Pearl Harbor. I've been there before, over 30 years ago I believe. But, I don't remember being so "struck" with the gravity of that place before. Just pulling up to the place where the Arizona rests was unbelievable. I immediately felt the reverence and the peacefulness of that place.

Just knowing that the Arizona was "resting" beneath me was something I'll never forget. It wasn't creepy. It was instead a quietness that everyone there felt. Well, almost everyone. One of the rangers kept having to tell this one couple to please be silent. The older gentleman was videotaping and he kept on speaking into the microphone, narrating everything he was seeing. The wife was "helping" him. If you know what I mean.

Standing there, looking at the names of the men who died that day in Pearl Harbor made me realize that men have died since the beginning of time, defending something that they believe in. There were names of brothers who died together. There were names of father and son who died together. I didn't know any of them - but someone did. And while I stood there, I said a little prayer for those left behind who grieved. It was a very inspirational place to stand.

Pearl Harbor. December 7, 1941.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The top of the mountain

Friday afternoon, we went on a summit/stars tour of Mauna Kea on the big island of Oahu. The tour guide was so good - he had a wealth of knowledge about the trees and flowers, types of rocks and landscape and so on. This is a picture from the mountain when we were up above the inversion layer of clouds. The view was breathtaking.

This is the van that took 8 of us up the mountain. It was a narrow little road that was pretty bumpy in some areas. We went up 13,000 feet. We had to stop several times to get aclimated. He mentioned that probably some of us had been up on Pikes Peak, but the difference was that from there, we didn't start out at sea level whereas here in Hawaii, we did.

There were many telescopes on top of Mauna Kea - they were very interesting to watch as they got set up for the night's viewing of the stars.

The sunset on top was just beautiful. There were a lot of tour groups up there but everyone was as quiet as can be as the sun set.

It was extremely cold on top so the tour group provided all of us with parkas. There was no way I could have been outside without it! After the sunset, the guide took us down to the visitor's center which was not very far down, and made hot chocolate for us. We then spent about an hour looking through his telescope at the huge sky full of stars. He had great knowledge of all of the constelations and stars and we had a great evening listening to him while we viewed the stars. What a wonderful way to view Hawaii!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Knitting on Wednesday nights

I finished reading a book called The Friday Night Knitting Club a couple of months ago and every since then, I've really wanted to knit again. I learned to knit back when I was in 4-H - probably about 40 years ago or so. Surprisingly, I still remembered the skill! It was like riding a bike!

I had this urge to find a cute little knitting shop that would be close to me - somewhere where you could stop in and knit with new friends in the evening. I did a search and found a place right on the way home from work called Nature's Yarns. It was absolutely perfect!

It's open until 6 o'clock every night except Wednesdays - and on Wednesdays, it's open until 8:30, or 9:00 or 10:30 - sort of when everybody decides to leave. Everyone brings the projects they are working on - but more than that, they bring their spinning wheels and spin. I had absolutely NO IDEA that women still did this. They do - with gusto and with a passion! Two of the women have let me spin on their wheels and it was just very soothing. The sound of the wheels going around is just calming. One of the sounds I very much like is the wheel called a hitchiker that Laura has.

There are many kinds of wheels to choose from - and I wouldn't even begin to guess what I'd like until I've taken a class and tried out many types of wheels - which I thorougly intend to do!

I'm currently working on knitting a pair of socks....(which at this point does NOT look like socks) and a pretty blue sweater. I love knitting!

The ladies at the shop are just so nice! They are so helpful - always ready to answer all of my questions. Liz is even going to let me borrow her wheel for the spinning class in December!

Esther is going to be teaching the class - she has a very cool website that you can find here.

It's just a little place for some "community". I find it very refreshing here in the city - that a group of "real women" who know politics, who love adventure, who have families and jobs and husbands can get together and knit. I know this sounds funny to say, but it's earthy to me. And really - there just isn't enough "earthy" in the world sometimes. It's so teckie and so high speed and so stressful - that sitting listening to a wooden wheel spin around just makes the world right.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Say "NO" to Morphine

Today was my semi-annual throat stretching - for those of you who don't know what this is, don't worry about it. It's a long story without any great details - but I can breathe much better now and that's a good thing.

Let me take you back to December of last year when they put that stent in my trachea - and it got loose - and I spent 5 days over Christmas in an induced-coma - and how I felt like fuzz for about a week after I woke up -

Well, this morning when I woke up after they dialated my trachea, it kinda hurt. The nurse asked me if there was any pain and I said yes - and she had me rate it on a scale of 1-10 and I said 8. She gave me Morphine.

Let me just do a little evaluation here. The pain scale varies a LOT when you're just waking up out of anesthesia. If I would have been fully awake, I probably would have said 3. I remember saying 8 very clearly - but it always kind of hurts when I wake up after this and it also goes away within an hour. I certainly could have and always do "gut it out". Not today. Today I had Morphine - and I'm still paying for it. I just feel fuzzy. I hope that when I wake up in the morning I'll be more clear. My throat feels excellent - and I can breath wonderfully.

Now - to get rid of the fuzz!