Monday, December 29, 2008

Much Ado About Nothing . . . . .

Garret and I have very different iterests, but yesterday we each had victory in our separate interest areas!

Garret went fishing again with Joe at the Marine base and caught his very own stingray! Joe was also lucky, he caught a little shark! Next weekend they're going on their deep sea fishing trip. Needless to say they are very excited!

As for me, I completed my first knitted baby beanie!
I'm so excited! For my first one, it wasn't bad! I'm going to make several more and donate them to the hospital on base.

Until next time . . . . .

Better to Light a Candle Than Curse the Darkness

When I called to sign up for digital phone through our cable company, the customer service rep informed me that if the power goes out, the phone won't work. She went on to say during the rainy season power outages are common, especially on the military bases. I told her that wouldn't be a problem since both my husband and I have cell phones, but really in my mind I was thinking, big deal, how long could the power possibly be out for, right? Wrong. Oh boy was I wrong.

Rainy season is now in full swing and so far the power has gone out a couple of times. Each time it has been for several hours, 4-9 hours, depending on the occasion. Sometimes it's fun and I don't mind. Sometimes not so much. As was the case this past Friday.

It had been a great day. Despite the heavy rain, I had been very productive, running some errands and working a short story I'm currently writing. Then at the end of the day, Garret and I were in the middle of a mini-marathon of one of our favorite shows, Big Love, when after a particularly loud clap of thunder (which by the way is not very common in Hawaii) poof the lights went out.

To be honest I was very unhappy about this development in my evening. I wanted to keep watching TV, and rolling my yarn for my knitting projects, and later I had planned to work on some blog posts and type in my journal. I guess it just wasn't in the plans for me that night. Too bad like with so many other things in life, when we don't like something, we fight it. Instead, what we should be doing is accepting it. Sometimes it's simply easier to be mad.

We had purchased a bag of a hundred tea light candles for just such an occasion, and so we began lighting the house. Then, we went outside to play with some mega sparklers we had bought earlier that day at Wal-Mart (fireworks are legal here in Hawaii, and they were selling them for New Year's Eve). Looking at the pretty light made by the sparkler, especially in such pitch black conditions, the ice around my attitude started to thaw a little.

While we were outside, we ran into our friends who live below us (not the one involved in the Christmas Eve Drama-rama, they live in the other apartment below us). She and I talked for a while, and when I went back inside, Garret had spelled out "I love you" in tea lights! It was so pretty and so very sweet of him. What can I say, he does the nicest things when you least expect it.

After that we watched a movie on our portable/chargeable DVD player, which had just enough battery to make it all the way to three minutes left in the movie (luckily we had already seen it before). We took this as a sign, and decided to call it a night. At this point the power had been off for 4 hours.

I woke up at 3:00 a.m. to use the bathroom, and it was still off (we were now at the eight and a half hour mark)! I was starting to get a little nervous. We often take electricity for granted. It's such a stable staple in life most of the time, we neglect to recognize how greatly our life would be impacted if we were to lose it long term. I was worried about all of our food in our fridge going bad. I was worried about what we would eat the next day if it wasn't restored by then. Our stove is electric, and obviously we can't use the microwave or our toaster oven, what would we do? Just like our DVD player that we had used earlier in the night, eventually the batteries in my laptop, iPod, and cell phone would die too. Not to mention, my land line was already a bust because it too works off electricity. What if we used up all of our candles, it's not like the stores would be open to get more. These were my scary thoughts in the wee hours of the very dark early morning.

I went back to sleep, and just before 4:00 a.m. I was woken up by the sound of the air conditioning coming back on. Oh happy day!!!! I don't think I had ever appreciated electricity more than I did in that moment. It had been off for over nine hours! The first thing I did was plug in everything that had a battery to charge. Then, I ate something which I was able to make on our electricity using stove. Feeling better I went back to sleep. When I woke up again around seven, it was pouring rain again, and the thunder and lightning had started back up. Oh no, please not again.

Fortunately it didn't go off again the rest of the weekend, even though we had mass amounts of rain. I've learned my lesson. I'm going to make sure all batteries always have a full charge, that we have plenty of candles and working flashlights, and that we have food that is ready to eat as is. Also, I'm going to buy plenty of charcoal for our grill, just in case that's the only way we have to cook and/or hear up our food.

Some might think I'm over-reacting, or just being dramatic, but coming from the mainland where power isn't out for more than 10 or minutes at a time, it never hurts to be prepared.

Until next time . . . . . . .

Twas the Night Before Christmas . . . . . .

Belated Merry Christmas! Obviously I'm a few days late with this post, but better late than never. Our Christmas was just the two of us this year so it was very quiet and peaceful. The night before however, was laced with drama.

We had our "Christmas Dinner" on Christmas Eve. Our friends, Joe and Sacha, came over to have dinner with us. After a lovely dinner, we played cards, which was a lot of fun since we're all really competitive and trash talking was in high gear. Later I gave everyone a tarot reading on what the new year held for them. It was a blast!

During the tarot readings we started to hear some very peculiar noises coming from outside. They sounded like something crashing against a wall. We also heard someone yelling sporatically along with the crashes. Keep in mind, it was almost midnight at thist point, and given that our neighborhood is usually very quiet, we found the situation to be rather odd

Eventually, our curiousity got the best of us, and we went outside to investigate the noises. It was one of our downstairs neighbors. He was very drunk, very belligerent and very loud. He was indeed not only yelling random expletives, but (because they have no curtains or blinds on their windows and all the lights were on so we were able to see everything) also throwing what looked like all of his possessions around his room. Seriously, it looked like a bomb had gone off in there, debris everywhere.

We all looked at each other, then went back inside. The noise only continued to get worse over the next 30 minutes, and we decided, for his safety and ours, we should call the MP's (military police). We made the call and went back to our tarot readings while we waited for them to arrive.

About a half hour later we heard sirens approaching, ironically by now the noise had died down. We assumed it was the MP's we had called earlier, so we went oustide to check it out. Instead we saw a fire engine and an ambulance parked a house away from ours. Weird. Did they get lost? Confused? Sacha and I walked down the stairs to see what was going on, and we glanced into the neighbors apartment to see if he was still there. He was, but he was unconscious on the floor wrapped in what looked like wires or something. Was he passed out? We he dead? We weren't sure. We thought it best to inform the authorities at the other house, so they could check on him. We walked toward where the emergency personnel were working and we saw a friend of mine standing outside her house. She came over to talk to us and told us what had happened.

She had been on her way home from her neighbors when she saw this guy (she pointed to the man being loaded up on a stretcher) pass out and hit his head extremely hard on the brick wall of her carport. She decided to call an ambulance to make sure he was ok. We then told her about our neighbor, and she pointed to the guy in charge, so we could have him checked out.

The bottom line is this. Both of them away by ambulance for alcohol poisoning. Apparently they had been drinking together earlier and got totally wasted. The guy who hit is head, had decided to walk home, too bad he lived in a neighboring town too far away to walk to. I guess that's a moot point considering he only made it about 25 feet anyway. The other guy, our neighbor, had been taking some prescription medicine for something and mixing that and the alcohol was a bad combination.

Shortly after all the commotion died down Joe and Sacha left. It was almost two in the morning by then, and we were all pretty tired. Drama tends to be rather exhausting.

So like I said our Christmas was great! Nice and peaceful. It was our Christmas Eve that was a little bizarre.

Until next time . . . . . .

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hook, Line and Sinker

Living in Paradise offers many advantages. One of which is amazing fishing. Now I know that may not sound like fun to a lot people, and I'll be the first to admit it's not something I spend my days longing to do; however, on the occasion when I accompany my husband, I always end up having fun and usually it turns out to be a pretty great day.

Sunday was no exception. We went fishing with another couple, our friends Joe and Sacha Lynch. The four of us headed off to the Marine Core Base and fished off their pier. Joe and Garret had gone fishing there the day before, and Garret caught a fish. Needless to say, they were anxious and excited to return,

It started off slow and, much to my dismay, very hot. There were fish jumping all around us, some even breaking the surface, but no bites. Joe caught a couple of crabs (literally) in a net, one of them was huge! It was so icky, and I was a little scared of getting to close to take the picture.

Eventually we decided to check out another spot behind the airfield, but instead of fishing there, we ended up exploring. It was the coolest place! There was white coral against black lava rocks that lined the beach and the edge of the water which created all these pools of miscellaneous sea life to see. We even found a sea slug, it was pretty icky too. I'm not sure which was worse, it or the crab from earlier. Still, it was a blast!

We left there and went back to the pier. This time we found a spot at the very end. Thankfully some clouds had rolled in, and a nice breeze started. It was so beautiful, and just the break we needed from the intense humidity filled heat. I got the most awesome picture of the sun breaking through the clouds and reflecting off the ocean against a mountain. You see that kind of thing a lot around here, and it never gets old.

Then, the most exciting part of our day occurred. Garret got a big bite on his pole. He had it wedged in a buffer bar off the pier while he went down to talk to a friend of his from work. I was the closest to the pole, but in order to get to it, you have to step off the pier and over the water to reach the buffer bar. I'll admit I sort of panicked when I saw his pole snap down, and I just froze. First all I didn't want to fall off the pier; second of all I didn't want to drop his pole; third I didn't want to be responsible for losing his bite. Thankfully Joe wasn't far away, and he was successfully able to retrieve it. He offered it to Garret to reel in, but Joe hadn't had much luck fishing in the last two days so Garret gave him the green light to bring it in himself. Joe fought long and hard, but eventually it got away. Everyone was pretty bummed, but they were also more determined than ever to bring something in.

Half an hour later, they got their wish. This time it was biting on Joe's hook. Again he fought like a champ, but this time, he got it to the surface. We were all stunned to see it was a stingray! It was huge! It had to have been at least 3 and a 1/2 to 4 feet across. The only problem was that once they got it too the surface, there was really no way to bring it up out of the water. Keep in mind we were on a pier, and the water was like 15 feet down from us. The fishing line supported up to 50 pounds, but when they tried to lift it from the surface, it snapped the line, and went back into the depths of the ocean.

Even though they didn't get to bring the fish home (although, I'm not really sure what we would've done with it if they had) it was still the most awesome experience! Catching a fish that big, let alone a stingray is pretty uncommon where we were at, which made it all the more special.

Garret and Joe are going deep sea fishing on Jarnuary 3rd and they are both super exicted. There they'll have the chance to catch things like Mahi Mahi, Ono, 'Ahi (yellow fin tuna), and many other huge amazing fish! Gotta love living in Hawaii.

Until next time . . . . . .

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . . . .

Okay, so I fianally got everything all set up the way I want it, and I can actually begin blogging now! Happy day!

Living in Hawaii is kind of like being stuck in a time loop. Everyday is scarily like the one before. This can be disorienting coming from the mainland. In fact, until I went home to Arizona a couple of weeks ago, I wasn't entirely convinced it was winter. I mean the calendar said it was, and even though when I watched the news I did see it snowing in other parts of the world (far, very far away from here) as far as I was concerned that could have just been television trickery or something. Because here, it still feels exactly the same as it did during the summer when I moved in. I still turn my air conditioning on daily. I still have to take extreme measures to gurard my hair from the bloody humidity (I don't want to scare people with the Diana Ross fro, no offense to Diana), and I still wear flip flops and capri's everyday. The only real difference is that it rains more. In time perhaps I will associate this with "winter", but for now I only associate it with, are you kidding me, my hair doesn't stand a chance in this weather!
So you can imagine how excited I was to actually feel cold when I went home. It's true! Winter is here, and where winter is, Christmas is soon to follow. Taking this inspiration when I got back to Hawaii last week, I bought and put up our Christmas tree. To be fair Garret helped. He put the tree together, and put on a couple of ornaments before finally saying, "Ok, I'm done. You're so much better at this than I am." The perfectionist in me had no problem telling him, "Absolutely. You just sit down and relax." Otherwise I would have had to follow behind him, and move each ornament he placed on the tree to where I felt it really belonged. :>
Now that the tree (decorated in red, white, and blue of course) is up, it feels a lot more like Christmas. Add some extra white lights, red bows and a few presents under the tree, and voila it's practically the North Pole for all the Christmas spririt and cheer I feel. :>

I'm really looking forward to this Christmas because, though we may be away from our families, at least we're together. At least I don't have to spend this Christmas worrying about the safety of my husband in Iraq or Afghanistan. He'll be right here with me and that makes this the best Christmas ever.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Coming Soon....

This blog is new and therefore under construction. More to come.....