Come, Holy Spirit

Replace the tension within us with a holy relaxation. Replace the turbulence within us with a sacred calm. Replace the anxiety within us with a quiet confidence. Replace the fear within us with a strong faith. Replace the bitterness within us with the sweetness of grace. Replace the darkness within us with a gentle light. Replace the coldness within us with a loving warmth. Replace the winter within us with Thy spring. Straighten our crookedness, fill our emptiness, dull the edge of our pride, sharpen our humility, light the fires of our love, quench the flames of lust. Let us see ourselves as Thous seest us, that we may see Thee as Thou hast promised, and be blessed according to Thy word: Blessed are the pure of heart, for the shall see God. (Damien-Dutton Society for Leprosy Aid, Inc. 616 Bedford Ave, Bellmore, NY 11710)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Catching Up?

Well, well, well.  It has been a mighty long time since the last time I put my fingers to the keyboard for this blog.  I've had an itch to write for a while now, but life has been somewhat busier than I could imagine.  Any of you who know me in real life or know me via Facebook know what I have been up to anyway (so all the catching up in the world might be a bit on the daft and ridiculous side of things, but bare with me).  

We are into our summer time.  Teenie (Rachel) is going to complete her last day of summer PE tomorrow.  Initially, since her 9th grade year she has neck issues that left her unable to participate in PE during the school year(s), but FINALLY the doctors said "we cannot find anything wrong with her so we cannot medically document a single condition that would legally keep her out of PE requirements for graduation".  I understand that, and, she is doing 11 days of summer school PE to get her requirement credit so she can graduate with her class next May.  My goodness, another kid of mine all grown up.  I cannot handle it!  Well, I reckon I will just have to, yeah?

Her SAT's and state tests are quite well done so university is hers for the taking.  In fact, some schools are already ringing us up.  Good gravy.  Makes us all nervous.  

The island of O'ahu is (still) treating us kindly.  We will wave "aloha" next summer, however, and trek back to Maryland.  With just five years left before the thirty year retirement marker, I can honestly say:  It's been one heck of a ride, but I'm ready to hang my hat in my OWN home some time in the nearest of futures.  I am not unhappy with my life . . . I only have today, and I'm grateful for the wonderful life I've had thus far.  God has been far kinder to me than I deserve.

My sister, her daughter, and my brother will be joining us this coming Saturday for a holiday here.  I'm so looking forward to a sibling gathering!  I have a new camera and I'm not afraid to use it or upload our adventures here once again.

I don't know why I quit blogging last year . . . it doesn't matter. It's for me or not at all, yeah?

Aloha, friends.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I Need To Get Into Better Physical Shape

Well, we finally hiked Diamond Head this last Thursday . . . as a family!  Dan took a day off so we could enjoy a weekday together (weekends on Oahu are nuts, since everyone who lives here also have to mingle with all the bloody tourists).  We also ate at a place in Kailua called Cinnamon's.  I was the only one who actually ordered what they are known for.  Well, there are three things:  guava chiffon pancakes, red velvet pancakes (I don't like red velvet so that wasn't happening, but for those who do, it's extremely recommended to try them), and their coffee.  I got their coffee (not disappointed at all) and guava chiffon pancakes.  I also ordered a side of hash browns with cheese (oh, my).  It was a fantastic day!

However, I nearly died.  That walk up through Hades hike was Purgatorial in every sense of the word for a slightly over-chunked, nearly 43-year-old, unfit (to be completely honest the housework, running errands, and an occasional stroll through the neighbourhood aren't cutting the mustard) woman . . . !   There are all sorts of warnings that tell you to dress in loose clothing, bring water (drink it before, during, and after), wear a hat, sunscreen and to take your time (1.5 - 2 hours round trip), but do they bother to say you'll need an oxygen mask with a full tank?  Uff da!  In all honesty, I was alright on the uneven switchback path and even chuckled self-consciously at the first staircase.  There was a lovely look out space to rest up before the staircase.  I rested, what I felt was, adequately.  Up the stairs I went and entered the 225 foot tunnel . . . I almost passed out in the mouth of that thing, but hearing Rachel behind me saying, "I'm getting claustrophobic" sent me into waves of panic . . . "What in bloody hell was I thinking to even bother with this?!?"  Next in my line of thought were:  "Geesh, Sarah, you can do this.  Show Rachel the way the heck out!  It's dark in here and I can't breathe, my child is freaking out but can't hear her any longer because I'm breathing like a freaking dragon chasing after a mouse . . . GET OUT OF HERE!!!!  And, POP!  Back out into the sunlight we were, looking left at a monstrous staircase (Oh, dear God, have mercy!!!!  No way!!!) and then left, a landing to rest (Thank merciful God!!!!).  We opted to the landing where Dan and the boys were waiting for us.  Rachel and Connor sat the rest of the hike out.  I nearly joined them.  However, I am stubborn and I think now that I know for certain I will die that way.  Stubborn to the last!  But, not that day!  Ha ha!  After a bit of a rest and a gallon of water, I waddled and struggled up a few stairs (there was another way up!) and an inclined path (oh, shit, shit, shit! Please don't judge me, this is my story and what was going on in my inner dialog was much much worse).  Anyway, I rested again when I saw the next two sets of staircases.

Let's just say, I nearly quit again.  But, I kept seeing so many people going by who were barely breathing (just like me), red-faced and determined (just like me) . . . people of all ages and races and we were all smiling at our feebleness and getting indignantly cross at those who took it in like Hercules (several sets of runners - running, the show offs! - and - very fit folks of all ages who weren't smiling at all, actually).  I guess for fit people, this place isn't much of a test at all.  It certainly was for me and those who were older than me, some with wrapped knees and canes!  Old folks everywhere, taking to the top!

I managed those damn stairs!  I rested on each landing, my chest heaving while I tried to give a crap about the view.  Oh, and those views were spectacular!  The breeze that high up was kind and refreshing!  Eventually I caught up with my husband and Christian.  We took pictures and departed in the opposite way we went up.  This was the cool part, if you ask me.  You enter a turret-type cement Army thing (crouching down to get in) and enter a room . . . down some spiral stairs, into a tunnel and down that dreadful flight of stairs (with the choice to continue down by entering the Purgatorial tunnel, or, to go back to the landing where the other two kids were waiting for us).  Of course, I decided to be silly.  I came into the landing with my arms waving in the air and humming out loud the Rocky song.  Yes, man, I did this thing!  I came, I saw, and I freakin' did it!!!!

I also managed to make some Japanese tourists believe Americans are idiots and crazy.  Perhaps.

I think I'll hike Diamond Head again.  If I'm asked, but in the mean time I think I will exercise more than I used to.  It kind of scares me how out of shape I'm in.  Physically.  The rest of me is okay.  I'm glad of that, but I'm too young to be breathing my last because I decided to hike a crater.

That Friday I suffered.  My legs ached a bit, but nothing terrible.  I had that pain in my chest again.  That pain we can't seem to figure out what it is.  We know it's not my upper GI or my heart or my lungs.  The pain went away some time on Friday, thank God.  Motrin works on it like magic.  It could be a few different things, but I'm still going to my doctor since WebMD might get me some ideas, but it's not like getting a doctor on your case.

I will add some pictures once I get my phone pictures uploaded to the computer.

UPDATED:  Going to the doctor this morning to see what's up with me.  

Friday, September 21, 2012

Have A Laugh

So, I did something really stupid on 21 July of this year.  I went to the mall and bought shoes at Vans.  I bought these super cute Hello Kitty pair.  Unfortunately, a month later, when I tried to put them on with thick socks?  Ummmm.  Well, I couldn't get my left shoe on without a tremendous amount of effort.  I checked the tag for the size.  4.5.  Ummmm? Oh, dear.  The right shoe was a 7.  How in the heck did that happen???  How did I not notice?  Well, I tried them on with thin socks, I was hurried, and I don't wear lace-up shoes often (c'mon, I live in the land of slippah-wearing).  There really is no excuse.  Yes, the sales clerk should have looked first or had noticed, but it was back to school sale time and they were as busy as I was in a damn hurry.  

Monday of this week I took Teenie to Vans so she could buy a beanie hat.  I chucked up the courage to ask about a refund/trade and they were so amazingly apologetic.  I told them it was okay if they laughed.  They never did.  Anyway, they said bring them back for a refund/exchange.  I did that today.  The exchange was easy - the shoes are both the same size (7) and fit wonderfully.  I have my cute kitty shoes and my dignity somewhat restored.  This sales clerk got a bit of a chuckle out of my story, but was equally as embarrassed for the error.  

Moral of the story:  check the shoes you're buying, and, check out Vans - if you like their shoes, their store policy on refunds etc. is as stand up as Nordstroms.  

Until next time, possums, I bid thee well.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Keeping the Faith

Well, life sure likes to increase my indigestion!  Honestly.

Okay, God.  You wouldn't call me to something if You weren't going to be with me every step of the way.  I know I am not alone, and, I thank You.  Thank you, Lord, for the knowledge that I have concerning Mother Mary - that I can literally feel her presence with me.  And, thank you for the many friends I have in this life who so willingly pray for me and my family.  What would we do without each other, Lord?

My oldest son doesn't want to go to Mass any longer.  Not because he doesn't believe in God.  That, in itself, is good news and gives us great reason for hope!  However, he said to me that he doesn't really get anything out of the Mass (not even in the Eucharist - which shocks and saddens me) except the homilies.  He does enjoy Father Jon's homilies and the morality in them.

I remember when I was 18.  I thought it was the magic age of "I can do whatever I want."  I forgot there were going to be consequences.  I mean, I knew there was likely to be, but as with so many youngsters, I didn't really care nor pay attention to that.  I wanted what I wanted right now.  (I still struggle with that credit card thing, but it's pretty much the same thing:  use up the credit, but you will have to pay - and most of the time it hurts like heck to do so!).  Hopefully, life teaches you lessons that you'll learn from - and become a better person for it.

We are allowing him to make his mistakes.  Only to an extent, of course, as he lives under our roof and he relies on us for everything at this point.  But, I can't force myself to force him to attend.  He is baptized and Confirmed Catholic - so "he knows" . . . . but the world with all it's noise and distractions mixed with his youth is blinding him.  Maybe for a time, maybe for a long time.  But, rather than agonize over it (and risk losing my own Faith and hope), I choose LOVE.  Hope, Pray, Love and don't worry.  God has control and He has a plan.  I trust in that plan.

Jesus, thank you for these children of ours.  Our vocation is to see our children inherit the Kingdom.  That's really the only plan.  Help me to be a stepping stone and not a stumbling block.  Help me to be the light in the world that you want to be seen.

Jesus, I trust in You.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Now that I have the endoscopy (upper GI reveal) procedure behind me (it was done on Thursday and three biopsies were taken; results later, but so far, it didn't look bad to the specialists), and, I feel a bit more rested up after our holiday, I think I can write about said holiday.

We left Honolulu about 9pm and landed in Seattle the next day just before 6am.  We rented a car (it was a lovely Ford Fusion) and stayed at the Navy Lodge on the Bangor Naval Sub Base.  We would have stayed with family, but their homes weren't as accommodating for the five of us, and, we weren't going to be there long (just six days, actually).  Here's some of what we did in pictures!  I hope you can click to enlarge, if you're so inclined (I know I do).

At the Point-No-Point light house.  (L-R: Bill, Christian, Mary, Hannah, Rachel, Connor).

Connor was looking out for a LIGHTHOUSE (as in Cape Hatteras), not a lighthouse as in a house with essentially a flashlight on top.  Across the straight here is Whidbey Island.  I got quite a chuckle from one of its bays called Useless.  I kid not!

Because it's pretty.

The only kind of surfing I reckon I'll ever do.

This is at Westlake Center.  There is a huge chess set there and two gents were having at it.  The blue trees were quite a distraction, I think.  How stupid, really.

There were these strange bronze-like statues everywhere.  Okay and a silver one (I sat in that one's lap and had a picture taken w/ my phone -shared on FB and perhaps later here, when I share the Underground tour pictures off my phone; Rachel didn't snap any on the tour).  Anyway, this one looks like he's taking a bit of a piss.  Who knows.  Strange.

Mary kissing her daughter, Hannah.  Rachel inserts herself.  It was so nice to see the cousins having a good time together.

My feet. It's just a good composition.  Art really is a thing of beauty depending upon the person looking at it, I reckon. 

Me acting the ham.  This is at Seattle Center.  We'd just toured the Music Experience and were getting ready to ride the Monorail back to Westlake Mall.

After schlepping through Pike Place Market, we saw the Great Wheel and decided to ride it.  Why not?  It had only opened a few days before and this was our chance.  The queue wasn't too long either.

Nice fountain. 

I was truly a bit frightened, but once we set off at a gentle pace I was alright.  It's the stop and go loading bit that gets my stomach in knots.


The view was incredible.

Alaskan Way

This is likely one of my favourite pictures that Teenie took from the Great Wheel.  Bainbridge Island (home) is somewhere in the distance along with Bremerton, Poulsbo, and etc..

Pike Place Market and Alaskan Way.

Rachel playing with Hannah's kitty, Ninja.

Fireworks in Poulsbo at my sister's house.  I'll never forget her obnoxiously drunk neighbour.  He wasn't the kindest fellow.

A nice capture of Seattle and Mount Rainier from Bainbridge Island.

Mount Rainier.  I love this place.  This, to me, is paradise. 

The kids with their grands. 

My brother makes funny faces etc. when having his picture taken, hence the series here. 

This one cracks me up.

Love the car behind.

Me and my baby brother, Bill.

Uncle Bill gets Connor behind the wheel. 

Saying "see you" to my sister.  It's so hard to do that. 

The cousins.  I wish we could have stayed on longer. 

I have some good memories from this visit.  Mum did pretty good being on somewhat good behaviour.  She can get cranky and it sets my teeth on edge.  There was one blip brought on by her insecurities, but then, we all kind of prepared for this to happen.  Our time was short and she expected we should spend every moment at her house.  I reckon one day I may feel exactly the same when my kids come calling with the grands and I'm left feeling cheated (even though I couldn't possibly be - I understand).

I will try and get the pictures off my phone and do another, separate, post on the Seattle Underground Tour (and more on the Music Experience museum place - thing) in a few days.  I'll also write separately about our time in Iowa and Minnesota.  They all deserve their own post (especially considering how long it took to upload just a few of these pictures taken in Seattle).  Uff da!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hello, Dahlings!

I promise to get back to blogging more regularly now that my holiday away from Hawaii is over and done with.  I know, right?  Who in the heck goes away from HI for holiday?  Those who live here, I tell you!  Except the "real" locals in HI go to Disneyland or Vegas.  Seriously.  (LOL)  We went to WA, IA, and MN.  Not my ideal holiday, but when you live such vast distances from family, you go see family on your holidays.  It was great, by the way, and, exhausting!  I will be back soon to drive you all bananas with my stories from our adventures soon. 

*I need Teenie to upload pics from her camera and my phone so I can make it a pretty bloggity blog post*

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Catching Up

I've an adult son who has graduated from high school.  He is going to work (looking for a job more seriously after our family holiday this summer) until he figures out what to do.  It's something and that's all we ask right now.

My daughter is finishing summer school PE today.  Her heels are poorly so the coaches said to get a refund on session two . . . so I did.  They didn't feel that she would be able to keep up, not having time to recover from this session's exercises.  Fear not!  I went into the registrars office and made changes in her junior year classes to include that semester of PE she'll need to graduate.  She dropped culinary in hopes to gain PE and Driver's Ed.  (Gulp!)

I also made a change (a request actually, since we won't know for sure any changes have been made until we have their class schedules) in Christian's classes.  He'll be entering high school.  He wants to swap physical science for biology.  Good move.  I approve.  Now, I only hope he gets it.

Tomorrow morning I shall be at the hospital for what I'm calling a pre-op appointment for an endoscopy.  It's a "planning" appointment and at that appointment I will schedule the actual procedure.  It is imperative that we find out what's making my innards hurt.  In the past two years, I've been in the ER for terrible chest pain three times - like a spear going straight through my chest, just above the sternum all the way through to between the shoulder blades (not that I know what it's like to have a spear through my chest, but I'm guessing).  Well, the ultrasound showed nothing.  That doesn't mean it's not my gallbladder acting up (only a HIDA scan can determine that, but that will be requested if and once they find or don't find anything wrong with my endoscopy).  I'm on some kind of ball rolling into mystery . . . let's hope they find a reason for this pain.

I'll have one of my kids teach me how to get the pictures off my phone so I can share from the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway ball Dan and I attended recently.  For those of you not on Facebook, it might entertain you to see me decked out.  I don't "do" formals . . . at least not since my senior prom in high school.  I must admit:  it was good fun.  I felt like a princess and Dan . . . wowza!  I love him in his choker whites!  Yum!  We did strike a fancy couple.

Ah, LarryD and all those who use Wordpress:  I'm so terribly sorry I can't post comments on your lovely blogs.  I have to sign in using WP and I no longer have an account and I'm not sure I want to get one and start moving my blog again . . . still on the fence about that.  If/When I do, you'll know.  I'll tell.  I have a big mouth like that.  Anyway, I do pop 'round your blogs nearly daily!  So, please know I'm still laughing, crying, and all that lovely stuff right along with your other readers!

I do so covet your prayers, friends.  Know that you're all in mine.

P.S.  I forgot I managed to copy the pic from FB to my PC . . . so here you all go: