Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Day in the Life...

Happy Wednesday.

Normally, I would be at work, but Phillip and I took the week off. Yes, that's right. In Kauai one week. Home on Thursday late - technically 1:00 a.m. on Friday. Work on Friday, then the next week off. Spoiled? Well, not exactly. Up until the 5 o'clock departure from work the Wednesday before we left for Kauai - we were going to try and get out of there at lunch, 11:30 a.m., but this is how self-employed people roll - Phillip had worked virtually everyday, 12-16 hour days 7 days a week on a new Las Vegas Casino project all through the holiday months. So, he decided to close the studio for Spring Break.

Everyone is gone! Yes, we are still quasi-working. Went in on Monday to ship UPS. Checking voice mail and email from home periodically throughout the day. You never REALLY leave a business!

But, anyway, I decided to give you a sneak peak of my day today. WARNING: not very interesting, but...OH WELL!!!

Woke up. Came upstairs and said "Hello" to Wonka-doggish laying in front of the fireplace. Doesn't he look sad? He didn't even move when I was taking his picture. I think he really misses Kyle. So do I.

Then I made my breakfast. My Energy drink - Hot Chocolate with Instant Coffee and milk. I actually prefer fresh brewed coffee, but what a pain that would be, considering I don't drink coffee and only use a teaspoon or two of instant in my Hot Chocolate. When my mom lived in town, it was always a perk - no pun intended, when I'd visit her house. She ALWAYS had a pot of coffee on 24 hours a day! I've just never developed a taste for full-on coffee. Even the local coffee stands make a too-strong mocha for my taste. I always ask for 1/2 the norm. Mochas cost more than Hot Chocolate, so sometimes I'll cheat and just buy the Hot Chocolate and mix in a bit of instant!

Next up. Check my emails and then the blogs. Hi everyone!!!


Be back later.....

Okay, I'm back. A.J. made ham, turkey and cheese hoagies for dinner. Yummy!

My plan for the day was to finish painting Phillip's home office-to-be. This used to be A.J.'s new room, but when Kyle moved out (sigh!), we moved downstairs, and A.J. into our old room. He actually says he likes it better than the new room. He almost NEVER comes out of there!!!

Anyway, the new room will make a perfect space at home for Phillip. I painted the room two shades of gray with a red stripe for A.J. with black baseboards. (we never finished the closet trim, hung the closet door, or finished out the window trim)

Since the new office theme should be warmer to accomodate the "pirate" collection that is presently in our living room, the plan is to leave the red stripe, repaint the light gray a medium tan, the dark gray a chocolate brown, and all the wood trim a creamy white. Phillip decided NOT to hang the 36" closet door. So, I painted the interior closet walls the same chocolate brown as the two lower walls under the red stripe. We'll fill the closet with wooden shelves painted the creamy trim color.

'Nuff said. Here are the colors:
London White - Trim - Hi Gloss Finish
Red Fox - Stripe - Satin Finish
Dipped Chocolate - Lower Walls (2) and Closet Interior - Eggshell Finish. This is the PERFECT MILK CHOCOLATE BROWN
Golden Crust - Walls - Eggshell Finish. Gee, do you think there is a theme going here? Reminds me of shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate. Um, Yum!

Farthest corner walls. You can still see a hint of the original light gray. This will be hidden with new crown molding.
Entry wall on the right.

In the room, looking towards the closed door. These are the solid wood doors that are going throughout the house to replace the 1970's hollow-core, flat panel, dark stained doors. They will be painted the same creamy white trim color.

Ceiling fan, which was for A.J.'s hi-tech look. I'm thinking this will get moved into his room and be replaced with a rustic wood one to go with the "pirate" theme. See the closet in the "before" state, in the background.


On to the window sills. I'm doing six of them. Two for the room. One for the hallway. Three for the dining room windows that got replaced over two years ago. We've done a lot around the house since then. We NEVER finish one room before starting the next. Well, more like I move on to other projects before the previous one is done. A.D.D? Maybe. But, at least when ALL those little unfinished things get done, a bunch of rooms will be done at ONCE! Yeah, that's my theory....

Phillip cut the window sills to match the ones we put in the living room. First, I de-burred the edges with the sanding block.

Then, I used the tack cloth to remove the sanding dust.

It's amazing how much dust these things pick up off the wood. The waxy rosin is very, very sticky!

Prime next.

This is my trusty little paint pan. I've used it so many times. Just look at the kaleidoscope of paint colors.

I used a small foam roller to put on two coats of primer. It is much faster to apply primer this way. But, since the goal at our house is to try to re-invent a farmhouse - cottage - bungalow look, I will be final painting the wood with a brush in order to achieve that layered, brush-stroke, painted surface.

So, I've said many times that I'm a pack-rat. Well, here is where it pays off! Take these "old" laundry hamper frames. Each of my boys had one when they all lived at home - in an effort to get them to pick up their laundry - but somewhere along the line the canvas bags went missing. ??? Well, today they got re-purposed as saw horses to hold the primed window sills. Voila!!!

I'll keep you posted on the progress - but don't hold your breath....I may just find something else to do tomorrow - and the next tomorrow....etc....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The "K" in Kauai Behind the Scenes.

So when we go to the movies, which we do quite frequently, we always love the outtakes. You know, those funny, behind the scenes clips that don't make the final cut.

Well, I thought I'd share a couple of the funny ones of the "K" in Kauai adventure.

The photo of "K" at the San Francisco airport was a funny shot. Her hair was too long, so I folded it up and glued it in place. Every picture, that reflected just the right light, showed the folds. I tried to edit this in Photoshop so it wouldn't be as noticeable. Also, in order to showcase her WHITER than White legs, I decided to fold up the pant legs too. The glue didn't hold so well and they kept unrolling. AND notice the bamboo stir stick? This helped with "propping" her up and holding her in just the right spot. The other passengers at the terminal gave me the strangest looks. NOT the first during this "little" adventure.

Phillip actually came up with the idea of taking her picture ON the plane. The first photos were very dark, so I had to turn on the flash. Yeah, face the other passengers, point the camera to the seat cushion and take a flash picture. The puzzled look on their faces was priceless? But, the flight attendant stood there and just smiled. She could see "K" in the seat.

When we went to Bubbas, there was a girl and two boys (brothers age 18 and 15 - like my two youngest boys) working. I asked if one of them would help me take a picture of my "friend". They all looked at each other and the two boys did the whole - you do it, no, you do it. The younger one lost out. He held her and I took her picture with Jack Black. After I told him what I was doing, they were totally into it! There was also a photo of Tom Cruise, but I didn't dare get that picture! Not even for the "behind the scenes".

Here I am burying "K" in the sand. I was trying to give her a good sand body, but I couldn't stop laughing that she ended up looking more like one of those cartoon cowboys with those horseshoe bow-legs. AND the moisture in the sand made her act like one of those red gelatin/paper-like Chinese (?) fish we used to play with as a kid. Remember those?

On the day we went to the Zip Line, I wanted to get a photo of her with the sign. We locked the car and Phillip went to the check in store (in the background). I took the camera and walked back to the end of the road and tried to "weave" "K" into the fence next to the sign. The wind kept blowing her hair off (I used the same hair everyday - except the 1st morning and the braid days.) So I walked back to the car. Phillip had the keys. Got the keys and then the glue to attach the hair. Walked back to the fence. Posed her. Went to take the picture. NO MEMORY STICK!!! Oh yeah, it was at the cottage in the laptop. Back to the car. Crossed my fingers - a 32 kb memory stick in the bag. YEAH! Not much memory, but at least I could get a few pictures at 72 dpi. She held onto the fence pretty good!

While we were waiting for our tour to start, I took these photos. Phillip overheard a couple talking about a soldier they knew receiving a Beanie Baby from home and his troop photographed its adventures in Afganistan. COOL!

Yes, sometimes, I got some really strange looks. This was one such time. POSH SPA. I guess not all the guests bring along a "little" friend.
This was a fun picture that turned out blurry and didn't make the cut.

The SNORKEL pictures are definately my favorites AND the funnest! Phillip and I were loving these!

Needless to say, "K" got a bit worse for wear getting these. Smeared lipstick. Lost a leg and a fin. NO sharks! Just high tide!

Hope you had fun!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Aloha - Day 7

Today, our last FULL day, we played at our beach. Phillip did a bit of snorkeling and "K" and I layed out in the sun. She definately tans better and faster than I do.

Also, Megan, if you are reading...Can you believe your mother?

"She wore an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow, polka dot bikini. That she wore for the first time today. An itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow, polka dot bikini. She's getting tanner, wouldn't you say?"

After we played a bit, Phillip and I decided to go out for one last drive. "K" said she wanted to stick around and get in some more "rays".

She kept saying she wanted to be really, really tan when she got home. Our friend, Kristin, was really tan after her vacation to Maui in November. I would have liked to be that tan too, but I just don't tan that well or fast.

I think this is what she had in mind......?

As Phillip and I were on our way to Hanalei to stop for drinks. We were driving under this one area that has a canopy cover of trees, vines, etc... It was really cool!

In just an instant, Phillip says, "Hey, look at that!" There was a lizard on the hood! He just jumped out of the trees or was blown by the wind, and landed on us.

He rode on the hood all the way to the store.

Once we parked and Phillip went in to buy us a couple of sodas, I took these pictures.

We got back in the car and drove back down the road. Back under the canopy and guess what? The little guy jumped back off in almost the same place he jumped on. We laughed that he'd have a story to tell his family, "Guess what guys? I caught a ride to the store and back!" Okay, so you had to be there. We were cracking up!

With his Dr. Pepper and my locally brewed rootbeer, we went back to the lava cliffs to just sit and reflect on our vacation.

Some young guys, three of them, were planning a JUMP into the ocean from the rocks. Granted, the ocean wasn't nearly as rough, but the water was swelling and receding pretty fast and the waves were still slapping the rocks pretty hard. I held my breath, just like any mother of boys does. Then they jumped! The last one even did a flip in the air before landing. I was nervous for their moms.

They all made it in, onto the rock island AND back out of the water safely. There was a bit of a struggle and it was hard to watch at times, but they made it. I could breathe again. Oh, boys!

When we left the cottage, I packed up all the coral hearts we found and took them with us. I put them around the base of this tree where we were sitting.

While we were sitting there overlooking the ocean, Phillip spotted, way off in the distance, WHALES! Yes, for the first time ever, we saw WHALES! Not in captivity. Not at Sea World. I couldn't get photos though. They were out near the horizon, but we could see them breaching and then blowing out water. This was definately a highlight. Not just for us. A couple of tour helicopters circled around, lower than usual, but not too low. What a sight that was, I bet!

Then we went back and began getting into the frame of mind that it was getting time to go. BUMMER!


I've already shared about our Tsunami WARNING - GET OUT!!! adventure, but one last thing we thought was funny.

On the islands, guys (men/boys) refer to each other as BRUDDAH (brother). We even heard a radio ad for a gutter company - Two Bruddah's Guttah's. Funny. Anyway, on our way to the airport, right along the side of the road there was a corrections facility - must have been low-security lock-down - because it didn't look like a razor-wired prison, but you knew those guys weren't free. So we started singing "Bad Bruddah, Bad Bruddah, Whatcha Gonna Do, Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come For You."

Again, guess you had to be there!!!!

All in all, our vacation was great. Yes, the weather could have been drier/warmer. Yes, the water could have been calmer and warmer. BUT, we had a lot of fun and relaxed a ton - well, except for the morning of our departure! No stress there, right?

We had fun with our little friend, "K". I've talked to her briefly since I've been back and she let me know she is making a scrapbook of her trip to Kauai. I hope she gets to get back to the island some day soon. - JIM, are you listening???? Ha Ha.

There's no time like the present to feel ALOHA!!!!!


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Aloha - Day 6 was a busy day.

Yes, if you remember, I didn't post much that night because we went from one end of the island around to the other end. It was a LONG day!

So, on our way, we stopped at the place we went to on Day 2. The place we hiked down to without the camera. Well, on Day 6 the ocean was a TON calmer than it was on Day 2. I only regret NOT having gotten any pictures of the violent waves. BUT, just imagine, if you will, Phillip, standing in this SAME EXACT spot and the waves' mist/spray were splashing him. He got pretty soaked.

This was the view to the left.
The view straight down - over the edge - Don't get too close!
The view to the right.

All of this was NOT visible on Day 2. The "rock island" to the left. The "pool" to the right. It was under A TON of RAGING WATER.

As we were hiking down, to the right towards the "pool", I turned around and took this shot of a grove of trees and the lava rocks. The tree roots are really cool. YOU CAN CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO SEE A BIGGER PICTURE.

This was our destination. The rounded, carved-out lava shelves were way too cool. Mother nature is a great lava sculptor.
There were natural lava steps. See the sand in the crevices? From the ocean being this high up? Man, I wish we'd taken pictures!!!
Here's me in the pool.
This place was teeming with life. Whatever this thing was? It looked like a pretty flower.
After the pool, we kept walking across the lava.
This is looking up again. HUGE wall of lava, just above this really deep pool.
There isn't really anything in this photo to give it perspective, but if you look at both the pictures together, you can kind of imagine it as one photo to see the trees in the top picture.
The walls of this pool were crawling with these black crabs.
There was a little vent in the wall (can you see the foam ring?) and with every wave it spit out water. I still can't believe all of this was under water just a few days ago. I can only imagine how cool it would be, if the ocean was calm, but still high enough to snorkel this area. What a treat that would be to see this underwater landscape!
Here is the view out my window on our way south. This is the area to the North of Lihue (airport area). Aren't the mountains cool?
This is in Lihue. Looks just like at home, huh? Well, except for the palm trees. Oh, and the mountains here aren't covered by evergreen pines, cedars and douglas firs. But this area is the CITY of Kauai. A few big box stores, shopping centers, fast food, car lots, restaurants, etc... Glad we didn't stay here. It just doesn't have the same "island" feel.

Here we are a Waimea Canyon Lookout. About 11 miles up a winding road, up, up, up in elevation.
As we climbed, it got colder too.
This sign just made me chuckle. Yeah, like buses could fit up this ramp!??? (I know what they mean, but just laugh with me....we're in Kauai! Maybe the buses here are smaller?)
This was the payoff. To the left.
Straight ahead. I bet when that tree, that is hanging on for dear life, finally falls off the side of the mountain, it will be a sight to see.

To the right.

It was pretty foggy up here. I bet on a clear day this view is to die for. As it was, we were very appreciative of the colors. I'd imagine in the Summer, it is clear, but not as many shades of green???

Here are a couple of the waterfalls. These were SO far away. On the COMPLETE other side of the canyon. I'm sure with a really powerful zoom, they would be clearer and much more spectacular than this. BUT, they are still beautiful, don't you think?
Here's Phillip.
And Me - a bit chilly in the fog.
We stopped on the way back down, and this is the view overlooking the Waimea area. The ocean is right there, but it wasn't clear enough yet and kind of blends in with the fog.
This was on the ground right outside my car door when we stopped here. OKAY, I know, this one is pushing it a bit, but....

As you may, or may not know by now, I'm a bit strange and like old, rustic, rusty, broken, just plain odd objects. (remember the post about the mailboxes in Hanalei?)

On our drive back down to Waimea, there was this intersection in the middle of nowhere. No houses around. No schools. No businesses. Just an OLD intersection. Not even being used anymore. Phillip stopped in the road to take this picture for me.

Isn't is the COOLEST light fixture you've ever seen??? I wonder how many people just drive under it and never even notice it anymore since it is no longer directing traffic? See the NEST in the green light? I LOVE THIS PHOTO!!!! AND I LOVE PHILLIP FOR STOPPING AND TAKING THE TIME TO CAPTURE IT FOR ME. THANKS, BABY!

So, back in Lihue looking for someplace to have dinner, we saw this bus. WOW!

My friend "K" was so excited! She had her own, personalized bus on the island! (I told you I like odd objects!) All my friends would attest to that, I'm sure!!!!

By the way, we ended up eating at Taco Bell - Kauai-style! Ha Ha.....

See ya tomorrow!!!!
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