Friday, April 30, 2010

99th post

According to my blogger stats, this is my 99th post. I will therefore:

1.] Let the picture speak for itself, read what you will into it.
2.] Allow you to drip with anticipation whilst you await the next post.
3.] Give some thought to exactly WHAT should be the topic of the 100th post.

!! KEEP A SONG IN YOUR HEART !!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Welcome to MY neighborhood ~~~


Hello Neighbor !


I so FULLY realize I haven't posted in a few days. It has taken MUCH longer than anticipated to get back into the regular routine. First of all, our internal time clocks are all wacky-wacky. I know that's to be anticipated BUT it was a LOT easier adjusting to being in Hawaii than to being back in western NY. Wendy Skinner suggested at a Belmont Betterment Association meeting on Monday last, that perhaps because we traveled back 'against' the way the earth rotates. Is that right [[ Okay Steve Harris ,,, YOU would know,,,you know EVERYthing...and I say that with the deepest respect Buddy ! ( Steve was THEE brain of our class, perhaps of our lives EVER. It seemed he didn't even have to work at it. He could be given a "problem' to solve & would just solve it immediately whilst I could work & work & WORK and never EVER solve it. Granted, when we were still at BCS I didn't always "appreciate" him as I should have, but in adult life I think he's g-RRRRRRRRR-eat ! ) ]]? So anyway, we ARE getting a wee bit back to "normal" body wise, but then there's the dealing with all the day-to-day things that are not easy either. [[ HUSH! I can hear SOME of you: "Oh poor Greggy-Weggy,,,has to get back to REAL life after two freaking weeks in PARADISE! " ]] We shall survive for sure, but my heart goes out to Mike especially, as SOME things NEVER change. 'nuff said as I'm not sure just who reads this blog, but think work related! Last night was the first night that either one of us has slept even reasonably well since our return. Maybe a sense of "normal" IS returning after all. [[ "normal" used in a sentence pertaining to us ? Ha! ]]


Blessings:

Had Camelot Choraleer rehearsal last night. Man I LOVE my peep's, they are wonderful and nearly always lift me up, Up, UP ! I sooo very much missed them whilst we were away. I tried to explain that to them last night, but I rather doubt they grasped my "heart speak". One of these days I want to write a blog entry just about the Choraleers and my feelings towards them.

SUNNY DAY here today. "Son"shine makes almost any situation a little more tolerable. My S.I.L. [ Sister-In-Law] used to say that she's "solar powered", I rather think I might be also.

Nothing too terribly tragic going on in our lives ,,,, and that is always a blessing. Heck, even the toilet flushing is a GOOD thing. Think about it. What if it overflows ,,, what does THAT do to your day ? Oh my,,, I just thought of a funny story we were told whilst we were away, but it truly IS "toilet humor", so maybe I'd best not consider it as a blog entry ,,, then again.....


Okay. I'm done for now, just wanted to touch base. I could write out the blessings all day and STILL not be done, but there IS: lawn to be raked, music to be ordered, meals to prepare, wash to be done, lawn to be mowed, meds to be put up, calls to return [ I'll get there Kylene, please be patient Honey-Girl ], etc. Sooooooo, until we meet again,,,you know the drill loved ones ,,,,,,,


!! KEEP A SONG IN YOUR HEART !!


Friday, April 9, 2010

Paradise Journey ~ Home!


HOME.

Arrived yesterday, after a l==o==n==g journey due to weather in Chicago which held us up in L.A. as well as in Chicago itself. Thank God MJ had already booked a room in Buffalo for us to stay overnight, as we didn't arrive there until 1:15am, then had to wait for baggage [ which WAS there, another thank God ] an get to the hotel, etc.


As of today ALL packages are here that we shipped from Hawaii. TWO of them were here by the time we got home, the last one [ the biggest ] arrived this morning in the U.S. Mail.


Huge thanks to Al & Will for their GREAT hospitality whilst we were in Hawaii. Better hosts could NOT be found ANYwhere on the planet !!!!!!!


Thank you Connie for taking us to Buffalo AND coming to get us AND for the care-taking of Taylor at your house the entire time. [[ BTW ,,, he was NOT happy last night that he couldn't sleep with us since he did with you & Dez for the past 2+ weeks! ] AND thank you Connie for all the food you had prepared & left here AND for the ICE CREAM that you had also placed in the freezer of the 'fridge. What a shock THAT was! We were "dying" for something sweet & I checked in freezer to see if perhaps we'd had some leftover ice cream and ,,, "Hallelujah,,, it's a miracle! " not one but TWO boxes of ice cream. Also thanks for all the diet dew, banana's, etc. you placed here = deeply, DEEPLY appreciated Lew !


Taylor has an appt. at the groomers today, which we had forgotten, but are very thankful for the courtesy call to remind us Lyndsey !


Okay, enough for now. More boxes to unpack, wash to be done, house to be dusted, errands to run, meetings to schedule, music to prepare,,,,and MJ isn't even back to work yet. Ah yes,,, life continues...... and so it goes....... !! KEEP A SONG IN YOUR HEART !!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Returning from Paradise = in L.A.

Wednesday morning, April 7th, 2010 ,,,

Good Morning. As far as I can tell we are about halfway home. Flew all night, landing in LA at exactly the scheduled time of 5:20am PST. I am writing this around 7:30am current time [ which would be 10:30am EST ,,, I think ]. Flight was long or so it seemed with only darkness to "see" out the window. We did sleep a little so that helped.

We have a long layover here in LA = 6 hours, but I would rather have that then to be too rushed. We've been to STARBUCKS and had some coffee, wandered through some shops and are not sitting for a bit so that I could contact y'all.

Patti ,,, I thought of you last night. For some odd reason both the take-off AND the landing this time freaked me out a bit. Had we not slowed down when we did for the landing I was about to " scream like a girl " . Mike looked at me just in time and said,, "It's okay, it's okay ! " Maybe it was the darkness, who knows. Hope the rest of the flights are easier.

We are suppose to leave LA at 11:20am [ only about 4 hours now ] with an estimated arrival in Chicago at 5:10pm or some such thing. We have another lay-over there, of about 4 hours, then we leave there at 9:10pm and land in Buffalo at about 12:05am = a little past midnight. Mike got us a room for the night, thank Goodness, as we will be a bit weary.

I will attempt to keep you posted along the way. Stay tuned and !! KEEP A SONG IN YOUR HEART !!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

P.J. Pics 27











2nd pic: The stairway ,,, it goes up three levels, but this is all we thought to take. Sorry it is a bit blurry, but the photographer was working on his third or fourth glass of wine by the time he took this pic. Trust me, he was just getting started !
3rd pic: From the beautiful foyer, this library type room is directly to your left. What a relaxing and inspiring room this one is.
4th pic: Same room, other end, with some strange guy hanging around in there. Never did catch his name.
5th pic: This room is across the foyer from the library. A great place to curl up with a book and relax the evening away.




P.J. Pics 26












2nd pic: The dining area. Keep in mind that entire veranda outside can readily be used for dining also, as the weather is nearly always superb here.
3rd pic: Limited pic of one of the bathrooms in one of the suites. The shower is walk-in with room enough for a barn dance, and a rain-shower head that must be splendid to stand under.
4th pic: Is another limited shot, this time of the cupola, from which one can see the ocean over the tree line. Incredible.
5th pic: Yours truly relaxing in one of the chairs in the suites. What a life !



P.J. Pics 25












This is the place that I wrote about in the last posting. PLEASE go to that website I listed, the DO have a pic of the front of the house which we didn't get last night. It IS gorgeous ! These are pics from the outside of their B & B, next I will post some pics from the inside ,,,,,,,



Paradise VII

Tueaday Morning, April 6th, 2010 8:30AM-ish

Good Morning Friends,

Had a marvelous evening last night at the B&B known as Kalaekilohana. I think you can either view the place, or maybe it's just make reservations at www.kau-hawaii.com These guys apparently built much of this B&B [ you won't believe that statement if you SEE this building! ] & they are the perfect personalities to run such a beautiful establishment. What a fine final evening here in paradise. The wine flowed, the food was plenty AND being the perfect hosts, they even sent food home with us. Perfect guys, perfect.... thank you !

Today is all clean up and then prep to leave. We want to clean the guest house and wash all the bedding etc. [ which we don't have to do but we consider common courtesy ]. We will leave here for Kona around 3:30om, have a nice dinner [ I am avoiding saying "the last supper" ], then we will get to the Kona airport around 7:30pm, check in, go through security etc. and depart Kona at 9:20pm. We have a couple of rather lengthy lay-over's but that's fine. We would rather have extra time than to be rushed & risk missing a flight or some such thing.

I canNOT tell you how pleased I am that we have had this opportunity & that I bit the bullet [ with the help of some really GREAT & SUPPORTIVE friends ,,, thanks especially to the encouragement that I got from sweet Patti, wife of our Dear'O Steve Harris ] and finally did that which I said I never would ,,,, FLY ! Now be clear about this, I am by no means addicted to flying, but at least I can do it. Hallelujah !

There is a bit of sadness in the air here today, but it is overcome by having had the opportunity of being together these last few weeks. The sun is shining [ almost always ], the breeze is gentle [ unlike last week's trade winds ! ] and all is calm in paradise.

I will attempt to write you from one of the airports IF possible, although we couldn't arrange that on the way over. So, until we meet again, you KNOW the drill right ? ALOHA and ,,,,,,,,, !! KEEP A SONG IN YOUR HEART !!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Paradise VI

Monday, April 5th, 2010 9:00am

I just completed two postings with five pics each. Yesterday was fun but tiring, in fact Al was up & about, had his toast & tea, etc. and has gone back to lay down again. He is whipped also, and it's his birthday no less !

We are going back to the little house shortly [ where we stay ] and attempt to pack up another box of goodies to be mailed home. Hope it all fits.

Tonight we go up the road a piece to the house of friends who own the B&B ,,, for some homemade pizza and a little vino too. Of course today we will begin gathering things to pack up for the return trip. We leave Kona airport Tuesday night around 9:30pm our time [ 12:30am PST & 3:30am EST ]. We are scheduled to arrive at LAX around 5:30am Wednesday with a five hour or so layover. Then onto Ohare in Chicago. From Chicago we fly to Buffalo, arriving in Buffalo at approximately 12:05am Thursday. Long day. We have a room in Buffalo in which to stay for the rest of the night, then Connie will pick us up Thursday morning & we'll head to our little corner of the globe.

Yesterday whilst on our morning walk we discussed what we dreaded about returning home. MJ's answer was as I expected, but I think I shocked him with mine. Sorry, can't put it here, wouldn't go over well in certain circles. Perhaps it's time for some "house cleaning" or at the very least some "re-arranging" of some things in our life.

This is it for now. Another lovely day here, quieter too thank Goodness. Hopefully I will be back on here in the morrow before we depart. Until we meet again ,,,,,,, ALOHA! and as always loved ones ,,,,,,, !! KEEP A SONG IN YOUR HEART !!

P.J. Pics 24











This pics are from the evening last night [ Sunday 4-4-10 ] which was a tribute to "Uncle George" the gentleman who started the Merrie Monarch Festival some 47 years ago. George passed away last Oct. 26th at age 81. There were various Halau's [ loosely stated it would be like hula "troupes" ] there from all over not only Hawaii, the mainland and even Japan. Most of which George had taught or at least influenced.
First pic: The stage set for last night. PLEASE notice the FLOWERS in front of the stage. They were created between the afternoon event which ended at 4:30pm or so and the start of the tribute which was to begin at 6:00pm but actually started later than that. These gorgeous arrangements were created right there by a floral designer and his two assistants. I happen to know how much they cost and you wouldn't BELIEVE it. But they were beautiful, that's for sure and will last through most, if not all, of this week.
Second pic: Children begin EARLY ON in learning the ways of the Hawaiian culture. This little gal was sooooooo cute, and man could she ever "shake it" = so intense. Although I must say IF she got mixed up at all ,,, she did some of her very own "interpretive dance" !
Third pic: These gals were poetry in motion. I cannot begin to tell you how fluid and in sinc their motions were. The beauty of what they did brought tears to the eye.
Fourth pic: This little guy STOLE the show so to speak. If we thought the little gal was intense, this guy was like Mike Feldbauer would have been at that age. His main focus was on doing things CORRECTLY. Period !
Fifth pic: And the beat goes on. The little lady in the middle [ or thereabouts ] of this pic, between the other gals, is 82 years young. What a doll. I truly wanted to bring her home with me. She would have just about fit into my carry-on luggage. What a sweetie !



P.J. Pics 23











These pics are from yesterday, Easter Sunday, 4-4-10 at the beginning of the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo. This event is free & open to the public. Actual competition begins later this week and getting tickets is nearly impossible. [[ They go on sale 12/26 and are gone the same day, with tons of people left ticket-less.]] It is a very big deal here. VERY. Sorry the pictures are so vague, but we were up in the stands and pics just didn't turn out as well as we'd hoped.
The second pic down is of particular interest. The announcer said that this dance [ the ONLY one of the day that was just couples ] can be very suggestive. It is about what a rocking chair can be used for between couples who are "close". The announcer said that " If you are over 18 pay attention to the various moves of this hula in relation to the intimate use of a rocking chair... If you are under 18 this is just any old hula kids ! " It wasn't that bad, but some of the moves were intricate !
The Hawaiian apparel is incredible. And for the actual Merrie Monarch Festival it MUST be authentic down to the slightest detail.




Saturday, April 3, 2010

P.J. Pics 22











At Buddy & Tom's [ see previous post ] only these photos are INside of their house. Strong Asian influence obviously. [ Like it Sarah Elizabeth ? I thought of you immediately. ] The guy in the fourth picture down is Tom. I should also tell you that BOTH these guys are wonderful hosts as well as complete gentlemen in every sense of the word. Buddy however, could have his own comedy club. He had us in stitches people,,,, STITCHES! Story after story [ most of them TRUE stories to boot ]. What a guy AND he is also battling cancer of all things. Man, what an example he is ,,, they BOTH are for that matter. They've been together 29 years = you ROCK guys !!!



P.J. Pics 21












Yesterday we went to visit some friends of Al & Will yesterday, named Buddy & Tom. They live in a place called Ocean View, which is on the slope of Mauna Loa, at about 14,000 feet and they live at approximately 2,00 foot level. [[ Where we are staying it's about 1,750 feet ]] At any rate Buddy & Tom have lived there nearly three years, when they got there [ from Alaska ] just about EVERYthing was LAVA. Buddy showed us what it's like to attempt to dig a hole on their property. Oh man, what a process. At any rate, keep in mind that all the photos above are plantings that they had to dig these horrendous lava rock holes for ,,, then line the holes with newspaper [ or else the water just goes down, Down, DOWN through the lava,,, no puddling ].

What these guys have done with this previous just barren land is INcredible !
FIRST pic is looking from Buddy & Tom's deck out towards the back of their property. Now remember that each planting is in lava.
SECOND pic is MJ with a flower over his left ear, which according to everyone here, it matters not which ear the flower is put over. It has all been buggered up from what it used to be. I was just surprised that MJ did this ,,,, sometime he can be so ,,,,, okay moving right along......
THIRD pic looking from the back of the acreage up towards the back of the house where I took the first photo.
FOURTH pic is yours truly with size 15 clog type shoes on before we took the garden tour. Looks a lot like Pluto I'd say.
FIFTH pic is Buddy standing next to some of his soil,,, with part of the last person who complained about his garden tour sticking out of the pile !

P.J. Pics 20











Saturday ~ April 4, 2010 ~ Noon-ish here ,,,

So, the church is decorated for Easter with the scent of lillie's and mums everywhere. It took about an hours or so, then we ran some errands [ hey, they all meet at the local landfill just like we do in Allegany County, NY. Only we also have the ever-happening spot called the Dollar General back home,,,, not so here. ]

MJ and Al are doing some lawn chores: picking up branches [ actually fonds ? ], ect. blown down by the strong trade winds we had at the beginning of the week and I am blogging & doing some wash. I LOVE days like this = so normal ,,, but in paradise !

MJ downloaded a few more pics for me so I will now attempt to add a few.
On Wednesday we went to South Point, the southern most point in the United States. NOT the continental U.S. but in the entire U.S. It was a very, VERY windy day when we were there. You could virtually lean into the wind and not fall forward as the wind held you up. I tried this several times, but not near a cliff lest I make my enemies hold parties of celebration should the wind suddenly lessen.
The first pic above is a blow hole at South Point. [[ No it is not a self-pic of me Choraleers ! ]] It was not "blowing" that day as the winds were doing crazy things with the water that usually would blast into this hole then spout up to the surface.
Second pic is the waves crashing into the rocks, what an interesting sound. Speaking of sound this was the day that I discovered the winds were SOOO strong that if I turned towards the wind I could NOT hear anyone talking to me. A unique way to ignore people, well you know, if one were so inclined !
Third pic I did not mean to post on here, but I guess it IS somewhat of a lead in to the photo that follows it ,,,
Fourth pic = no I am not doing my hair like a cupie doll, that was the wind blowing my hair every which way and I guess it just came together in the middle.
Fifth pic = Doesn't Michael EVER take a bad photo? Land-a-sakes, here we are in a virtual windstorm and look at him. This is ONE reason why I believe in heaven,,,where things WILL all equal out,,, FINALLY !!!
BTW: Steve,,,will look forward to seeing you again. That little note from you made our day. Of course should " her loveliness" be available also, we are prepared to genuflect in her presence ! What a lucky guy you are "friend from our youth" .

Paradise V

7:15am Saturday, April 3, 2010

Wimpy. That's how I feel this morning. Y'all KNOW how I detest weepyness in men, well I am feeling weepy-ish this morning and NOT liking it at all. The wide variety of emotions here [ for various reasons btw ] are unbelievable. I am NOT crying, not even sniffling, but it's right there, right under the surface. I pray to God above that nothing too emotion-filled transpires today lest that "just under the surface" boil over the top. I will run as fast as I can to the furthest place from any living thing if that should happen. Geeeeeeeesh what a w-i-m-p .

We have had a couple of slower days here and it has been a HUGE blessing, let me tell you! Love all the various sites we have seen, but staying at home base more often is splendid in its own way. Of course Al & Will's place is BEAUTIFUL in and of itself. They are both master gardeners and it shows. They are also quite private people, so I may or may not post those pics. If there's one thing you learn quickly in Hawaii, it is respect. Thank Goodness that was drilled into MJ & I at a very young age. Thank you parents.

We leave shortly to go to the little local RC church to help Al decorate for Easter. We will probably attend Easter Vigil there this evening at 9:30pm [ 3:30am EST ]. Tomorrow is a very long day that will be spent in Hilo. A tribute to the gentleman who started the Merrie Monarch Festival [ he passed away last October ] is to transpire Sunday eve, and Al is involved / interested in all aspects of this tribute. We will leave semi-early Sunday morning and return quite late Sunday night. So far Monday and Tuesday look to be light days, which is great as far as we are concerned. Monday night we have a dinner with a couple of gentlemen who who an beautiful B & B ... I will try to post pics of the place later on.

Gotta go. Will leave for the church decorating soon. More later today, in the meantime....... ALOHA and KEEP A SONG IN YOUR HEART !!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

P.J. Pics 19











This was on the old highway [[ not the one people now use ]] on the way to Hilo. You could pay $16.00 per person to go into the "official" botanical gardens OR take a public path instead. Our tour guide [ Al ] said that he thought the botanical gardens weren't anywheres near worth the $16.00, so MJ & I opted for the public path, which was MORE THAN worth the price of admission!
In the second photo down ,,, can you find the TREE TRIMMER MAN ? We heard this motor start up [[ unusual for where we were to say the least ]] but couldn't find where the heck it was coming from. Using our little zoom on our digital camera, we were able to photograph him, but it was no small feat. Can you find him ??? Right click on the photo and open in a new window, it will make the picture HUGE = easier to spot him. I would NOT want to take his job from him !
In the third photo, look at the tree ROOTS. Cool, huh ?
Fourth & Fifth photos are some guys who seem to turn up wherever we are. Wonder why ?



P.J. Pics 18











AKAKA FALLS State Park as PJ Pics # 17. You should know that MJ was awestruck by the amount of railing required in this endeavor. We have MANY photos to PROVE how awestruck he was about this. Part of this area was closed for 18-24 months for a complete overhaul. It has obviously opened again and is very much like walking through a tropical forest, at least for us anyway.
The second pic of course is MJ, but note he is in front of a stand of bamboo, which is why we took this particular photo. [[ Like it Sarah ? ]]
Also of note: There are many tourists here and whilst walking through Akaka Falls one youngster asked his mom is these falls we like Niagara Falls. We nearly fell over [ I was nigh onto grabbing my chest in horror ]. I mean this is a beautiful area, especially the greenery, etc. but these falls are more like our Letchworth State Park than anywheres near Niagara Falls. Thankfully the mother explained the difference to the lad, thereby saving me the time, energy & heart palpitations to do so myself !



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