Back to School!

Ugh…This makes three days of being up way before the sun.  Too early.

I only have a couple of minutes because I hit the snooze alarm several times this morning.

I have to keep working on my Honolulu Choo Choo and will probably start riding the train on Saturday.  Today is kind of crazy because I have to go to school and work on my room.  Set up the computers and fix the bulletin boards and make the place all homey and welcoming.  Tomorrow and Friday, teachers will be working and lunch and snacks will be provided.  I’m doing well just to drag my ass out of bed and get there on time.  Don’t ask anything else of me. 

I thought of a couple of more items to throw on the train.  I should get points for resisting any major temptation such as joining in on pizza or passing up on doughnuts.  I know those kind of opportunites will present themselves as soon as the school gets back to full speed and it will make it easier to stay on track.  I can’t work on that right now, however.  I’ve got to hit the shower and get moving.

I just got back from my school retreat and I’m feeling pretty virtuous.  Didn’t go out partying last night.  Instead, I worked on a plan.  I’m adding a new category to my 3FC site.  It will be called the Honolulu Choo Choo and will look something like this:

I haven’t finished yet but I’m trying to change detrimental habits and make lifestyle changes that will improve my mental and physical health.  I asked myself, “What do I need to do to lose weight, get healthier and get ready to go to Hawaii next summer?”  These are the things I came up with.  I worked on it a little bit last night instead of going to the jello shooter party with some of my friends.  I should get points just for doing that.  I have to add a few more things.  For example, I should include posting on 3FC each day.  I’m trying to think of all the good things I can do that will make me feel better.  I’m not sure how many points I should aim for each day and I’m not sure what kind of weekly reward I’ll give myself for completion.  Maybe stick another 25 in the bank or something…

This is my plan for getting to Honolulu next summer.  It’s possible for me to earn up to 90 points each day and I think a reasonable goal might be to earn at least 50.  I still haven’t worked out all the final details but it’s going to work something like this:  If I record my food all day, I get 10 points.  If I stay within my ideal calorie range between 1200 and 1400, I get 10 points.  Between 1,000 and 1600 is worth 5 points.  Weigh myself daily and record the weight is worth 5 points.  Not smoking is good for another 10 points and making sure NO ONE smokes in the house (or at least raising Hell if they do) gives me 5 points.  If I put in a full exercise session of at least 45 minutes, I can earn 10 points but if I can squeeze in a mini session of at least 15 minutes, I can get 5 points.  Not eating after 8:00 p.m. is going to earn me 5 points and limiting my downtime (playing computer games, watching TV, or reading) will squeeze out a few more points.  If I tackle an annoying chore like cleaning a ceiling fan or cleaning out a closet or some other task I wouldn’t do during routine housecleaning, I get points.  Making sure I save $5 each day is good for points and drinking at least 64 ounces of water will let me earn another ten points.

I’m open to suggestion.  You guys know how I love making lists and keeping focused.  I need a plan and I think this is a good one but I need to do a little more refining.



I got an email from my principal yesterday.  She received a hardship request that would allow DGD, Holly, to attend the school where I work.  Wanted to know if Holly was another of my grandkids.

I arranged for Andrew and Steven to transfer to my school because it covers grades 6 through 12.  Worked with their teachers to see that they got the accommodations they needed and kept on track all the way through graduation.  Last year, DGS, Jake, transferred and began attending.  Jake isn’t too much of a challenge.  He’s bright and well-liked by his classmates.  I see good things in store for him.  I just try to keep him on the right track by pushing him to get on the Quick Recall team and the Honor’s team.  He likes to cut up a little more than he should but he’s not really a discipline problem.  Just a fun-loving and popular kid.

Now, I guess Holly’s mother asked for her to be transferred.  Holly is going to be a BIG challenge.  She’s a grade behind where she should be and she has some ECE issues.  She barely passed last year.  I have to be honest and say that I hope she doesn’t embarrass me with my colleagues.  Although the twins moved in with us when they started middle school, I’m not going to allow Holly to do that.  Surely her mother can raise at least one of her kids.  Still, I remember last year when Holly told me that her teacher was soooo nice!  She bought her a hairbrush and showed her how to brush her hair and gave her a bag that had shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, a toothbrush and deodorant in it. I asked her if all the other kids got the same things and she smiled at me and said she was the only one!

In fact, Holly called me Friday afternoon and whispered, “Nana, can you come and get me?  Mommy and Granny are fighting and I don’t want to be here.” 

I could hear them in the background.  Tina’s mother screaming at her that she was a “good for nothing, lazy bitch and she was sick of it!”  They were really going at it.  DIL, Tina, moved in with her mother a couple of months ago and, evidently, Mom is fed up with her.  I don’t blame her.  She’s a total slob and isn’t working or looking for work.

So, I told Holly to tell her mother she was coming over here to spend the night and I sent DS to get her.  Told him to just pull up out front and told Holly to watch for him.  She stayed here Friday night and all day Saturday and DS took her home last night.  I was shocked at her hours.  She fell asleep around 9:00 and then woke up at 3:30 and started watching TV.  She was asleep again when I woke up at 8:30 and she slept all day!  I started trying to get her up around noon but she just kept rolling over and going back to sleep.  She was still asleep at 6:00 when I got her up to go home.  Her schedule is a disaster.  She told me she usually goes to bed around 1:00 and sleeps for a couple of hours and then gets up for a while and then goes back to bed and sleeps all day.

School starts in a week.  One of Holly’s biggest problems is that she misses a lot of school.  Same as the twins when I took them in.  She doesn’t like school and will whine until DIL lets her stay home.  I had originally planned to pick up the twins on my way to school each morning but, after showing up to pick them up and finding DIL and the twins still asleep three times in the first week, I suggested they just stay with me during the week and go home on the weekends.  Of course, they never went home. 

I told my principal she was my granddaughter and she’s going to approve the transfer.  I’ll keep tabs on her through her teachers and see that she gets the help she needs but I am NOT going to let her move in with me.  I’ve already decided that if comes down to it, I’ll ask the courts for custody and her parents can pay for her support.  I raised Andrew and Steven for them and never asked for a dime.  When DIL claimed them on her taxes last year and kept the money, it was the last straw.  In fact, I found out that DIL is still claiming them and getting food stamps for herself, Holly, and both the boys.  I’m sure she’s getting other support as well.

Ugghhh…I’m sounding nasty again and I’m trying to be more upbeat.

So…tomorrow, I have to go to my school retreat at General Butler State Park.  I’ll make the best choices I can but last year’s food was pretty bad.  Danish and doughnuts, juice and coffee for breakfast, sandwiches, potato salad and chips for lunch and dinner was a catered affair of fried chicken, fried fish, mashed potatoes, green beans and rolls.  I remember actually trying to eat well and wondering why they hadn’t made any arrangements for staff who might be diabetic or dieting.  I always pay the difference to have my own room instead of sharing a room with another teacher.  Sixty year old women do not share rooms.  At least, this one doesn’t.  I’d prefer to keep my snoring and hourly bathroom visits to myself.

I did my laps in the pool yesterday.  It was a stressful day and I didn’t feel like doing them but I did anyway.  The ROTC program at school owns a covered trailer that is stored at the school in a fenced and locked area and I’m going to ask to borrow it next weekend.  I plan to move all Steven’s stuff into it so it will be ready to go on the 21st when he leaves for WKU.  I can’t wait to get all his stuff out of my workout room and get to my treadmill!

We picked a cantalope, two red tomatoes, more zucchini, yellow squash, jalapenos and other assorted peppers and a bunch of corn from the garden yesterday.  I discovered that we have tomato blight and had to treat for it.  That’s going to affect the crop but we should still do pretty good.  I didn’t plant melons but this year’s garden goes right over the top of last year’s compost pile.  We had a bunch of volunteer melons sprout and it’s been interesting.  Last year, a produce market went out of business and they were selling all these exotic melons for $1.00 each to get rid of them.  I bought 15 different melons.  I got crenshaw, cantelopes, casabas, Santa Clauses, honeydews, Persians, and a bunch of other kinds.  We now have a pretty large spread of melons winding their way through the garden and into the surrounding area.  I’ve counted 40 different melons in various stages of growth.  If I’d known how large the plants would get, I’m not sure I would have allowed them to grow but, at this point, I’m going to let them go and reap the rewards.  Maybe we’ll do a separate melon patch next year.  I have to move the vines almost daily and watch every step in the garden to keep from stepping on melons.  I’ve got them running between and up the rows of corn and between all the other plants in the areas I left for moving between the rows.  There are all kinds of little melons growing and, it appears that there are at least a half dozen different kinds.  Interesting, to say the least.

I’m working on clothes today.  After a summer of capris and tee shirts, it’s time to get my work clothes together.  Not that I have a lot to work with…

12:45 Update – Just read Delita’s post and found it to be thought provoking and inspirational.  It’s not really about getting on track.  Not about having a perfect day or eating healthy or any of the stuff I usually count as being a good thing.  It’s all about doing it consistently and staying on track.  STAYING ON TRACK!

It’s difficult.  Every day seems to bring it’s own challenges.  School is such a handicap because I let it throw me off track so often.  Off track enough and you might as well not even board the train.  For example, I’m thinking about the retreat and I was trying to figure out how I could avoid eating the stuff I know they’re going to provide.  I don’t have a fridge in my hotel room and, being in a state park is not the kind of place where I can run out and get something else.  So, I asked myself, what can I do about it?  Don’t be disappointed in me…I decided that I couldn’t really do much without access to a kitchen, stove, or fridge.  Not even a microwave for two days.  BUT, as soon as this retreat is over, I’m going to try to aim for staying on track and not letting circumstances dictate the food I eat and the exercise I get.  I’m going to work on a plan at the retreat that will aid me in getting where I want to go by the time I go to Hawaii.

So, I can control what happens today and I’m aiming for a perfect day of being on track.  Heading to the pool to do 100 laps.  I may not be able to do much about Monday and Tuesday but I can certainly hop on board today.

Gimme a break.  I received a mailer from WKU yesterday about Student Care Packages.  Really kind of made me mad but tugged on the guilt mechanism anyway.  They’re aiming for 100% parent participation, they say.  Don’t let YOUR child be the only one who’s left out.

They want us to sign up to have “Care Packages” sent to the kids in the dorm at regular intervals.  There’s a Welcome Package that has some cereal bars, Pop Tarts, Popcorn and granola bars.  Of course, each package will include a “handsigned note from me expressing my love and support for my child”.

Then we have the “Out of the Blue” package that shows up sometime during the first semester.  It has Cheez-Its, M&Ms, Oreo cookies and MORE!

Don’t forget the “Trick or Treater”, Valentine Surprise, Move-In Mug, and the “Finals Event”.  All for the low, low price of $125.00.  OR, packages can be ordered separately for just $42.00 each.

Are you kidding me?  Of course it’s exorbitant but I got irritated with the way the thing was written.  Comments like, “We’re aiming for 100% participation by parents!  Don’t be the only one to hold up the show! and “We asked one resident hall staffer if students really get excited about the Care Packages, his response was ‘Definitely, but the worst part is telling a student they didn’t get a package.  They’re so sad!'”

The mailer finishes up by stating “They may seem like boxes of snacks, but to students, getting a Care Package is a big deal.  Unfortunately, it’s an even BIGGER deal if they don’t get one.  Nobody likes to feel left out.  They really do notice.”

Gimme a break.  It’s an outrageous price and they justify it by saying all the proceeds are used to fund activites for the students in the dorm.  So why do I feel like I have to do this?  grumble, grumble….Because I don’t want my Steven to feel left out.  What if most of the students really do get them and he’s one of the few who doesn’t?

Gotta think about that one.  One of the main benefits I’m hoping Steven will get out of going off to school is to become more social.

Went out to the pool yesterday afternoon aiming for 85 laps but then I thought that I really should do 90 just so I could say I’m working on getting better.  Then, when I got to 90, I decided that it was time to go for a nice round number like 100.  So I did.  I don’t think I’m going to add anymore laps.  It’s getting pretty boring and takes almost an hour.

Now I’m going to check out the garden.  I got my first ripe tomato yesterday, picked it, turned it over and saw a damn worm burrowed down in it.  I hate to use pesticides.  Still, we have plenty of green tomatoes and I’m sure they’ll start coming in soon.  For dinner, I picked corn on the cob, made zucchini bread for the family and made myself a salad using some of the zuchhini, yellow squash and a handful of pearl tomatoes.  Yeah, pearl tomatoes, we planted a couple of really unusual plants that produce tons of teeny little tomatoes about the size of a large pea.  Thought it would be fun but it’s kind of annoying picking enough of them to do anything with.

My, my…don’t I sound like an old scrooge today?

I never feel like the new year begins in January.  Rather, it begins in August when I start a new school year.  And that’s Monday.  We have a retreat on Monday and Tuesday, I’ll work an extra day to set up my room on Wednesday and then teachers are back to work full-time starting Thursday.  Students return to school the following Monday.

So that’s it.  Summer break is over and, again, I feel like it just started.  Where does the time go?  I haven’t even picked a home-grown tomato yet.  Lots of green ones but we have one that’s starting to turn pink on the bottom.

I hope I have a good year.  Everything’s in place for a good one.  I’m teaching a full class load this year and I have a huge classroom.  Not that it has much free space in it.  It has 30 computer stations and 30 student desks so there’s not a lot of room left.

I’m burned out and hope I can get my mojo back after getting back in the routine.  I could retire but I want to hang in there for a couple more years.  My dream has always been to be able to retire and enjoy traveling and taking advantage of all those dirt cheap offers they send me in my email to go on a ten day cruise for next to nothing if I can leave in the next week.  Or to get a round trip ticket to Cozumel and stay in an all-inclusive resort for a pittance if I can do it in February.  Yeah, I can retire but not with enough money to do the things I want to do.  At this point in my career, I can add approximately another $200 per month to my retirement pay for each additional year I work.  Work another two years and get paid another $100 a week.  And that’s for the rest of my life.  Makes it difficult to walk away.  Especially with Andrew and Steven in college.

So it’s time to put make my resolutions for the new year.  It’s not just DH who’s quitting smoking tomorrow.  I am, too.   I quit for almost a year last year but I started back about three months ago.  It’s just so difficult to quit when he smokes around me all the time.  The craving never ends.  I’m not that worried about it.  I did pretty good last time and never even thought about a cigarette except at home when I was trapped in the house with DH and DS.  I’ll do fine as long as he quits, too.  Even if he isn’t able to quit, I’m determined that no one is going to smoke in my house again.  If they want to smoke, they can go stand outside in the snow.

I’m working out a weekly award system for not smoking, eating right, and exercising.  I get daily points that represent cold hard cash that I’ll deposit every Friday to a new savings account dedicated to Hawaii.  My first resolution is to get that plan written up.


Soul Surfer

I watched Soul Surfer last night and loved it.  The film was a little Pollyanna.  I mean, the girl must have gotten downright angry occasionally but I still enjoyed it.  Some of it was filmed on Kauai and I recognized so many familiar places.  I’ve often snorkeled off Tunnels Beach where Bethany Hamilton was attacked by a shark but I stay inside the outer reef area.  Tunnels is an amazing place for snorkeling.  You can be floating along just above the reef, actually having to touch the reef to pull your body over it (while being careful not to grab a sea urchin) and then the bottom will just drop away and you’ll be looking through 40 feet of crystal clear water to the bottom.  A few times, I’ve felt a little worried.  Thoughts of sharks going through my mind but I keep asking myself, “Am I still within the boundaries of the reef?”

The very first time I went to Hawaii, I swam at Tunnels with a sea turtle.  He was huge and I was totally enthralled.  Since then, I’ve learned to be very careful around the turtles.  Sharks eat sea turtles.  If there are turtles in the area, there can be sharks, too.  Although, of course, the chances of encountering one are very, very slim.

I finally got DGS, Steven’s, charges all taken care of for school. They had emailed him his final bill for the semester and it showed us still owing another $1,885.00 and I knew that couldn’t be right.  I finally found out that, even though they show one of his Pell Grants being paid on the credits, they hadn’t deducted it from the total.  Sounds pretty simple to catch but, believe me, it wasn’t.  I’ve been tangled up in all this red tape since last spring.  There are charges and charges and charges and then there are credits and credits and credits and the two are never shown on the same page.  I kept adding up all the credits and they more than covered all the charges but they were still asking for almost $2,000 by August 23.  I could have sat down with someone in billing or financial aid and gotten it straightened out but that would have involved a 5 hour drive to go down there and back so I kept calling people and one person would refer me to another.  I was getting really stressed and aggravated so I’m really glad to have it all taken care of.

Steven is such a picky eater, I can almost count the items he’ll eat using my fingers.  Of course, a lot of them are frozen foods.  He eats pancakes and pizza and a couple of those frozen kiddy meals with chicken nuggets and fries.  They tell me that’s a part of the Aspergers Syndrome.  It’s really discouraging because, as he’s gotten older, instead of adding new foods to his repertoire, he drops items that he’s been eating for years and decides he doesn’t like them anymore.  So, I want to make sure he has a decent freezer for his room.  It wasn’t easy finding one.  Most of the mini refrigerator/freezers have a tiny little freezer that will barely hold an ice tray and they don’t get as cold as they should since they’re located inside the refrigerator itself.  I finally found one that will work perfectly.  It fits within the 5 cubic foot limit and has a separate freezer section.  Of course, they were out of it except for the floor model and I had to go ahead and pay for it without being able to take it home.  H. H. Gregg’s told me they would be getting it in within the next two days.  That was almost three weeks ago and they still don’t have it.  I’m not in a panic yet because Steven doesn’t leave for school for another two weeks but I’d feel better if I could actually get the thing.  Other than the fridge, I think we have him all set to go.

Enough blogging…I’m going to do my pool laps and try to enjoy one of my last days before going back to work.  Once Monday rolls around, I’ll be eaten alive.



Hawaii 101

If you’re brave enough to take the first step on the path that says “Cliff area – Keep Out – Path is steep and may be slippery” and follow it down through the tropical vegetation and past the waterfall,

you’ll come to Queen’s Bath,


a magical place where the surf surges over the lava rocks and creates a pool of crystal clear water for swimming.  And then, if you’re not really keen on having all that salt water on your body, you can climb over a few of the lava rocks and rinse off in a waterfall that tumbles down over the cliffs.

I’ve taken the path down the cliffs at least a half dozen times in the past and spent the day bathing in the pool and climbing around the rocks.  I didn’t go down the path last time we were in Hawaii.  I was worried about my ankle.  This time, I will.

I was thinking about it.  I really don’t have a lot of time left for adventures.  I mean, realistically, I’m in my sixties.  And how many seventy year olds take adventures?  Not many.  So I figure I may be able to squeeze another ten years or so of doing my thing before I have to start hobbling around in a walker. 

I’m feeling good.  Wanting to spend the next year getting back in shape so I can enjoy what will probably be my last trip to Hawaii.  I said I was never going back.  We’ve spent a total of at least 8 months in the islands since we used to go for a month every other year.  But I miss it.  Such a beautiful place and I think the reason I didn’t enjoy it last time was because DH’s aunt was such a royal pain in the ass.  We actually thought about heading home a couple of weeks early last time because things were so bad but that would have been foolish so we stuck it out.  Trying to be diplomatic and put up with her but she made everyone so miserable that it spoiled everything.  We were on the same plane coming home until we reached Atlanta.  Then she was headed home to Orlando and we were heading to Louisville.  She walked up to me and gave me a hug and said, “I’m sorry. Can you forgive me?  I know I wasn’t very good company but I hope we can take another trip together sometime.”

And I was thinking, “Not in this lifetime.”

This time, I’m planning for myself.  I hope DH gets his act together and can come with me but I’m not paying for him.  He can get off his butt and do some overtime or quit smoking to save the money.  In fact, I don’t care who goes with us.  Anyone is free to come along but I’m going to make sure we have our own condo and our own agenda.

Speaking of DH, his surgery went fine and he’s marveling at how bright the colors are this morning. 

10:00 a.m. update – OMG!  DH just told me he’s quitting smoking Saturday.  Don’t know if it will work but at least he’s going to try which is more than he’s done in a long time.


Alooooo – HA!

I was figuring up some prices yesterday.  Just a basic deal on Expedia for round trip airfare and two weeks in Honolulu and it was refreshing to see some low prices.  I could do it for $1,200.  Of course, it’s never just me.  I always wind up paying a fortune for a group of us to go.  Then I got to thinking….the twins have been dying to go back to Hawaii but they’ll be 21 next summer.  Grown men.  And they can pay their own way if they want to go.  Then I took it a step farther and decided that DH, who avoids overtime like the plague, could pay his own way, too. 

So I announced, yesterday evening, that I’m going to Hawaii next summer and anyone else that wants to go is welcome but I’m not paying for anyone but myself. 

Interesting reaction.  Everyone kind of got the Hawaii fever and started thinking about ways that they could come up with the money.  DH, who’s used to me grabbing every minute of overtime I can get and working like a dog to do my job, teach ESS and homeschool hospital bound students, said, “There’s no way!  We can’t afford to go next summer!”

And I said, “I know.  WE can’t afford it but I can.  You can come, too.  You just have to earn your own money.  If you think about it, you can save $10.00 a day by giving up smoking.  Just doing that, would give you $3,500.00.”

I’ve nagged him and nagged him about it and he usually just brushes it aside but I could actually see the wheels turning and he said we’d talk about it today.

He’s scheduled for eye surgery in a couple of hours.  He had his right eye done a couple of years ago and this is for his left eye.  Deterioration due to diabetes.  The lasik really helped his right eye and I hope he gets the same results with the other.

I fixed the Last Supper last night.  Haven’t had a fried green tomato all year and DH wanted fried pork chops so I fixed fresh collard greens and picked some corn from the garden.  Served it all up with sliced homegrown tomatoes and told everyone to enjoy because I’m back on a diet starting today.

I did 80 laps in the pool yesterday and I’m planning on doing the same today but I’ve got to get off here and get DH to the Outpatient Surgery Center first.


Blue Moon

I went out to the spa last night around midnight.  It was dark and quiet and steamy.  And I didn’t want steamy.  So, I got out of the spa, wrapped a big towel around me, went to the pool, dropped the towel and went skinny dipping.

There’s something wrong with me.  I love being naked in the pool. 

I floated around, looking at the stars and saw a shooting star.  It was wonderful.  The water was cool and the neighborhood was dark and quiet.  It’s been at least two years since I went skinny dipping in the pool.  Way too long. 

I saw an episode of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman yesterday.  It was about time.  What it is and how we percieve it.  Lots of quantum physics and relativity and a bunch of stuff that was over my head but I did pick up a few tidbits.  Tests have shown that a person’s conception and processing of time changes over the years.  For a ten year old, the perception of time is a baseline of 1.0.  For a sixty year old, it’s 2.4.  That means that I process and perceive time two and half times faster than a ten year old.

No wonder it seems like the days and years are flying by.  I don’t have much time to do all the things I want to do.  And I want to do a bunch of stuff.

I’ve always been the adventurer in the family.  At least, the female adventurer.  My oldest brother is the male adventurer.  Living in Alaska for 20 years.  Leading tour groups cross country skiing in the frozen wilderness.  Jumping on a Harley to travel across the country over a six month time period.

Me, I think I was born married and raising kids but I’ve still managed to be an adventurous soul.  Climbing and hiking and traveling all over the place.  My sister is always picking some point on a distant mountain and joking, “Wait, I think I see Patty up there!” One time, when we were in Hawaii, we were hiking and came across a beautiful waterfall.  My sister dared me to climb it.  So, with DH, little sister and the kids urging me onward and upward, I climbed the boulders and kept going until I was being pounded by the crashing water as it leaped over the rocks and pooled at the base.  Little Sis kept taking pictures and I made it to the top but it was so slippery I couldn’t stand up.

We got back to the condo and popped the disk into the computer to view pictures of the days activites and there I was.  Me in my blue bathing suit.  Just about every shot was a picture of me bent over and scrambing up the rocks.  Just my big blue ass.  I was even bent over on the shots from the top of the waterfall.  A big blue moon at everyone standing below.  Those pictures become known in the family as the Blue Moon series and we’ve all laughed at the view of me bent over taking a beating in the waterfall with my backside facing the camera.

It’s been way, way too long since I did something adventurous.  Last time was the hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls which some on you may remember from four years ago.  That little adventure almost killed me.

So I’m floating around out there in the pool, gazing up at the stars and thinking about all the things I always planned to do and will never be able to do.  Like Hiking the Kalalau Trail in Kauai.  Of course, as much as I always wanted to do the hike, I had the opportunity a couple of times and couldn’t get anyone to go with me.  So I guess that one is a wash.  Besides, I have a pretty big problem with vertigo and I’m not sure I’d enjoy myself even if I took the hike.  Standing at the edge of a sheer cliff on a ten inch wide hiking trail is probably not my cup of tea.  So I started thinking about my adventures and realized that a lot of them took place in Hawaii.  Hiking a couple of miles around the coast of the Big Island to get to the place where hot lava rushes through a tube to explode in the ocean was certainly memorable.  So was a hike down the cliffs in Princeville to Queen’s Bath.  The path is narrow and very steep in a few sections.  Last time we were in Hawaii, I wanted to take the hike but I was afraid my ankle, after so many surgeries and a loss of flexibility, wouldn’t handle the demands very well so I let the others talk me out of it.  I could have done it easily enough, even if I’d slid down the trail backwards shooting a blue moon at everyone.  I should have gone.  I remember climbing a hill in Hilo.  Way up at the top, I looked down on DH and little sister standing on the beach and waving at me and I hated that they weren’t up at the top to see the view.

So I decided, I need an adventure.  And I’m going back to Hawaii.  I’ve taken a look at French Polynesia and it looks fabulous but it costs 2 1/2 times what it would cost to go to Hawaii.  And I could redo an old adventure in Hawaii and probably get just as much satisfaction as I could from doing something in Tahiti.  Besides, there are still a few adventures I haven’t had in Hawaii.  I know I will never learn to ride a surfboard or hike the Kalalau trail but I can still ride a bicycle down the volcano in Maui and snorkle on Tunnels Beach.  I can still hike some beautiful trails in the islands and I’ve never skinny dipped in Queens bath. 

So I’m planning.  I can’t go to Hawaii next year.  What with Steven and Andrew in college.  But I can go the year after next.  And I can spend the next two years getting ready for it.  Eating healthy and working out so I can be ready for an adventure when the opportunity presents itself.  And just thinking about it has me pretty motivated.  I may even be retired by then.  Who knows?

So it’s off to the pool to do laps!