Sunday, January 14, 2018

Well That Was Exciting!

I'm not sure if exciting would be the way to describe it had we really had a missile attack. As we were gathering everybody, Christopher said, "This is cool!" I said "cool" suggests that it's a good thing. I agree it's fascinating, but getting bombed isn't cool.

Good Morning! 
Dan and Dunc, Kristin and I were out walking first thing in the morning. We chose to go on the beach path so Dunc & Kristin could see it. Soon I received an Amber-type alert on my watch. I read it and stopped. This is weird. I showed it to everybody. It seemed impossible, but yet not something to ignore. We decided to turn around and head back to the condo. Everyone we passed were also looking at their phones and seeming to want to confirm with those we passed that yes, we received the same alert.
Technology is amazing that instantly everyone had the same information!

I told Dan we should start jogging because the kids were getting the same alert on their phones. I didn't want them to be alone or scared. When we got back, they hadn't seen their phones yet.

Dan told them to get shoes on so we could head to the lobby of the hotel. Presumably to get information and go to a central "safe" place.

We turned on the news but there were no reports, which was peculiar. We knew it could be a hack. But we also knew it wouldn't be surprising if North Korea did attempt to launch a missile. It was too likely to be ignored.

We put games in one bag and I had another bag with magazines and books and trail mix. We knelt down to say a quick prayer asking for peace amongst our nations leaders, military and that we would be able to discern what information to follow and to heed a plan for safety.

I was thinking of 9-11 where the people in the towers were told to stay put to not interfere with emergency personnel. Of course, staying put ended up not being a good idea. I have always wondered if, since I am a rule-folower, I would have stayed put heeding the direction of whoever was giving it. OR, since I know when some rules sound ridiculous, I would have started heading out of the buildings because I was following a prompting to get out.

So as I prayed, I knew our safety depended on promptings.

Than we headed to the hotel. We were very calm.

I imagined it would take several hours for a missile to hit Hawaii (assuming it was from North Korea). Dan knew it would only take 15 minutes.

At the main lobby, quite a few people were looking around a bit confused and talking about the alert. But a lot of people were still having breakfast. There was no organized effort to gather or instruct.

False Alarm
Dan thought we should head downstairs to a corridor with no windows. Unfortunately there isn't one. We asked an employee there who turned out to be super helpful. She said they had contacts with The National Guard as well as Oahu and neither had any information there was a missile. So she said right now we should go somewhere where we felt safe and we would be alerted if there was any more information. We asked her if these alerts were common whenever North Korea made a threat. She said not at all.

We decided to walk to a stairwell where we would wait for 15 minutes. However, by the time we got near there, Dan had received word from Chad that the news was confirming it was a mistake. So we headed back to our condo and watched the news.  What a start to our morning!

Then Kristin and I went back on our walk, Dan did his workout and Duncan took the boys down to the beach to play! And the day resumed like normal.

Although on our walk, I was clunked on the head by a closing parking gate! It was open, so I walked past it, and then was thunked on the head as it closed right on top of me! It didn't hurt too bad. Was mostly surprising! And quite funny. It was very confusing because there were no cars ahead of us that would have caused it to open (and therefore logically we would have expected it to close). And while we were standing there figuring out what just happened, the other one opened on its own accord. But note to self: don't walk by open parking gates!

Just a re-enactment!

Today was a hang out at the resort day, except for Duncan who drove around the North Shore to see the sights of Hawaii.

In the evening we drove up to Kaanapali and ate at Duke's with Dan's cousin who lives on the island, David. As it turns out, his wife went to Olympus High, grew up in my Stake and is an older sister to a friend from our old neighborhood! Small, Small world!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Happy Birthday, Nick!

 Another birthday for Nick while in Hawaii!
He got to open presents in the morning and received a new headset for playing video games from Mom and Dad (but chosen and purchased by Chris so it was sure to be the right one!).
Also, a nerf "winged" football from the Shaeffers that is so cool "because it whistles!"

Early birthday dessert at Nick's at the Fairmont. That's really the name of the restaurant!

His birthday request was the whale tour and snorkeling on the Island Star.
We loved getting to share our favorite activity with the Dunc, Kristin, Adam & Curt.

Whales were everywhere today! 
We saw lots of whales backs "logging" so close to the boat. (Just laying near the top of the water.)
Many "tail" sightings and one flapping fin.

Right at the end of the tour, a whale breeched very near us and then the next second it's companion breeched! After that they jumped several times out of the water. Soooo exciting and such a great way to end the tour!

We got back to the resort early afternoon. The adults took naps and the kids played on the beach!
Dinner at Coconuts in Kihei and Shave Ice at Local Boys to end our evening.

Screaming underwater... "Mom, can you hear me?"
I totally remember doing this with Michelle when we were young!

Our newest teenager striking a classic teenager pose!

Beach and Golf Day

It took a full 3 minutes for Nick to get up the courage to jump up on this horse.
He wanted to, but he didn't want to get in trouble.  

Thursday, January 11, 2018


The necessities for 8 hours on an airplane.

Minus the snacks that will be purchased at the airport in Seattle. Something about being trapped on a plane makes me worried I might never eat again. I have to carefully calculate the time and when a proper meal should be served, purchase the food for that meal, and then buy snacks for every scenario. 

Something salty—but I take my time choosing. What kind of chips will I feel like in three hours? Cheddar and sour cream? Salt and Vinegar? Bugles have a fun texture and pop that’s satisfying.  Something sweet… chocolate of course, preferably not a candy bar, but pieces that are bite size. And then in a panic I throw something else onto the counter. Nuts with dried fruit? It would be good to have something crunchy. And I do like dried fruit. Brings back good feelings. Reminds me of the candy of my youth. The kind that you could potentially get away with eating in front of mom. The kind she may even purchase herself. (Or more likely that Grandma Regan purchased.) We were well aware that it wasn’t candy. But it was almost candy.

Salt and vinegar chips, veggies and dip, trail mix--with dried fruit and nuts, but no chocolate, Peanut butter M&Ms to make up for the lack of chocolate in the trail mix. I’m worried the peanut butter M&Ms may have been a mistake. Should have stuck with plain.

And a big bottle of water.

But the 6 ½ hour flight to Hawaii requires preparation and organization once seated on the flight to have everything accessible. So I can properly enjoy my hours and hours of doing whatever I want! Seriously, I love flying!

The man diagonal from is busting a gut laughing. I can see the show he’s watching, “Vice Principals.” I’ve never heard of it. But something happens on screen and he starts laughing without sound. I can see his head bobbing as he laughs and a couple of times he’s had to take off his glasses and wipe his eyes. I told Chris to watch him and then Chris and I were both busting up just watching this dude enjoying his show so much.

We made it just in time!

Happy almost Birthday to Nick!

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Fake and Bake

I totally went to a tanning salon yesterday. It felt a little bit like I was sneaking off to go smoke pot or something. Like its something I totally shouldn't be doing, but decided against all better judgment that I was going to sneak off and do anyway.

When I told Dan and the kids what I'd done, you'd think I had smoked pot. They were literally dumbfounded:
"I think it's illegal!" (Dan)
"Mom, why would you do that?! Everyone knows its so bad for you!" (Chris)
Nick just looked at me with that look of how did he get this lady for his mother.
"Kids," (Dan again,) "This isn't something Mom is going to do on a regular basis. She just went once to get a start on her tan before Hawaii. We don't need to worry." (He looks at me totally worried.)

Funnily enough (just made up that word but I think it works), its the same tanning salon we went to back in high school days. The one across the street from Meier's Chicken and right next to what is now Ace Hardware.
("You went tanning in high school?!" (Chris) "Like before a dance or something?"
"Yes, before a dance. And once in a while just to get warm.")

The asked me if I'd ever been there before and I said, "Funnily enough, Yes. 30 years ago."
Then she said, "Let me see if you're in the system. What's your name?"
Well, that would have been back with my maiden name. And also, there was no system then. It was just a cash register and our cash. She still looked and I was not in their system.

It's different than it was back then. When I started the bed, a huge fan started up. Presumably to keep me cool or perhaps to work like a convection oven. But instead of being warm, I was freezing. I tried different buttons to make it stop and then I worried I'd messed things up and was giving me a double-dose of cancer rays. Or doubling my time and then I'd really fry.

I jumped out (had to throw on my shirt) and then called down to the attendant. She assured me I couldn't change any settings but had no idea how to stop the fan. (I suspect she only spray tans. And rarely at that. She's not stupid. Everyone knows these things are bad for you.)

I began again and got my 11 minutes in. Good thing I didn't go longer because my tummy fried. It hasn't seen the sun in... well, 30 years.

(Dan: "Why didn't you at least wear a bathing suit?!"
Me: Well, because of the fun of getting your whole body tan. What else would be the point?")

Nicholas quote of the day:
Me: I signed up for a writing class this semester!
Nick just looks at me sideways.
Me: Did I already tell you that?
Nick (looking at me like he does when my phone screen is disgustingly dirty): Uh, yes. A couple of times.

Monday, January 08, 2018

New Year, New Class

I've signed up for another Creative Writing class. This time through UCLA Extension. Also this time I'm on a schedule -- an assignment due each week for the next 10 weeks. Also, our work that we post will receive comments from other class members. I'm excited to receive feedback. As the instructor put it, "Accepting feedback and not taking it personally is a skill we all need to get good at."

Reminded me of Marty participating in all the chess tournaments. You'll always lose one or two (or three) of the 6 matches and you have to get good at losing. He did get good at it. And that didn't come naturally for him when he was young. (Now that I look back, is ANY preschooler good at losing? So by 2nd grade he was a gracious loser and winner. Now that I say that out loud, it does seem quite young to be expected to be a good sport. But you have to learn sometime and his time was through chess beginning in 2nd grade.) (That was super off-topic.)

The first assignment isn't available for two more days so I don't know what it is yet. But I'm excited!

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Angela Gets a Clone

Did I mention I had ladies come who decorated the Living Room Christmas Tree and all the mantles? It was the best.

But they only put up. They don't take down. And I was a tad-bit overwhelmed at how the take-down/storing/storage space would all go. My designer mentioned she knew someone who helped take down Christmas (seriously -- a niche for everything!).

When I gave Ruth a call, she clarified that she was actually a Personal Organizer. Not a "Christmas taker-downer." But after we talked and she realized I was looking for assistance in how to organize it (and that I was a very organized person to begin with) in addition to taking down, she was more than happy to help!

She came for a consult and recommended a number of bins and told me where to get them and what size.

And then...
And then...

She sent me an e-mail with numbered instructions of exactly what I needed to purchase and LINKS of where to purchase them!

It was the most glorious e-mail I've ever received in my whole life! Someone who did my work for me! Someone who did what I often do for other people and yet those people don't actually read the entire e-mail or appreciate my help or suggestions! (So many people but I won't name names here in this public site. But soooo many people! ;-))

She was a me and that's just what I needed. Two of me to help me clean up Christmas.

I ordered the bins and the bubble wrap and even the bubble pockets (which got lost, probably tossed, in the Christmas shuffle. I felt so sorry I let her down but she didn't even act disappointed). And then she expertly got us started on the mantles and then the entry garland and finally the Christmas Tree.

I had already taken down everything else, but I was so glad to have the size of bins she recommended. They could hold all the extra tall things that usually don't fit.

It only took us 2 hours with only the tree itself left. She brought her label maker and we got everything professionally labeled. She even asked if I wanted all caps or just title caps! (Thinking of everything!)

She offered to help me carry the bins to their place in the storage room. But I had a secret plan but wanted to try it out myself without anyone else's input. (Ruth was awesome, but I wasn't quite sure how far to trust her. If my plan didn't work, I didn't want to ask her to try another plan with me.)

This was the plan -- to use all the extra storage space at the tippy top of the chair storage closet. The space that has been taunting me because it's empty. Too high to put anything I want to access with ease. But I hated WASTING it! Also... under the stairs seemed like a waste to have that be empty as well.  But what would I actually want to put back there?

Well the bins fit perfectly! EXACTLY the right amount of room to fit two tall and two deep. In the top of the closet AND under the stairs. It was almost too good to be true. And then the biggest test of all... I rolled the Christmas tree in... undecorated and broken into three parts, but still... rolled it on it's wheels right into the closet. As easy as could be. Almost as if I'd planned it while we were building the house. But I didn't! It just worked out that way!

My Christmas just keeps getting better and better! And it ended 2 weeks ago!

These photos don't do the amazingness justice. But when you're here next time, ask to see.
It's my own Christmas miracle.