Hawaii 2010

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Monday, February 28, 2011

Missing the Ocean

Last week we slept with a view of the Baja. I get Ocean fever halfway between vacas.
Here is a San Clemente Picture I like.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I love photography and interesting moments

Our Olan Mills Photographer was excellent, he made us smile when we did not want to, which makes for spontaneity.

Maricopa Co. Hazardous Chemical Collection Day was yesterday. The paint collection crew opened and emptied every can into 50 gal. cans. I wonder what they will do with it?

We are living with six industrial strength fans, and two huge dehumidifiers going full blast in our house after the water incident, I can't hear myself think, so I will cut this short.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Disaster Recovery Day

Lots happening around my home and neighborhood. Sun Lakes sponsors an annual hazardous chemical collection and electronics recycle every year. I was car number 640, and it took me almost 30 minutes to work from the back to the front of the line. A very popular day around here. Got rid of a lot of used paint.

We also had our church do another Olin Mills Directory this week so we had our grand kids with us for some memory shots.

Then the Water and wall damage people began to test for moisture and cut out the bottom foot of some of our walls, direct fans under the carpet and at the walls, and turn on huge humidifiers to run until monday, I told Laura that the sound is what my tinnitus sounds like in my head most days.

A Wet Awakening

Yesterday I awoke at 5am and decided to see if our coffee pot was brewing yet. I stepped on a squishy carpet as I headed into the hallway. It was flooded. Long story short, the connection from our home to the sewer drain clogged, the water softener decided to recycle, and how ever many gallons it flushed backed into our washroom through the drain under the wash machine. Gravity carried the water to every part of our tile in our home.

From 5 till 9 I sucked water from our home with my handy dandy wet/dry vacuum. Then mopped, and had a company come in and dry the carpet edges. We are dealing now with our insurance company and checking all the dry wall for moisture and drying.

The plumber who made sure we did not have a pipe break said the drain was a nice idea in many Sun Lakes builders plans, but this was an unfortunate possibility. We are going to plug it up with a back pressure product. We are thankful that this did not happen after we install new cabinets in a few weeks, and that we are going to retile which will allow us to check for mildew and prevent the possibility of the dreaded mold growth. Into every life come challenges, domestic and otherwise.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

We will miss you Shady

We had to put our cat to rest today. She was losing weight and developing lung problems. We had noticed in the last few months a change in her personality. She was wanting to get close to us and had begun to demand to sleep under the covers next to me from time to time.

We have had her and her son for a long time. She was nearing 15. The sense of loss is so real, even for a pet. We were so very sad to say goodbye to our quiet companion. Boy kitty seems to sense she is no longer here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Moral Luck Concept

From the moment I cross the border in Mexico I cannot stop thinking about the life I live in America in the middle class. I try to figure out how all the people I see down there are surviving in those put together shacks, those without electricity, the unemployed, elderly.

I think about those raised in Arab countries being tyrannized by decades of corrupt leadership, those whose religion is as oppressive as their opportunities are limited.

So much of the physical and spiritual blessings I enjoy are because I was born in the right place and surrounded by the right messages. This is why we need to see spreading the compassion of God toward the poor and the downtrodden as a privilege and responsibility of those more fortunate, more lucky, than others.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Following in Dad's footsteps

Javier's son loves hammers and hammering. If he had a hammer, which he does, he would hammer in the morning, he would hammer in the evening, all over this land, which he did, and it was so cute.

We were hammering for love, justice, peace, and hope in Mexico over the weekend. We were making a personal statement againt the crushing poverty of those folks by sharing our own prosperity and sweat equity. It was good.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Back from a wonderful mission trip

Forty plus people, swarming over a shelter, building with no power tools, in 2 and one half days we built a lovely two room shelter that rescued a family of three from a one room shanty composed of cast off sheets of plywood and old doors.

We worked and laughed and played with the neighborhood kids, and gave the family bags and bags of housewarming supplies and food, and probably more of a love offering than they have ever had in their life to finish the interior of their new space. It was very fulfilling and very emotional to help another Mexican family in the name and love of Christ.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I will be back posting on Tuesday

Thankfully we will be showering in a nice condo each evening. We are, after all....seniors!!!!

I think all the stuff I need for our weekend is packed. One of my favorite pastors will be speaking in our church about his ministry visit to China this past summer I am hoping we have no rain. The build schedule is too tight to afford a rain delay. I will have a few of my electronic toys of course, than can be charged in the car.

My music, my alarm clock, my Kindle with Bible and a bunch of reading material, and my cameras, to capture life as it happens when people gather to improve the quality of life for a poor family.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

An Old Fashioned Prayer Meeting for Missions

Last Feb. in Porta Penasco.

Gathered this evening in a circle to pray for the fifteen or so ministries and missionaries our church supports monthly. I have been in some deathly boring prayer meetings before but tonight I felt the Spirit of the Lord moving through and among us. We have people all over the world using their gifts and calling to advance the gospel and be the presence of Christ among teens, handicaped, tribal people, the poor, and the priviledged.

I will be part of the Annual Amor Ministries shelter building project this weekend
in Mexico. Our dozen will join others and many other churches in assembling from scratch these two room shelters. Plenty of pictures to follow, but I will be offline for the weekend without cell phone connections as well.

I was excited to buy some hiking boots which will double as work boots this weekend on sale at Big Five Sporting goods. Last year I was only able to work one half day.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Breakfast of Champions?

Breakfast is the hardest meal on the slow carb diet. You have to think differently. This morning I had two eggs over easy on a cup of refried mexican beans and a cup of spinach. It was really good and very filling.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Partner for life

Arizona has its own extinct volcano.

Very thankful for my life partner, my Valentine.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Igor and Elvis

Gospel and Hymns played by a Dixieland sextet in the morning, some Vegas style Elvis and love songs in the evening. Fun was had by all as we celebrated our lives and loves.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dixieland Sunday

The brackish waters of the Mississippi Sound near Aunt Martha's home in Gautier.

Each year for the last several we have had a Dixieland Band lead us in the old gospel hymns and the traditional, When the Saints Go Marching In. Its good fun and a reminder of the many textured history of America and the musical influences that developed here. I was interested to read that the Banjo, with its plinking sound, is actually an African immigrant that had been used for hundreds of years before the unique music developed along the Mississippi River during the days of Riverboat travel.

We make sure we spend some time in the French Quarter every time we make it back to Dixie. It is a magic place for us, and the sound of Dixieland brings it all back.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A great day off

Looking south from Kialea Lighthouse in Kauai.

We enjoyed a golf outing today. Nothing like being soundly beaten by men 15 years older than I. One day I am going to get this game under control....really!

Heard Violinist Joshua Bell play with an excellent pianist for two hours. The room was a little big for having no amplification, but it probably was more like the days when the classical music was being written and performed, and his instrument and bow were hundreds of years old.

The Mesa Center for the Arts is full of theatres of all sizes, and was enjoyable for my first visit to the facility.

My Dieters Gone Wild day included a great hamburger at the Duke, and Paradise Bakery for dinner. Back on the slow carb plan tomorrow and hope for a larger weight loss than last week.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fun with Flickr

An ocean view on the Road to Hanna.

Today is the seventh birthday of the online photo archive Flickr. I chose to post my vacation pictures there because it is the largest and easiest to access. It also is an enjoyable way to take mini vacations through someone elses travels.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

In praise of beans

My grandaughter calls my telltale middle section "the bump", with affection thankfully.

I am three weeks into Tim Ferris simple five rule eating plan which he calls the "slow carb diet". I have gone more days without bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes than ever before in my life.

The simple core of this plan is to substitute three servings of beans to fill you up with a legume that is mostly a combination of protien and carb with a very high glycemic index. It metabolized into sugars slowly and does not spike insulin.

The result is a zone type diet with plenty to eat and a true feeling of satiation, and very inexpensive. So I simple rotate my beans for different textures and tastes. Today it was black beans, yesterday Mexican refried beans, another is pintos, another is great northerns, and my new fav....lentils. Actually I have had little success cooking them from hard. They go mushy too quickly. I did find a Trader Joes product vacuum packed in the cold section that are so delicious I am enjoying them immensely.

And I am losing weight, which is awesome.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kindle Update

A Maui sunset.

My sis wanted me to share continued experiences after the Kindle becomes more a part of my life. I have had it over a month now and have read a self help type book of over 500 pages, and am now reading a popular Christian book.

I have also been adding some inexpensive classics to my library, for instance, Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain. I am finding that the Kindles ability to remember where you had read to is really helping me read many books at a time, a chapter at a time.

My Bibles are helpful, although searching is a bit awkward because you may or may not get a chapter and verse in your search results, so you see the word in a sentence but cannot identify where it came from.

I really love ready from a larger size text, which get me moving really fast in my reading with increased speed.

So much more to learn, expecially in organizing by subject which I will need in the future as my purchases increase. I carry it back and forth to work with me every day.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Putting folks to work....in my house

Our Kitchen remodel is another step along as the designers and contractors met and measured. Now the cabinet makers will go to work on the different pieces and when they are ready, the folks who take our present cabinets to donate for housing for underpriviledged people will remove our stuff, and it really has some good years left, I think. Then the tile guy and the contractor will get to work knocking out some soffets for taller cabinets. Then we get ready to eat out a lot for a week or two. Fun.

So, I am hoping for a small business recovery, continued life and health, and world peace.....while we enjoy whatever happens in an updated kitchen.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Surprise Birthday Party

Congrats to David and Glenda, who share a birthday week. We were able to gather 50 plus of friends and family and surprise them with a party. I played a role in the little white lie. Me Bad.

Watching the super bowl, good game, worst halftime ever. Thank God I am so out of touch.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sports Fans Weekend of Joy

Hugs all around after the big game.

I grew up with the Superbowl. For many years it was viewed as an interruption of the traditional evening service, and to be ignored at all costs. I, therefore, missed a good many of the early ones before VCR recording became easy.

Then the Baptists got the idea to use it as a magnet for men, and brought a big TV into the fellowship hall for a party. That changed everything.

All those memories are past, and the evening service has gone the way of the dinosaur in all but the most fundamental churches, so there you have it. A happy weekend at the end of winter, to rejoice in the uniquely American game, to enjoy family and friends, to watch with glee what has become the second superbowl for me, the contest of the commercials. Its all innocent fun, and I plan to enjoy it, as I do the annual emphasis of love and romance that follows next week. Sportsman I can take or leave, romantic is the real me, including the Divine Romance of God in Christ for mankind.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thankful to be a citizen in a democracy

Could I be this slender again??? I think I was playing with my camera in the Jewish Cemetary across from my college church.

Its sounding like Egypt's president has been corrupt, enriching his family at the expense of the people. Very sad. I am praying that democracy and not more corruption or coercion take his place.

Watching the storm footage has been very interesting.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Beauty is her own reward

Here are my pictures of our red Amarylis blooming this week. I have been seeking solice in beauty to blunt the images of cruelty in the streets of Egypt that fills the news.

I have been enjoying David Phelps 2008 CD called The Voice. Four songs with spiritual focus and seven that are beautiful and moving ballads. I love his voice and his arrangments. Beauty in the soul through music, in the eyes through flowers. Thank you Lord for the beauty of creation and creativity.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cold is a relative concept

A lovely cloud captured on the HTC smartphone. I take a lot of snaps with it.

We live in the desert, it is mostly warm, and today the wind and chill felt very cold. I try to identify with my friends and family in the north, and this helps a bit. I actually do not own a warm coat, gloves, boots or a warm hat, which helps me feel colder than most equipped folks in the cold climes.

It has been so pleasant all month, and today they canceled the pro am at the Phoenix Open Golf Tourney. Not a good advertisement for our city today.

On a related note, we have a Christmas Amaryllis that is blooming and I am time photographing it, fun, pictures to follow.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Lynn

Every year in early February I remember my college buddy, Alex,gone home early many years ago. His wife Lynn and I connected finally on FB. I miss you Alex. I believe we will meet again in the heavenly realm.