Friday, February 27, 2009

Frustration of the Self Taught

I'm a closet computer geek. Most of what I know I taught myself. My boss at church thinks he has a gem because I'm not scared to try anything and he doesn't have to pay a Computer Technology salary and yet gets the benefits. Boy oh boy. Right now I think he'd be better off spending the big bucks.

A little over a year ago we decided I would teach myself web design and create a web site for church. Ok, I'm game. So I research the software and (stupidly) picked the one that looked to be the easiest to learn and as it turned out was also the cheapest. Cool! I got myself a trusty self help book and I was quickly on my way to our very own web site.

Now fast forward to the present. Last week I did my usual web updates and poof - no way Jose'. It wasn't going to work. So I called my web hoster (is that a word?) I was told they had done some tweaking and that the extensions used by Front Page would no longer work. Something about security. I'm not too happy, but what can I do? So I try to tweak things, I fail, and the web page is down.


I might mention here that the other mistake I made was I chose a fellow parishioner's small business to host the web page. I spent time off and on all week trying to tweak things so I could get ANYTHING on the web and it just wouldn't work. FINALLY they call me back today and tell me that Front Page will no longer work. They claim that it won't work on any provider's site any longer, not just theirs. I'm having trouble believing this, but I don't know whether it is true or not. After biting my tongue, I finally let loose and gave them an earful as an unhappy customer only can.

They knew they were going to make these changes. They knew customers (not just me) would be impacted. It would have been so simple to have sent out a notice, email, made a telephone call. Something.


I am now back to the drawing board.

Here is what I bought. I almost went with Dreamweaver the first go around but it is a much more dynamic program than Front Page (which is a nice way of saying it will do more but will be more difficult to learn).

I bought this to go with it.
I almost bought the Dreamweaver for Dummy book, but that word Dummy... hmmmm... I ain't no Dummy!
This book boldly claims I will learn Dreamweaver in 24 hours. Maybe I can take them to court when that doesn't happen....
Anyway, wish me luck.
I'm going to need it!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Ultimate Dog Bed & SmilePurdy!

How is this for a doggy bed? We bought this "fat sack" quite some time ago for our grandkids to "sack out" on when they are here. It has turned out to be quite the hit with all of us - especially Whiskey here. Every time I shove it in the corner where it belongs, he whines until I pull it back out so he can lay down on it and watch TV or us.

Last night I pulled my camera out to look through some pictures I had taken. Whiskey immediately perked up. Ok, so how far will he go with this?

I went to the other side of the room and told him to stand. Yep, he wanted that picture taken.

I put his buddy sheepy next to him and told him to lay down next to it. Yea, he liked that idiea too.

So then we took the glamour, over the shoulder shot. Nice. And I was done. Put the lens cap back on the camera and sat back in my chair.

Errrr Whiskey wasn't quite done posing. He stood like this until I picked my camera back up and took this picture. Is he trying to tell me something?

Apparently now he is done with his photo shoot. Damn dog. He rules this house.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chronicles of a Country Girl Giveaway

Do you like beautiful photography? If so, you might want to look into this giveaway by Chronicls of a Country Girl.
Chronicles of a Country Girl: Another Giveaway. Because I like them.

I got clued into this through Blueridge Gal's blog. All you have to do is leave a comment saying which photograph is your favorite and she'll enter you into her contest.... mention her on your blog and you'll get a second entry.

This is one giveaway I am hoping I win!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Deanna needs...

I must be losing my mind. I don't usually do these things. I got this from Matt at My Side of the Story. He challenged us to google ourselves and post the first ten results. At least my mind doesn't immediately go south like Matt's did and think things like "that sounds dirty" ;) But my curiosity did get the better of me and I just had to do it. And once I did it, I have no choice but to post it.

The directions are: Go to Google and type in your name followed by the word "needs". List the FIRST 10 THINGS that show up. No searching around for something better!

Deanna needs:

  1. To change her underwear. Who said I'm wearing any?

  2. Children. Not likely! Been there, done that.

  3. To stop naming her things. If I want to name my things, I will. And while we are at it, if I want to talk to myself, I'll do that too. I might even answer myself!

  4. A new bikini. Yea, like I need a hole in my head. The world is a better place if I don't, thank you very much.

  5. To get over thinking she should be on the top runner of a pedestal. Now that's just mean. If I don't think great things of myself, who exactly will?

  6. Medication. Pass the Vicoden please.

  7. A little help. This Deanna person really is kind of pitiful according to google - Deanna needs a LOT of help, not a little.

  8. To go back home. But, but, but.... I haven't left...

  9. To make a difficult decision. White wine, or red...

  10. To stay away. Make up your mind! You already told me to come back home. Now I'm so confused, my head hurts. Pass the Vicoden, please.
Ok. That was 30 minutes of my life I'll never get back! Your turn!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chamois Treasures

With Jim's mom in a home, we are faced with the task of dismantling her life treasures and pass them on to future generations who will hopefully love and cherish what they stand for. The process so far has been that Jim and his brother, Tracy, took inventory of the large items and things they knew might hold special memories. We then sent that list to their sister, Sandy, who is in Indiana, and to our children. We are hoping within the next month or so Jim, Sandy and Tracy will be able to go through the house taking turns choosing items they want to treasure for years to come.

We went to Chamois with our three children so they could tell us what treasures they want us to keep for them. It is amazing the memories that they held special. All three want the cheapest candy dish ever. They remember sneaking candy from it when Grandma wasn't looking. Julie wants a painted wooden footstool with an ugly decal on top of it. This was her time out stool. They all want the Navy picture of Grandpa and Grandma's engagement picture. That, of course, is to be expected. It was such a special evening for us going from room to room, each of us sharing a special memory.

At least now when it is our time to make our choices, we will know what to choose. The next step will then be for our children to take turns choosing which treasure to take home to their own homes to caretake for their children.
Here are a few of the items I did bring home with me last night. (And no, I'm not one of those who is sneaking things out before anyone else gets a chance. Everyone knows I have these things.)

The religious picture was the find of the night. We found it in a damp corner of the dark basement. It is very moldy smelling and I almost didn't retrieve it. After wiping the glass clean I was amazed to find Grandma Lizzie's (Jim's dad's mom) First Communion Certificate dated 1902 and written in German. It is actually in amazing good condition, considering how it was treated. The photo album holds images of generations of the family. Aunt Marthy (Jim's Great Aunt) crocheted the pin cushions. The scrap book was another find. It holds art work of Jim's dad and uncles. The baby shoes were a mystery until I turned them over and found a faint SH written on the sole. They will be mailed to Sandy tomorrow. And the cute baby? That just happens to be one of the few photos of Jim when he was a little boy. Trust me, it will be preserved.

I wish I had thought to bring my camera with me and take other pictures, but oh well!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Are you a Brother Ed?

I subscribe to an email thingie called "Heroic Stories"

Sometimes I read the stories and shake my head in amazement and often I cry as I read about the kindness of those "who have" to those "who have not." Often I wish I were more like the people I read about who are willing to give their all unconditionally. I struggle with that.

As a church secretary I often deal with people asking for help. They show up at my office door almost demanding for assistance like it is their "right". Or they call and when I ask how I can reach them they give me a cell phone number. Helloooooooo if you can't afford a loaf of bread, you probably shouldn't be spending money on a cell phone. I will admit that I am always thankful that we have a lady who really cares about those asking for help - I gratefully pass these requests on to her. I am ashamed at how little I seem to care. I do care... I really do... but how do you tell the difference between those who have done their best and yet the system, or worse, their "loved" ones, have stomped on them, from those who have abused all the good that has come their way. Maybe it shouldn't matter. If someone needs help, no matter why, I should give it. But that isn't right, is it? It makes my head hurt!

Well, this one struck a chord with me. I'd like to think I have it in me to be a Brother Ed. I'm not sure I do. Do you? Here is the story:

In August 1980 an ugly scene brought my 13-year marriage to an end. I fled our home with my two children, $5 and nowhere to go except my mother's. Staying there more than a couple nights wasn't an option. The next morning I headed out to find help. The welfare office referred me to an emergency agency that found a small apartment. It was dismal and in a rough area, but I had to make the most of it. A woman there wrote down an address and said to go tell "Brother Ed" she'd sent me. The address was a nondescript warehouse near a Catholic school. Inside,f loor to ceiling held everything imaginable from furniture to clothing. A short, unassuming, thin Caucasian man approached, introduced himself as Brother Ed and asked how he could help. Scared to death about the future, I told him who sent me. Brother Ed led me through the packed maze to a clearing, his "office". He sat me down, offered a soda, and his lunch! He softly asked me totell my story. He listened as it poured out... years of abuse, the fix we were in. He nodded, concerned, asked few questions, and accepted my tears. He offered neither sympathy, nor disapproval. When I felt too wrung out to speak, he went to work. We toured the place as he anticipated our needs, referring to himself in third person, as "Brother Ed". He selected twin beds for my children, a sofa bed for me, sheets, blankets, clothing, towels, washcloths, small kitchen appliances, cooking utensils, everything we'd need -- includingi roning board and iron!With each step I felt more dumbfounded. Was I expected to pay? Nothing was new, but it represented a small fortune to me. I couldn't believe hewas GIVING this stuff to us! Within minutes, a huge pile was gathered near the doors, and Brother Ed explained the furniture would be ready that afternoon. With his next question my heart sank, "Do you have a way to move everything?" As my mind whirled, he said, "You can use Brother Ed's van." I should return at 5 p.m. with helpers, load the van, move everything, then return the van. All matter-of-fact, as if he'd known me his entire life. Overwhelmed, I couldn't believe that he seriously would allow total strangers to disappear with his personal vehicle, possibly never to beheard from again! But that's exactly what happened. I did, of course, return Brother Ed's van along with my eternal gratitude. I later learned Brother Ed was a local Jesuit. The warehouse stored donations for the order's second-hand store. Though his vocation was helping others, I will ever remain indebted to Brother Ed. I do what I can to pay it forward. I've never forgotten his selflessness, and am still deeply touched and grateful, and can only guess how many lives he has touched. I truly believe Brother Ed saved me and my children. I know he saved my spirit.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

End of the rainbow

The Island of Dominica is one of my favorite Islands. People were carefree and everything was fresh and clean. The rainforests were absolutely fabulous. Seeking a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Not this guy. He appears to not have a care in the world.

An Islander walking on a concrete wall next to the ocean with a rainbow above his head

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Miracles of Mother Nature

It is a cold, dreary day here in beautiful Missouri. It is the kind of day that makes me want to curl up with a good book in front of the dancing flames of a fire place with a cup of hot tea or cocoa or maybe a glass of wine.

Outside all of my beautiful flowers and bushes look dead. But are they? Every February I start to get the itch to work in the yard. And I despair when I look around at the work that is waiting for me. The oak trees loose some of their leaves in the Fall but the ornrey things hang on to a major number of the leaves until new leaves show up in the Spring. Raking leaves is a way of life in my corner of the world. The last few years we have resorted to blowing the leaves off the drive and walkways in the Fall so people can see where to drive and walk, and have saved the raking of the leaves for Spring.

Is it really possible that all of this brown will explode with color in a few months?

This is one of my herb gardens. This dead looking mess of thyme still releases wonderful scents when I run my hand across the twigs.

This garden bed is such a mess. The ground cover is a combination of perriwinkle and ivy. The perriwinkle is proving to be the stronger of the two and over the years it has slowly taken the ivy over. The miniature roses (the dry twigs you see) have become a "thorn" in my side. They have taken over where I don't want them and yet they are so pretty when they bloom that I haven't the heart to get rid of them. Hmmmm maybe I will try to transplant them this year. What a job that will be! Underneath this mess are my sweet daffodils. I will know the warm days will soon be here when they and the crocuses start peeking out.

Here are some pictures of my gardens that I took last year. Is it really possible that all the dreariness I am looking at right now can explode into all the colors? Amazingly, the answer is YES! And I'll have to admit I am so ready for the beauty of Spring.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Doing Hard Time


We have one of valentines with us this weekend :)

Here is proof that Travis had to do hard time for his dastardly deed. We worked hard all day on Friday and then rented The Chronicles of Narnia - Prince Caspian last night. We saw the first Chronicles with him when it came out. When Prince Caspian came out he refused to go with anyone but us. Somehow it never worked out to go see it in when it was in the theatres. So last night we tried to make up for it. Poor kid had to explain everything to us as the movie went along. Jim and I were both lost until we were well into the movie. Then we finally figured it out.

Friday, February 13, 2009

It just ain't right

We walk a fine line these days. The rules are tougher than ever and yet the danger and violence is greater. We, our government, our teachers, parents, and society as a whole are doing something seriously wrong.

I feel very strongly that the root of the problem is that we are not held accountable for our actions. We have been taught and are teaching our children that they are not to blame for their actions. A perfect example of that is the government bailouts and the idiot lady who chose to have 14 kids she cannot support. We should all be held accountable for our actions.

My 12 year old grandson is spending a few days with us. Why? He has been suspended from school for three days? Why? He got tired of being bullied and hit another kid. The teacher admits this has been going on for two months. The other child has been teasing Travis and continually takes his things. Travis asked to be moved but the teacher "didn't get around to it". Travis finally took things into his own hands and punched the kid. Twenty, thirty years ago it never would have gotten this far. Travis would have confronted the kid on the playground after the first time he picked on him, they would have scuffled and the problem would have been solved. Julie talked to the Principle and she admits it shouldn't have gotten to this point but she has no choice but to suspend Travis since he started the fight. But did he?

Anyway, I'm back to the beginning of my post. People should be held resonsible for their actions. Travis started a fight and he is suspended. We support that. He is with us so he can work during his suspension. He will be raking leaves and helping Jim cut and haul wood. But what about the teacher who didn't do her job? Or the child who kept picking at Travis in the first place?

I'll have to admit I'm going to enjoy having him here for a few days. He and I have a very special bond and he talks to me when he clams up for everyone else. That is the other reason Julie has asked if he can spend some time with us. She knows he opens up and talks through things with me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

San Juan - Bacardi Rum Factory

We flew into San Juan the day before we were to leave on our cruise. It just seemed much safer when traveling this time of year to allow for weather gotchas. Fortunately we didn't run into any cancelled or delayed flights and actually had a little bit of time to tour San Juan.

I have this thing about taking pictures of clouds from the airplane. The pictures almost always turn out questionably acceptable at best. I thought this one turned out kinda cool, though. It is like a bed of cotton to sink into for the most wonderful night of sleep ever.

light fluffy clouds taken from an airplane
We visited the Bacardi Rum Factory. Near the entrance stands this cork screw palm tree. Nobody could tell me what caused the tree to grow in such a curious way. Any thoughts?

a palm tree with a cork screw looking trunkThe tour is free and two free drinks of Bacardi is included. Not a bad bang for the buck, huh. To get to the factory we took a ferry and then a cab. The ferry only cost 50 cents. The cab was $3.00. Not bad, huh.

Upon entering the Bacardi grounds you enter into an open air covered pavilion. They pick you up in a tram and the driver tells you a little about the company on the 1 minute drive to the tour building (we could have walked there!). You do not go into the actual factory - but a new tour building. They then show a movie about the Bacardi family and the rum making process. Next you go into a reproduction of the original factory and the guide tells you how the rum was made and shows you how it is stored in burned oak barrels. Then you can look at all sorts of old Bacardi family memorabilia - pictures, original bottles, documents and a section to smell the types of rums. hen you go into a "bar" where a bartender shows you how to make Mojito’s and a Cuba Libre. He also explains what Bacradi rums are available and how to use them. No samples here. (darn it). Then back to the original visitor center for our free drinks. I had Bacardi Coconut rum and orange juice. It was really, really tasty. Gerard had the audicity to ask for a rum and coke. He was quickly corrected that it was Bacardi and Coke.

bottles of Bacardi Rum lined up and stacked for a delightful display I thought this was a cool display of Bacardi. Notice the bat? I never realized the Bacardi Logo is a bat. It symbolises good health, family unity and fortune.

Jim & Deanna sitting in front of the Bacardi Bat logo Unfortunately, traveling to the Bacardi factory, the tour and waiting for the ferry to return to Old San Juan took up most of our San Juan hours. It was time to check out of our hotel and get our luggage to the boat.

The previous evening was spent walking the streets of Old San Juan. We happened to arrive the last day of the St. Sebastian Festival. According to our cab driver there were 300,000 extra people in Old San Juan that day. We were very lucky to have booked our hotel room way in advance.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Honest Scrap

I got this off Blueridge Gal's blog. Usually I avoid these things but I "Honestly" didn't have anything to blog about today since I still haven't organized my vacation pictures to share. So I'll do this. I'm supposed to tell 10 true things about me and then tag someone else. I'll tell you 10 things about me (you can decide whether they are true or not) but I won't tag anyone. If you want to do it, grab the picture and GO!

  1. My hubby and I went to Kindergarten together. He claims he actually had a crush on me way back then and even followed me home from school one day and got into huge trouble (I'm not sure I believe that part of it, even after all these years). He moved to a different school in third grade and we didn't hook back up again until our Sophomore year of High School. We have been together ever siince.
  2. I am a breast cancer survivor and PROUD of it! I treasure and thank God for each new day. I will celebrate my five years of being cancer free in April.
  3. My youngest daughter got pregnant when she was 15. I will never forget the challenges of trying to find a good balance between letting her be a teen and holding her responsible for the care of her child. They lived with us four years before she got married. The "baby", Travis, is now almost 13 and he and I have a very special bond.
  4. We built our log house ourselves, one log at a time. Jim designed the house, bought the logs from a local company and cut them the proper length with a chain saw. We had a beautiful home in the city but the country life kept calling Jim. So we sold our house and moved into an apartment for three months while we got the house under roof. We moved into the basement while we completed the house. The kids were ages 7, 5, and 1.
  5. I worked in state government for 31 years, with seven of them being with the Attorney General and seven with the Governor. I keep thinking I should write a book about the years in the Governor's Office.
  6. I have lived in the same area of Missouri my entire life.
  7. I love to cook. When we added on to the house, I got my dream kitchen out of the deal. I especially like baking breads, rolls, etc.
  8. My mom made all of my clothes until I was in high school and I used to make most of my own clothes. I don't do that anymore. I guess I've gotten lazy in my old age.
  9. I cannot sit still! When I am watching TV I have to at least have my hands moving. I used to crochette but now-a-days I'm usually on the computer.
  10. I'm pretty easy going - usually. But when I do get ticked off, I have a terrible temper and take to slamming doors and eventually stomping out of the house for a long stomping walk. Jim claims he put in heavy duty door jams because he knew how I was. Surely he is kidding...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

What's in a name...

Our daughter, Tessa, and her husband, Bill, took their four children to church this morning. This is a good thing, right? Well it is but sometimes it can be trying. This was one of those mornings. James, who is three, just wasn't in the mood for sitting still. So his dad decided to take him outside and have a little talk. Here is how the conversation went:

Bill: James, you have to behave in church.

James: No. I'm James.

Bill: We can go back inside if you promise to behave.

James: No! I'm James!

Bill (getting frustrated): You have to behave!

James: But I'm not HAVE, I'm James William !
A lot of laughing went on in place of praying this morning. I do believe that was a good trade off all in all.

And to all my friends, I hope you had a wonderful day!

Friday, February 6, 2009


It seems many of us have the winter blahs for various reasons. Maybe the cold weather and lack of sunlight is doing it, or injuries not quite healed. Many of us have ongoing health gotchas that wear us down. Mostly I'm a Polyanna type of person. There is always a bright side. Things could always be worse than they are. The times when I do feel sorry for myself, I just find I feel worse, rather than better - but sometimes it just can't be helped! You would think having just returned from an awesome vacation, I'd be fresh and ready to go. Well I was... but the backlog of work and pains from ongoing problems (Lupus and arthritis) has already gotten me down. I've actually been too tired to organize my thoughts and post vacation pictures. But I will get that done eventually - I promise!

I received this in the mail and it was so timely that I want to share. Most of you have probably seen it before (I had) but bear with me (please...):

I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.'
I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life.
I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.
I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.
I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

These thoughts to live by are from Maya Angelou. According to her official website Maya is:
Dr. Maya Angelou is a remarkable Renaissance woman who is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature. As a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director, she continues to travel the world, spreading her legendary wisdom. Within the rhythm of her poetry and elegance of her prose lies Angelou's unique power to help readers of every orientation span the lines of race and Angelou captivates audiences through the vigor and sheer beauty of her words and lyrics.

No matter what, I am going to find a smile and kind word for every one I see. Huggssss and have a GREAT! weekend!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Beautiful day!

It is absolutely gorgeous today. The sun is shining and the temperatures are climbing. If I heard the weatherman right last night, it is supposed to be in the 60's by tomorrow. Hip Hip Hooray!!!!!

I've been busy catching up on all the things that I wasn't doing while I was off having fun. I still have about 60 Carhart jackets to embroider logos on. I've saved them until last because they are a b*&ch to hoop. The weight of the material is almost impossible to deal with. I charge more for them but even then I'm not sure I will agree to do that type jacket again. Most items I can hoop, put on the machine, get it going and then piddle around with other things while it stitches out. I have to sit right by the machine when the jackets are stitching, holding up the weight of the jacket so it doesn't pull out of the hoop. Well, enough of that boring stuff.

The day we left for our vacation, Patti and I treated ourselves to a manicure and pedicure. This was a first for both of us. The poor girls at the spa were in stitches laughing at us. We were like teenagers, oohing, ahhing and giggling every time they touched our tootsies.

The guys were waiting for us at home, doing the fun stuff like loading luggage, turning off irons and coffee pots, picking their nose, etc.

We wanted to show off our pretty feet and nails so we asked Jim to take a picture. Ya can't trust a man. He took the opportunity to bring home the point of just how much Patti and I are alike.

Here is the picture he took...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Been Thinking About You - I Swear It!

I'm back from our Cruise to the Southern Caribbean. I've just spent an hour going through pictures and realize I have no clue where to start sharing.... ahhhh but yes I do!

I want to start with YOU!

Well, us and then you lol. This is a picture of us as we head out the door. We have a tradition of celebrating with a glass of champaign as we start our journey and then we finish off the bottle when we get to our destination. This is us heading out... Gerard and Patti and Jim and Me.

I thought of Tori often throughout the cruise. Tori, we had two blind passengers with us. One was a gay guy who I kinda wondered about... he left his white tipped cane behind often while he tended to his partner who was in a wheel chair. All I could figure is that he is legally blind and was doing the best he could. I had to stop and think as I watched him and wondered how he would do if he was faced with the challenges you face daily. I suspect he would not do nearly as well as you do, Tori. He was much too intent on putting on a "show". Our other blind passenger actually reminded me of how I picture you. She was very sweet with an equally sweet husband. Anyway, Tori, I thought of you often.

Iggy I have not one picture for you. They all made me think of you. You make me stop and think all the time. You have had such an impact on me that I could not choose one picture.. if the picture is special, then it is IGGY.

Everytime I'd see a family I'd think of Wifey and Matt and their kids. I'd think of what fun they would be making of the experience. I spent some time in one of the hot tubs with one of the kids (I was actually trying to intimidate him and his brother into leaving so us adults could have it ;) ) I had such fun talking to him. He said his favorite Island was Grenada because everyone was so friendly. I had to smile. Grenada was pure hell because you couldn't walk two feet without someone following you wanting money lol. Anyway that sweet kid who did finally vacate the hot tub was mighty sweet and reminded me of Wifey and Matt.

And Lainie there were no pictures to capture you and your love. I had to think about you every time I saw someone in love. A rose to you.

Junyah if you are reading this - know you were on my mind. I saw folks taking things that the "rich" had thrown out and making something of it and I would think... yea, Junya would have done that. And the boats.. I thought of the boat you were making. I know the one below is not even close but... it is a boat.. right?

Ahhhh Marmie... Chickens and Roosters were everywhere on most of the Islands. Getting a picture of them was not too easy.. but I did get a few...

Chicago! Birds! Every time I saw a bird I thought of you. Plus there was a group of drunks on board from Chicago lol (were you one of them?) They would yell MISSOURI across the atrium and we would yell CHICAGO! Ok, I know that is lame ...

Styxie my dear. I saw OCHA'S everywhere. I wasn't sure who I should give this picture to but... you are the eye behind the mad OCHAman .....

And AK - A RAINBOW! Actually I discovered on this cruise that rainforests are great for rainbows. I will be posting most rainbow pictures eventually but this one will do for now...

BlueRidgeGal - my most recent blog friend... I looked at my photos through your eyes. I took pictures I would have never otherwise taken. I caught myself thinking... what would Gal do and I'd take an off the wall picture. This picture was taken from inside a shop. It is one of my favorites.

Well, I played for two weeks and I will pay dearly. Don't be surprised if you don't see much of me. Was it worth it? Damn right it was!
I have some awesome pictures and will share. My biggest regret is that I left the 35 mm camera at home because it is cumbersome. BIG MISTAKE! But it doesn't matter.. I have some awesome memories!
To all my friends.... hope you are well and know that I have missed you!

You see, as I look through the pictures I realize my blog friends were very much in my mind throughout my vacation.
It is going to take me some time to organize and really post meaningful pictures. So, I will start with a few of the most meaningful pictures and memories...