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Monthly Archives: February 2015

Necessity is the Mother of Creativity (Sometimes!)

I haven’t been being very creative lately. With all the travel and coming home just long enough to unpack, tie up a few loose ends, then pack again, there just hasn’t been time! Of course there’s been time to buy more supplies, but that’s a whole ‘nuther issue, and whole ‘nuther post.

I brought a bunch of things with me on this trip that I’d like to finish while I’m here, but I just haven’t been feeling’ it. But again, dropping in at Ben Franklins, I was able to buy even more supplies that are still sitting in the bag. Yeah. It’s getting a little scary.

But that’s not what this post is about.

We come over to Maui every year that we possibly can, and our daughter’s family joins us nearly every year, and our son’s when they can. This year it’s just the daughter’s.

Tradition has it that when we pick them up at the airport, we greet them with leis. We started out getting fresh ones, but the girls don’t like how they feel, so we switched to silk.

Before we left, Hannah advised me that this year instead of a pink silk flower lei, she’d like a kukui nut lei with teal blue flowers painted on it. (Since we were here last, she’s changed “her color” from pink to teal, and is no longer interested in girly things, so the pink lei just wasn’t going to cut it.) We were going to arrive a week before them, so I figured I’d have time to find one. Well. I could find just about every color of the rainbow EXCEPT blue, let alone teal. It just wasn’t going to be a happening thing.

So what’s a Gawgs to do? Paint one for her, of course!

I don’t remember WHY I had a plain kukui nut lei in the stuff we have in storage, but I did, along with paint brushes AND teal paint. I didn’t have to buy a thing. It was meant to be.

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The nuts have a shiny finish, so I knew the acrylic paint might not adhere, but it was that or nothing.

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It took two coats of paint. Yeah, not too impressive so far, huh? But it’s amazing what a little pen work can do, and my Signo uni-roller was perfect for the job.

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I was pleased with how they look, but I just wasn’t sure the paint was going to stay on, or else scratch off too easily. Then it occurred to me that fingernail polish top coat might be the perfect finish, and it seems to be working.

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I like how it turned out. I hope she does.

I’ll add a photo of her wearing it tomorrow!

This was a super simple project, but it felt good to “make” something, even though it was way easy. Now maybe I can get in gear with the rest of the stuff on my list!

 

 

My Latest 10,000 Step Saga

I’m guessing you’ve all heard of the 10,000 steps program? You know, fitness experts are saying we should be walking 10,000 steps day to keep from being sedentary, which is one of the worst things we can do to ourselves as we age.

I started the program quite a while ago (like years) but I washed my pedometer in the washing machine and killed it, so that seemed like as good of a sign as any that I wasn’t supposed to be doing it.

By the time I realized that had been a really dumb idea, my gym quit supporting the program (I think it was called dotfit) and I really didn’t want to pay for it, so I sorta forgot about it for awhile. Then Mr. Tattered bought himself a fitbit, similar to the dotfit, so I got myself one and used it for a few weeks, until I lost it. By now I was REALLY feeling like it was an omen. I’m just NOT supposed to walk 10,000 steps a day.

THEN they came out with apps for the iPhone that track your steps. Now THAT I could handle. I almost always have my phone with me, and I’ve never washed it or lost it. This might could work.

I started using it while we onboard ship our last trip.

It’s like a magic kick in the butt for me, that little app spying on me. I discovered that I respond very well to getting my little green bars showing that I’d successfully completed my 10,000 steps. And I discovered that I really, REALLY didn’t like having to look at the orange bar for a whole week if I didn’t make it all the way for a day. It was an incredible incentive to make it happen.

But when I got home, it was a little harder. Where I had my phone every time I left the room on the ship, I didn’t always remember to pick it up when I was walking around at home. So I was getting ripped off for steps. I tried getting in the habit of just leaving my phone in the pocket of the sweatshirt I wear almost like a uniform, but it kept falling out, and I knew it was going to end up in the toilet one day.

I finally decided to buy a holster for it, and after searching high and low, finally found one big enough that my phone would slide into it with the case on (I am AWFULLY hard on phones, and could NEVER be without a protective case!) and was in business.

About a week later, we were at Costco, and Mr. Tattered pointed out a “jawbone” a different kind of pedometer that  can be either a clip on or worn watch-style, and the watch style is SOOOO much safer for me.

Getting it set up almost drove me insane, and I ALMOST took it back, but I FINALLY got it figured out, and now I LOVE it. Well, I don’t love it. It’s reward feature isn’t QUITE as rewarding as watching the orange bars explode and turn green with confetti falling down, and it doesn’t track steps QUITE as quickly as the phone app, but it’s good. SO far I’ve managed to remember to take it off before I get in the shower, and since I wear it 24/7 I haven’t misplaced it.

And I have a remarkable record. I have missed my target only one of day, and that was because I forgot I still had 70 steps left to take until after midnight when it shifted to a new day. I was so mad at myself, I’m pretty sure I won’t do THAT again!

Some nights I’ve been out at 10pm walking up and down the street in front of my house to get the last few hundred steps in, and once I had to walk around the family room 50 times because I didn’t want to go out in the rain, but I’ve hit my target.

I am consistently getting between 10,050 something and 11,200-ish, and it really isn’t too painful, even though I really don’t like walking for the sake of walking. It’s much easier when I am walking TO someplace, but that is rarely the case.

So. Now we’re in Maui, and I want to spend a lot of time outdoors. Especially on the beach. So I’ve been beach walking every day, and I’m taking more and more steps each day. I don’t think it’s been intentional, it’s just happened.

Yesterday I went a little cray cray and walked 17,500 steps. Mostly on the beach. All the way to the Canoe Club by the farmer’s market.

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And let me tell you, walking on the sand is quite a bit more difficult than walking on grass or sidewalks. About half way back I was beginning to wonder if I would need to call and have Mr. Tattered rescue me. By the time I got home, my ankles hurt so  much I just KNEW I would be back to just 10,000 plus a few today, if I could even make myself do it at all.

But then when I got up this morning, Mr. Tattered had been out for his walk already, while I was sleeping, and he’d already gotten in his 10,000 steps. I don’t think I MEANT to get competitive, but I did.

So off I went. I had no plans, or goals other than hitting at least 10,000 steps before returning to the condo. Before I knew it, I was at Whale Beach, about 4,000 steps. I took a quick selfie because I had walked that far a few years ago and was so proud of myself for having gone so far that I had taken one, and this just felt like it was too easy. Plus, I wanted to text it to Mr. Tattered to show him how well I was doing.

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But if I headed back then, I’d only have 8,000 steps, which was unacceptable, so I continued on. Soon I was at the beach we usually take the girls to, close to the Kam 1 Beach, and figured I could make it there.

About this time the endorphins must have kicked in and I didn’t want to stop – Kam 2,

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then Kam 3…

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Now I’m starting to fantasize about making it all the way to Wailea. But by the time I got to the Keihi Boat Ramp, I’d developed the beginnings of a blister where my Keens were rubbing on my sweaty foot, and decided I’d better head back. And woohoo! I was at over 9,000 steps!

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I tucked down the back of my shoe and headed back. I was feeling surprisingly good. Walking on sidewalks is MUCH easier than on the sand/water. As I passed one of the marketplaces, I decided to detour and see if I could find a lei my granddaughter wanted. I didn’t find the lei, but it added some extra steps. By now I was starting to feel tired, and was glad I hadn’t kept going south.

I stopped again at ABC to get a bottle of cold water (another few extra steps!) then wandered through another marketplace. Still no lei, but more extra steps.

By now, I’m in the beginning stages of wondering if I’m going to give out before I get home. Calling to be saved just wasn’t something I wanted to do, so I pushed on. 17,000, 18,000. I was getting closer and closer.

And then the turnoff to the condo. Woohoo! I was going to make it. By the time I got up to the room I was at 19,034 steps. Tired, but happy.

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I was basically a bum for the rest of the day (but I deserved to be, doncha think?) and will finish the day up at a little over 20,200 steps – double my daily goal.

I doubt I will see that number again for a VERY long time. But that’s okay. I think. It has to be. There’s no way I can spend that much time walking when we get back home and the demands of daily life kick back in, so I need to get used to those lower numbers again, and be happy with them.

But it was fun in a sick sorta way.

 

Through a Tattered Lens – South Pacific

Once we left Brisbane, we headed off to the South Pacific and the islands of Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Bora Bora and Tahiti.

Our original itinerary called for going to the 2 Samoas, and not to Tonga, but there was a nasty weather front that made the change necessary. It was really impressive how Regent was able to pivot and set up tours on Tonga without missing a beat!

I wouldn’t go so far as to say if you’ve seen one island, you’ve seen them all. They all have their own charm. But they are similar enough that for each to have its own post would be a bit redundant. So, I’m just going to show you a bunch of random photos from the area so you can see how beautiful it is (just in case you didn’t already know!)

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We’ve now been to the South Pacific twice, and it is probable that we won’t be back for a long time, so we will be holding these memories close to our hearts…

It’s Not All About the Food

Although if you look at my iPhoto library, you might come to the conclusion it was! But, I guess, truth be told, it WAS a pretty important part. We certainly didn’t miss any meals!

I consider us to be foodies…we love a good meal, and love trying new ingredients. And as vegetarians, it is a little harder to find REALLY good food. Way too many chefs just don’t know how to combine flavors to make vegetables taste incredible.

The meals on this trip mostly knocked our socks off! There was a loser here and there, but they were few and far between. And presentation? Some of the dishes were like little works of art.

So, make sure you’re not hungry, sit back and enjoy a few visuals…

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Sticky Toffee Pudding w/ Ginger Ice Cream and Poached Pears

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Appetizers at La Veranda

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Our Nightly “Pre-Dessert” Petit Four Tray

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Creme Brûlée

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I don’t even remember what this little chocolate number was called (other than DELISH!)

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Curried Veggies w/ Basmanti Rice

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Stuffed Mushroom

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Lobster and Scallop Salad (Mr. Tattered is a “vegequarium!”

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Goat Cheese Tart

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Chocolate Mousse Cake w/ Chocolate Ganache, Vanilla Cream, and Homemade Ice Cream

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I do need to admit that even plain old veggie tacos taste extraordinary in this setting!

Now that we’re home, I really DO need to up my game. But then again, if I do that, maybe Mr. Tattered will want to stay home, and THAT would be unacceptable!

Believe it or not, I only gained two ounces! The secret? I only took a few bites of each thing. All the servers were afraid I didn’t like the food, and I had to keep assuring them that I LOVED it – just couldn’t eat very much of it!

Oh, and I walked a minimum of 10,000 steps every day. More on THAT later!

I LOVE Sea Days

Some people find sea days annoying, a necessary evil. But not me. I love them. Sometimes more than port days, although I guess stopping at different ports is the whole point of cruising. I just love the laziness of being out on the open sea.

You might think one sea day might blend into the next, but they are surprisingly different – different colors of sea, and sky, different cloud formations. I could just sit and watch over the rail for hours.

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It would probably get boring after awhile. I wonder how many days (months, years) it would take.

I’d kinda like to find out!

Best of Brisbane

Our last stop in Australia was in Brisbane.

It is another city full of old and new. The architecture was wonderful – lots to keep my camera clicking away.

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But as much as I loved the architecture, I love the animals of Australia even more. We made a stop at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where they rescue and care for many different animals in addition to  Koalas.

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Kookabura

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Platypus

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Emu

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Dingo

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Wombat

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I think it’s time this mama kicks her joey out!

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I had no idea they let them stay so long! Looks painful!

But the best part was getting to actually HOLD a koala.

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They are so soft and snuggly! One of the best days ever…

Lovin’ On Sydney

I just LOVED Sydney.

From my first view of the Sydney Opera House coming into the harbor, to the last peek at it heading out, it was a great day.

We took a bus tour of the city, which gave us a pretty good overview, then a tour of the Opera House followed by a walk-about in and around “the rocks.” We crammed a lot into one day.

The story of the Opera House was pretty amazing – from the winning design being little more than a drawing on the back of a napkin (a BIT of an exaggeration, but not much!) to all the drama involved in getting the drawing translated into reality when the technology to do it just didn’t exist.

 

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Through the haze of dawn…

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The incredible part of the building is how different it looks from every angle…a real work of art.

Bondi Beach is pretty unique in that it is located just outside of one of the biggest cities in Australia. We happened to hit it on a quiet day, but it sounds like normally it is crowded…like, Waikiki crowded.

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The old downtown area is called “the Rocks.” It is a crazy cute area.

We started our wandering with a pint at Phillip’s Foote:

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From there we went down the street to Appetito for an authentic Italian style pizza…

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Then we wandered around the neighborhood…

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Way too soon it was time to leave and say goodbye.

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God willing’ and the creek don’t rise, we’ll be back.

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