Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cleanse That House!

Our house is already painted although we haven't fully unpacked and set up. Pictures to come soon, promise!

This first week in our home has been stressful. Where is that reliable ole landlord when you need something fixed or set up? Our refrigerator is already broken and likely needs replaced, Isaac is finding it infuriatingly difficult to install window treatments in a home with steel frame construction, and my car is on the verge of being done for.(ok, cars are maybe not home related, but whatevs).

Add to this the fact that a series of things lead to me having symptoms of a heart attack and having paramedics come by. Friends drove me to the hospital, but hey. The neighbors know we are here now!

My heart thing wasn't a heart attack. After hours of testing one doctor found that my spine bends in on one segment which may have recently started pushing on my heart, creating the shortness of breath and chest sensations. I may also have connective tissue disease of some sort (that is a med test for a later date this week) which could be compressing my lungs and/or heart a little, and of course, stress doesn't help. We are glad I am alive, and thankful that seven people showed up at the hospital when they heard. Including my boss, two friends, and three of Isaac coworkers. Not looking forward to all the bills though.

My logical side knows that this is all just a bunch of new stress hitting at the same time. But our superstitious sides hope that the home we just signed our financial lives over to isn't cursed. Seems like as soon as we put a big chunk down for our dp, every other expensive thing popped up too.

Gotta cleanse this place. And the we gotta start replacing and fixing all this broken stuff. Whew. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wish my elbows luck!

I think we are going to start painting today! That is, as soon as we can pin down a shade of green we are sold on. Been through a few samples and they are either scary bright or pukey. Ah well, the others are chosen and now I go buy buckets of the stuff and get to work. Been a while since I have done much painting and paint rolling. I hope my elbows aren't too old for it, cause we have loads of walls to paint!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our Home (Finally!)

It is finished! Well, just about finished. We finally have our closing date: tomorrow morning, Isaac and I will be some of Hawaii's newest home owners! We are so weary from waiting, that we can hardly wait to get our hands on some pens and mark up a big stack of papers. :-) Since I am skipping the first half of my work day for this, and going straight into work right after, I won't be able to post any pictures for a while.

However! Once we do start the beautification and moving in process, this blog, for a while at least, will be loaded with lots of before, after, and in-progress photos. The house is actually in impeccable condition. We'll be the first people to ever live there! The home inspector was hard pressed to find anything wrong with it, since it was made by a great contracting team and built with top-quality materials; and he had a reputation for being so thorough that he sometimes scared people away from buying their homes. Still, there will be colors to paint on the walls, accents here and there, and oh yes, LOADS of yard work. The yard leaves much to be desired, and I can tell right now I'm going to be doing a lot of sweating on my time off in the coming months.

Now, I'd like to point out that tomorrow bloggers all around the blogosphere are participating in For Japan, With Love. I just read about it on another blog I sometimes follow. It's a day of silence, more or less. Not that I blog every day, but tomorrow I will be silent on here, Twitter and Facebook.

I encourage donations to the Red Cross to help those in Japan as well. And please, be wary of any causes or organizations encouraging donations to Japan right now. We all want to help, and there are the dishonest few out there who will set up a "non profit" and take your money and run. In the name of charity, no less. Be on your guard. Send money only to well established organizations you already know about. Be sure that your kindness is being handled with care and honesty.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Life is fragile

After this week's events I have heard several people comment on how fragile life is. Japan is suffering. We are all lucky to have avoided the same catastrophe.

I was reminded today of a meditation by the Dalai Lama ("A Precious Human Life") that I learned from my husband shortly after we met, and would like to share it here. I feel that the words ring true for all creeds.

Hoping to learn of an outreach project to post soon as well.

"Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it, I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can."

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami (take two!)

Last year I experienced my first tsunami. Last night started a more interesting second experience.
As I am usually up by or before 4am for work so I get to bed early. Isaac woke me up at 9:30 to tell me Japan had a tragic earthquake and that a tsunami was due our way at about 3am. Fortunately the place we are staying is well out of reach of a tsunami.

I tried getting back to sleep but woke up twice from tremors from an earthquake (or two in succession, can't remember, too groggy) and never got back to sleep. Isaac was up all night, burning the midnight oil, making sure all aircrafts were taken care of and keeping his on call pilots updated.
All the resorts were evacuated. Some guests never got to return because of flooding and had to be relocated to different hotels.

After last year, I initially expected a lot of excitement followed by zero damage. But Alii drive was torn up, the King Kam and Four Seasons both experienced flooding, and a few homes/structures (impossible to tell if they were homes or not) were even taken down further south (pictures to follow. Will caption them later when not using my phone).

My boss chartered one of his own aircraft to see how Kona was holding up, and I was allowed to go. We took a life raft and several spare life vests in case we saw anyone in need of help. We never had to drop them, and hopefully that's a good thing. I gave my boss a big hug, since I was grateful for the opportunity to partake in that flight. I know some people get irritated with helicopter noise, but I hope everyone can appreciate that the owner of the company was being a genuine good samaritan. It's not cheap to operate one of those birds!

All the photos i got were from helicopter and were taken by camera phone.
I hope we can all find it in our hearts to do some kind of outreach to those in Japan. Who in Japan did not lose a friend, sibling, child, parent, lover or spouse today?

Above: Kailua pier, Alii drive, and the King Kamehameha Hotel. Hard to see from so high, but this area received some of the worst damage on the island.

Planks, pieces of wood, and pieces of wall are scattered around. Parts of a house that was pulled to sea and taken apart.

From here you can see in to Kealakekua bay. That large rectangle is the roof of a house. The entire house was pulled into the bay and there it floats...

A slightly closer look at Kailua pier. That water is usually azure blue and crystal clear.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bye-bye buddies

The past week and a half have been busy and fun filled! Isaac's best friend John and his wife Jill, along with their little one Emelina came to visit. At the same time we also had Isaac's childhood friend MaryClair and her husband David. All of our guests were instrumental in our wedding and it was great fun having them here. We were sad to see them all go.

They all got decent airfare and we all managed to share the cost of food as fairly as we could. On top of that, the only activity we had to pay for was a one day Kayak rental to paddle to and snorkel Kealakekua Bay.

Our friends also got to visit dozens of gorgeous beaches with great waves, paddle board, boogie board, go hiking, swim in a lava tube, visit a beautiful blue lagoon, see the recently super active volcano, enjoy the local brew pup, support local farmers, go camping and whale watching. I hope it was more restful for them than it sounds!

We can't wait to have them back, and we learned how much we like hosting a house full of friends who are up for all kinds of adventures.

In a few weeks Peter will be here and he and Isaac are going deep sea fishing (my late Christmas gift to Pete and Isaac), and possibly also some pig hunting. Then this summer Madeline will be here to soak up the sun and get her yoga on.

Hope our other buds start feeling the itch to come enjoy Hawaii's outdoors and adventures!

Enjoying the sand and water at a tiny beach off the beaten path.

Relaxing during sunset at Kiholo, where we all camped that night.