I heart faces photo challenge

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Many gray days, but last night? Oh my. No words needed

The Paper Mama

and then, she {snapped}

linking up with wordless Wednesday, click on the buttons above and see some more outstanding photos

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bust a gut

This week's photo challenge is bust a gut over at I heart faces.  Check out the other entries...sure to make you smile.

While shopping, we would put the hat on, baby boy would take it off, after awhile, he was cracking up and couldn't get rid of the hat. The only time we see those top teeth are when he laughs...he likes to keep them under cover.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Scavenger Hunt 11-27-11


Another week, another hunt. It was fun, but somewhat challenging.  The weather here has been horrid! Rain and wind, and I wasn't feeling very inspired.  Here is what I came up with.
                                              Rules of thirds

                                                      knife fork or spoon

The inside of the silver drawer.  Ready to set the Thanksgiving table.

The turkey was in and smoking.  Sadly the wind and rain made it hard to keep the temperature up, so Tom turky came off and went inside which made cooling the other things challenging!

Friends visiting from California. I did a family shoot for them, and this sweet two year old wasn't into it! I caught him while he played with my cars.
The last of the leaves on the magnolia tree.  So strange, winter is beginning, the last of the leaves are hanging on, and this silly tree is budding.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankfulness continues

It seems hard to believe that a little over a week ago, I was swimming in the warm waters of Maui. Paddling around and taking in all that the ocean has to offer. Snorkeling until my skin was puckered and my lips felt as though the salt would never come off of them. Now, wind, rain and leaves twirling all around are my view.

I've made a conscious decision to find one thing each day that I'm thankful for. I have more than most. I know this, and I am grateful. A beautiful family, a lovely home, and material things most likely more than I truly need.  I still appreciate the small things. Laughter, small children, flowers,and the buds on the trees, that are coming strangely early.

This Thanksgiving was a time to remember. Receiving Thanksgiving flowers made me remember my mother. My mother died eleven years ago. She always sent a bouquet for my table. I think she was so thrilled to not be cooking, to be invited to someone else's home, that she showed her appreciation by sending a bouquet. I loved it. I love it today, and when the hubs walked in with this gorgeous horn of plenty bouquet, my smile was wide, and I felt as if my mother was smiling down also. I haven't had a bouquet sent on a holiday since she left.

As I set the table, silver from my mother, a pitcher from my sweet mother-in-law, I remembered to past Thanksgiving dinners. It was only two years ago that sweet Nana my mother-in-law sat for the last time at my Thanksgiving table. Her dementia had escalated, she was so full of energy and was insistant that her mom and dad were waiting for her in the family room.  Now two years later, my father-in-law who is looking every bit of his 94 years, has a lady friend who sits at his left. These two years have been hard on him. I'm thankful he has a companion. I hope he's with us another thanksgiving, but it's hard to know. None of of know what the next year will bring.

Children are grown, there are in-laws to share the holidays with.  To counteract this, my daughter has had an annual "turkey trot."  We all gather at her home, and jog/run a course in her neighborhood.  This year, the weather was beyond horrid. Wind and rain to the point that taking things from the car to the door was a mission impossible. Ugh.  We made the most of it, had a blind wine tasting, yummy appetizers, a new signature cocktail, and games.  It works, it feels festive, and after all, Thanksgiving is just a day. Getting together with family and friends is what counts.  The party was to be from 6:30-8:00, but we were rolling home close to ten. I'm thankful for a daughter who likes to entertain and organizes this trot, so we can all get together.

baby boy loves shoes, and just had to try on the neighbor's boots

story time with Uncle Luke. I'm thankful he has a love of children. He will be an amazing father. I'm thankful that I have a son who loves the little ones.

faux in town daughter, and birth daughter.  I'm thankful that these young women trust me with their children. They are all so unique, and bring so much happiness to my week.

son-in-law, hubs, and faux in town son are all wonderful examples of how husbands should treat their wives. I'm thankful that they love their families and are good role models.

This was such a pleasant surprise. This centerpiece arrived on Wednesday.  A gift from a stranger I met while in Hawaii.  I was snorkeling, saw a baggie floating, took it in and discovered, cash, credit card, and driver's license.  Long story short, I made several attempts to track him down.  My young years of Nancy Drew books are still with me. I eventually caught up with him, and returned his goods. A lovely older man and his wife from Minnesota.  He asked if there was a charity at home that I support. I quickly told him about the Auxiliary of the Assistance League in Salem, OR.  My friend and I are co-chairing the spring forum which is our largest fund raiser of the year. We use our money to provide backpacks and school supplies for local school children, as well as birthday supplies for homeless children, and also get young adults who are fazing out of foster care set up for their first indpendent living situation.

Not only did this angel in disguise send me this beautiful bouquet, but he sent a check for $100 for my charity.  Daughter is convinced that there was a reason I was supposed to meet this gentleman.  It is interesting to think if I wasn't honest, if I had taken his cash, or tried to use his credit card. It all comes down to another thankfulness.  I'm thankful that I was raised with morals of what is right, and what is wrong. I'm thankful that I did the right thing, and how sweet the outcome was.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

This photo is the last of the dry leaves.  The wind and rain have come, and it would seem there is no end in sight...I will look at these bright dry leaves and try to remember the crunching sound instead of squish.

Linking up with shoot edit submit

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Scavenger Hunt 11-20-11

Here it is Sunday night, and I almost forgot about scavenger hunt.  I've been enjoying Hawaii for the last several days, and now that I'm home, it's laundry, shopping and trying to get used to life as it normally is.
Here are my interpretations of the week's hunt.


I spent so much time admiring the things under the water. Oh how I feel peaceful and rested while snorkeling


Hiking one day we came across this sign. It makes me smile


The swan looks so regal gliding across the water..


The sky, the ocean, and even the clouds all seem to be one color as the sun was going down. Initially I was sad that there wasn't a prettier sunset, when I remembered the scavenger hunt.
                                                        AROUND THE HOUSE
This was home for ten days. We spent much time on the lanai and loved this home away from home

Friday, November 18, 2011

Final hours

As I sit on the Lanai, watching the ocean gently lapping at the sea wall; turtles nibbling on the coral reef below, I try to suck in all the aromas and sea air I can.  Two hours and counting until we leave for the airport.  Ten days is not long enough.  I tried to tell the hubs that when we were booking our travel, but he was insistent that he couldn't be away longer than that.  Then last night he announced, "next time we go for a minimum of 14 days"  No kidding.

Up early, dressed and in the van we headed north to Napili where we dined in the gazebo.  A scrumptious breakfast beside the ocean open air style. Little sparrows litting in and out people lined up and willing to wait up to an hour for this breakfast.  Pineapple pancakes with their secret sauce, and coconut syrup. Oh how I've missed these flavors!  A school of dolphins swam by putting on a show, and a whale was doing his thing off in the distance.  It's early for whales, but we have been entertained by several during our stay. 

This stay has really been about the turtles. My wonderful wonderful turtles that I have given names to.  One has just poked up by a man  who is bobbing in the ocean and has no clue that he has company.  A whale is jumping out on the horizon, and now a tourist boat is in pursuit. 

Hoping all my sea friends will hang loose until I return in February. I can't wait to share with #1 my love of the ocean. I know the son-in-law will be as hyped as I am about the ocean.  Until then....Aloha.

one of my favorite fish. I call him a puffer, but in reality he's a box fish. Royal blue on the bottom, and such cute spots.

This is "youngin" who is wary of people and swims very fast!

so many rainbows, and just enough rain to make them, but not dampen our style.

I'm feeling a bit like this today. If it wasn't for two little boys at home I might just be a castaway and stay awhile longer.

Our first day in town, Karen and I got henna tattoos.  We told the guys that they were real, and how painful it was.  Ha ha...haven't told them yet that it's wearing off.  I'm impressed with all the snorkeling I've done and it's still hanging on..

This is John from Eugene, OR.  He introduces himself as turtle John and loves to take people out to the reefs to look for turtles.  He is 77 years old, had polio as a child, and it's amazing how well he maneuvers out in the ocean. His excitement for the turtles is definitely contagious.

Traveling with a commercial fisherman from Alaska has it's perks. He brought over two salmon.  We used it for two BBQ dinners, a breakfast Teakie surprise, and yesterday was grilled cheese with salmon. Yum mm.  Our omega 3's are doing well.

yesterday was the hubs birthday. He went for a facial. First one. He loved it.  Came home with a new hairdo.:-)

Last night we went to town.  Pupu's at Kimo's  and then a walkabout. Gallery hopping and shopping. Weather was perfect. and the town was hardly inhabited.

Just as the cruise ship leaves the harbor the sun has set.

Karen and I picked the boys up at a bar. Much better to do Front Street without them. A football game was on, and the crowd was raucous.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mama's Fish House

For many years I've heard the wonders of Mama's Fish House. An upscale restaurant that sits on the other side of the island, about an hour from where we are staying.  Last night was the night for me to try it first hand.

We had made an early reservation since it was an hour away. Five o'clock seemed early for dinner, but it turned out many were there ahead of us, and our request for a window seat couldn't be met. We were seated one row back from the window, which was still a lovely view. The windows are open to the outside, but the real eye candy is inside. Augers from the sugar cane plant stand firmly in place acting as beams, beautiful kayaks made of exotic woods hang from the ceiling.  There is an assortment of fishing spears artistically placed on the ceiling.

The wait staff is impeccable. Ours named Chad, formerly from North Carolina.has been living in Maui for twelve years.  Not a hint of an accent, but he warned me that could change after a couple of beers. His wit and attention to detail made the dining experience even better.

Opakakpaka, and mahi mahi were the fish of choice for our table. My opakapaka was so light, flaky and scrumptious I had to have restraint not to lick the plate.

We celebrated Mark's birthday, and tried to savor the atmosphere and time with good friends. The prices were high, even by Maui standards, but it was a special occassion. Maybe I'll get back there again in another twenty five years.

This little guy is building skills to soon be out on the water

We watched the kite boarders and surfers do their dances on the waves before dinner. The waves weren't that big, but the wind was whipping the sails

This was our second check in station.  The decor is so pretty and island flavored

Goofballs waiting for our name to be called.

They had this on the table waiting for Mark

So much to look at! There were WWII newspapers framed with articles about Dec. 7th. I got the crazy idea that mama's had been open that long, but then realized that the last paper was from 1974 when Mama's first opened.  They were lucky that during the sunami, their bay wasn't hit.  We were told that water came up to the palm trees, but the restaurant wasn't touched.

opakapaka, swiss chard, and a jasmine rice seasoned with ginger....to die for!!!

Birthday boy glowing by candlelight

Karen's dessert was a masterpiece. Black pearl, the shell is edible, as is the pearl in the center.  A VERY rich dark chocolate mousee with caramel and coconut

Creme brulee, that had an island flair.  Infused with passion fruit and the most perfect one I've ever tasted.

Friends....from Alaska, to Oregon meeting up in Hawaii.  We went home, played pinocle and laughed so hard that I almost stopped breathing.  A wonderful night to remember for years to come.

Good bye Mama...my sweet new friend. Hope our paths cross again.

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