Friday, July 31, 2009

Build site

Looking a whole lot different than it did at the beginning of the week.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Birthday Wisdom

Your Birthday's Wisdom is Action

If there is one thing you've learned in life, it's get moving.

Procrastination just makes things so much worse. If you dream it, you do it.

You believe in going for it. And as a result, you've had success in many arenas.

You rather regret what you did than regret what you were scared to do.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lava Guy

A figure that we located during our morning shift at the Re Store.

Gas Problems

Getting the full Kauai experience including evaluating AAA services after running out of gas in the Habitat for Humanity van.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hanalei Bay

View from beach where we've spent several hours this afternoon.

Lighthouse View

View looking west from Kilauea Point Lighthouse on the north shore of Kauai.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The bugs they love me....

Two of the twenty or so bug bites turned welts on my legs from an afternoon hike. Guess the Vitamin B and Garlic I've took to prevent bites didn't work.

Garden View?

It was dark and late when I checked into my "Garden View" room last night so I was thrilled and surprised to wake up, open the shutters and see THIS!

Christmas Movie Review

I have had an unending love affair with cheesy Christmas movies since I was a child. It began with classics like Miracle on 34th Street and White Christmas which I remember watching as a child and loving every minute of. The mix of sentiment and holiday cheer left me with a gooey feeling on the inside that I just adored.

Years later I discovered the Christmas movies on Lifetime, ABC Family and Hallmark and would flip on the TV to fill the space of time while setting up the tree, writing out Christmas cards or wrapping presents. But 2 years ago I had my first holiday season with a TiVo and it changed this deep appreciation of Christmas films into a crazy obsession. Now beginning in mid-November I set up "Wish List" searches, set recordings for my favorite titles, rearrange my NetFlix queue so that I only receive holiday films and read up on the "new" premier films. All this so that I can spend every spare moment from mid-November through early January overdosing on sappy Christmas movies, it is an addiction, I'm well aware.

During the 2008 Christmas season I watched 51 movies. And yes I am aware that 51 is A LOT of movies. With the urging and teasing of Don and Kat I made a list of the movies I watched and rating them on a 1 to 4 star scale, 4 being the best. I typed it up and then forgot it as this post has been sitting in my draft folder a really, really, really, really, really long time. It was complete with the exception of links and comments so I added those and decided that today is the perfect day to post it since Christmas is five months from today. They are listed in alphabetical order with links to applicable IMDB pages. Enjoy!

All I Want for Christmas (2007) **** Story is really only 3-star worthy but I loved the character, Ben, portrayed by Robert Mailhouse. Am I the only one who thinks he is adorable?

All I Want for Christmas (1991) ** I don't recall seeing this when it came out, now I know why.

All She Wants for Christmas *** Cute story but Monica Keena is just annoying.

Angel in the Family ** They implied that there were tons of deep seeded family issues but they could all miraculously be fixed in one day with their "angel" mother, I didn't buy it.

Boyfriend for Christmas, A **** Adorable!

Carol Christmas, A * Exactly how many twists can be made on Charles Dickens wonderful tale, ugh! And Tori Spelling was horrible.

Christmas Box, The ** I LOVED this book and hated the movie, all the magic of the book was lost when it was converted to a screenplay. Richard Thomas is overrated and didn't portray the role well.

Christmas Caper ** Saw this when it premiered last year and thought it was okay but Shannen Doherty isn't one of my favorite people and it bugged me this year.

Christmas Card, The *** Great story but Alice Evans (who stars in the lead role) has a weird lisp and it drove me NUTS the entire time I was watching the movie.

Christmas Choir, The **** Very touching especially when you learn that its based on a true story.

Christmas List, The **** This is the epitome of a cheesy Christmas movie for me, I've watched it every year for as long as I can remember.

Christmas Secret, The ** Story dragged on and on and once again with Richard Thomas in the mix to ruin it all.

Christmas Shoes, The *** A perfect example of why a 3-minute song shouldn't be turned into a 2-hour movie. Only redeeming factor was the cast as I love Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Rob Lowe.

Christmas Wedding, A *** Sappy Christmas romance, but it dragged a bit.

Christmas in Boston **** Cute!

Christmas with the Kranks * HORRIBLE!

Different Kind of Christmas, A *** Cute, but probably won't watch it again.

Diva’s Christmas Carol, A ** Enough with the twists on A Christmas Carol. Ugh!

Elf ** Actually liked it better the first time I saw it. This year I didn't find it funny at all.

Eve’s Christmas **** Cute!

His and Her Christmas ***I kept falling asleep during this one which I don't think was because of the film but rather the time of day I was choosing to watch it, right before bed.

Holiday Affair (1996) **** Cute. I just realized that its a remake of a 1949 film with Janet Leigh, I'll have to check that one out next year.

Holiday in Handcuffs *** It was better the first time around, but still entertaining this year.

Holiday to Remember, A *** I hereby declare that Randy Travis shouldn't make any more movies.

Home by Christmas *** I've seen this one before and always find it moving.

Home for the Holidays ** Yawn!

Its a Wonderful Life ***** The quintessential holiday classic and my favorite holiday movie by a long shot.

Lost Holiday: The Jim and Suzanne Shemwell Story ** Nothing says happy holidays like watching a couple get lost in the woods and then scream and yell at each other for a week.

Man Who Saved Christmas, The **** Based on the true story of the inventor of the Erector Set.

Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas **** It's Mickey Mouse, what is not to love about Mickey.

Moonlight and Mistletoe **** New this year, I liked it but wonder if it will retain the 4-star rating in the future.

Most Wonderful Time of the Year, The **** Loved Henry Winkler's performance, he cracked me up.

Ms Scrooge ** Again with the Christmas Carol remakes, ugh!

Polar Express, The ** I loved this book but the movie is just creepy and LONG.

Recipe for a Perfect Christmas **** Cute!

Road to Christmas *** Cute, but a little on the slow side.

Santa Baby *** I used to find Jenny McCarthy annoying but in the last decade she has transformed herself from Playboy/MTV bimbo into a kind and loving advocate and mother and now I adore her.

Santa Jr. ** Trying a little too hard.

Season for Miracles, A **** One of my favorites as it has the perfect mix of intrigue, magic and love to give you chills and bring a tear to your eye.

Silver Bells **** Cast leaves a bit to be desired but the story has that typical holiday sentiment that I adore.

Snow *** Tom Cavanagh is adorable and this is a cute holiday story.

Snow 2: Brain Freeze *** Sequel of the previous film and the "rest of the story" and cute, but lacking a bit of the magic that the first one had.

Snowglobe *** One I could relate to in that struggle between wanting a "perfect Christmas" and just being in the moment, a cute film.

Stealing Christmas **** Tony Danza and Lea Thompson in a "bad guy turned good" Christmas tale, it is holiday gold.

Three Days *** A woman (Kristen Davis) dies but then gets to come back and spend 3 days with her husband. It has been described as "It's a Wonderful Life, Part II" yet I wasn't blown away by it, but I was setting up the tree and chatting while it was one so I really need to give it another chance.

Twelve Days of Christmas Eve, The ** Not funny, only mildly charming and Molly Shannon drove me nuts.

Town Without Christmas, A ** Chuck full of holiday cheese but it just lacked something, not sure what.

Unlikely Angel **** Very predictable and filled with holiday goodness, plus Dolly Parton is adorable.

Very Married Christmas, A *** Movie tagline is "It takes a lifetime of marriage to find your way back to true love" and it is a nice combination of reality, sadness and love.

Very Merry Daughter of the Bride, A **** A new one for 2008 and cute, sure to become a long standing favorite.

White Christmas *** A classic and one that must be watched annually. I own it on DVD now and the quality is amazing.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thoughts for the journey....

I found this on the back cover of my Habitat for Humanity Global Village Orientation Handbook and it really moved me. I thought I would share as I embark on my journey. Aloha!

I will do more than care-
I will help.
I will be more than fair-
I will be kind.
I will do more than forgive-
I will forget.
I will do more than dream-
I will work.
I will do more than earn-
I will enrich.
I will do more than give-
I will grow.
I will be more than friendly-
I will be a friend.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Art Test

You Are a Painting

You are a passionate person. You see the emotional undertones that others miss.

Compared to other people, you are sentimental. You allow yourself to feel everything.

Believe that art should capture the beauty and mood of a moment.

The best art speaks to your heart. It makes you smile, dream, or even cry.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Brotherly Love

There's no other love like the love for a brother.
There's no other love like the love from a brother.
~Astrid Alauda

Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up: 7/17 - 7/19

It was my last weekend in Seattle prior to the big trip so it was a busy one, here are the highlights:
  • Had my final Pilates lesson, at least until my soon-to-be-certified teacher finds a permanent place to teach.
  • Enjoyed a cup of coffee and a chat with my Pilates teacher at Victor's Coffee.
  • Had lunch with my brother at The Brooklyn.
  • Completed a merchandise return from Land's End at Sears because I figured it was easier than sending it back.
  • Got a pedicure.
  • Got lost in Trader Joe's because they moved everything around to optimize the space.
  • Enjoyed a wonderful meal with our "Cooking Club" at a home on the Magnolia Waterfront.
  • Woke bright and early for the trip up the hill to do laundry.
  • Had breakfast at Queen Anne Cafe.
  • Picked up a few things at Bartell Drugs including Vitamin B and Garlic in hopes of repelling the mosquitoes and other biting critters who just love me.
  • Picked up BBQ fixins at the grocery store.
  • Completed some household tasks.
  • Tried out the recipe for "Poolside Punch" which we fell in love with at the Grand Floridian in December 2007.
  • Spent the afternoon playing cards and enjoying the deck with Kat and Don.
  • Don grilled up a feast of chicken breasts and fresh veggies.
  • Woke early and started packing and organizing and knocking things off my to-do list.
  • Had breakfast at the Bay Cafe.
  • Vacuumed and washed the car.
  • Met Kat in Bellevue for an afternoon showing of The Proposal.
  • Walking to Barnes and Noble an picked up my much anticipated copy of Best Friends Forever.
  • More organizing, packing and ironing.
  • Added 140 songs to my iTunes Library and iPod.
How was your weekend?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Books and Gadgets

One of my favorite authors, Jennifer Weiner, is releasing a new book, Best Friends Forever, today and I can't wait to pick it up. I think it is perfect timing as I have been looking for some good "beach books" to take to Hawaii.

Last week I stumbled across a $1 book sale atop Queen Anne hill a picked up copies of When the Wind Blows and True Believer. I also had a few that have been stacking up including Twilight, Angle of Repose, 3rd Degree and 4th of July. I think that is plenty don't you?

While on the subject of reading, I've been intrigued by the Kindle since it was introduced. Initially I thought it was silly to purchase a device that holds books in a digital form, you know, much the way I thought of iPods and digital music no so long ago. Then I sat next to a Kindle owner on a cross country flight in May and was incredibly impressed. The screen quality is better than I thought it would be and it doesn't have the usual glare of electronic devices. Then I learned that you can change the font size. Oh boy, no more headaches even when I've forgotten my reading glasses.

My current thinking is that I could make room in my purse for a Kindle and just know I would read more if the 9 or so books that remain in permanent residence on my bedside table were with me all the time, or so I believe. The thing that really has been preventing me from taking the leap is the price. Initially the Kindle 2 was offered at $359, yesterday I read that they have lowered it to $299, which is an improvement but I still can't justify spending $300 on a gadget that I may not use. Of course then I get to this part of the argument in my head I remind myself that I had the exact same apprehensions about my first Palm Pilot, iPod, cell phone and digital camera, all of which I love and can't imagine living without. Still the price tag is just a little too high. After all you can get an iPhone for less money and it can help you hang a picture straight, read the Bible, pour a beer and tell you whether or not you are a idiot and a Kindle can't do that. Then again there is no monthly bill with a Kindle.

Decisions, decisions, the debate wages on. Either way I will not be buying a Kindle until the stack next to my bed is read!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Neglected News

I have been neglecting my blog for many months now. No "real" entries. No "Weekend Wrap-Up" posts. Nothing but quiz results, video links and the occasional photo. I can think of a million reasons why and I could feel guilty about it but I'm not going to let myself fall into that trap. It simply hasn't been a priority.

There are some notable things going on in my world that are worthy of being reported on and I'm suddenly feeling the urge to share so it seemed time to pull a post together.

In 11 days I leave on an adventure with Habitat for Humanity. I will be traveling with a group through the Global Village program to work with Habitat affiliate in Kauai (Hawaii). I started the process back in December (2008) by completing my application was matched with several trips including Honduras, Argentina and Kauai. I was intrigued about the idea of traveling to central/south America and experiencing such a different culture than my own but through the application and interview process it became clear that the Kauai team was where I belonged. I clicked with the team leaders immediately and knew that my skill set would be best paired with the team they were building. It became official on January 22 when I received my invitation to the Kauai team and thus began the prepping and planning. The time has just flown by and I can't believe that it’s already nearly time to leave. Is it really July already?

I am very excited about the trip and also a little bit nervous about the unknown elements as I've never done anything like this before. I am fortunate to have the love and support of a great network of friends and family members who have been unbelievably supportive. I sincerely appreciate all of your love, encouragement, prayers, emails, phone calls, talks and cards. Thank you seems inadequate, I am sincerely grateful.

I will try to post some photos and short updates from my phone while on site but I have no idea if that will be feasible. I do intend to take lots of pictures and share my experiences here after my return.

Don will be flying to Kauai to join me following my time with Habitat and we will be vacationing for a week which means that I will be gone from home for 17 days! Which is something that I am both excited and terrified about; 17 days is a long time!

My brain has been swimming with millions of little details for weeks now to the point that it was driving me mad. On Friday I created a list (actually 3 lists) that are truly "working lists" and it has put my mind at ease that I won't forget anything or forget to do anything before I go.

Work has fallen into the same space with lists and tasks and loose ends that I would like to have completed by the time I leave. I have a few deals that are just "hanging" out there and I can't seem to get them closed. I know that no matter what I do they will close after I'm gone, it always works that way, and I don't know why this time would be different. I was on the phone with a consultant today who travels for extended periods of time often and he reminded me that it will "all get done whether it happens now or later, it all gets done eventually." Oh, how right he is!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Herb Test

You Are Chamomile

You are a peaceful, relaxed person. Nothing really gets under your skin.

You appreciate coziness and comfort. There's nothing you like better than a good nap.

You don't let yourself stress or worry. You believe all things work out in the end.

You are able to remain serene in the middle of a storm. You believe it's important to be a gentle person.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Summertime Feast

Don is grillin' up some summertime goodness for our dinner tonight.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Ego Test

Your Ego is Small

You are quite humble. You try not to spend too much time congratulating yourself.

You're proud of who you are, but you're also secure. You don't need to brag.

You see yourself and others in a pretty realistic way. You appreciate strengths and faults.

You respect people and believe that you can learn from them.