Thursday, August 30, 2007


My son sent me this picture a while ago. Josh has always been an animal lover, so I wasn't surprised when he told me that they were getting a dog from the animal shelter. Then not too long after getting the first dog, they got a second one from the shelter again. Here you see his new dog, Ben, looking pretty happy about being hugged by his new master. This picture just makes me smile. My heart goes out to all of the sadly neglected and abused dogs on island. Dogs are so loving and responsive when cared for. It's just confusing sometimes to see how horribly that certain people can treat them. I've often thought it would have been great if Josh had become a vet, and ran a dog treatment and care farm over here. It could transform the island. But I'm happy he and Regis were able to rescue two dogs in Texas who needed loving homes.
When Harry and I went to Hong Kong last November for his heart cath, we spent some time at a really nice park on the ocean. It had rides, an amazing aquarium, birds and even panda bears. We enjoyed seeing the live pandas so much, that we bought panda souvenirs from the gift shop before leaving. One item was a panda backpack. Yes, it's true we did not have kids who could appreciate the panda backpack, but we were thinking ahead to grandchildren. So when we got back, we told both kids that the first one to give us a grandchild gets the panda backpack. Yes, that does push the line of bribery, but what can I say? I want grandchildren. Ha. So Josh and Regis helped Ben dress up in Josh's military clothes, in a feeble attempt to convince me that they should get the backpack, introducing him as Sgt. Ben Granddog. Good try! But no cigar, or no backpack in this case. Yes, we're still waiting on the grandchild news, but no hurry I guess. Harry says he isn't old enough to be a grandfather yet. Have a great day - and treat a boonie dog good today!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Tears, smiles

Sarah and I had a chick flick weekend - two girl movies that made us cry and laugh, with a little romance splashed in. Yes, we thoroughly enjoy those. The first one was "No Reservation", which was not really a good name for the movie, but the movie had a good story and good acting. And a 'bonus' really good kiss, too. When we got to the theater carrying our jackets, there were signs in the ticket window saying there was no a/c in our theater. We were both pretty happy about that news. For once we didn't have to freeze while trying to get through two hours of sitting still in a frosty room. The second movie we watched at home the next day after running errands. It was "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants". Yep, a girl classic, to be sure. So, more tears and more laughs. Then when I got to work this morning, more tears- ok well, maybe just smarting eyes. You guessed it, another customer with dragon breath. This time I think it was kimchee and 14 bulbs of garlic. I'm getting good at holding my breath, though.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sewer Breath

I had a different post up this morning, but I decided to delete it after our conversation at lunch today. Harry said instead of writing about what I did - which was basically that I'm glad it's the weekend after a long week - I should write about our conversation at lunch. Harry was telling about his interesting morning at work. He has many interesting mornings at work, and we were all listening intently to his stories, giving our various responses. When he was done, Sarah asked me how my morning went. Without a thought I launched into my morning. I had a couple of men come to my desk seeking notary services. This is not uncommon, actually quite sadly, none of this story is uncommon. As I leaned across the desk to collect the papers, one of them started to talk. His breath was so overwhelming I struggled to stay focused. I kept thinking things like did he just stop on the side of the road, chew on a dead dog, and come to my desk? AAAGGHHH. Really, what do people eat? And have they never heard of mouthwash? Gum? A toothbrush? When I regained my breath, I began a series of turning my head, gasping in air, then facing them again and proceding with paperwork. At this point, I was once again distracted - I thought of Bev. How do you do it, girl? Do you keep a private barf bucket near by? Really? I just know I would not do well with this, so my hat's off to you! I stamped those documents fairly quickly, was thankful to step away to make copies, and handed everything over - thanking them, hopefully encouraging them to pack up and head out. As they left I had another thought - who kisses these men? I mean really? It would be like puckering up to a sewer line. Ok, well, I guess Harry was right. I did need to write this out - I feel much better having vented. Yes, I'm sitting here chewing some gum after lunch. I don't want to be the reason my customers run out seeking oxygen. Have a great, fresh breath smelling weekend. Clipart is a courtesy of

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Good News

Good News! Laura's dog "Pickles" is pregnant. Yep, she is having two puppies. That will just be too fun, I'm sure. Sadly, Laura has also reported that Pickles returned from the groomer with a very bad hair cut. So it doesn't just happen to people. The picture is a good hair day.
And in other good news, my sister has finally finished all of the many many hoops to jump through to become a TSA officer. She took an entrance exam, then had to have an eye and ear exam, then had to take training for a week in Philadelphia, then had to train and test again in Detroit. And that is the short version of the story. Yep, you have to want to pursue this job badly in order to actually achieve being an officer. She sent me a picture, but claims it is not the best, so rather than risk her wanting to whack me in the head, I'll just not post her picture. I personally feel she looks great in the picture, and I'm very proud of her for finishing all of this.
Well, Sarah and I managed to stop in to a store last night to buy our fabric for our quilting project. Just before we were ready to get our fabric measured and cut, the power went out. So in the pitch black, one of the clerks brought a flashlight and held it while another measured and cut the fabric. Just as we were getting ready to pay, the power came back on. When we got in the car, I told Sarah what fabric shopping in the states was like - you know, at a place like Jo Ann Fabrics, where there are endless choices for $1 or $2 a yard. And I've never been in there when the power went out. But I guess that's one of the things that makes our life interesting out here. So, we decided it would be about the same price to order a kit online. We might do that next time. But for now, we'll see how our first project goes.
Monday through Friday mornings, I send out an email to those on the verse list, with a bible verse for the day. It serves as an encouragement for starting each day of the work week. I figured it was better than any other form of verbal encouragement I could muster on my own. Anyway, today's verses were uplifting and challenging at the same time. I thought I'd post those to end today's blog. Colossians 3: 12, 13 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I just received a comment from Shazam, saying You're #5. As I am fairly new to blogging, I wasn't sure what this meant. So I went to Shazam's blog site and read. Wow, thanks, what an honor! My kids are grown now - but they are both still a real blessing in my life. Being a Mom is a great gift and responsiblity. Now for my challenge, to find our next awesome mommy blogger. I know some great Moms out there, but they don't blog. So for now, I want to dedicate this blog to my friend, Laura. She's an awesome Mom living in Michigan. Laura just sent her youngest son off to college, so now she's learning to live with an empty nest. That is not an easy time in life, but it is a chance to embrace the new changes and learn to enjoy a new direction. Laura has been a working Mom, and by that I mean she works other jobs besides managing her home and family. And she spent 6 months parenting alone while her husband was in Iraq. There are two young men in Michigan who are blest to have Laura for their Mom.
Here are OUR rules:
1. Nominate an awesome mommy blogger
2. Tell her why you think she rocks
3. Ask her to post the award on her blog and do the same
4. Add your name and blog to the list of past awardees and copy it into your post
Past awardees:

From Brenda:
My Nomination is Kelli the other half of Saipan's sexiest blogger! Kelli: Mothers who have succeeded and see their children to that next level inspire us all. Your children are healthy, well rounded and giving back to the community. They are involved in careers. As we try to pick and choose school's for our young children, decide what healthy dinner to prepare for them, make them do their homework and keep them moving and staying fit we wonder if we are making the right choices. Your family keeps on growing too! We look to mother's like you for inspiration. This is why I nominate you Kelli!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Really Good Friends

We had a really nice dinner at Zandra's last night. While the food was good, the really nice part was just having time to chat with Zandra, share some laughs, and look through some old pictures. We also got to meet Amanda, who is new on island, teaching at Saipan Community School. While flipping through some pictures, we came across some of my son's wedding. It was a whole CD of pictures that I had not seen. This group of pictures included a few from his reception, so I was really excited about them, as we didn't have very many from his reception. Anyway, I wanted to post this picture of Zandra and Hozumi. It truly made me smile. This is evidence of some REALLY GOOD FRIENDS. It was up to me to plan my son and daughter-in-law's wedding out here, as they would arrive on Saipan December 30 and get married January 1. I emailed Regis to find out what kind of flowers she would like and other preferences for the wedding. Well, as the time got closer, I figured Sarah and I could get the flowers and arrange them ourselves for Josh's wedding. But with all of my guests arriving from the states at the same time as Josh and Regis, it was hard to get away to do flower gathering, etc. So I talked with Debbie, who has done flowers for weddings before, hoping she could give me some tips. Debbie, being the amazing woman that she is, said she would put the arrangements together for me (after I showed her some pictures from Regis) if I would get her the flowers. That in itself was amazing (I cried), but she also recruited other friends to help her assemble the flowers. They all worked long and hard together at Debbie's and brought the most amazing arrangements to my son's wedding chapel and reception hall. I can never repay them for this kindness. Everything was so beautiful. So the picture above is the girls working hard at creating the circle of flowers that Regis wanted at the altar. In a previous blog I talked about friends and family - and sometimes they are interchangeable out here.
Also at my son's wedding, I was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of mine. I wanted to be able to dance with my husband at my son's wedding. You know, for most of our married lives Harry and I never could dance together as neither one of us knew how and we both lack any true rhythm. But after Hozumi talked him into taking ballroom dance lessons and then we both started learning - we were able to begin our son's wedding with a foxtrot, then invite everyone else to join us. It meant so much to me. So here we are - sorry Harry, another dancing picture.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dinner Out

This seems to be the week for eating out. Monday night we actually cooked dinner at home, but Harry was gone diving, so he ate out. Tuesday Sarah and I had quilting lessons, so we grabbed a sandwich at Subway, Wednesday was the Divers Meeting at Oleai. And we won't be eating at home tonight either - but this time we have been invited to someone's house to eat! Zandra has been wanting to cook for us for a while now, but we've had many things going on, and she was gone for the summer, so tonight is the night we get to connect at her place. That's a real treat for me because I rarely get invited over to someone's house. Yes, we have plenty of dinners and such at our house, but it seems we rarely get invited out to other people's homes. I can understand why, as it is a bit of work to have guests over. But thankfully, I have Sarah to help me cook and clean for guests. We truly enjoy the cooking and talking time together, preparing food and arranging things for our guests. And now that we have a much bigger house, it just seems fun to have a group over for dinner and conversation or one of our strange games. Well, in all fairness, we did get another invitation to dinner this weekend - yep, at someone else's house - but we won't be able to go since it's the Rotary Las Vegas Night fund raiser night. Oh well, when it rains it pours, I guess. We almost always eat out with friends on Friday nights, so I guess we'll stick with that plan too. Maybe we can try to eat at home on Sunday. : ) I'm not complaining about all this eating out this week. When life gets this busy, sometimes it's just easier. By the time I get out of work at 6 ish, then go home, cook, eat, clean up the kitchen - I pretty much drag into my room around 8:30 and watch CSI until I fall asleep. Sarah and I decided we need to make up a menu for the week - easy to cook stuff and buy all the ingredients ahead of time. Part of the chore of cooking is thinking of what to make. And trying to plan ahead is always a challenge out here - mostly because the stores don't likely have the ingredients you want for things. Aah yes, life on Saipan. Well, I'm off to grocery shop - have a nice evening.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Sarah and I had the pleasure of attending our first quilting class last night. I've always wanted to learn how to quilt. So while out to dinner with friends the other night, Hozumi mentioned that some ladies in her church were starting up a quilting class. So Sarah and I drove over to see what it would be like. The teacher is Joan Swetland, and she showed us some of her husband's quilting projects and a large keepsake quilt that her friends made for her when she came to Saipan. We got to look through a bunch of quilting magazines, and we received our first quilting lesson. We started with learning to measure and cut perfect squares, and then used the sewing machine to practice making 1/4 inch seams on our squares. Sarah and I both enjoyed the lesson and decided that we needed to make a project together. We want to make a table runner, for the fall potluck dinner. We'll have to keep it simple, of course, since this is our first project. But Sarah was already scanning the internet when we got home, looking for a pattern we might like to start. I tried to encourage Harry to join us, as Mr. Swetland is there working on a project, too. But he politely declined. I think he's still smarting from me outing his ballroom dancing. So I'm excited to be a part of this group, share in the fellowship, have a fun project to share with my daughter - and learn to quilt!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Family and Fall

When you've lived so far (the other side of the world) from traditional family for so long (11 years), people from back in the states tend to forget about you. I'm not saying I blame them, I mean, afterall, I have gone 4 years or more without seeing some of them, and even longer for most. Some don't have email (shocking, I know) and some do, but don't ever write anyway. Keeping in touch with someone is difficult for most people, even family. So what do you do about that? Living way out here, with no other family but our own, kids that have gone off to college and their own lives - what now? I'm truly thankful that my son and daughter-in-law are good about communicating and keeping us up to date on their lives. I truly treasure the moments shared with them. And I get beyond excited when they get to come out here and visit me. And I'm also thankful that Sarah is back from college and living with us for a while again. Again, the moments are treasured. But as far as other family - well, sometimes you just adopt your own. In this picture you can see some family that came over from the states, but some are Saipan "family". Yep, they are the ones that come to dinner parties, holiday dinners, beach cookouts, etc. I am so thankful for my Saipan family. Life would be lonelier without you - thanks for being there. So this is a heads up to the regular Saipan family - that's right, fall is just around the corner (ok, maybe it's still a month away). YES - my favorite time of year! And although I can't live in a place with fall colors and crisp air and leaves on the ground, I will still celebrate fall. As is tradition - we will decorate with fall colors, and maybe even crank up the a/c and wear our fall sweatshirts again. I've already started planning the menu with our fall favorites, of course. Sarah is happy to be around for this one, she had to miss the last two. I am already dreaming of apple crisp, pumpkin pie, fresh homemade bread, hot veggie soup, maybe some baked yams. Yum. Don't worry, Harry, there will be meat, too. It's true, I can get fairly fanatical about the fall celebration. But there are just some things you can't do without - even if you live out here - for me it's family and FALL.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Not Always Sunshine

A friend sent me this picture a while back. It made me smile at the time, but I kept it around because the truth is - sometimes it's just nice to have someone else praying with you. Yeah, I know, blogs are no place to air concerns, but there are some days on this mostly sunny island that just have their share of piled up concerns. So I guess today I can't write a cheery blog, or even a ballroom dancer "outing" blog. But while I think over, pray over, or just stuff my other thoughts, I can write about other things. So, here are a few random thoughts, I'll just write as they come to me. Random thought # 1 - I was thinking about my son today, who just headed to New Hampshire for 9 days for intensive microsoft training. I'm excited for him, getting this opportunity to further his education and gain these certificates. This opportunity will likely open more employment opportunities for him when he is ready to leave the Air Force. Random thought #2 - I had a nice dinner last night with friends at Capricciosa. Good food, good conversation and I got to meet Bruce (the captain of the boat that Harry drives with his butt). Nice evening. Oh, and I just learned there is a quilting class starting up, so I'm excited to check that out. Bruce claims he used to quilt (years and years ago). I hope they can teach beginners, I've always wanted to learn quilting. Random thought #3 - I wonder if I can teach Emma to be like this dog. It would be a nice change from shredding the bathroom garbage on the living room rug, and chewing open the candy bag on the blue chair. I hope your work week started off good today. Enjoy the rain.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Ballroom Dancing

While I know better than some of you not to get into blog wars with Harry, he did just post that dorky picture of me and diss ballroom dancing. So, in this picture you see the Pirate and Gypsie (costume night) practicing our foxtrot. He doesn't really look like he's hating it to me, but apparently it just isn't as COOL as diving. I recently saw a picture on one of the online news sites, of a guy riding a bicycle under water. It made me think - maybe Harry would like ballroom dancing more if he could do it under water. No - I'm not suggesting I want to try that, Harry, sorry. But if some of the Saipan bloggers want to hang out for drinks and to watch Harry dance the foxtrot and swing, tonight is the night! Or maybe some of our other divers would secretly like to be ballroom dancers, too. You never know. Darlene, Stephanie, Hozumi and Zandra manage to do both, and we're always looking for more dancers, especially more guys. A couple weeks ago we had a dance party at our house. That was a lot of fun. Two of the instructors came, and taught us some new moves and a salsa "group" dance. We never quite mastered that, but had plenty of laughs trying to learn. We hope to have more dance parties in the immediate future.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

New to the World of Blogging

A few months ago, my husband got into blogging. He's really been a lifetime blogger of sorts, from his great story telling abilities (true and not so true) , to his radio talk shows. But now he does his own blog site. He is having so much fun with it, that he convinced me to give blogging a try. Now, I'm not nearly as entertaining as he is, but I thought it would still be fun to write down some of my life adventures on this tiny little island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. So, that said, here's me with my kids. Yep, like most moms, my kids are one of the greatest joys of my life. Meet my daughter Sarah, new daughter-in-law Regis, me, and my son Josh. Sarah is back from college, running her own business and sharing a big house with us and another housemate (Greg). I am so blessed to have her "home" with me again for a while. I enjoy her friendship, treasure our girl time and bible studies together. Josh is living in Texas with his wonderful new wife, Regis, and about 5 (I think) animals. He might think he's "noah". Josh will be out of the Air Force at the end of this year, so he and Regis are talking over their work options. I am so thankful to God for blessing Josh with Regis - she's one in a million. I miss them both very much. You've already seen the picture of my husband Harry, with me at the top of the page. And if you are reading this from Saipan, you likely know Harry from somewhere. On January 1st of this year, my son got married here on Saipan. It was a beautiful wedding at the Nikko Chapel, with a really fun reception at the Claret Room, Fiesta Resort. We invited our ballroom dance friends. This next picture is of the ballroom dance group at the wedding. Our instructor is in the center. Now that everyone is back from their summer vacations, you can likely see us all on Friday nights at Rose's for Ballroom Dance Night. Now you might wonder who is missing from this picture, hmmm - HARRY? Yep, not sure where he was, but YES, he does go to ballroom dancing with us. Shocking, huh? And I think he actually likes it, too. The other girls at dance are trying to get him to learn more than two dances. He claims his dance input card is full, but there is a group of us determined to change that thought. Well, I guess this is enough for starting a blog. I'll keep working on my site a bit, and I'll try to keep you up to date on the life of Kelli On Saipan.