Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fun Stuff

Harry got a new camera in the mail yesterday, so we were trying it out at lunch time today. That was fun and we got some good pictures while we were at it. The first one is my birthday gift from Hozumi. She took me "nailing". Or in American speak, she took me for a pedicure and nail painting. Her friend, Tomoko, does an amazing job painting little leaves or flowers or whatever. She uses tiny little brushes. It's just fun. So this year I chose a brownish maroon color (for fall) and asked for silver leaves. I have pretty toes!

It was Sarah's turn to try out the camera for this next picture. Digital cameras are just fun. I'm sure Harry is going to enjoy it very much. He sure got a lot of pictures out of our old camera. I'm taking that one to the states with me, so I can bring back pictures of our family.
So, farewell to the Saipan family for now. See you soon.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fall Trip

I never realized how many mixed emotions you go through while getting ready to leave on a big trip. On one hand I am so excited to travel to Texas to see my grandmother, my son, my daughter-in-law, and my sister's family. Plus knowing I will get to hang out in fall weather (I miss that so much) and I'll get to go shopping in real stores, and eat real fresh fruit and veggies. Then on the other hand, I have to leave Harry for a while and won't be able to share the adventures with him, and I'm rushing to get things done at work, arrange for someone to look after some things, get the house clean, get my bags packed, and get a project finished. But I guess that's the nature of living out here - the coming and the going, travel, planning ahead for the finances, animals (Harry says they will go hungry while I'm gone - ha). This picture is my son, Josh. He's been waiting for my arrival for 2 months now. He has been counting down the days, calling every other day or so, to let me know how many days are left before I arrive. I have to admit, it feels nice to be wanted so much that someone counts down the days until you arrive. Makes me smile. He's a great son, and I really look forward to this visit. My grandmother is traveling from N Carolina to Texas to meet with me. It's a very long trip for both of us. I am so thankful for this opportunity. I'm also thankful for God's timing in allowing my sister to be able to visit. She is moving down to northern Louisiana, closing on her house at the end of the month. So that puts her in our vicinity right while I'm there visiting. Very nice. So I'll try to take a lot of pictures while I'm there. And I'll share my trip adventures with you, as soon as I can.

Monday, October 15, 2007

October 2007 Birthday

Well, here I am, officially celebrating being one year older. I say that with a smile, as I truly enjoy being this age. Yes, Harry will tease me for 4 whole days about being older. I am really thankful for my family, and my friends, who always seem to make this day a fun event for me. Harry and I enjoyed a visit to the spa to celebrate our joint birthdays, then enjoyed a nice homemade dinner complete with deep dish apple pie. Sarah did a great job with the dinner. Chris brought champagne and a great travel bag for my upcoming trip to Texas. You have to see this travel bag to believe it. It comes with a committment statement, yep. I already have my passport and eticket safely tucked into the bag. The beautiful roses are from Zandra. Harry got me a penguin black pearl necklace which you can see better in the next picture. And Sarah got me my favorite cologne set complete with travel cosmetic bag - so I'm just set to travel like a queen.
I met a group of friends the next day at Hamilton's Restaurant. We shared good conversa- tion, plenty of laughs, and good food. Hozumi brought me a plant she has been nurturing. Basil, that has been living in steer manure (alias cow poo) enriched soil. Bryan told us the story of seeing Hozumi out on the balcony with smudges of dark smelly stuff on her. He asked what she was doing with cow poo (not exactly those words) on her. She said it's not cow poo, it's steer manure. That got us talking about the many things that are lost in translation out here - like the Japanese version of "Shall We Dance". Let's just say Richard Gere cannot be portrayed well by someone else, and leave it at that. Hozumi is going to take me for my annual "nailing", too. But we decided to wait until this weekend, so they'll still be really nice for my trip. I guess I'll get "fall" painted toenails again. Many thanks to my stateside friends and family for the cards, ecards and phone calls. You all made it a very special celebration for me!

Friday, October 12, 2007


My birthday is tomorrow so I thought I'd write a quick note about my plans. I told Harry to go ahead and do his morning dive, but then we'd meet up in the afternoon and go to the Fiesta Spa together. I got us the Plumeria package - massage, body scrub, facial and flower bath. We always enjoy that. Harry usually trades in his facial for more massage time, though. When we get back from our spa visit, we plan to go home for a quiet family dinner. Sarah agreed to fix me spaghetti for my birthday dinner (my request). So it should be a nice relaxing day. I'm sure I'll enjoy it. I'm hoping Harry enjoys the day, too, since his birthday is 4 days later. Yes, I'm 4 days older. Yes, he teases me about being older for the whole 4 days each year. He has a story justifying his teasing. Today at work, I decided to bring snacks for my whole office. Almost all of my co-workers are Filipino, and I think it is their tradition that the birthday person buys a treat for everyone else. So I thought I'd do things according to their custom this year. I tried to buy some pumpkin and apple pies at a bakery in Garapan, but the purchasing process was taking over 10 minutes of my already ended lunch hour, so I bailed on that idea and went back to work. I thought about it and talked it over with some of the girls at work, and decided to run to Price Costco and buy a box of 40 ice cream treats and some cinnamon rolls. I think the staff all enjoyed that. We usually have pizza or bbq or heavy food, but I think they liked the ice cream snack for a change. My boss always likes ice cream, so I knew I was ok there.
Birthdays are usually fun, but I also use mine to reflect on life in general - the past year and future plans. I have a couple of friends suffering with serious health problems right now, so it has also been a time of being very thankful for my own health, and praying for them to be well soon. My Mom's birthday was just a couple weeks ago, too. I took the time to thank God for the years we shared with her. I still miss her so much (she's been gone for 12 years now), but I'm thankful I was blessed with a kind, gentle and loving Mom. Well, I'll try to post another blog next week updating you on our birthday celebrations. Happy Autumn!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Soup, friends and bloggers

Sarah and I decided to make homemade vegetable soup last night, as that always sounds good on a rainy day. She stopped at the store to get more veggies, and was able to bring home a good amount of different vegetables. Yes, that is unusual, so we were really happy to chop, cut and season veggies for our very good veggie soup. We even had enough veggies left over for a salad. It was a lettuce free salad, but yummy just the same. We sliced up some Hyatt wheat bread and made it unto garlic toast. Mmmm - very good dinner. I'm always thankful for meals like that. I brought some leftovers with me today, in case I'm on my own for lunch.
Well, I've been enjoying my responses (to previous blog) from friends and two family members. Some made me laugh, others brought tears to my eyes with their stories. Thanks for sharing. I have thoroughly enjoyed the renewed contact and hearing more about your lives. I miss you all very much. Perhaps you'd like to come out for Thanksgiving. Let me know, we'd love to have you.
I have been reading other Saipan blogs, as I normally do when I have some time. The common theme I am seeing lately is a few "anonymous" bloggers out there leaving cruel, untrue or uninformed comments on people's personal blogs. How sad is that? Cowardly and mean, quite the combo. But I can the see the core group of bloggers have all come to the same conclusion. Block the losers. Good for you guys. Keep up the posts - I enjoy reading them.