Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Woo Hoo!

Yay for ME! I passed my Amadeus Course with a 90, yep, good job Kelli. I am very excited to have that class done, and to have my certificate. Smiling and dancing have happened. I may have to celebrate this weekend. Maybe I can share my celebrating with Ground Hog Day. We can't ignore that day, to be sure. I have a picture of myself in my best Ground Hog pose, but it just does no justice to Puxatawney Phil, so I won't repost it. To those of you that just thought "thank you", you are welcome. Ha. It's already been a rough winter in the midwest, so we'll see what Phil has to say about the rest of the winter. If it's bad news, you can always come visit us out here.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Janna's Birthday

Living on a small island, it's hard to keep secrets, among other things. But this group somehow managed to keep a surprise birthday dinner - a surprise! The birthday girl couldn't get over all of us being able to keep it a secret. Her daughter was relieved to pull it off. But if anyone knows Janna, you know we all had to wait for her to arrive for her own party, and then when she made it to the restaurant, she kept us waiting 5 more minutes while she yacked with some friends on the way in. There was plenty of laughter and celebration - if you don't laugh spending time with Janna, it's because you're in the morgue with a tag on your toe.

Janna wanted to know whose bright idea it was to actually put her age in candles on the cake.

John feigns innocence on the cake candle thing.

Good friends, plenty of laughs. Thanks Janna - for letting us share in your birthday celebration.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Dogs and Life

A friend sent me the forward below. I decided to attach a couple pictures of Emma to go with it. If we watch, we can learn lessons from many things in life - even dogs. Enjoy.
Subject: A Dog's Purpose (from a 6-year-old).

A Dog's Purpose (from a 6-year-old).
Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why." Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The six-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they
don't have to stay as long."

Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure
Take naps.
Stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I decided to write about the "boys" today. I've been thinking of Josh, Regis, and their little dog family that just moved to Florida. And I've been praying they will enjoy their new home, and new adventure, and that Josh will like his new job. It's always exciting to begin a new journey, but it can be hard at times, too. So I keep praying for them - and smiling at the all great photos they are sending to me. I'm proud of Josh. He's a good husband, a good worker, a kind man. And he's my FAVORITE son. : )
Here's the senior "boy" of the family (far left). I'm proud of him, too. He is a hard worker, community minded, a caring, generous, kind man. But he's also a great husband and friend. He's in the picture with my boss, Dave. Both of them were installed into the Saipan Chamber of Commerce as officers again this year. They are the ones wearing the corsages. I'm thankful for my "boys." Maybe someday I'll have more boys in my family - a son-in-law and grandsons, maybe. But for now, I'm just really thankful for the ones who bless my life.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Diving with a turtle

In December, while I was taking a month off from blogging and a number of other things, I ended up doing some really cool things too. Harry asked me to go on a couple of dives with him. Being underwater is so peaceful, and it's so beautiful down there. On my first dive I enjoyed seeing all the fish, who just swim right up to your mask. We saw a couple of nudibranchs too, and small lion fish. On my second dive, I got to swim with a turtle! That was just so much fun for me. He just moved slowly along, allowing me to swim nearby and just watch him for a while. I am hoping for more chances to swim with the turtles on future dives. But it is always a wonder to be under water in the ocean, with all the many amazing creatures surrounding you. I learned alot during this month of "quiet". I am thankful for the time. Diving with the turtle was just one of the refreshing experiences of December. It was a good way to close the year.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Florida for Josh and Regis

Josh and Regis made the long drive down to Florida, with a 26 ft. U-Haul pulling their car behind it. It was a nerve wracking trip at times, and very exhausting for both of them, and the dogs. But they are safely settled in their small town outside of St. Petersburg. So far they are having fun exploring their new home. They live very close to the beach. The dogs are loving their own fenced in yard to run in. Josh begins his new job Jan. 14. I'm so excited for both of them! This is quite the awesome new adventure. Here is a picture of Regis in her new kitchen. Oh, and they have a grapefruit and an orange tree in their back yard. Can you tell I'm a proud and happy Mom?

Monday, January 7, 2008

2008 SCC Installation Dinner

The 2008 Saipan Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner was a night of formal wear and great food, awesome service, speeches, laughter and friends. Harry was sworn in as the new Vice President. In this picture, L to R is Dave Sablan (my boss), Harry, John Santos, Doug Brennan, Kathryn Barry, and Mike Johnson. I usually enjoy dress up events, but I enjoyed this one more this year. The service at Fiesta was outstanding, and we always have a good time sharing a table with Dave and Rita. I also got to help with guest registration, so it was fun seeing everyone come in all dressed up. It was a very nice night.

Harry looks pretty sharp in a suit and tie, although definitely not his favorite attire. Ha.

For the girls curious about the details - I wore my black pearls, and carried the gold silk purse and gold shawl from Hong Kong.

2008 New Year's Celebration

Happy New Year - Saipan style! This amazing photo of the Saipan fireworks was taken by Harry, looking out the window of the 360 Revolving Restaurant. It was a fun evening, with a spectacular view of the island fireworks.

This was our table of New Year's partiers for the evening. Pete joined us from off the ship, Hozumi, Bryan, me and Harry. The food was great, and the champagne was "all you can drink".

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy 2008!

2008 is off to a great start. We really enjoyed our New Year's Eve celebration at the 360 Restaurant. The view of the fireworks from the revolving restaurant was spectacular. The restaurant put on a very nice meal. The picture above is my "family" at Christmas. No, it is not Josh on steroids. The tall blond is Chris, who joined us for our family Christmas Eve celebration. We missed Josh and Regis alot this Christmas, but we got to talk on the phone, of course. We had a big dinner on Christmas Day with friends at our house. The holidays were fun, I enjoyed all of our celebrations. So, after my one month off from blogging and other things, I'm ready to dive back into life in the real world again. So I've joined Curves and will start my dance lessons back up soon. I'm thankful for a healthy body, so I'm working to take good care of it. I really liked this article below. It just kind of pegs me, personality wise, I think.

Happy Introvert Day
By Diane CameronWed Jan 2, 3:00 AM ET
Ahh, Jan. 2. The day that introverts get to breathe a sigh of relief. We can come out of hiding; it's safe to answer the phone, and to stop pretending we're under the weather. Hip Hip Hooray! The holidays are over. Yes, from mid-December through New Year's Day, those of us with an introverted nature live in a state of perpetual dread. The weeks of office parties, neighborhood potlucks, and open houses drain all our energy. But today we can relax; we made it through. I speak from experience. My name is Diane, and I am an introvert. It surprises most people because I'm outgoing and friendly and, in fact, very far from shy, but I prefer one person and one conversation at a time. I fought this for years, always trying to be someone else. I made myself go to parties; I tried to fix what I thought was "wrong" with me. It didn't help that other people would press, "But you're so good with people," as if being introverted meant living on the dark side. But I finally got it. This is also one of the blessings of maturity, a wisdom that brings a "What you see is what you get" self-acceptance, or perhaps for introverts it's, "Who you don't see is what you get." It is a great relief to stop trying to be who you're not. But it's no wonder that we introverts are sometimes defensive. Up to 75 percent of the population is considered extroverted, so we're outnumbered three-to-one. American culture tends to reward extroversion, while being disdainful and suspicious of reflection and solitude. I've learned to spot my like-minded peers, though. We're the folks walking toward a festive house saying, "How long do we have to stay?" Or we're the ones in the center of the room assessing others' interactions, and slowly backing toward the door. Introverts crave meaning, so party chitchat feels like sandpaper to our psyche. Here's what introverts are not: We're not afraid, and we're not shy. Introversion has little to do with fear or reticence. We're just focused, and we prefer one-on-one because we like to listen and we want to follow an idea all the way through to another interesting idea. That's why small talk annoys us. So does pretending to be happy or excited or anything that we're not. We saw that play out in the 2004 presidential campaign. Most introverts knew immediately what that campaign-killing screech of Howard Dean was all about. It was the consequence of an introvert trying to act extroverted. I'm sure he attempted that exuberance based on the advice of media consultants: "Dean should be more outgoing, more charismatic." Well, ya know what? Dean wasn't any of those things. I do think that many of our better presidents have been introverts: Abraham Lincoln, Jimmy Carter, and John Adams – both father and son. If they really were introverts, it makes their rise to the presidency all the more remarkable, because introverts are constantly swimming against the tide. Introverted children are pressured to "speak up" and "make friends" – or told they're not leaders. Introverted adults are hounded to "be more outgoing" and tortured with invitations that begin, "Why don't we all..." No thanks, we don't want to do anything that involves "we" and "all"; we prefer to visit you, just you, and not a dozen other people. The 17th-century French philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote, "The sole cause of man's unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room." Introverts do.So let's make Jan. 2nd "Happy Introvert Day." We'll be quiet and happy. As a bonus, January's weather is on our side.You say it might snow? Oh darn, I guess I'll have to stay home.•
Diane Cameron is a freelance writer living in Guilderland, N.Y.