Thursday, June 26, 2008

Life - slowed down a bit

Life has been really different this past week and a half. I look for things to do that don't involve walking very far. So I've watched a few movies now, as I can comfortably prop my leg up in the theater. I watched "Love Guru", which was funny. It was good to laugh for a while. And I watched "Narnia", which was good. I still want to see "Get Smart", but I don't have much interest in "The Hulk". I saw enough TV reruns of "The Hulk" to last me a lifetime. At home I watched "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" again. I always enjoy watching that movie. So yes, it's been weird going from really active - diving, walking, dancing, Curves - to sitting, watching movies, reading books. Not the easiest adjustment, but I'm determined to be really careful with my knee so it heals quickly and thoroughly.
My friend, Laura, has started her own blog now. She's from Michigan. She just went camping near Mackinaw. Check out her pictures on her new blog : It is very beautiful in Northern Michigan. I miss some of those sites.

I'm making progress from the picture below. I've already lost the crutches and the splint, and thankfully the green towel.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Miss Diving

It's been a week since my last dive. I am reduced to living vicariously through Harry and his camera full of dive pictures. Sigh. Yep, pouting big time. But don't get me wrong. I am very thankful that my injuries weren't any worse. For those who haven't read Harry's blog, here's what happened. Harry and I both wore out our felt bottom dive boots. So when Harry was going to the grotto last Saturday, I told him to be careful, as our new boots were alot more slippery. Well, he fell right in front of the big rock and hit his elbow and knee. The next day he warned me and Erin about the slippery spot, but I failed to go in the right place and slipped also. I fell into the washing machine, which was no big deal, since it wasn't rough water. However, I managed to whack my knee on the way down. Harry used his one good arm to pull me out, as I couldn't manage to climb out myself. I walked around on the rock and my leg seemed to be ok, so I went on the dive. It was a spectacular dive, two turtles, plenty of big fish, clear blue ocean. My leg felt fine the whole time. When I got out, the knee didn't seem to have much strength for me to climb the little stairs on the rock, so I prayed I could make it to the top of the grotto stairs. I used my left leg to pull me up, and managed to get me and my tank all the way to the top. Once I got to the car, my knee really started to hurt. We drove Erin around to check out some tourist sites, and my knee hurt more with each time I got out of the car to look around. By the time I got home it was feeling very strange. When I tried to put my weight down on it, I started to pass out. That made me realize that maybe there was something really wrong with it.

I went to work the next day, and Harry looked it over at lunch. He said we were going to the doctor to get it checked out. Well, 3 xrays later, I have a small fracture on my kneecap. The doctor made a splint out of cast plaster. He asked if he could cut my pants. I said no way, they're my favorite pants. So I opted to take them off and wear a towel we had in the car. We took Erin and family for the north end tour right after my doctor appointment. So I wore my nice shirt and a green towel for the trip. We went out to dinner with them afterwards, but thankfully Sarah brought a skirt to the restaurant for me.

I made it almost a week with the cast on, but it was really hurting me. The whole back of my leg just ached. My legs cramped and twitched all through the night, so I got very little sleep. Finally after whining to Harry about how I just couldn't sleep and how much it hurt, he decided to cut it off for me. That was such a huge relief. I massaged some life back into my leg and it feels tons better now. I am still using crutches and still careful not to put alot of pressure on it. Prayers are appreciated.

So this past weekend I kept myself busy reading and going to the movies - and looking through all of Harry's really cool dive pictures.
P.S. - we both bought new FELT BOTTOM dive boots.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Father's Day Part Two

Harry decided he wanted to do a second dive on Father's Day, so he asked Erin and I to join him at the Grotto. Erin wasn't so sure she wanted to tackle the Grotto, but decided she would regret not going once she got home. This is Harry and Erin exiting a swimthrough, but it might not be at the Grotto, as I got my pictures a little mixed up. But here is Erin after going out the hole at the Grotto. My camera was malfunctioning on this dive, so some of the pictures are kind of dark. Harry is inside the Grotto, happy to be in one of his favorite places. As we were getting ready to exit the hole out into the ocean, Harry and I spotted a turtle silhouette in the opening. He took off right away to follow the turtle. Harry is swimming alongside the turtle videoing the swim. Harry got some great pictures of the turtle. Check out his blog for some really nice photos of the day. I thought I was going to get a good shot of the turtle, but my screen filled up with this guy at the last minute. Guess he wanted to steal the show. So I gave this one his own photo time. Thankfully, Harry got some good turtle shots. Well, I guess there is a bit more to this story. But Harry did such a good job writing about it on his blog, you can check out the story there.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Father's Day

For Father's Day, what else would Harry want to do? We went diving, of course, then to Oleai for lunch because that's what we do. Harry spotted this scorpion fish.
And a nudibranch. I don't know it's name. It had blue trim. Black with blue trim - must have just gotten new dive gear. Happy Father's Day - to the underwater pirate himself. He even ended up wearing his patch by the end of the weekend, but that's another story. Here's Harry taking Grace along on his Father's Day dive. Actually the whole Reed family joined us at Lau Lau.
Here's Dan and Erin. Ok, I guess the whole family didn't come. Simon was left at the PIC with the Kid's Club, as he's only 6 years old. Notice Erin is pulling Dan along by his inflater. That's one way to monitor his buoyancy! Here's Dan and Erin at Oleai, enjoying the great view and Father's Day lunch.
Other Oleai guests include Chris, Sarah and me.

Josh joined us via phone call to his Dad for Father's Day. Well, Father's Day was mostly good. I'll post pictures from the second half tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dinner with Friends

This past weekend was our 28th wedding anniversary. It was also Barry and Maggie's 22nd wedding anniversary. We each celebrated on our own anniversary dates, but on Sunday night we decided to get together for Sarah's seafood lasagna. Here's Sarah cooking a grand meal for all of us. Barry and Maggie brought over a palm leaf for the table decoration. The three of us are trying to cut it to the correct size under Maggie's instruction. Fun stuff. Barry and Maggie showed up with fresh fruit skewers - yum! Here's Barry arranging the fruit on the table with a freshly cut banana leaf as the setting. You have to love friends who bring over cool and nice looking table settings.
Fruit skewers and banana leaf masterpiece. It went very well with Sarah's delicious seafood lasagna, bruschetta and foccacia bread and broccoli/zucchini veggie mix. Here we are, enjoying all the good food. Maricar is in the front, Maggie, Barry, and Sarah at the end of the table. We shared some great stories about our early years of marriage. Thanks Barry and Maggie for a fun dinner and thanks Sarah for cooking all the great food.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Dive Gear

Saturday, June 7, was our 28th wedding anniversary. There are many wonderful memories packed into 28 years of sharing life with your spouse. And today was another day of fun diving, lunch with friends, and a wonderful dinner cooked for us by our daughter. A couple weeks ago, Harry ordered new dive gear for me. We were talking about the gear the other night, and Harry said, coming from him it's the ultimate romantic gift for our anniversary. To him, it's better than jewelry or flowers - because diving is the thing in life that he enjoys the most. So having me share it with him is the best way to share time together. He also ordered new camera equipment for himself. Both arrived a few days before our anniversary, so I was excited to try out my new gear on our "anniversary" dive, although Harry managed to try out his camera equipment right away. So I jumped in the water, adjusted my buoyancy, discovered I was too light, stuck some rocks in my new nice big pockets, and checked out my new gages - below.
Our dive Saturday was with Brian, Michael and Maricar. Here is me in my new dive gear, and Michael towing Maricar. Here is Maricar, Michael, and me in the background, all exiting a swimthrough. Here I am exiting another swimthrough.Here's Brian inside one of the swimthroughs. It was so pretty in there with the sun streaming in. Here I am trying to get a close up shot of the anenome and clownfish. Ok, in this picture you can kind of see my new gear. My dive skin has blue stripes down the arms, and my BC is highlighted with blue trim. It makes for a very cool look, but it wasn't planned. I got the dive skin on Saipan after my gear arrived. It was the only one they had in my size, so it was blue or nothing. I don't really get cold diving, but the dive skin is nice protection for the swimthroughs. Here is a closer look at the new gear. Tusa regulator and Dacor Talon BC. Cool new stuff, huh? Yes, that was a mighty fine anniversary gift. Harry got the red clip for my fins to attach to when I'm getting out. Here's Harry laying on the bottom with his new camera housing and strobe light. I think he was trying to get a shot of all of us swimming over the ledge. Here's his new camera gear and his new SCAP. It's cool pirate-looking head gear. He said it saves him head scrapes in the swimthroughs and keeps his head warm on long dives. Harry with his new camera gear and SCAP again. Harry searching for nudibranchs and other little critters. This was our view inside one of the swimthroughs. Very beautiful.
Here's Harry inside a swimthrough with the sunlight streaming in on us.
Some anenome and clownfish. Happy 28th Anniversary to us!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

SCC Golf Tournament

I'm guessing that no one else has this version of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament that was held Saturday, May 31 at Lao Lao Bay Golf Course. I got up at 5:00 a.m. to shower and get ready. We arrived at the golf course at 6:15 a.m. Harry was there to golf. I was there because Harry volunteered me to work at the tournament. Not a problem, I'm happy to help out. I spent my first 45 minutes helping Sisi with registration. Then I met with Jay and the group to head out to the various holes. Mike and I were assigned to hole number 7. Our job was to record the "closest to the pin" and verify if anyone won the "hole in one". It was a beautiful sunny day out on hole number 7. And after about 50 golfers came through, all was silent - for about an hour. The other 30 golfers came through over an hour later. What you see below is how I entertained myself for the silent hour. I got out my camera and began taking pictures of everything around me - ha. Mike offered to take my picture. I said, nah, it's more fun this way. I decided to take pictures of the local flowers.

When we got back to the tents for lunch, Sarah took over the camera and joined the random photo taking fun. So yep, I'm guessing no one else told this version of the tournament. We left around 2:00 p.m. I was tired, but had a fun day in the sun. Oh and I did do my job at hole number 7 - the closest to the pin was Tom McKenzie. And no one got a hole in one.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hyatt Farewell Party

Last Friday evening we had the pleasure of attending a farewell party for Michael von Siebenthal and a welcome to the new General Manager. In the picture below you see Sarah arriving at the party getting the traditional three point kiss from Michael, with Chris smiling off to the side. It took me three tries to get a picture, as I'd snap and someone would bow, snap and bow, snap and bow. I finally got two pictures with most heads up. We will miss Michael. Here is one of the spectacular food stations that was set up in the gardens. Everything tasted as wonderful as it looked. There were so many good choices, it was hard to pick which ones I wanted to eat. But I had no trouble zeroing in on what champagne I wanted. I can't remember the name, but it was soooo good.
Harry says the lobster bisque was really good. I didn't have any that night. But I liked this picture of the chef. He must be angelic, because I tried this picture from a few angles and he was always glowing in my lens frame. I'm not a big sashimi fan, but this station looked really nice. Harry and Pete are chatting and probably deciding if they need another martini or not. It was a very nice evening, everything was beautiful, and it didn't rain.