Friday, September 29, 2006

 

Murphy's-Law Relative Moved to My Maui Home


By now everyone has probably heard the oft-repeated quote, "If anything can go wrong, it will." I was thinking about this today as it seems that while we were away on vacation, one of Murphy's relatives moved into our home, and he doesn't want to leave. I have saged our home, banged on drums in corners, rang my Tibetan bell clockwise around the house and so and so forth....and yet, Murphy's relative continues to play havoc here. Only in minor ways, mind you. However, I'm getting frustrated and aggravated with the mischief and break-downs.

But let me back up a bit before my full-blown lament and tell you something about Murphy's Laws. I did a bit of research on this quote before beginning my post today, and I discovered that there are many Murphy's Laws. They are listed on the sidebar of this site. For instance, there is the famous Love Law which states, "All the good ones are taken."

I suggest that this site add another law which goes something like this: "The longer you are away on vacation and the more fun you had while away, the more stress and aggravation will be awaiting you upon your return." Yes, this sounds right to me. For every three weeks away, there will be likely three weeks of things to fix, problems to resolve, late bills to pay, phone calls that needed to be returned yesterday, everyone wanting something from you NOW or yesterday, mechanical things that go awry, and bizarre, mysterious things that are off-the-charts in the Mystery Department.

Such has been my experience with my Murphy houseguest. I would prefer this law to be a figment of my own imagination, except for the fact that indeed other people experience this law as well. So I know I'm not the only one...unless we are creating these Murphy-like-experiences and relatives with our own minds because we believe in them somewhere deep in our subconcious minds. This is a possibility according to quantum physics.

Nevertheless, Murphy is going to be kicked out of my home soon as I am diligently combating him by finding missing receipts, ordered parts for products which have stopped working, recovered missing emails written on scraps of paper and lodged inbetween books, returned some (not all!) of my emails and phone calls, and tirelessly applied myself to resolving the multiple Murphy challenges. Pretty soon, Murphy will be moving on. Just remember this posting when you go on a vacation! Maybe if you put up a Do Not Enter Murphy sign, you won't find your own invisible Murphy mischief house-sitter lodging at your home upon your return.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

 

Thirteen Reasons Why I'm Overjoyed to Be Back Home On Maui



1. Maui is such a powerful healing place, and inevitably I need the "healing" after travel elsewhere.

2. My very special & beautiful daughter, my cat, my home, my friends: I missed them!

3. My skin loves the tropical humidity...wrinkles disappear like magic.

4. Horn-honking is virtually absent here. I can't remember when I heard someone blare the horn at another driver.

5. Maui is easy to get around (for the most part)....zero freeways, few traffic jams (unless you're going to Lahaina) and within twenty or thirty minutes, I can be at most places I need to go.

6. Aloha Spirit drifts through the air and lands onto the smiling faces of so many.

7. My two computers with whom I have an extremely strong bond and intimiate relationship.

8. Maui News: hey, I wanna know what's happening here! What's new?! I hear that the world's largest observatory is going to be built on Maui amongst other exciting news.

9. The weather is not so hot...and like Goldilocks, I like my weather JUST right! The air conditioner doesn't need to be run full blast most days now.

10. The ocean is calling to me, but after having been away for three weeks, I will need at least a week to play the game of 'catch-up'. But at least I can see the cobalt blue ocean from my windows, and soon I will be frolicking in the waves once again and spending some days at the beach.

11. I sleep better in my own bed with it's special design and set-up.

12. My windchimes outside my window and the ever-present bird sounds soothe me.

13. Maui has fun people, a vacation-vibe, and a happy heart which I love.

Visit: Thursday Thirteen

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

 

Returning Home to Maui After 3 Weeks




There is a saying about Maui: Maui No Ka Oi Translated this means: Maui Is The Best!

This statement feels so very true, especially after three weeks in the Manic Mainland. These two worlds (Maui and the Mainland) seem light years apart! I blogged my epic journey into the heart of the Mainland, the football towns of Austin, Texas and Columbus, Ohio on TravelPod, a blogging organization dedicated to travelers. I highly recommend them if you would like to document your journeys.

Back to returning home to Maui: it feels so good here, so right, so happy! The moment you see the sacred land from the plane, your heart lightens up, a smile grows on your face, and your pulse races. Mama Maui welcomes you from the airplane, and the moment your feet Maui Firma, you know for real that you have arrived at your Heart Home!

Of course, there is a lot of playing "catch-up" to do after being away for three weeks, so I'm going to be busy. I'd like to share two things with you today before heading off to attend to business. Here's the first hilarious one that my friend Sandra sent me in an email: Triumph Weather Dog Video

These newscasters are real newscasters here in the Islands. Watch it for a good laugh!

The second thing I'd like to share with you is this, a new company that promotes bringing links to your blog. I signed up with them, and they are in beta right now. Once they get rolling, hopefully they'll assist all of us to find more readership. Here is their info: Exlinks

I'll be filling you in on amazing adventures that happened to me with photos from my journey once I get organized. Keep your eyes here for miracles and magic!

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

 

We Fall Down, But We Get Up To Shop Again

Most likely this posting will appeal more to women than to men as women are reputed to be "shoppers". However, I will attempt to write something worthy in regards to shopping that will engage the men as well. And thus, I will start off my posting with the concept of Fair Trade Shopping.

For those that don't know about Fair Trade, here is a brief synopsis. The products which you buy in Fair Trade Stores are just as the name would imply: traded fairly. The artisans which craft or produce the items in fair trade stores are paid fair wages, not slave wages or sweat-shop wages. The fair trade organization is a non-profit with a passion for justice called Ten Thousand Villages. On their brochure, it is written: "As a nonprofit, fair trade retail organization, Ten Thousand Villages invests in dignity, sustainability, education and hope for villages and neighborhoods in more than 30 countries around the world."

This nonprofit has many stores around the Columbus, Ohio area as well as an online location to purchase their products. Yesterday I visited their newest store on Xenia Avenue in the charming town of Yellow Springs, Ohio which is about an hour's drive from Columbus. The lovely store (Global Gallery) was filled with handcrafted items and artwork from around the world. Since I love ethnic, handcrafted items, it was hard to choose just one thing--as I was on something of a self-imposed shopping budget. I'm sure ya'll know how that goes when you're on vacation--you always spend more than your budget really allows! And at some point, you have a talk with yourself, and tell yourself to stop it! Stop the shopping!

In any event, I bought a fabulous gourd rattle from Africa. Not that I need another one, but I collect talking sticks, Native American rattles and many other ethnic rattles, so I had to add another one to my collection, right? Plus I believe in fair trade, and I wanted to support the store. I hope my shopping/collecter readers get the concept. Big SMILE! One of these days, I would like to have a jam fest with my Native American drums, other drums, rattles, musical instruments with many joining to joyfuly celebrate that more justice and fairness is evidenced in global communities.

Yellow Springs is a college town, the home of Antioch College, and it has lots of great gift shops. Another one that I fell in love with was Sam & Eddies Open Books, also on Xenia Avenue. Like the title of my blog suggests, shoppers always rise to the occasion. We may fall down, but we always rise to shop again! Just when you tell yourself that you can't spend another dime or you don't need to buy one more gift or you don't really have to have that item, along comes a store like Sam & Eddies! The moment I walked in the door, I wanted to buy the whole shop! The shop had so many wonderful goodies that were irrestible to me, and I'm talking gifts, cards, books, music, calendars, and artwork. Nothing was terribly expensive, but somehow when it was added up, the receipt was more than planned. Shoppers will know of which I speak. We ask ourselves, "How did I spend this much? I just bought a FEW items!" We are incredulous at our ability to ring it up! Sigh!

Speaking about ringing it up, if you are a shopper, you don't want to miss this store in Columbus: Damsels in This Dress on High Street in Worthington, Ohio. For this shop, you definitely want to bring your plastic or a pile of money. However, you will find the most amazing, one-of-a-kind purses, shoes, accessories and apparel--designer, hand-crafted beauties that you won't find in department stores. If you like to dress and accessorize with flair, style and make a style statement, this is the store for you. Damsels offers some of the most unique items I have ever seen in a boutique, and it is popular with those who desire to look original. The co-owners shop for a discerning crowd that doesn't mind spending money to style themselves.

I'm off to another day of what else but eating and poker. I promised myself I would not shop today! We'll see how long I can keep this promise.

Friday, September 22, 2006

 

Why Blogging Is Popular

What I often find interesting when I visit a city is the difference in how a city is presented in the news and how I experience it. Take Columbus, Ohio for example. Since I've been spending some time here, I've had the opportunity to have exchanges with a variety of different people: women from India working as cashiers in minimarts, strangers on streets whom I've asked for directions, neighbors or relatives, waiters and waitresses in restaurants and so on. Invariably, I've encountered what is known as "the salt of the earth" people...kind, easy-going, non-pretentious, friendly folk. I've not experienced any red-necks, angry or disturbed people.

However, on the local news television I've watched here, I hear another story. One story is that gangs are active, and that one of the big underground sports which are videotaped and sold (under the table so to speak) are street fights. The newscaster warned the television audience that what would be shown would be violent-- and the images shown were indeed so. The images showed girl- on- girl bashing each other in a vicious cat-fight, and boy- on -boy doing the same thing-- not to mention the gang fights. I wondered if possibly these kids weren't being paid to fight just for the videos. Either these fights are for 'real', or there is a dark underbelly to the congenial Ohio folk I've not experienced or clued-in on.

You can't be sure what you read or hear in the media is truth. For instance, we read (while still in Maui) that Columbus, Ohio was experiencing a major 'depression', and yet from those we have spoken to here in Columbus, our connections say that such is not the case at all! According to our sources, the Ohio economy is flourishing, and mega mansions are being built, as well as lots of regular housing and other building projects. From the long lines at restaurants to the multitude of cars in shopping malls, the economy does indeed seem to be doing quite well.

It's becoming more difficult to believe what you hear and read in the media anymore. I think this is why blogging has become so popular: you read stories and news written by people who are there in person and on location-- living the life. Bloggers aren't on the payroll of the news 'machine', and they report to their readers what they are experiencing without being funded by a lobbyist or public relations person. Bloggers aren't censored as far as I know. Therefore, when I report to you (as do other bloggers), you can almost certainly bet that what I write is probably closer to the truth than what you read in newspapers or hear on the radio or television. This is why I'm convinced blogging will grow in popularity because people want to know the truth.

For the most part, when I mention the word "blogging" to the Ohio relatives and friends of Bob, most of them are clueless as to what blogging is. They ask either Bob or me to explain it to them. They have yet to grasp what a great gift blogging is for truth-sharing. Eventually they will catch on. In the land of programmed sheeple, we need all the truth we can get.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

 

Ghost-hunting & antiquing

Ohio is rich with ghost stories, and today we visited Room Nine where the notorious "Blue Lady" hangs out at the Buxton Inn in Granville, Ohio. Since Sherry is friends with the manager, she allowed our three-member ghost-hunting-group the opportunity to commune with the local famous ghost that so many others have reported seeing in this room in the Inn. Of course, this room is sold-out on Halloween!

We dowsed for the 'cold' spot--often a sign where another ghostly energy resides. And we found it near the settee. Supposedly the ghost who was formerly known as "Bonnie" was fond of blue, and that's why the Lady in Blue tradition got started as at one time the room was decorated in shades of blue. As the room was filled with antiques, old photos, and such, it was easy to imagine a ghost might want to hang out here.

Since I'm something of a smart-aleck, I offered a sandwich from the Buxton Restaurant where we had just eaten as an offering to the ghost. Sherry asked for a sign from a glass chandelier hanging ornament to move, but nothing happened. There was definitely some energy present, and I opened the Bible to get a sign from a phrase. I opened to a passage from Psalms, and this passage seemed to imply that the ghost wanted to be released. Nothing outrageous happened, and so we went downstairs to the gift store to look at a book about the history of the Inn. While I was sitting in a chair reading up on the history, Sherry pointed out a small chandelier on a table behind me which had glass pieces which were swaying back and forth. There were no windows open, no fan, and none of us were moving and shaking the floor. We watched as the glass pieces of this small stationary chandelier continued to move. Was it possible that the ghost from Room Nine finally was making its presence felt? We can only wonder.

Then we went off on an antique shopping jaunt, and we found an adorable store in Thornville, Ohio called the "White Cottage" which had amazingly low prices, lots of fabulous antiques and an eclectic collection of handmade Halloween items. Their pamphlet states, "We carry an eclectic & ever changing collection of new & vintage cottage style furnishings for home and garden." Apparently people drive from all over Ohio to this small town to shop for the unusual vintage and hand-created items here. We walked out with two large shopping bags of great gifts for others....my favorite being the pumpkin cornbread handmade candles. Ok--I admit it---I saved one for our home. The smell is divine, and if you're on a weight-loss plan, it's probably wise not to burn these candles.

I love the quote by Ed Hays on the brochure which read, "When we lack the proper time for the simple pleasures of life--then we have missed the purpose of life." Today none of our group missed out, as we enjoyed the simple pleasures of laughter, exploration, friendship, food and wonderment.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

 

Riverboat Gambling and Poker

It wouldn't take much stretching the imagination to visualize Bob's family as a group of gamblers on the gambling riverboats in the America of yore. If Cosmic Central Casting were casting, they would surely choose every one of his family to play a part. Even before poker became trendy, Bob's family were dedicated poker players with family gatherings around the dining room table several times a week if not more. These poker parties aren't big buck events: just quarter poker. And when the family members take vacations, they invariably choose Las Vegas, Atlantic City and/or a riverboat casino.

We just returned from our two day gambling jaunt to the gambling riverboat Argosy Casino and Hotel in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Although this casino probably isn't as colorful, wild and crazy as it no doubt was back in the day, this casino still packs them in--we were there mid-week, and the four-level riverboat casino was jamming. This casino isn't shabby or run-down...it looks a smidge less glamorous than their more outrageous Vegas and Atlantic City sisters. The slots are fairly loose, and the pay-outs happen frequently. Of our six-member group, every one of us hit four aces on the slot machines at least once! However, only one of us came away with sizeable winnings: lucky Susie. That's what I call her because she's got a lucky charm woven into her fiber. When I begin gambling, I always exchange money with her first thing to ensure that I win, and this act on my part always pays off. Being the sweetie-pie that she is, I can't think of any one more deserving to win. If there was a contest for the person the whole family would vote to win a lottery, casino gambling, dining-room-table poke or whatever, I'm sure Susie would be the hands-down favorite.

Now don't think me too nutso or woo-woo, but having read that people reincarnate in groups, I feel that this family once was a part of a gambling world. If you could see them and know them as I do, you might understand. Gambling is so 'thick' an energy flow with them that it's really not hard at all to imagine them playing the parts of gambling characters on a riverboat. In my minds-eye, I see them in period costume, fleshed-out and in vivid color. Was I one of their group I ask myself? Can I see myself there on a riverboat paddlewheel with a Maverick-styled cast of characters? Yes and no.

Yes in the sense that I too have a fondness for rivers, excitement and drama. No in the sense that I've never been a gambler, don't know very much at all about poker, and can barely sustain myself at a table without an infusion of quarters from a charitable poker player. The names rattle my brain: Seven Card Stud, Follow The Queen, High Queen in the Hole, and various wild card games, Low Card in the Hole Wild, Baseball. Each game has it's own complicated play which baffles me, and to say I'm lost sitting at one of these family poker parties when the Dealer's Choice is called out is understating it. I feel like the biggest dummie of all time.

After returning from this gambling excursion, what does this family want to do? Why gamble of course! So another poker game ensued, and I'm given a bunch of quarters to participate in this family ritual. To my surprise, I ended up winning a bunch of games and quarters. It's what you call Dumb Luck. I've always been lucky that way. Grace and angels are in my pockets and hang with me, and even though I've not won a lottery yet, I am blessed with 'wins' and blessings every day of my life.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

 

Waking-Up When You Want

Everyone has their own definition of luxury or luxuries. For some it may be a fine cigar, an expensive, rare bottle of champagne or a private jet. For me, it is waking-up in the morning whenever I finally awake. This awakening from sleep without a time-restraint is the rarest of luxuries for me. Most Mothers would agree with me. Once you become a Mother, waking up whenever you please goes bye-bye. Even for others, there are reasons why they have to awaken at a certain time: jobs to get ready for, things they HAVE TO DO, priorities, obligations and such.

Today I experienced a rare luxury for me. I slept in very late---really late for me! My normal required awakening is 6'ish in the morning. I awoke at 10:30 AM ON MY OWN....no alarm clock, no place I had to go, nobody telling me to hurry up, no obligations and places I had to be, nobody asking anything of me or needing me. I have truly experienced the luxury of awakening to my own rhythm today! I feel incredibly blessed! And it feels SO GOOD! I could get used to this luxury!

Vacation for me began today! I even declined going-out with my charming hostess for I am going to savor this rare feeling of doing nothing---well, almost nothing. I will blog because blogging brings me great joy. I will get down on the floor and wrestle with the two Corgi house dogs and commune with the alien cat. I will open a new book and read under a shady tree in an Adironack chair and soak in the Indian Summer. I will loaf, be self-indulgent, jacuzzi under the stars tonight, laugh a lot and daydream. I will refuse to rush. Oh, how I love vacations and awakening on my own time schedule! When I awaken on my own, the day begins with a treat. These days are the rarest of the rare luxuries for me. This may be the ONLY day I will get to experience a TRUE vacation of my three weeks away from home, and I am going to appreciate every second of this extraordinary luxury.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

 

Fashion Show Assistant

Having modeled in my twenties and done the catwalk many a time back in the day, I am comfortable with fashion shows and know very well the frantic, frenzied vibe that goes on behind the scenes. Today I participated once again in a fashion show as an assistant to Bob's niece Sherry who was putting on a fashion show for a charity in Ohio where we are visiting.

Like most fashion co-ordinators, she was frazzled, but she had a legitimate excuse. She has been travelling the U.S. this past month on buying trips for her boutique, plus she journeyed with us to Lily Dale and Niagra Falls, Canada-- and then she had enough energy to throw the huge birthday bash at her home yesterday evening. The person Sherry had delegated to organize the show hadn't put the names of the models on the different garments which were to be shown, so in the last hour, Sherry was desperately attempting to get organized. I did my best to help her out, calm her down, and contribute so the show would go off without a hitch. Which it did.

Sherry is a pro, and once she got her hand wrapped around the microphone, her natural showmanship came to the fore, and she was making jokes and preaching her fashion philosophy. She spoke of how all woman aren't the skinny children portrayed in the fashion magazines-- but woman are beings with curves, breasts and butts. The audience ate up her impassioned spiel, and why not?! She spoke the truth! She had models of all sizes, ages and looks modeling for her fashion show which made for a more interesting show in my opinion.

As I was surveying the outfits for the fashion show today (very glamorous and VERY expensive clothes and accessories), I had mixed feelings. Yes, I love the seasons, and I sometimes miss clothes that go with different seasons--living on Maui in the tropics as I do. I love wearing sweaters, boots, scarves and coats. On the other hand, I have become so accustomed to wearing next-to-nothing bikinis, going barefoot or slipping on a pair of sandals and a funky outfit, I don't know if I could return full-time to the World of Clothes. If I had a choice, which one would I choose? Can I have them both? I guess that's why we often travel in the autumn and winter so we can once again experience what it's like to enter the World of Clothes!

Friday, September 15, 2006

 

Covering Lots of Territory

Since my last posting, we have travelled from San Antonio back to Austin, Texas to Chicago to Columbus, Ohio to Lily Dale, New York to Niagra Falls, Canada and back again to Columbus. I am weary from being on-the-go, even though I have relished all the wonderful people and adventures. I am hoping to have a couple of days of staying-put to recuperate before heading out again for more travel. Today all the missing items that were misplaced in various bags have been found, and for the first time in a week, I am beginning to feel somewhat organized.

Last evening we were in Niagra Falls, Canada, and our table at the Waterfront Restaurant at the top of the Hilton faced both the American and Canadian Falls. The stunning falls shifted into rainbow misty colors with the lighting set-up. This view was breathtaking and beautiful--the dinner companions were fun and lively---the conversations were hilarious--the cuisine was fabulous. Life is good. While having desert, Bob phoned to say he had won a large gamble at the neighboring casino.

On our travels northwards, we made a small detour to visit a ranch in Ohio owned by an extraordinary young woman named Beth Crose who is an alternative and complementary equine therapist. Her company is called Collective Energy Therapies. Her darling filly Shaylee (in Gaelic "Fairy Princess of the Field") had recently suffered an accident which had left a gaping hole in its chest. Since Beth works with alternative healing methods, she was working to heal this wound, and Bob and I participated with our healing energies as well. Later on the road we received a phone call from Beth to say that after our visit, Shaylee was healing at a remarkable pace which made our hearts sing to hear this news.

I have a lot to report about Lily Dale, the home of many famous mediums and our adventures there, but I will have to put that into another posting as the big birthday party downstairs in the home we're staying continues....and my presence is being called for!

Monday, September 11, 2006

 

Why Steve Irwin Did It

I understand others that push the envelope. Steve Irwin was a kindred spirit, and I understand why he did a lot of what others might consider daring and crazy. No, I'm not a crocodile wrestler, sky-diver or adrenaline junkie. I'm a person who asks: "is this all there is? I thought it would be bigger, better, larger, and er....more!" When I visisted the Great Pyramid in Egypt, I clearly recall thinking "It doesn't look so big at all!" The same thoughts have gone through my mind (and sometimes expressed to others) about other great artifacts, temples, and icons. I have tempered my disappointment in size and "more-ness", but I still ask myself the same question quite often: "is this/that all there is?"

When you have my kind of temperament, you wanna push the envelope to make something "more" happen, or you want to re-design it so it's even more outrageous, appealing, better and BIGGER! Were I a tough guy, who knows what I would do and what kind of risks I would take. However, I'm a woman and am designed with a strange blend of 'chicken-shit' & one who wants 'more'. This results in an inner conflict. Some of the stupidest things I've done was because of this compulsion to make something 'more' happen or to experience the 'edge'. That I'm still alive is a miracle. It's my 'chicken-shit' side that usually talks me out of things that are dangerous and foolhardy, and tells me to keep my mouth shut and re-think whatever I am considering.

Which brings me to today and the famous San Antonio Riverwalk of which I have heard so much. Yes, I expected more! I asked my famous question once again: "is this all there is?" Why was the river water stagnant and not moving? If I had my druthers, I would have liked to have seen moving water, some festive gondolas or something of that sort plying the river, more charming shops mixed amongst the bars and restaurants, and an attractively designed short wall to keep drunks from slipping and falling into the murky, dirty river water. Do drunks fall into this water often? I really don't know, but I imagine it could happen with all the bars and restaurants serving alcohol along the Riverwalk. Who fishes out these drunks-- maybe someone who has a hero/heroine inside of them looking for more?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

 

Survived Austin with a Victory To Boot

Last night the football team of Ohio State University whooped the team of UT with a score of 24-7, and so now our vacation can truly begin in my estimation. With the electric energy leading up to this much-hyped college football game, my nerves have been on edge. Austin was a fun and funky town--our hosts were hospitable, charming and fun--and all-in-all, Austin was good to Bob and me although it wouldn't be my choice of a place to reside.

Today Bob and I drove to San Antonio after a fabulous Mexican brunch at a famous upscale Mexican restaurant with our hosts. On the way to San Antonio, we had been advised to stop at a huge Outlet Mall near San Marcos, supposedly one of the largest in the country. Everything in Texas comes super-size, so this Outlet Mall was no exception. We walked and shopped most of it with the temperature ranging around 93 degrees. It was worth it going into stores just to get out of the heat. The "deals" weren't all that great really, certainly not after you've been to Bangkok, India or Bali. But hey, we had to see what all the fuss was about.

Tomorrow we head over to check-out the Alamo and the Riverwalk...we'll see if these famous places live up to their histories and reputations. I'm the kind of person that often sees with a different perspective. It'll be interesting to experience first-hand what others rave about.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

 

Tonight Is The College Football Game of the Year

In about two hours the hottest contested college football game of the season begins with the Number One ranked team, Ohio State University and the Number Two ranked team, the University of Texas. This collge football game has Austin in an uproar, and over the last three days we have watched the football frenzy grow with more and more Red Shirts or scarlet and grey shirts appearing everywhere...from fancy Italian restaurants to the streets to the stores to the funky Mexican establishments. Go Bucks is shouted everywhere we go it seems, and one of the loudest shouters is my crazed partner Bob. He can't seem to stop hollering this phrase.

Bob called just a bit ago from the Erwin Center where the Buckeyes are hanging together before the game. He had his photo taken with the famous Archie Griffin (sp?) and Archie signed his brand new lucky OSU cap gifted to Bob by our hosts. This is as close to Heaven as Bob will probably get in this lifetime UNLESS the OSU team wins the game tonight. If they win, I'm sure I will see Bob levitating!

Our hosts are taken us to the home of a famous Austin news caster for a football party, natch!
On the advice of a wise commenter, I am wearing turquoise and remaining neutral---in truth, this is how I feel. I trust that God knows the best outcome.



Friday, September 08, 2006

 

What is Scarlet, Grey and Nuts?

If you answered a Buckeye Football Fan, you would be right! My partner and I are here in Austin, Texas where the pre-game fever is running high! Tomorrow will be the showdown between the college teams of Ohio State University and University of Texas. Depending upon whom you listen to, either team is favored to win. Lots of monies are being bet on this game...this is THE game of the season! Last year Texas beat OSU at Columbus, and this year the Buckeyes want revenge. With the upcoming game tomorrow, Austin is even more of a party town (so I hear from the locals) than normal...which is saying a lot since Austin is known as Party Central. The only time I have felt this kind of energy is before a heavy weight boxing match in Las Vegas.

Looking through their local tabloid papers, it seems that every other ad is for a music venue, club or bar. I've never been to a city where music and booze are so intertwined. I know University of Colorado at Boulder has it's own reputation as a party school, but it can't come close to the party scene here in Austin. We'll be leaving right after the game, so we'll miss the big outdoor concert scheduled in mid-September. I really don't care, because the event will surely be one huge Drunk-On!

We walked around downtown Austin yesterday to get a feel for it-- something you have to do to scope out the locals and chat them up. We prefer this way of getting the feel of a city rather than driving. We met friendly and helpful people, and of course, the topic was The Game on Saturday between Ohio State University and Texas. Since my mate is an OSU Buckeye, he was a happy camper! He is super excited about the game. We even went to the highest building we could find to take photos of the stadium. He didn't want to wait to see the stadium game day. Does that give you a clue about "scarlet, gray & nuts?"

We showed up in Austin earlier than the other Red Shirts, and so Bob (wearing his red Buckeye shirt) got a lot of attention as he was the early-bird. Now there are Red Shirts everywhere. Since I graduated from college in Texas, I had to buy a burnt-orange cap (the Texas color) and t-shirt for a bit of balance at the Co-op near the UT campus. Not that I care about football, really! Football is barbaric to me, and I never cared for it. I only liked the sexy football players growing up, and thus I dated them. One of my old football player boyfriends who was HUGE (a fullback) used to take me in one hand and spin me around and around above his head. That was fun for me, and I didn't even get dizzy. Go figure!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

 

Sunday At The Beach....after The Big Fire


The biggest brush fire ever to happen on Maui is still blazing even though the road has been re-opened it was reported today by the Maui News. Read here for the full story about the fire which affected so many tourists, businesses and locals on Maui. I wrote about this fire in my last post, and in the previous post to that about the danger of having only one road to and from East and West Maui. Everyone gawked at the fire during the evening for it looked eerie....resembling lava flowing down a mountain. Below is what the hillside looks like from Kam One Beach today....totally charred.



Today was beach-day, and it was back to the sights of a Sunday at the beach with a happy dog furiously digging a hole a minute in the sand.



A cherished child gets tucked into a sandy bed by a loving father at the beach.

And so it is--the excitement has dwindled, and the routines resume... and it's back to the familiar sights and sounds of life on the Paradise Island of Maui... except for one stark statement of an enormous blackened hillside. Will this fire provoke the impetus to build another road?

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Friday, September 01, 2006

 

Fire On The Pali

Yesterday I posted about changes that needed to be made on Maui, and number FIVE on my list was an alternative route to and from West Maui. Well, today traffic going into West Maui is being turned around once again because of a fire on the Pali. At this point, the fire is threatening to cross the road, and this is why those who commute to and from Lahaina and other western parts of Maui are being given an early Labor Day Holiday!

With only one road leading to and from West Maui, those that need to return home, go to work, or deliver goods are stranded on the opposite side. This single route is why another route desperately needs to be constructed. The Maui 'wheel' of progress grinds very slowly, and only now are we beginning to see the glimmer of another highway, Mokulele Highway, which is being widened to four lanes and made higher by twelve feet near Kealia Pond because this area is prone to flooding.

Many who read this blog were incredulous that there was such a need for employees here on Maui. After all, isn't Maui the Paradise that many daydream of moving to, and if need be, find a job to support themselves? This article in the Maui News speaks to this problem as there is a lack of poll workers to help out with the upcoming polls.

As disheartening as it is to hear of trouble in Paradise, maybe my reporting of the reality of island living will make others feel less envious. People everywhere are dealing with challenges and demanding overdue changes...some of of us are merely in different boats.

Mahalo Nui Loa and a Shout Out to all my Blog Jolt & Thursday Thirteen friends. You made yesterday very special for me!

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