Monday, February 27, 2012


We just got back on Saturday from a week in HAWAII!  

It had started as a week in New Zealand, where Hubby's going for the next week, then it looked like a week in Sydney, where Hubby's going for the week after his week in New Zealand, then reality finally struck us full in the face and we realized a week on the other side of the planet really means three or more days getting there and back, a couple days of jetlag, and actually only a day or two to enjoy New Zealand, or Sydney.  So Hubby had the brilliant idea of all of us going to Hawaii, then he'd go on to New Zealand and the girls and I would come home.

We had a marvelous time!  We relaxed!  We enjoyed ourselves in a wide variety of ways!  I'm going to make a list:

snorkled (twice)
beached (twice)
ate out (twice, once at Bubba Gump's and once at a luau, and once at Denny's which doesn't actually count)
slept late (a lot)
stayed up late (a lot)
got up early (once)
drove (a lot)
read (a lot)
paddled kayaks
boogie boarded
swam in the ocean
swam in the pool
got a Sharpie tattoo of a turtle (one of us did, anyway)
made fish out of palm leaves
learned and forgot some Hawaiian words
ate poi (yuck)
ate a bunch of other foods on the luau buffet

We saw
Sea turtles resting on the beach (4 different turtles, 2 different beaches)
black sand
white sand
blue water
black volcanic rocks (more of that than I thought ever possible)
glow from a volcano (OOOH SOO COOL!)
2 different vacation rental homes
palm trees
verdant green stretches of hillside
the Captain Cook monument
swimming sea turtles (I didn't see them, though)
TONS of different kinds of fish
an eel
dancing natives

It was a wonderful trip, we had a great time.  I think, however, if we're going back to the islands, we'll probably choose Maui or Kauai over the big island.  There was just too much black volcanic rock.  Maybe if we'd stayed on the north side, my opinion would be different. But we stayed on the south west side, where there is black volcanic rock, and more rock, and more rock.  And over there some more black volcanic rock.  Sitting on top of a bed of black volcanic rock.  Surrounded by a wall of black volcanic rock.  In front of an entire landscape of black volcanic rock.
There may be more pictures later, because I did get some good ones.  But until then, here are a couple that I emailed to myself.

That is volcano glow behind the girls!

The most beautiful beach, which was a 30 minute hike over, you guessed it... volcanic rock!

Notice the very black sand beach on which the turtle rests.
all right that's enough for one night.

Monday, February 6, 2012

What is the good angle of a bathroom, anyway?

The cabinet is getting installed today.
I've gone back and forth with the granite guy, they need six pages of signed forms and agreements, and then a separate contract, with diagrams of where the faucet will go, model numbers for the sink basin and faucet, and assurances that anything not already specified in said contract will be an additional cost.  He's having trouble attaching files to an email, so he sends faxes, which I receive as an email.  I don't fax because of our phone line being a cell phone line, so I print everything out, sign it, and then had to learn how to make my new Christmas gift printer send scans back to the computer.  It's been a really busy day in which I actually accomplished nearly nothing.  But there's a cadre of workmen in my basement, hopefully accomplishing a lot.  Not the granite, mind you... this is all prep for the granite.

When it's all done, I hope to have some photos like you would put in a magazine.  In the mean time, I have shots like this:

 Hopefully the glamor shots will come later.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

More remodeling dust

The remodel of the house continues, with day to day dramas that are wildly important that day, but sort of get washed over with the next day's drama.

We got a bid back on the greener of the two pieces of granite, never heard about the other one.  It was high but reasonably so.  Fine.  We proceed and meet with someone at the tile store to get some help narrowing down our options.  I choose, I buy tile, the installers come and tile the floor.

I get a phone call from the granite guy, apparently that particular piece of granite was sold a year ago, the boss just forgot to mark it.  He can't sell it to me.  For crying out loud they're already cementing the matching tile to my bathroom wall!!!
I frantically drive down the mountain to look at more bone yards.  I don't find much, whatever good stuff I find is, again, already sold.  I can't decide if the greener granite guy was lying to me (did someone come in with a check in hand saying I'll pay you right now?!?)  I decide to call him the next morning to see if the other piece he had, the Sequoia, is available.  
I call and he says he'll give me a bid on that, and there is another piece of Victoria Regia (the green one) available but the finish is different.
I drive ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE VALLEY to look.  The Victoria Regia is horrible, all gray and scratched, you can't see the colors at all. Yuck.
He says he'll give me the Sequoia for the same price as he quoted me on the nice Victoria Regia, even though their cost for it is three times as much.  Again, I don't know if he's blowing smoke or not but he assures me the Sequoia is more of a showpiece granite, and a really nice piece.  It is nice, it matches my accent tile really well, and even has a little green vein running through it I hadn't noticed before.
I take it.
The tile guys had to stop because now we're waiting for the cabinet, and then the granite countertop will go on top of that, and then the tile guys can finish.  So far it's gorgeous, I'm really pleased.  I'll have to take pictures.  
The new windows should come tomorrow, the tile guys will continue tiling the shower area but then they'll have to stop.  The contractor wants to paint tomorrow, I haven't picked a color yet. The cabinet comes Monday, the granite template and installation will be after that, the shower floor material will be ready on Wednesday.  The doors should come the end of next week or beginning of the next.
But tonight I'm just happy the kids are in bed and the kitchen is kind of clean.  I haven't started on taxes and the calendar I usually make my mom and family for Christmas is nearly done.  I've changed it, it's going to be a March to March calendar.

I'm sure there were other, more significant things I should be writing about, but I can't remember them.  It's all lost in the remodeling drama. 

Oh, and the drama that we leave on the 16th for AUSTRALIA!! hehehehe