Friday, April 29, 2011

A Day in the Life of Kathryn

Kathryn at home
I have this friend, Kathryn, who somehow lucked out and landed in Hawaii after college, and stayed there. She's lived on Oahu and the big island of Hawaii at different points in her life since then (1984), and now lives back on Oahu on the north side of the island. She's a teacher, and has devoted her life to patiently teaching English to non-English-speaking kids to help them get through our education system. What's great about Kathryn and her teaching is that when a bunch of kids want to do the can-can during recess--kicking in unison with their shoes off--instead of normal playground games (to the chagrin of the principal who would prefer the shoes stay on), she doesn't make them stop. That's Kathryn. She appreciates the uniqueness of her kids--not only her students, but also her own two offspring, handsome Pepe (18) and lovely Vika (16). 

So my brother Rick signs a contract to complete a six-month stint in American Samoa to work in their government's legal system. I wanted to visit him, and noticed that in order to fly to American Samoa, you first must make a pit-stop in Hawaii. Darn those pit-stops. Hawaii it was, then, and when I wrote Kathryn to see if she'd have time to meet up with me, we ended up making plans for her to 1) pick me up at the airport; 2) take me all over Oahu; 3) let me stay at her house with her two kids, four dogs, and two cats (and a really big spider, but that comes later); 4) take me back to the airport for me to get to Samoa; 5) pick me back up again when I return from Samoa, at 5:30 a.m.; 6) bring me back to the airport to fly home to Arizona; and 7) feed me the entire time. Nice friend, eh? Can't do much better than that.

View from Kathryn's back deck, overlooking the ocean

K picked me up, and we started on a three-day mix of relaxation, sight-seeing, meeting her friends, and generally doing exactly what I wanted to do--see how my friend Kathryn lives and how she's doing here in Hawaii.

Her new slightly used Mercedes, a treat to herself, got in a few miles with K taking me all around the island, from Diamond Head to the beach along the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge. Her house was a delight, up on a hill overlooking the ocean. Windows are open almost all the time, and the constant breeze kept me cool. Due to having four dogs that tend to stake themselves out a spot in the living room, that's where K slept, giving me her bedroom.

Dogs staked out in the living room;
me eating breakfast
                  So let's introduce the dogs:




And the big guy
whose name I could never

Two left feet! Our pedicures.
So what all did we do? Mostly, the whole visit with Kathryn was eye candy. Mountains, steeply rising from the ocean. Oh, the ocean, too. Ahh. We visited a few shops I wanted to see--first of all, a yarn shop that is owned by the sister of the lady who owns the yarn shop in my little town. Then, a bead store. The bead store just so happened to be kitty-corner from the Honolulu Goodwill. Let me tell you, that is one great Goodwill. In between the bead store and the Goodwill was a lovely nail salon, and Kathryn and I stopped in for a manicure and pedicure (my first, and now I'm hooked).

Manicure with painted flower, LOVE IT.

  I spent an inordinate amount of time on K's bed. Check out this bedroom and you'll see why:
The breezes, the fresh tropical air!
Note the cat on the bed...and the
sparkly things dangling from the windows.
Her dresser is one decked out after my own heart, a bunch of crap all over the place, and I loved it:

OK, the spider. My last night there, Kathryn is nosing around the bedroom, doing whatever, and I hear this "Trach, you gotta come here and see this." Well, my immediate response was "it's gotta be some big bug, no way." It was. I peered around the doorframe (not coming into the room if at all possible), and could see the creature in the photo below on the wall BEHIND WHERE MY HEAD WOULD BE WHEN I SLEEP:

Note the hand in relation to the spider, they're about
 Geezy Pete. K thought I'd be interested in the thing because I'm some sort of biologist (whatever), but nope, not so. You can see we ("we." I can hear Kathryn laughing. Not "we"; it should read: Kathryn) eventually captured it, but not that first time. Chaos ensued for a bit while Pepe and Kathryn, with me cheering them on, tried to get it, but it creeped away to somewhere BEHIND THE BED.

I then figured that I would really dearly love to sleep in the living room with the dogs instead of ON THAT BED. Why should I keep taking Kathryn's bed away from her? Generous me would gladly give it up. As luck would have it, about 45 minutes later, K finds it again, we box it up, take a picture, and SHE LET IT GO IN HER YARD. Spooky. I slept in the bed pretty soundly that night, though.

Well, I don't want the last picture in this entry to be of a huge spider, so here are some last photos from Oahu that will remind you that all is not creepy crawly:

I don't remember exactly where this was, but it's Oahu and lovely

Better view of the ocean from K's yard. There it is.

View from a trail above K's house;
her house is down on the left hidden by her yard's trees.

The mountains on Oahu. You see this just about everywhere.

Walking the beach near J. Campbell N. Wildlife Refuge.
Old cemetary. K is walking with Lealani, a neighbor and good friend.

Smucks and Marley showing off their easy life.



Welcome to my Blog

Lapis/Malachite/Sugalite Set: For Sale!
Hello, thank you for visiting. This is my very first entry, and it's going to be short. I mostly want to introduce myself and let you know what sorts of things I'll be blogging about. I am a wildlife biologist by trade, with primary interests in birds and forest management. I also have worked with tortoises and turtles, which are pretty cool critters too.

Crocheted Elephant Baby Bib

In my free time, I knit, crochet, and create beaded jewelry. At times I'll post some of my creations, pattern ideas, craft book reviews, and other sundry things related to my crafts.

I am happily married to a wonderful man, who right now is outside constructing raised garden beds for our first attempt at vegetable gardening. I'll keep you posted on how we're doing with that adventure.

I have a Corgi-mix mutt named Carly, and she goes almost everywhere with me. We walk every morning and try to get out in the afternoons too. She thinks she runs the house, and perhaps she does. Many people have told us that in their next life, they want to come back as one of our dogs. She likes sticks, but not any old stick. It has to be the right size.

I live in eastern Arizona, in the mountains. We get all four seasons, including snow and beautiful fall aspen leaf color changes. We have creeks and rivers, and basically anything you wouldn't suspect exists in Arizona if you've either never visited here or only visited areas in the desert like Phoenix or Tucson. So, I will occasionally post stories of our outdoor adventures and of great places we visited right around our home.

Traveling, too, is something I love to do but don't do as much as I'd like. When I go somewhere pretty cool, I'll let you know. I also read alot on my Kindle, and will pass along some good reads.

Thanks for visiting, and hope to keep you interested enough to return!