Monday, November 25, 2013

Making a Change

Recently, I started getting a vibe from the owner of the shop where I work, a "things aren't quite right" type of vibe.  The manager of the Ka'anapali shop also started seeming more distant, and occasionally openly discouraging. I suggested some changes, modernization type things, to processes that would make the shops run more efficiently and better enhance the flow of information from the owner downward. "Leave her alone and let her run her own business," she told me. "She doesn't need your help."

I sensed my time with the galleries might be a bit shorter than I would hope. When the owner presented me with a spreadsheet showing my average sales per shift, and another with numbers I would be expected to hit, unachievable numbers based on the shifts I'm allowed to work, the writing on the wall became clearer. I needed a new job soon.

Luckily for me, a new outlet mall opens next month. This means that dozens of retail shops are hiring. People leave their current jobs for new opportunities, opening up even more positions I might be able to land in. I had The Hubby polish up the resume, I fired up craigslist, and I started applying for jobs.

I started receiving calls within an hour! It seemed I no sooner had hit submit on the final app I intended to complete that day than my phone rang from that very company. By noon the next morning, I fielded four phone calls and agreed to three interviews. I would need only one.

On the morning of my birthday, I piloted the Jeep over to the Cannery Mall for an interview at a small table outside the Starbucks. Being dressed appropriately, a small step above business casual, I found myself surprised when I shook the hand of a kid nearly half my age clad in board shorts, a striped t-shirt, and a newsie hat. I suppose I hid my surprise well as the interview seemed to end favorably.

Two days later, I accepted an offer from the kid - probably shouldn't call him that since he's my boss, but he really is young enough I could be his mother - I interviewed with and scheduled my orientation. I cancelled all of the other interviews I had scheduled. This job feels right. I told The Hubby I'd be working at The Gap and he mentioned an article he had read just the day before citing The Gap as being 9th on a list of ten best companies to work for.

I carpooled with the GM and one of his assistant managers to orientation, held at the Old Navy store on the other side of the island. I was quite thankful for the car ride. Orientation started at 8am and the earliest I could get there by bus would be 8:15. Bus? Yes, bus. The Jeep was out of commission that day.

Both the carpool - well, more like the conversations had during the drive - and orientation reinforced my feelings about taking the new job. I believe I will really enjoy working for The Kid, and for the company. I'm excited.

At orientation, I learned I would need to be 100% available during the week prior to the mall opening. Holding a Grand Opening on Dec 6 means a ton of work needs completed and the entire staff needs to be available for set up every day. They need so much help that week that even The Hubby will be working for them for a week!

The availability issue left me with choices that needed to be made. In the end, I decided that trying to juggle my schedule at the gallery to enable me to work what is needed at The Gap, and then trying to juggle two jobs on a longer term basis, would simply be too difficult for me. I tendered my resignation upon arriving at the gallery this morning.

I parted ways with the gallery on amicable terms - both sides knew the fit wasn't there - and they asked me to not work my remaining shifts this week so, in a sense, I'm unemployed for a week. Just a little tweak to my Maui adventure, one that might find me riding in The Jeep to Hana later this week!

After that, time to get knee deep in cargo shorts and polo shirts :)


Saturday, October 12, 2013

2 Days of Reunion

Let the emotional rollercoaster begin.

Yesterday morning I set out to catch a series of buses to Kahului where I would be renting the biggest possible SUV Avis would rent me, and then pick up the dogs at the Hawaii Dept of Agriculture.

As I headed out my neighbor offered me a ride. So I was pretty early for the whole process.

Brian, my direct-release agent between the DOA, our new vet, and myself, showed up early too. We did all of the paper work ahead of time so that as soon as he checked the dogs in all I needed to do was sign a paper.

The dogs showed up on one of those luggage cars, curtain drawn shut. The TSA agent drew back the curtain and first revealed the boys crate, him inside quivering. I called out to him and fear became excitement. They had to bring him in inside the carrier. Then she drew back the curtain the rest of the way to reveal a very calm cool and collected blind dog. I called out her name and her head popped up like she thought "Mom, holy shit I thought you are dead!" And the tail wagging began. They repeated the process of moving crated dog into the building.

The TSA agent left and the vet agent opened Lexi's crate first, he inspected her general health and sent me out with her on the leash to let her relieve herself and stretch her legs. Repeat procedure with Ricky. But when we were opening his the water bowl splashed all over us.

Both dogs checked out quickly. I loaded the dogs in the SUV, then We managed to get the crates in the SUV and we headed home. The pups were very happy to be with me again, the remains of the day consisted of many puppy kisses.

I needed to get to sleep early but I was entirely too anxious for this morning to come.

I woke up at 5am and shortly after headed to Kahului again. I returned the SUV and took a shuttle to the airport baggage claim zone. I had about an hour to wait around. I paced the airport.

I got texted from The Hubby while he awaited his connection in Honolulu. Before I knew it he was on Maui. I stood up high on a ledge where I could see over people and obstacles...

As soon as I had him in my sight, I jumped down, I took about 3 steps which quickly turned into a sprint. I couldn't wait to have him back.

<skipping the mushy stuff>

We grabbed his luggage and headed to get something to drink  while we waited at the bus stop.

We had nearly an hour of waiting for a bus. No big deal, we were just happy to be together.

Three bus rides and 2 blocks of walking, with wheel-less luggage, later, we were home. You could see the joy in the pups body language to have us all back together again.

We tried to nap. Fail. So we took a walk with the dogs to get some lunch at No. 1 BBQ.

Then when we got back it was for sure nap time.

After our nap, we walked with out the dogs to the bike shop, looked for a bike for The Hubby, didn't buy yet. Then on to grab a Monster Energy Drink and along Front Street to look for new slippahs for him. We found some at the Billabong shop.

We headed home to feed the pups and chill a bit before finding food for ourselves. We went to a local smokehouse for kalua pig. It was OK.

A quick trip to ACE for batteries and hangers before coming home to chill out some more before bed time.

Tomorrow's a new day.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

2 days, 10 hours, 25 minutes *SCREAM!*

I can hardly contain my anticipation.

I think I am getting on my coworkers nerves. We started rubbing each other the wrong way today, nearly bumping heads. Hopefully when the dust settles and my family is reunited my vibes will be a little less defensive.

I am not going to get into the pettiness that is lingering in the gallery lately. But thankfully today was my friday and I have 4 days off in a row.

I actually cracked a beer today. I was holding out, I was saving them for the Hubby. I had to have one, afterall theres no Xanax is my reach :)

My new hand painted Bike Bell came today.
Cool huh!

Oh, the computer came yesterday! I am very glad to be typing this on a real computer.
I set it up in the window shelf in the bedroom, with a plastic crappy patio chair that is very uncomfortable but it will do until I get my desk chair I guess. Better than laying on the bed trying to type on the tablet.

Tomorrow I get everything ready. Aside from housework, I've got to call the vet and go over the info on what to do friday morning when it is time to pick up my pooches.

I'm gonna finish this beer and watch some Supernatural and then go to sleep!


Monday, October 7, 2013

T Minus 4 days, 8 hours, 51 minutes

I'm getting very tired of writing posts with the tablet.

I'm also very distracted and because it's annoying I can easily forget to do it.

I should have the computer any day now. Hoping for tomorrow. It is at the post office, I believe, awaiting me to pick it up.

Anyway, yesterday was an artful day. So you won't hear much about it here, and I'm not ready to show what I made yet so there's nothing new on TripleC.

Today I worked in the Lahaina gallery. I worked the manager shift and I get along really well with the gal who worked commission. She was on cloud 9 all day because she just became a first time grandmother last night. She could hardly contain her joy. I was not far behind her... I'm so eager for this week to be over, as with the last 3 months, I just want my ohana to be together again.

I'm working the next 2 days. I have Thursday off to prep for Friday and Saturday, which of course I have those days of too, for collecting of my ohana.

I'll try keep up here, the best I can!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

T Minus 5 days, 20 hours, 36 minutes

Well yesterday was interesting.

I didn't get scorned for switching the koa wood display.

But it seemed like the boss lady decided to write me a list of things not to do, and she recited them to me. Jesus F Christ!

Apparently I left the computer on the night before. Therefore Pandora was still playing. I listen to the Jack Johnson channel, and she doesn't like JJ, so doesn't want me to play it. I'll just have to remember to turn off the computer and cover my tracks, coz that's about as easy going as I get, musically speaking.

I looked up something for a visitor on the web, apparently she saw that in the history and didn't like it. Told me the gallery owner would fire me. I told her she needed to watch Miracle on 34th street.

And there was a handful of other stupid things. Closed minds are the worst. Oh well.

I had few sales for myself. I was eager to get to today... A day off.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

T Minus 6 days, 20 hours, 37 minutes : but whose counting

Yesterday morning I was just taking it easy with my day before heading to work. I had no particular plans.

Then I got a text message from the boss lady who wanted me to come in a bit early.

In the mean time I was watching twitter feed new posts pretty frequently of The Hubby trying to wedge the jeep into the shipping containment. That was nuts! I will get to watch him unload it in a few weeks.

I was thinking about how it would be a long day at work... But the AC in the gallery is quirky and has condensation leaks in a few places in the gallery. One of those places is over a koa woodwork display, and the boss lady put a vase where most of the drippage occurs to catch it. Yesterday someone picked up the vase to see its price and spilled the water all over many koa pieces... The good news is she bought the vase.

While cleaning up the water I saw where some of the pieces were getting ruined by the water. I took it upon myself to switch the koa display with a pottery display. At least pottery is naturally water proof. I'll probably get hell for taking liberty like that, but I bet the owner will appreciate my actions.

So that process, which also involved cleaning the shelves, took up over half of the shift.

Sales weren't bad but weren't good either. It is like working for tips, you can't expect or count on them.

When I got home my neighbor was outside. I talked to her for a few minutes and then I decided to ask her if she had a table lamp I could borrow. Turns out the last resident of this condo asked her the same thing and so she let me use the same lamp. How funny is that. So I have light in my bedroom again. It has a 60 watt bulb in it, brighter than I'm used to for bedside light.

Having light last night didn't do much for me. I got home at 10pm and just went to bed. But tomorrow on my day off, I'll be glad to have it if I'm being artful into the evening hours.


Friday, October 4, 2013

T Minus 7!

Last night when I got off work my brain was mush! We were busy all day, I barely had time to drink my coffee, I drank very little water, took no lunch break, and only 1 shi shi break.

I had two return customers from my commission day so I made a little commission while on a manager shift, I was thrilled.

On my way to work, in cruising along front Street on my bike, I got passed by a lady on her bike with a chocolate lab on a leash who is happily galloping along side her.

After I parked my bike, I went in Bad Ass for my cuppa Joe, and there was 2 younger gals in there who had a tiny but fat and old chihuahua-mutt like looking pooch on a leash.

I headed over to the gallery to open up. As soon as I opened the doors the people were non-stop! I was glad to see my customer from Monday come back in. It was her last day and I think she knew what she wanted, and then some. She would pick something up, pile it on the counter and soon she had a hill of goodies awaiting her to pay for them. It was crazy, but her bill was nearly $500, so that's good for me!

Her friend did the same thing and had a pile of stuff too, but I didn't see her Monday so I didn't take credit, to be fair.

The constant flow of customers continued and my commissioned coworker wasn't in yet, but luckily for her the flow maintained most of the day when she was in.

I was starved by 5:30 and able to leave then too. When I got to my bike, I saw the most unusual sight.

Its a walker, with a bag of something locked up to the bike rack! Craziness! How's the old guy getting around with out the walker?

The evening temps have been so nice here, I really enjoyed the ride home. I was thinking The Hubby would be chilled by these temps, I dunno, we shall see how freeze baby does.

I need to get a bell for my bike, even tho it is hot pink, and I often wear the same color or other bright colors, pedestrians scare the sh!t out of me, I don't think they see me. I feel the need to ring the bell as I approach the crosswalk areas. I'll be shopping amazon for one this morning.

This time next week we should all be together again. What a long week it is going to be.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

T Minus 8.5 - lampless

This morning I rode my bike to the post office to send The Hubby some paperwork, then to ACE to look for a lamp.

I hoped to find a small $10 lamp to put on the bed side table where the old one was. I don't even know how to get the bulb out of the oldie, let alone replace it. And since it isn't even mine, I best not risk breaking it. Well ACE had nothing under $30. I am not going to spend that on something that's not even attractive.

I didn't leave empty handed tho. I got a couple art supplies.

I now have a plan to go to Kahului Sunday to find a lamp at Walmart. Oh joy!

The rest of my day was spent in spent in an artful way, aside from the delivery of Jeep parts and TP from Amazon.

So I'm going to head over to TripleC to talk art now.


T Minus 9.5- sleep schedule

Yesterday I woke up before 8am on my own - no alarm! I have no idea why. Maybe subconsciously I'm trying to get back in the schedule the rest of my family keeps.

The boy dog likes to wake up and be feed at 8am! He's relentless too. He will sit on you if he has to, in order to wake you up.

I was asleep last night by 10 (maybe closer to 9). I was tired, the Lahaina gallery was a polar opposite to the Ka'anapali gallery all day.

A cruise ship ported and this group had money, everyone bought art yesterday. Sadly it was not my commission shift. But at least someone got to benefit from it. We were running like chickens with our heads cut off all day! I was so glad to leave.

My bike ride home I pedaled so slowly my legs did not want to be pedaling at all, but the thought of walking my bike for a mile was worse.

I made it home. I could have collapsed in bed immediately but I was also starved. I was called back into work when I stepped out to eat lunch and so I didn't get to eat much lunch.

I had some dinner, frozen stuffed potatoes, and curled up in bed with no will or energy to write about the day.

I woke up this morning maybe a little after 8am. I'm off work today so I have errands and art to do.


Monday, September 30, 2013

T Minus 10.5 - monday...

It was almost a stereotypical Monday.

Last night I tossed and turned and didn't get to sleep until after 3am. I ended up closing the windows and putting the air back on hoping that would help me. Something just bothered me and no matter what I did up until turning the AC back on, I couldn't rest.

I had to work today and woke up feeling like I didn't sleep, at all. I was a mess.

The Hubby threw a phone call task at me as soon as I woke up too, and that was what I didn't need.

I readied and rushed off to work. The bike ride was not easy today. I figured I was just that tired still. But when I got to the banyan tree I checked my tires and to make things worse, they indeed needed air. I keep my pump at home, even tho it's attachable, I don't have the tools to attach it. So tomorrow it goes with me. I can hear The Hubby telling me a) it should be in my back pack, and b) I should carry that pack everywhere.

Last week I left my travel cup at the gallery. It was a bit moldy by the time I found it today, so going to get an iced coffee was out of the question. So I did a bad bad thing and bought a Monster. Which was probably the right amount of GO I needed this morning. That and a couple Advil. I was good to go.

Sales weren't great today but I'm not complaining. I had a good day otherwise. I love the atmosphere and people. I'm ready for another good day tomorrow.

This month the schedules are wonky, lots of people are taking vacations and or doing trades for days off, including myself. I am sadly doing 5 days this week, but I think only 3 next week. Woohoo for next weekend! Friday I get the dogs and Saturday The Hubby comes HOME.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

T Minus 11.5 - easy breezy sunday

Today was mostly a artful day. So if you're interested you'll want to head over to TripleC to see what I made.

Out side of art I stood by all day waiting for a call from the boss lady who said she would probably be able to take me to the grocery store but didn't know what time.

So she finally called around 6 pm and said she'd be by around 7:30.

So I fooled around with more art stuff and got ready to go.

Seems every time I go to that market it's a mad house. Maybe because they are the only 24 hour grocery in Lahaina.

I'm starting to find it amusing to hear and see tourists react to the price of things like milk here! I guess they don't quite realize things like that don't come from here and have to come over on boats, and the costs of getting it here is factored in the retail price. I just don't buy milk. I bought a big container of dry milk and make a cup as needed for cooking. Then there sodas... Which I just don't drink anyway but maybe once in a huge great while to satiate a craving.

Well that's it for today...


T Minus 12 - back to slow

Nothing new yesterday.

Work was back to slow as heck in Ka'anapali.

I just wanted to crash when I got home last night.

Oh! On my bus ride to work yesterday a nice older man sat next to me on the ride. He had such a soft voice. His name was Sione, pronounced See-oh-nay. He is originally from Tonga and has been on Maui for 30 years.

That was the highlight of my day. Otherwise pretty routine I guess.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

T minus 13.6 - 12 hours late

I couldn't keep my eyes open last night to write a story. It is hard enough to do on the tablet, add heavy eye lids and that would've been a horrible mess. So, I made you wait.

Night before last, if you remember I turned off the AC and opened all my windows. I slept pretty comfortable.

Right on the nose of 9:30am I woke to the songs of the birds that live in the trees around my building. The cooing of spotted doves, the sweet songs of java sparrows (my favorites), and the competitive sqwaking and screeching of the myna birds, which I swear were sitting on my window sill yelling at me to wake up, as if I had anything to do with their daily routine.

So I was awake and then they seemed satisfied and they seemed to calm down or move on.

I had breakfast, an English muffin with pineapple preserves, while texting with The Hubby.

I surfed the web and caught up on some tweets and my body told me to take a nap after noon. I set an alarm so I could get up in time to get ready for work. But that didn't work... My boss called me after a few minutes of dozing off. She wanted me to take the early bus and try to get in a little early to relieve her because she had something to do after work at the last minute.  So I agreed to help. Shamelessly skipping shaving my legs, I got dressed and left.

There was some kind of large gathering at the Hyatt, and they were shoppers! I had a steady flow of people coming thru the gallery, and a steady flow of sales. I was glad, the time went by a bit faster than usual.

Closing time rolled around and I had to sit and wait almost an hour for my ride.

By the time I got home I barely had the energy to make a hot pocket in the toaster oven before just crashing in bed. So that's why you had to wait an extra 12 hours.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

T Minus 14.5 - two weeks

Two weeks from today I'll be cuddling up this time of night with my babies again. I'm so nervous about the process of them getting here. I think tomorrow I'll call the vet that does the direct release of them for us and go over the process and plans again.

I forget things so easily, and even my note taking is insufficient for memory recall.

I stayed home today. The landlord came and hooked up the washer successfully and changed the hookup of the dryer so we can close the door of the closet it is in when we aren't doing laundry.

I was so happy to have it all hooked up and ready to go I immediately washed all of my clothes.

With that behind me for the day I decided to work on some art projects. I'll write more about those over at TripleC.

When the light was fading from the sun going down I put all of it away, so to speak, and went to get the mail. It was so nice out side, I wish I had a hammock on my Lanai. I'd sleep out there if I could.

I decided to open the windows and then turn off the air. Hopefully no one stands out side smoking tonight. I haven't ventured out to make a DIY air purifier yet.

It's comfortable in the condo tonight like this so maybe it will be how it stays.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

T minus 15.5 - Whirlwind

What a crazy day.

I got to work at 10:15 this morning. The gallery has barely been open 15 minutes, and my coworker made no sales in that time, but as soon as I got in, I barely cooled off from my bike ride to work, and I already was closing a very big sale.

I thought that would surely be a sign of a good day at work. And it stayed pretty steady. Generally the gallery closes at 7:30 pm. But I had customers until 8:30pm. I couldn't get to the front of the store to close the doors because people kept coming in and buying stuff, it was a mad house in the end.

My lunch break was a heart ache, texting with The Hubby, I just have such a hole in my life with out him and the pups. Nearly 2 weeks left. This had probably been the longest 3 months of my life. The rest of my life isn't long enough to make up for this time apart. I dried my eyes and had to get back to work.

I think there's some irony to The Hubby and I choosing Lahaina for our new home town... I found out what the word Lahaina means today... Merciless Sun. The hubby had become permanently acclimated to Saudi Arabia when he was stationed there, so Vegas temps were cool to him most of the time... Lahaina is a whole other kind of hot, the sun reflects of the ocean and harbor town becomes a sauna.

Fall is coming. My ride to work this morning was more comfortable than I had experienced in the last 2 months. The afternoon sun was a whole other story. It got steamy today. But I rode my bike home from work and it was comfortable again at 9 pm.

The landlord is back home on the island and should be over tomorrow to hook up the washer finally. So if all goes according to plan, tomorrow is laundry day and I'm actually excited about that.

So I guess I better get some sleep.

I'll leave you with a pic of a surfboard fence from Paia Town.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

T Minus 16.5 - Paia Town

Bet you thought today would be a TripleC blog kind of day, huh?

I woke up at about 9 to a banging sound, like the neighbors were hanging pictures, a lot of them. But then I heard something outside even louder. It was a man lugging a water heater to a truck. To much noise going on, I knew it would be disruptive to any creative process I might attempt.

So I grabbed the bus schedule to see where I could go today and when. After deliberating it over text messages with The Hubby I decided Paia Town would be interesting.

I quickly got dressed, putting on my last pair of clean britches. I frantically hand washed the rest and threw them in the dryer. I hope to get my washer hooked up soon. This is getting ridiculous.

So, then I slipped on my slippahs and headed for the bus stop around 10. Outside, everything was wet. It seemed to have rained in harbor town earlier this morning. I knew yesterday that it felt like it could rain.

Luckily I stayed dry on my way to the bus stop. I didn't double back for my umbrella.

There were still plenty of rain clouds in the skies.
The clouds as seen from Ma'alaea Harbor.

I took a lot of buses today. First from the post office area to the Wharf Cinema Center. Second from there to Kahului. In Kahului I transferred to the Haiku route bus, which has a stop in Paia Town, where I disembarked. In the first few shops along the Hana Highway I knew there was another Maui Hands gallery so I stopped in to say Hi.

I took mental note of a few eateries the girls recommended but everything was super busy, seeing it was just about noon. 

I poked in and out of various shops just to see what there was. 

Then down a side street I saw what looked like a diner. I hadn't gone wrong at dinners before. So I headed that way. The dinner is inside the Paia Plaza.
The sky was so blue and cloudless in that direction.

The dinner is called Moana. (Who out there remembers what it means on Hawaiian?) I saw Loco Moco on the menu and was tempted. I told my waitress I was torn between it and the Catch of the Day sandwich, she suggested the sandwich. I asked what the fish was... Fresh Opah. There was no more waffling. 

Not only was the sandwich amazingly good, so was the salad, dressed with a house-made sugarcane vinaigrette. Super yummy.

After lunch I cruised the rest of the area. I went towards a place called Maui Java, thinking of coffee drinks, but oddly it's a t-shirt shop... but Hiding in the corner next to them is....
Where I found Mehana Brewing Co's beers.
I asked if he had any in the back that weren't cold so they wouldn't get skunked while I carried them around the island the rest of the day, and was lucky that there was.
 I also spied this... A very yummy root beer. I'm a sucker for root beer thanks to my Papa Earl. There was some bistro tables near by outside and I just sat down to enjoy my root beer and people watch.

Then I browsed into a bead shop. Tiny, packed with overpriced beads. I couldn't bring myself to buy a single bead. Is that weird of me or what?

Along the way a picked up a few trinkets for an art project I have planned but other wise I window shopped. And really enjoyed my day there.

I caught the bus around 3 and it went up to Haiku, another cute town but didn't seem like enough to occupy me in the hour and a half until the next bus. So I rode it all the way back to Kahului, where I transferred buses in reverse of how I got there.

When I got off the last bus I'd been on today, it was too early for sunset but the clouds presented a wondrously lit sky.


Monday, September 23, 2013

T Minus 17.5 - scheduling chaos

Let the schedule of chaos begin.

Next week my boss goes on vacation for like 3 weeks. One coworker is going out for surgery. My ohana will soon be together again in 2.5 weeks, and I need the days of to pick them up.
And there's a few other nuances in people's lives that effect the schedule for work.

I don't see this settling back to normal until Halloween.

I keep hearing what a big deal Halloween is here. I doubt I'll be prepared to participate this year. I'd like to sell my skull jewelry locally but it will be in the nick of time if at all. Oh will there's always next year.

So work was slow today, the boss lady sent me home at 5, which is good because something went way wrong in my tummy today.

I was happy to get home where I have a toilet at my beckon call.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

T Minus 18.5 - Grocery Volcano

So I spent a good party of my day in an artful way.

Then I had to make a grocery run to feed myself for a few days. I took one reusable shopping bag and rode my bike to Foodland. I had eyeballed the items I wanted to fill up that bag just to the brim. But the bagger did not do such a good job and the bag did not fit in the bike basket like it should have. It looked like some kind of grocery volcano nightmare. I rode home slowly and gently avoiding bumps and dips the best I could. I surely didn't want to see the volcano erupt all over Front Street.

I made it home safe. I put everything away and then I had dinner. There wasn't much daylight left so I resigned from artful play the rest of the night and I've been watching YouTube and Supernatural.

I wrote of my artful play for today at TripleC.

I encountered one big ugly cockroach today, in the condo. The place was sprayed about a month ago. They only spray every three months. I'm calling someone tomorrow to spray the other months effective ASAP. In not afraid of roaches but they gross me the F*** out! My hair is standing on end to the point it's kind of painful, Damnit!

One more episode of Supernatural then hopefully I can get to sleep without buggy nightmares.


T Minus 19.5 - scenic route

So I took the early bus up to Whalers Village this afternoon on my way to work. I grabbed pizza in the food court, 1 piece to eat right away and one to eat later at work ( which was a bad idea, because the ants got to it before I did).

The hubby always has good ideas, OK almost always... But this morning he had a good idea. One I wish I had a long time ago. He said with all my extra time in Kaanapali I should take the beach walk to work. So I went to the beach front side of the shopping center and headed towards the Hyatt.

The water and the lounge chairs all looked so inviting. I wanted to give in to the sirens of the sea. How hard it was to just keep walking. Then, there it was, a hammock, unmanned. I had a good 15 minutes til 3. I threw my bag down under one of the palm trees that it was tied to, and eased my existence into the webbed cradle of serenity. I then thought to myself that The Hubby would never believe this, so I snapped a selfie.
Self proclaimed beach bum
With a job!

I snapped a lot of other pics along the way. I really just wanted to say "screw it all!'' and stay.
Love how the trees framed this pic.

A sailboat in the distance. 

However, some strange little responsibility and logic bug bit my bum. So I hopped up and dredged on. When I got to the Hyatt's property I had no idea to get in to the building. I figured it out, the long way anyway.
You can see Lana'i from this little beach walk 
path to the shore.

I recently decided any attempt at a hairstyle was worthless here, windblown is the only way to go, whether you want it or not. Today was proof, as the sea spray and sandy trade winds whirled around me. It felt good.

Work was no where near as good as yesterday, when I sold a ~$550 Daniel Moe blown glass wave sculpture. But today wasn't bad either. Until... It was time to go home. 8:45 I text my ride-giving-boss that I'll be ready shortly after 9. No reply, sometimes she forgets her phone. At 9 I text her again that I was headed out the back doors to meet her. No reply. At 9:20 I call, and find out she had forgotten about me. She hurried over to pick me up, and was very apologetic. Oh well that's island time.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

T minus 20 - Just too Tired

I'm writing about yesterday, because I didn't write yesterday. I was so pooped yesterday evening when I got home. I didn't sleep well the night before. I had to leave early to go to the post office and, grab lunch then to Foodland for some snacks to eat at work.

Some of my favorite snack choices are spicy edamame and fresh pineapple chunks. The edamame can be messy but we keep baby wipes in the gallery because we don't have a way to wash our hands as needed.

When I got to the bus stop I noticed a sign posted regarding the bus schedule changes for today. There is to be a foot race on Front Street and so the bus is diverted for a few hours.

When I got to Ka'anapali there was a row of tents setting up and one direction of the road closed. The bus had it's stop moved for this. This is all set up for the end point of the marathon that will go on with the foot race on Front Street.

Why can't this go on when I don't have to go to work? I'll have to take an earlier bus today. Guess I'm having lunch at Whalers Village.

Last night, there was a box on my doorstep. I wasn't surprised, but only by what was in the box. The clothes washer converter kit. Now I just need someone to hook it up. The landlord says he will be home in a few days and can come do it, I guess I can wait...

My legs were achy the way they get when one is _that_ tired... I couldn't stay awake to get a story out, so here it is, ~12 hours later.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

T Minus 21.5 - bummin' around

The farthest I got from the condo today was the mail box. I played around artfully, and that's it.

The UPS man came and brought pillows and a DIY dry cleaning kit. The FedEx man brought dog food. The regular mailman brought a bunch of nothing.

I'm out of hot sauce - a tragedy. I'm in need of a grocery haul again...

I wonder what day the shipment of our things will come. Grocery shopping is one thing I feel a need for that jeep to do in. I can only carry so much in either my arms or bike basket, and can't always get the boss lady to take me.

Well Now is the time to head over to TripleC if you want to read more of my artful doing.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

T Minus 22.5 - good karma

It was a normal day at work selling art.

On one of my breaks I headed back to the Friends of the Library bookstore to pay my debt. The gal who was there last week was not there this week. In fact when I walked in no one was there. I waited a few minutes. Another shopper walked in. We had a moment of realizing neither of us worked there and the store was still unmanned. Then a man walked in and greeted us. I think the store was on honor system while he went shi shi. Anyway I told him I was paying them back. I explained I was in last week with out my wallet and all that. The other shopper wowed that I was honest and the clerk was grateful for my honesty.

Back to work I went.

The rest of my shift was fair. I don't mind working until 8pm and riding my bike home in the dark. It's peaceful.

Once i got home and settled in, my tablet started choking sometime into an episode of Supernatural, so I had to do a system update and twiddle my thumbs while it rebooted so I could get back on it and write this little story for you. Feels like time to get some sleep now tho.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

T Minus 23 1/2 - Joyride

I woke up on this day with 2 rumbling possibilities in my mind as to what to do with my time.

You may assume one of those was to make something artful, and you would be wrong.

I had a notion to go see Mike at Skin Deep tattoo and get some wings added to one of my puppy dog paws, which is long over due. But I also felt like going to Kahului to find a shop I read about. Yes it's a crafty shop.

So I went with the bus ride to the city.

Bus ride 1- post office to wharf. I sat down in a hole in the wall Mexican food eatery for lunch while I waited for the next bus. The place is called Amigos. And the food was mediocre...
Bus ride 2- wharf to Queen Ka'ahumanu shopping center
Bus ride 3- a happy accidental 1 hour tour of Wailuku... Yes I got on the wrong bus, but I didn't care. I just enjoyed the ride.
Bus ride 4 - took me from the shopping center to about a block and half from this shop I was looking for.

I wanted to take pictures since I was in a new area, but this bus had some kind of film on the windows which ruined every photo opp.

The shop was small, I guess to be expected. And every thing they sold was Hawaii or tropical themed. I got a few things since I went through all I did to get there, but nothing to write home about.

Back to the closest bus stop, which was in a K-mart parking lot. While I was waiting I saw a lady cut off the bus and almost cause an incident. It was... She was about as stupid as they get. But no dents or scratches or injuries so life goes on. I boarded and that became bus ride number 5, back to the shopping center.

Transfer busses and bus ride number 6 back to the wharf in Lahaina. Its about an hour bus ride on a good day. Today was one of those good days. I fell asleep at some point on that ride. The hubby will not be surprised to find that out.

One more bus ride, number 7, which took me to the stop by the post office. Which is a couple blocks from the condo.

On my way home I was getting hungry, I passed the Hard Rock Cafe and thought about their buffalo chicken boneless wings. But I ate lunch out, so I dragged myself on by.

There are no other options but Ruth Chris between there and home. I'm not much for steaks so I was not and never will be tempted to go there.

When I got home, another package was waiting on my doorstep. It was the dogs' new water bowl.

I put that out of the way, since I won't need it for about 3 more weeks, which as The Hubby said, is 4 weeks too much.

I put my last pack of pizza rolls in the toaster oven and started to settle in for the night. Note to all: pizza rolls are yummy doused in Louisiana's hot sauce. I ran out of hot sauce in this act of dousing.

If you're interested in my artful stories, head over to TripleC now.


Monday, September 16, 2013

T Minus 24 1/2 - Another Day in Paradise

I don't have a lot to say about today.

I started my day by paying the balance on the shipment of our things from Vegas to Lahaina.

Then I headed off to work. Business came in the oddest waves.

One of the gals who works the gallery on days I don't, brought in a box of papaya and star fruit to share with us. I was not sure if I would like them so I took only a few. I asked how to eat them. I will likely try them tomorrow.

When I finally left work today I was relieved, I don't know why I was not in the mood to be there after 4 pm. So it was 6-ish when I left.

As I headed for my bike under the banyan tree I had a notion to take myself out to dinner. I headed to the Pioneer Inn then got distracted by the glimmer of the sun setting on the water. I did my best to snap a photo bit the glimmer plays a strong role in this photo.

I decided not to eat there. I'm not sure why. But I headed for my bike and rode home for some tuna and cracker.

I'm capping the night off with some episodes of Supernatural before I go to sleep.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

T minus 25 1/2 - Maui's Own Craft Fair

Well look at that, today went according to plan. Not that plans matter... But  it's nice to say you did what you said you were going to do sometimes.

I didn't doddle around much this morning. I wanted to get to the craft fair while it was still on. Unlike my last trip to the farmers market.

So I headed to McDonald's on my way to the bus stop. Actually McDonald's is just past the bus stop but... I was hungry.

On my way to McDonald's I crossed paths with Jeska, my boss from the Front Street gallery. We talked story and walked a block or so together. I was wearing my new skull tank top from the hubby and she loved it. She likes day of the dead type stuff too.

I sat at the bus stop with just one other person for the most part. As I ate my sausage mcmuffin my new friend, a 77- year old Japanese woman who was born and raised on Maui, talked story until the bus came. Seems almost every time I sit at the bus stop I make a new friend.

I think I had to go thru ~15 other bus stops until I got to mine at the Lahaina civic center.

The craft fair was half indoors and half out in the lawn. It cost a whole dollar to get in. I headed for the indoor area first as that seemed to be with the flow of the foot traffic. There were a lot of jewelry booths. I looked at and admired many items.

I didn't see anything I had to have in that Area, so I moved out side. There was a booth with some interesting things. I don't wear a lot of rings but I had been thinking about a thumb ring after I learned it symbolizes confidence, courage, strength, and individuality. A lot of people have told me I am brave and courageous since moving here, too.
It has waves and hibiscus all around it.

I found a big tote bag I liked a lot, and I bought it for myself. It is hot pink with a black tribal Honu and waves design. It will be good for the days I'm on foot with out a bike basket...

I got to try a sample of a pineapple macaroon and ended up buying a small pack of them to go. They are so yummy.

Then I spied a food stand. There was only a few options, I went for the chili dog with a Redondo's dog.

I took note of the time of the next bus and browsed one last booth before heading to the bus stop across the street.

I talked to a lot of neat people and got a lot more compliments on my tank top. I had a pretty good time.

I thought about stopping by ACE on my way home to grab one canvas to work on until my shipment comes in, but decided not to.

I did play a bit, you can read about that at TripleC.

I have to go to work tomorrow, so I'm gonna call it a night.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

T minus 26.5 - on my own here

My editor/publisher/best friend/hubby hits the road again tomorrow morning to head back west. So I'm editing and publishing this on my own. I hope I don't seem too scatterbrained.

Today at the bus stop while waiting with an assortment of folks for the bus to arrive, I met a nice couple from New Palestine, Indiana. A bit ironic I thought. They were trying to stay out of a debate someone was having about NASCAR and Indy 500. I stayed out of it too. I'm too far removed to care who races and or wins these days, but I always hope it's Danica Patrick.

The bus ride was a sardine can again today. I was lucky to not be near the debaters on that ride. But I felt like I was in everyone's arm pits, I smelled 37 different BO's. I wished I could hold my breath long enough, but there was no way.

I stopped and got some snacks to eat at work. One of which was a small container of li hing pineapple. The pineapple was fresh not dried. Mostly I've seen this coating on dried fruits. So I thought maybe it would be OK. Well I'm not sure OK was the right term. By the time I got to it at work it was no longer chilled. And that coating does nothing good for pineapple. I brought most of it home to chill in the fridge and give it another chance cold. We will soon see, tomorrow I'm guessing. I also snacked on some teriyaki turkey jerky.

My boss had zero sales today. I thought it would be the same for me as it was just a ghost town. But within the last half an hour I sold about $100 in odds and ends. Whoopetydoo.

I started thinking today that I want some hippie sandals. I might head over to Birkenstock tomorrow after the craft fair to see what they have. Hopefully some on clearance! But if I remember right Birks are well worth the money in comfort.

Well I'm gonna get up early and head to catch a bus that goes to the craft fair area. Until tomorrow....


T/Minus 27.5 - HI5

I started my day by missing a photo op. Passing the post office on the way to the bus stop, I spotted a young girl standing outside wearing a Lara Croft holster type thing. She definitely had the body to pull it off, but it seemed so out of place. And, yes, I failed to get the phone out in time to get a picture.

I managed to snap a photo of The Sugar Cane Train, though. Staring out the window of the bus, I noticed the train rolling along the tracks. This time, I got the picture. Looking at the picture, I realized there's a lot going on in there - the train, of course, but also a storm brewing over Pu'u Kukui. Then, I saw the sign hanging on the fence. Craft fair! I forgot about the craft fair. I definitely plan to go this week.
Sugar Cane Train, and a Storm
over the West Maui Mountains

The bus reached Whaler's Village and I walked towards the driver. He raised his hand, motioning to the people trying to board that they should wait until passengers got off before they tried to get on. I laughed. "I thought you were raising your hand to give me a high five," I said. He smiled, said "Sure, why not," and slapped my hand. I smiled all the way up the walk to the hotel.

Another slow day at work meant I needed to find ways to stay busy. I emptied a display of pottery, cleaned the shelves, and rearranged the display as I put things back. While doing so, I happened across a ceramic sculpted Honu about as big as my hand print. I suspected he was new to the shop - I'd never seen him before. I carried him over to the counter to see him in better light. I snapped a photo and informed The Hubby I wanted him to hang over my door instead of the copper sculpture of Maui. Bonus: the Honu is more affordable!
A ceramic Honu sculpture I
want to hang over the condo door

I made 2 sales today. I sold 2 soap dishes. Later, I sold 2 pepper grinders. I completed a sale the boss lady had pending for 2 earrings. 2 - everything happened in pairs today. When I got home, I found 2 packages in the mail even!

The first package was some crafty stuff. The second package, though, carried a return address with The Hubby's name on it. I was super excited to open it up. Sure enough, he surprised me with another shirt, a Dia De Los Muertos design stitched across the front of it. That man is so freaking awesome! My boss at the Front St gallery would be so jealous if she saw this shirt. She really loves that stuff also.
My newest shirt
The Hubby made for me

Today was a good day. If you like the artsy stuff, I finished up a new canvas before work today. I wrote about it over on TripleC.


T minus 28.5 - Independence issues

On my days off, I tend to stay hidden away in the condo. I lay back, take it easy, and do artsy things because it takes my mind off being alone.

I find I don't much care for being alone. Truth be told, independence is nearly a foreign concept for me. My mother, best described as over-protective, never let me move out on my own - no dorms, no apartment of my own, nothing. During school, I lived at home. I lived at home until the day I moved in with The Hubby.

I never regretted any of that. I did often wonder what living alone would have been like. It brings to mind the old adage "Be careful what you wish for."

I live on my own now. I've been here for 2 months. It sucks. I don't like it at all. Even though I know I live in paradise and that there are tons of opportunities to go do and see things - and to share them with you by writing about them here - I simply fail to find any motivation to do so. I prefer the way things have been for the last 17 years of my life. I find I am much happier doing things with The Hubby.

So...on my days off, I choose to not be adventurous. Doing things alone, without The Hubby, simply feels wrong. That gets fixed in less than a month.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

T Minus 29 and a half - Milestone

Hallelujah! I made it through the 30s. I crossed a big milestone today. Less than thirty means less than a month before I get to see the family. That's awesome!

Today, I worked the Lahaina gallery. On my way into town, I needed to stop by the bank and deposit a check. I used the drive-thru ATM. On the Pink Cruiser. Fun! I never thought I'd be using a drive-up ATM while riding a bicycle. That was a first. Probably not the last.

I crossed paths with John the mail carrier. He remembered my name today.

Of course, no trip to work is complete without a stop at Bad Ass for an iced coffee. After tying up the Pink Cruiser under the Banyan Tree, I stood talking story with the barista for a bit. Unfortunately, neither of us realized the lid on the coffee wasn't quite secure. I took my first drink and ended up with a small river of iced coffee running down the front of my shirt. Back at the gallery, I blotted it with a baby wipe and simply hoped few people would notice through the day. It was the only down point to an otherwise wonderful day.

The upside? I lost very little of the coffee down my shirt so I still had plenty to drink!

Today, I worked with Sandra. I love working with Sandra - so down to earth and understanding. Work was fun. Even better, I hit it out of the park today. I closed sales worth over $1,000! I danced a little jig, happy for the commissions that will be forthcoming on the next check.
A copper patina sculpture of the
island of Maui that I think I want

Throughout the day, I kept eyeing a copper patina sculpture of the island that hangs on the wall. I think it would look fantastic over the entrance to the condo. I toyed with the notion of buying it after racking up today's commissions but I held off. I might reconsider if it still hangs in the gallery next week when I work there again.

Sandra left at 6:00, giving me an hour or so to tend to the shop on my own and get things closed up. During a moment of relative calm in the gallery, I walked to the front of the store and looked towards the ocean. My timing turned out to be perfect - just before sunset with the sun streaming through the trees standing in the school yard separating the gallery from the beach. I couldn't resist running back into the shop and grabbing my phone for a picture before the light changed too much.
A gorgeous Maui sunset as seen
from the Maui Hands art gallery

After getting the shop closed up, I grabbed my 4 new books and headed towards the Pink Cruiser. The books? They came from a small used book store down the street I found today. During a shi shi break at the Wharf Cinema Center, I noticed the quiet little book store and poked my head in to ask what time they closed. The lady working suggested I look around. When I explained that I was only on a shi shi break and did not have my wallet, she told me to pick a few things out and come pay her later. The Hubby, who still prefers reading paper books to reading on electronic gadgets, will love this shop. Run by the Maui Friends of the Library, the store prices every book under $1 and all proceeds go to fund the library.

I made it home with my books and added them to my stash of crafting supplies. I never intended to read them. I intended to make things with them. You can read about that on TripleC if you're interested.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

T minus 30.5 - Mail

The mail carriers in Lahaina seem to be really nice, at least every one I've had to deal with so far. Of course, I think it would be hard to be in a bad mood if your job was to walk around Lahaina talking to people and dropping off their mail, but maybe that's just me.

The mail carrier who serves our gallery on Front St, John, is a local guy. He knows everyone in the shop by name, though he's only now learning my name - he only sees me twice a week. He likes to bring gifts when he brings the mail as well. Yesterday, he shared some homemade jerky with Jeska and me. (Personally, I think he likes us haole girls.) The jerky was good - spicy! He does this often. I remember a time, before he became comfortable with me, he worked his way into the back of the shop by sneaking past me so that he could share some seasoned pretzels with Jeska. Cute.

The mail carrier that delivers my mail to the condo reminds me of the mail carrier we had back when we were newly married and first moved into a house. Super friendly. Today, my carrier promised me he would leave a package for me on the doorstep Thursday even if I wasn't home. You see, yesterday I received a notice that I needed to pick up a package at the post office. I walked over to the nearest post office, the one I assumed processed my mail, and discovered that my package actually waited for me at a different post office.

With no way to reach the other post office, I signed the little card telling them when they could deliver the package. I walked home and put the card into my mailbox so that my carrier would pick it when he delivered today. Upon doing so, he brought up my mail and a couple small packages, and that's when he told me my package would arrive on Thursday and he agreed to leave it even if I was out. Nice guy.
My latest creation

While standing outside talking with him, I noticed the weather was perfect. Ideal temps. Trade winds blowing. If felt beautiful. I popped back in the condo, turned off the A/C, opened up the windows, and enjoyed being on the island. I really hope this becomes the norm for us because our tiny 1-BR 600 sq ft condo took nearly $200 to keep cool during the first month I was here! Of course, The Hubby prefers it warm so I doubt we use the A/C much once he gets here...

The packages the mail guy brought today? Art supplies! That means I created some cool stuff today. If you're interested in that, pop over to TripleC to read about that.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

T Minus 31.5 - Reflecting

I read the message twice. "Your blog is becoming more of an ATC blog than a Hawaii-related or countdown-to-something blog..." I suppose that might be true, but the facts are these:
  1. Yes, I live in Hawaii now but not every day is all ukulele-playing beach bum encounters and strolls along the seawall.
  2. A big part of my life is art. Most artists - myself included - like to share their creativity.
Maybe I need to resurrect the art blog I started last summer but never really did anything with. Maybe, just maybe, my editor will even help me out with posts over there and not throw me to the sharks for having multiple blogs! So, if you like the art stuff, you can find it over there for the time being. If you only read to see how things are going in Hawaii, you're in the right place!

Lots of people seem to be interested in how I am adapting to my new lifestyle. The short answer: I love it! Every year, Hawaii ranks first or near the top of every survey ranking states by quality of life. I understand why. Especially compared to some place like Las Vegas, it is easy to see the differences.

Working in the gallery, I like to ask visitors where they are visiting from. Usually, they steer the conversation to where I am from, how I ended up in Maui, etc. The reactions I see when I say I moved here from Vegas amuse me. Jaws drop, eyes widen. Most mumble something along the lines of "Wow, what a change."

I answer the same way every time. "A change for the better."

The best part about moving to Lahaina? Leaving the cut-throat, you-must-be-a-slacker-if-you-aren't-trying-to-move-up-the-ladder, corporate stupidity behind. Life moves slowly here, and I like it that way. I ride the Pink Cruiser down Front St without worrying about if I'm going fast enough, if I'm going to be late, if there's a car behind me. That stuff isn't important.

The important stuff? People here seem to genuinely respect and love one another. I feel it everywhere, people living Aloha, the Ohana. People smile, talk story. I know my neighbors, and have even been inside one of their condos! We lived in three houses in Vegas, met one neighbor, and only talked to them because their fence was falling into our pool. Here, on Maui, everyone feels like one big Ohana with each other, the creatures, the land, the sea.

Today, I simply can't imagine ever missing the Vegas lifestyle.

Sure, I get lonely. I feel terribly lonely most of the time, truth be told. 4,300 miles separates me from my family. I miss them terribly, far more than I ever imagined might be possible. I know, though, that sharing this new lifestyle with them will be worth the wait. In fact, my quality of life only stands to improve once I start hanging out the The Hubby and the pups on my lanai, or walking the pups through Banyan Tree park with The Hubby.

Life on Maui is a good life, Maika'i Ola. I think I'm adapting to my new lifestyle quite well, all things considered.

Now, I need to go write an artsy fartsy post on my other blog, so...if you are interested in reading about that stuff, I'll be writing on Crafting, Creating, Cooking, and the Rest starting today.


Monday, September 9, 2013

T Minus 32.5 -

I woke up feeling very inspired and ready to create something. First, I needed coffee and a bite to eat. I found my cupboards and fridge nearly empty, though - I suppose I should visit the grocery soon - and I ate my last piece of bread, a heel, toasted and slathered with pineapple jelly. I sipped my iced coffee while I considered what type of projects might fill my day.

I decided a little collage work was in order so I set up my bedside studio accordingly. I started with an ATC and ended up making a dozen or so. While working, I traded texts with my close friend back east who is just as crafty as I am. She suggested I take part in an autumn ATC exchange she was coordinating. I decided to go ahead since it has been years since I did anything like that. I created something that I liked, snapped a photo to get my friend's opinion, and got it ready to mail out.
Beach-themed ATC

I found another exchange focused on themes based on where you live. I created 2 vintage beach-inspired cards and readied those to send out also. I continued making a few, mostly to fill the time and just for the sake of making them, before cleaning up the studio for the day. I know I've said this before, but I can't wait to get my stuff here from Vegas. I have all these ideas for projects and all of my supplies sit in a dusty storage unit in the desert.
Beach-themed ATC

At the recommendation of The Hubby, I added a few ArtBin containers to my Amazon wish list. That seems promising. I know I will need creative way to organize all my supplies when they get here. There's just so much less space in the condo than in our Vegas house!

Maureen kindly came by to take me to the grocery. I stocked up on Ramen, and even grabbed a sixer of a local amber beer. I might even save some for The Hubby. In all honesty, I plan to gradually create a stash for him so he has some cold choices once he finally arrives in our new home. One month to go!
Local amber beer

I spent the evening doodling imaginary flowers on my watercolor pad. Maybe tomorrow after work, with hopefully enough light to work by remaining in the afternoon, I might be able to add some color. Better yet, maybe my gelato paints will arrive tomorrow - today begin Sunday, no mail means no gelato paints yet - and I can use them.

I feel tired, and I doubt I make it all the way through an episode of Supernatural, but I intend to try.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

T Minus 33.5 - Relaxing

After the last couple days, I treated myself to a nice, lazy start this morning. It felt good to do nothing all morning, especially after the whirlwind of activity that kept me jumping Thursday and Friday. The most strenuous thing I did between waking up and going to work was texting with The Hubby and my brother. I'm sure I just upset him by even mentioning him here but I want to celebrate with him from a distance. He is officially engaged to a really sweet girl and I'm extremely happy for them.

I spent a little time browsing Amazon. I realized that with all the geckos and whatnot running around here, I might want a container for the dog food I ordered yesterday. I told The Hubby if he had any food left over after his road trip across the country that he should donate it to our vet in Vegas, or to the humane society. When Lexi decided at the age of 9 months that she no longer wanted puppy kibble, the rest of her puppy kibble when to the humane society who happily accepted it.

The time finally came that I needed to go to work. I forced myself to get ready and headed for the bus stop. Everything about today proved far less dramatic than yesterday. I easily found a seat on the bus. The bus arrived at Ka'anapali on time. I caught the trolley from Whalers Village to the Hyatt instead of needing to walk. Work went smooth  - slow, but smooth. Today was a good day, except for a short moment in the evening.

I imagine a song triggered my emotions - there seemed to be an awful lot of Michael Buble on the Pandora station at work today - but whatever it was I suddenly, and very sorely, felt the distance between me and my family. I really miss The Hubby and the pups. Some days I find myself unable to hold it in. Today turned out to be one of those days, so I suppose I should be happy the gallery was a ghost town today. I only had one tissue left and I made use of every inch of it to dry my eyes after stepping into the stock room.

I spent my shift at work studying some of the art. I noticed a certain piece in a different way while I was walking around trying to think positively and lift myself out of my funk. I tried, and failed, to determine what medium the artist used. I checked both our profile on the artist, which turned out to be fairly minimal, and the artist's website. I found nothing to tell me what process she might have used. I believe it might be some type of brush tip markers or some very intricate dry-brushed watercolor work. Regardless, I found it very inspiring. It made me get a little more antsy for the arrival of my gelato paints, which will hopefully arrive any day now.

Speaking of arriving, I checked the mail once I got home from work and found lots of surprises - fat mail everywhere! Someone sent me some collage papers in ATC size. Someone else sent me some 4x6" papers to use in my artistic projects. I saw The Hubby listed as the return address on the last box, but I wasn't expecting anything from him. His package contained a new tank top for me!
My new shirt The Hubby designed

The Hubby started a company with a longtime friend of ours and they have been busy getting things set up. He and his crew - his mom - designed and stitched me an exclusive design. Having seen the designs he plans to offer in the store, I know this isn't one of them. I think it's freaking awesome and I can't wait to wear it!

I stashed all my new supplies on my window desk/shelf/thing before eating a sandwich. Then, I browsed a bit on Amazon, checking out the ArtBin stuff and a few other things. I decided I really want a set of Pitt Pens. My birthday is just around the corner. Maybe someone will surprise me with a set. We'll see.

With no light to work by tonight, I suppose a couple episodes of Supernatural are in order before I fall asleep.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

T Minus 34 1/2 - Puppy Plane Plans

I intended to relax before work but the first thing I saw when I woke up were emails from The Hubby that required my attention. It meant I needed to make more phone calls. The Hubby presented options and, after spending some time thinking about it, I decided to go down the road that meant more work for me.

We originally contracted with a company based in California to transport the puppies from Vegas to the island. They assured us door-to-door service, meaning they would pick up the puppies from our home in Vegas - at that time, we planned to still be in the house through October - and take them to the airport, put them on an appropriate plane and get them through the Dept. of Ag inspection process once on the island, finally delivering them across the island to our home in Hawaii.

They wanted a large sum of money for this service, which I felt comfortable paying. After initial calls to the airlines to determine how to fly the dogs to Hawaii, the process seemed especially intimidating and paying someone more experienced with the process seemed the right move. Situations change. Ours did and we needed a new solution.

When paying someone the amount of money the transport company planned to charge us, one expects a certain level of service and communication. We explained to them that we needed to arrange the pet's import permits to be in the Midwest no later than September 15. The company basically shrugged us off. When asked for assistance with the permitting process, they referred us to the Dept of Ag web site. The Hubby researched everything on his own.

We needed flight information in order for the Dept of Ag to issue the permits. We pressed the transport company for information about flights and were told nothing other than "some air cargo flight such as United 336." They refused to book anything until a week before the dogs fly but they assured us there would be no problems.

Fast forward to yesterday when I took the phone call from James at the United cargo offices here on the island. I referred James to The Hubby and, after they talked, The Hubby presented my phone call options to me. United 336's schedule took it from Cleveland, OH to Salt Lake City, UT on the day our pups meant to be on that flight. James told The Hubby that once we had flight info, we needed to contact the Dept of Ag and request changes to the permits we held for our pups.

The Hubby told me I could call the transport company, demand that they book the flight for the pups and provide the flight numbers to us, and then call the Dept of Ag to amend the permits. He suggested a different solution though, calling James at United and booking the pups myself. Having heard not one word from the transport company since mid-July, and having zero faith that they would be able to get me what I needed in time for me to get updated permits to The Hubby in less than one week - after Sept 15, The Hubby has no mailing address until he gets to the island - I reluctantly decided to call James.

James, though unable to book the flights himself, talked me through the process. I then spent the next three hours on the phone with airlines and the Dept of Ag. My efforts paid off tremendously! First, the pups arrive on the island a full day early. The original plan saw us turning over the pups the night of Oct 11 and the transport company first driving them to Los Angeles before flying them to us the next day. Instead, The Hubby delivers the pups to the United cargo desk in Vegas on Oct 10 where their adventure takes them on a flight to San Francisco where they get to overnight in a kennel that handles these situations for the airline on a daily basis before finally flying to Maui on Oct 11.

Finding airplanes that are big enough to hold two 700-series crates isn't as easy as you'd think. Just finding a plane with a cargo door big enough to fit a single 700-series crate through proved difficult. Few, if any, cargo flights from Vegas to Maui have large cargo doors. That's why the pups get to overnight in San Francisco. I'm super excited I get to see them a day early! I need to order dog food from Amazon so it will be here when they get here, and I need to pick up a couple of food bowls.

So, my countdown today stands at 34½. 34 days before I see my pups, 35 days before I see The Hubby. When I take my rental Chevy Suburban back to the airport the morning of Oct 12, I take the shuttle to the airport where I pick up The Hubby and we ride Da Bus back to Lahaina. I told the boss lady I needed to do some schedule wrangling come mid-October and she said she had no problem with that. Just over one month to go!

With the flights booked for the pups, I called the Dept of Ag to check on changing their permits. James told us that, though rare, the Dept of Ag holds the power to impound pets for quarantine if the travel arrangements fail to match what is on the permits. Tell Dept of Ag your pets arrive on Oct 12, United 336, at 1pm but instead they show up on United 1191, 8pm, and you risk watching Dept of Ag flex their muscles and force you to quarantine your pets in Honolulu - a whole different island, even! - at your expense. I wasn't taking that risk.

It turned out the Dept of Ag not only made the changes to the permits, they informed us we could fly the pups with the permits The Hubby already has in hand and to just inform the United clerk in Vegas that we have a verbal OK from the Dept of Ag to use our new arrangements. The extremely helpful James at the United desk here in Maui told us to have the Vegas cargo people call him directly if they had any questions and that he would sort it out for us.

I felt exhausted after dealing with all of the new travel plans but I still needed to go to work. Time to catch Da Bus! I thought catching the bus at the Cannery seemed a good idea because it would give me a chance to pop in Safeway and pick up some pineapple to eat during my shift. Unfortunately, Safeway ran out of precut pineapple so I settled on a bag of pretzels.

I shared the bus stop with an older local man and a foreign woman. The older gentleman sat on the bench, leaning forward on a very ornate and beautifully carved cane, a genuine smile playing across his face. He gave off the aura of someone very happy with his life. The foreign lady seemed to be the very antithesis to that, worrisome and fretting non-stop. When the bus failed to appear quick enough for her liking, she instead found a cab to take her wherever it was she needed to be so quickly.

Her cab ride likely went a bit more smoothly than my bus ride though. First, I failed to find a seat when I boarded the packed bus. The, a traffic jam - a traffic jam? in Lahaina? - snarled traffic badly enough that the bus inched forward at a snails pace. I called the boss lady to tell her I was on the bus but that the bus wasn't moving so I might be late. Of course, by the time the bus finally reached Ka'anapali, I missed the trolley I normally rode from Whalers Village to the Hyatt.

I started walking. I arrived at the gallery an exhausted, overheated mess. The boss lady gave me a few moments to collect myself and cool off before she headed home. My shift dragged slowly. I made only two sales, both small, the entire night. I learned that a pending sale of mine closed Wednesday while I wasn't here, though, so the commission from that sale will be on my next paycheck. I breezed through the closing paperwork and found myself outside before my ride home arrived to pick me up.

Climbing the steps to the condo, I felt relief that a long day was coming to an end. Today's fat mail consisted of our checks for our new checking account. The Hubby surprised me by ordering somewhat whimsical checks. They fit our new island life well though, covered in slippahs as they are - so stinking cute!

Now for a couple episodes of Supernatural and some much needed sleep.


Friday, September 6, 2013

T Minus 36: Stepping Back in Time

I snapped awake when my gut wrenched in the wee hours of the night. It seemed as if something evil had taken up residency in my stomach. I blame the Spam. I doubt the Spam was bad - can that stuff ever go bad? - but I need to place blame somewhere and it's either the Spam or the Ramen. I only know I felt miserable and simply wanted to go back to sleep. Every time I thought my stomach might be settling down, just as I started to drift off to sleep, I felt another spasm. It was worse than any nightmare!

I finally fell asleep again. I don't know what time but when I woke at 10:00 I knew I hadn't had enough sleep. As much as I might want to just lay in bed, I needed to get things done. The Hubby needed his letter from our new bank, so my first order of business would be a visit to the branch.

Of course, nothing goes smoothly when I go to the bank and today proved to be no exception. The banker I spoke with on Tuesday, who ordered the letter for me, was out to lunch. Nobody else at the bank seemed to have any clue why I was there or how to help me. I left my phone number with the branch manager and asked her to call me when the other lady returned from lunch.

I filled the time with a trip to the grocery to grab a few things and find some lunch of my own. I finally took a call from the bank. Someone found the letter and I could go pick it up. After lunch, I headed that way.

Again, not all went perfectly. I'm not the most technically proficient person but I must seem like a high-tech alien to some of the people I've been interacting with recently. Many aspects of business on the island feel like stepping back in time, but the banking system here makes me wonder if anyone in banking has ever even heard of a computer (the competing bank seems little better - The Hubby tried contacting them 3 times for a business account and has yet to hear back 2 weeks later). After a bit of prompting, and a small bit of cage rattling, I managed to get what I wanted and headed home.

Errands accomplished, The Hubby happy, I found myself with plenty of daylight left to allow me to be creative. I collaged. I painted. I enjoyed myself. Then...the phone started ringing.

The first call I answered turned out to be a rep from the airline that we think the dogs will be flying on. We say we think because the service we're paying to ship the dogs hasn't actually booked the flight yet. I suggested that the rep call The Hubby. I likely caused The Hubby to have a bad evening with that move, but The Hubby has the dogs and the paperwork, so I thought it best to risk listening to The Hubby complain about being forced to use the phone.

The second call, which came shortly after I hung up the first, was the car insurance agent. Nothing major, just another interruption to my creative thinking. Sears called a very short while later to confirm delivery of a new washing machine tomorrow morning. I wonder if it will fit in its intended spot better than the new dryer did.

Between the phone calls and the loss of sunlight as the time grew late, I gave up on being creative and launched YouTube in hopes of learning something or being inspired. Unfortunately, the YouTube videos all seemed doomed to suffer excessive lag and buffering, which made me twitchy, so I gave up on that idea as well.

NetFlix videos played just fine, so I finished the day watching Supernatural again. I should probably try to sleep early tonight before the Sears guy wakes me up with the rising sun.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

T Minus 37: A better day

I forced myself out of bed as soon as my eyes opened for the day. My unfinished nightmares from yesterday needed my attention. I dialed the number for NV Energy. I still failed to get a human being on the phone but I did manage to get into some electronic queue that would eventually lead to a human being calling me - in just under an hour if the estimated queue time proved correct.

Sure enough, about 45 minutes later, my phone rang. A very helpful lady drafted a new letter of good credit and even emailed it to me for approval. Once I told her everything looked good, she faxed it over to Maui Electric. I paced the house for a few minutes before calling Meco to confirm they received the fax. After a couple minutes of checking, they found my letter. The dark skies parted, the sun shone, and the exorbitant deposit was waived. I felt a huge weight lift off my neck. Today was going to be a good day.

Even good days hold bad moments, though. First came what was going to be my breakfast. Yesterday I prepared chicken avocado salad. Yum! I pulled it out of the fridge and...not so good. Something spoiled overnight. It smelled a little weird and tasted...wangy. So, no breakfast before work.

I also failed to get the proof of address letter from the bank. They waited until a few hours after I already started working before calling me to tell me it was ready to be picked up. I'll have to go get it in the morning.

The rest of the day, though, was good. I made myself an iced coffee with a new powder mix I found. You add it to milk. Of course, I needed to first make some milk using the powdered milk I had on hand but it turned out to be not half bad. The "English Toffee" flavor left a little to be desired but it was drinkable.
Iced coffee mix. Just add milk!

I loaded my iced coffee into the cup holder on the Pink Cruiser, stashed my bag in the basket, and headed out. As I pedaled my way down Front St, the cup holder seemed to strain and be generally unhappy about carrying my 20 oz tumbler of iced coffee. I made a mental note to check if a screw needed tightening or if I just needed a different type of cup holder.

It took some effort to find a parking spot - the bike racks under the Banyan Tree held a lot of bikes this morning - but I managed. I walked across the street and joined the day in progress at the gallery. I listened to stories about how slow it has been, which only made me laugh. Everything is relative. These people don't know slow. To experience slow business, one must first work a closing shift at the Ka'anapali gallery!

I thoroughly enjoyed my first commissioned shift at the Lahaina gallery. I understand that business has probably been better, and that my coworkers really do think it's slow right now, but I felt thrilled just to work alongside other people and have someone to talk to. Making more than $10 in commissions for the day only made things that much better. Just having people walk in the store brightened my day. Even if they chose not to buy anything, they were living human beings with whom I could talk story and visit before they continued on to the next stop along their journey. Yes, life is better in Lahaina.
Spam & Potatoes. Kind of like
an island version of Dinty Moore.

Even lunch turned out decent. My new home state sure loves its Spam. I picked up a premade-dinner type thing: Spam & Potatoes. I never noticed anything like this in a Vegas grocery but, of course, we rarely ate things like this since The Hubby prefers to cook. At any rate, the Spam thingy tasted OK. With a little cayenne pepper, and maybe some garlic powder, I believe I could eat it again.

When time came for the end of business, I managed to close the gallery right on time. I made a quick run down the street to shi shi before returning to finish up all the paperwork. I made short work of the closing docs, grabbed my bag, and headed across the park to pick up the Pink Cruiser for my ride home.

As I passed under the Banyan Tree, I noticed a pretty black & white cat near one of the benches. I talked to it but it ran off, surely able to sense that I'm not really a cat person. Had I been able to coax it closer, I intended to check for a collar and see if it actually belonged to someone or was only a feral cat looking for a meal. It wanted no part of my help, though, so I hopped on the bike and pedaled home.

Arriving home, I experienced a momentary burst of excitement. Just in front of the condo door sat a package, some "big mail." I carried it inside, unceremoniously dropping my bag just inside the door, and opened the box. My excitement faded quickly when I discovered it was only the toilet paper I ordered via Amazon subscription. Needed? Sure. Exciting? Not so much.

I threw together some Ramen, ate, and plopped on the bed. Work tired me out, so I suspect the rest of my night will consist of more Supernatural episodes and a few Zs.