New blog/New Year's resolution

So I'm not one for New Year's resolutions. Never been much of a joiner. But this year, I've made one and to help me stick to it, I've started a blog. My resolution is to read the Bible in a year which is something I've never done but have been wanting to do for a while. January 1 is a good time to start.

The new blog is called Footprints in the Sand (I know, original) and my hope is that it becomes somewhat of an on-line Bible study. I've sent out emails to some family and friends and I'm putting it up here in case anyone wants to pop over and check it out. I've posted an intro and the first month's reading plan. My goal is to post each day on the chapters that are assigned to that day. We'll see if "life" gets in the way.



- hfs


Holiday Card Score Sheet

Now that the season's greetings have rolled in, tally up the points for each card you received and check your holiday karma.

Gain points when you receive cards from:
- dentist, insurance agent, hairdresser, dry cleaner, mailman: +0.5
- your mom: +0.5
- another relative: +1
- friend, via email: +0.5
- your boss: +1
- friend you see at least 1x/week: +1
- above, with reference to an inside joke: +3
- long-distance friend, devoid of any personal message: +2
- above, with personal message of at least 3 lines: +5
- anyone who includes a handwritten personal note of ore than 5 sentences: +5
- long-lost friend who hasn't been heard from in 20 years: +10

Lose points when:
- card and envelope are the same piece of paper: -1
- signature is imprinted rather than handwritten inside card: -2
- photo is of a helpless pet in a holiday costume: -3
- your name is spelled incorrectly: -4
- card plays annoying music that cannot be turned off: -4
- highly religious card that celebrates faith other than your own: -5
- card is the same one you received last year: -6
- return address label was provided by charity to which sender may not actually have contributed: -7
- family newsletter contains the words gallbladder, spleen, or gout: -8
- family newsletter is from ex who is (not so) subtly gloating over recent wedding and cushy new job: -10
- long lost friend who hasn't been heard from in 20 years and is asking for money or a place to live: -20

Bonus Points:
- gilded envelope: +0.5
- handwritten return address: +1
- card in which all family members appear to have signed their own names: +2
- newsletter of family photo in card: +2
- card with moving parts: +3
- handmade card:+4
- oversize card requiring extra postage: +5
- card sent from foreign country: +6
- newsletter with humor at progeny's expense: +8
- card with check, cash, or gift certificate: +20

How did you do?
Negative Points: Whoops! Did you forget to send out cards last year? More importantly, did you give the mailman a holiday gift?

0-20 points: Not too shabby. And you still have time - cards will probably trickle in until 2009 (or later, depending on when I get mine out!).

20 points and up: Well done! Looks like your mantle boasts cards aplenty. You're a shoo-in for Miss Congeniality.

(stolen shamelessly from Real Simple magazine)


- hfs

This and that


What. A. Year.

Here's hoping that 2009 isn't quite so...crazy. I spent the last 1/2 of 2008 feeling as though I was drowning. My goal is to avoid that in 2009. Don't get me wrong - I can't stand to stand still. As much of a homebody as I am, I have to get out of the house on a regular basis - even if it's only to hit Starbucks or the beach. But there were weeks where we only had 1 meal together at home and that is not acceptable.

So 2009 will be calmer. More even. Less insane.

Yeah, right. Who am I kidding?

You’re not gonna be happy unless you’re going Mach 2 with your hair on fire.

But I'll try.

I finally got my Christmas cards ordered. Don't judge. Not only do they say "Merry Christmas", they also say "Happy New Year" and, since it's not quite the new year, I'm ok. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself. Once they get here, I'll get them addressed and sent out with our annual update letter. And then it will be time for our local NYE tradition of Old Spaghetti Factory, catching the City Lights on the last night before they take them down, and then ringing in the new year lighting off fireworks with friends from church.

In the meantime, the house needs a thorough cleaning (and de-cluttering), I have a sewing machine that is begging to be used, and I might even get back into blogging a bit more. Who knows? I have several mainland trips coming up this year that I am looking forward to. Might even be able to get me some In-N-Out AND some Beau Jo's pizza. YUMMO! And there's a possible Dining In coming up as well. THAT should be interesting...

So stay outta trouble people! And no one fall over from the shock of the fact that I posted twice in one day.


- hfs

The night the lights went out...in Hawaii

Well, THAT was fun. Thank goodness I had already prepped dinner as it's hard to cook on the BBQ in the driving rain while lightning dances about.

Yes, we lost power last night. Whoop-de-doo. You'd think O'ahu had never, in the history of the island, lost power. Good GRIEF. Yes, it was an inconvenience. But at least it wasn't 100*. or -20*. And it was TWELVE HOURS! C'mon. You'd think Hurricane Katrina had come through, the way people are carrying on. It's ridiculous.

"I feel lost. We have to buy candles," said Akina. "Hopefully they can get something up and running. We'll play board games by candlelight until then."

Seriously? You're telling me you had NO candles and NO flashlights in the house? You live on an island that deals with power outages on a pretty regular basis and has been in the path of several major hurricanes and you have no candles? At Christmas time even?

Way to be prepared, people. Sheesh.

As for us, we had a lovely meal of leftover minestrone soup, cornbread muffins, and salad by candle light (after grabbing the flashlights that we have in just about every room in the house in order to get the candles from the cabinets along with the matches) and then played card games until bedtime. It's not hard to be prepared.



- hfs



Mele Kalikimaka



And Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!

(that's Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in Hawaiian for those that don't know)


- hfs


Now you see it, now you don't!

UPDATE: I logged in this morning to find that all of my email archives are back. *WHEW* However, I've not been all too pleased with my email server for a while so I'm switching. This pertains to my personal email, not the yahoo email associated with this blog. So those of you who know, know.


Earlier today, I was having issues accessing my email inbox. The program kept telling me I had incorrect login credentials. Every once in a while it does this - just a minor hiccup in the server or whatever. I tried logging out and logging back in a few times but I had things to do so I shut off the computer and headed out.

Came home this evening and fired my sweet Mac back up and attempted to log in to my email once more.

SUCCESS...kind of.

I have new messages waiting for me but all of my archives are GONE.

GONEGONEGONE. Gone like the wind. Not there. Crap.

220 messages in my inbox alone. Six or seven folders including FRG information, mailing addresses for anyone I've sent a Christmas card to in the past 10 years and anyone who's moved in the past 10 years, messages from MacGyver while he was in Iraq...GONE.


I have an email in to tech support for my email server but I'm not holding out much hope. *sigh* In the grand scheme of things, it's really not a big deal. I don't know that there was much in there that I cannot live without. But there were things in there that I used - addresses, a recipe for a great tater tot casserole, some DITY move information, etc. Nothing major but surely inconvenient.

I'd really like the emails from MacGyver back.


- hfs


Water, water everywhere...



It's been raining a bit around here. Started about 3am Thursday morning and has pretty much rained on ever since. Today is round 3 and it's showing no sign of letting up. Several communities here have had to deal with some pretty serious flooding. Our church is having flooding issues as well. Not fun.

Thankfully we live on a hill and are therefore not prone to flooding. However, with the amounts of water we've had, our front yard lakes up pretty quickly. I'm waiting to see the animals begin to pair up and then I think I'll start working on that ark. Always fun around here...


- hfs


Formal Ball Pictures

I managed to track down the photographer, pay him, and get ahold of my pictures. Yay!



We clean up nicely, I tell ya!


- hfs



Ball has come and gone. And it was fun. It was a lot of fun.

I've been to many balls in my life: fraternity formals, ROTC balls, Warrant Officer ball, Aviation Balls. All were ok. A few were fun.

This one was the best.

And the Cav guys behaved. Mostly.

The Hillclimber grog. In a bubble window, no less.

The head of the Hillclimber Veterans' Association flew in for the ball.

One of the reasons it was such a good time was because of good friends.

One of the biggest reasons that ball was so successful was because of this guy. And as a thank you, he got to re-rearrange the "fruit salad" on his coat. Guess he shouldn't have taken it off in the first place.

Ok, maybe the Cav guys didn't behave...

Of course, when the troop commander misbehaves, it's 'monkey see, monkey do'.

The shirt says "Party Shirt. My HOT date". Heh.

And it just went downhill from there.

I have no decent shots from Nashville's primarily because I was unable to figure out how to operate the camera by that point in the evening. Thank goodness for my designated driver or else I'd still be down there. Heh.

And formal portraits are pending...because we forgot to pick them up at the end of the evening. Whoops.


- hfs


Wrote this six years ago. Nothing's changed.  One of my favorite movies is 'Bull Durham'. And one of my favorite scenes in ...