Donna Crawford
Redondo Beach, California


I was born in North Carolina and lived there until I was about 2 or so.  My father was in the military, so we moved every year or two.  We lived up and down the east coast, in Arkansas, Germany and Kansas, before he retired in 1980.  I attended Manhattan High School (in Kansas) and college and law school at the University of Kansas (Go Jayhawks!!).

I've lived in Alabama, Georgia, Texas and California since leaving my parents' home.  I currently live in California with my husband Kirk (even while we were on our RTW, we considered California as home). My family and friends are scattered all over the place, as you can imagine.

My husband and I are highly involved with our church, locally. I have lots of hobbies, including cooking, HAM radio, reading, travelling, bzflag, and sports/outdoor activities. Although I love to watch Jayhawk Basketball, I generally prefer to participate. Some of my favorites are beach volleyball, scuba diving, cycling, rowing, swimming, snow skiing, tramping, surfing, off-roading, etc.

My travels over the last few years have taken me to Costa Rica, Hawaii, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and most recently, on a 15-country, 1-year round-the-world trip.

Feel free to drop me an email to let me know how you're doing, or any other suggestions you have for these pages! And be sure to sign my new Guestbook!

Recent Articles

Wednesday, August 29


In Memory of...

I find that I haven't written here in a long time. There's much I could have written about, I suppose, but nothing that really inspired me to take away from doing and turn to writing.

Today, however, has caused me to take a deep breath and pause. And so here I am. Two very important people died today - my father-in-law (Fred), and my friend/coworker (David). The first death was long-expected, the second (which occurred about 3 hours before my father-in-law's death) was quite a shock.

I was at the hospital, visiting with a friend whose brother has been in ICU for a week. About an hour after I arrived, I had a rather odd call - someone was looking for the pastor who had just left. David was found unconscious in his car in the middle of a busy intersection and was being rushed to a (different) hospital. Less than an hour later, he was gone. He left behind a beautiful family, who are surely even more shocked than I am. I saw David briefly this morning, meeting with one of our church members for coffee. He looked fine - the same as always - concerned, interested, humble. The consolation I have in all this is that I know David is with the Lord now - he's happy, rejoicing, even as his friends and family grieve the fact that he is no longer with us.

I had just come home, beating my husband home by about 15-30 minutes. We recently got an air conditioner which we have in the office window - that way we have at least one room in the house that is tolerable when it's hot outside. Today it was hot. I arrived home and immediately went into the office and turned on the A/C. My phone was in another room, unfortunately with the ringer still off (from being at the hospital). I missed the 4 calls Kirk made trying to reach me on his way home. As he was driving home from work, he received a call - his father had died. This death, though still not welcome, was not surprising. He had had alzheimers for years and had been steadily declining for months. However, even when you expect the news, it is still somehow surprising. We drove down to Orange County to spend the evening with Kirk's mom, say good bye to his dad. Kelley (one of Kirk's sisters) came down as well.

I'm still processing the events of today - and may be for some time to come. Kirk's mom will be facing a lot of changes and transition. Darlene (David's wife) will be facing the same - but without having the benefit of months, even years, of preparation. Please pray for these two families. And take the time to call, hug your parents, your friends, your family - don't miss an opportunity to tell them how important they are to you.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 27


Breathing Breaks

When I last wrote, I had broken my shoulder, discovered I had bacterial pneumonia and Kirk had arrived home (just). It was such a joy to have Kirk home after such an extended absence, though I wasn't really feeling well enough to truly enjoy his company. He was scheduled to leave town (already) again on Monday but this time, I went with him, rather than spending yet another week apart. While we were in Berkeley, I started coughing, and it rapidly got worse. We didn't return home in time to make it to the doctor on Friday, so I figured I'd wait it out over the weekend, and if I wasn't better by Monday, I'd go then.

Sunday morning, I started coughing and couldn't stop. I was coughing to the point of retching, which, of course, was torture with my shoulder. Kirk took me to the ER where I spent the majority of the day. They pumped me full of more drugs than I could count and had someone come in and give me breathing treatments every couple of hours. The ER doctor came in and gave me a rather unexpected diagnosis - I was healed of the pneumonia, but now was exhibiting asthmatic bronchitis (no, I don't have asthma, but it was certainly what it seemed like).

After several hours in the ER, I was still having a lot of problems, so they admitted me to the hospital. I was fully expecting to be out the next day. Let me just say, Little Company of Mary Hospital is great. The staff was great, the food was ok (which is a BIG deal for a hospital), they were very flexible, helpful and nice. Kirk was allowed to come and go whenever - visiting hours were not enforced. When some of my other friends came by, they were very lenient as well. Kirk spent the entire day with me on both Sunday and Monday (so much for our three day weekend to play and relax).

On Monday, they didn't release me. However, Chris, Holly and Ambre all dropped by at different times of the day. It was really nice to see some familiar faces. Also a good friend of mine, Melissa happened to be working on the ward that day. It was really cool to see her smiling face anytime I got up and went for a walk (which was quite frequent - despite my breathing problems, I do not sit still well).

Tuesday, Garret came by, though I missed him - I was being re-x-rayed (to see how the shoulder was healing). Dina stopped by for a while too. Plus I had my first visit with the physical therapist, Karen. She gave me some exercises to start for my shoulder. Returning phone calls at this point was still rather difficult, as I was as likely as not to launch into a coughing fit while talking.

On Wednesday, I was feeling better. Especially since Kirk had brought me some earplugs and I was actually able to sleep. In fact, I slept so well that when the nurse came in for my 1AM meds and shortly after the respiratory therapist came in, I slept through the entire thing - they weren't able to wake me. I was given the meds, but the therapist saw I was breathing fairly well, and left.

Late in the morning, my mother- and sister-in-law came by with my niece, Amy. We chatted for a while and I was actually released while they were there. Kirk picked me up and drove me home (yay!) and they came over to the house for a while, as I got settled in. I was sent home with an armful of drugs, but it was really nice to be home.

As I write this, I've now started to return to work, even after a full month away. A full day wears me out, so I'm working extra days, but shorter hours. My cough is still hanging on a bit, but it's at least a "useful" cough - I'm coughing stuff out of my lungs. I have tons of emails to return (remember, I type way slower than usual thanks to a broken shoulder), along with some phone calls and letters. I will be starting my "official" physical therapy next week.

Thanks to all of you who were praying for me during this time! It worked and I appreciate each and every one of you! You're awesome!

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, February 8


Short Update

Here's a very short update on what's been going on - I'll try to remember to provide an expanded version later on. Kirk has been on the road since January 16th. He did manage a short 2 day trip home for our 5-year anniversary, which we spent in Idyllwild. We stayed at a nice little B&B (Strawberry Creek Inn) and went horseback riding. I picked him up from the airport and took him straight back to the airport - he never even got to come back to the apartment.

While he was in Maui, I took the opportunity to head up to Mammoth with some folks from irc. Christel, who I know from freenode (and whose staff I recently joined), and a couple of others were flying up to Mammoth on a Cessna 210. I attended Bryan and Chad's going away lunch and then drove straight to San Diego.

The flight up was nice, but a bit chilly. It was quite dark by the time we landed. A nice dinner out at Roberto's (where Kirk and I had met Fred & Geri 5 years ago) and the next morning we hit the slopes. Or tried to. It took a while to get everyone sorted, and it was almost 11AM by the time we headed up the hill to take our first run.

Turns out that James was a bit newer to skiing than Tracy or I realized, so we took some time getting him over to a green run and then tried to coach him down the run. It was while on this green run that disaster struck. We were near the right hand side of the very wide run, in perfectly clear view to anyone above us. I was standing still explaining how to snow plow, and Tracy was about 20 yards downhill. All the sudden, I looked uphill and saw a guy coming straight for me, completely out of control, laying back on his skis. Before I even had time to react, he ran right into me. I went flying, landing on my head and shoulder. Tracy later said he stopped about a foot or so from where Tracy was standing.

I was in too much pain to even get up and Tracy went for help. Ski patrol came and I got a nice little ride down the hill on a sled - not exactly what I was expecting. From there, the EMTs took me in an ambulance to the hospital, which was packed. After a substantial wait (a portion of which I spent on irc trying to distract myself from the pain), I was finally wheeled into xray - where they made me do my xrays laying down. First I had to remove about 5 layers of clothing - excruicating!

Turns out, I had a fractured glenoid - that's one of the bones making up the socket. Not good. I was done for the trip - without having taken a single run! I spent the next 2 1/2 days in the hotel room, icing my shoulder, taking pain medication and generally sulking a bit. We had some nice meals out and Christel was a doll and hung out with me most of the time, not getting to ski herself.

Monday, we flew home in stellar weather. I got to ride up front with Tracy (the pilot) and saw some magnificent scenery. As I was now in San Diego with my car, I had a 2 1/2 hour drive home ahead of me. We landed fairly late and I was feeling rather weary, so I decided to postpone my drive home for a day. We met Scott (numist) and Ben (krel) out for dinner and then headed back to Tracy's where I slept like the dead.

Tuesday, I just never got around to going home. I was desperately hoping to find someone who would be willing to drive me back - driving without a right arm/shoulder is difficult, even with an automatic. Putting my seatbelt on turned out to be one of my most challenging tasks. I ended up spending all day Thursday in San Diego too - we went over to Scott's house later in the evening and watched House, along with a bunch of his friends and roomates. It was quite packed, with computers and power cords everywhere you looked. We went out for burritos after House, as we were all starving. It was pretty funny to sit in a roomful of people and have 1/2 the conversation happening online and the rest in real life.

Finally, on Wednesday, I had to go home. My orthopedic appointment was for Thursday. I was pretty nervous about making the drive, but I did. Managed to get home without hitting rush hour in San Diego or LA. My friend, Linda, came over and washed my hair on Wednesday night - that was such a blessing.

On Thursday, my orthopedist took new x-rays and discovered I had two breaks in my shoulder. I had an AC separation and a glenoid break. The AC separation is pretty much ignored - they don't repair those, just let them sort of "heal" on their own (although they pretty much don't go back to the way they were - I'll forever have a bump in my shoulder where the bone sticks up). The glenoid fracture was more troublesome and he sent me for a CTscan on Friday.

I had the scan on Friday and was due to go back in to see my doctor on Monday to get hte results of the scan. However, his office called me Friday afternoon to tell me they had made me an appointment with a specialist - I was seeing him on Monday instead. To me, this meant I was very likely going to require surgery - not good.

Another friend (from bzflag), Manaen (zk), gave me a ring. He is in town for some work training. His timing was perfect, as I was just trying to figure out who to call for a ride to church. When Manaen called, he mentioned going to church, so I invited him to come along AND be my chauffeur, to which he agreed. His internal clock was a bit mixed up though, as he arrived to pick me up at 6:45AM (instead of 8AM). He woke me up when he called, surprising me! We had breakfast at Good Stuff (where I had one of the girls braid my hair) and then headed over to my church, King's Harbor. By the time church was over, I was pretty worn out, so he took me home. I had a Superbowl party I was supposed to attend that afternoon but I ended up staying home and resting.

Monday came along and I went to my specialist appointment. No one had sent over any of the information on my case - not the x-rays or the CTscan. Gah! They took yet a third set of x-rays and got the CTscan written report faxed over. Based on those two items, he decided I did not need surgery! Hooray, good news at last.

Fast forward to today. I've been feeling rather poorly since Monday. I kept hearing a sort of rattling in my chest if I tried to breathe while laying down. Despite taking aspirin, etc., I had a fever that kept coming and going (not too high - no more than about 101) and I had started coughing too (although I resisted coughing as it hurt my shoulder). Finally today, I gave in and went to the doctor. They did a chest x-ray (I'm going to be radioactive if they keep this up) and discovered I have bacterial pneumonia. They think it is caused because of the broken shoulder - I haven't been breathing as deeply as usual and consequently, have been unable to clear my lungs.

So now, not only is it a total pain to type (mostly done one-handed), but it is also difficult to talk, as it tends to make me want to cough, which I decidedly do not want to do.

An aside (but very important), I have terrific friends. Throughout this whole process, my friends and coworkers have been bringing me meals, doing my laundry, washing my hair, shopping for me. I am truly blessed!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, October 14


A Day of Extreme Late and Wait

Today was my first day to volunteer on a construction team for the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition house we are building. I received a call on Friday to report for the framing team at 8AM on Saturday. Apparently, there was another team coming even earlier (5AM).

I arrived at the checkin tent, filled out my waivers, received my hardhat and t-shirt, grabbed my tools and headed over to the staging area with my friend, Elaine. Elaine and I have worked in Mississippi together on three different trips. The staging area was mostly empty, to our surprise. We did run into John A (another former Mississippi team member) and he told us to head over to the house. Most of the framers were having breakfast then, as the build was already "behind schedule".

We took a walk up the street and found the canteen area. It was still full of framers, but many were already heading over to the job site. I grabbed a cup of caffeine and then we headed over ourselves. It turns out that it took longer to do the backfill, and the job was over 6.5 hours behind schedule. When the alloted timeframe is only 106 hours to begin with, this is a pretty significant delay. There were a lot of guys laying rebar in the house footprint. To me, that meant the concrete wasn't even down, but surely THAT wasn't possible. At any rate, they were no where NEAR ready for the framers, much less the 50-60+ framers we had on site at the time.

We spent a little time getting oriented and chatting with people who had been onsite for a while. At one point, one of the ABC guys asked us to remove some signage from some fencing near the visitor area. Apparently the fencing provider had not made arrangements to have his signage displayed. It was interesting to stand there, removing screws and bolts, listening to neighborhood people talk about what was going on.

There was a WHOLE lot of "hurry up and wait" today. For me, it's the most frustrating part of construction. Even more so when I knew there was so much to be done, but had a hard time finding someone who could point us in the right direction.

The forms and rebar are laid, ready for the concrete to be poured We did some other random things - one of the neighbors (the neighbors's yards literally become part of the work site) had left his car in a spot where we needed to bring in a fork lift. We tried moving it, but you needed the keys to put it into neutral to move it. One of the team leaders got a forklift in there and moved the car out of the way with the forklift. That same neighbor had had a palm tree very near the border of the property we were working on. The palm had been removed and we spent an inordinate amount of time trying to dig up the roots. I never realized what a mess (and how tough) palm tree roots are. (As a side note, many, if not most, of the neighbors will end up having their property relandscaped when the project is over - it is all part of what the general contractor agreed to take care of when he took on the project).

The concrete is poured and dryingFinally, I realized something - the rebar meant exactly what I thought it meant. The concrete wasn't in yet! A good part of the morning was consumed with the laying of concrete. For this project, they use a special type of concrete - it is actually generally used for highrises, etc. It is much much stronger, rarely (if ever) used for residential builds, but the key - it is extremely quick drying. They poured the entire house foundation, and before they were even finished pouring it, we were already removing the forms from the sections they poured first.

Elaine and I hopped onto one of the concrete teams (what else are we going to do when there is no framing to be had?!) and learned how to pull the forms and tidy things up. It was hard work, but really REALLY nice to be doing something. We also got to see some professionals lay concrete - some using some tools/machinery we had never seen. We both have done concrete in Mississippi, but nothing like this. It was rather cool.

lunch areaWe had finished pulling the forms off the part of the house that had dried and went to grab some lunch. There was a full lunch tent and rest area set up in the back of a house being built a couple of doors down. As I got in the lunch line, someone told me Kirk was there. I was shocked to see him sitting in the lunch area! He had, apparently, arrived about 10-15 minutes before and was eating lunch before he started volunteering. We sat and chatted for a bit. He was mostly finished when I sat down, so he quickly headed off for the job site as I relaxed with Mimi, Karen, Elaine, Kathy and Edie. After a short while, Gary - the ABC Project manager - sat down. We all had a nice chat with him about our project and the show in general.

Finally, it was time to head back to the job site. When we arrived back, many of the walls had been delivered and were awaiting set-up. This is a pretty slick thing - all the walls were pre-measured and preassembled at the staging area. They were delivered, already built, WITH the plywood already attached! All we had to do was put the walls in the proper position, attach them to one another and fix them into place. I jumped in and started helping with this. There weren't enough nail guns to go around and there was an overabundance of people helping, but I did what I could when I could.

Volunteers start to raise the wallsJust as we had finished putting up the exterior walls and were about to start on the interior ones, I got a phone call. It was Kirk - he was in the canteen area and feeling very poorly. He needed to go home. The trick was, he had ridden his motorcycle to the site and didn't feel up to getting home on it, so he needed me to drive him back. A bit of juggling and I got him a ride to the staging area. I collected some of his things from the job site and then walked down to meet him. From there, I went and got the car and drove back to pick him up.

He was pale, cold and clammy, weak. I took him home and he promptly went to sleep. As I write this, he's feeling better a bit. His fever has come down and he is debating whether to go back to the jobsite tonight - the team he is "officially" on is scheduled to start work around midnight or 1AM. Whether he goes tonight or not, he has to get on a plane tomorrow night, bound for Australia. I desperately hope that he is feeling much better and that this was a just a temporary bit of dehydration or heat exhaustion.

As a final note, we are apparently desperately in need of volunteers. If you live in (or near) the South Bay and are willing to spend a few hours of your time on this worthwhile and exciting project, please come down! The check-in station is at the corner of Manhattan Beach Boulevard and Doolittle. At this point, they are asking for willing bodies - even if you aren't on the 'volunteer' list. Come on out! It's quite an experience!

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, September 16


lilo's Passing

I spend a good bit of time on the irc Freenode network. It has a long and somewhat interesting history that I won't go into here, but thanks to Sean for showing it to me. At any rate, Freenode has been headed by Rob Levin a/k/a "lilo" and "someguy" for quite some time now. He had a vision for the way irc should work and was implementing that vision on Freenode.

I just found out that on September 12th, Rob was out riding his bicycle and was hit by a car. He spent the next 4 days in a coma and eventually succumbed to his injuries, passing away today, September 16th. I know many will miss lilo. He had a great impact on irc and a great many people who use his network. Of course, he left behind a lot of people in "real life" too - he had a wife and child.

Several times, I spent a good bit of time talking to Rob. Not only was he an incredibly nice person, but he spent more time than was necessary walking me through how things worked, why they worked and generally orienting me to irc. We also chatted a few times on a personal level. I liked him and always knew I could go to him if I had questions or concerns. He will be missed by many, including me.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, August 25


The Road Less....Unpaved

After resting most of yesterday, Kirk felt like he was ready to get out and take in some sights. So, we decided to take the loop around the West end of the island. I had done this loop once before - the year we got married, Kirk came out here 2 months after our wedding for a work trip. No WAY he was going to Hawaii without his new wife! So, while he slaved away, working 16 hour days at the top of Haleakala, I played - scuba diving, snorkeling, whale watching, and, of course, long drives with fantastic scenery. I knew what was coming.

The West side of the island includes a very hairy 40-some-odd-mile stretch of "road" containing hairpin turns (enough to put Julia Robert's hair, in Pretty Woman, up and KEEP it up through 5 straight hours of high-impact aerobics), one-lane roads with long unpaved stretches, lots of roadside stands selling pineapple, banana bread, coconut candy, cold drinks and even shaved ice. In addition to it being a really fun drive, especially in a mustang convertible, it has some truly spectacular scenery.

Look out for lasers!So, we gathered our things and headed down the mountain from Kula, where we have been staying. It's about a 3500 foot drop in altitude, complete with a change in temperature to go with it. It was significantly warmer at sea level. On the way down the mountain, I had a really good laugh. For those of you who don't know, I have been playing an opensource online multiplayer game called Bzflag for a while now. It occurred to me today, that despite the fact that I'm "all grown up" now, I still have a rather vivid imagination. I saw this sign at the side of the road.
Immediately, I had visions of cars being damaged by lasers (a weapon on bzflag) - tires slashed, cut in half, engines burned...whatever it took to slow the thing down to the permissible speed. Kirk couldn't stop laughing at my silliness - and of course, one of the first things he said was "you play wayyyy too much bzflag!"

After a brief stop in Kahilui for lunch (and Kirk took his pain pill), we were on our way. Getting through Kahilui to the start of the road is quite a job for the navigator - lots of turns only 1-2 blocks apart. But Kirk is an excellent navigator and we made it without a single U-turn (I can't say the same for when I did the same trip almost 5 years ago now).

Little Red C..Mustang!Now, I told you we rented a mustang. On the whole, it's a nice little car. Certainly more convenient putting the top up and down than on Kirk's Spitfire at home (I'll let HIM explain how that works - I can't even follow the process). However, there is one little detail that really bugs me. For whatever reason, the accelerator in the mustang is not very responsive. You really have to mash it down to get any reaction out of the car, something I am not at all used to. Most sports cars have a much more sensitive accelerator. It would probably be more fun if it were a stick, but oh well.

Beautiful vistaThe scenery going from the windward to the leeward side of the island is really spectacular. Additionally, it varies from lush and green to more dry, deserty conditions (similar to California). We spent a lot of time driving up and down some rather amazing cliffs, even having to squeeze incredibly close to the edge of one so a large cement truck could get by us. He missed hitting our rear bumper by only about 4 inches. We were so close to the edge of the cliff, that Kirk had me back up before turning back onto the road to continue on.

Northern villageThere are certainly houses and farms and such along this narrow road. In fact, one of Kirk's colleagues lives in an estate development up here (for the low low price of 1.5 hour drive to work each day). We did pass a small (very cute) village about 1/2 way around the 41-mile section of road. It was colorful and quaint. Church in the Northern villageThere was a simply beautiful little church in the village. It was the first thing, really, that caught our attention.

Now, one of the odd things I particularly remembered about driving this section of the road was the coconut candy. First off, I love coconut. One of my FAVORITE ice creams (probably one of the top two, though it's hard to say which is the very very best), is Freddo's Coconut Ice Cream. There's only one problem with this being one of my favorites. Freddo's is in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I don't get to have it very often. (My other favorite is zitron ice cream, from Germany - yet another I get almost never). Rather early on, we passed a large stand (almost a small outdoor bar) that sold all sorts of things - tshirts, hats, etc. Sadly, they were out of coconut candy. But that was ok. It wasn't the place I remembered. That place had been on the inside curve of a hairpin turn, a good bit further along if I remembered rightly.

Roadside stand on MauiWell, I was right. It was still on the inside of the hairpin curve, but it was quite a bit bigger than I remembered from before. AND painted. Last time I was there (4 1/2 years ago), there was room enough for the proprietor inside, but all customers just walked up to the counter on the outside. It is substantially bigger now. We tasted the coconut candy (yum!) and the banana bread. Then we left with a single small pouch of coconut candy. This is about 1/2 of what they used to sell for almost double the price. As we walked away, the proprietor said "If you want to make it last, keep it out of reach. Aloha!"

TidepoolsA bit further on, we saw a lot of cars pulled over and figured we'd check out to see what they were all looking at. It turned out to be a nice little hike downward and then we were at an overlook, where we could see tidepools in two directions. One was completely deserted, and the other had some people wading around in it. We debated walking all the way down, but Kirk's back was already feeling some twinges and we had a long way to go yet.

Love is in the air...and on the groundMaui is certainly a place with a lot of honeymooners though. I can't help myself from wondering whenever we pass a seemingly happy-looking couple, "Are they on their honeymoon?" This road is no exception. We had spotted a blow hole from the road and as we wended our way closer, we came upon yet another large group of vehicles, parked this way and that, squeezing into whatever off-road space was available. We slipped the 'stang into a spot near some mud puddles and hopped out to see if we could get a closer view of the blowhole. Along the path, we found an area covered with rocks, that had been arranged into any variety of messages and hearts that you could imagine - sure evidence that honeymooners, whoever they may be, had been there.

Blowing upwardsThe blowhole reminded me of a quest Kirk and I once did in New Zealand. We must have hiked an hour or more to find a blowhole in the middle of some guy's field, seemingly far from the ocean. Unfortunately for us, at the time we were there, the tide was low and we saw almost nothing. What goes up, must come downThis time, we had a very nice view of the blowhole, snapping first, a photo as the water was pushed up through the hole, and another as it descended and drenched the folks who were standing way too close (or were they..? It WAS pretty hot).

Now, about now, I've begun to realize something is wrong...dreadfully wrong. We seemed to have covered a rather large distance, but we hadn't yet reached the unpaved section of the road. I remembered that section being quite long, so to not have reached it...we must not be nearly as far around as I thought. I mentioned this to Kirk and he replied - oh, they paved the whole thing a couple of years ago - there is no unpaved section anymore. What?! No WONDER we had seen so many cars coming around it today. When it was unpaved, all the rental car agency agreements basically said you weren't allowed to go on that road without voiding your agreement with them. I guess that no longer holds true.

Kirk's back was starting to hurt him quite a bit by now. It had been only 2 hours since he last took his medicine - it would be four hours before he could take it again. Our original plan was to head into Lahaina and have dinner there, then go home. The only problem was, our trip along this newly paved road took a scant 2-2.5 hours to complete. We arrived in Lahaina HOURS before dinner time. And frankly, it was hot, we were both getting a bit tired, and I knew he really needed to get home and rest his back. We settled for a nice little walk around Lahaina, some Lappert's Ice Cream, some more walking and window shopping, and a cold beverage for the ride home. I drained about 3/4 of my bottle of water before we even made it back to the car.

My gorgeous husband and Haleakala in the distanceWe hopped in and started on the homeward stretch - most of which was on the ever-popular, ever-busy Lahaina Highway. The road takes you by some really nice (locals only) surf breaks, which were hopping. A hurricane bypassed the island a couple of days before, but the swell it generated was providing some really surfable waves. We took one view point stop along with way. What looks like a separate island in the background behind Kirk is actually the southern portion of Maui - you are looking at Haleakala, the volcano on which reside the telescope and instruments Kirk has been working with.

Maui sunset approachesDespite some traffic getting out of Lahaina, we made it back to the B&B with little other delay. Kirk promptly went out to the jacuzzi for a while to try and relax his back, as he still had another hour before he could take his medicine. We decided to relax a bit around the room, order in food and just take it easy. La Provence, about 2-3 miles down the road, made us a pizza which I went and picked up. Just before I left, I snapped a photo from the deck at the B&B - looking to the North, where we had spent our day.

Labels: , , , ,


Localism Hits the Road

We decided to drive down to Makawao for dinner. There's a nice little steak house down there that Kirk likes and it sounded like a good plan. It's about a 20 minute drive. Kirk was already starting to have pain before we left the hotel, but he wasn't supposed to take any vicodin without food, so we took one with us for him to take with dinner.

Have I ever told you about Kirk's "parking karma"? I'm not really a believer in karma, but it's a funny way to say - he ALWAYS gets the very best possible parking place. There could be 100 cars circling in a parking lot, and the second we drive up, someone pulls out of a front place spot right in front of us. Voila! Parking karma! Well, tonight was no exception. There was a spot (parallel parking on the street) right in front of the restaurant. He pulled right in.

In Makawao, the streets are quite narrow. Cars parallel parking are quite close to the driving lane. It's an older looking town, quaint, even. Very upcountry feel to it. As he was getting out of the car, another car came by rather fast (the speed limit there is 20 mph). Kirk looked at me, rather surprised. I never even realized what happened until he told me..."That car just clipped us with its mirror." Really?! He checked and saw no damage on our car. The other car continued on, so we went into the restaurant.

Kirk had a hard time getting out of the car. He was moving very slow and clearly in a lot of pain. Walking seemed to be painful even. We were seated and he told me in a low voice, "Let's try and get some bread right away" (so he could take his pain medicine). As soon as the waitress came by and took our drink order, she said she'd bring some bread. And she did - warm sourdough. It was quite delicious. We placed our order. Then, Kirk took his medicine, took two bites and then got an extremely odd look on his face. He was in so much pain he couldn't sit there. After several attempts to get comfortable, he got up and said he'd be right back, he was going to the car. He looked like he was near tears, he was in so much pain.

I watched for a few minutes, thinking. He hadn't come back and I talked to the waitress to see if it was possible to get our food to go. She said of course, after I had explained the situation. I walked outside to speak to Kirk, offered to take our food to go, which he agreed to, and went back inside. I was looking for our waitress to let her know and out comes a lady with two big cushy pillows. She introduced herself as Diane, the General Manager of the restaurant. She was extremely nice and helpful (all of the staff were). She gave us a referral to two other MDs in the event Kirk needed to see someone again. She offered to send us home with dessert (which, it turns out, she didn't charge us for). I was completely impressed with the service we received.

As I waited for the food to be packed up and to finish paying, I noticed Kirk had called me. I tried to call him back, but had no signal, so I tried sending him a text message (which often goes through even if a phone call won't). A couple of minutes later, I was on my way out the door with the food. I got to the door and Kirk was standing in front of the car. I put the food in the car and was ready to get him inside so I could drive us back to the hotel (no way he was driving after taking a Vicodin). Kirk stopped me and said, "We have another problem." He pointed to a car parked in the shadows about 4 car lengths behind us. There were 4 kids standing on the street next to the car. Apparently, this was the car that had driven by us and hit our car when we were about to head into the restaurant. The kids were apparently claiming that the undercarriage of their car had somehow been damaged when Kirk opened his car door. Now this, of course, is quite impossible. Not only because there's no way the undercarriage could have been damaged, but even if they were claiming damage to the lower portion of the car, the shape of the door on the Mustang makes that simply impossible.

Makawao Steak HouseDiane, the restaurant manager, happened to come out to be sure we were ok, and I explained what was going on. She went inside to get a flashlight, I gave her our telephone number and names (we were talking about leaving to go back to the hotel), then she and I walked over to the kids' car. They started claiming that Kirk had kicked the car (again, impossible - he could barely move) and that he had damaged the car - first, when he opened the door and they clipped us, and secondly, when he "kicked" it. We looked at every inch of the passenger side and there was not a single mark on it - anywhere. They then claimed that the damage was underneath.

Then, one of the young ladies (not the driver) said to Diane, well even if we weren't damaged, what if someone else had driven by and it was damaged? Basically, it sounded like she was trying to claim that even though we didn't damage that car, they were trying to punish us in the event another car drove by and clipped us some other time. Crazy. Besides the fact, that they were in the moving vehicle - I find it hard to believe that we would be found at fault at all in this situation if there HAD been any damage. Finally, the young man (the driver) told us he had called the police. The girl threatened us saying she had our license plate number. Frankly, it was an empty threat, given that there wasn't a single indication of damage on their car anywhere.

Well, with the police called, we really didn't feel free to leave. Even though we had left our contact information with Diane. Diane said to us that the kids were being completely unreasonable and it seemed as if there was a bit of localism going on. 'A bit', I thought, the surf breaks almost look tame compared to this. Finally, I decided to call the police myself. So, I did - the non-emergency number. Intially, the guy didn't even have a record of the call, but it turns out it hadn't been called in as a vehicular incident originally. I gave the policeman all of our information - the make of our car, our names, telephone numbers, local address, etc. The dispatcher, Bill, was very nice and offered to call an ambulance for Kirk. I explained that we didn't need an ambulance - we had already been to the hospital once today. I just needed to get him back to the hotel so he could take the rest of his medication. The dispatcher released us to go.

I didn't even speak to the kids - there seemed no point. I hung up, got Kirk settled in the passenger seat and then drove us home. We passed a police car on our way home - it could have been the one called to respond to the situation. But if anything comes of it, I am sure we'll get a phone call tomorrow.

One final note, despite the localistic tendencies of these kids, we have not found this to be indicative of the locals at all. Most everyone has been very nice, friendly, even inviting. Diane was fantastic, and even though the restaurant was a bit more on the high end of the price range, I'd go back there anytime - if nothing else, because they treated us with such care.

And thus ends my first full day in Maui.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, August 24


The first 12 hours

Well, my flight landed and my fantastic husband was waiting for me at the airport. He had finished work on Tuesday morning and is now free for the entire week! Hooray! But he turned in his car, and waited for me to arrive so we could pick up the new one. I spotted him as I arrived near baggage claim. He was standing there with a lei of real flowers for me! Very cool! I felt special!

We quickly got our bags and headed to the rental agency. I had gotten a rather good deal. I flew on American and for the same price as the flight cost me, I also go a rental car - for free. All we had to do was show up and pick it up. Once inside, it turns out they had a 2006 Mustang Convertible for rent - we had to pay a few extra dollars for the whole week and it was ours! We're on vacation! Why not? She asked what color we wanted - black, silver or red? RED!! And red it is.

Heading back to our lodging (the Upcountry B&B in Kula, which is very nice), we, of course, rode the entire way with the top down...AND the heat on, especially as we gained altitude. Kirk had mentioned earlier that he was having some pain in his back and side, but he wasn't sure what was causing it. He took some more ibuprophen and we went to sleep.

I woke up this morning, first at 3:30 (6:30AM at home) and then finally at 6 (9AM at home). I simply couldn't sleep any longer. Kirk got up but was in a lot of pain. When he started to describe him symptoms, I was afraid he might have broken or separated a rib and we decided to make a trip to see a doctor. After a fabulous breakfast of fresh fruit (pineapple, strawberries, kiwi, mango, melon and blueberries) and fresh, homemade mango and raspberry scones, we called the insurance company to find out where we could go to a doctor locally. They gave us two numbers, one of which was in Kula!

Now, Kula is a very small town. VERY small. Some wouldn't even consider a town, really. So to discover they had their own hospital...well, I was expecting a little 3-4 room building and a long waiting line. But off we went. As we pulled up to the hospital, we were shocked to see one of the biggest buildings I've seen in the upcountry. It was about 5-6 stories high and quite old. It turns out, it was built in the 1930s, originally as a sanitorium for tuberculosis patients that needed a place to recover in a reasonable climate.

We went into the 'emergency' room, to discover no waiting room. We were in an actual treatment room. With a nurse and a doctor, and no one else to wait behind. We filled out some quick paperwork, Kirk was wheeled (in a wheelchair!) off for some x-rays and then we were back in the ER. The x-rays revealed no break or problems. So it's most likely muscular. He got lots of drugs (anaproxin, vicodin and a muscle relaxant) and we were on our way back. At this point, we won't be surfing, scuba diving, running any marathons, biking down Haleakala. But, we will be relaxing, spending time together and enjoying whatever Hawaii has to offer those in need of rest, relaxation and recuperation.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 23


The Good, The Bad & the Parched

Airline travel these days is nothing like it was even 5 years ago. Sure, they still have pilots, flight attendants, cushy seats in first, narrow & uncomfortable seats in coach, loud obnoxious passengers & bad movies. The food used to be bad, but free. Now it's bad AND you have to pay for it. But now, you can't take water onto the plane. No spritzer. No coke. No gatorade, fingernail file. No scissors, so if you are planning to crochet or knit or sew, forget it. At least we haven't gone as far as the flights out of the UK, where NO carry ons are allowed on the plane - not even a purse! Airport security now has long lines to go through, and virtually no one on the far side. If you even THINK of pulling out a camera and snapping a photo anywhere near security, you'll have 10 agents surrounding you, demanding the film, camera and wanting to search you and your luggage.

All this said, my day started out quite fine. My friend Dina graciously drove me to the airport - albeit a bit early, as she had an appointment, but it was fine for me. After a slight glitch at check in (I went through the automated check in process, but the silly machine couldn't find my reservation), I breezed through security. During checkin, I heard a young lady next to me who apparently, though she was checking in 45 minutes prior to her departure (on an international flight), missed the deadline and was to be waitlisted on a flight leaving 7 hours later. I passed her on the way to security, trying to find coins for a pay phone. I remembered all the times during our travels we had to sort out making phone calls and just let her use my cell instead. A nice gal from Melbourne, just trying to get home. Apparently, check in in Melbourne for international flights is only 30 minutes. Hopefully she made it home.

From my past as a frequent traveler, I have a lifetime membership in the Admiral's Club. It's a nice little perk for when I'm traveling on American Airlines, which I was. I spent the next 2+ hours hanging out in the AC, drinking as much water and juice as I could consume and snacking on whatever they had laying around - fruit, cheese & crackers, trail mix. I watched one guy who managed to fill a plastic cup with trail mix, then, trying to balance it on his laptop, while carrying the laptop and a beverage of some sort, managed to dump the entire cup of trailmix all over the floor. He started to walk away, thought better of it, and then started to sweep up the pieces with his shoe, which, of course, merely crushed the pieces into smaller pieces and burrow them into the carpet. Eventually, he knelt down and scooped them up with his hands, leaving the remaining pieces for the attendant to sweep up a bit later. I passed the time chatting with a couple of people on IRC (for those of you who don't know, come to the freenode network, channel ##essy) and trying to do some testing at the same time.

Finally, it was time to board by plane. Another perk of the Admiral's Club (and arriving 3 hours early) was that I was able to change my seat to my favorite - the bulkhead aisle seat, right behind 1st class. Of course, 1st class would be nice, but I don't travel enough anymore to earn the upgrades. I got to the gate, expecting a giant crowd, only to find that they had already boarded most everyone. I breezed onto the plane, stowed my backpack and settled in.

There was a teenage girl in the seat next to me, traveling alone. By the way, not only did I score the bulkhead aisle seat, but it was exit row too! She offered me a stick of gum, which I gladly accepted, after having had an ear ache for the last week. Then she proceeded to talk. A lot.

Do you remember those people when you were younger? They were very nice, but seemingly not very self-confident. They often talked about themselves, and dropped comments or hints of things that were supposed to impress you? I think this is something that happens most with teenagers, and this young lady was no exception. She was very sweet though. Eventually, I managed to get engrossed in my book for a while and she turned her attention to the inflight entertainment.

The flight attendants seemed a bit harried. Apparently, even though it was a full flight, they were running with a minimum crew. There was a bit of confusion and one of the flight attendants was having to man the drink cart, which weights about 150 pounds all loaded, by herself. That doesn't sound so bad, except when you consider that the plane was still gaining altitude, so it was a bit heavier. Then they came around with the "meal" ($5 for a turkey sandwich) and "snack box" ($4 for a box containing small amounts of goldfish crackers, mixed nuts, raisins, a sausage stick, cheese and crackers and a cookie). I spent $4.

Now, here's where I get to rant a little. There were three flight attendants handling all of coach, which was full. One of them, I barely saw - I think she was working the back section most of the time. One, Kate, was mostly helping us and was extremely nice. The third was... a bit rough around the edges. She basically was quite impatient and rather curt. That's fine - everyone has bad days. But...

On the second drink pass, Ms. Curt and Kate were sorting something out on one of the carts. Kate had gone back to get something and suddenly, I felt my arm get extremely wet. I looked down and saw my sleeve was soaked and orange juice was dripping down my arm. I looked up and saw Ms. Curt. She didn't even notice. I said, "Excuse me?" and she noticed I was a bit wet and handed me a teeny napkin (the drink-sized square kind) and said, "Oh, don't worry, it's only water." and she walked off. ARGH!! I was also penned in by the cart, so I couldn't get up to go to the bathroom and try to wash my arm off. A few minutes later, Kate came back and graciously handed me a can of club soda and two thick towelsized napkin thingies to try and get the orange juice out of my sleeve (so it wouldn't stain). Now, with a thoroughly wet sleeve, that air they always have going on the plane started to feel a bit chilly. I wrapped up tighter in the blanket.

After a trip to the toilet, I came back and wrapped up in the blanket again, only to discover that I had turned it around and the part I had wrapped around my arms previously had been on the floor and was also soaked in orange juice. Sigh. I flipped it around again. About 2 hours later, I'm starting to dry out sufficiently (it's a 5 hour flight) and I made another trip to the toilet (remember, I spent 2 hours in the Admiral's Club downing all I could drink). When in there, I noticed that a 5 inch section of the back of my shirt, near the hem, had managed to take on a douse of OJ and I was just noticing it. It was mostly dry, but had orange juice stains all over it... So, I got ANOTHER can of club soda and ANOTHER one of those cool towelettes (from Kate of course) and I did my best to get the stain out. Another hour or two to go of being wet and uncomfortable.

Do you remember when you were a child, and you used to chew gum? I do. Vividly. My father used to get terrificly angry if I chewed it with my mouth open. Or if I made snapping or popping sounds with my gum. I always thought he was over-reacting and being silly, but he was my dad. And I prefered not to be spanked - especially in my teenage years. So, I learned the fine art of stealth gum chewing. Well. Dad. I now "get" it. In the last hour or so of the flight, I chose to listen to my ipod and relax a bit. Despite the fact that I was wearing headphones and the music was sufficiently loud, I could hear, as if I had nothing in my ears, the gal next to me making the most obnoxious sounds with her gum. I sat there dreaming of ways to politely (or

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, October 26


Steven's Surgery

Today, our friend Steven is in surgery. The tentative diagnosis is portal hypertension and the doctors are planning to perform a rather complicated procedure called Distal Splenorenal Shunt (DSRS). The procedure is expected to take approximately 7 hours. Please pray for Steven's well-being & for healing, for the doctors to have steady hands and cool heads, and for peace and comfort for the family.

Labels: , ,

Monday, October 24



Our friend, Steven, has been in the hospital for internal bleeding (and they don't know why). He is out at the moment for a few days, but will be returning to the hospital on Wednesday for a long, rather complicated surgery. Please keep him and his family in prayer. He will be in the hospital for upwards of 10 days post-surgery.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, March 5


A Small Matter

On Thursday, February 24th, I was having an "emotional day". What can I say? I'm a girl! I have emotions (and sometimes I show them). But even for me, this seeed a bit extreme and out of the ordinary. Oh, well, whatever.

The day before, I had gone into get my annual exam (read: girl stuff). While in there, they asked me some questions and decided (for safety sake, before getting an xray) they should confirm I'm not pregnant. So, they did a blood test (it's way too early to do a urine test). I called on Thursday to get the results, but the nurse was with another patient, so I left a message. We've been trying for over a year, so while I was hopeful, I didn't really expect to be.

After my emotional outbursts on Thursday morning, I finally heard back from the nurse. She informed me that the test was "positive". My response was "What does THAT mean?" She said, "You're pregnant." WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Now, remember, I'm sitting in the middle of my office surrounded by people (I didn't really shout, but I was shouting non-stop inside!). We scheduled our first pre-natal visit (March 23) and I hung up, took a deep breath, grabbed my cell phone, and with a quick comment ("I'm going downstairs for a minute"), I went outside.

Kirk had to be the first to hear the news and there was noooooooooooooo way I could wait until we were both off work! I called him and we chitchatted for a minute or two, and then I asked if he was sitting down (what a cliche, but it's all I could come up with). Then I told him. "Really?!" "Yes" "Wow!" My amazing husband: the man of understatement (which is a good balance for my tendency to overstate things). We tried to decide right there and then whether to tell people right away - we've never done this and really hadn't discussed what to do.

So, now you know our news.

Now, I'm experiencing all sorts of things, some old, some new, but they have a new name: "pregnancy". There's a cool little pregnancy calculator thing that I found - it helps you estimate your due date. I tried it on mine, but I'm not telling until I get it all confirmed by the doc. Other than being tired a lot, one of the most interesting things I've noticed is that my head will occasionally get dizzy or feel numb. Very strange. But comical since I know why.

Yes, yes, of course, I did some reading once we found out. I've lots more to do, but it gave some nice little basics, which I needed and appreciated. I found everything from a week-by-week pregnancy calender to some basic pregnancy info, and sites and forums galore for pregnant women and even for pregnant women over 35!

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, December 26


A month of Sundays - the final installment

Yesterday was Christmas - it was both busy and surprising. We had a great time in the morning with Kirk's family. Kirk's mom got a kitten for Christmas! It is soooo cute, I played with it a good bit of time. Kirk's mom, however, wasn't feeling very well - she had trouble breathing and had sharp pains whenever she tried to move.

Kirk and I drove her back to Seal Beach - he in her car and I followed in the Jeep. After we got there, we made her call a doctor. He told her to go to the emergency room. Off we went. While we waited for hours for them to see her and then figure out what was wrong, I sat in the waiting room (they wouldn't let us both back to her room) and played with my new game, Bop It Extreme 2, trying not to annoy everyone in the waiting room.

Eventually, Kirk came out and said we should go grab some dinner while they waited for some test results to come back. He started out looking for a fast food place that was open. It was Christmas night. Kelley had cooked lamb for dinner, but there was no way we had time to go all the way up there for dinner and come back. Nothing was open! Eventually, we found a Dave & Buster's that was open and we sat down and had dinner there. The food was not bad - certainly it was better than fast food!

When we returned to the hospital, Kirk's mom had been discharged a few minutes before, and instead of waiting for us, she drove home! Eeek! We went to the house and beat her there. We waited and eventually she showed up.

The doctors had told her she had bronchitis and pluracy. Ick! We put her to bed and went home (we found out a couple of days later that she also had a broken rib - from coughing too much - that they missed the first time around).

Today, we played with Kirk's ipod and started ripping our CDs. It's going to take a while and I suspect we'll be well over the estimated 10,000 songs it holds.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, October 29


A Break in Death Valley

Kirk and I decided to take a little break and head to Death Valley for a few days, to meet up with our 4-wheel club. Friday, we spent the day packing and I prepped our food for the trip. Friday night, we went to my friend's (Rena) wedding. We left before the reception started, as we had a 4+ hour drive ahead, of us to Olanche.

We spent the night at a teeny little motel with a bed that should be used in a comedy act. When we arrived (around 11 PM or so), the manager was out working on the hot water heater - apparently it had stopped working. Saturday morning, we awoke fairly early (although later than many others, as we could hear them outside packing up already) and managed to get a hot shower. Then we all headed over to the Ranch House Cafe for breakfast, where we were meeting the rest of our group.

All total, we had 18 Jeeps on the trip (5 Wrangler/Rubicons, 2 XJs, 1 Comanche and 10 KJs). The drive out to Saline Valley, where we would spend our first night, was fabulous! We had excellent views of several valleys, hit several water holes and even had an amazing drive down Lippencott Mine Road (very steep and winding). Then we had a long drive across dusty washboard.

We camped at the springs - an oasis of sorts in one part of the valley. There was a hot springs, a warm springs and one additional springs in the area. We all pooled resources for a pot luck on Saturday night (I brought my new favorite soup, Southwest Chicken Soup).

An amazing morning in Death Valley
On Sunday, we broke into a couple of different groups. We took 6 Jeeps (2 KJs, 2 XJs and 2 Rubicons) on a loop. We went up to see the Marble Bath (whoever decided to put a bathtub filled with blue marbles in the middle of the desert certainly created a popular stop along the way!), checked out a geo cache, saw the 700 foot tall sand dunes. Igor got a flat along the way coming back. Chuck's diffs kept locking, although we are on pavement and going, 45+ mph (when they had no business locking!). We ended up pulling the fuse to try and fix the problem. On the last few miles, we got behind a camper pulling a trailer and a Land Rover that wouldn't pull over and wouldn't let us pass. Finally, our trail guide went off road and around them, then slowed down and stopped so they would have to let us pass. They were going around 10-15 mph while we had been going about 25-30 before we had come upon them.

Sunday night, Mario (of Adventure Trailers) held a barbeque for everyone (he is the one who had arranged the trip). Afterwards, Shawna, Angela and I walked down to the hot springs. I had avoided it up to that point because it had been over run by people from a nudist colony. However, JJ had just returned from the pool nearby and said it was deserted except for folks from our club. We went down and hung out for a bit. It was quite dark, so you could barely see much of anything anyway. I decided to head back to camp after a while. The others were still soaking, so I dressed and headed back on my own.

As I walked up the hill to our camp site, I was thrilled with the beauty around me. And it was virtually deserted. I took a step with my left foot and suddenly it slid out from underneath me -- fast! I rolled my ankle hard, heard a loud "crackk!" and fell to the ground. I had done something really bad to my ankle. I thought of the time I had done something similar (and heard a similar awful sound) a few years ago (I rolled my right ankle and detached the ligament, pulling a small chip of the bone out in the process). Ugh! I tried calling for help and no one could hear me.

I tried putting some weight on my foot. No, that wouldn't work either. I hopped/crawled up the hill a bit further and called for help. No answer. I crawled closer. Still no answer. Eventually, I heard Clint call back "Are you okay?" "NO!" "Where are you?" "In the middle of the road." Less than a minute later, 3 guys came running up the road. Shortly behind them, John drove up in his jeep. they helped me into the Jeep and then John drove me back to camp. As he drove by the campfire, he leaned out the window and said "Don't you know an ambulance when you see one?"

Kirk helped me into the tent and we used our little remaining ice to try and bring down the swelling. I slept with it elevated (on top of my duffel bag).

The drive home Monday was a blur. We all drove out together (as far as the Saline Valley Road turnoff). In the process, we had another flat tire (Igor again), a leaking radiator and another transmission overheat. Once on blacktop, Kirk and I rushed back as quickly as possible. I was trying to make it to my "Authentic Woman" bible study at church. It's only seven weeks long and I really didn't want to miss another class (I missed the one while we were in Berkeley recently). I did make it in time for class.

On Tuesday, I was at work (using my crutches) and my ankle was starting to hurt (even though I was staying off it as much as possible). With Kirk and Linda's encouragement, I went to have my ankle x-rayed. It was just a precaution, really. I was quite sure it was only sprained. Maybe a ligament detached again, but surely that was all.

NOT. It's broken. It's not a bad break, but I'm out of action for 6-8 weeks. Oh well. I'm just terribly thankful that it happened at the END of the trip AND that I had such great people around to help me!

Hopefully our next trip to Death Valley will be a vacation, but not a "break"! Check out our photos!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, July 21


Ugh - sick!

There's not much more that I hate than being sick. Of course, a kidney infection isn't the worst thing that can happen to you, but nonetheless, it's the fastest way to boredom that I know. Once you get over the initial pain (and this was a doosey - complete with fever-related chills that would rack my body for up to 20 minutes at a time), there's not much you can do other than sleep, read a little (but that can be tiring), watch television (there's never anything on worth watching anyway) or ____ (fill in the blank). I can't even eat much at this point - well, I've forced myself to have something the last couple of days, but I wasn't really wanting to eat at all.

The real downer of the whole thing is that I had to leave my friend's wedding shower early (that's where the chills first hit me and I first realized something was wrong), I missed our church picnic AND I missed seeing a good friend from Denver who was in Long Beach for a regatta. And then, there's the boredom... Okay, I'll stop harping on about it. Send me emails, letters, whatever! It would be great to hear from some folks!


Donna in Austria
Click for larger image Austria, August 2003