Thursday, August 30, 2012

Getting Ready to Go Back to Hawaii

It's a long way to fly. About five hours to the west coast. Then five more hours over the ocean.

But it's SO worth it! To land at the Kona airport and walk down the stairs from the plane. It's Hawaii! It's like Dorothy coming to Oz. Everything is tropical; the air, the trees, the whole vibe. The photo below is the open-air airport. Everything here is open-air. I love that!

Driving north from the airport, you pass miles of volcanic rock with messages, white on black. After a while you come to the green, leafy part of the island.

That's where our hotel is located, on the most beautiful beach. I love this beach!

I love the sunsets too. Aloha!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Aubrey is 13!

Yesterday my niece Aubrey celebrated her 13th birthday.

Aubrey is smart, funny, creative, thoughtful and generous. She loves to read and she loves to watch DVDs of "Mash" and "The Twilight Zone.

All three girls have their birthdays in the summer, one in June and July, then Aubrey's in August. She always has to wait the longest for her birthday, so I think she enjoys hers the most!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Space Men

Neil Armstrong died today. I feel the loss; he was a good man, an unassuming homebody who lived on a farm in Ohio. Yet he did such an amazing thing. I will never forget the night of July 20, 1969, gazing up at the moon, thinking "there is really a man up there". I, too, grew up in Ohio, not that far from his farm in Lebanon. It's a quiet town and he was a quiet man. I found a quote from him that was part of a speech he gave in 2000: "I am, and ever will be, a white socks, pocket protector, nerdy engineer." My own father could have said that about himself; it sounds like him, too.

I've also been thinking about Ray Bradbury. Last week I was thrilled to see the successful landing of Curiosity on Mars. They named the landing sight for Ray Bradbury. This was so fitting, as he wrote The Martian Chronicles. If only he had lived long enough to see it.

p.s. Ray Bradbury's cat looks just like my Munchkin.

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Friday

I got good news this morning. The stress test I took yesterday came out negative for any problems; there are no blockages to my heart.

This is what a stress test looks like (with a man instead of me, of course). They hook you up with wires so they can run an EKG and a blood pressure cuff so they can measure your blood pressure during the test. Then you walk on the treadmill until your heart rate comes up to the target level. They measure blood flow to your heart both before and after exercise. In order to do this, they inject isotopes into your body through an IV, which allows them to observe blood flow using a gamma camera.

The gamma camera looks like this. You lie under it for about fifteen minutes while it rotates around you. The whole procedure took about two hours. This morning I got the report from my doctor's office... no blockages! YAY! It's good to know. I am motivated to stay healthy now, eating healthily and getting more exercise.

Part Two of My Friday:

My sister works on Fridays, so I pick up my nieces after school. In previous years, they all went to the same school so it was fairly simple; just drive across town to their Montessori school and wait in the car line. It's a very small school, so traffic wasn't a problem. This year, however, the two oldest are going to a different school on the other side of town. That means picking up the youngest at the Montessori school, then driving across town to pick up the other two. Their new school is much larger, so there is a LOT of traffic coming and going. There is a time crunch too, as they are hungry and want to stop for food and the oldest has to be at gymnastics practice by 4:15.

I have no children of my own, so this routine has only been in my life since we moved here to be close to family. It really gives me a greater understanding of what parents' lives are like. I have to do this only on Fridays; my sister has to do it all the other days!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Day in a New School

My two older nieces are not returning to their Montessori school this year. Rather, they are going to a new school for junior high and high school.

I pick them up from school on Fridays, while my sister is at work. I took these photos last Friday as they came out after school.

Aubrey, the younger of the two, is a "free spirit" and dislikes having to wear a uniform. She can no longer express her unique personality through the clothes she wears to school. Aubrey has her own special magic; I hope she finds her niche there.

Sarah, the oldest sister, likes the idea of discipline and routine. She is a perfectionist; organized and conscientious.

They will both do well. They are both smart and good at making friends.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pompeii Part 2

Some more photos I took at the Pompeii exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center.

This is in the concourse of Union Terminal. The murals around the perimeter are all done in mosaic, and the dome soars above.

Archaeology being done by the University of Cincinnati Department of Classics is featured in a video as you enter the exhibit.


A prominent citizen.


There were frescoes, which decorated the walls of many residences.

There were graffiti artists in Pompeii.

There were cheaters, too. These are loaded dice.

Everyday objects were elaborately decorated. This jug is an example.

A statue of Venus.

More detail on everyday objects.

This is how a courtyard would have looked in a wealthy person's residence.

It was fascinating to see how people were living in 79 AD; then Vesuvius erupted and it all disappeared in less than 24 hours. The city was completely buried and wasn't discovered until the 1700s.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Today we went to the Cincinnati Museum Center. It is housed in Cincinnati's historic, art deco Union Terminal.

We went to see the Pompeii exhibit. My husband and I were in Italy two years ago, and we visited the site of Pompeii. I posted photos of Pompeii in March, 2010. (I need to find out how to set up an archive.) So, when the exhibit came to town I wanted to see it. It was amazing and beautiful and heartbreaking.

The body casts were heartbreaking. Men, women and children were buried in the ash.

They had some beautiful things.

A gladiator's helmet.



Household furnishings.

A fresco from a garden wall:

There was even a petrified loaf of bread.