I put together my pictures and short vids to make a slideshow of my trip. Majority of it is FOOD. It was the only thing I photographed during the week. I mean, who wants to see what I do at work Monday through Friday? Good times. Enjoy and feel free to share! Aloha!
I woke up at 4:30 am this morning thanks to my work alarm on my ipad that I forgot to turn off. It was actually a blessing because it woke me up in time to attend worship service at 5:30 am. The service was so moving that the minister had me laughing and in tears. I felt like I was bipoloar. When he went into being thankful every day, not just today, I couldn't help but start crying. I was overwhelmed with a sense of joy and thankfulness for EVERY SINGLE THING IN MY LIFE. Good and bad. Happy and sad times. The ups and downs in my life. It has made me the person I am. I can never walk past flowers without smelling them. I appreciate every beautiful thing I see and experience. Because one day, you will not wake up to experience it again. I've suffered many losses in my life, most of them sudden. My family may think it's crazy. For me, its appreciation. Little or big, I appreciate it all.
After I got home from church, my husband and his very good friend (our Best Man) was already outside getting ready to load up the smoker.
When I went to the backyard, I had to take a picture of what I saw. Yes, friends and family in the mainland, this is the view from my backyard.
The sun rising behind that mountain was BEAUTIFUL!
That white golf ball looking this is the X Band Radar sitting at Pearl Harbor. If you look really closely at the very bottom of the picture, you'll see battle ships sitting in West Loch.
From my backyard, I have a view of Diamond Head. There is one large tree that obstructs my view, but if you go to one corner of my backyard, you can see all of it. This was my view this morning. Cool huh!
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends and family, near and far. Enjoy this day and every day.
Don't be blind sided by the material things of this world. Spend your time with what really matters, each other. Not walmart, not target, not sears, not macy's, not even the military exchanges. The time you waste parked in line to save a few dollars to buy people material things will never match the value of the time you could spend with your loved ones.
"A cynic is a man who knows the cost of everything, and the value of nothing."
My little business/vacation trip is officially coming to an end. Call me a sentimental fool. But this goodbye is bittersweet. I miss my family and can't wait for the REAL vacation at home with no work, and true rest. But, I love this place. It's easy to get around and it's chock full of things to do. It really opened my eyes and helped me see how this state has huge misconceptions. It is NOT one big giant sandbox. It offers such a wide array of views, weather changes, landscapes, and activities.
The more I get off that island I call home, the more I am enticed to live OFF of it. Like I said in a previous blog, the grass is always greener on the other side. I know as soon as I get off this cloud and back to "reality", my feelings of loving Arizona may fade or even disappear. Who knows? I am going to continue to bask in this infatuation with the Grand Canyon state until the tires of my plane leave the ground.
It was wonderful to finally meet the people I have been working with for 6 years face to face. It's like meeting a long lost relative. It's mind boggling how deep human interaction is. How we can build such bonds from a distance and NEVER meet. As soon as we see or hear each other, it's as if we've lived right next door to each other for years.
Since this was my last day here, my co-workers took me out for a quick breakfast this morning. We hit up this cute little diner, Alexi's. This place reminds me of Eagle Cafe on Nimitz Highway. This perfectly sized breakfast was a whopping $3.99. SHUT UP!
Eggs alone cost more than that in Hawaii. You'd think our chickens laid golden ones! No gold in these but the food was good. The french toast was perfect just like that. No syrup needed. The bacon was crispier than an 80's wave hairstyle drenched in aqua net.
It filled me up just enough. No kanak attacks today! Not YET, anyway.
On my way down to the airport I took the 51 South. This was my first time going down this highway and the views once again were OUTSTANDING. I was in awe, AGAIN.
I wish I could've taken pictures. But doing 70 on the freeway didn't allow for me to snag my iphone to snap pictures at the same time. Soon, I was passing what I'm guessing is Scottsdale?? The homes were RIDICULOUS. You think Hawaii Kai and Waialae Ridge homes are nice? They don't even come close to what I saw on the hillsides here.
When I returned my car and waited for my shuttle to the terminal, this was my view. The rock formations, mountains, whatever they are, are so beautiful. I felt sad. Not just because I'm leaving. But because my family wasn't here to experience all of this with me.
I left a little early to the airport in fear of Thanksgiving travel horror. Long lines, full shuttles, and the worst part, security.
To my surprise, I must've gotten here right before the mad rush. There were no lines. The place is a ghost town. It was so empty in security I didn't know WHICH line to choose.
Of course, now that its wide open, they have to dig in my bag. sigh. Then I remembered why. I have mugs with pistol handles from Cabelas. LMAO! woops. I'm sure that flagged the xray guy. Which reminds me, Please lord let my fudge not get completely demolished on my way home.
On my way up to the gates, I saw this plane that I didn't get to take a picture of on my way in. This is a real plane flown in WWII. Yes, I actually watched a video about it. I'm a geek, what can I say. History was never interesting to me until now. Now, that I'm getting old and the stories that were once just "stories and news" are now being taught in schools as history. gasp.
And just so you know how much of a tard I am, I say bye to inanimate things just because I'm weird like that.
On my way out of my hotel room, I said, "Bye room, I'm gonna miss you soft bed and down pillows. I'm gonna miss you my big ass bathroom and living room and desk that came with a maid. g'bye"
As I walked away from my rental car, "bye arizona, im gonna miss you. it was fun and so beautiful."
Yes, I said all of that OUT LOUD. Because if I say it out loud, it makes it REAL. Sometimes life feels like a dream and I need to do that to validate that it really did happen. I know, I'm fricken weird. And that is why you all love me! :)
Until my next adventure, I'm signing off now. G'bye!!! and Happy Turkey Day!! Stay out of those ridiculous lines at stores please. Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what you HAVE. Not wasting your time in line to save $100 on an electronic device that takes your attention away from family.
As if we didn't have a long day yesterday, we went to bed late because girls love to TALK and we got up at 7 to hit the road to see the Grand Canyon.
It was about a 3 hour drive up. It was neat to see the landscape change every hour. We started with cactus riddled hills that soon became dry grass and then pine trees, then juniper, then bigger pine trees, then snow. We drove through some pretty snowy sections that was very foggy and difficult to see. My biggest worry was ice. Thankfully, we didn't encounter any.
After our 3 hour drive up, we were so excited to see the Canyon. And THIS was our view. I was NOT happy. Oh well, at least I got to yell into the Canyon something that was on my bucket list, "REEEEEKOLAAAAAH!" And yes, thanks to my big ass mouth, my voice carried into the mist and reverberated back to me. Did I feel like a tard? Yeah. So?! It's something I've ALWAYS wanted to do! After griping about the crappy fog, we decided to hop on the shuttle bus to the General Store. We had no idea we could just drive there on our own. After picking up our souvenirs and water bottles, we headed back to our starting point to get the car. By the way, for those visiting the Canyon BRING YOUR OWN WATER BOTTLES. They do not sell bottled water there. They have water stations that pump fresh SPRING WATER (how cool is that? Fresh canyon spring water!).
After getting our car, we decide to drive to the desert view lookout. We were going to continue on to the end of that road but got hit with a nasty snow flurry and could NOT see the road directly in front of us. It was like we were being swallowed up by the fog. So, the first turn I saw, I took to pull over and wait it out.
After we stopped, we looked behind our car and saw this ice covered tree. We stepped out and took some pictures. It's about 29 degrees now. Not too bad. Five minutes after this picture was taken, the fog moved and we were blessed to see this.
As soon as it cleared, I almost started crying. It was the most beautiful and breathtaking thing I have ever seen in my LIFE. Aside from each of my babies, of course.
I said out loud, THANK YOU FATHER! Seriously, thank you father for giving me this opportunity and opening it up for me to see.
Five minutes after we snapped our pictures, the fog came back thicker than before. Coincidence? Or just lucky timing? This is just a sample of the MANY beautiful pictures I was able to get. All I have to say is, I'm so grateful for the opportunity my job has given me to be able to see this once in my life. Everyone should.
Before I went on this trip, I asked for certain things.
I wanted SNOW and I got it. The snow was the perfect kind for making a snowman. Though I'm a shitty snowman maker (I'm from HAWAII cut me some slack!), I managed to ball up some snow and created my sad attempt at a snow man.
The snow was perfectly wet and sticky. So it was also perfect to make snowballs to throw at friends. No, I didn't. Ok, I did. ONCE.
Another thing I asked for was to see a deer. Well, I got what I asked for and then some. I got to see ELK! As we were driving out to Flagstaff, in a clearing, there was a group of Elk.
Seriously, how blessed am I? It was beautiful and this picture looks like it belongs on a postcard.
The drive to Flagstaff on scenic road 89A had me in awe. The snow covered mountains covered in white flocked pine trees was something out of a storybook.
It went on and on for days! The snow flurries along the way wasn't fun to drive in. It was scary. But, we survived. By the way, on the way there, we were again blessed to see a HUGE family of Elk. There were about a dozen or more Elk hanging out in a clearing right off to the side of the road. I was so excited!!
Historic Route 66. I had to get on this road just because.
Not only because of its fame, but because it was where our late lunch restaurant was at. Salsa Brava.
Yes, another Guy Fieri DDD approved eatery.
Thanks Guy for the guidance!!
This place had us mmm'ing and awwww'ing the entire meal, again!
The portions were ridiculous and the price was low. They have a fresh salsa all you can eat bar that had multiple salsas to choose from. The Pineapple habanero hurt so good.
I stuck with the basic mild salsa cause my mouth couldn't handle the heat.
While we were in devour mode, outside the snow was falling pretty heavily. I was worried about getting snowed in because I had no idea how the roads would be by the time we got out of there.
Luckily, it wasn't too bad, and it subsided as soon as we hit the road again. But our car sure did have a nice dusting on it when we got out of the restaurant.
From Flagstaff, we continued down the scenic roads through Oak Creek Valley to Sedona. The views! Oh my god the VIEWS! There were some points where I thought I was in Hana, Maui.
It was starting to get dark and I was so bummed because I knew we'd miss the beauty of the Red Rock in Sedona.
But, we spent justifiable amounts of time at the Canyon which ate up most of my itinerary and that was OK.
We hit downtown Sedona in the dark but I've got to admit, it sure was pretty at night. All the lights, the decorated trees, it was nice.
Sedona had us spinning with their roundabouts every mile. Do you know how annoying it is to hear the GPS say, "in one quarter mile enter roundabout".
After passing through dark Sedona, we headed straight home. We were dead tired and I thank my friend Robin for driving majority of the day. I drove in between, but she did the long hauls.
And that was our weekend. Thanks for reading!
Finally, I have a moment to blog about my whirlwind and jampacked weekend of adventures in Arizona! For those who have traveled with me, you know that I don't waste one minute of my free time while traveling on business. As soon as I "clock out", I utilize every moment to enjoy the trip.
So, here's what we did on Saturday:
First stop, the Japanese Friendship Garden. Located in the middle of a neighborhood is this very zen spot. It's $5 to enter (no military discounts) and you can spend a good hour just walking around and taking in the peaceful serenity of this "park". It is landscaped beautifully and is complete with a waterfall and pond that is home to over 500 very large and fat koi fish. The smell of the pond reminded me of the old Ala Moana Center. Those of you who grew up in Hawaii back then, know what I'm talking about.
This place would make a beautiful spot to say your vows or have professional photo shoots. I chose to visit this site because this weekend was spent with good friends and this place was perfect to do just that. I will be adding pictures to a gallery at the end of this blog so keep reading!
Up next, the Rosson House. An old victorian home that sits in the original spot it was built in 1895. Having gone through many owners, the organization that owns it now did a lot of research to bring this home as close to its original state as possible. There are even furnishings in the home that belonged to the families that once lived there. This home is rich in history and is definitely a must see if you're in the Phoenix area. Cost was $7.50 per person. $6 for military. Expect to spend about 90 minutes at least seeing this historical site. Not only did we tour the house, there was a tour in another older building that had a "Victorian Secrets" exhibit. It explained undergarments from that time period. Very interesting! P.S. The home is NOT haunted per the tourguide. I did not get any orbs on my pictures either. Shucks!
LUNCH! Yes, every place I scheduled on the itinerary HAD to be a Guy Fieri DDD approved restaurant. I'm not eating at no box, corporate, franchise. No way!
Barrio Cafe is very easy to miss when trying to find it. The parking lot is behind the restaurant and there is a back door entrance. The surrounding area to the restaurant reminded me of Kaka'ako with the artistic graffiti. Inside, there was live music and was very dressy. A completely different look from its exterior. On the walls, artwork for sale by local artists.
We had the pomegranate guacamole and the Cochinita Pibil with spicy fries and it was beyond anything I've ever had before!! The meat was so good, well seasoned and juicy. The pickled onions gave it a nice zing. And the spicy fries, to die for. That chipotle ketchup that it came with with set your mouth on a nice smoky fire but is so good, you go in for more burn.
Next stop, the Mystery Castle. Again, another home rich with history. The story behind this castle is so heartwarming, it might bring a tear to your eye.
The thought of the amount of time and work that went into this mans labor of love for his family left me speechless and in awe. This truly is a castle and this man was way ahead of his time when he pieced this majestic building one stone at a time. You've got to read about it.
The woman (daughter of the man who built it) lived in this castle for 65 years and recently passed away in 2010. Her cat still lives there with a caretaker. This was another place that left me without words.
The Pueblo Grande Museum. It seemed like a lot of what was once excavated was "ruined" by the heavy rains the past two days prior to our visit. But, after a zillion years, who would know right?
The ruins were once made by the Hohokam people and excavated by archeologists. Honestly, I found this site boring. It was like looking at overgrown ant hills. It was windy and cold. We ran through this maze of "hey look at that's" so we could get back IN the museum where it was warm.
The one thing we did enjoy were the animals. There was a little tiny hummingbird ( I think ) on a big thorny bush that didn't move the whole time we were pestering it as we snapped photos. There was a large family of cotton tailed rabbits running around the area and I finally got to take a picture with a big ass cactus with holes in it. The holes are gross up close and I was worried about what might possibly come out of it.
Once in the museum, the information it provided was interesting. If we had more time to read every single plaque, I might've learned something. The part of the tour that captivated me was the area that had a pictorial of ghost towns in Arizona. Old mining towns abandoned and how they now sit. That was pretty cool. Cost for this was $6 per person, no military discount.
Our last stop before dinner, the Hole in the Rock - Papago Park. An interesting rock formation that you hike up to. I was hoping to be able to get up there, but it was hella windy which made it colder than the temperature gauge read.
You could try to climb up that extremely steep dirt path but one slip and you'll have gribbles all over your face.
Dinner at Giuseppe's. Yes, a Guy Fieri DDD approved restaurant. "Seppe" was in there working his magic and again, Guy did not lead us wrong.
The food was so good, we were quiet through the whole meal. All you heard us say was, "mmm, omg, mmm, holy, aw mah gaww"
Everything we had was good. The soup, the bread, the entree. It's a simple little restaurant with a simple menu which is great. You pick what you want and go for it. I had the all time favorite, Lasagna. It was simple, yet rich. This guy does NOT skimp on cheese and every ass fattening bite was worth it. YOLO!
Last stop, CABELAS!! Don't even get me started. I love this store as much as my husbandS do. Just let me live inside this store, please?
Of all three Cabela's I've had the opportunity to enter, this one felt like the largest. They are all ridiculously huge, but this one boasts an entire wildlife museum. The aquarium wasn't as big as the others, and it didn't have a gun range that I could see. If you ever have a chance to see a Cabela's, take it. It's great for the kids!
There was a laser gun game upstairs that we spent way too much time in. And the general store upstairs, you had to pry us out of. The fudge...oh em..the FUDGE. I walked out of there with a big box filled with fudge for $14!! Shut the front door! That's for my two husbands so don't even think about asking me for a bite. I picked up 2 pumpkin pie, 2 caramel apple, and 2 death by chocolate fudge pieces. OK OK the death by chocolate and the rest are MINE. Shoot me.
We spent 2 hours in this store. If I didn't want to buy every gun I saw! Did I say I love Cabela's?
A part of my hunt in here was for tagged merchandise that boasted their location. NADA. They had a womens shirt that said Glendale, AZ. Not for me. I wanted a shot glass or a magnet. Nothing.
One of the managers gave us tokens. Yes, the SAME darn tokens we were using to play the shooting game. She said all Cabela's have tokens like this that have their location on them. I had no idea.
So that was my entire day. Exciting, interesting, and I have filled my head with more trivial information that won't make me worth more money. But still, I had a BLAST!!
I have been DYING to blog about my Arizona adventures and I've just been so busy I haven't had the time. Hopefully, when I get back, I'll be able to sit down and give you all the schpiel on the many things I've been able to cross off my bucket list during this trip.
This weekend was simply amazing and filled with such wonderful sights and FOOD! Driving through the towns nearly brought tears to my eyes. It made me feel so happy and blessed. It made me feel so happy to be alive and have the opportunity to be able to experience every second.
It's something I hope my kids will one day be able to feel in their days to come. Never take ANYTHING for granted. Always stop to smell the flowers and soak in the beauty around you, no matter how simple it may seem.
I left Honolulu last night at 11 pm on my way to Arizona to train a new admin here in Phoenix.
My seat was fantastic. I love economy comfort. The best part was, although it was a full flight, the seat in the middle was empty. So me and the lady in seat A had all the room to sleep. I was so tired, my eyes felt like they were about to pop out of their sockets. I must've been extremely tired because I slept for the entire flight. I woke up 20 minutes before landing and wanted to keep on sleeping. I thought, damn, the flight was only 4 hours and 50 minutes. I need at least 7 hours of sleep!
Due to all the traveling I've done over the past year, I've memorized the Delta Terminal in LAX. As soon as I exited, I knew exactly where to go to use the restroom and where to turn to get to Mcdonald's to pick up breakfast. I had a 2 hour layover. I needed that break. My tailbone was hurting and I needed to get some grub because I knew once I landed in AZ, I'd be running all over the place.
I fell asleep in the terminal waiting to board my flight to Phoenix. I got up 5 minutes before boarding.
Again, I always get the row RIGHT behind first class in economy comfort. Thanks to being a Silver Medallion, I don't ever pay an upgrade fee. Look at my leg room! I could barely kick my bag all the way under there.
It was a smaller plane and the burly guy sitting next to me took up all the damn elbow space. rrr! On top of that, the flight was curvy and bumpy. When we took off, we flew over water. I was like, "am i on the right flight? We're supposed to be flying over land." After passing the clouds, we took a huge rolling turn, twice. I stomach had rocks in them. Then we'd go up and down and you could feel it. What the crap pilot!
Thank GOD for my beats. He fricken SNORED like a bear! And I NEEDED those extra 2 hours of sleep on this flight!
Again, I slept through the entire ride and when I got up, it only felt like I slept for an hour. It was then that I put my beats away and got ready to deplane and hit the road. The last 10 minutes of the flight, I wish that guy had a damn cpap machine. God!
Here's the view from the plane after I got up on our way to Phoenix. No wonder they get excited when they fly to Hawaii. Look how boring the view is! Just dry dirt.
After landing and looking for the car rental shuttle bus, I was now on my way. Picked up my Dodge Charger because no SUV's were available and I wanted something different. I'm always driving a van.
The charger's pretty cool. No key start up. And everything is digital. Great! I can barely figure out my damn Iphone and now I have to figure out how to work the radio too?! The cars a nice ride but I honestly expected a little bit more balls under the hood. Or do they cut them off for rentals?
So, because I had some time before getting into the office, I decided to check into my room and freshen up. I love Country Inn and Suites. They ALWAYS upgrade me to a nicer suite where it all has the same layout. A living room with sleeper sofa, lounge chair, work desk, wet bar, microwave, coffee pot, fridge/freezer, and a separate bedroom. Two flat screen tv's and the bathroom is huge.
When I checked in, the girl who came out to help looked at me (when traveling, I always have a flower in my ear) and saw my sign in form. She stops me and says, EH, YOU FROM WAIPAHU?! I say, yes I am. She goes, "me too! nice!!!"
So, I get to my room, unpack, and dump everything on the bed real fast cause I literally only have time to freshen up and run to the office. I get ready to jump in the shower and there's no freakin shower curtain. WHAT THE HELL?! I looked up at the rod and thought, how the hell do you forget to replace the curtain? lol! So, I showered without it. I had to. The floor was a mess but that's what the maid is for. I had to GO!
I get dressed and run downstairs to tell them to please put a curtain up in my bathroom. They looked at me puzzled. I said its totally fine, can you just make sure there's one by the time I get back. In the meantime, she hands me a goody bag with snacks inside and say, here, this is for you. WOW!! I'm gonna have to hook sister up downstairs with a bag of coffee. LOL!
It must really be a local thing to ALWAYS travel with gifts to give away huh?
So, I hit the road and I wondered why everyone here kept telling me, "take my number down in case you get lost on your way to the office." I'm like, I have GPS, I'm good.
I was NOT good. I drove in circles for a good 15 minutes. The office is supposed to be FIVE minutes away!
I finally just follow one road that my gut told me to take and I pulled over and called them. Come to find out, I'm on the right path (not based on the GPS), and I was right around the corner from the office.
I was later told, the address given to the building is based on how the building is faced, not based on how the roads are constructed around it. So you have to go around and behind. I ended up storing the latitude and longitude of the spot rather than go by address. Whew! So, 20 minutes late to work, and still hadn't had lunch. Lucky for me, someone was on their way out and go a HUGE pizza for $5. FIVE WHOLE DOLLARS. WHAT?!
Sardella's Pizza. A mom and pop style pizza shop. O M G. I was in cheese heaven. Thankfully, I was too busy to think about eating. So, I had one slice. I did have another at the end of my work day. And even when cold, this thing was ONOLISH!
Apparently, Mondays are half off days. So this pie was only $5! Still, $10 for a pizza?! You'll never get anything less than $20 in Hawaii.
THAT was awesome! I've got so many co workers here that want to do dinner and lunches that I've got my schedule packed every minute of the day. I'm fortunate to have built so many relationships here at Honeywell.
There are so many wonderful people I have met and befriended.
On top of all this, the girls are coming in at the end of this week to spend girlie time which has been LONG OVERDUE. I packed ALL my essential oils for those who get motion sickness. Cause this car isn't stopping for sick people! lol!
For dinner, INN N OUT! No local person can get on the mainland and NOT eat there ONCE! Unless you're too far east to get it, like Minnesota.
I wasn't that hungry so I just got a regular cheeseburger with onions and a pink lemonade. Note to self, get a different drink next time. They use the Minute maid lemonade and I hate that brand!
I love how they give you a place mat and the option to get your order in an open box if you plan on eating it on the go. You must be awfully talented to eat this juicy burger while driving. It's more dangerous than texting and driving!
No, I didn't dare try. I put my food on the side and drove 5 minutes back to the hotel.
Now that I've unpacked everything, sorted my toiletries, organized my work desk in the room, re-organized my suite success tote to make it daily work friendly, I am ready to hit the sack. It's only 7 pm here but I'm spent!
Back to work at 8 am tomorrow. Hot breakfast downstairs at 7 am. Again, I love Country Inn.
I received this request from family in the Philippines. This is what is in most need. Please READ and SHARE the information below especially with groups that are putting together care package
To everyone who is actively participating in packing relief goods for Yolanda victims, please note the following:
1. DO NOT PACK NOODLES OR ANYTHING THAT NEEDS WATER. There is no water and electricity so it’s difficult to consume this kind of food.
2. PACK MEDICINES. most especially basic medicines (biogesic, bioflu, robitussin, etc.) If possible, include medicine for surface wounds as many have been injured from fallen debris and rooftops.
3. PACK AT LEAST ONE BOTTLE OF WATER. People are in desperate need of potable water (some violent), There is no source of potable water for any part of Tacloban.
4. PACK CANDLES AND MATCHES. They are expecting to be without electricity for a minimum of 2 months.
5. ENCOURGAGE YOUR RESPECTIVE GROUP/ORGANIZATION TO DONATE BODY BAGS. Bodies are lying around roads within the city and some places are already filled to capacity with remains.
I received this message from family in the Tacloban area and this is what is being requested. Those medicines listed above are specific to the Philippine areas. Please google if you are unfamiliar. Thank you for sharing and working together to help with the aid.
Call me a crazy person. Or a business nazi. But everything needs to have a catchy name or people won't dig deeper.
Rather than just call this "hobby" of my two husbands "smoke meat", I wanted a name for it. Romel came up with this PERFECT name for this soon to be side business.
HANABADDAH BRADDAHS SMOKE MEAT
Is that perfect or what!? So, me being the nifty website builder person I am, I made them their own site. As soon as I get the slideshow built, I'll have pictures up so you can see the magic happen.
This is my first real experience with smoked meat and it tastes pretty darned good.
I'm blogging about because this is a perfect example of how something that starts off as an inkling or an idea, can grow to something real.
So, Romel and Mitch were eradicating a LOT of feral pigs in the last 6+ months. Catching and killing was one thing. A lot of people were asking for the meat, or the live pigs. Well, when you're catching 15+ pigs a week, you tend to get stuck with a lot of squealers in your yard.
One day, I came home from work and I found a SKETCH on the table. I had no idea what it was. Romel tried to hide it from me. He later told me, it was his design on building a smoker. I had a fit.
Me: A smoker?! Where exactly are you planning on putting this smoker?
Him: Right here, in our yard.
Me: OH HECK NO! (This is a PG site.)
Him: WHY?! We gotta do something with all this meat. Such a waste to just toss it when nobody wants it.
Me: oh emm....whatever.
Months go by and I figured his desire for this smoker plan came and went. Boy was I wrong. I came home from work one day with this HUGE metal locker thing in my yard. Next thing I know, I hear banging, cutting, then burning. Mommy is NOT happy. It looks like a huge metal coffin that can hold at least 3 bodies in it! Seriously? does it have to be such a honker? sigh....
Now, this thing is in my backyard and I've got Paul Bunyan hacking and sawing tons of kiawe wood one weekend. Still, I'm thinking this is going to pass. I brought home 2 packs of baby back ribs one night. The following weekend, those two packs are in the smoker. I'm furious because I wanted barbecue. Well, after I ate that fall of the bone goodness, I regress. HOLY TOLEDO THIS STUFF IS ONO! Ok. I wasn't THAT ecstatic about it (in front of him) because now I'm eating my words. LOL. but damn..it was good.
We take our one week vacation in Vegas and come home to a lot of people who need help eradicating pigs. Here come the HB's to the rescue! Now we got meat. Now we got smoke.
Now YOU can get free smoked meat until we run out of this first batch. I had to get past the mindset that these were once the squealing animals in my yard the other day. After I closed my eyes and took a few pieces in, the flavor just whops you in the mouth. Straight from the smoker, its delish.
Pan fry it with some mango jam and onions and you've just broken your mouth.
Before I begin, YES, I'm a thirty one consultant and no, I did not get paid to post this nor did I get this bag for free.
My reviews are raw, honest, real, and unbiased. I don't sugar coat and if there's anything I don't like, you'll hear it. I am an elite yelper and avid amazon reviewer. So much so, I'm constantly getting free books and game offers sent to me to read, test, and review. LOL
I've been dying for this bag since its release because I'm a commuter and thanks to my 9 to 5 job, have also been doing some traveling. This is not a cutesy purse by any means. This is a serious tote bag that boasts three large sections.
The two outer sections are closed by a strong snap button closure. The center is a zipper closure. This is a VERY deep and wide bag but compresses nicely when not filled to capacity. Each section has multiple pockets. Zippered, gartered, meshed, and a thermal pocket. I love the multiple pockets. Now, keep in mind, for any bag that has a zillion pockets, you WILL still lose things. I don't mean lose as in physically lose it forever. I mean, if you don't adopt a system on where you put things, you will go crazy trying to remember where you put it.
Therefore, I highly suggest for you fanatical, high efficiency people, find a nice location for your items and keep it in those pockets on a regular basis. Try not to relocate them often or you'll lose your mind trying to remember where it is. Trust me, I am guilty of doing this and blaming my family for my missing things.
The straps are cotton webbing, sturdy, and wide. It sits nicely and is comfortable on your shoulders. You don't feel that "dig" that most nylon straps give you. Even with this bag filled with my macbook and a ton of other items, the wide strap helps distribute the weight nicely on your shoulder. There are clasps on the outside for those that prefer to use the adjustable shoulder strap it comes with. I personally don't feel the need for it. The length of the attached straps are perfect. When the bag is resting on my shoulder, the top of the bag makes a great arm rest.
The construction of the bag feels very strong and durable. I like that it can stand on its own and isn't floppy. It makes it easier to load and unload. Although the bag is a little bulky, it fits nicely in your lap without invading other peoples space. I ride the bus and I hate when other peoples stuff creep into my personal space. For a large bag, it is very lightweight. Unlike most $1000 designer bags I've owned in the past. So, most of the weight you bear is from the items that are in your bag. Not from the debt you owe and all that dead cow skin. LOL. I kid.
Now, in regards to pockets. The outer section of the bag has pockets for your cell phone, ipod, etc. Thirty One perfected pocket placements in this bag. It's not too low where you have to shove your whole arm down into the bag. It's high enough that you can see your items and don't have to dig for it. But not so high that you worry that it may fall out if the zipper is open. The pocket width and height fits my blackberry, ipod, and mytouch phone perfectly.
The next section with button closure, has 2 wide gartered pockets and 3 pockets for pencils, pens, and other tools. There is a small lobster clasp tether to attach your keys to. The padded laptop area is complete with a gartered velcro closure. I put my macbook and a catalog or two in here.
The center zippered area is the largest compartment. Its the deepest and widest section. I use this for my wallet and other personal belongings that I want most secure. This area houses a nice big zippered pocket and 2 slide in pockets.
The last sector of the bag has a large zippered pocket with thermal lining. YES, THERMAL. Now, this thermal pocket is not extremely deep or wide. So it will not hold a full lunch in there and I don't recommend shoving a sandwich in there either unless its a pressed panini in a very strong ziploc bag. What I do use this for is to put my makeup, lotions, creams, or other items that could possibly leak. My girlfriend is planning on using this section to hold her insulin.
There are also two gartered DEEP pockets on the sides. Good for holding bottles of beer, water, etc. It looks like it can easily hold a 12 oz green bottle. I have yet to try. On the opposite side of the thermal pocket are two large mesh pockets at the bottom of the bag. You could put your stinky socks or dirty baby bibs in there.
The outer pocket closest to your body (the side not embroidered if you choose to get it personalized) serves two purposes. First, as a wide and deep pocket. Second, when traveling, it converts into a open flap (so don't put anything in there) that you can use to put over your luggage handle. It securely sits on your luggage. Not only is it snazzy and eye catching. But it sits on the bag nice and strong. No more wobbly bags while running through the airport.
This bag is a hostess exclusive. In order to be able to purchase this, you must host a party. Whether it be an online party, catalog, party, or physical house party, as long as your party hits $200 in volume, you qualify for this bag plus credits, half off items, and other perks.
So in a nutshell, this bag rocks. Of all the bags I've ever used, this by far is the most functional with the least amount of cons. My only gripe is the small thermal area. It would have been more useful if it was a little bigger with a gusset so you can fit real food in it. Not just a box of apple juice and a bagel. You know, unsmashable food? I can just see my pop tart get obliterated in there.
Overall, this bag is a 9 out of 10, thus far. I use the crap out of my bags. So in about a month or two, I'll probably post a review update on how the bag is holding up. It only comes in two designs. This denim pattern and a black and white polka dot print. (large dots).
Want this bag too? Holla holla holla!
As of the end of December 2013, I went through two of these bags. After about a month of use the two button snap closures on the outer sections of the bags broke. The buttons themselves have a very strong snap. It's the base of the buttons that bend and warp and eventually break off.
I returned the first one and got a replacement bag. After a month with the replacement, it happened again. This time I was very careful about how I was using the buttons. Still, they warped and broke. They need to use stronger buttons with a snap that's not so tight. After the second replacement, as much as I LOVED this bag, I opted to get a refund instead. I was frustrated that my favorite bag kept breaking on me. I could've continued to use it without snapping it shut. But I'm a heavy packer. The bag would just sit wide open all the time. Not safe.
If they were to fix the button problem, I will definitely host another party to get this bag again. Please fix it Thirty One!! :)
Yesterday morning I went in to work fine. After I got into the office, I felt my face flush and itch. A co-worker asked me if I was ok because my face looked sunburned, swollen, and red.
I ran to the bathroom and my face looked like it was stung by a bee. I quickly ran back to my desk and took this picture to send to my sister, mom and husband.
I was advised to run to the ER. I didn't want to. I figure I would wait it out. I didn't do anything different from my regular morning routine. I didn't change moisturizers, detergents, or changed coffees. It was very odd.
A few hours passed and I snapped another picture.
This is what my face looked like by lunch time. Under my right eye, the skin puffed up really bad and at this point was when I emailed my doctor. He told me to take high doses of Benadryl and if I feel difficulty breathing to head straight to the ER.
Well, I am opposed to taking medication. Especially when its side effect is to make me drowsy. So instead, I went home and rested. Relaxed, had dinner, and showered. Right before bed I applied Lavender Essential Oil liberally all over the red areas.
Then when I got up this morning, I applied an essential oil blend. It has Frankincense and a blend of other oils which help with anti aging and skin healing.
This is what I looked like this morning when I came in to work.
The redness is almost completely gone. It was still slightly itchy and just a little bit puffy. But majority of the issue has disappeared.
A few hours later, the redness came back. So, I can't help but wonder if its something in this office. But a few more applications of lavender and a few extra drops of lemon oil in my water (to help pull toxins out of my system), and my skin is almost back to normal.
This is my testimonial for the day. No medication, no pills, no side effects. And my results literally occurred overnight.
I was having conversation with my best friend the other day about daily stuff and I had to stop and tell her how far we've come.
I remember about 11 years ago, Romel was driving us home to our apartment in Aiea and I starting crying. I was a recent college grad working a dead end admin job and hating my life. Why did I kill myself with college? Taking 16 credits a semester while being a single parent (at the time) driving back and forth between Aiea and Ewa Beach to drop off and pick up my kids at 10 pm because some of my classes didn't end until 9:50 at night. I did what I had to do, sacrificed a lot to get this degree, for WHAT?! I felt like it was all a waste of time and energy. My expectation was to get a degree and get a slamming job and be happy. I felt like a complete failure.
Then I got offered a better position, with more pay, and with an established company. From there, I continued to grow and it was with that job that my life took a turn for the better. Within two years we became homeowners. Fast forward 8 years, and here I am, working for a huge global company, making a decent wage, appreciated and valued in my position, and am happy with what I do.
During our phone conversation, we were both talking about trips that we have to take for work. Trips! That the company pays for. I never would have thought that I'd even be saying any of it, much less living it.
My job pays for everything. Air, hotel, car, and food. It's great! I understand my purpose and that my reason for travel is work first. But I don't waste one minute of this opportunity in front of me. I utilize every available moment to enjoy the place I'm in. I sightsee and get out of the box. I'm willing to give up sleep to see and experience as much as I can while there.
The point of todays blog is for those currently in school or those who just graduated and feel the way I did 12 years ago.
Don't give up. Keep an open mind and review all opportunities before you close your eyes to it for whatever reasons you may have.
Had I not taken the risks I did years ago with each endeavor I pursued, I wouldn't be where I'm at today in my career.
This includes working for really bad companies that mistreat their employees. As much as I hated my job during that time, it was that position that made me a stronger person and better at what I do.
For that, I'm thankful.
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