Friday, September 30, 2005

the latest..

Wes Daniels and his son, Clayton Kimberly Strunk and baby Olivia

I am behind in my updates! I have some pics on my camera that i need to download, but right now i'm too lazy for that. it was a loonnng day. a practice fire drill and a 2 1/2 hour IEP meeting didn't help any!! my car is now in working order- $1000 later. I'm considering having my honda shipped to me, but i'm not sure. i've named my miata wilma in hopes that she may feel more obligated to keep working if i give her a name. my parent's old VW station wagon was called wilma so i stole the name from them.

my roommate, karen, is moving out tomorrow. she's allergic to jack. debating on what to do to offset the cost of the rent here. if you have any extra money lying around, pls. send it to me ASAP! :)

my first USTA tennis match is in the morning (if the weather holds up). Somehow I'm playing in the #1 doubles match. as long as i play well, that's all i care about. my serve is really improving thanks to barb, my tennis c0ach.

i'm hoping to have a webcam session with the fam on sunday. it's been since before labor day since lisa's computer has been up and webcam ready. i'm going thru baby withdrawals!! I got some recent pics of my friend Kimberly's little girl Olivia. What a cutie patootie!! :)

Anyone who knows Wes Daniels.. he is getting married and has an 18 month old son, Clayton. I can't believe Wes, the player, is getting hitched before me. WHOA. I sure miss the days of riding on the back of his beach cruiser to the strip in VB. The Bayou, Chicho's pizza, a few drinks, card games with Paul.... etc! His recent email update had me and Christy Bfoot thinking back to the old days!!

well, i am gotta sign off for now. thanx to gina and her overactive social life i feel like i'm up on all the latest restaurants and gossip in the blues!! i love getting mail (even snail mail) so keep it coming!! Malama pona (take it easy), Susie

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Hokies take the sting out of the Yellowjackets!!

(This is a pic of me and Karen a few weeks ago at Lulu's- I've been meaning to post it..)

Got up early to make it to the bar by 9:30 for the VA Tech/GA Tech game this morning. My friend Kurt met me there.. his Michigan game didn't come on until noon. Called back in forth with my mom who was at the game.. 51-7.. whoaa!! VT could do no wrong. A couple from Richmond came into the bar - they were here for a conference and were so glad they found a place that had the game on. There was no VT banner hanging where we watched the game, so the woman is going to mail me one so I can have the bar hang it! :) Check out the highlights at :

Got a great haircut yesterday after work. :) I was in dire need. My friend Ashley who I used to work with a Stella Blues (I ended up quitting due to not making enough money) rode with me to the Kahumanu mall. After that I dropped her off, walked jack, and met some girls from work at a bar (Life's a Beach and then Lulu's) for beers. Had a great time and ended up running into this guy I met a few weeks ago at the same place. One of the girls was up dancing to country music and had us cracking up. Plan on staying in this evening due to lack of motivation!! It is humid (or human as Gavin would say) as hell here today. Really muggy and hot. I hope to make it to the beach tomorrow cause i need some color big time!!

Julie J0hnson (now Young) and her husband, Tyg, arrive Wednesday. They were coming for a visit to Maui before I knew I was going to be living here! I'll meet them at the airport and point them in the right direction when I can. I am hoping that Cory Steinberg will be here sometime soon also... I haven't seen him in over 10 years.. it'll be great to meet up with him on Maui!! He sounds like he hasn't changed one bit. :)

Hoping for a big webcam visit with the fam in the morning. My neice, Katie, is getting baptized tomorrow morning, and witholding any major technical difficulties, we will have a big video session. Lisa's in-laws are in VA and the whole family will be at Lisa's after the ceremony. I'm not sure how early I'll have to get up for this visit. I have a feeling it's gonna be early! Mahalo for keeping in touch and continuing to be interested in my experience here... I hope to hear from you soon!! Suz

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Jack's in Maui!!

Here is Jack less than thrilled to be wearing a lei. He is eating now and seems to like his new home. Just had to post this picture!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Much Aloha to Maggie!

Greetings from Kihei! My stepmom, Maggie, arrived on Monday (9/12) at Kahului Airport with my dog, Jack. Well, technically not with Jack. He didn't make it on the same flight with her from Honolulu. He did arrive about 40 minutes later though! Poor Maggie was sooo tired upon arrival. Here are a few pics of her... she is trying to pretend like she's happy to be getting her picture taken. My roommate took her to dinner while I waited for Jack. When the door swung open and they put Jack's crate on my cart, he looked so confused and out of it. I guess that's understandable since he spent around 18 hours in that small box. :( He is still not himself. He has only eaten about 1/4 a small bowl of food since Monday. I am hoping he comes around soon. His spirit seems okay, but he is just not eating (except treats and the occasional leftover). I keep telling myself that he won't starve himself. He is drinking lots of water thankfully.

Maggie adjusted to the time change better than I did after I first arrived! We have explored Wailea, Lahaina, Kula, Kahului, Wailuku, Makawao, and of course Kihei. Tomorrow we are going to Kaanapali and Napili. She rented a car because I ended up putting my car in the shop for an oil change, etc. We went to Costco last night and she was kind enough to buy me a membership!! I owe her about a million dollars between the Jack expenses getting here and that trip to Costco! I am now set for a year with many supplies. Many items are so much more reasonable than the grocery store (for example, a small bag of spinach salad at the grocery store is around $6, while yesterday a 2.5 lb bag of spinach salad was $3!!) I have really appreciated all of her help, generousity, and company while she has been here. Today she bought me a cool lamp from Pier One that looks really nice in my living room!!

This morning we headed "upcountry" to Kula to explore the Tedeschi Winery (also called the Maui Winery). It is up Haleakala.. an inactive volcano. While it was only 30 miles away, it took us much longer than you might expect to get there. The roads are windy and narrow. When we finally arrived, the winery was nice! We learned a lot, drank a little, and bought a few gifts. We took pics on the way up and back. (This trip disproved my theory that usually holds true: No matter where you wanna go, it's 20 minutes away from wherever you are on Maui.)

For lunch we went to a place in Makawao called Cassanova's. YUM. Carmela's YUM!! If you make it to Maui, you HAVE to eat at this place. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Caprese Salad and Chicken Marsala.. the best I've ever had. They had a pic on the wall of Taj Mahal when he was really young (see above)! I saw him two years ago at the Norva and he was much older and much heavier!! We drove back down Haleakala to pick up my car and head back home. If you've noticed, there are hurricanes heading right for the Big Island (Haw'aii). I hope they don't hit Maui!!

Maggie leaves Monday afternoon. I will be sure to write a few blogs to catch up on the adventures we had throughout the week later. Caio!! Suz

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Baby Blog!

Top: Jack at his baptism. This is my cousin Dawn, and her husband Jon's little boy.

Far left: Ryan playing at the beach. This is my cousin Todd and my friend Cindy's little boy. He will be 2 in January.

Above right pic: Baby Olivia. My friends Kimberly and Steve are her proud mama and papa. She is now almost 3 months old.

Sweet baby Katie!! This is my sister, Lisa's, little girl. She is now almost 7 months old!!

Last pic: This is my stepsister, Sarah's, little guy, Tyler. He's been a big guy from the start! His dad, Josh, doesn't mind cause he's ready for him to start playing football tomorrow!

Third pic: The Gavster!! This is Lisa and Scott's son who will be 4 in December. He is a trip and usually keeps you on your toes. Most recently he told Gramma he didn't want to go outside because it was too "human." I should start a notebook of all the funny things he says!! He told me before I left that he didn't want me to move to Hawaihee.

As you can see my friends and family have been busy having babies! I don't have a pic of Jack's sister, Carla on this computer, so somebody send me one!! All in all, there are 4 new babies in my life since February, so I had to post a brag blog! Ciao, Susie :)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Kapalua Bay

Aloha from Kihei! I am here to officially post a blog that is positive and nature!! I have nothing negative to report since last Saturday's incident when I had to go postal! It's Wed. afternoon and all is well. I don't have to work at Stella's the rest of the week, Jack and Maggie are arriving Monday afternoon, and life is good! The above pictures were taken on Monday (Labor Day). The first picture is of Karen, the next is of me standing on a scenic overlook in between Lahaina and Ma'alea pointing toward my condo in Kihei. The third picture is of the West Maui mountains in Lahaina. The fourth picture is of the beach at Kapalua Bay Resort (this is wear you'll be staying Julie!!), and the last picture is the view from my beach chair when I had my back to the ocean! It was a beautiful day and I got the relaxation that was much needed! Kapalua Bay is in Napili which is north of Kaanapali on the west coast of Maui.
School is going just fine. I LOVE my co-teacher! We really get along well and compliment each other. Our students are getting into the routine and we are figuring out what works best for our students. I am sooo glad to be in the room that I'm in. Everyone is so accepting and kind. I have one little girl who has Down Syndrome, one little boy with speech delays (he had a trach at birth and just got it out in Feb.), and another little boy who has survived a traumatic three years. He lived through a near drowning and a house fire. He is very moody and quiet, but who can blame him. The speech therapist (Jen) is incredible and the behavior specialist is really cool (Momi).
I am going to a dog training class tonight without my dog! It's just a registration class. Jack will start attending next Wednesday night. There is a great dog trainer named Kinee (female) who has given me tons of hope in regards to Jack's aggression towards dogs he doesn't know. I hope she can do what she says she can!
I look forward to Maggie's arrival with Jack. I plan to take her to a winery "upcountry" (in the mountains) called the Tedeschi Winery. No relation to Susan Tedeschi!! I'm sure that will be cool. Otherwise we are leaving our plans open and I'll show her around and let her pick what she wants to do.
I hope all is well in your world. Thanks for emailing and keeping me in touch while I'm so far away from the "real" world. FYI: the gas went up 30 cents yesterday and is now 3.54. Apparently the cap that they set for Hawaii on gas is an average of what the states on the Gulf coast are paying. I hope it doesn't continue to climb! Take care!! Susie :)

Saturday, September 03, 2005

I'm gonna write a book

Aloha to you. I have decided that I'm going to write a book. No kidding. This stuff is just too good to keep to myself. I thought that the icing on the cake of the incompetent, inefficient way things work around here was the driver's license saga. WRONG. Today I went to the post office to pick up a box that my mom mailed to me several weeks ago. I gave the lady my pick up card, and she proceded to hand me a huge, very light box. The box was EMPTY. That's right. My mom paid $35.00 plus insurance to send an empty box 5000 miles to me. Of course, I'm not sure when it became an empty box, but I'm sure some lame ass postal worker is enjoying carrying around the Kate Spade purse that was in the box. The one I bought in the Bahamas that I LOVE. I'm sure they are enjoying wiping their ass with my designer towels that were in the box. I'm not even sure what else was in the box since I packed about 30 million boxes between my classroom and home and the move. I swear to you that this is a true story. I am going to be reimbursed $100 b/c my mom erroneously insured the box. You see, she was on pain medicine for her back when she mailed it, and she meant to insure the envelope that she mailed with it containing some checks. She accidently insured this box, which turns out perfectly since I have already deposited the checks she mailed and now will at least get some cash for the stolen goods. Note to self: do not have ANYTHING mailed unless it has no value.

I'm going to go get a pedicure and forget that this happened. I didn't make it to the beach today and I'm working at the restaurant tomorrow am, but Monday I will be there all day! I refuse to get too discouraged, but if i learn anything here it will be patience. DAMN.