Monday, December 11, 2006

U2, Pipeline Masters...

So you know you look bad when one of your preschool special education students asks you, "What's happened to your hair?" when you get to work!! I came to work from the airport after a super fun weekend. I went to Oahu this weekend to see U2, and ended up getting to see the Pipeline Classic (the best of the world's surfing competitions) on the North Shore yesterday! It was a great time. We stayed in a friend's condo (Jim) in Waikiki which was amazing. The concert really was stellar. I have never been a huge U2 fan, but I've always liked them. I'm really glad I went. I'll post pics when I get them downloaded off of my camera. Looking forward to my trip home 9 days! I can't wait to see Katie and Gavin and of course all of the family. Apparently Gavin is having a birthday party at the bowling alley before I get home, but he says we can go bowling when I get home to celebrate his big day! What a trip. I get in on December 21 and leave on January 5th. I hope to get some good family time and see some good friends. I haven't done all of my Christmas shopping so I'm just g0ing to wait and do the rest in VA.

I need to go to bed after a long, fun weekend.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Listen....she says "I dunno" when I ask her where she is...

My cute niece....

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Christmas music is already on the radio!

It's only two days after Thanksgiving and they are playing Christmas music on the radio already! Keep in mind there are only 2 half way decent radio stations on the island and one of them was playing Christmas music earlier! I am all about the holidays, but COME ON!!

Ok, now that I got that griping out of the way...

Hoping that Tech continues to play well so we can go see them play in the Chic-Filet Bowl. Time will tell!!

There is a WTA tourney where I play tennis this week. I went to a qualifying match yesterday. Wow! Some serious tennis. Apparently I just missed Phillipousis (sp?) warming up. Hope to see some good tennis tomorrow. Most of the matches are this week while I'm working. Can we say long lunch??

Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing the fam in a few weeks. Crazy to think that it's almost December. Going to see U2 on Oahu before I go home. That should be a great weekend for sure!

Cheers, Susie

Monday, November 13, 2006

Shark attack!!

So this morning I get to work and I'm talking to a coworker about our long weekend. He mentions that there were a few south Maui beaches closed yesterday due to a shark attack and wanted to know which ones they were. Well, this was news to me! I was swimming in the ocean yesterday at Keawekapu beach right down from my house!! This was apparently one of the beaches that was supposed to be closed. Scary! Read about it below... the actual attack happened about 2 miles from where I was yesterday.

On a lighter note, I went snorkeling at this place called The Fishbowl Friday on my day off. It was really something. We hiked 30 minutes through a lava field to get to a nicely protected little cove. There were more varieties of fish than I'd seen here in one spot. It was great! Come visit me so I can take you here...

My lunch is almost over, so I better go. Hope you are having a happy Monday!!



Saturday, November 04, 2006

My debut as a producer...

Hi!! Haven't bloggered in a while...

My Halloween Movie

Thought I'd post this here so you can check out my first attempt at movie making with my new camera!! Hope you enjoy!!

Aloha, Susie

PS. Go Hokies later today!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Earthquake on the Hawaiian Islands!!

A week of exciting weather here on Maui! Our weather is usually pretty boring... highs in the 80's/lows in the 60's. Well, not this week! Sunday, October 15, I was awakened by a rumbling sound and the whole house shaking. I live in the back of a large house and my place is on stilts. The shaking was quite violent and the sound just as alarming. Jack was as freaked out as I was! This shaking lasted approximately 20-30 seconds, but seemed like a lifetime. Our power was immediately knocked out which made it difficult to find out what was exactly going on or what to expect next. I called my mom who did some research online. It took several minutes before she was able to get any information. There was one radio station on the air in all of Hawaii during this time, an a.m. station on Oahu. Thankfully my beach radio is battery powered! It turns out the actual quake originated about 9 miles off of the west coast of Hawai'i. Maui is the first island north of Hawai'i, and I live on the south western coast of Maui. Our power was restored several hours later and my fears were calmed after many reports assuring that there would be no tsunami! I have never experienced an earthquake before. My first thoughts were to go into my bathroom because that's what you do in VA if there is a hurricane. Thankfully it didn't matter because there was no structural damage to the house. Now I know to go outside away from the house or at the very least to stand in a doorway. It seems kind of obvious now, but at the time it was like, "what is happening?!"

We had a ton of rain this week and now they are warning of flash floods thru Sunday. My poor baby car is so soggy. My back window doesn't close on my convertible, so it's hard to keep the rain out. I haven't gotten it fixed b/c it rarely rains here. (For real, Hagen!) Actually, on the topic of my car.. someone tried to steal it a few weeks ago!! I had to have it towed to a garage and they removed whatever object was broken off in the keyhole of my ignition. Thankfully they didn't steal it or do too much damage!! I live in one of the safest areas on Maui!

Here are a few sites with info about the earthquakes here in Hawaii. All of the major damage is on the island of Hawai'i (the Big Island) so I am lucky to be on Maui! Thanks for all of your concern about my well being. Aloha!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Na Pali Coast- The Kalalau Trail

Flew to Kauai last Friday with a group of friends. Had been planning our big hike on the Kalalau Trail for a few weeks. The trail is on the north shore of Kauai and is famous for its rugged terrain and it's length (11 miles each way). These are not 11 flat miles, that's for sure! Here is a website I found about the trail if you want to check it out:

We arrived in Lihue early in the evening, and checked into the cottage in Kapa'a that we reserved from a posting on craig's list. Cute cottage surrounded by lush rainforest. All of us commented on how much more green Kauai was compared to parts of Maui. Very beautiful all over the island.

We got a late start Saturday a.m. due to a few beers the night before and a few last minute purchases. We really didn't know what we were up against at that point or we would have gone to bed early and started at sunrise. We really goofed by not starting the trail until 10 am! We hiked 8 hours (including about 45 minutes exploring on the first beach we came to 2 miles in). We calculated that we were only moving about a mile an hour due to having to climb and follow continuous switchbacks on narrow trials. Our packs were heavier than they should have been even though we were all careful to pack as lightly as possible. You just have no idea how tough this hike is until you complete it!

We camped out about 8 miles in, and finished the trail Sunday morning. There was a super scary section around the 9 1/2 mile mark that really challenged us psychologically and physically. You had to watch your step on a very narrow trail on a ledge that seemed to go on forever! We finally arrived at our destination at the Kaulalau beach and set up camp. We relaxed for a bit, checked out the scenery which included a really nice waterfall to shower in. We needed it badly!

We hiked a 2 miles to some pools through a beautiful forrest because the 11 miles in weren't enough of a challenge (yeah, right). It was nice even though the water was really cold!!

The next morning a few of us boated out (a new experience with views we wouldn't have seen otherwise) and a few of us hiked out. We took a bunch of weight out of our friends backpacks so that the hike out was much easier.

Dan and I drove around Kauai a bit after we got to shore. I was so looking forward to a fresh bottle of water!! (we had to put iodine pills in the water we drank from the streams on the trail and it was yucky). We check out a lighthouse and bird sanctuary.. the link to this place is: . I will post pictures soon but just wanted to go ahead and post this since it's been 2 weeks already!! Aloha. :) Susie

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Going to Kauai in one week!!

Hi!! Hope this post finds you happy and well. I am lying low this Saturday evening in south Maui. Went hiking at Poli Poli park today with some girl friends. Just a light hike with my new hiking shoes on and my full backpack. A test run to prepare for our big hike on the Na Pali coast on Kauai next week!! Check it out at this site:

I have been to Poli Poli one other time (when I first moved here). The temp is cool and it is so majestic to walk with your head literally in the clouds. I will post pics soon. Got a new digital camera, so hope they turned out great!

We leave next Friday for our 4 day excursion on Kauai (another outer island). A group of 5-6 of us are going. I only know one girl well who is going and the rest are guys I've met once or twice. Should be an adventure. We are going to either hike in (11 miles one way) and camp or have one of the guys friends drop us off where we wanna camp (by boat) and then hike out the 11 miles. The latter is my vote as 22 miles over 3 days sounds hard core!! I am not a big hiker, but hopefully it will not be to crazy!! I will be taking tons of pics b/c I hear it is absolutely beautiful.

Better sign off for now. Keep in touch when you can!!

Aloha, Susie

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Happy Bday Mom, Car is sold...


It's Sunday afternoon.. just in from Big Beach. Just a low key day.. beautiful weather as usual. Not to say I am taking that for granted.. it is easy to get used to. Trying to plan for my travel over the holidays and start thinking about whether I'll stay another year or not. Part of me wonders how I'll ever leave and another part of me misses certain things you take for granted on the mainland.

Mom's bday was Friday and she got my package on her actual bday!! Sorry, Jill, for yours being late!!

Dad sold my Honda today!! :) That was quick!! Thanks, Dad. I will make it to the bank to put that money in some kind of IRA or something this week.

Here is a pic from our camping night a few weekends ago. It's Maria, Me, Crystal, and Anthony at White Rock in Wailea. Not too much sleep was had that night.

At the end of the month I have a week off. A few girls are planning a hiking trip on Kaui and I'm thinking about going. I've never been there and it is supposed to be awesome. We'll see.. I just went to Oahu last weekend, so I probably shouldn't!

Talked to Tippy and Aimee earlier. It's crazy how little I talk to some of my mainland friends!! If this applies to you, email or call and let me know what you are up to!

Signing off for now. Cheers!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Fire in Maalea

A brush fire that started yesterday morning in Maalea (about 20 min north of me) has now burned approx. 2000 acres of land. It is still not under control. We could see it last night from my house...I wish I could have gotten a good picture of it b/c it was pretty amazing to see. Scary! Here is a link about it:

Can't find the Hokie game on t.v. Mom and Mike are there. Found the score and it looks like a blowout.

We were supposed to camp near where the fire is, so now we have to change our plans. Hope we still go. Planning a trip to Oahu next weekend. The flights are really cheap.

My Aunt Myrna has invited me to join her on a trip to South Africa. If I can pull it off, that would be so awesome!! Still trying to look into what it would cost, etc.

Have a good one!!

Aloha, Susie

Friday, September 01, 2006


Yeah Andre!! I am so happy that he pulled it off. Twice this week he has cut it pretty close, but he did it. Can't wait to see him in round 3!!

Looking forward to my 3 day weekend. We are going surfing Sat. morning, camping at the beach Sat. night, and otherwise relaxing. Probably play tennis on Sunday.

Even if you are not a tennis fan, you might wanna try to catch Agassi playing Benjamin Becker in the 3rd round. It may be his last match ever!!

Happy Aloha Friday to you!!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Bamboo Boogie

A guy I met on my ride home from VA, Mike, came to visit this weekend from Oahu. We went hiking at the bamboo forest with my friends Arien and Maria. It was fun! There were 3 waterfalls along the hike, and to get to the last one you had to swim down this little river. No major cuts or bruises for me thankfully! I actually jumped off a 20 ft. ledge by a waterfall, which is pretty brave for me! There were people jumping off of questionable areas, but I played it pretty safe. Almost chickened out, but had to go for it. Everyone else was doing it!! Maria actually fell the next day on a different hike and is a little banged up. Thankfully nothing serious, but some major cuts and bruises. Oweee!

We went to see Katch a Fire, a reggae band from New Zealand, Sat. night. That was fun. Saw a bunch of people from Tuesday night volleyball there.

Planning a trip surfing in Lahaina for Sat. am with my tennis buddy Christine. I don’t go enough to get any better yet, but I did ride a wave in all the way to shore last time all by myself!! Progress.

Work is good. I just do my thing in my room and try to ignore the incompetence outside of my room. My assistant is AWESOME and my kids are really high functioning. I do have a new student on the way, so this may change soon!

Signing off for now. Aloha to you.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

A positive post!

I just realized that I haven't been posting much positive stuff with everything that has been going on!! I am excited to report that my job is going well, Jack is good, and I have a cute friend coming to stay with me this weekend from Oahu. :) We are going to a reggae show Sat. night.. can't wait!

Played tennis tonight with Kurt (he leaves tomorrow to move back to Michigan) and some other friends. It was entertaining to say the least (the guys insisted on playing me and my partner, Christine and got beaten BADLY!!).

Well, just wanted to be sure I reported some really good things for a change!! Have a good one!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Jack's Scary Episode...

I had a scare tonight with Jack. We went for our evening walk around 7 pm. He was fine. When we returned, he was sleeping on the floor at the end of my bed. He tried to get up and walk towards me, but was unable to stand up. He crawled awkwardly toward me, shaking and drooling. I got him outside in case he got sick, and every time he tried to stand and walk, he staggered and fell. He lied on me for a few minutes, still shaking. It was super scary. I called the vet and he agreed to meet me & Jack at his office.

Jack walked to the car pretty much with ease. He staggered a little in the car. When we got to the vet's office (Dr. Dressler), he seemed to have improved dramatically. The doc and nurse did an exam and took blood and feces. They asked me a bunch of questions. They wanted to be sure Jack didn't get a hold of a toad-- they are poisonous here. I told them I didn't think there was any way he had. They ruled that out based on the fact that he wasn't ruling excessively and continuously. One of the questions ended up linking an odd behavior to what may have happened. Two days ago, Jack peed on his bed. He NEVER pees in the house, and especially not where he sleeps. I just thought it was wierd and forgot about it. Now the Dr. thinks that since he experienced loss of bladder control a few days ago and then he had this weird episode tonight, Jack is having seizures (two this week?). I told him that Jack had gotten into some bad chicken a few days ago and asked if any of this could be related to that. He said that the tests would help to rule out the seizures if the problem was with a parasite, or with the kidneys, liver, etc.

Dr. D. just called and is convinced this is all due to seizure activity. I hope he is wrong, but fear he is right. The bed wetting I think happened before Jack got into the chicken if I remember correctly. Now he wants me to get up with him every 3 hrs. tonight just to be sure he's okay, which of course I will do. The idea that Jack is having seizures and just having to see him so helpless earlier really is hard to deal with.

Keep your fingers crossed that this was all just some wierd aberration. I am hoping he is fine.

Good nite.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Kurt's leavin', getting settled at work....sick already...

Hi. I write tonight with a head cold (sinus infection?)... Fun, fun. Only been back to work one week and already a head cold! Damn that was quick. These Hawaiian germs are different than the ones in VA!!

It seems that the numbers worked out at work and I'll be staying put. Thankfully, the worst case scenario was avoided. My kids are manageable and fun, my room is coming together quiet nicely (very well stocked with new materials), and having a/c is great. Sometimes it's a little chilly, but nothing a sweatshirt can't handle!!

I'm having a some people over Saturday evening.. pupu's (appetizers) and drinks on the lanai. Should be fun. I invited the couple upstairs from Austria, but they said they are nursing colds and will let me know. I feel the same as they do, so I hope I get better quick! I plan to go to the doctor tomorrow if I don't feel substantially better anyway. I can always reschedule if I have to.

My friend, Kurt, is moving back to Michigan next week. :( He is one of my good buddies here and is about the 5th friend who has left since May! This is such a transient island.. it makes it tough when you get to know someone and then off they go. I know we will keep in touch, but it won't be the same here without him. I know he'll be happier in Michigan so I want him to go.

My Great Aunt Stella's memorial service was yesterday. I haven't heard about it yet, I'll call my gramma this weekend. I know it is really a difficult time for her especially. Stella was an incredible woman. Very positive, upbeat, kind, and fun. She and my grampa were really neat people.

Have a great day!!


Sunday, August 06, 2006

Easy like Sunday Morning..

Aloha. I am lounging around today with a sore throat and low energy. BUMMER! My great aunt, Stella, passed away yesterday. She was 89 years old and such an amazing woman. I got to see her when I was visiting NY last month, so I'm thankful for that. Poor Jack wants to go for a long walk and right now I just don't have it in me! Maybe later today!!

The family staying upstairs (from Luxomberg) leaves today. The family from Austria arrived last night. I hope to get to know this new family as well as the last.

Things look good for my job situation. The principal at my school told me Friday that she is confident that our numbers are good. That's a relief!!

Bye for now!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

No definite answers yet...

The following is an email I wrote to Kathy Gontarek (Scott's mom) which sums up the latest with my job situation...

Thanks very much for your concern and your email. I really have been going thru a time with this non-sense. The DOE here is so messed up, I just never experienced it until now. It looks like my current position will be secure, but not guarantees until the 9th when the student counts are reported. Based on the numbers today, if one new kid can get registered by that time (ie. their parents get their TB tests, etc), and one of my enrolled students show (he's been out all week b/c his mom just had a baby) than it's okay. I hate that my stability is relying on so many factors out of my control. Thankfully, the early intervention job I was offered is still available and most likely mine if I want it. The only reason I don't just say to hell with it and take that job is that the current one is closer to my house, requires no daily travel (the other requires homevisits), and my time off is much better. My poor mother has gotten so many frantic phone calls from me in the past week, it's ridiculous. Argh!!

Enough about me, how was the cabin? I am sure it was great! I know that is a special place for you all.

Everything else has been going well since I've been back... there is a family from Luxomburg (sp?) staying in the upstairs of the house where I live. They invited me to dinner Monday night and it was great! they are very colorful, kind, well traveled people.They have extended an invitation for me to visit them anytime. I'm telling you, this house swap thing is where it's at! They leave Sunday and a new family from Austria is coming in. Hopefully I will get the opportunity to spend some time with them as well.
Have a great day and thanks for keeping in touch!!

Aloha, Susie

Monday, July 31, 2006

Are you kidding me?

So, today was the first day of school for students. I have 3 kiddos (2 who showed up today 1 starts next week) and they did well. HERE is the latest job related problem... There is a possibility that a Spec. Ed. position may be cut from this school based on low numbers. WHAT?!?! I overheard this and went to the proper person at the school and district levels. They are both supposed to get back to me ASAP with what this means to me exactly. Many factors involved, but I am NOT going thru this again. I hope the other position (outside of the DOE) is open, b/c if I don't have it in WRITING on letterhead by Friday that my position is secure, I'm out. I can't believe this. I heard about how screwed up the DOE is here, but are you kidding me? I have a master's degree and several years of experience in my field and I am pond scum b/c i am not tenured in this state??? I am trying not to flip my lid. Please send me an email saying something nice, b/c i need it right now. Thanks.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

For Cindy

A pic of the adorable Ryan.. he was left out of the pics i posted from my trip home. Oops! anyway, i am just in from a long morning walk with jack. they keep getting longer and he insists on going on the beach now. not that i am complaining, but it just extends our long walk!! he seems to be doing much better now that i am home.

just checked out to see how my dad did racing last night.. haven't talked to him yet. he finished 10th. i'm sure he had fun!! it was so good getting to see him do what he loves when i was home.

i have a tennis match at noon and that's all i have planned for the day.. the students come to school tomorrow so i'll need a good night's sleep!! aloha, susie

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

New job...

Aloha. I have struggled with my job situation and finally decided to take a preschool sped. position at Kamalii El. in Kihei. Originally this position was not offered to me. It is the same school that offered me a 2nd grade resource teacher job. The VP talked the prek teacher to switch with me (literally 30 minutes before I was supposed to make my decision on Monday). It threw me for a loop b/c I was basically going to take the early intervention job. ANYWAY, I have not heard from the DODEA (Japan job) yet, so I am content with what I have. This new school is closer to my house (3 instead of 6 miles!), is air conditioned (thank God!) and I have my own room. My co-teacher from last year was kind enough to help me move my stuff to my new classroom yesterday (our first day back). I had volleyball last night. I enjoyed seeing all of the people, but my game has not miraculously improved over the summer unfortunately.

Thank you for your support and suggestions in this short but stressful time since I've been back.

Sincerely, Susie

Sunday, July 23, 2006

East Coast Pics

Here are some pictures of my family and friends on the east coast (and one shot from here...) ! Had a great trip home and I'm getting more organized in my new place here on Maui. Wanted to post a positive blog the crazy news I posted about the other day. Thanks so much for the emails of encouragement regarding my job situation. Enjoy the pics!

Life has thrown me a curveball!!

Aloha to you. I just arrived back on the island this past Wednesday. On my way home from VA, I got a voicemail from a principal of an elementary school in Japan (through the Dept. of Defense). He wanted to talk to me about a position teaching preschool Spec. Ed. on an American base outside of Tokyo. I called him back from Maui and told him I'd be in touch but that things didn't look so good b/c I start work here next Tuesday. Well.. then the next day I am informed that the position I had last year was going to to be taken by a tenured teacher. WHAT?!? Long story as short as possible, I now will probably accept a position as a resource Sped. teacher for 2nd graders at an elem. school nearby. I have to decide by tomorrow afternoon. Meanwhile, I am waiting to get word about an interview with the D.O.D. about the opportunity in Japan. I have no idea what the next few weeks might bring!!

I will keep the latest posted here. I may only be changing schools and grade levels, or I may be accepting a position in Tokyo and moving 12 more hours from VA. Keep your fingers crossed that the best thing works out for me!! The Japan job pays about twice what I am making now, pays my housing and bills, pays for the move completely, and is the opportunity of a lifetime. I LOVE Maui and I loved my job, but we shall see what the future holds.

Will be posting soon... Susie :)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

End of my east coast visit...

Tomorrow is the last day of my month long visit to the east coast. I fly back to Hawaii early Tuesday morning from Norfolk. It's a bittersweet departure. My niece and nephew are so great and it will be the hardest leaving them. I have really had fun and have seen so many people on this trip. I'm exhausted! Jack has been boarded since last Thursday, so I'm sure he won't be speaking to me upon my picking him up. I am glad that it only had to be for a week.

Tomorrow I'll tie up some loose ends. Paying off the Honda and need to decide whether to sell it or park it at my mom's. Will pick up the kids after lunch and spend the afternoon/evening with them and my mom. Katie has really grown since I saw her in December and is really something else. Gavin, well, he just gets smarter every time I see him! He has decided now (at 4 and 1/2) that he is going to be an archeologist. (Not a paleontologist as Cindy thought).

Bonnaroo was great fun (dirty, but good times), the outer banks weather could have been better, but it was good to be with family (well, most of the time!), it was nice catching up with extended family in New York, and of course seeing family and friends in VA. Got to see my dad race last night.. he finished 4th. It rained before his race so I was really worried I wouldn't get to see him race at all, but thankfully it was just a quick shower. I'll post my favorite pics upon my return to Maui.

I will arrange and organize my new place when I get back, and start preparing myself for work. It will be tough getting up to an alarm clock! Also, the gym is calling my name. I know I've gained a few pounds on this extended trip. Mom's cooking is just too yummy!

Well, better get going. Thanks for the hospitality, the bed to sleep on, and the tasty meals. I'm sure if you are reading this, I probably need to thank you for one or all of the above!!

Much aloha,

Susie :)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Post Bonnaroo, Pre-Outer Banks...

Greetings from Newport Blues. I'm at my good friend Jamie's house after a late night out. Got to see a bunch of friends last night... it was a great time. Still recovering from the phenomenon they call Bonnaroo.. what an adventure that was! I just have to recap some of that experience...
Thursday afternoon I arrive in Nashville carrying my sleeping bag, pillow, and large duffel bag. Turns out the friends I was meeting (who were driving in) were way behind schedule and therefore not arriving at the festival for 6 or so hours after me. What was I supposed to do with all of my stuff in the middle of a farm in rural Tennessee for that long? Well, luckily, I met some guys from Richmond who gave me beers and food and let me hang out with them at their campsite for the duration! They were great people and whenever I download my pics I have to get some of them to them. Camped in my friend Kurt's tent for 4 days.. not too bad except you HAD to get up at 7 am b/c of the heat and then there were no showers to be had. Well, you could pay $10 for a shower, but that didn't seem worth it to me since I would have been filthy again within hours. I didn't have a real shower from Thursday am to Monday pm. I was pretty nasty! Now for the music... Stevie Nicks joined Tom Petty for several songs which was a treat. Bonnie Raitt put on a fabulous show. Elvis Costello, Damien Marley, Radiohead, and Donavan Frankenreiter put on great sets as well. But my favorite was Beck!! He really put on a theatrical extravaganza.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Let the fun begin! I am having Lisa's bday thingy this evening and then leave for Bonnaroo in the morning. It looks like it is not supposed to rain this weekend in Manchester, TN, so that is a good thing. I am not the biggest camper in the world but I am going to try to be a trooper. I have to pack!! My body is just about on east coast time. I never adjust as quickly as I would like.

Got to see Gavin and Katie a bunch since I've been home. They are sooo big! I will post pics of us in the Outer Banks after we go next week.

May your days be sunny and your nights be restful. I have to get going on my preparations!!

Happy early Father's Day.

Aloha, Susie :)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

And now the latest from Kihei..

A cow fell off of a cliff at nearby Hookipa beach yesterday! There are these herds of cattle that graze on this cliff with a really scenic view of the popular windsurfing beach called Hookipa (about 30 minutes from here). Yesterday, a friend from work told me that one of the cows fell off the cliff, therefore closing the beach. Why? Because the sharks were having a feeding frenzy. Scary! How random is that? All I kept thinking was that the cow that was standing next to the one that fell was probably like, "He was just here.. where'd he go?" Crazy, huh?!

I took off today to clean my old place and unpack a little at my new place. Jack has settled down after a rough time last night. I left him on the deck while I went to the grocery store (that is what I agreed to do when I leave the house) and while I was there my new landlord called. Apparently Jack had been incessantly barking and the neighbors had called to complain. Great first impression on our first night here! I am now paranoid that when I go to work tomorrow he might do it again. The only thing I can come up with is that he was freaked out in a new place and just barked for attention. He usually doesn't bark unless it's AT something and even then it's usually pretty short lived. I am hoping this won't happen again. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

One more week of school! I have lots of work to do here and at work, and then I leave on the 10th for VA. Will get to celebrate Lisa's birthday the day before her actual bday by going to see Kevin and Randy play at the Yorktown Pub. Then I'm off to Tennessee on the 15th for Bonnaroo. I hope I haven't gotten in over my head on that whole venture.

Well, it's back to my boxes. I have to sit on the lanai to check my email b/c my modem doesn't pick up a signal inside. Oh well. At least it works outside!

Aloha to you, Susie :)

Monday, May 22, 2006

I am moving!

I got the new place!! Yipeee!! I am soooo excited! I am going tomorrow to meet with my new landlords to sign/go over the lease. I will post pics as soon as I can. Now you have to come visit me for sure!! What an improvement in location, size, view, and I don't have to get a roommate!! I am soo happy. Now I just have to work out the details with my current landlords and my new roommate. They are selling the place, but said they wouldn't close until august when he leaves. I can't wait to get things all straightened out. They want me in the new place June 1, and I leave for VA June 10. I'll probably have stuff in both places until I get back. My new landlords leave in July for a house swap in Australia, and the people from Australia will be staying in the main house upstairs from where I'll be living. (The ohana is underneath the main house with the same view and lanai as the upstairs!) Nice neighborhood, near a fenced in dog park (of course I have to go when no dogs are there!) and very close to the beaches I like the most. I'll be able to ride my bike (I can't really right now), I won't be apartment living (no barking dog downstairs all the time), and Jack will have plenty of space to roam on the lanai (deck).

Tonight we went to Little Beach. A nude beach during the day, but on Sunday nights they have this drum circle/fire dancing thing where most of the people are clothed (a good thing!) This is only the 2nd time I've gone and it was really cool. I didn't like the fact that they had some small children twirling baton with fire on the ends, but I guess they have practiced a lot. It just made me nervous.

Gotta go finish my book and crash out. Happy Monday to you!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Cross your fingers

I am REALLY hoping that I get this new place that I'm going to look at tomorrow morning. I'm trying not to get my hopes up b/c I'm not sure if they are going to allow a pet, but it's hard not to. The place is 800 sq. ft., one bedroom, has a 500 sq. ft. lanai (deck), has an OCEAN VIEW, and is ridiculously cheaper than any other place with it's attributes! I play tennis with the woman who owns it, and she is discussing the possibility of a pet with her husband. They just had 10 yr. renters move out (I assume they didn't have a dog). PLEASE let this work out! I'm working with my current land lord to make arrangements for my roommate to stay here if I get it. I REALLY HOPE I GET THIS PLACE!!

I'm reading The Secret Life of Bees. I am really enjoying it! Playing tennis tomorrow and Sunday (doubles and then singles). Going out with Paulette Kundis tomorrow night (my high school friend, Jason's, wife who is from here and visiting her parents this week). I'll be home in three weeks. I can't wait to see everyone!

Ciao for now!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies. I got to talk to my mom and my stepmom today, but it would have been nice to have seen them! Oh well, in a few weeks I'll be home and I can hug them then.

I had a big singles match today in Wailea. It was such a great match.. I ended up losing in the 3rd set tie breaker which was a bummer, but I was happy with how I played. I wanted to win!!

This weekend was super lowkey. I needed it. I broke down and bought a stereo for my miata.. the cheapest one I could find at walmart- $55.00! My stereo kept dying and the old 'bang it with a screw driver' trick just stopped working. Now I have to figure out how to put it in.

Katie was so cute on the webcam today. She kept waving at me and showed off by dancing for me too. Apparently she takes after her Auntie Susie and loves music. Smart girl.

Tom, a new 3 month renter, moves in tomorrow and my current roomate, Kristine is mvoing back to California. Her contract is up at the nursing home where she works. Tom ironically lived here when he was younger and went to the elementary school where I teach. He will be a senior at Virginia Tech next year (Mike is elated) and is here doing an internship at the Research and Tech center for Haleakala ( His dad used to be the head of the observatory there and his mom is a writer who runs the Writer's Conference in Wailea every year. I really would love to go to that conference so maybe we can pull some strings!! Most importantly, he LOVES dogs and is going to watch Jack (with enthusiasm) while I am on vacation on the mainland!! That makes me so happy to know that he will be very well taken care of. :)

I better go get my stuff ready for the morning. Hope all is well in your world. I am planning to get together with Jason Kundis's (high school friend) wife and kids this week. My co-teacher graduated high school with her (ironically) so we are all getting together.
Have a great week! Aloha, Susie

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Monk seal in Kihei!

(Me, Matt, and Ashley - two friends who are moving off island next month!)
I was walking on the beach road yesterday with some girls and we stopped to talk to a lifeguard that one of them knew, and he told us there was a monk seal on the beach resting. We checked it out.. it was cool! He was just hanging out basking in the sun!! Apparently they do that every now and then, but I had never seen one do it.

Making my plans for my trip to the Mainland. Four days in Tennessee, a week in the Outer Banks and the rest in VA. Can't wait. Someone at work said we have 18 more days at school!! :) Sounds good to me!

Well, I'm gonna go for now. Have a great day.

Much aloha, Susie

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sea urchin

You haven't lived on Maui until you've had sea urchin spines in your toe. Today I went tubing on a little speed boat and had a blast. When we were done, we swam to shore. On the way in, I kicked something (I thought was coral). Nope. A sea urchin. Everyone had remedies. Urine. Vinegar. All I knew was it hurt like hell. Now my toe is purple (dye) and ugly. Damn the bad luck.

I'm playing my last mixed double's tennis match tomorrow (I hope). Not sad to see this league end as it was pretty lame. Looking forward to a ladie's league that starts next week.

I'm so exhausted. I just had to write about my random accident. Good night and good luck.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Aloha! I know I have been really slacking on this blog. I just had to write after the past week. Went to the Kokua Fests on both Maui and Oahu this past week. WOW. A few local bands, Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Willie Nelson (surprise appearance from Damien Marley) all on the same stage 2 times in the same week!! It was probably my favorite show of all time (outside of a strickly Ben show of course)!! I have my music fix for now. These shows will have to hold me over until Bonnaroo. No problem. Flew on an eight seater puddle jumper (thank you Jordan) and stayed downtown with my roommate and two girls from CA for the Oahu show. Met some crazy guys at Duke's (one of them had a shirt on that said "I feel a sin coming on..") and ended up spending most of the weekend with them (they were going to the concert too). They were pretty funny guys. The girls I roomed with were major LA drama chicks but for the most part I could deal with them. They were "dose" people. You know, you can only take them for a little bit at a time. Then you need a break!

Anyway, gotta get some rest so I better go. Hope to hear from you soon.

Malama pono, Susie :)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Where is the sun?

I know I won't get any sympathy from mainlanders, but the weather has been soooo crappy here for sooo many weeks. My friend, Hagen, is due in later this evening, and I hope the weather takes a turn for the better!! I wanna go to the beach!!

I am off all week (spring break) and looking forward to some R & R. At the very least I'm looking forward to my alarm clock NOT going off for 9 consecutive days. :) Of course, Jack will want to go out early every day, but I'm hoping to convince him to wait a little bit!!

My roommate is working out nicely. We don't see each other much so it works out nicely. She is considerate and clean which is a bonus of course.

This has been a super low key weekend so far. I think the weather is getting me a little lazy. I went to the gym and the grocery store and that's it all weekend! I'll be all over this island this week with Hagen, so I'm enjoying the calm before the storm (I hope I don't mean that literally). There was a tornado on a neighboring island earlier this week (Lana'i). So far we've just had ran and overcast skies here. But I'm over it!!

Talked to Gavin, Lisa, and Katie for a little bit earlier. They had been at Dad's house visiting Dawn and family who were in town for the weekend. If anyone took pictures, send some to me!!

Oh yeah, someone asked me for the link to the local newspaper, so here it is: It is worse than the "Daily Stress" as far as content!!

Bye for now, Susie

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sharks, boats, visitors

Greetings from paradise! I have had a few complaints about my new island attitude towards my blog. "No worries... " "I'll do it later..." "I'm too lazy to download pics from my camera..." These are a few of my best excuses for my lameness. Now it's overcast and I drank too much yesterday so I don't feel like exherting much more energy then this, so here it goes! The latest happenings on Kihei: 2 shark attacks in two weeks (one a free diver whose torso was found the next day, one teenager in TWO feet of water whose leg was bitten), a Pacific Whale Foundation boat (think PETA for Whales) ran over a mama whale and her calf (they apparently are okay although I've heard conflictual info. on them), and the sun is on haitus. It has been sunny exactly three days in so many weeks. I need some sun!! I know I'm not getting any sympathy from you mainlanders. Although I have heard the weather in the BLUES has been pretty good lately. Cool.

I went on a sunset sailing trip yesterday with Kurt and Steve (Kurt's boss) and two colleagues of theirs. We had a blast although it was a rude awakening when the bill came for our drinks at the end of the cruise (we thought they were included in the cost of the trip)! Thankfully I wasn't buying so the awakening wasn't as rude for me. While we were underway, a huge whale swam under the middle of the boat (between the long thingies that keep the boat afloat..I don't know what they are called- no comments Ethan), sprayed his blowhole water all over these guys sitting in front of me, and came out the other side. It was bizzarely cool!

Visitors have been coming like crazy since early February. Of course I love it! Linda and Bob Burgess will be here (just for a day) on the 21st, and Hagen is coming for my spring break on the 26th for a week. I just found out that my friend Jordan (a pilot for Pacific Wings--a small airline) can get me tickets to Oahu, Hawa'i, Kuai or Lanai for 60 bucks roundtrip! SAWWEET. They are usually like $180. No offense, Jordan, but I hope you don't find a job off island for a little while.
This brings new possibilities for island hopping!

Well, I've rambled long enough. Hope things are going your way in your world. Be in touch when you can. Here are the latest pics I've posted.. they are from my mom's trip here...

Malama pono (take care)-

Susie :)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Whale Watching

Aloha to you. Went whale watching on a Pacific Whale Foundation boat today. It was sweet! Apparently we were out at the right time because we ended up seeing these four males "competing" for a female whale. We watched them for over an hour and it was amazing. They looked like they were showing off!! I'll attach pics when we get them downloaded.

I also played my first match in this new mixed double's league in Wailea today. It was good but the guy I played with was a goob. Dad and Maggie came to watch and then we went to check out some sights in the area. We went to a black sand beach I'd never seen.. it was pretty cool. Not as cool as I thought it'd be, but pretty good. The sand was more dark brown than black.

Dad and Maggie leave on Monday. I've enjoyed having them here. I also got to hang out with Karen and Bill Hargette a few times last week. They were visiting about 45 minutes north of here. We had a great time!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Retail therapy

I know I'm not going to get any sympathy from anyone on the mainland, but it has actually been chilly here yesterday and today. The highs have been in the 70's! Today the wind blew hard most of the day and it was too cold for my early surf lesson! Waaahh. My mom is coming to see me this Tuesday for 2 weeks. I'm so looking forward to it. I talked to her earlier and she was watching Gavin and Katie. Gavin was busy doing "man chores" as he called them with Grandfather, and also got to make cupcakes with Gramma. I haven't seen them on the webcam for awhile.. (hint, hint, Lisa..).

Jack got a much needed bath today and is therefore shedding like crazy. I am going to shave that dog one of these days. Give him a few days and he'll be nice and dirty again. My friend Tanya just got a puppy and she's so cute! I don't miss those puppy days though. Cleaning up pee and poop all over the house- fun!

I went to Wailuku (about 20 minutes away) to get my hair cut at his guy Geoff's (he pronounces it Joff) house earlier today. Believe it or not he talked me into not getting my hair cut! He has a 'vision' for my hair he says and wants it to grow out a little bit. We'll see if I can stand it for 3 more weeks as he suggested! Instead I went to the mall and got my retail therapy fix.

Well, I guess I'll sign off for now. Keep in touch when you can. Aloha to you!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Ben Harper on Maui!!

ALOHA to you. I am in a pretty darn good mood! I just found out that Ben Harper is playing on Maui in April!! :) I love Ben. (if you don't know that I'm obsessed with him, maybe we should talk more often!) Here's the website: . Hoping to get front row when the presale happens this weekend. Also, my friend Tanya took me surfing yesterday and it was so awesome!! I surprised myself because I was able to stand up pretty quickly! It was my first time and the waves were pretty wimpy, but it was so much fun!! I can't wait to go again.

Tomorrow, I'm looking at a studio that's for rent. Hopefully it is as sweet as it sounds on paper. It will be at least $300 cheaper than I'm paying right now and has a little fenced in yard for Jack. :) We'll see.

Got to play tennis in this round robin social thing on Sunday. I wasn't sure if they were going to keep it up b/c the man whose house it's at passed away in December. He was such a neat guy. His last name is Van Steen and he coached tennis right up until the end. His wife decided to keep the tradition going. I always meet such nice people at these things.

My mom's coming in 2 weeks to visit. :) Can't wait to show her around. If I move into the studio, it will be tight quarters, but I have to try to cut back on my expenses for sure. I have to figure out which days to take off to maximize on her visit.

I hope things are going well in your world. Be in touch.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Back Way to Hana

Greetings from paradise (or so they say)! Howzit? Hope you had a good long weekend... I did but of course it's over too quickly. Spent a bit of it with this new guy, Devin, that I met Friday. He took me the back way to Hana.. a sweet ride. I didn't see Gomer Pyle or Kris Kristoferson(they live there) but I did see a bunch of locals that look like they've eaten too much Kulua Pork. (huge guys- teeth optional)

Hagen is finalizing her plans to visit me on spring break!! I can't wait to show her around. Jamie says he's coming then too, but we'll see.

This is a short one.. I have to run. Ciao, Susie :)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Nothing much going on

It's Thursday afternoon and I just finished lunch. Thankfully my new student has stopped crying long enough to take a nap. My patience was really getting a workout today!

I have been looking for a new place to live that is cheaper and allows dogs, but so far, no luck. I don't want to have to get another roommate! A yard or downstairs lanai for Jack would be great... I'm sure the place won't be as nice, but this $1400 a month is killing me!

Looking forward to the 3 day weekend. I have a training in Kahului on Thursday, and we don't have students on Friday b/c it's a teacher workday! Now that's my kind of week! Mom is coming to visit on Feb. 8 (my bday) for two weeks. I can't wait!! It will be so great to show her around and to just have her here.

I'm getting back into the swing of going to the gym. I kinda fell off the wagon a little before the holidays unfortunately.. Now girl scout cookies are coming!!

Signing off for now...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The longest flight...

I’m somewhere in the friendly skies on my way back to Maui after two weeks in the Blues. I am trying to keep a good sense of humor, but I may have lost most of it sitting on the runway at O’hare for 3 g.d. hours. Something about storms and then needing to refuel.. I’m just glad to only have 6 hours left on this delightful trip. I may have a more positive attitude had I gotten some sleep in the past 3 days!! Friday night I saw the Wailer’s at the Norva. Good show. The best show I almost didn’t see. I met Jamie and a few of his buddies from work down there, just to find out the show was sold out. Jamie and I headed to Havana’s for a beer and to come up with a way to get me in. I had to DRAG him away from the bar after meeting two attractive girls from Brazil. I almost just took his ticket. I don’t think he would have noticed. My fav songs were “Who the Cap Fit” and “Natural Mystic.” Left my car in the parking garage and rode home with Jamie’s friends. Proceeded to get very little sleep thanks to Jamie’s snoring and Sunny’s obsessive licking habit (Sunny is his dog!). After talking on my cell phone too loudly and trying to figure out how to make a cup of coffee for his snoreness, he was up and we were on our way to the parking garage. Half way there, I was reading the paper and he was smoking (which he says he was quitting today, by the way) and he made the comment about a de ja vous from our LONG trip to Key West. Man, that makes me greatful to be on an airplane right now just thinking about that car ride. What a nightmare! But I digress..

New Year’s Eve was great fun. Jamie cooked yummy grub and had people at his house. The usual 12 guys to 2 girls. I was able to double my cd collection between Jamie and Greg letting me download music to my laptop!! Greg was cool.. first time I’d met him-a friend of Laura’s Carl. Fun guy. I need to get his email addy from James. I accidently took his Rage Against the Machine cd home in my laptop. I was going to make him some cds anyway.. Also got to chat with Pat Cox about Maui –he lived on Oahu for several years. We went to Tapas (it was pretty slow) and then to the Coxs’ house. Got about 4 hours sleep that night (no thanks to Sunny). Yesterday when I left, they were cracking open a little hair of the dog and settling into the couch for all day football. Too bad I had to miss that. My head was grateful for it this morning though!

Overall, the trip home was great. The weather wasn’t too cold (60 on Christmas Eve) and I got to see family and friends. It went by so quickly and I probably put 500 miles on my Honda trying to spread my time here and there. Katie is so damn cute. Ryan, Tyler and Gavin were great too of course. I got to see Olivia and Kimberly for a little bit yesterday. Too cute. I didn’t get to see Billy as planned… I was bummed about that. I’m petty sure he was too. I told him he just has to get out to Maui that much quicker now. Other highlights besides just seeing everyone: mom’s cooking, no work, sleeping in, and no Kihei dust. My feet were actually clean for almost two weeks!! Thanks to a pedicure gift from Gina, I am ready to put my ‘slippah’s’ back on in style. Mom hooked me up with several cute outfits. Thanks to TJ Maxx having leftover summer clothes on major sale!!

Hoping to get some good news about the state of my position at Kihei El. for next school year. Hopefully something can happen so I can stay at that school. I will get my resume out to the early intervention program in the next few weeks. I’m scheduled to take this PLT Praxis test this Sat. that Hawaii Dept. of Ed. requires. I hope it’s as easy as everyone has said it is. I’m pau (finished) with taking standardized tests.

Tom (the anesthesiologist) is due back to Maui today too. I’m sure I’ll hear from him this week. Kim Wade asked why I’d need him to have an edge when he is an anesthesiologist! (If you know me well enough to be reading my blog, you know I’m looking for a nerd with an edge!!).

My battery is running on major ‘E’ and I’ve rambled long enough. Look forward to the Top Ten reasons it was good to be on the mainland!!