Sunday, December 30, 2007

Virginia is for...

Lovers? I'm enjoying my time with family and friends here in the commonwealth. Been lying pretty low!! I did get to play tennis indoors with my mom the other day which felt great. Planning a fondue party with my friend Kimberly for New Year's Eve. Just a small gathering of friends. Leave on Thursday for Miami to watch the Hokies kick butt in the Orange Bowl. Have to admit that I am looking forward to palm trees and balmy weather even though I've only been gone from Maui for a week! I called to check on Jack yesterday (he is boarded in Makawao) and it seems that he is hanging in there. Poor baby had a few hotspots that were healing when I left. We will both enjoy a long walk on the beach when I get back!

I have a steady flow of visitors coming to Maui starting the 9th of January and ending when my mom leaves in the middle of March! I am really looking forward to seeing Ashley and Kurt (friends who used to live on Maui who now live on the mainland, mom of course, and my good friend Aimee who is in school in Michigan and has never been to hawaii! Jill is even making the trip out in June!! I have to admit that I'm most excited about Jill and Aimee b/c they have never been to the rock! We will get in some great hiking, kayaking, and exploring.

Gotta go for now. Much aloha!!


Monday, December 17, 2007

It's almost winter break!

Aloha from the Valley Isle. I am getting ready to make the big journey to the east coast this Sunday. :) I have tons of stuff to do before I leave and currently don't feel like doing any of it! I have been under the weather for a week and I am over it!! The low energy part is lingering and I have been sleeping a lot. I am reading Memoirs of a Geisha which is a great book! Jack is going to be boarded while I'm gone, which I'm not thrilled about. I do have a great kennel for him, but I wish he could stay home. It was an option, but it would have been with my ex-boyfriend and I am trying to keep him out of my life!! Anyway, Jack will be fine. I am hoping for a few nanny jobs before I leave so I will have some extra cash. The new car payment will make my funds tighter than ever. I love the car though!

Today is Gavin's 6th birthday. I called and sang him happy birthday and he is having Lisa put a piece of his cake in the freezer for me! Miss those kiddos. Anyway, I have to make it thru 2.5 more days at work and then I'm off for 3 weeks!! WOOHHOOOO!

ALoha, susie

Thursday, December 06, 2007

rain, rain, go away...

it is a mess here in kihei! it's been raining for at least 10 days and yesterday we lost power most of the day. the power is back on now but it's still pouring and school is closed due to flooding, high winds, and power outtages. they dismissed at noon yesterday b/c of the weather. i'm just so glad to have my power back. reading by candlelight was fun for one night, but i've had enough of that for now! jack was a little spooked when i got home from work yesterday, but now is doing fine. sleeping it all away! i'm just hoping he doesn't need to go out anytime soon! well, i long for a sunny beach day as it's been over 2 weeks since i've enjoyed one. looks like it's not going to happen for sometime! :( oh well.

take care! aloha, susie

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New car, good company, new student, new nanny gig

The week of the new stuff. i bought a nice used honda accord, got a new student in my class, started taking a few shifts for a nanny company, and had company all in the last week! the car is AWESOME and such a nice change from my major "Maui Cruiser" I call "Little Red." That car is still running with 167,000 miles on it. The convertible is vandalized and so you can't put the top up, the mirror is broken on one side, the other side has a moped mirror, the paint is peeling, the a/c doesn't work, but other than that it is in perfectly good condition. Hey, I think I just wrote my classifed ad for it! Who wouldn't by that car?! My new student is a sweetheart and is extremely bright. he has an articulation problem (speech clarity) and is extremely shy. A quiet kid who wants to please his teacher? Oh my. I never get students like that!! He's a doll. The nanny gig got off to a rough start as the first job i took was 4 kids ages 9 yrs., 5 yrs., 2 yrs. and 9 months! Besides the parents getting back to the hotel after midnight and tipping me 7.50 on $200.00, (they were gone 8 hrs when it was supposed to be 6 hours)and the fact that the 9 month old was teething and used to breastfeeding, it was SUPER. I was less than pleased! Anyway, the next job was a breeze and tipped really well, so I guess it all works out in the wash. My company was great. They just wanted to lay by the pool at the Grand (super nice hotel they were staying in) and have cocktails, watch college football at the bar and have cocktails, and go to dinner and have cocktails. While it was great to have them, my body is thrilled to catch up on some much needed rest!

Enough about that! I'll be in VA for Christmas! I get in on 12/24 and stay until
1/6. Can't wait to see everyone, especially my babies! Thanks, mom, for the free miles!!

Signing off for now. Be in touch when you can. Miss all of my friends and family on the East coast.

Aloha! Susie :)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Kauai Trip...

Aloha! I just got back from a weeklong trip to Kauai last night. Got up early to pick up Jack (45 minutes away) and then played tennis for the first time in a few weeks (we pulled off a win!). I will be posting pics soon of our adventures. There aren't as many as i would normally take, but the rainy weather affected that! Anyway, off to catch a catnap. Back to work tomorrow! I hope things are well in your world...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

someone stole my slippers!


after 4 days of being stuck inside with a nasty sinus infection, i venture down to the beach with jack for sunset. while i was walking him, someone stole my slippers! i usually don't wear decent slippers to walk jack, but tonight i did. and some chick stole them!! i can't believe it. now how's that for aloha spirit??

i lucked out and got the most awesome exchange for my time share for fall break! it's on the north shore of kauai, another hawaiian island about 45 minutes away by plane. i can't wait! the only other time i've been to kauai it was to hike the kaulalau trial. that was no relaxing, leisurely hike! the place we're staying in has a spa, tennis courts, several pools, and beach access at Hanalei Bay. now, that's what i'm talking about!! not many friends have the week off so the few that are coming will just come for as many days as they can. i have to arrange for jack to be taken care of tomorrow.

i am sad to say that there will be a memorial service this week in NY for my 30 yr old cousin, Ronnie Mayfield. He had been missing for several weeks and they found his body on the bank of a river near where he lived. :( I know his mom is absolutely crushed. I will call her tomorrow. I haven't known quite what to say to her. I still can't believe it. :(

back to work tomorrow. will be playing catch up for a few days i'm sure and hopefully the kids' behavior wasn't affected much by my being out! Happy birthday mom (it was yesterday) and happy early birthday to Kathy Gontarek!
Aloha, Susie

Saturday, September 08, 2007

September 8

Aloha. Haven't posted in awhile... School is in full swing.. I only have 4 students at this time, but that is sure to change soon. Just joined 2 USTA tennis leagues (finishing a mixed league right now) that will start in October. Looking into doing an exchange with one of my timeshare weeks for fall break to another island (9/29-10/6). so far nothing is showing available so if it works out, it'll have to be last minute. Yesterday was Jill's 30th bday!! Old lady! Which makes me an even older lady, of course. The construction continues behind my house (as it has since I moved in over a year ago). I am seriously thinking I may lose my entire view by the time it is complete. They are putting up a retaining wall. I hope that is not the case obviously. Going to lunch with this new guy I met on Sunday. We shall see. I am starting to think that single is just the way for me. I just can't seem to meet the right guy yet. Not sweating it too much b/c it doesn't do any good anyway!

Gavin started Kindergarten this week. I talked to him the other day and asked how kindergarten was. He said "I'm not done with it yet!" Ha ha. That boy is something else for sure!

Off to walk Jacko. Have a great day!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

First day back at work

Went back to work after 7 weeks off today! The alarm went off WAY too early. Anyway, I only have 3 students to start off with. A nice way to ease back into the routine. I'm sure there will be several more to come in the next few months. It's super windy out and Jack is freakin' out (as he always does when it gets like this). Finally back on Hawaiian time after my trip to VA and NY. Glad to be back. I enjoyed seeing everyone. It was especially good to spend time with Gavin and Katie. I really love Kimberly. She is such a great friend. It stinks we are so far away from each other most of the time! No plans for the rest of the day right now.. just relaxing... Will walk Jack shortly. Bye for now!!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Going home...

Just in from a bead class. Learned how to make a silk wrapping necklace. Pretty sweet! I am going to try to make everyone necklaces for Christmas, so put your order in now!! :) Packing and getting organized at home. I leave Monday for almost three weeks for NY and VA. Really looking forward to getting off the "rock" as they call Maui and seeing everyone. Getting Jack straight (he will be boarded half and at home being walked half the time), big mahalo to Nikki and Katie for helping me out so much!!

It's gotten hotter here the past week or so. My convertible top is always down now (thank you very much vandels) so it makes for a warm ride around town in the middle of the day. Probably need to go get a newer car, but I'm being cheap and hoping "ole red" lasts a bit longer. No car payment is the way to go right now!!

Having a picnic in the park on Friday, July 13, in Newport News for any of you who will be around. Trying to avoid driving all over town to see everyone!!

Better get going. Have a ton of things to do. Keep in touch!!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Flo, Maui Film Fest, camping, trip home...

Here is a pic of me and Flo that he just sent me. I love it! (This is the guy that I met in Australia who is in law school in Germany. We share the same birthday and just really hit it off!)

Late night at the Maui Film Fest. Saw a film, La Vie En Rose, about Edith Piaf, a French singer who lived a life of tragedy and died in her forties after a long struggle with drug addiction. Not exactly uplifting, but very touching. I will be thinking about that movie for a long time!

I am able to go to the east coast next month after all. Thanks to my dad and stepmom's miles! :) I am going to NY to see family and then VA. Can't wait to see my neice and nephew.

Been through a ton since I wrote last. Met a guy who I thought was fabulous. In many ways, he is. Anyway, we dated for around a month and both realized it just wasn't going to work. I am still struggling with it a bit because I really like him. I'm trying to have patience with this. I am not that patient. I really got my hopes up with this guy. And it is such a let down that it isn't going to happen. :(

Been off work for a week and lovin' it. I have been getting so much done at my house. Also relaxing a bit at the beach. Something I don't do nearly enough lately. I did get to go camping upcountry last weekend with a big group of friends. Had a great time. Nature always has a way of making things okay. Anyway, I'm off to walk Jack here shortly.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Aloha. Lazy day at home after too many days of running around in a row. The burning candle at both ends has to take a break today! I really want to go to the pool at the Grand Wailea, but I just don't have it in me! Here is the link for my new flickr photo site: . I am in the process of figuring out how to transfer pics from my yahoo photos to flickr.. if you know how, pls. help!
Not sure if I'll be making the trip to VA after school is out after all. I have been going thru some cash lately (Australia) so I'm watching the fares. They are around 900.00 right now! No way am I spending that much. I'll just wait and see if they go down. Maybe I'll be able to get a buddy pass or something from a friend who works for the airlines.
Found my mom the perfect Mother's Day present. She saw these golf Crocs (shoes) when she was here a few months ago, and loved them. They were too expensive, but I found them on sale yesterday and got them for her. I had to tell her about them so I could get the size right! She has just started taking golf lessons and is really getting into it.
Well, that's all for now. Just a month left of school... :) Susie

Monday, April 23, 2007

VT tragedy, new students, tennis champions!!

A week ago today there was complete mayhem at Va Tech. A crazy student killed 32 people and himself. It still seems unreal. The Hokie community pulled together, as would be expected, and the rest of the world followed suit. Even Ellen Degeneres wore orange and maroon on her show on last Friday, the day that was dedicated "Orange and Maroon Effect Day" to honor those who lost their lives in this tragedy. Some of the students and staff at my school followed my suggestion that we participate by wearing Hokie colors. I took some pics, but as usual haven't downloaded them yet. Will post them later!

I have had two new students start in my class in the past week and needless to say.. our classroom dynamics have changed! Today a little girl with Down Syndrome, Mary, celebrated her 3rd bday and her first day of school. Sweet little girl, involved parents, just really young developmentally. It's like having a new baby in the house. EVERYTHING has to be baby proofed all over the room. I have the greatest E.A. (ed. asst.) who always makes my job so much easier, but we were feelin' the stress today! And, on top of it all, we had a "lockdown" drill today. Do you know how hard it is to keep preschool students with disabilities quiet, in one space, and explain it all to them? All things considered, it went well.

This weekend, my tennis friend Julie and I won the 3.0 Doubles Division of a tennis tournament in Lahiana! I have never won any tennis tourney!! We were in the paper Saturday .. a picture!! Anyway, we played two matches yesterday (with a 30 min. break in between) in the scorching heat and pulled it off! We are sooo thrilled!! :) Pics to be added soon...

Be in touch! :) Suz

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Back in Kihei

Things have returned to normal now that I'm back from Australia and my company has gone. These pics were taken while Maggie and Linda were here... I think they enjoyed their stay. I enjoyed having them! Jack was also glad for the extra attention.. thanks again to Linda for all of her morning walks with him. It made it so nice.. especially on school days! I have filed my taxes on time (a feat for anyone who knows my financial style) and I'm trying to be better with my spending. Have been getting a little carried away lately!! I was supposed to go to Oahu next weekend for the Kokua Fest (jack johnson), but I told my friends that I wasn't able to go. I've seen him a ton of times and it would have involved buying ANOTHER plane ticket, getting a walker for Jack, and spending money that I don't need to spend. Now I'm playing in a doubles tourney in Lahaina instead and my friend Jason is coming to visit me from Oahu next weekend. Good times!

My mom has decided to bring her mom to VA to stay with her for a few months. Kudos to mom! It must be difficult for Gramma not being able to be in her own space without someone watching over her. She is lucky to have such great children to help take care of her!

I go to see Gavin and Katie on the webcam last week for the first time in a long time. Katie is soo big! They both have grown. I miss them!! I hear Cindy has her webcam up (it's about time!) so I hope to see that gang soon. Welcome to the new millenium guys!!

Quiet weekend here.. going into "town" in a bit to pick up some things. I enlarged a few photos from my trip to Australia and need to pick them up at Costco. One of them is for my landlords for being so good to me. I hope they turn out nicely. Well, I better get going. Stay in touch!



Friday, March 23, 2007


Greetings from Noosa! I am just north of Brisbane on the east coast of Australia now. Staying in a backpacker hostel. Got in last night from the most unbelievable trip to Fraser Island! There were only 3 other people on the tour with me (all German) and we got along great!! Our tour guide, Adam, was a trip and kept things interesting. He is threatening to come visit me in Hawaii.. somehow I am sure he will!! The perched lakes were AMAZING... blue, green, brown. The sand was sugary like the Bahamas or the west coast of Florida. Pics above are of the beach on the island and of me enjoying Eli Creek. We trekked thru the rainforest and 4 wheeled on the beach while we were there. Dingos all around our camp (cottage actually) looking for food. They reminded me of Jack.. I miss him!! I wanted to pet the dingos, but you can't. They can be very agressive when they feel threatened apparently.

I really enjoyed the company of the Germans on the trip. My fav was a young guy named Flo.. who I gave the nickname "Captain Caddy Catwalk, the German shark"! He is in law school and traveling here a bit after an internship outside of Sydney. I have told him that I will ask a tennis friend of mine, Shannon, if she can arrange an internship for him on Maui in August. That would be great. His birthday is the day before mine and he really is a character!

I hiked in the Noosa National Park earlier with two girls from the UK. We will go out later for dinner and drinks. Then I leave tomorrow to fly to Melbourne. Sharon will pick me up at the airport (a houseswapper from Maui) and allow me to stay in her condo with her. Apparently it is right near the train station so that will make navigation easier. I understand it is much smaller and more manageable to navigate than Sydney. I am sooo directionally challenged that I hope it is!! The weather right now is rainy there I hear, so I hope it clears up before I arrive. It is already going to be chilly/cold while I'm there. And you KNOW I'm a wimp now more than ever in regards to the weather.

Well, I better go!! Hugs and kisses to you!! Cheers, Susie :) (pics to be added when I return)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Pat's Day to you...

Although we celebrated it yesterday, today is St. Patrick's Day in the U.S., so have a green beer for me!! I went to a bar called O'Mally's (ironic enough.. same name as a bar in Norfolk, VA)... had a great time, but there was NO green beer!! I met a bunch of people from New Zealand ... will probably meet up with them in Brisbane (Brizzy as they call it) next week as they will be there for work. My room is pretty much smaller than my bathroom in Kihei, and while clean... there is lots of street noise and I woke up at 5 am this morning due to it! :( Today is the 75th anniversary of the Sydney Bridge so there are street parties throughout Sydney.. good music and shopping and food. What else is there? I have found a few gifts (small thankfully).. and one or two things for myself.

Not sure when I'll be moving on to my next place.. may head out Tuesday to Brisbane/Byron's Bay to go to the Croc Hunter's zoo and possibly Fraser Island (an all sand island that everyone raves about). Still don't have a clue about which side of the sidewalk to walk on but I am starting to understand the money better. No bills under $5 dollars makes for some heavy money!! Oh yeah, I learned a chit chat is a biscuit and a dustman is a garbage collector. Very interesting...

Well, I better go!! Will blog as I am able!! :) Love, Susie

Friday, March 16, 2007

Down Under

G'day mate! I just got into Sydney yesterday very early.. left HI Tuesday night and arrived Thursday morning! Thankfully the trip was only 9 or 10 hours, but with the time change you gain a day and a few hours. I am totally confused with the metric system and all of these people driving on the wrong side of the car and the wrong side of the road! Today I went with my landlords (who I am staying with until tomorrow) on a ferry into Sydney. We found the place where I'll be staying the next few days to make sure it wasn't too seedy of an area. Turns out they did a house swap about a block from there a few years ago. We went thru the botanical gardens (I took a video of a bunch of bats in these huge trees), and then ate lunch together. They went on their way after dropping me at the Sydney Opera House. I took a tour of the opera house where I met a girl named Joyce from Brazil. We ended up spending the whole day wandering the city together and plan to meet up on Sunday. You know how shy I can be! We ended up shopping in a huge market (like a swap meet), going to the Aquarium (really cool) and ate in Darling Harbor. After dinner, we went our separate ways, and I caught a bus, then a ferry, then another bus and then walked a block to here!! I am BEAT. Just wanted to send out an update. Hope to hear from you soon!! Aloha!!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Gabby Reese, Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited...

Aloha! It's been a while since I've blogged! I am trying to stay awake so I can go pick my mom up at the airport in a few hours. She and Mike have been on Oahu since Tuesday.. they were here for a bit last week and now Mike goes back to VA and mom comes back for a week. Unfortunately I can't take off any time from work to spend more time with her.. I'm using 4 personal days to extend my spring break. Looking forward to my trip to Australia. I leave March 13. My gramma Reynolds is now out of the hospital (she had pneumonia) and is leaving later this week for Florida. She'll stay with my Aunt Yvonne for a few months and hopefully reap the benefits of the warm weather. I hope that it is a positive thing for her and it works out well. Katie (my neice) turned two this weekend. :) She called me Auntie Suz today for the first time. She usually calls me Auntie Shoes which I didn't mind either! I wish I could've been there for her big day. Such a cutie!

My friend, Jim, was in from Oahu this weekend and we had a great time. Yesterday we saw Gabrielle Reese (pro volleyball player) and her kids at the nude beach we went to... No we weren't naked!! It's just where the good waves for boogie boarding were at the time. Thanks Kurt for the donated boogie board. It was put to good use! Also saw an African band, Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited, last night at a place called Casanova's. It was great! Today we hiked a bamboo forrest.. I've done it a few times before. A moderate hike.. the difference today was it was a bit wet so many rocks were quite slippery. There used to be a rope ladder at this one part of the hike that has now been removed.. and replaced with a rope with knots on it. That was the most tricky part of the trip. No major cuts or bruises so I was happy!

Work has been going well. Busy, but good. My students are coming along nicely. It seems we can't get everyone healthy at the same time. I really hope after spring break we can stay well. I've been trying to help two families especially lately. A little girl with a hearing impairment and a little boy who has a cyst resting on his brain stem and is having petite mal seizures. My assistant, Donna, never fails to exceed expectations and rises to the occasion time after time.

Signing off for now. Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Hump Day in Kihei

busy busy at work this week. i have a new student who is very involved and very awesome. he is keeping us on our toes but bringing lots of joy. jack's gaining a little weight (he lost some when i was in va...) so he is lookin' better. tennis is good. played last night and tonight and will play tomorrow night. keeps me out of trouble. looking forward to a visit with mom and mike next month! i will actually first see them in honolulu when they arrive to stay with some friends of theirs. i just happened to be on that island that weekend for the pro bowl. looking forward to a great bday weekend! an old friend from high school that i haven't seen in over 10 years will be there visiting (cory). will stay at jim's sweet pad with heather and julie for the weekend and then a hotel for a training there sunday and monday night. will meet mom and mike with their friends for dinner probably monday night and then they head to maui the next weekend. :) mom will stay for two weeks.

trying to plan my trip to australia. it looks like it will be me going it solo.. a few people said they'd go and have since flaked for one reason or another. well, at least i can do whatever i want when i'm there.. if only i can decide what exactly that is. apparently it is a very solo friendly place to travel. my landlords will be in sydney when i arrive and have offered to pick me up at the airport. not sure if i'll stay with them a few days or in a hostel or cheap hotel. they will only be there for 3 days after i arrive. i know i'll explore some of sydney and now the big decision is where else to go. melbourne? cairns? byron bay? i don't have much time to travel between so i think i should pick one other place besides sydney. i'm doing my homework now. better go catch up on some much needed rest. have a good one!!

adios for now.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A new lease...

I am going upstairs later today to meet the house swappers from Australia, and to sign a one year lease! I guess that means I'm staying here at least another year!! The only reason I wouldn't is if I got a job offer from the D.O.D.E.A. that I couldn't refuse. I'll worry about that if it happens. My landlords are great so I'm sure they'd work with me. They actually will be in Australia when I arrive in March and have offered to pick me up at the airport and that I could stay with them the last few days they are there if I want. :)

Off to a training today. I hope it is good b/c I hate leaving my class with my new student. My assistant, Donna, is awesome, but I still feel badly.

Mom and Mike get to Hawaii in a few weeks. Looking forward to it.

Bye for now!!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Back on Maui

I'm back on Maui after a few weeks in VA. It was great to see everyone, but i'm glad to be back for sure. Orlando Bloom was on the last leg of my flight home (L.A.)! I sat next to and chatted with this Texan boy on the plane- he is the one who noticed him first.. Anyway, Jack is just now starting to talk to me after my leaving him in the slammer for 2 weeks. What a painful event when I got the bill for that one!

We walked down to Kam III (beach park) yesterday to meet some friends for sunset. Then earlier today I took him to White Rock (beach just south of my place) b/c there aren't usually many dogs there. I found a cement block and tied his leash to it. Of course it wasn't heavy enough so you can imagine him trying to chase this dog with a big piece of cement trailing behind. What a mess he is, but I love him.

It was so great to spend time with Gavin and Katie. They are so big! Katie has changed so much since I saw here last July. She calls me "shoes" which is pretty appropriate if you know me at all. What a pistol. I will be emailing out a video or two once I get it together. If you haven't gotten it in a reasonable amount of time... email me!! (remember, I'm on island time). Here are my pics: .

I don't have to go back to work until Thursday so that gives me plenty of time to get organized and relax. I will go in Wed. b/c I have a new student starting school on Thursday and I don't have everything ready for him yet. He brings my class size to 5. We are having a great year and I'm sure he'll do well.

Well, I'll sign off for now. I hope you are having a great start to this new year. Keep in touch when you can. Happy New Year!!