Maui – part one.

I surmise it is time to start catching New Forty readers up on summer outings that have gone unreported. I have been thinking that there is so much to tell that it is almost too much.  I want to say little, but tell all that is worth telling.  As such, I think I will have to break this up into logical chunks.  I will share today the beginning (part one) of my family’s trip to Maui in August.

The discussion of a family trip to Maui in August 2014 began in late July 2013.  It was then that Sarah decided that the next family trip was the one in which she and Dusty would get married.  Seeing as they have been together over ten years and have a son and two dog children, this did not seem like a hasty decision.  By the time September rolled around rooms were booked and Sarah was shopping for a wedding dress.  After that, all there was to do was to wait for August to roll around.

As the trip grew near, the clan got more and more excited.  No one in my family had been on vacation to Maui before.  Mike had been to other locations in Hawaii very briefly while in the service, but the rest of us were Hawaii virgins.  We figured this trip would likely be a once in a lifetime trip for us.

About a week before we were to travel to Maui discussion of Hurricane Iselle and her little brother Julio (who was tagging along behind her) started heating up.  Apparently, both Iselle and Julio intended to visit Hawaii the same time as my family.  You can imagine my chagrin when I learned of these developments.  This wasn’t the once in a lifetime trip I was hoping for.   It had been decades since Hawaii had to deal with a major direct storm hit and during the one and only time I planned to visit there was talk of not one hit, but two of the most potentially damaging storms Hawaii had ever experienced.  Come on now universe, you don’t think I can hear you snickering?

We were prepared to be waylaid in Phoenix, but to our surprise we got to Honolulu and then to Maui without incident on August 8th.  In Maui there was quite a bit of wind and an obvious lack of bottled water in the stores, but the damage I saw was limited to some downed tree branches and the frazzled nerves of the locals. I was very grateful that all of Sarah’s plans were not dashed  by a hurricane (or worse, two) – that was a family story I was praying we would avoid.


In all, there were 17 of us in Maui – my clan (all but my two grandchildren in Canada); my ex-husband Larry and his wife Linda; Dusty’s parents and their granddaughter; and, Sarah and Dusty’s close friends Jason and Keisha.  We all stayed at a lovely property that sat right on the beach.  The balcony of the condo we stayed in had a breathtaking view.

It did not take long to get used to having my morning coffee looking at this view. The location was especially quiet and serene, particularly in the mornings.  I do so love the ocean – the sound, the smell, the sight of it – it soothes me.  I could spend a lifetime enjoying the ocean each day,  but I recognize that the cost to do so is more than I have.  Plus, I would never choose to live in a place where the kids were not nearby.  Paradise is individually defined.  As long as my kids are in North Dakota the state will be able to deliver its own slice of paradise (absent the beaches, temperate weather, and palm trees). ;-)

And that is where I will leave it tonight…tomorrow the Maui vacation continues.

Day one thousand five hundred and thirty-seven of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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How does it make you feel?

Well folks, the new carpet is in.  I must say, I underestimated how big a difference it would make.  I selected the same color for the entire upper floor and stairs – a neutral brown blend – and I expected it to fade into the background.  I didn’t expect to have too much of a reaction to it.

Ah, but it sure did make a difference.  I must admit, I did not fully appreciate how far from new the old carpet looked.  I suspect it was the original carpet in the house which would make it about 16 years old.  There were two owners before me and I have been in the house since 2006.  I think it started as a low grade carpet choice and put in its time and then some.

As I sit in my office now with my new carpet I feel more serene and settled.  Who knew that something as minor as a carpet change could have such an effect.  I find the whole thing fascinating.  It made me wonder what kind of studies have been done on this front.  Have people been asked – “How does your carpet make you feel?”  I know different paint colors can elicit different emotions, could it be that carpet has the same power?  Judging from my own reaction, I would say that carpet has a power that I never gave it credit for.

Look at the carpeting in your house and take note of how you feel as a result of it.  Let me know if has a psychological effect on you.  If it has no effect and you think this whole thing is malarkey, feel free to tell me that I have flipped my lid. ;-)

Day one thousand five hundred and thirty-six of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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Lessons learned…

I postponed getting new carpet for almost three years because more interesting projects kept capturing my attention.  Carpeting, while nice, does not excite me all that much.  I can think of so many other ways to spend money on home improvement.   But Mike kept on me about the carpeting and I finally had to acknowledge that the carpet had seen better days and needed to be replaced.

New carpet is set to be installed tomorrow.  Because I was already not thrilled about spending money on carpet, I tried to cut down on expenses where I could.  I told the installation folks that we would move our furniture and other items ourselves and we would tear up and dispose of the old carpet.  And when I said we I meant Mike.  Unfortunately, Mike interpreted we differently and insisted on more of a collaborative effort.  It has turned out to be more of a 70-30 split.  I move all the little stuff within my capability level and Mike does everything else.  And that is what I have spent my day on today – my 30%.

I was clipping right along until  I got to my closet.  Thankfully I only had to remove things on the floor, buy ay caramba that ended up being no easy feat.  On my closet floor, in addition to my shoe storage shelf that holds 18 pairs of shoes I had a whole slew of other shoes.  In addition to my shelf (which Mike was able to move with the shoes in it), I had four overflowing bags of shoes and boots.  And I am not talking simple little grocery bags folks – I am talking the supersized Sam’s club reusable grocery bags.  After loading the first two bags I started saying to myself with every shoe that went in the bag – I have too many shoes.

The real kicker though is that the shoes on my closet floor only comprise about half my shoes.  The remainder of them are in shoe boxes stacked to the top of my closet all the way across the length of my closet.  Let’s say it together shall we  – I HAVE TOO MANY SHOES.

As I type this, Mike is still working on his 70%.  I regret not paying to have the carpet folks tear out the old carpet.  It is proving to be more work than I thought and Mike stopped enjoying the carpet removal process about an hour after it started.  I can’t help but think that had I sold a dozen or so pairs of my shoes I could have paid for the removal and then some and thereby saved Mike all that time and effort.

Some lessons are learned the hard way.  Never again will I try and cheap out of having the installers do the carpet removal and never again will I own the number of shoes I own today.  Tomorrow a shoe purge is going down.  Maybe I can even sell some of the purged pairs to buy Mike something nice for his carpet tear out efforts – that seems apropos.

Day one thousand five hundred and thirty-five of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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Choose your words wisely…

File this one under: Yes, this just happened.

I was talking with my son Cory on the phone tonight.

I said, “Do you want to be a big brother?”

Cory said, “What?”

I repeated, “Do you want to be a big brother?”

Cory said, “What are you saying?”

Then it hit me, he didn’t understand that I was asking him if he wanted to be a Big Brother with the Big Brother/Big Sister organization.

I laughed…I laughed a lot. Then I clarified that I was talking about the organization, not asking him if he wanted me to have another baby so he could be a big brother.

After a long pause Cory said, “You need to choose your words wisely.”

I laughed a lot more.

If any of you out there are interested in being a Big Brother or Big Sister in the Fargo/Moorhead area or in other areas I encourage you to contact your local chapter of the organization.  The kids that participate in the Big Brother/Big Sister program do better in school, make smarter choices when faced with risky behaviors, and often continue their relationship with the Big Brother/Big Sister even after they become adults.  It is a great program that changes kids’ lives.

Now if you want to be a big brother or big sister in the traditional way, you’ll have to ask your parents, but choose your words wisely. ;-)

Day one thousand five hundred and thirty-four of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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I am an accomplice…

My Sorento is the killer of many bugs.

I do not like killing living things if I can avoid it.  The Sorento seems to have no problem with bugs meeting their demise on its windshield.  I personally would rather not be exposed to such things.  I find it disturbing and disgusting when things go splat on my window.

I do not know if it is the height of the Sorento or the back roads of Minnesota (or perhaps both) that exponentially increased the Sorento’s kill rate today, but I know that there were many bugs who met their demise because the Sorento was where it was today.  It is difficult to stay focused on driving when a big bug unexpectedly splats just inches from your face. Eeewwwwww…it is just gross.

My Tiburon was not as egregious about bug killing.  Perhaps it was too low to the ground or more aerodynamic…perhaps it had a kinder soul.  The bottom line is that I am now in the uncomfortable position of being an accomplice to bug-icide.  And I must confess folks, even as the rule follower I am, I am all too ready to go to the car wash and erase the evidence of the Sorento’s crimes.

I surmise I will have to pray on this…I’ll do so while the Sorento is going through the car wash. ;-)

Day one thousand five hundred and thirty-three of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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