Sunday, December 31, 2006

Dropping Pennies

Finding a penny is lucky. At least, that's what I've always believed. Many people think that finding a penny means a wish will be granted. Others think that found pennies are messages from loved ones who have died - that each found penny is a special visitation from beyond.

I pick up pennies and make wishes whenever possible. I was thinking that it might be good to spread some of that happiness around. I've started dropping pennies.

The other day I was sitting in the car, waiting, at the credit union. I was cleaning out my coat pocket and found a penny inside. I opened the car door and dropped it to the pavement, wondering if anyone would ever pick it up.

A few minutes later, a family parked next to me. Mom, Dad, and two kids got out. A boy about 7 or 8 years old yelled, "Hey Dad! Look! I found a penny!". He scooped it up and skipped down the sidewalk with it.

Even if it doesn't bring him good luck, it brought him a small bit of happiness. And gave me some too.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

White Elephant Gin

Hey Sparky - I got the BEST present at our staff Holiday Party!

We have a white elephant exchange where everyone brings an anonymous gift and puts them in a pile. Numbers are drawn and each person picks a wrapped gift to open - or you can steal a gift from someone else.

You know how you usually get a candle or an ornament or some similar useless item - well, this year I got a
big bottle of GIN!!!!

Sure, it's a cheap brand. It's in a big, half-gallon sized plastic bottle. But it's still a great gift!


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Just Four Days Ago We Were Swimming...

It's hard to believe that just a few days ago we were wearing swimsuits and shorts and drinking Mai Tai's! We spent seven days at the Hapuna Beach Prince Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. On Thursday we drove over to Hilo to see the sights on the wet side of the island and visit the University of Hawaii campus.

On Friday we went south of Kailua-Kona to Kealakekua Bay for snorkeling. There was no beach, just mounds of old volcanic rock to walk on and hop off from. The photo of the Bay on the right is from

The reefs and fish were beautiful! I'm borrowing a couple of photos from the website: . You can see how bright the fish are and the water is so clear and blue, it actually looks just like this!

On the way back north we stopped at Holualoa, an artist village on the slopes above Kona. We especially wanted to visit Darrell Hill's Gallery to see his paintings. We love his Impressionistic style and gorgeous colors. The painting pictured here is titled "Kohala" and is very similar to a Darrell Hill painting we bought on Maui called "Mauna Lani Beach".

On Saturday we drove to Hawi, another artist village on the north tip of the island. Then we drove over the Kohala mountain range to Waimea. This is ranch country, with lots of horses and cattle. The green colors are really vivid. These photos are from


Two of our very favorite things about Hawaii are watching the hula dancers and the sunsets. We never get tired of either.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Hawaii Sun and Oregon Snow

We are back from the Big Island. The weather was grand. Water was clear. Fun was had. Now, we're back to windy, rainy, gray times in Oregon. Folks who live on the Big Island are still shaken from the recent earthquakes. And the Mauna Kea Resort has been closed indefinitely because of structural damage. They said that about 400 people are out of work because of the closure.

While we were gone, there have been more Oregon tragedies. At Thanksgiving, the Kim family traveled from California to Seattle. On their way back to California, they drove through Oregon, intending to cross over the coastal mountains in order to stay on the coast. Unfortunately, they chose a bad winter road over the pass, took a wrong turn onto a snowy mountain logging road, and got stuck in deep drifts. The husband took off on foot while the wife and two small children waited in the car. After nine days, the wife and kids were found alive. Unfortunately, the husband died of hypothermia out in the elements.

Now, there are three mountain climbers lost on Mt. Hood and rescuers can't get close because of blizzard conditions. They've been missing for a week. Another mountaineer was stuck in a snow cave on Mt. Hood for 13 days before being rescued, so there is still hope.