Friday, January 27, 2006

I found this "draft" that I never posted..... 1/27/06:
Last night was "guitar night" at my friend's JB and Kimm's house (the extra draw is little redheadded Quincy their 2 year old son). There were six of us and 4 guitars. All of us were verying levels of guitar playing and singing proficiency. Some of us struggle through songs, others pick it up easily after years of playing. I have been teaching myself for the last year or so ... sporatically at times, but lately I have the short nails and callouses to prove my renewed committment to the instrument.

I bought a 1980 Sigma guitar off someone who was moving from Hawaii to the Mainland. I think I paid $150 for it. Afterall, I didn't know if I would like it or more importantly stick with it. Last night's guitar brand seemed to be Takamine Guitars. They felt a lot nicer to play than my Sigma. I really want a new guitar. Do I need one? Nah.
Maybe someday.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

She's Cookin'

I like to cook. I love to eat. Growing up we all helped prepare meals. My parents were not meatloaf and casserole cooks, we didn’t have a scheduled menu like most families. As a single person with no family to cook for I really don’t know how they had the creativity and organization to cook unique meals every day. Some days it was vegetarian, some days Asian inspired stir-fry, soups, curries, occasionally we had red meat, mostly poultry or fish. My mom is Italian – need I say more? Chicken Piccata was one of my dad’s specialties.

I rarely cook for myself. To me, cooking alone is no fun. I enjoy a kitchen full of people helping to cut, stir, add flavoring, changing recipes, tasting, talking and creating.

BQ living does not lend itself to gourmet cooking. Especially when all you have is a refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot and blender. Some people do quite well, cooking all their meals in crock pots, George Foreman grills, rice cookers etc. I rarely have the time or inclination to cook in my room. I miss having a kitchen, and miss having people over to cook dinner. Luckily many of my friends here have housing with kitchens. Christmas Eve was spent this year at a friend’s house making homemade tamales, and Christmas Morning we had brunch at another friend’s house. I decided to bring a fruit pizza. I had never made or had one before, but suddenly the idea popped into my head. It was a huge success, and it looked beautiful! That just might become a standard potluck item for me. Kwaj gatherings are often “bring a dish to share” parties. (One of my other favorites is Spicy Thai Noodles – Quick, easy and tasty.) So, here is a picture of my fruit pizza. I tried to find the recipe I used on-line….but it has disappeared. Google fruit pizza and you’ll find plenty of recipes. Basically a cookie dough crust, cook it, cool it. Mix together cream cheese, whip cream (I used ½ fat cream cheese and fat free whip cream) a little vanilla, some lime juice and spread it on top of the cooled cookie, then start creating your top!

Monday, January 16, 2006

"Blogging" is now a verb

This is one of my favorite Blogs and I want to share it. Also I am testing out how to link things within the body of my posts. St.Ned's is a pseudonym for a real parish in the Bay Area.

The author writes this about herself: Yeah, I'm a church secretary. Given that the average image of the church secretary is someone with gray hair and a dramatically pilled acrylic cardigan who can't find her glasses because they're sitting on top of her head, this may seem like an odd career choice for someone in her 30s. I understand your confusion.

It's fun, I reccomend it....

Work and Play

Well, I was encouraged to post more often.... so I will try to do so. I usually wait for some pictures because I think that is what people are really more interested in, but we'll see how "news only" posts go :)

New Years was fairly mellow for me. I had to work both New Years Eve and New Years day. Most of us work 12 hour shifts at the hospital (only three nurses have the coveted position of five 8hr days - no weekends, no holidays). In Hawaii 36 hours/wk was considered full time. Here we work 7 shifts in a 2 week period and every other weekend - 84 hours a pay period (a week of 3 & a week of 4). It still surprises me how that one extra day really eats up our "free time". What stinks is out here EVERYONE wants to do the same things at the same time. Next month I start on night shift.... not my favorite because I am really unable to do anything! I try not to complain too much (just a little.... I don't want anyone to be mislead into thinking that I don't mind working nights!) So, I kinda say goodbye to my social life and friends for a month. The "re-emergence" from night shift is always met with "were you off-island?" or "I havn't seen you for a while - did you go somewhere". Yep, nights.

Softball season is starting up next week and I am on a team called Gecko Girls. It is a team full of fairly new/non-competitve players so this will be a learning year for the team. It is fun being on a winning team, but I also enjoy seeing other people have fun and get better at a sport they enjoy. There are a few of us that are fairly strong players, so hopefully it won't be too painful!

The winds are back so I have started windsurfing again. (too windy for surfing most of the time) There's a "beginners area" at Camp Hamilton Beach, and when you "graduate" you start windsurfing at North Point (uh, the northern point of Kwajalein). On my previous tour I had "graduated" to The Point but never really progressed much so for now I am still down at Camp Hamilton ....

Last weekend I took a SCUBA "tune-up" class from my friend who is a dive master. It has been 5-6 years since my last dive, so I thought it would be a good way to get back into the swing of things. A day of pool work and then a morning walk-in dive off Emon Beach. It was nice to get back underwater!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Christmas on Kwaj

A Kwaj tradition is the "Parade of Lights" where sailboats string lights up the mast and around the boat and sail back and forth in the lagoon. This year I helped decorate Cherokee for the Parade. We had close to 40 people on the boat, lots of yummy food, drink and Christmas music. Here are some of the "Cherokee Girls... past and present" plus Quincy (Kimm and Johnny's little guy). It was a fun night!