Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fire Update

The air quality has been terrible all week. Our throats and eyes are itching, I feel sick to my stomach often and my lungs feel weird. We are supposed to stay inside and refrain from outdoor exercise. I was seriously delusional on Monday morning, probably because it was 6:15am when I got up to go swimming. I kind of noticed the bad air on my way to the pool across the street, but I was determined to swim since I had already gotten up. However, the pool was filled with nasty black ash and debris! No way I was getting in there. In fact, everything outside is covered in debris and ash from the fires.

This is my back patio.

The sky seriously looks apocalyptic. An eerie feeling comes over you when you look at the dark skies and red sun.
We just found out that Ian's school is canceled tomorrow. They closed all schools in the Irvine School District. All soccer practices and games have been canceled and our Stake Trunk or Treat might be, too! The Irvine/Santiago Fire, which is closest to us, is 30% contained, which is worse than the 50% containment earlier in the week! It is mostly in the mountains.
The good news is that the wind seems to be shifting and we are supposed to be getting some clearer air from the direction of the ocean.

This picture was taken on Wednesday Morning.

Thank you for the many phone calls and expressions of concern for our safety. We are fine and feel very loved!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fires in California

You may have heard that our great state of California is in a state of emergency due to several fires in various areas fueled by Santa Ana wind conditions-hot winds coming from the east rather than the usual breeze coming from the ocean on the west. Here is a picture courtesy of NASA. (Marea, I pulled this from your blog.)

We had a fire in Irvine, too, about 3 miles from our house.

Here is a view from our neighborhood on Sunday evening.

We smelled fire outside during dinner around 6pm. Then Ben noticed that Kate and I were wearing matching outfits -isn't it weird how that happens without any planning- and we had to go take a picture outside. It was darker than usual and we were shocked to see a huge plume of smoke nearby.

No homes were burned in our city, but it has been very smoky. The air is horrible and the health department has advised everyone to stay inside. Some Irvine schools are closed but Ian's school has remained open, although they have had indoor recess and lunch so far this week.

We have stayed inside with the exception of school and preschool and a necessary Costco run today. While I was dragging the gigantic haul inside, Kate made quick work of these bagels. Don't know how she took those three bites so fast. Hope that plastic was good!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Back from Hawaii

ALOHA! We spent a fabulous week on Oahu with Ben's two older brothers and their wives. Here are some of the highlights.

At the Hawaii Laie Temple, we learned about some of the native plants, the sister missionaries wore ankle length Hawaiian dresses and sandals (send me to that mission!) and there was a tree with big eaves you could sing (Umh, I mean leaves you could sign-gotta love computer spell check). Legal Mormon graffiti.

At sunset beach: we tried boogie boarding here, but it was tough! You had to be out pretty far to catch a good wave, usually in very deep water. I caught one good wave!

Eating Shaved Ice at Matsumoto's in Haleiwa: Ben got cherry with sweetened condensed milk, sounds sick, but it's de-lish. I got pina colada, which tasted nothing like pineapple or coconut but was tasty nonetheless. I love that it was "local fare."

Shark's Cove on the North Shore: this was our first attempt at snorkeling. Since it was too choppy that day to go in the deeper part of the cove (on the right) we ended up in the very shallow waters on the left. Good for first time snorkelers, but not very exciting. I saw about 4 fish and a sea cucumber.

Shopping at the swap meet in Honolulu: a shopper's dream! Cheap stuff at cheap prices. Get your fake wooden sandals, t-shirts and jewelry at rock-bottom prices.

At the Polynesian Cultural Center with Mike, Heather (Ben, me) Dave and Kristyn. These crazy Maori girls practically dared us to get these tattoos and so we did. The boys got picked to participate in the Maori warrior Welcome dance, probably because of their manly tattoos.We also practiced swinging poi balls (I am sooo uncoordinated), tried some Tahitian dancing-the hip shaking kind- and made some little fish out of coconut leaves with the Samoans.

Sand Crab at our beach in Hauula: this little guy reminded me of Sponge Bob's crabby burger boss. And he can dig a mean hole pretty fast.

Swimming until dark at Waimea Bay(by the light of the MOON): the waves came in and then right back out again because the beach was so steep. The back and forth motion made for some great body surfing.

Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay: this place had great snorkeling. Lost of coral reefs and plenty of fish. We hoped to see some sea turtles, but no luck!

Sunrise from our beach in Hauula: We watched the sun rise a couple of mornings at around 6:15am. We had some serious jet lag the whole week. Ben and I did see a sea turtle here, but only his head, sticking out of the water a couple of times.

Searching for LOST sites: we went to Mokuleia Beach where the pilot episode was filmed, you know, the one where they crash and the plane is all over the beach and parts of it blow up, etc.
We also went on a long hike near Turtle Bay Resort to find the banyan tree where Kate first hid in the pilot episode, but turns out it looks just like every other banyan tree on the island.

U.S.S. Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor -this site was built right over the sunken ship. It marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors killed on the USS Arizona during the Attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 by Japanese imperial forces and commemorates the events of that day. The attack on Pearl Harbor and the island of Oʻahu was the action that led to United States involvement in World War II. (Thanks Wikipedia)

Our last day in Hawaii. We had a relaxing wonderful time with great company!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Dieting Questions

As I get ready to go on my trip to *HAWAII* and am making the last minute futile attempts of losing 10 pounds before Saturday, here are some important questions:

Do I gain more weight eating a package of M&M's all at once or spreading it out over a week?

What time of day is the best time to eat something unhealthy and get away with it- in other words, should I have cookies for breakfast, lunch or dinner?

Celery = healthy
Frosting = unhealthy
Celery + frosting = zero, because they cancel each other out?

How many M&M's can I substitute for one palm-of-the-hand size piece of chicken?

I read an article that you can lose weight by laughing:
Do I really have to laugh or does fake laughing count?

You're not supposed to skip is it better to eat cake for breakfast or nothing at all and risk not getting your metabolism started for the day?

You should get adequate rest, so should I sleep an extra hour after I've been up with the baby at night instead of going to work out?

All important questions.