Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Things that have been going on at Chez Cheese...
  1. Did some laundry and loaded the dishwasher. My cousin Hannah answered the call for help with all the tomatoes we have from the garden.
  2. Took the boys to Skechers outlet for new shoes. I usually get even # of pairs to take advantage of the buy 1 pair, get 2nd pair @ 50% but we found a pair of sandals for Josh that were only $10. So 3 pairs this time.
  3. Green Day concert Tuesday night with my bff Kat. She told me she thought the concert is on Wednesday but good thing her mom pointed out the correct date. Doh!
  4. Found a pair of socks languishing on some needles since who knows when so I felt compelled to pick them up. I completed the heels and now working on the legs. These are striped socks that use all those little bits of leftover sock yarn. They might not be the purdiest pair but they fit me perfectly so I am very happy.
  5. The house is down to 2 working toilets. Not too much of a hassle but we have to walk upstairs to do our business. Last night Hector tried to put in a toilet and it didn't fit. We tried to use the same model that the boys have in their bathroom which works great. Never gets plugged or sluggish unlike the lame toilet in the downstairs WC. Of course, H put the old toilet on craigslist and it was already gone from the corner. H had to return the toilet for a round one (not elongated) and I don't know what happened at that point. I went upstairs to knit in bed and watch TV. Oh yeah, now I remember H said he put the new new toilet in place but it has a doohickey point so the toilet rocks. He will hopefully get another one that is good then return the defective one. The lady @ Home Depot says that she can't tell you how many times people try to return their old toilets in the boxes. For shame!!
  6. Oh jeez, I almost forgot we are supposed to meet Sherri and her kids at the park this morning. I'm just goofing off here, gotta run.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Oh dear, I'm kinda caught flat-footed this year with Tyler's birthday. It's been in the back of my mind during vacation and now here it is coming up in 2 days!! Yikes. Then I'm so wrapped up in that idea, it just occurs to me that my mom's birthday is the day after...double yikes!!

Tyler wants a laser tag party which is simple enough but I want to make sure that all his friends can make it to add up to 10 kids or so. I tried booking the event but everything is unavailable on the weekends. It's so hard when I try to plan a Labor Day weekend party because someone is always out of town. Hmmm, that brings me up to birthday presents now. Okay, we have one present, the Nintendo DS XL that we've been hiding since Memorial Day and that is it. Oy, another thing to think about! At least Tyler is at that age where gift cards are appreciated.

Then I get sidetracked and think about redecorating the boys' rooms. A Super Mario themed room for Tyler and a space theme for Josh. I wouldn't start on these projects until they start school but still I need to get to the more urgent matters like birthday gifts.

Meanwhile I ordered some Mario decals for Tyler's room and H ordered some Harry Potter Hogwarts bookmarks. I think we'll be doing some last minute shopping tonight.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Knitting update

I haven't posted any knitting since our vacation. I went through the hat frenzy but settled down with some other projects I had OTN (on the needles). Knitters even have their own lingo. :)
The above pair of socks is gorgeous with Fleece Artist yarn in Seastorm. Perfect name for the colors. The pattern is called Skew and this is my 2nd pair. I decided to try knitting 2 at a time which needed lots of concentration. This was completed over a 2 month period and I am so happy they are finally done. I was originally planning these for me but alas, they are very tight. Bummer! I think I will send them to my niece Summer who hopefully has narrow feet and ankles to get these bad boys on. Otherwise, I will be taking applications for women's size 8. It will be like Cinderella but for socks. :)

This blurry pic is of my lace ribbon scarf. This was my main project in Hawaii and I knit while on the 5 hour flight to and from Hawaii. I estimate that I have about 30 inches so far and will knit until I run out of yarn. The only problem is that I'm using sock yarn for this project so it is slow going. This I will keep for myself.

This is a project I started in Hawaii, the lace and cable socks. The yarn is called Alchemy Yarns of Transformation and this might be my new favorite yarn. Some yarns feel soft but when knit up they feel rough. Alchemy yarn is soft all the way yet strong. I can't wait to get these on my feet. It'll be my special luxury yarn. :)

Here is a pretty Arucania Ranco yarn from Chile. The colors reminded me of sherbet and shave ice. I found this yarn in Hilo on our way to the volcanos. The pattern is called Scrolls.

That's all for now since I have lots of knitting to do.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hawaii: day 5 and 6

I hadn't finished recapping our Hawaii vacation so here goes. After super relaxing day at Mauna Lani with Jill and her family, we hit Costco for some cheap pizza. Hector had read that Costco decided to locate on the Kona side because it is the up and coming area. Apparently it is the only one on the island so residents on the other side have to make a 2-3 hour drive to load up on goodies. I shudder to think of that drive both ways. Yuck.

I had bookmarked a beach about 5 miles south of our condo that is perfect for snorkeling. We went on a nice Sunday morning around 9:30am so we found parking in the lot. Small sand beach with picnic area further on the trees. Shallow pools surrounded by rocks which made it nice for small children although the rocks can be hard for people to navigate.

Testing the snorkel equipment in the pool.

Hector took the boys out snorkeling for a short bit before Joshua got cold. I couldn't figure that out since the water is much warmer than Cali but still on the cool side. Hector said the water here is much clearer and there are lots of fish even in the waist high water. I ventured out there to wade and swim for a bit and I did not see ONE fish. Strange, huh?

That was our adventure for the day with the usual pool time. Hector booked a snorkel trip on a Zodiac for Tyler and him the next morning. Josh and I stayed at the condo and swam that day. This is what Hector told me...they travelled to the Cook's monument and snorkelled in 2 places. The Zodiac bounced them around to their first stop and Hector got sick which he expected. I'll spare you the details but he did manage an underwater pic while he 'fed' the fish. Tyler had lots of fun and even got a camera to take photos with. The captain thought Tyler might not know about film cameras but he didn't know we've entered that realm months ago.
Tyler really had a great time with his dad so that was a nice event to end the trip.

The boys have a nice tan where they've inherited their dad's genes. I have a tan but it was harder for me. I put the same sunscreen on as the kids and they got much darker. Go figure.
Our last night in Hawaii. Sunset from our balcony.

Now that our vacation is over, all we have is our memories, photos and the cold we all caught from Tyler. :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Home again

It is so nice to be home. We came back Tuesday night and slowly getting into the swing of things. I'm still on Hawaii time.

Tons of pictures between Hector and I plus add another film camera that Tyler received on his snorkeling tour. Little tidbit on this trip. All my boys threw up at one point or another during this vacation due to motion sickness or fever.

We did have a lovely and relaxing vacation. I really loved the big island. Of course I want to start planning our next trip but that won't be for a while. The kids and I have a Mexico cruise planned in February and Hector has his ski trip around that time too.

School is around the corner and so is Tyler's birthday. My big guy will be 11 years old. That means that Josh is already begun campaigning for his gifts. He even had the nerve to ask to Tyler for the Lego toy if Tyler gets it for his birthday. The nerve!! :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hawaii: day 4

Today was another kickback kind of day, just what I needed after our long day before. We came back really late the night  before so I thought the kids would sleep in thus allowing me to sleep in. Um, no that didn't happen. I heard them talking around 6:30am and I tried to go back to sleep but it just didn't work for me. By 10:00 am we were headed up to Kohala Coast to see Jill and her family. They are friends and neighbors who happened to be in Hawaii as the same time as us but staying further up the coast. The Mauna Lani is a very nice resort hotel with a big pool and beach area where the kids can swim and snorkel.

Great cabana loungers with hammocks and palm trees complete the perfect scene. Oh and add some green sea turtles that hang out by the shore feeding on the algae. Took a whole bunch of pictures of them. Hector took the boys out snorkeling and after 10  minutes I decided to join them. I barely got my gear on and was heading deeper in the water when Hector brings Josh back because Josh was too cold. Oh well. I got Josh settled in the jacuzzi where he became the local resident. That little kid needs to add some muscle and fat to his frame.
up close and personal.

It was a great day to unwind and relax by the water. :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hawaii: day 3

Today was our big driving adventure day. Our goal: to see the volcano. The route(s) that we could take was one of 2 choices. We chose the more scenic route on the north side of the island that took us through different landscapes before arriving in Hilo. We saw desolate areas with volcanic rock, sprawling green fields, lush, thick, dense forests and then rainforest with all sorts of gorgeous greenery and flowers that brought to mind, Fantasy Island.

On a side note, Hector and I had a hankering for whoppers so the iPhone became our travel guide. Yelp finds the closest Burger King on our route through Hilo. Then Hector asks an obvious question of if there is a yarn store in Hilo. Believe it or not, I didn't look this tidbit up before our trip. Usually I'm on top of that bit of fun (for me). This is where Knitmap comes in handy; type in the city, coose your parameters and voila, yarn stores in the area. That's how we found The Yarn Basket. A little difficult to find from the physical address but a phone call straightened that out right away. Hector took the boys in search of ice to leave me alone in yarn happyland. Boy, I was so surprised at the selection and quantitites of yarn in there. I was able to browse and pet all the pretty yarn. There was a local woman who sheared, spun and dyed her own yarn but it was wasn't enough for me to do a small project. I just picked some pretty Noro and Ranco for my Hilo souvenirs. I was deifinitely a happy camper.

Okay, on to the volcano. We drove 28 miles up the mountain to the the Volcano National Park and started exploring right away. First, a stop at the visitor center and rest room. We had sporadic rain in different areas along the way this morning and it was sprinkling when we arrived at the park so I had to pull out a long sleeve shirt for Josh and my hoodie for me but other than that, it soon cleared up and we were pretty comfortable in our shorts and T-shirts.

We saw steam vents, the crater from several viewpoints, the Jagger Museum, sulfur crystals, rainforests, lava flow, lava tubes and the chain of craters. There is just so much to see and even though we rushed through a lot, we still managed to spend 4 hours in the park which is pretty impressive with the kids and all.

Okay, now I'll get to the pictures because that's what you've been waiting for.
entrance to the park.
Gotta have a jumping photo by the crater.
there is no way to tell how massive ths crater is...this is the active part. the flat area around it which extends further around is also the crater.
about to start the sulfur banks trail..told the kids to ignore the sign.
sulfur crystals

These are just from my camera for now. I'll just sum up that we had a super long day, about 6 hours of driving half of which had super winding, hairpins turns that gave me a mega-headache and Tyler got motion sick. Overall, we did have lots of fun and adventures jammed pack into one day.

memories are made of this....

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 2

We are in island mode and having fun. We spent most of the day by the pool and in the condo but we did venture into town to rent snorkel equipment. Since we paid for 2 hours of parking, Hector and I dragged the kids on a walk. They grumbled a bit because it was hot but I spotted an ice cream parlor so that stopped the bellyaching right away. Tyler settled for macadamia nut ice cream, Josh had mint chocolate chip and I had mud pie (Oreos in kona coffee ice cream). Hector wanted shave ice so he disappeared while we enjoyed the air con and ice cream. We soon caught up with him and his monster shave ice so of course we had to help him eat that too.
Best buds at the pool.

We kept walking and saw people fishing along the sea wall. A certain section of the sea wall and sidewalk would get sprayed periodlically which fascinated Joshua. Soon he and Tyler were braving the ocean in their water bender stance to fight the ocean. Lots of fun and laughter. :)

Insert excited screaming.

Found a small cove/harbor and the Kona Boyz shack that will rent SUP. Tyler and I can rent then just paddle on out. We will try it in the next few days. The boys enjoyed the small beach with sand and had a great time playing. Naturally, I told them not to get too wet since they had on street clothes but I looked away for a second and then Josh appeared in front of me soaking wet from head to toe! His reason was that he tried to do an air flip and somehow got totally wet. Oh well. :)
Colorful gecko at Kona Boyz shack.


Gonna head out soon for a day of exploring and the volcano...

Thursday, August 19, 2010


We are here!!

 After a long day of travel that started at 6am, we arrived safely to Hawaii. We slept long and hard so we are ready to relax. Our condo is decently furnished. It has one bedroom which is unfortunately on the street side but the road noise doesn't bother Hector or me at all. We are on the top (3rd) floor with an ocean view overlooking the pool area. Gorgeous. There is no typical beach wiith sand but a rocky beach so we hear the waves crashing constantly which I personally love.

Leave it to Hector to find internet from our condo. Okay we do have better access from our balcony but it's nice not have to go to the lobby for wi-fi.

Okay, I'll got to the pictures since that's what you're interested in anyway.

The pool is saltwater that the kids enjoyed but the pool bottom is very slippery. I took a quick opportunity to walk to the other side of the building to catch the sunset and just enjoy the scenery.

The view from our balcony.


It's been a while since I've used my camera so I had fun trying.
A great travel gadget that I use is Yelp. It is on my iPhone so it will use my current location to find whatever I want nearby like restaurants or businesses and bring up reviews. This is how I found Big Island Grill for dinner last night. A mom and pop kind of establishment that serves traditional American fare along with local faves. I had the chicken katsu loco moco and I thought I died and went to food heaven. Yum. The brown gravy made the entire meal delicious. Plus the portions were enormous. I finished about a third of it and took the rest to go. This morning I made another egg and threw it on top of my leftovers. Still darn great. Lots of chicken and I only finished half of this and gave the rest to Hector. That meal went a long way. :) My kind of dining.

Okay, it's to relax by the pool now. I'll upload some pics from Hector later...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

See Ya Later

Heading off soon. I'll update when I can but we don't have wi-fi in the condo.

I'll leave you with these photos because this is what we'll be mostly doing. :)

Monday, August 16, 2010


Trying to clean up in general, such as the boys' playroom, etc. As a lot of you know, we do not have an official formal living room. We converted it to a playroom pretty much after we moved in so that would be almost 11 years now. :)

Over the years, the room has undergone some changes from being gated for the baby/toddler stage to being the setting for numerous Hot Wheels tracks and now a place for tiny, tiny Legos scattered all over the house. I put in a folding table which is the Lego area but Josh is the main culprit for the Lego mess. Today I gathered all the Hot Wheel tracks and put those aside to be given away. I'm sure there are plenty of kids who will enjoy them. I now need to enforce the play and put away rule. The kids understand now and wow, there is a lot of room in that room now that it is cleared and vacuumed. :) Now none of us will be tripping over, crushing or stepping on toys.

I am also cleaning out cameras/ video which involves uploading and making room for our Hawaii trip. It will be awesome to relax and unwind! :)

So I leave you with a video of Josh and I playing with his air rocket.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Vancouver videos

Short video of the Olympic torch in Vancouver.

I had so many videos on my Flip that weren't uploaded since my laptop was crammed full of stuff and super slow. I have a new computer now so I finally got around to uploading the videos.

This video is from our first day in Vancouver. Lupe and I had an incredibly long day which started around 5am to catch a flight into Vancouver from Victoria. We arrived in Vancouver at 6am and this video is around late afternoon maybe 4-5pm. Luckily we hung out at the Harbor Lookout which had some tables and chairs where we could rest and enjoy the gorgeous views. I was exhausted but got my second wind to end the night at Robson street.

This is where the action was; lots of people and activities going on. The mens ice hockey game just ended with Canada vs. ? country but I remember Canada won and tons of people were gathered here to watch the end of the game and celebrate.
Ice skating and a zipline where the wait was around 3-4 hours. So much to see and do. Lupe and I managed to see a lot this day and we had a great time.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer Days

Some more of my supersampler photos. I think I might bring this camera to Hawaii.
Walking @Wilson Park.

This ride looks mild and small but I remember going on this with Sherri and screaming my head off because I went down the slide backwards which totally freaked me out.
Pacific Spin @ Soak City.
Too bad that last panel didn't work out right. Boo.
Zipline @Pollywog park.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Latest Toy Camera Antics

I finally got around to developing my supersampler and Holga film. I have serious light leak on the sampler but it's not too bothersome yet. Otherwise I'll have to get out the electical tape.
Great action shot of Josh jumping but the 4th panel is totally blown out.
Beach House @ Soak City.
Josh coming down the water slide.
Tyler's turn.
I have no idea where to tape up the light leak but it looks like lens #1 is the culprit.

Now it's the Holga photos. Another toy camera with different color flashes. I tweaked it to take 35mm film and have a cheat sheet to advance the film x amount of clicks to go to the next frame. Sometimes I forget if I advanced or not which results in double exposures as you'll see later. Not always a bad thing.

Red flash.
Blue flash.
Double exposure or the 2 boys melded together. :)
I wasn't sure how my experiment with Holga would turn out but I like it. You never know how it will turn out!!

Hats Galore!

The hat knitting frenzy continues. I absolutely love Noro Silk Garden which has long colorways and gorgeous colors.
Striped and Scalloped Cap.
Pretty jewel tones.
The pattern above is from One Skein Wonders: 101 Yarn Shop Favorites so that one ball of yarn can be knit into that perfect gift. The best part of the pattern is that it will fit a variety of head sizes. As you can see it fits Josh nicely and it fits me too. Thats a big range! :) Perfect for Christmas giving. I might have to get more yarn. Just kidding, I'm gonna try and use up my stash.

This next hat is called Astrodome available at Knitty.com. It fits a big range of head sizes also and this will go to Matt. He is the kind of guy who loves hats and usually is seen with a baseball cap on. He is also the type who is not afraid of wearing goofy or silly hats. Afterall, Matt is 6'7" so who is going to make fun of him?

Matt has his beloved 66(?) Shelby Cobra and always wears some kind of cap to keep his head warm especially going ultra-fast down some freeway. This hat is worked 2 colors at a time so it is double thick in areas which will keep his head and ears toasty.
Lemme think, I believe this brings my hat total to 5 in the last 2-3 weeks. Not bad since I decided to knit hats as Christmas gifts this year.

Monday, August 09, 2010

First Liner

Deer in the headlights look.
Remember my Swell hat?? It was too big for Josh so I researched how to add a fleece liner to it and found this site. This morning we made a trip to Joann's and Josh picked out the fabric. He has a good eye and managed to find a complementary one.

The hat sits better on his head.
Josh chose this great fabric.

My sewing skills aren't that great but that's the genius of this liner. It doesn't really matter. Yay.
Now I have lots of this fabric so I guess this will be the liners for more hats that need it.