Thursday, April 30, 2009

One Small Sail for Brooke, One Giant Leap for Mankind

Well, I have been to two more sailing classes since I wrote the blog about wanting to quit. And, somehow, I have managed to keep my anxiety at bay. I prayed about it and talked myself into going "just one more time". I also have a great partner, Natali, and a fabulous teacher, Tracey.
They are both so nice and patient. Natali actually already knows how to sail, but she just wanted to take this as a refresher. So, I pretty much have two teachers.
I can't quit when I receive weekly emails from my teacher with the most encouraging words...EVER! See for yourself:
"Dear Brooke and Natali,
As I said today, I do look forward to Thursdays :) I see progress with both of you already and I know you're both going to keep progressing into great sailors. And just as importantly, you're both a lot of fun, which makes the sailing even more enjoyable. Every week we're on the water you'll make strides without even knowing it, then after 10 weeks you'll look back and see just how far you've come. Both of you have a lovely weekend. Tracey"

And then here is this one from today: "Dear Brooke, I cannot express how so very proud I am of you today. I pushed you very hard today and you came up smiling! Despite what you say you showed great skill and you made huge strides forward in your upwind sailing. By this week most students feel they are not getting it and do not feel confident, this is very normal, as we have such crazy standards for ourselves. However, I feel that you are getting it! You are better than you know and you have so much promise to become a good sailor. Your positive attitude, attention to details and willing demeanor not to mention awesome tacking skills will have your confidence up and ready for the next challenge as each week goes by. Remember keep one day at a time, and you always say you cannot do it, but you always do! Till-er Thursday. Tracey"

How could I stop going?? Tracey is so great! If nothing else, I will do it to make her proud. I will keep praying for strength and motivation. And I hope I don't capsize us!!
Tracey also has tolerance for my accent. She has a British accent and she lived in Alabama for 10 she can totally get what I am saying and she doesn't ask me to repeat words that she thinks I say funny. She said that there is nothing I can say, that she hasn't heard. ;-) Hopefully she doesn't mind when I "cuss like a sailor". Kidding...maybe...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Let's see...what's new. Not a whole lot. Jason and I had a fairly quiet weekend. Friday we stayed in to eat dinner and watch Friday night TV...usually Dateline or 48 Hours. We missed the Friday night fireworks, again! They are supposed to be at 8 PM, but we have discovered its anywhere between 7:15 and 8:15. They only last a few minutes and we can't see them from anywhere in our condo. But we can see the reflection of the lights flashing on the water and other buildings. Maybe this Friday...
Saturday, we went to Waikiki to wander around. We realized that they were having Spam Jam. We have no clue why something so "big" wasn't more advertised. Hawaiians love Spam and they dedicate this entire festival to it. Music, booths, contests, etc. I felt like I was back home at Mountain Heritage.
We also walked on the beach that evening. We saw the lifeguards pulling up "Shark Sighted" warning signs. That didn't deter the swimmers. And then we made our way to one of the live Hawaii cameras, this one was at the Duke Kahanamoku statue. You can find these at . Anyway, we went there and called Jane...and then Katie & Beaver. It was about 5:30 our 11:30 PM in KY. But they all tuned in and saw Jason and I in a sea of tourists waving at the camera.
Our Sunday was spent at the Maritime Museum. We were thinking that this was a small little place, but looks can be surprising. It took us an hour to rush through the museum, because they were closing for the day. We definitely didn't allow enough time. We also made our first trip to the Diamond Head area. We didn't climb up, but we scoped everything out. Our eyes were caught by a poster that listed common birds for the area. Most birds around here aren't the tropical kind. There are doves and pigeons, mostly. We have seen cardinals and some sea birds, as well. But the poster listed one of the most common birds here as a Kentucky Cardinal. How funny! We didn't know that there was a specific cardinal for our state, because its also the state bird for about 3-4 other states. But here in Hawaii, they call it a Kentucky Cardinal.
So, once again we had a nice weekend.
And in case you are wondering, I went to sailing class last week and I plan on going again tomorrow. I may be getting through my anxiety enough to actually not dread going.
The more I write on the blog, I realize that its mainly a journal of what Jason and I do in our spare time...Maybe one day, I will write something a bit more meaningful and insightful. ;-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fore and then Feathers

So, Jason and I decided to start golfing. Jason already had a set of clubs and had taken a semester of golf in college. I, on the other hand, had never really played golf, but have a decent understanding of it...also, I grew up around golf, tagged along with all of my friends in college, and love watching golf on TV.
We decided after watching the Masters a few weeks ago, to purchase me a set of clubs and start knocking some balls around. Well, we did just that. We found a decent set for me and got all pumped up to start playing. So, last Sunday we went to lunch and then in search of a driving range. We knew that there was one on Hickam Air Force Base, but we drove around and scoped out some others. We did end up going to Hickam and thankfully, there was no one around to see me swinging...teehee.
We bought a couple of buckets of balls and Jason told me which club to use and then showed me how to swing properly.
Well, I did ok...I tried to channel the golfing side of my family...all of my Mom's side golfs religiously and I know my Dad used to golf as I figure I have a decent chance of doing alright.
Things were going good until about halfway through my bucket. No joke, I hit a bird! There are tons of doves around here. They aren't scared of people at all. We actually have to step around them on the sidewalk. Well, wouldn't you know that there would be one about 10 feet in front of me. I didn't see it, due to keeping my eyes on the ball, or I would have tried to scare it away. Jason had been calling my shots "worm burners", due to the fact that they were skimming the grass and this one was no exception.
Well, I hit the ball and when I looked up to follow it, all I saw were feathers! I started screaming and looking away. Jason immediately starting saying, "Its ok, its ok! It flew away". Well, I saw the bird prior to flight in a cloud of feathers, and it had totally just had its world rocked. I closed my eyes and didn't see it fly away, but Jason kept saying that it would be fine. I figure it flew off to die...And then I thought of the Fleetwood Mac song...Edge of Seventeen. "Just like the one winged dove, sings a song, sounds like she's singing. Ooo baby oooo oooo.
So, look out birds, I will be back again! Hopefully PETA won't be at the golf course anytime in the near future.

To Sail or Not to Sail

Ok, where do I start. Not a whole lot has been going on here. I had another sailing class on Thursday...and one tomorrow...I made it through with no bruises last time. I am still not convinced that I really want to sail. Its not very relaxing for me...yet. I am not sure if it ever gets relaxing. You have to constantly adjust the tiller and the sails and watch for puffs of wind. Then there is the whole process of shifting your weight...all of the time. I hate to stop going to lessons because I HATE quitting things. And to hear the instructors (Wet Hens) talk about the class, its the best thing since sliced bread and I will forever remember the great time I had learning to sail. That's another thing I would hate to miss out on...this fabulous life altering experience....but then there is the fact that every time I think about going, I feel panic. I wake up at night and my heart races when I think about it. I have no idea why...I am not scared of the water...well, I am scared of sharks and jellyfish, and we are sailing in the ocean. I was brought up on boats and lakes all of my life...but a boat with a motor is much more relaxing....also, food, drinks, and a radio are all key to being on the water.
This class is also set up to be a bit competitive. You get a partner and an instructor but at the end of the class, we have to race the boats and race tying knots. I am not super competitive with people I don't know...and I haven't really felt a bond with anyone there yet. Now, if I had some close friends or family here with me, then maybe I would be more apt to compete. Maybe my biggest fear is making a fool out of myself. So, maybe its a self-esteem issue. It takes a lot for me to feel confident and its hard to feel that around a bunch of strangers that don't know they need to really encourage you and reassure you that there is nothing to be scared we will see...I really don't want to quit, but I don't see the benefit in stressing myself out constantly over something that was supposed to be fun.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Some of you may know that a goal for me this year was to enter at least six 5K races. I have done them before...Race for the Cure, Midsummer Night's Run, etc. But I decided to vocalize this goal in hopes that I would be more motivated. Jason exercises every day...he probably runs more than a 5K plus sit-ups and push-ups, at least 5 days a week.
I had been trying to walk and get "warmed up" for my races the past few weeks and a new idea came to me...I decided that Jason and I were going to have our own races. I do love entering the charity races and getting the t-shirt and all, but I decided that on our own time, we could have races and still donate the money.
So, yesterday, we held our First Annual Easter Bunny Hop. Of course, Jason could have the ran the whole thing twice before I could have, but we did it together. We walked about 3.5 miles...all the way down the Ala Wai Canal and back to our condo.
We plan on doing theses "races" on special weekends...i.e. Derby, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, etc. The routes will be mapped out prior and we will have a fun finish line back at the condo. I am sure everyone is asking why we don't just run the big races here...well, we can do our races whenever we feel like it...not 8AM and it can be on any day of the week, not just a Saturday. Plus, its fun making up our own. I think the next race will be "The Race to Magic Island". (Magic Island is a beautiful area with walking trails adjacent to Ala Moana Beach Park.)
So, for now we will be having our own fun....and still sending money to our favorite charities and churches.
If you plan on visiting on a holiday or special occasion, you may just have to participate in an Ison family race, so be sure to pack your tennis shoes!!
P.S. We didn't get any cute t-shirts for our race, but we decided that UK t-shirts would be our standard racing attire...;-)

Visitors are coming soon.

Well, another week has come and gone. Its one month from today that Jane will be coming for the whole summer! And then two days later, Elizabeth and Alexandra are coming down. We are super excited to have visitors. As much fun as we are having here, its still hard to be so far away from everyone.
Last week was fun...Thursday was my first sailing class. The Hickam Harbor Wet Hens meet every Thursday at 9AM for 9 weeks. We had a short swim test and then learned how to recover from a capsize. The swim test was fine, but let's just say that I am still recovering from my capsize! We had to learn to right the boat and then climb our way back in...I am covered in bruises. I actually look like I was in a car wreck. My arms and shins are bright purple!
Its been a challenge to find shirts to wear ever since that keep my arms hidden.
The class was super fun and challenging. I almost gave up trying to pull myself in the boat, but with teamwork, I made it on in! I can't figure out why they make us climb the highest part of the boat...It would have been much easier to climb up the back side. I have sailing manuals to read and homework to complete by this I have to practice tying knots. But at the end of all of this, I will be a certified beginning sailor!
Jason didn't have to work on Good Friday or the Monday after Easter (today). So, he has had a nice little break.
Friday we went to all of our favorite spots in Waikiki and had a great time. We actually decided to stop in the Ruth's Chris Steak House and have an appetizer. It proved to be a good move! The bartender asked where we were from and guess what...he's from KY too. He is actually from Lexington. He has lived in Hawaii for the past 10 years or so. He majored in Hospitality Management and came here to find a job. He was very nice and we had lots to talk about. There was discussion about Keeneland, UK basketball, and missing the changing of the seasons. We plan to go visit with him again soon.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


This week has been rather uneventful...The weather has been so-so. Rain, wind, and a little its nice out and I am inside doing laundry.
Jason is "supposed" to get finished at 3PM on every Thursday, but he has yet to make it home before the normal 5:30 timeframe. Maybe it will work out today.
But, on a good note, Jason doesn't have to work on Good Friday and we are waiting to hear if he has to work the Monday after Easter...a potential 4-day weekend?!!?
I just signed up for a beginning sailing class. Its given by a group of military wives who volunteer to teach other military wives. They call themselves the Hickam Harbor Wet Hens.
Its a 9 week course that meets once a week for three hours. We start next Thursday. I am excited! And I think Jason is happy that I am getting out and meeting people.
So, be on the lookout for my updates about the class...I hope I don't make an idiot out of myself!! Thankfully, its a beginner's course.

Our Weekend

Well, our weekend was lots of fun. Jason didn't have to work on Friday, so he surprised me with an Atlantis Submarine tour. We went under and visited several different artificial Japanese designed, one Univ. of Hawaii designed, and then some sunken airplanes and ships. The fish were awesome...there were tons of little tropical fish and we also saw green sea turtles (endangered) and spotted eagle rays. Thankfully, no sharks or jellyfish...
On Saturday, we booked a whale watching tour. We knew there was a chance that we wouldn't see any because right now is the end of the season. And, we didn't...bummer. But it was neat to go out on the water and ride around...the waves were huge and choppy...there were several people who suffered sea sickness, but Jason and I made it through.
On the whale tour, we got to see a new perspective of Diamond truly is a picturesque sight. I have pictures, hopefully I will upload them soon.
Sunday brings us to "Double-Movie Day"! Jason and I love going to the movies and watching one feature, walking out, buying tickets for and watching another movie. This particular day, we started with "I Love You, Man" and followed it with "Duplicity". Both were good.
We went to Wahoo's and had some yummy food in between. Nice day and a great weekend.