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I love nice paper. There’s just something really soothing and satisfying about writing on new, fresh, pretty, high-quality paper.

Most people I know these days use a calendar on their phone to track meetings. They often sync that with Outlook on their computer.

That’s fine, and I use the Outlook calendar on my work computer as well (I don’t have a smart phone – believe it or not). I had several Palm Pilots in the early 2000’s, and those were okay. But, I found that I would still print the pages and put them in my planner. That experience turned me off to electronic organization. I think I went through three Palm Pilots. They all died, and I had to retrieve all of the information and start over. As long as I don’t lose my planner, this shouldn’t happen. Good, old-fashioned paper is reliable.

I’m working on updating Time Management training at work. My boss has given me a couple of articles about how paper is making a come-back. I have to laugh at the title of this one from The Wall Street Journal: A Trendy New Planning Tool: Paper. I think it’s meant to be funny, although only part of it is a joke. Obviously, using paper to plan is not new, but it is a trend right now.

When I gave up on the electronic planning back in 2004, I went back to using my Franklin-Covey planner. It’s a great set up for me, because it allows me to take notes on the day, etc. Some people actually make fun of me and my planner, but it’s pretty rare that I miss a meeting – especially if I’m using the planner correctly.

My husband stays home. As any stay-at-home parent knows, even if you’re not working outside the home, there is still a lot to keep track of and organize. I noticed last year that he started using a small (I think free) calendar to track everything. He’s hard to buy for (as most men are, I find). Last Christmas-time, my daughter and I were in search of a gift and happened upon some small 2019 planners at the book store. There were several covers to choose from, so I let her pick. Several months into the new year, my husband commented on how useful it is – just the right size for his needs. He’s not someone to go on and on about such things, so for him to comment about it indicates that he really likes it. He even said that he would like something similar every year.

In The Wall Street Journal article, by Ellen Byron, it is said that some fans of paper planners have more than one planner, with different ones for different areas of life. I personally think that would make life feel more overwhelming than less so. I put everything including work meetings, dentist appointments and my kids’ school events in one planner so I don’t have to worry about referring to more than one place. The Outlook calendar is necessary because work meetings involve invitations to other people and additional technology. It isn’t especially difficult to incorporate that into my paper planner, but then to have multiple paper planners makes no sense to me.

One of the subjects of the article used 15 planners last year. Can you imagine? I can’t and I can. As I explained, from an organizational perspective, multiple planners makes no sense to me. But, from a paper lovers perspective, I totally understand. There is a special feeling that comes with a brand new planner, with all of its blank pages. My understanding can be demonstrated in my piles and piles of scrapbooking paper.

As some of these people seem to be planner addicts, I have been a scrapbooking supply addict (I haven’t bought much in a few years, so at least the purchasing part seems to be more under control). Indeed, there seem to be similarities, as apparently there are stickers and other embellishments that are now available to purchase for paper planners. It’s kind of like scrapbooking backwards, before the events instead of after. I wonder if some of these people have trouble parting with their planners when the year is over?

Something my boss has pointed out is that this problem of Time Management and which tool(s) to use never goes away; it is what works best for the individual. But after reading the article about some people’s obsession with planners, to me it seems to be a response to the fact that we simply do not have time enough to do everything we have to do, we want to do, and others want us to do. Buying 15 planners a year isn’t going to change that.

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I remember reading A Room of One’s Own, an essay by Virginia Woolf in college. I remember that she wrote that women needed a certain amount of money and a room of their own in order to write.

I guess the essay had a feminist bent to it. But, to me the idea extends beyond gender, and I wonder if it’s true.

Nowadays, you can self-publish through amazon. Easy peasy (I’ve never actually done it, but it looks pretty easy). Not so long ago, getting published was really difficult, even more so if you didn’t have connections. So, in that way, writing for a living was for the privileged.

I wonder about this for myself, because I’m not privileged with time. When I started this blog, I was working at a job that wasn’t terribly demanding, on my time or my energy. While I’m making better money and doing some things I enjoy now, there is a part of me that misses that job.

Now, I’m asleep by 9:00 every night, up at 5:45. When I get home, I have a couple hours to spend with the kids and then it’s bedtime. I used to stay up until midnight or 1:00 AM, often writing and watching bad TV.

The blog has suffered. I used to publish multiple times per week. Now I struggle to post once or twice per month.

It’s long been a dream of mine to write a book. I’ve started it a couple of times. I decided to try again a month or two ago. I am on Page 4. It’s hard to try to write for 10 minutes at a time.

So, I guess I agree with Virginia Woolf. One does need a room of one’s own and money to live on so she can write instead of spending all of her time making a living. I wonder where Virginia Woolf’s heroine got her money? Maybe that’s the point. I haven’t read the full essay in almost 30 years.

Do the privileged write anything of interest, or must someone suffer to write something inspiring? Perhaps it is a literary Catch-22. To write well, one cannot be privileged. But, one does not have the time to write if one is not privileged.

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We took a trip to the bottom of the ocean! For real – we did – and it was cool! If you ever make it to Maui, you should consider checking out a submarine adventure. It was one of less expensive excursions, and totally entertaining.

We went with Atlantis Adventures; here is their website: https://atlantisadventures.com/maui/

We caught a boat in Lahaina, which took us out to the submarine.

Taken from the boat on the way to the the submarine.

We climbed in from the top.

If you’re claustrophobic, you may have a problem. But, they did let us know early on that if you really needed to get out, they would figure out a way.

We really enjoyed this excursion. We went about 100 to 125 feet under water. They even landed the sub on the ocean floor. We saw many different types of fish and even a Spotted Eagle Ray (unfortunately, it was on the other side of the sub – I couldn’t get a photo of it). Atlantis has even sunk an old ship to add to the viewing pleasure. The crew members were friendly and amusing.

Hey! It’s Spongebob!
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On our third full day in Maui, we drove up to the summit of Mt. Haleakala, a non-active volcano. Many people drive up to see the sunrise. From the photos I’ve seen, it is pretty amazing at that time of day. I kind of wish we had made the effort to go up that early (since we were usually up due to the time difference from home anyway). But, we did not. We headed up later in the day.

The drive up is really pretty. It’s common to see a rainbow, and it’s really cool to be as high as, or even above it.

The elevation at the summit of Mt. Haleakala is over 10,000 feet. The road up is the steepest ascent from sea level to 10,000 feet in the world, with switchback after switchback. Watching for all of the bikers around blind corners caused me to white-knuckle it a bit.

My husband had warned us that it could be considerably cooler at the top. It wasn’t just cooler, it was windy, and visibility was practically nil! It felt like a blizzard. We couldn’t see the craters or anything – besides being miserable.

Does this look like Maui to you? Me neither!

As we descended down the mountain, the weather improved quickly, and as you can see, we had great scenery on the way back down, of course.

About 3/4 of the way up, you enter a National Park, which means you have to pay $20 or so to enter. The pass is good for three days. Unfortunately, when we tried again, it was four days later, so we had to pay again! Oh well. Compared to every thing else in Maui, it was cheap.

All that said – I advise you to head up earlier in the day, and check websites to see what current conditions are at the summit before you head up. While the weather at the top can change quickly, it will still be helpful to know what’s happening when you set out.

The next time we went up, we had a much better result. We headed up earlier, and stopped at Kula Lodge for breakfast. It’s quite a quaint place with a lovely view and delicious pancakes. There’s a really nice art gallery inside as well.

By the time we reached the top, we were above the clouds.

The Haleakala Observatory is visible from the road.

Success! I’m so glad we made a second trip to the summit, because the view was incredible!

These silversword plants only grow on Mt. Haleakala.

I love photos like this, that catch a unique moment in time. This was on our way down. I don’t know what these guys were working on, but the job would be too high for me!

As we were descending, clouds were creeping onto the mountain.

Perhaps the most surprising scene on the mountain – cows!

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Our second day in Maui, we took a helicopter tour. Is this something I would recommend? Yes, and no. If you’re a nervous flyer, this probably is not for you! There were moments when it was a little terrifying. At the same time, it was also incredible, and definitely a perspective and view you wouldn’t be able to see any other way.

It was also very expensive, for 50 minutes. As someone put it, it’s close to a monthly mortgage payment (for 4 people). That said, if you feel experiences can be worth more than stuff, you may decide it’s worth the investment. This is not something I plan to do every year, but I’m glad I did it once, and maybe I would consider it again five years from now.

A little collage of our various ways of masking our fear. I may be smiling a little too strenuously.

Now on to the incredible scenery. Our flight was with Blue Hawaiian, and it was a tour of Molokai. Molokai has around 7000 residents. Some parts of the island are very difficult to get to. It was once a leper colony. I guess if you’re going to have leprosy, you may as well have it in paradise.

Kahiwa Falls – a 2000 feet tall tiered waterfall

There is a glare from the windows in some of the photos. The way to avoid that would be to take a ride on an open helicopter. No thank you!

One of the scariest parts of the flight was this waterfall. The helicopter went in between these walls to get close to it, or, at least that’s how it felt. We probably weren’t as close as it felt in my mind, or how it lives in my memory.


Same rocks, but from this angle, the big one looks like an elephant. Kinda cool. I love the colorful water the coral creates.

It was a wonderful adventure. Believe it or not, we got to see more whales from the helicopter – actually a LOT of whales. We learned quite a bit about whales during our Maui vacation. Over the Winter and Spring, when whales are hanging around near Maui, they often travel in threes – Mama, Baby, and male escort or chaperone. He’s not the Daddy. He’s hoping to get a chance to be the Daddy of a future baby, so he keeps the other males away from Mama and Baby.

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We got back from an 11 night stay in Maui last week. It was incredible. While, maybe not a once in a lifetime trip, it was at least a once in a decade trip.

We took over 2000 photos. We saw many whales and sea turtles, which was absolutely amazing. To be honest, it’s difficult to decide how to organize my thoughts and photos. The trip will require multiple posts to do it justice. It’s seems the easiest is chronological, so we’ll start from the beginning!

We stayed in Kihei, in a condo. The condo was kind of dumpy (especially for the price!), but the location and view truly could not be beat.

The view from our deck

On our first full day in Maui, we drove to Lahaina to catch a catamaran to Lanai. On our walk to the harbor, we stopped at the Banyan Court Park. The park is really cool, with a huge banyan tree that covers the entire park. A stranger was kind enough to take our photo in front of the main trunk.

My husband had been to Maui before; he took a similar day trip around 17 years ago. While I gave him a hard time at times, the excursions he planned were great.

We went with Trilogy Excursions, and they were fabulous. The staff worked so hard, yet they were so friendly. I was really impressed.

Lanai is a small island about 15 miles from Maui. It took about 2 hours to get to the Lanai Harbor. We saw our first whales of the vacation, and the scenery was gorgeous.


When we got to Lanai, we were offered a tour of the island. I was interested, but no one else in the family was so, I was out-voted. Instead, we went snorkeling.

The other times I’ve been snorkeling, it was off of a boat, but this time, it was right from the beach – and what a lovely beach it was.

We brought along some disposable underwater cameras. Unfortunately, with it being the kids’ first time snorkeling we struggled a bit with their snorkeling equipment. By the time that was all taken care of no underwater photos of fish happened. Then, one of the cameras broke, so some of the film was exposed to light. But, I still managed to get some of the kids swimming in the ocean off of Lanai, as I was swimming with them. Kind of fun.

I do want to mention, if you’re thinking about bringing little ones to Hawaii, you might want to consider having them wear flotation devices, especially if they are not strong swimmers. We’ve been to the beach in Florida and South Carolina, but the waves in Hawaii are lot stronger.

After snorkeling, the staff fed us a delicious meal outside. After the harsh Midwest winter, sitting outside in paradise was quite a treat. We got back on the boat for our 2-hour trip back to Maui.

On they way back, they used the sail.

The ride back was bumpy! Thankfully, my daughter slept through it and my son enjoyed the waves. It was an amazing first day in Hawaii. I have seen whales before, but this was the first time I was able to catch a shot of a whale tail. I was pretty excited!

For a perfect finale to our day, we spotted a rainbow.

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