Monday, August 31, 2009

I just can't win

Today, Angel #2 told me she wants to live in a 'normal' family. When I asked what that meant, she said she wants to live like her friends families do - unlimited computer time, the mom doesn't make supper for the family (or, heaven forbid, make bread!), the family doesn't eat together and nobody has to do daily designated yardwork. I give her Leave It to Beaver and she wants dysfunctional family feud! I also find it hard to believe that we're the only family to eat meals together and expect our kids to abid by rules and do chores.

WE spent the night sleeping on the couch last night - he was nervous about the 'ghost' he saw. He's planning on sleeping in his room tonight though, so hopefully he's over the whole haunted room thing. Though I do want to thank you for informing me about the whole 'dead time' thing, Tanya - I'll sleep MUCH better knowing that (at least until 3am :P ) I figure if he's still nervous, we'll give the ghost girl a name and backstory (I'm a writer, how else do you think I deal with adversity? I make up stories), making the whole thing seem less scary. Hopefully, that'll make my little Haley Joel more comfortable in his room.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

it's time to call Ghost Hunters

WE claimed he saw a ghost in his bedroom last night. He said he woke up at 3:01 (he looked at his clock) and then saw a girl standing by his closet. He described what she was wearing, right down to her shoes and said she was motioning to him. Then she turned toward the closet and disappeared. He spent most of the rest of the night under the covers. That's all I need - ghosts in my house. Like I don't have enough to deal with in my life.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

baa baa fat sheep

Hubby managed to get free sheep. If you've got to get sheep, free is the way to go, I guess. It's a mother sheep and her two offspring. The mom is normal sized but the kids? Those are some fat sheep. They were the woman's pets and she obviously fed them well. She's moving back to the mainland, therefore, she's got to get rid of them. I'm just thankful she didn't talk hubby into taking the pot bellied pigs. The sheep should come in handy for clearing out the yard. Since we're on the side of a hill, it's much too steep for a lawn mower or anything like that and the weed wacker isn't really up to the job - I hope the sheep are.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

the life cycle of the feathered and famous

Well, it's been awhile again. Yeah, I'm a slacker. Let's see...what's happened since I talked to you last.....
One Sunday afternoon every month they close off our main thoroughfare downtown and open it up to foot traffic only. There's live music, arts and crafts booths and that kind of thing. We go every once in a while and we went on Sunday. It was the weirdest thing, one of the the first people we saw when we got there was the guy who was sitting right in front of us the night before at the football game. We'd never seen the guy before Saturday, and there he was, twice in the same 24 hour period. Small world

The other night, Angel #4 saved a little bird from the literal jaws of death - or the jaws of AK-47, WE's cat, which is as close to the jaws of death as a bird can get. She put the bird (she named it Mini-Spike) into a plastic crate then we ate supper. After supper, we noticed that the crate was empty and we couldn't find Mini-Spike at all. Later in the evening, Angel #1 spied him perched on the edge of a picture frame and he was put back into the crate. She put a board over the top of the crate so Mini-Spike couldn't escape again and went to bed. The next morning, Mouschie, Angel #2's cat, found Mini-Spike and had a mini-breakfast. All that was left of M-S was a pile of feathers, which #2 vacuumed up, obviously feeling guilty about her carnivorous cat. I guess Mini-Spikes rescue from the jaws of death was entirely shortlived. Talk about from the frying pan into the fire.

We live on a narrow, twisty mountain road. In some spots, you drive within a few feet of solid rock. The county (or someone) is trying to widen the road out in places and today they decided to do a spot by our driveway. So, all day today, there was a big dump truck sitting in the driveway next to a big excavator looking thing with a big jack hammer in the front. I got to listen to the rat-tat-tat of the jack hammer breaking up solid lava rock all day today. They keep working their way down the road, so tomorrow I imagine they'll be a little further down rat-tat-tatting again. It doesn't make for a peaceful day.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saturday Night Lights

Last night was the first high school football game of the year. For some reason, they have games on some Saturday nights in addition to regular Friday night games. I'm not keen on Sat night games, but since Angel #2 has to play in the band for the games, we figured we might as well go. Our kids go to the biggest high school on the island and usually our football team dominates the games, which doesn't make for interesting football. Yeah, it's fun to see your team win, but it's always better when there's some question as to who will ultimately come out on top. But, this wasn't a regular season game and they played a visiting team from Maui instead of the usual big islanders. It was a good game, even if we got trounced 18-8. Angel #2 was happy, since she was rooting for the visitors - apparently, the guys on their team were cuter than the ones on her own high schools team. Yep, there's a bit of a lack of school loyalty going on. She said the biggest cheer the band let out was during a time-out when the band director tossed a peanut into the stands and managed to get it into some kids saxophone.

As usual, the best part of the game (imo anyway) is at the end of the game when the whole team lines up in front of the stands, holds hands and sing the school song for the crowd. This is followed up by the Haka. Here's a clip from last years homecoming.






I'm guessing you don't get that at the end of a football game on the Mainland - I know we didn't in MY hometown anyway. Another benefit of Hawaii football is that you go wearing shorts and flip flops instead of the winter coat, sweater, 3 pair of socks, mittens and other paraphernalia required for a Wisconsin high school football game. Going to HS games back then as a kid was fun, but there's no way you'd find me at one of those now if I needed to dress up like I was going on a voyage to the Artic Circle. I like watching my football as comfortably as possible, thank you very much.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Statehood Day!

Today is statehood day here in Hawaii. This year we're celebrating 50 years as a state - if you want to call it celebrating. Nothing seems to be going on here, no parades or speeches or anything, just all the schools and libraries closed for the day. That doesn't sound like much of a holiday to me. There was a funny article in the paper telling about the first statehood day. Some government official was going to give a speech, then fireworks were going to be set off. It being 1959 and easy communication not available, one guy was supposed to keep in touch with the fireworks guys, telling them when the speaker was done so they could set off the fireworks. But, they ran out of dimes for the pay phone and had to resort to hand signals. There was a misunderstanding and they set the fireworks off right as the speaker started. But, that's not the best part. The fireworks went every direction but up, there were people diving off the pier into the water and hiding behind rocks to escape them. Now THAT'S the way to celebrate!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I knew better than to talk to people

Last night was open house at Angel #4's elementary school. Getting into the spirit of the thing, I joined the PTO, then I made my mistake - I started talking to PTO members. Next thing you know, it looks like I volunteered to help. I kind of did it on purpose. I need to get out more and meet people, but I really hate leaving the house. I figured the PTO would be a great way to go, I can meet other people and I only have to go the 1/4 mile to the school to do it. If you've got to be a hermit that should leave the house, going only a quarter of a mile is the way to go. And, you never know, I just might meet some new friends. There's been a bit of a lack in my life with that since my coffee buddy moved back to Canada in June and my other friend moved to California last November. Life would be easier if my durn friends would just quit moving away!

I also want to rant over that stupid cash for clunkers program. They've been advertising it here (as I'm sure they are everywhere else) by positioning a dumpster in front of car dealerships and putting a "clunker" in it. Problem is, every clunker I've seen in the dumpsters is nicer looking than ANY of the vehicles we own. I find it horrific that they're taking perfectly good cars and destroying them supposedly for the environment's sake, just so they can use a bunch of resources to build new cars. How is that better for the environment? Except, from what I hear, most of the cars people are buying to replace their clunkers are foreign made. Maybe it's the governments super secret plot to destroy the environment of foreign countries by forcing them to make more cars for the US while keeping ours pristine. Yeah. Can anyone say Epic Fail?

Monday, August 17, 2009

oops

I cut the boys hair myself. Nothing too professional. I've got a buzz cutter and I put the 1 inch attachment on it and go to town. It usually turns out pretty good. Tonight, I did WE. I slipped the attachment on and started in. But, something didn't seem quite right. It had been awhile since I'd cut his hair, but it seemed like there was a lot of hair coming off. That's when I'd noticed that I'd grabbed the DARK blue attachement instead of the LIGHT blue, 1 inch one. So, instead of a 1 inch haircut, I had about a fourth of his head done before I'd realized I was giving him a 3/8 inch haircut instead...and it was too late to do anything about it but finish it up. Surprisingly, he didn't have a complete fit about it when I told him, but he did say that to make it up to him, I had to pick his requested book up at the library as soon as it came in on interlibrary loan. Then he went upstairs to look at the finished product and I heard a loud HOLY CRAP! Then he yelled down that I'd better pick that book up the second it arrived at the library because I owed him big time.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Waddling around

We just got back from eating out at Denny's restaurant. We don't usually go out to eat, it's just too darn expensive, but Denny's had a special program tonight. Angels #2 & 4 along with other volunteers and olympians, shadowed the waitstaff at Denny's, taking orders and that sort of thing and in return, Denny's donated 20% of the checks and all of the tips to the special Olympics. The girls had fun being waitresses and, imo, food always tastes better when someone else makes it, so it was a successful night for all. It was fun chatting with others we knew that also were there for the spec olympics and the place was full when we left, so that's a good thing. The state olympics are next weekend on Oahu, so I hope our athletes have a good showing.

I ended up going to the horse expo with Angel #2 yesterday, hubby had to work, so he couldn't take her. She had a great time and, unlike her mother, knew what all the people giving seminars were actually talking about. I sat through lectures on horse nutrition, cowboy dressage, and matching the right bits to the right horse. There's a worlds foremost authority on bits - who knew? When the lectures involved showing pictures of the inside of horses mouths on a 40 ft screen in the front of the lecture hall, I took it as my cue to escape to the other room with the book I had the foresight to take along with me.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Words of Wisdom from Angel #4

"No matter how much of a tomboy you are, you're still going to have girl drama" Angel #4 telling me how she explained to her boy friend why she and another girl don't get along.

There's a horse expo this weekend. Now, that doesn't get me all worked up, but for Angel #2, who wants to go on to college and learn horse things, this is exciting stuff. I got her out of school early today so she could attend the first seminar of the weekend and tomorrow, she and hubby are going to spend the whole day there. Tomorrow, it's located in a town 40 miles away, so either hubby or I had to go with her and he lost the coin toss. He's better at that sort of thing anyway, when I get in crowds of people, I tend to disappear, whereas he's at his best. So, with him along, the Angel (who also tends to disappear in crowds) will have a better chance of meeting all the horse people on the island, which is a good thing if you're into horses, I guess.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I really love your peaches, wanna shake your tree

Except when I shook the tree I got cherries instead of peaches - which is good since it was a cherry tree I was shaking...and I like cherries better than peaches anyway. Our cherry tree in the back hasn't been pruned or taken care of in ages, so it's full of dead branches and stuff, but I got enough cherries for some kind of dessert. After my cherry picking, I found a couple guava on the tree next to it, so I grabbed them, then realized the pineapples we had growing on the bush were ripe, so I picked those too. It was just a fruity kind of day today. We had the pineapple for dessert tonight, I'm going to do something with the cherries tomorrow and hubby ate the guavas for a snack.

We had a power outage tonight, but by the time we figured out what was going on and got the lanterns lit, it was back on again. We were out on the lanai when it went on and we can see the whole town from there. There was a definite line where you could see who had power and who didn't. When the power went on, we could see the street lights go back on one by one. It was kind of cool looking. We could also see the line of confused traffic backed up at the stop lights, we're definitely a society dependent on electricity.

Monday, August 10, 2009

'splain this one

I was emptying out the dishwasher this morning and pulled out half a plate. Yep, broken right down the middle. I'm thinking, okay, the plate crashed against another one in the washer or broke when someone was putting it in, I can deal. But, when I went to take the other half out of the dishwasher so it could join its twin in the garbage, I discovered there was none. The half plate was the only half there, and I couldn't find it any place else either. Of course, the inhabitants of this household all plead ignorance and claim they have no idea how/where/why there was half a broken plate in the dishwasher. Later this afternoon I stepped on a tiny shard of, what looked like, remnants of a broken plate and did that little jumpy dance you do when pain is shooting through the ball of your foot until I could pull the glass out. This brings me to the hypothesis that the plate was broken in the general area of the kitchen peninsula counter, but no closer to the culprit. Life's full of little mysteries.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

how he spent his summer vacation

Hubby got back from his trip to Wisconsin last night and this afternoon we watched the videos he filmed of his time there. It started with his trip to the EAA, a hu-mungo air show he tries to attend whenever he can. He and his buddy made a sign advertising kisses for $1 and secretly stuck it on the side of the EAA booth where a woman was selling programs, then filmed people's reaction to the sign. The poor woman in the booth had no idea her programs for sale sign had been replaced with one selling kisses. Yeah, my husband's 11 years old.

The next part of the video was my family reunion - this is the 2nd year in a row that hubby's gone to my family reunion without me. The guy just loves my family and gets a total kick out of the reunion. It was great seeing family members I haven't seen since we moved down here, even if it was just on tape. My dad's twin brother and his family all came from Iowa - his 3 boys were the closest things to brothers I had growing up and it was great seeing them and their families. But, the tape really got me homesick and I'm going to see what I can do about making it myself next year and let hubby deal with getting the kids off to their first day of school. He also got a picture of my step-mother's tatoo. Yeah, my step-mother got a little moon tatoo on her arm - my dad's nickname is Moonie (his twin brother's is Sunshine, in case you were wondering - yes, really!) So, with all the kids in my family, our spouses and kids, Grandma was the first of us to get a tatoo. Who woulda thunk? Not me. When hubby told me someone in my immediate family got a tat and said it was the last person I would imagine, he was right, because it never even occured to me that it would be her. Sometimes people surprise you.

The last and longest part of the video was his time at Keller's Lake. You long-term readers may remember that back when we lived in Wisconsin, our whole family would volunteer at a day camp for mentally handicapped adults. We've really missed doing that and hubby extended his trip so he could be there last week. After watching the video, we were all pretty jealous of him. It was so great seeing all those happy familiar faces at the park. Maybe I'll have to squeeze Keller's Lake into my trip next year also.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ambition

Did you ever have one of those days when you're really ambitious and clean or do really odd/extreme things? Today was that day for me. I woke up at 4:30am and couldn't get back to sleep, so was up and at 'em at 5:30 when I gave up and got out of bed. After that, things just got more and more out of hand. I baked bread, not so unusual, except I got over enthusiastic when I was adding flour and put in way too much and ended up tossing the whole mess in the garbage and started over again. I emptied out the flour bucket and decided to open a 100# bag I had in storage instead of using the stuff I'd already had in containers of more managable size. I had to transfer 100 pounds of flour into smaller containers, spilling plenty in the process. This led to transfering some rice into a different container, spilling some of that too. As long as I was in the transferring mood, I moved some Cream of Wheat from its box into a jar and organized my shelves. But that's not all, oh no. I washed my spice rack and sprayed the jars with Goo-Gone to get the mysterious sticky stuff off the covers and then, are you ready for this? I vacuumed the coffee maker. Trust me, you don't wanna know. I also organized all my stored bed linens and made chocolate chip cookies, among other things. I think I've gone over the ol' hill o'sanity and I'm not sure if I'm ever gonna get back. If you drive past the asylum some day and see a woman there polishing the buckles on her strait jacket, give her a little wave, because that would be me.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Day the 80's Died

John Hughes, the man responsible for Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, among many other wonderful movies, died today. Sixteen Candles is one of my favorite movies of all time and I use lines like "the Donger need food" in regular conversation and it was one of John Cusacks first movies roles, so what's not to love? Anyway, the 80's wouldn't have been the 80's without John Hughes wonderful movies to go to on Saturday nights with your friends and I'm glad he shared his talents with the world.

Angel #2 has been in a cooking/baking frenzy since being on her diet. She had a friend over yesterday and they made puppy chow, sugar cookies, popcorn and supper for the family, all without eating any of it. It's some weird form of masochism that we're all benefitting from.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

School's in

The older kids all started school today. WE had a bit of a scare this morning. We never received his final report card for 7th grade and today while waiting for the bus, he started getting a little nervous thinking that maybe he hadn't passed. He finally convinced himself that there really wasn't anything to worry about, he had good grades the first 3 quarters of the year, so figured 4th quarter wouldn't be any different. Then he got to school and looked for his advisory class where you get your classroom assignments and discovered that he was in 7th grade advisory. The poor kid was a wreck until he talked to one of his teachers and found out they'd put him in the wrong class and he was, in fact, really an 8th grader.

The older kids had the usual challenges. #2 never was assigned a 6th period class, so she's got to go in and get one - hopefully it'll be one of the classes she signed up for but didn't get. #1 is doing the summer homework he didn't do over summer vacation.

Angel #2 is doing the master cleanse diet, the one where you don't eat/drink anything besides water and a lemonade/maple syrup concoction. Part of the diet is that you're supposed to drink a quart of warm salt water every day to get your colon cleared out. She was doing that this afternoon and making a fuss over the grossness of the salt water. Angel #1 was sitting there and decided to brag that he could drink salt water without making a huge scene and #2 challenged him to prove it....#1 didn't know what happens to your body when you drink large amounts of salt water. He drank the whole glass full and did a little gloating, until #2 started dancing around the kitchen singing "I gave my brother diarrhea!" over and over again. WE missed the whole thing, so when he came in, the kids told him that #1 drank a whole glass of salt water and there's no way WE was man enough to do it, too. Of course, he picked up the gauntlet. My kids are so darn evil. It's a good thing we've got 3 bathrooms in our house, I got the feeling they're all going to be busy tonight.

Monday, August 3, 2009

And it all begins

Today is Angel #4's first day of 5th grade. The rest of the kids start tomorrow (on the first day, they have the incoming 6th graders and Freshman go in alone to get used to the campus before the invasion of the older kids the following day). Things were a bit crazy at the elementary school. Because it's her first day in a new school, I needed to come in with her. My original intention was to walk there, but the weight of her school supplies coupled with her persuasive arguments convinced me to drive instead. Now, imagine the parents of 400 other kids doing the same thing - in a school that has about 24 visitor parking spaces. She'll definitely be walking to school in the future. She was happy to see that she got the teacher she wanted. She had nothing to base her teacher desires on than one kid she met at the beach who said he was the best 5th grade teacher, but, whatever makes her happy. After looking at the list of 5th grade teachers in the school, Angel #2 said she would have wanted Mrs. Lyons, just because her name is Kitty Lyons, and who wouldn't want a teacher with a name like that?

We did the school supply wrap up yesterda and had to go to Walmart, K-Mart AND Target before we found an Angel #4 approved backpack. Since last school year, we have two new stores, Target and Office Max, added to the mix, which is good. For the last couple years, the stores had run out of required school supplies about a week before school started, which made shopping a bit of a challenge. I never thought I'd see the day when I'd be desperately diving for the last package of wide-lined, loose leaf paper when in the school supply aisle. A funny thing I noticed when in Walmart. They have school supplies and booze in the exact same aisle - I'm guessing so mothers can get #2 pencils while at the same time get some margarita mix for their own back-to-school celebration.

This morning, WE brought up the subject of sex education in schools. I have no clue why the topic popped into his head, but I decided to listen to hear his take on the whole matter. He informed me that (in his exact words) I think sex education is best taught in a classroom environment (yeah, he really used the word environment). I asked him why and he explained that it's much better to learn about that stuff in a classroom where you can laugh about it with your friends rather than be all serious and awkward talking about it with your parents. You can't argue with logic like that, now can you?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

ice cream cake and bocce ball

Yesterday was Angel #1's 17th birthday. Being particularly lazy, I didn't make the usual carrot cake and decided to splurge on a Baskin-Robbins ice cream cake instead. Those buggers are expensive! I bought just a small one, and since there were only 4 of us home, #1 cut the cake in quarters and we all just pigged out. He didn't want to do anything special for the day with either us or his friends and seemed happy with just the cake. I'm happy I've got easy to please kids.

Today I spent the morning at the park helping with the finals for the Special Olympics. There was bocce ball and soccer going on - what a blast! I'm not a big sports fan, but the special olympics are so different. There were 3 soccer teams and I think the 3rd place team cheered louder than the other two when they got their ribbons. When one of the players screwed up and made a goal for the other team, no one got on his case or made him feel bad. My favorite was when one of the players standing along the middle line was having problems tying his shoe - one of the defenders over by the goalie ran over and helped him get it tied before running back to her position. The sportsmanship and support is unbelievable. If you ever get a chance to help at a Special Olympics event, I highly recommend you do so. You'll have a wonderful time.