Thursday, December 31, 2009

all is calm

Last night both girls had friends over - the house was in giggle overload. It didn't help that we went back to Target to buy more candy, so they were all sugared up. Both sets of girls bought gingerbread house kits, so the kitchen is sticky with frosting and candy.

Tonight we're not really doing anything for new years. The family was invited to the annual shoot-em up New Years Eve paintgun war/potluck dinner, but it was held at a friends house a 2 our drive away and I really didn't feel like traveling that far. Angel #1 went there with friends though, he just can't resist a good paintgun war. Angel #2 is roaming town with her pink-haired BFF, then spending the night, WE is enjoying the holiday vicariously through a fireworks display on World of Warcraft. Angel #4 and her buddy were going to spend the night in the treehouse, but hubby deemed it unsafe, so the venue changed to the trampoline instead. We were just starting to take bets on how long they'd last out there when they came tromping into the house with all their gear claiming it was too cold to sleep out there. They made it to 9:00.

We can hear fireworks going off all over the place. I hope people are careful. We've got a bit of a drought going on right now and for the last few days, there's been a wildfire burning about 20 miles away from us - the 3rd in the last 2 weeks. They're having trouble putting this one out because it's in an inaccessible area - the only roads leading there are 4WD only and the forest canopy is so thick over the area that's burning that they can't dump water on the fire from helicopters. Every once in a while I catch a whiff of smoke in the air, though not as bad as the fire from 2 weeks ago - that one stunk up all the clothes I had hanging on the clothesline. Fireworks on New Years is one of the Hawaiian traditions we've had to get used to. You don't hear too many fireworks going off in Wisconsin on midnight of New Years, instead, everyone just hugs each other, thrilled that they made it through another year without freezing to death or being drained dry by F-16 sized mosquitoes. But in Hawaii, there are more fireworks on New Years than on July 4th. We'll be able to see the big displays the hotels put on from our front lanai - we've got a view of the entire town from there.

Anyhooters, I'm not planning on staying up til midnight unless the fireworks don't let me sleep. It's only a little after nine and I'm ready to hit the hay already. I DID watch the ball drop in Times Square though, courtesy of Hulu. One of the benefits of living in Hawaii is that I'm still awake to see that event since it happens at 7pm our time.

Happy New Years everyone - see ya in 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

lovin' those clearance sales

Hubby and the boys went camping today and Angel #4 is at a friends house, that left Angel #2and me home for the day. We decided to do a little shopping, she needed some new clothes. Well, we didn't get a whole lot in the clothing department, but as we were wandering around Target, we noticed the clearance signs. Never one to pass up a sale of any sort, we wandered over and saw all their Christmas candy was 75% off. We were only going to grab a few things, but before you knew it, I had to send the angel off to get a cart because we ran out of arm room. We're celebrating our quiet night at home by eating chocolate covered cherries, peppermint bark and candy canes. Life doesn't get any better.

The caffeine is getting to us though, as evidence by this conversation:
Angel (laughing while watching a movie on Hulu): This guy just confessed that he tossed his fiance's dad at his bachelor party. His fiance's dad is a midget.

Me: What in the world are you watching?

Angel: It's a romantic comedy.

Me: What one?

Angel: I don't know, there can't be that many romantic comedies with midgets in them...and all their roles are small anyway. *snerk snerk*

Me: There are no small roles, only small actors.

Yeah, I know, we're laying off the chocolate now.

Friday, December 25, 2009

reaping the rewards

Yesterday, I was in a baking mood. I started it all by making 4 loaves of bread, then figured since we were all going to be home this morning, I would make some cinnamon rolls, put them in the fridge and let them rise this morning so we could have warm rolls for breakfast. Then, the thought of those rolls made my sweet tooth act up, so I made a double batch of ginger snaps. So today, the house was full of yummy food.

Other than feeding our faces, we didn't do much today. We don't celebrate Christmas, so we pretty much always spend the day being slugs around the house. Since everything closes down for the day, there's not all that much for us to do anyway.

Our dishwasher still isn't working right, so the kids are still busy building character. They're not too happy about it, but at least with them handwashing, our dishes are clean. I suppose I'll have to call the landlord tomorrow and see if he can do something to get it working right or bite the bullet and just get a new one.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

sometimes you've got to change the details

We've got the holidays all mixed up around here. Today Wormeater and I went on an Easter Egg hunt, only it's a few days before Christmas and we were hunting pumpkins, not eggs. I'd planted a pumpkin plant quite a while ago, but was having problems keeping the snails from eating the blossoms off the plants before they had a chance to become pumpkins. I pretty much ignored the plant and the area where it was planted and it became overgrown. You know how you start a project, then you get sucked into another one? That's what happened to me today. I was going to weed out the area I'm turning into an herb garden, but needed the shovel first. The shovel was lying by the poinsettia bush (which is in full bloom, btw). While I was grabbing the shovel, I pulled out a few weeds by the poinsettia and went over to throw them where I usually do by the pumpkin patch. Then I started pulling at weeds by the pumpkin patch, not seeing a single pumpkin. The lack of pumpkins made me think that maybe I should just pull up a lot of the vines and get rid of them so we could go over the whole area with a weed whacker. I started pulling at one vine, which was rather heavy and I saw there was a big orange pumpkin on it. In order to get to it since it was down on some rocks, I needed to weed my way down and while I was there, I saw there was a green pumpkin there as well. Nestled in the rocks under the green pumpkin was another orange one. WE came out to help and I sent him on the search for the great pumpkin as well. In the end, we found 2 green ones and 3 orange ones. The green ones got pulled off the vines, so they're sitting on the porch next to the ripe ones. Does anyone know if pumpkins will ripen off-vine like tomatoes do?

The microwave that stopped working when we de-cockroached it has been sitting on the porch for the last 2 weeks. I was going to have hubby haul it to the dump today, but thought I'd plug it in, just to make sure that it was still dead. (you know what's coming here, don't you?) Yep, the dumb thing is working just fine now. So, the dilemma, do I take the new one back to the store and use the old one again, or do we stick the old one down in the basement in anticipation of some day needing another microwave? Angel #1 is graduating this spring - he may need a microwave if he moves into an apartment on the island. Of course, if he moved off-island, which he's talking about doing, it won't be worth it to take the microwave with him. Ah, decisions decisions.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

As sands through the hourglass, these are the Days of our Dishwaher

We had the "yay, the dishwasher's fixed" party too soon, I guess. The dishes were dirty again today. Hubby took it apart and supposedly fixed it this time, we'll have to see. Once it was all in pieces, he forgot how to put it back together again, which caused a few problems. He needed some tools and asked for a straight screwdriver - Angel #2, being the kind of kid she is, told him we only have gay ones. I think the fumes from the yellow Playtex gloves I gave her were going to her head...or maybe it was all that yellow hair dye. Anyway, hopefully, things are going to work properly now because I'm sick of whiney dishwashing kids.

Since my computers been fixed, my touchpad has been really sensitive and when I type, my cursor keeps jumping around the page, making doing a blog entry a bit annoying. I also found out that the headphone jack no longer works on it, so my kids had to listen to me listen to Castle tonight. Not that anyone could complain about hearing the wonderfulness of Nathan Fillion's voice, but they'd rather hear it as Captain Hammer, not Richard Castle.

Monday, December 21, 2009

what is it with hair in this household?

Tonight, Angel #4 and her BFF were in the bathroom and they came over to me looking really upset. BFF decided to "trim" her bangs and she's now got 1/2 inch stubby flyaways sticking out of her forehead. It was the old trying to even them out trap. Her dad is taking her to the hair place tomorrow to see if it can be fixed, but I told her it was going to be a case of sucking it up until they grow out and it's probably best if she have a responsible person cut her bangs in the future.

Our landlord fixed our dishwasher today. It's been broken for the last three days and I've been trying to tell the kids that it's character building to handwash dishes, but they're not interested in building any, I guess. We also had to get a new microwave. Ours had cockroaches living, not inside the microwave itself, but behind the keypad in the electronics part of it. We knew they were there because they would crawl around between the glowing numbers and the glass part. V gross. Hubby took the machine apart and used bug killer to get rid of them all. It worked, but also wrecked the microwave. Between my computer, the dishwasher and the microwave, it hasn't been a good month for appliances around here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

it went crash

Very much sadness in my house this week, my computer died. If you want a sinking feeling in your stomach, try looking at your computer screen and seeing nothing but a black screen and a cursor. Yep, that's all I had. Angel #1 finally got around to fixing it today, after I'd been computerless for an entire week. My life is just full of tragedies.

It's not like you missed a whole lot this week with me not posting. It's just been the usual around here. Angel #2 came home last night a strawberry blond. She and her best friend colored their hair. At least the angel's hair is kind of found in nature, her friend's hair is dark pink (yes, on purpose).

It was death to mongooses (mongeese? mongi?) this week as well. We're trying to get them out of the area since the nasty things will eat baby chickens and eggs is we let them. So we got a trap and got 4 of them got caught. Nothing's been caught since, so we'll probably move the trap further out and see if we can get some more. The island is crawling with mongoose and they're a real nuisance and trust me, no one is going to miss them.

There was a bad wildfire about 30 miles from here this weekend and our house was smelling like woodsmoke in the mornings. It was really getting annoying. Fortunately, this morning we had a really wild rain storm which hopefully put the fire out. We were at church during the worst of it and there's a metal roof on house where we meet and the rain was so loud we couldn't really hear what anyone was saying. We all pulled our chairs close together so we could get as close as possible. It was kind of nice. We got home to find the top of a papaya tree lying in our driveway, so it must have gotten pretty windy here. We don't usually get storms that have thunder and lightning, so it was kind of neat hearing it all, it was kind of like a summer storm in Wisconsin (except in WI, they don't really have the papaya tree problem).

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Buddy's Birthday

Last night, we went to a popular night spot, Huggos, to celebrate our friend Buddy's 50th birthday. Buddy's had a rough year (his only child died last spring) and it was nice to see him out and enjoying himself. Hubby and I don't usually go out at night and the only time we go to night spots is when we're out with Buddy and his wife, Joyce. Interesting people go out and party at night. One guy we were calling Mr. Happy was having way too much fun dancing with anything that looked vaguely female and when none were available, just dancing by himself. Mr. Happy also had been very thirsty, so was having a difficult time keeping his balance during the more daring of his dance moves. He plopped himself down at our table for a while and I warned Joyce that she was his next target - she laughed, until he started sidling up next to her, than it was me doing the laughing. There was also a woman I referred to as "the Alien". She had overly processed hair that was supposed to be blonde but was white, and spray on tan that was supposed to be bronze but was orange. She looked like she was in her mid-60's, wearing a skin tight, very short dress and she thought she was all that. Hubby and I spent the drive home discussing if her boobs were store-bought or the real thing. I think I'm done doing the nightclub thing for a while now.

Now, for the opposite end of the spectrum, I've got to go get ready for a funeral for our beautiful Auntie Lilly. Auntie is a term of respect and endearment down here, so Auntie Lilly isn't an actual relative of ours or anything. But we used to pick her up at the nursing home and bring her to church with us when she was able. She was about 92 years old, so she lived a long useful life and was ready to go, but we'll miss her.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy Anniversary Baby

got you on my mi-ind. Yep, it's that time of year again when hubby and I celebrate our anniversary. Unlike previous years though, this time we're celebrating our 19th anniversary. Yay us! To celebrate, we went to the Toastmaster's holiday get-together. Yeah, not real romantic, but hubby's Toastmasters group is full of fun people and it was a nice time. There are a couple professional musicians in the group, so there was a little impromptu singing going on.

When we got home, we played a game of Pictionary with the 4 results of our 19 years of marriage and with 2 of the ministers from our church who are spending the next couple days with us. I was on the boys drawing skills are on par with my bocce ball skills. We lost

I just took the tags off a 19 year old washcloth. How do I know it's 19 years old? We got it an a matching towel as a wedding gift from someone. They're these fancy kind with lace trim and stuff and I was saving them for a special occasion. Apparently, the special occasion was running out of clean washcloths.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

oh, and another thing

apparently, saying "Shannon, I have my Panda Express under your seat" sounds a whole lot like "Shannon, I have my panties pressed under your seat" and causes outrageous giggle fits on a military plane full of Special Olympics athletes. Next time, I'm not telling Shannon where I put my box of leftover Chinese food.

back from the Olympics

Yeah, the title says it all. My partner, Apple, and I didn't do any better at the state games than we did at the area games back in October. We got the bronze medal, 3rd place out of 3 teams Because of a flight snafu, one of the islands teams couldn't make it, hence only 3 teams in our division. Basically, we flew all the way to Oahu so we could play against 2 teams from our island that we play against all the time in practice. There weren't a lot of bocce teams because fall isn't really bocce season - it's bowling. But not all islands have a bowling alley. We've got one on our side, but it's been closed for remodeling, so we couldn't bowl, which is why we did bocce.

We had a really fun time at the games. They were held at Hickum air force base and they flew us there in military transport planes. They're not a comfortable as commercial flights, but it's more fun on them. They even let one of the athletes sit up in the cockpit and he got to turn the engines off when we landed on Oahu. Saturday night, when all the volunteers were exhausted after catching a 6am flight, then spending the day outside with bocce ball or in the gym with the basketball team (West Hawaii got the silver YAY!) all the athletes were shaking their groove thang out on the dance floor. I don't know where they got their energy. The dance was held in a huge hangar and man, was it noisy. They don't build those things with creating good acoustics in mind.

I also got a new nickname over the weekend. I am now known as The Alabaster Princess because of my skin's amazing ability to stay pasty white despite spending 2 days out in the sun with a dab of sunscreen on my nose only. Yep, I don't tan OR burn - at least very easily. I just reflect. I tried to tell them that, but they didn't believe me. But, by this afternoon when I was the only bocce ball participant who wasn't sunburned (besides the Hawaiians, who just get a gorgeous dark tan), they knew I was telling the truth. There were even a few on the basket ball team who had more of a burn than me, and they'd spent most of their weekend inside a gym. I have few talents, unfortunately, one of them is my body's complete inability to tan (and one of them obviously ISN'T bocce ball). Once they post the weekends pictures on the S O website, I'll give you a link so you can see how much fun we had.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Olympic bound

Tomorrow I head out on a military transport plane to Oahu for the state finals of the Special Olympics. Pretty cool, eh? No TSA, no tickets, no lines or baggage claims, no stupid 3oz of liquid in a ziploc bag. Thank goodness the flight is only about 45 minutes though, since I'm guessing the seats aren't too comfortable and there's no inflight movie. Since my partner, Apple and I took last place in the local games, we're in the last division this weekend, which means that we're playing against the worst bocce ball players on the other islands. We rotten athletes have to stick together, you know. But we may have a fighting chance of getting better than last place. I'll let you know on Sunday when I get back.

The other day, the chicken we have that was sitting on 15 eggs hatched them out. Well, 12 of them anyway. She gave up on the other 3 and hubby went to check them out. He broke a little of the shells off them and saw that while 2 were bad, the 3rd had a live baby chick in it yet. So we set up a heating pad on the kitchen counter, put the egg on it and waited to see what happened. About 10 last night, we got a front row seat to watch it hatch out of the egg. Pretty cool. Once it was on its feet and dried off and fluffy, hubby and the boys put it under the mother chicken and now she's got 13 happy healthy children. Yay!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

lost in translation

We got a little giggle today at poor hubby's expense. The poor guy mutilates the Hawaiian language (many times on purpose). The word for land in Hawaiian is aina, pronounced eye-nah and one of the companies who bring their machines in where I work is a landscaping company called Aina Scapes, which is cute, imo. But hubby mispronounced Aina, giving the first 'a' a long sounds, A-nah Scapes. Say it out loud. Yeah, it sounds like something you'd wear with a hospital gown so your butt doesn't show.

I'm so flattered that when Jeanne C sees a can of Pringles she thinks of me. Like she said, I guess there are a whole lot worse things that could remind her of me. I have things like that, too. Like, when I smell pigs, I think of my Grandpa. When I was little, he worked with pigs and the smell would cling to him, so to me, a pig smell is a happy smell because I loved my Grandpa to pieces. The smell of coffee perking over a gas stove reminds me of camping up north in our little pop-up camper back before my mom died. Fresh cut alfalfa just takes me to a happy place. I guess I'm an olfactory memory kind of person instead of a visual one.

Oh yes, and I also need to thank Jeanne for that enlightening interpretation of my mongoose dream. Now I'm afraid to go to sleep at night, terrified about what other deep seated secrets my dreams are going to reveal to me.

I got an e-mail from my friend Renee today. She was my Starbucks buddy until she oh so heartlessly moved back to Canada last May. I realized that I haven't been to Starbucks since she moved and I also realized that it's the Christmas season, which means they've got that peppermint mocha stuff again, which is so awesomely good last year. So I convinced my friend Lydia to meet me for coffee tomorrow morning - truth be told, it didn't take much convincing, I think she was jonesing for some Starbucks as well.