Wednesday, July 28, 2010

and they're here because...?

I'm at work right now (it's horribly slow, I'm basically breathing behind a desk and that's it) and I walked through the parking lot on my way back from getting a Mt Dew and got to wondering about something. There's a cheapo storage facility next door to the shop and it's a major homeless hangout, like Larry for example, who lives in two vans parked there and thinks the bushes next to the lot are his own personal bathroom (he hasn't done it since I threatened to call the cops) and Marlin, who's a bit schizo and looks like one of the Beatles, circa 1969. There's also this couple who sit in their car in the lot for hours. Napping, listening to the radio, whatever, and I can't help thinking, gee, this is beautiful Hawaii, home to beaches, waterfalls, palm trees, etc and you can't think of a better place to sit in a parked car than a blacktop parking lot at a storage facility that's next door to the garbage truck company? In the words of the immortal Jim Morrison "people are strange".

In good news for the day, last night I bought my tickets and I'm officially flying out of here with angel #4 on Friday afternoon. I'll get into WI on Saturday morning and begin my new life living in the great white north. Just about everything that needs to be out of my house is out of it, except for one LaZboy recliner (Angel #2's been sleeping on it) and I have someone who'll buy it at a discount and pick it up on Friday if we don't sell it by then. A funny thing happened yesterday - funny strange. We've had so many people in and out of our home buying stuff in the last few weeks, that's it's just become normal to let strangers wander around in our house. Yesterday, I was waiting for a guy to come pick up a desk, but he was late and I needed to leave to pick Angel #2 up from work (I sold Debbie, our car yesterday, so we're down to 1 vehicle, which we're not planning on selling yet). Angel #4 was home and I told her to deal with it. On my way home, I thought about what I did. I told my 11 year old daughter to let a complete stranger into our house and take things. It's not like the guy knew she was going to be there alone or anything, but it's pretty much against all the Mommy Rules out there. But, you know what? Despite what the news reports want you to believe, most people out there are nice, and want the best for others and aren't looking for ways to hurt people. #4 said the guy and his buddy were really nice, made a point of avoiding our carpets, which were still wet from the carpet cleaning guy's work that morning, and even knew our landlord. Sometimes, you just have to trust your kids to make good decisions on their own. Besides, if any of those people are mass murderers bent on our destruction, my being there with her was definitely not going to stop them - there's not much of a dent 105 lb me is going to make in a hockey mask wearing, ax wielding murderer.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wanted: one life - think he'll find it on Craigslist?

I've just got a few things left I'm trying to sell on Craigslist. I've given up selling some things and am making use of the "free" section. One of the things I'm giving away is a desk. It's wood, large, heavy and CANNOT be disassembled. I made of note of all those things in my ad, so someone doesn't drive up in a car expecting to cart it away, it ain't gonna happen. So, today some guy e-mails me to tell me that the desk is not, in fact, solid wood and it can be disassembled. No, he didn't want the desk, he just wanted to tell me these things. I deleted the message, thinking, some people really need a life. I got home and Angel #2 told me that the guy also called to tell her these things and he thought we should put it in our ad in case someone comes to get it and gets upset. Huh? Someone REALLY needs a life. And I can't imagine someone having the guts to complain about a free desk the got off Craigslist in the first place, and even if someone did, why the heck is he worried about it?

Tomorrow morning the carpet cleaning guy is coming, so we've hauled what few possessions we have left into the middle of the living room, which has wood floor, so all the carpeted areas are ready for their scrubbing. One more step on my road to doneness. My van is loaded with stuff that's going to the thrift store, after that, it's a trip to the dump and a final load of stuff to be stored until we get around to getting it all back up to the mainland. I'm so sick of dealing with all our stuff that even though we're going to be arriving in Wisconsin with pretty much nothing, the thought of buying more stuff when we get there gives me a headache.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

RIP Corky

I just learned that a friend from WI was killed this week. I met Corky when we both gave time to help out at the local library in the town in WI where we both lived. Corky volunteered himself for everything, he played the community Santa, he polar plunged for charity on new years day, gave his time at nursing homes and so much more. In fact, it was while he was volunteering that he was killed, he was picking up trash along the highway with some other volunteers when a car driven by an unlicensed driver lost control on a perfectly straight, dry stretch of road and slammed into Corky, killing him. The community has lost a great guy. One of the things Angel #4 loves and hangs on to is a stuffed lion named Tee-Tee that Corky gave her when she was about 5 years old.

In more sad news, I had to bring Jake, the wonderdog, to the local humane society today. We tried so hard to get him a new home, putting ads on Craigslist and talking to everyone we could think of who might take him in. Sadly, we failed and I felt I had no other choice than to bring him in. Shipping him to Wisconsin would have cost us about $500, and at 10 years old, we had no guarantee that he'd survive the trip. It would have been the worst if we'd spent that kind of money (that we really don't have in the first place) only to have a dead dog at the end of it. I realize that his chances of getting adopted are pretty slim, trust me, I cried as I walked out after dropping him off, but sometimes, you have no choice. My only consolation is that we found him at that same shelter three years ago, when the chances of a 7 year old getting adopted are pretty slim and we gave him three more years than he would have had. It still doesn't make it any easier.


Somehow, between 6pm last night and 6am this morning, I became politically least my driveway did. There are 4 or 5 campaign signs posted at the end of my driveway this morning that weren't there when I got home about 6 last night. There are some people who live futher up our driveway, I'm assuming they put them there, otherwise, I think it's pretty ballsy to just randomly stick signs at the end of someones driveway...especially for people that I probably wouldn't vote for anyway. I'm not interested in politics in the slightest-I know I'm supposed to be, but whatcha gonna do? But I know this one woman who imo is a complete ditz who is a very active supporter of a certain candidate - I figure if she's for someone, I'm probably going to want to be against them, know what I mean? Anyway, that guys sign is one of those at the end of the driveway.

Last night was my last bocce practice for Special Olympics. I was so sad to leave, knowing that I probably wouldn't be seeing most of those folks ever again. I left on a typical daydreamer note though. It was the area tournament that precludes the state games - I was planning on just being an official since I'm not going to be around for any more things anyway, but it turns out they needed me to play. My partner and I took last place, I've never gotten better than last place. In another division, my partner took a first, so you're seeing who the weak link is here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

why is your butt up so early?

After a rough night's non-sleep, I finally went down around 3am, only to have my cell phone start ringing at 4:45. It was my friend Chris, apparently butt dialing me. Whose butt is even near a phone at 4:45am? According to Chris, not his. He was crashing at a mutual friend's house when the little girl of the house, who DOES wake up at 4:45am, started playing with his phone and calling a whole bunch of people. She also played with his wallet and his morning's coffee money went missing as well. For 3 years old, the little girl is well on the path to juvenile delinquency.

Oh hey, talk about delinquency, I was going to tell you this story last week and forgot. Three boys from a juvie home hijacked the car their keepers were carting them around in and took off with it. Yeah, these Einsteins stole a car on an ISLAND. Uh...just where did they think they were going to go? There could possibly be a reason why car theft is practically non-existent here, it's because you can only go so far and you've got an ocean in your way. Needless to say, the dopes were caught in no time at all and back in juvie.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

another one of those days I should have stayed in bed

Yesterday at work, I was on the phone in search of an engine that was supposed to have been shipped to us a week ago. I got the guy I needed on the phone and he assured me that it had been shipped on the 13th and should be in Hilo waiting for me. Uh...Hilo? Hilo is on the opposite side of the island that I'm on and about a 2 1/2 hour drive. NOT where this this was supposed to go. The guy apologized for the screw-up and promised that they'd reimburse us traveling expenses. Fortunately for me, school hasn't started yet, so my friend, Chris, who's starting as a teacher in a week, is currently jobless. He was more than willing to make a few extra bucks driving to Hilo and back. I handed him the keys to the company truck, which is a nasty old beater, but gets the job done, and sent him on his way about 9 this morning. At about 2pm, he calls to say the truck is overheating and giving him problems, but he's doing his best to get back. Around 3 I get the call that I need to come rescue him, and bring lots of water for a very overheated engine. Then, the kicker, he's at mile marker 29 on Saddle road, about 50 miles away. Saddle road is not one of my favorite places to drive - since our island is essentially a huge mountain, most roads go around the edges of it, but Saddle road cuts right through the middle of the mountains and is a blatant example of local corrupt politics. Hawaii island is one big county, the county seat being Hilo, from the top of Saddle road to Hilo, the road is pretty much a 2 lane super highway, complete with street lights, curbs and all kinds of pretty stuff. On the flip side, the Kona side of Saddle road got repaved in some places within the last couple years, but in a lot of spots it's single lane, no shoulder and back to back potholes. It's this side that I had to drive. Meeting up in the middle of all this is a military base, and that's where I found Chris. He filled the radiator and together we sat at the side of the road, talking and listening to the military blow stuff up over the next hill while waiting for the engine to cool. We did this about 3 times before finally the truck wouldn't start at all. Chris managed to strong man push it off the side of the road where we abandoned it for the night. We crammed the engine he was picking up into the car and drove the remaining 30 miles back into town. I finally got home around 7pm. Tomorrow morning, we're going back to give it another shot. The only plus side to this is that Chris is a lot of fun to talk to, so at least there'll be good conversation - a very important thing since the radio in my car doesn't work. Today, we made up for that loss by singing Dr. Horrible songs while trying to fix the truck.

Monday, July 19, 2010

the logistics of moving from Hawaii

To answer Jeanie's question: When we moved down here over 4 years ago, we got rid of just about everything we owned. At that time, the maximum amount you could take on an airplane at no charge was 2 check-ins and 2 carry-ons. So, that's what we brought with us. For the six of us that meant 12 check in suitcases at 50lbs each and 12 carry-ons. We kept some things in Wisconsin and every time we went back up, we brought another couple suitcases of stuff back. All it took was about one or two trips back up there and we had everything we needed. Hubs shipped a bunch of his tools down here on USPS flat rate boxes when he sold the business up there. Things have changed in the airline industry as well as the fact that it's pretty unlikely that we'll be making multiple trips back down to Hawaii in the future. Hubby's got some work down here he'll be coming back for, but as for the rest of us, I don't see it happening. So, our trip up is a little bit different than when we made the trip down. Once again, we're getting rid of just about everything we own - things are SO much cheaper on the Mainland that it really doesn't pay to bring things up there. But, there are some things that we'd like to take back. We're doing the suitcase cram again, but in addition, we've packed up a pallet load of stuff to ship back to Wisconsin - we just dropped it at the shippers this morning, as a matter of fact. So, we're sending about 800 lbs worth of stuff, tools, kitchen stuff, clothes, etc, first on a boat to LA, then on a truck on to Wisconsin. We'll get it in about a month. Some people send container loads of stuff back, but even a small, u-pack container (about 6'x7'x8') would cost us about $6000 to ship and frankly, my junk isn't worth that much. Like I said, it's so much cheaper to just replace what we need once we get there that shipping stuff just isn't worth the hassle. I've got a friend who did the container thing, but she's much more of a home decorating person and was really attached to her furniture (figuratively, not literally :P ) Since we've lived in the house we're in now for 1 1/2 years and I never did get around to hanging pictures on the wall, it's pretty obvious that I'm no Martha Stewart - so the house stuff goes and I won't miss it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

taking a break

It's been a busy week. I'm not used to having to go into work every day, and to have those days be nine hours long really takes some adjusting. But, my having an excuse to be gone all day does have its advantages. Hubby had to do his own grunt work getting all his stuff out of the house so we can be out of here at the end of the month. Today the shop where I work is open from 9-1, but Angel #2 worked there today. She answers phones and takes customer's money and that kind of thing, which is all that's needed on Saturdays for the most part. While she was working, Angel #4 and I spent the morning at the park at the special Olympics island soccer tournament. The athletes playing soccer are mostly the same guys who were on the softball team this spring, so we know them all and had fun cheering them on. Some of the other spectators and I were talking and we decided that Special Olympics soccer is so much more fun to watch the professional soccer that if it were televised, we'd definitely take the time to sit down and watch it. Watching someone do something perfectly isn't nearly as enjoyable as watching people struggle against obstacles in order to be the best they can be - and if they screw up, nobody's going to get on their case about it. One of our guys accidentally made a goal for the other team, not only did the other team cheer, but our guy got congratulated by his own team for making a goal. That's what makes Special Olympics special. I sure hope there's a local chapter where we're moving so I can continue to volunteer. The thing I'm going to miss most about leaving here is my friends at Special Olympics.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

stick a fork in me - I'm done

Big successful garage sale again today. Since we can't have one at our house, (we've got a one way only driveway, you drive in and back out, and it's up a steep hill) we haul everything over to my friend Sunny's house. To cut down on the stuff to haul, we just put a sign at the end of our driveway yesterday and hoped we'd get a few people. Hubby put out his tools and between them and all my stock-piled food I have to get rid of, we made a good haul yesterday and made three times as much today at the real sale. We've still got some stuff lying around here we need to get rid of, but I think we're all garage saled out and will just find some other way to get rid of it.

We've met some interesting people while garage saleing. Hubs met a guy who is as addicted to tools as him and we met this awesome young Micronesian family - she actually bakes her own bread (I was beginning to think I'm the only one) and bought a bunch of the flour we had stored. They also bought a bunch of other stuff and as they were leaving, noticed we had a breadfruit tree and asked if they could have some. It's nice seeing people who work to take care of themselves instead of depending on foodstamps or other assistance.

Anyhooters, we had a very productive weekend and now we're all exhausted. But, it's another step taken and soon we'll be on our way up north.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I'm a Craigslist junkie

Small piece of advice, if you want to sit through supper, NEVER post 10 Craigslist ads at a time in the late afternoon. My phone was ringing off the hook and people were coming in and out of my house. But I sold some things, even some stuff I hadn't listed for sale yet. So, it's all "G".

We're getting ready for Garage Sale-The Sequel on Saturday. Once again, my house is full of bags and boxes of stuff we're going to get rid of and everything's got little orange price tags on them. This whole moving thing is getting old real fast, I can't wait for the end of the month when I can have this over with and can sit and relax without thinking of the one billion things that I should be doing.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hawaiian kine rodeo

Yesterday morning, Angel #2 and I went to the rodeo. Shortly after we moved to here we went to a rodeo and I remembered that it had been different than the ones we'd gone to on the Mainland, but I couldn't remember why. Sunday reminded me. They've got some completely different events down here - one is called poo wai u, which is a roping event that originated here by the paniolos (Hawaiian cowboys) which simulates tying a steer to a tree trunk. There's also calf mugging and one that had the angel and I wondering. "Calf dressing," she said. "I've heard of turkey and dressing, but never calf dressing." Turns out it's exactly what it sounds like. Different local businesses put up an entry fee, the winner of the event gets the entry fee money to donate to their favorite charity. Three employees of the business (not cowboys) form a team and whoever dresses a calf in a tee-shirt the fastest is the winner. Yep, calf DRESSING. It was pretty darn funny seeing those cows wandering around the area with big ol' tee-shirts on. While watching the rodeo, #2 and I snacked on poi balls, not exactly traditional rodeo fare, unless you live in Hawaii. They were so darn good that I know that's going to be something I'm going to miss when we move back to Wisconsin.

Hubby and the two younger kids got home from their month in WI yesterday afternoon. Hubs is going to go through his stuff and get it packed and shipped this week hopefully. That much less I'll have to angst over. I put a whole bunch of stuff on Craigslist this morning and could have sold my sofa about 5 times over. Now, if I can only find someone who wants to buy a few of the fifteen million bookshelves I've got we'll be in business.

WE has his buddy over today and they've spent the afternoon blowing up water bottles filled with baking soda, vinegar and rice (aka shrapnel). It's been so quiet here the last month, I guess he's trying to make up for all that silence now.