Monday, April 30, 2007

Odd Requests....

Eight months of eating college food changes a person.

The Diva is home. Her first dinner request caught me off guard.

The Hubster and I discussed this before she came home, and I made a grocery list based on her favorites. We just didn't know what she would want first.

The Hubster was certain it would be my amazing chicken chimichangas. I guessed lasagne and homemade garlic bread sticks. We both considered nachos (fully loaded) to be a front-runner.
Her choice?

Homemade turkey noodle soup and baked beans.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Friday in the Country

I grew up in the country, surrounded by open fields, woods to explore, and crystal clear streams.

It was a great. We really didn't have any boundaries, and we made the most of it. My brothers and I would head out on foot with no real plan, and just see where the day took us. Sometimes we ended up catching tadpoles at a nearby stream, other days we got lost exploring one of several wooded lots near our home. As long as we were home before dark, our parents never worried.

I have vivid memories of jumping off a bridge on an old dirt rood and gashing my foot on a sharp rock in the stream below. I don't really remember the pain, just that my mom wouldn't let me swim at a weekend family reunion because of the huge cut on my foot.

Another day we actually had the foresight to pack lunches before we set out, then lost them somewhere along the way. We may have stumbled across animal bones in the woods, fresh raspberry bushes, or the perfect trees for climbing. I don't remember, but can safely assume that we had a blast.

My grandfather lived across the road from us, and on his property was an old one-room school house. On rare occasions we were allowed to play inside the school house. Other days, we just snuck in and played there anyway. The front room had shelves filled with old textbooks and coat hooks. The main classroom still contained some old school desks, more textbooks, and lots of dust. Looking back, I really wish I had appreciated the historical significance of the old school.

Anyway, this week's PhotoFriday topic is "The Country".

Last time I was home I snapped
this photo of a one-room school house near my home. It wasn't the one I played in, but similar enough to bring back some great childhood memories.
And the Award Goes to....

Until this past weekend I thought I was the Master of Mockery in my house.

Then this.

The Wildcard had a Boy Scout campout/event last weekend. He has known about it for weeks.

When Friday rolled around and it was time to get packed and head out to the predetermined meeting place, he balked. He said he didn't want to go. He hated camping and just wanted to stay home this weekend. (He had just used part of his birthday money to buy a new video game.)

I had talked to the Scoutmaster that afternoon and confirmed that the Wildcard would be there.

So, we had a dilemma.

Actually, not so much a dilemma as an argument. He said he never wanted to attend, I told him he couldn't make that decision at the last minute. He needed to let me know in advance so we could let the Scoutmaster know.

The Wildcard turned on the fake tears, channeled his whiny, pathetic voice, and said,
"But I told you yesterday that I didn't want to go!!!!"

This is when Destructo interjected.

He got right in the Wildcard's face, looked him in the eye, and mimicked him: "But I told you yesterday I didn't want to go!!!"

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday Blues

I swear this was a totally unposed, unrehearsed moment.

We had spent the entire day at the Chrysler place, trying to get some warranty work done on the MomVan. We had breakfast, walked over to the mall, walked around town, headed back to the mall for lunch, then back to the Chrysler place hoping the MomVan would be ready to go.

No such luck.

We were there from 7 a.m. until after 3:30 p.m., and they still didn't correct the problem.

As we drove home, the odometer turned over 70,000 miles and the warranty was no longer valid.

A dog bed, a pacifier, and a bottle of rum will fix anything.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Downside of Being the Baby of the Family

Today I was at the commissary with Destructo, browsing the front section where they display all the monthly specials when Destructo's eyes suddenly got huge, his mouth dropped open, and he said "Mom!! Look!! Over there!!"

I looked in the general direction where he was pointing and saw Froot Loops, Coco Puffs, Ice cream cones, and Rice-a-Roni....all on sale. Great prices on all, but nothing that should excite a 3 y/o.

Destructo was obviously focused on something, but I didn't know what.

I pushed the cart in that direction and hoped he would clue me in.

Initially, nothing.

As we approached the ice cream cones, he struggled to control himself. When they were finally within reach, he grabbed a box and said, " 'I' for Ice Cream!!!"

That's when it hit me.

He was three years old and had never had an ice cream cone. He had seen them on his ABC flash cards and in his alphabet books, but he had never seen one or held one in his sticky little hands.

So, the ice cream cones went into the cart.

Destructo was so excited when they went into the cart, he babbled for the next two aisles...

"'I' is for Ice Cream. Hold it in one hand and lick it!!!! I LIKE ice cram cones!!!"

One one hand, I loved seeing him so excited about something.

On the other hand, I felt guilty that he had never had a real ice creeam cone, and didn't know there was such a thing until we saw it in the store today.

Honestly, I didn't feel that guilty.

I talked up the ice cream cones until I left to take the Wildcard to Boy Scouts..........then recommended that the Hubster make an ice cream cone for Destructo before bed.

(I'm no fool. I know that ice cream cone and 3 y/o = major bath time and major house cleaning.)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Friday Blessing

Last week's PhotoFriday topic was "Blessing".

I wasn't sure which way to go with this until I started looking at some pics I had taken of a
recent sunset. This was taken from our front porch, as we were watching the late afternoon/evening airplane and chopper activity with Destructo.

We are so blessed to be living in Hawaii, and even more blessed to know we will have an additional year here. We've been here six years total, and are still in awe of the natural beauty of this place.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Freaky Friday

After an incredibly long and bizarre day, I found myself sitting outside Costco in Hawaii Kai with the Hubster, the Wildcard, and Destructo. It was 3:30 p.m. and I was eating my first meal of the day: The $1.50 hotdog/soda combo.

Up to that point, the day had been a blur of drunken homeless guy fights, an invitation from a very persistent stranger to join his pyramid scheme, hours of elementary school poetry, traffic snarls, and some very strange/intriguing phone calls.

This was my first chance to sit and relax all day, and I was actually enjoying the Costco hotdog (two things that normally aren't well tolerated individually).

We were discussing card and gift options for a birthday party/sleepover the Wildcard was attending on Saturday, and had just decided on a homemade card with cash as a gift, when my cell phone rang.

It was the Wildcard's Birthday Friend's non-English speaking mom.

The Mom: You come to party?

Me: Yes. He plans to come.

The Mom: We wait, okay?

Me: Huh?

The Mom: We wait now, okay?

It took a few minutes, but I finally figured it out. The party wasn't Saturday, it was Friday. Like right now Friday. They were all waiting at the Birthday Friend's house, and when the Wildcard showed up they would head to the party location.

How the Hell did I mess that one up?

(Don't answer....there are a million possible reasons, beginning with "I'm an idiot.")

The good news? The Birthday Friend lived only three blocks from where we were sitting. If we had been home, it would have been a 45-minute drive.

The bad news? The Wildcard had no gift, nothing to swim in, nothing to sleep in, nothing to wear the next morning, and no toothbrush. And he had been in his school clothes all day and, well, you know how much 12 y/o boys sweat, right?

So, we dropped the Wildcard off and headed home. I tossed some clothes and toiletries in a bag, stopped and got a card/cash, and headed back into Waikiki in time for Happy Hour Friday traffic. It was a mess getting in and out of town.

It was 8 p.m. when I walked in the door, and the phone was ringing. It was the Wildcard's scoutmaster. Apparently there was a badge clinic tonight, and he wondered why the Wildcard hadn't made it.

How the Hell did I mess that one up?

Friday, April 06, 2007

And the Results Are In (or So They Say)

We're goin to....................

Long story here. You know I'm not going to let you miss out on the drama!

Our first choice has always been to stay here, mainly for the Blonde One. I don't want him to transfer to a new school his senior year, and he needs to have follow-up chest surgery this spring (preferably with the surgeon who has been following him).

When the list of available duty stations came out last fall, we were more than disappointed. Not only were there no exciting places, but none of the jobs excited the Hubster. Normally you can compromise one or the other, but to take a sucky job in a sucky location is pretty depressing (as my Vegetarian friend can attest to).

So, after eliminitaing all the things he definitely did not want to do, we were left with two places in Japan, either of the Carolinas, Virginia, and California. None of those excited us, so the Hubster did some research and 'found' some more opportunities in Hawaii, Japan, and Florida.

The Hubster submitted his Wish List: Three obscure jobs in Hawaii, three obscure jobs in Japan (the kids and I would stay here), and one obscure job in Florida.

After much discussion among the Powers That Be, the rumblings were there....the Hubster would be going to California.

Okay. We could work with that. He would go, but the kids and I would stay here the first year so the Blonde One could finish high school and have his surgery. In the meantime, he pressed the issue of an extension in Hawaii.

No luck. Orders were issued, and we would be moving to California. We, of course made several decisions based on those orders - mainly telling friends we were moving, contacting a realtor, and buying a vehicle.

Three days later we were told that we were going to North Carolina instead. Go figure.

So..........there was no way we could maintain two households if we were going to North Carolina. At first we were disappointed, but we convinced ourselves it was a good thing: We found a school system we liked, there are good colleges in the state, and it is within a (reasonably) easy drive of family.

It would be a good move for us, and the Blonde One had accepted the fact that he wouldn't be graduating with his friends in Hawaii.

Which is why we were told to stand by.

After a nervous, uncertain week, the North Carolina orders were cancelled.

We have a one-year extension in Hawaii. There were no happy dances or phone calls to family, just a lot of waiting and holding our breath.

It's been a week and nothing has changed, and there are no rumblings of change.

I think we're staying!


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Friday Growth

Proof that we have seasons in Hawaii.

This is one of my
plumeria trees, and it's my PhotoFriday "Growth" picture this week.

Okay, the leaves didn't really fall off when September rolled around....they more or less blew off during some windy days this winter. And they weren't crisp and dry with that nice 'fallen leaf' smell....they sort of laid on the ground and decomposed in the heat until the lawn guys came by.

But it IS spring and there IS new growth - new leaves, new buds, and new flowers!!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Fun With Mammography

When we lived in Japan, there was a group of wives who formed a Mammography Club.

It obviously wasn't an official, base-sanctioned organization, and there were no meetings, annual dues, or elected officers. It was simply a group of women who were lucky enough to be over-35 and eligible for an annual mammogram.

Those of us who were ineligible to join (ie. too young) lived vicariously through them. If only we were old enough......

We weren't crazy, really.

We lived on a small military base in central mainland Japan, and our base didn't have the equipment for mammograms. The nearest base with mammogram capabilities was near Tokyo.

So........once a year, the Mammography Club would board the Monday flight from our base and head up to the Tokyo area for their annual "meeting". The return flight wasn't until Thursday, so the club members spent three days shopping, dining, and enjoying the peace and quiet of a hotel room. There were no kids, no husbands, and no responsibilities. The only requirement was to show up for your scheduled appointment.


I thought of this today, as the mammogram Nazi was shoving, squeezing, and adjusting before tightening the vice grips just a little more. Fun stuff.

There were no leisurely lunches, no funky little shops, and very little peace and quiet. All I got was two hours, three missed cell phone calls, and a request to pick up pizza on my way home.

Anyone want to form a Mammography Club?