Now the house smells of roasting roast, Yorkshire pudding is in the works, and I’m about to take a pre-feast nap! We are so lucky to have had a wonderful weekend together – we know we are blessed. Aloha to our ohana, both near and far! We love you!
Oh – just remembered some things you might be interested in, Great Grandma…First the liturgy was right on target I thought, about the perils of practicing “cultural Catholicism” by not embracing the faith as one’s own. Then as everyone was leaving, we were finishing singing the last song before we left the pew. Ben was in the aisle, though, practicing genuflecting! I turned to see him watching everyone, then he’d face someone right behind us and go down on one knee just like she did, holding onto the pew for balance! It was so funny.
I thought I should finally start documenting some of the great people we know from our daily routines. We don’t always know their names (today I decided to ask these gentlemen) but nevertheless we know them and wave to them whenever our paths cross. I will miss them!
Today we are doing a little informal Easter Egg Hunt in our backyard and getting together with some dear friends to talk story and play ukulele. It is warm here, and we’ve enjoyed a swim at the beach this morning followed by smoothies. Dave and I are looking forward to our next adventure in Washington but we will always be part Hawaiian. Dave will have lived here one quarter of his life by the time we leave. This place has taught us so much about how to care for the land, and for each other, because being on an island really affects one’s mentality. You feel more of a sense of community, like we’re all in this together. And for those who immerse themselves in the culture, seek knowledge from the kupuna, and open their hearts to experiences which might be unfamiliar, then the spirit of aloha and true love for the land and the place is inescapable. These islands and their people are a treasure.
Mom and I were hanging out on the beach with the boys while Dave was at work yesterday. I went for a jog and came back to find two guys playing beautiful music about 3 feet from us! Mom and I exchanged looks like “How in the world do we get this lucky?” When they took a break between songs I was like “Thank you! We LOVE Hawaiian music! So…are you famous?” Turns out he was indeed – Grammy Award-winning Ledward Ka’apana and his friend were the two guys gracing our afternoon. So despite increasing hunger and thirst, we were determined to stay as long as they did. Richard brought us some food and drinks and we enjoyed playing in the water with the duo’s incredible slack key and falsetto dancing around us. Led’s family is from the Big Island – the Kalapana area which is now nearly covered with lava – and he grew up around music. His family would hang out and have days-long bbqs where the whole family would break out instruments and just play. His sister sings with him now at Kona Brewing Company on Sundays I think. Click on the picture above for one of our favorite pieces – Wahine Ilikea, by Rev. Dennis Kamakahi. The whole story behind that song is amazing, too.
So I had kind-of a funny day today involving truck mechanics. Our clutch decided to go (the VW was repaired just a few months ago for the same thing) so we are not too excited about doing another clutch repair. Got an estimate from the dealer ($2100, 10 days to do it), then from another mechanic we pass on our route to school (a lot cheaper, after-market parts, but sounded like two weeks to do it). So I stopped in at our friendly VW mechanic just to confirm that after-market parts are ok to use (I have to report in to Dave on all my research) and turns out Barry says he can do it, on Tuesday, with OEM parts, for the same price. Wow. So I decide that is the way to go, and call the first mechanic who is a super nice guy with good recommendations (Rocky’s Auto). I apologize profusely, say it’s OEM parts vs after-market and can be done sooner. He explains he could do that as well and calls back with an estimate that is exactly the same as Barry! Oy! Didn’t mean to have two mechanics bidding on my one truck! Poor guys 🙁 But the part was already on order to Barry and so I am going to go drop something nice off at Rocky’s tomorrow on our way to school. I thought about maybe having them arm-wrestle for it…Honestly I never thought Barry could fix anything other than VWs. Not even sure the Xterra wants to hang out with a bunch of VWs while getting fixed.
So then I get home, think it’s all resolved after multiple phone calls to each of them, and notice in the Nissan receipt that they list my truck as 2WD…huh? I thought sure that extra stick thing I try not to touch meant it was 4WD? I was very confused. So I called Barry back (keep in mind he’s a tall 6’5″ guy who reminds me a lot of Chevy Chase with dark-rimmed glasses and a funny sense of humor) and said I felt like the most stupid woman in the world…but (and I explained my consternation). He said to drive it down and he’d tell me. So I figured the 5 min to drive 1 mi down and back was worth it to make sure the right part was on its way here from the mainland. After confirming it IS a 4WD, Barry is leaning on my passenger door going “You are killin’ me today!” I’m SURE! I am so sorry! I told him it was so disturbing to see 2WD listed – like finding out your husband doesn’t have all his parts or something. Just odd – you think you have a 4WD, but what if all this time…??? So hopefully I’m done tormenting the local mechanics for a while…
After a very busy afternoon editing a manuscript on deadline, creating graphics and graphs, conference call to troubleshoot some box and whisker plots, etc. the boys say they are hankering for dinner out at Zia’s. “We haven’t been there in SUCH a long time and we just LOVE the spaghetti and meatballs.” Dave is working late again so we are on our own (poor guy is working 15 hr days writing a 30 page report which he got behind on while away in Japan). So I ordered a Caesar salad with the fish of the day – opakapaka. It is an odd fish – kinda gamey, strong tasting, very fleshy/muscley. The boys were going “Something smells FISHY!” all during dinner thanks to their love of Madagascar (the movie). It didn’t taste like a fish, didn’t smell like a fish. In fact, it smelled more like a goat. Dave informed me tonight that I was thinking of alpaca. I am really confused today, huh? Is that a fish, or a mammal on my salad? Someone please tell me!
Huh? Yes…I am that uninteresting. I brought some flashcards to the table so we could have some fun in case we ran out of good stuff to talk about. Then we of course ended up doing some silly games whenever Sam got one right. I told him I’d fall out of my chair and…(insert gross boy noise here). Here’s a movie of the fun we had any time Sam got a hard one: fun with fractions
Lest you think we are all nonsense, here’s a little picture of the monthly reading log, transformed into a calendar so it is actually useful to the whole family. The school asks us to record what we are reading daily, and also to make note of any family, fitness or healthy foods we’ve worked into the day. The idea is to raise awareness that it takes more than just the school or academics to help each child reach his or her potential. We all work better when our environment is in a healthy balance. Of course finding that balance is hard for some of us ;0 but hey at least we try!
The boys are going a little nuts now – wonder if the neighbors can hear us???!!!
So I have been cracking myself up lately with puns! I was on the phone with Dwayne at the Big Factory talking about how to replace my stroller wheel since I completely rusted out the bearings, nuts and skewer with beach jogs. It finally just wouldn’t work anymore. So we talked through options, including that I really need a quick-release so we can change tires on the fly if we get a blowout off-roading. When we were done arranging things, I said “Thanks for BEARing with me! Ha ha!” I liked this FIGuring one, too for the FIG tree. And using a Reese’s peanut butter cup was great for teaching fractions – I took a “tax” hit on Sam’s and told him that’s about how much the government takes from Daddy’s income. Then I took a small tax from Sam’s shortbread cookie (also round) and he guessed it was about 15%. Cookies are very good math aids I think.
We went to church this morning and saw some neat friends, then to the North Beach tide pools and hooked up with Giji and her gang despite some text-messaging mishaps. (By the way, while I was praying for peace and being a good mommy, Ben leaped sideways off the little kneeling cushion thing and landed in the middle of the aisle on his nose or something. His legs were flailing behind him like a donkey bucking. My prayer was answered because I got a case of the giggles along with the boys instead of getting really irritated at continued flagrant disregard for my church behavior admonishments. Ben is VERY quiet in church, but he is usually halfway or all the way in the aisle doing all manner of things he shouldn’t, oogling at people, etc. But he is QUIET, so he is not actually breaking too many rules. He brings a red cat along that we found in a geocache box – we call him Mr. Purrrfect because he is supposed to be Perfect in Church. Ben is responsible for educating Purrrfect. Crazy guy. I find it easier to take the two kids to church alone because I think it is a very unnerving time for my otherwise completely unflappable husband. Dave’s stomach gets in a knot wondering when Ben will erupt. That’s what I imagine he is feeling like anyway. I have not had a chance to ask him in a while.)
Anyway, after Taco Bell we headed home to gear up for the week ahead fixing tires and such. A family came through to look at the house as a comp for another one in the association (so I was quickly stashing my Scotch and bandaids and laundry!). As a matter of fact, one of the many reasons I will miss Hawaii is this. When a damsel is in distress, she can walk out her driveway and in a matter of seconds find a knight to help her. I found a strong man to get the rest of the new, tight tire on the stroller wheel when I couldn’t muscle it. It’s like camping here. People are all around. Usually that is a fine thing! Here’s hoping you all had a great weekend and have a good week ahead. Aloha!