Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tuesday 5: I Still Have a Blog? Edition

1. Well, look, I still have a blog! I promised myself I’d get a post up today, so here I am, at 930 at night, Hawaii time, getting started. Honestly, it’s been a hard few months, and in particular a hard last month. The kids were short tempered and moody, and, frankly, so was I, which exacerbated the kids' mood, which exacerbated my mood, ad nauseum. My parents arrived for a visit a few days after school was out, and it was a game changer. I didn’t realize how much being everything for everyone 24/7 can wear you down. I can count on both hands the number of times I’ve been away from all of my kids at once in the last four months. Just running out alone for a loaf of bread when my parents were here felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. 

2. Amelia Earhart and Gertrude Bell flew back to the mainland with my parents. They’ll return to Hawaii with The International Man of Intrigue’s parents in a few weeks. They miss me and I definitely miss them, but mixing up our rut is proving beneficial for everyone. Also, do you have any idea what it’s like feeding and doing laundry for three instead of six?! It’s pretty amazing.

3. A couple of weeks ago, a smoke detector started beeping the low battery beep at 9 pm. I told my friend Dani, “Like any self-respecting smoke detector, it waited until night to start.” She responded, “No, that smoke detector respects YOU. A self-respecting smoke detector waits until 1 am.” 

4. I was filling up a care package for The International Man of Intrigue. He’d requested things like toothpaste and deodorant and his sunscreen/aftershave. As I purchased things I realized that if I was buying in multiples, it was even numbers. Four tubes of toothpaste. Two sticks of deodorant. Three sunscreen lotions. Ok, it was going to be four, but three was all that was left. I definitely prefer even numbers, but do any of the rest of you Fellow Adventurers buy things in evens?

5. Reading/Watching: The reading list is long and not budging. I’ve been reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman for months. I like it, I just don’t have time to carve out for reading. I’m also perusing The Taco Cleanse cookbook. It’s a vegan taco cookbook. I’m going to try my hand at making corn tortillas this week, and making tofu taco shake and bake filling to go inside. I’m watching Bloodline, because I have a friend who worked on this last season. It’s not something I’d have picked up on my own, but I do like it. It’s also fun to rehash the episodes with her and for her to hear my thoughts as an outside viewer. I love hearing her inside take on things, too. What are you reading and watching, Fellow Adventurers?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tuesday 5: Of Authors and Imagination

1. What does it say about the state of my life, when sprinting out of a book club in front of a semi-famous author really isn’t a low point? 

Yesterday, I walked two doors down to the General Lee’s to attend book club. We read “Lottery” by Patrica Wood. The author just happens to reside on Oahu and has an acquaintance in our book club. Being the only parent on this side of the globe, I was also juggling Laura Ingalls Wilder who was fighting some upper respiratory stuff, and the other three Little Explorers, who had tae kwon do. I enlisted one of the Grace Smith to babysit. She watched Laura Ingalls Wilder until I got back with the big Little Explorers, then took care of them all while I rushed down to book club, only a few minutes late. I was just starting to enjoy Mrs. Wood’s insight and an antipasto plate when I got a text, “Laura Ingalls Wilder is throwing up.” I sprinted out the door and down the block like Usain Bolt. (Ok, actually, I walked quickly. I don’t run. Ever.) Turns out Laura Ingalls Wilder was coughing so hard, she threw up. I got everything cleaned up and was about to send the sitter home, but she insisted on staying, since Laura Ingalls Wilder was highly unlikely to throw up again. I slunk back down to book club and into the back of the room. 

2. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s illness actually manifested a couple of weeks ago in the form of an eye and ear infection. I had a brilliant idea to skip the big pink hospital on the hill and drive further inland to an army post with an acute care clinic, thinking I’d save myself time, or at least be on my own schedule. When I mentioned my plan to Laura Ingalls Wilder, she lost her mind. “I SAID I’M NOT SICK. I DON’T WANT TO GO TO A CUTE FAIR. I FEEL FINE.” Fellow Adventurers, she did not feel fine. And the “a cute fair” would have been a great idea, had I not arrived to find out that every Army medical center in the entire Pacific was offline. I’ll spare you the details, but we did get everything worked out.

3. You probably all know, Fellow Adventurers, that Hawaii’s nickname is “The Rainbow State.” There are rainbows in the sky pretty much daily. Two weeks ago, I finally got to see the end of the rainbow. Not just see it, drive right through it. It was a little disappointing, but I definitely could tell the light changed as I drove through it. There was no pot of gold, though, which was disappointing, to say the least.

4. The Little Explorers’ latest fight over something imaginary was when they were playing restaurant not too long ago. Amelia Earhart made pretend money out of paper and Gertrude Bell owned the restaurant. Arthur Dent wandered in and placed his order at the pretend counter and dutifully counted out his paper currency. 

When his order arrived  on a pretend plate at his table, he looked at it with some disappointment and asked politely, “Excuse me, can I get some cheese on this?” 

Gertrude Bell stated firmly, “Cheese costs extra.” 

“Ok, I’ll pay extra.” he agreed. “Here’s $50.”

“NO. That is NOT how it works, Arthur Dent. You didn’t order cheese in the first place, so NO CHEESE FOR YOU.” 

Cue fisticuffs. 

End scene.

5. Watching? Reading? I have quite a pile of books growing on my nightstand. I think the next three to get my attention are, in this order, “A Study in Charlotte” by Brittany Cavallaro, “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman, and “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Tuesday 5: Squad Goals and Chickens

1. On the way home from school today, Arthur Dent and Laura Ingalls Wilder argued over whether they were watching Star Wars or Doc McStuffins on the DVD in the car. The yelling got so heated that Gertrude Bell chimed in, incensed, that Laura Ingalls Wilder had been watching Doc McStuffins first and Arthur Dent shouldn’t try to change it. PLOT TWIST! We don’t even have a DVD player in the car. They were arguing over an imaginary entertainment system.

2. I feel like I’ve been remiss in not introducing you Fellow Adventurers to what kids these day call my “ride or die.” Fortune smiled on The Intrigues when we ended up with neighbors like these. Our “squad” saved us from the brink of insanity during this first month of deployment and, I imagine, every month we have left. So, without further ado, I present the General Lees and the Dean Smiths. Mrs. General Lee hails from Georgia, and her husband Mr. General Lee is a Hawaiian native who grew up as an Army brat. They have twin girls the same age as Amelia Earhart, an older daughter, and a son, Mac Lee, who is Arthur Dent’s brother from another mother. The two of them are inseparable. The General Lees also have another major bonding point with The Intrigues. Mac Lee and Laura Ingalls Wilder are both our kids through interracial adoption. The Dean Smiths, who obviously went to UNC, complete the trifecta of neighbor awesomeness, have four girls and one boy. Their youngest girl, Lauren Smith, is the Larry to Mac Lee and Arthur Dent’s Curly and Moe. Mr. Dean Smith is also deployed at the moment, so Mrs. Dean Smith is my deployment wife. Now that they’ve been introduced, expect to see a lot more of them in the Tuesday 5.

3. Today, when we arrived home and calmed down from the imaginary DVD fight, Arthur Dent asked if he could play Star Wars Battlefront on the X-Box. I agreed to it but told him to go get Mac Lee to play with him. A few minutes later, I heard Arthur Dent make a beeping noise and tell Mac Lee to come over to play with him. Apparently, he was using telepathy to send Mac Lee the X-Box message. I shooed him out the door to deliver the message in person.

4. Every morning, I drive the Little Explorers, Mac Lee, and Grace Smith (Smith kid number 2 of 5) to school. On the way to Grace Smith’s school, we pass by a swath of land that’s narrow and goes back at least the full block. It would be like an alley if it was paved, but it’s grass and trees. And chickens. Wild chickens reside there. The kids have named it “Chicken Hangout” and Mac Lee made up a catchy theme song to sing when we pass by. Last week, there were two baby chicks among the chickens at Chicken Hangout. We’re watching them grow and hoping they make it to full sized chickens.

5. Starting a sentence, “I remember during the war,” makes me feel old. Sometimes I do it anyway.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Tuesday Random 5: Of Deployments and Disaster

Hoo boy, Fellow Adventurers. It has been a week. A long week. The first week of The International Man of Intrigue’s deployment has been a bit of a shitshow. Who’d expect anything else? Let’s get to it, shall we?

1. Laura Ingalls Wilder got double casts on her legs the day before The International Man of Intrigue flew out. She’s a habitual toe-walker (with no root cause), and her Achilles tendon was getting worryingly tight. She’s done well with the double casts, and got her second set today. We were granted a temporary handicap tag for parking, which has been a help, on the rare times there is actually a handicap spot open. In Hawaii, that’s few and far between. The process to get the tag involved me driving, alone, to the DMV. I realized that I’m a mom with entirely too little time to myself when I rejoiced and came back raving about how nice it was to go to the DMV alone.

2. Less than 48 hours after The International Man of Intrigue left, Arthur Dent and Amelia Earhart rode their scooters down the hill to get the mail. A few minutes later, my phone rang with a number I didn’t recognize. I answered, and it was a mother on the line. Arthur Dent crashed and burned and I needed to come down. I jogged down the hill to find him covered in blood. His hands were red. His shirt had rivulets of blood running down the Star Wars saying on the front. It was decidedly not good. After getting a debrief from the mom nursing him, I realized I’d need someone to drive us the block home. Neighbors were called, cuts were cleaned. In the end, he had an enormous goose egg on his forehead, despite having a helmet on, and a small cut on his chin. It was deep enough to produce lots of blood. He also had a major abrasion on his side, and smaller ones on his shoulder and knees. In short, the kid was a hot mess. I glued his chin with skin glue, held it together with a butterfly bandage, and stuck a regular band aid on top of all that to keep it clean. He slept with me so I could watch for symptoms of concussion. Five days later, he’s in pretty good shape, but it remains to be seen if he’ll be sporting a Harrison Ford scar on his chin. If so, I may have to change his name from Arthur Dent to Indiana Jones.

3. This last week, I’ve worked hard to strike a balance between “I need to stay informed,” and “I can’t take any more of this” regarding current events. I think I’m doing pretty well, but some days I really do have to tune out. 

4. Speaking of tuning out, I’m having a hard time finding something to watch in the evening. My awesome friend works on the show “Bloodline,” so I’ve been working through that, but I can only do an episode a night, since it’s kind of dark. Last night I watched an episode of “Santa Clarita Diet” on Netflix, and actually laughed out loud. It’s a bit gory, but definitely worth watching.

5. Through Arthur Dent’s crash, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s casts, and all the other nonsense in just the first week of deployment, I have been ridiculously blessed. That’s not a word I throw around lightly. I’m not of the “hashtag blessed” crowd. All this week, I’ve had so much support from near and far. My “squad” here delivered a big basket of goodies on the first morning, and rallied to help me with Arthur Dent’s accident. Cards and treats and gift cards have crowded my mailbox and little messages of encouragement have popped up in my inbox, text messages, and on Facebook. Shout out to you all. It means more than you know.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tuesday Random 5: What Happens in January Stays In January Edition

1. Know what Hawaiians love? Backing into parking spaces, or combat parking, as we’ve always called it. I don’t back into parking spaces because I have crappy spatial relations. I actually backed into the edge of our garage a few months ago, and there wasn’t anything else around. So, the thought of backing into a parking space is a little terrifying to me. I actually feel like an oddity because I pull in instead of combat park. The one time I really don’t get it, though, is at the grocery store or Costco. It’s so much harder to unload the cart into the trunk space if there’s another car parked right in front of your back end. Why struggle with dragging the groceries the length of your car when you could just park nose first and load them right into the back?

2. My favorite part of January is playing the “How long will it take to find all the Christmas decorations we missed” game. I think we’re finished. Our main miss was the “Mele Kalikimaka” sign that hung on our front door for just a little longer than was reasonable. There are always a few little ornaments the kids make at school that trickle in, too. I’m going to take a leap of faith tomorrow and pull down a Christmas box to put the stragglers away.

3. Another big part of January for the Intrigue family is birthday season. Three of the Little Explorers have birthdays within 20 days of each other. We’re finally finished with birthday season this week. I’ll be glad to have the chaos pass for another year, and to finally not have to think so hard when someone asks me how old my kids are. “Uh, 10, 7, 5, and 3? No, wait, 10, 8, 5, and 3?” Now, for the next 10 months, I can say, “10, 8, 6, and 3,” and be sure.

4. Last week, I texted the International Man of Intrigue and said, “Well, I think I accidentally started my own business.” I put out word on Facebook to see if there would be any interest in commissioning me to do cross stitch pieces.  I immediately had five requests. I’m going to go for it. I find cross stitch relaxing and love to make pieces for other people anyway, so this will be fun. Even though I’m charging for supplies and labor, it’s definitely not a money making venture- with time factored in, I won’t be making much, if anything, but I’ll get to make something for someone who enjoys it. Keep a lookout on my FB page. I also plan on doing a few “ready to purchase” pieces, both tiny and bigger. 

5. Ok, I have to get off the computer. The International Man of Intrigue is waiting for me- we’ve started watching The OA on Netflix. It’s creepy and he’s ready for another episode! Tomorrow, we’re heading to the swap meet at the Aloha Bowl Stadium. It’s one of those things we definitely need to check off of our “Living in Hawaii” bucket list.

Dorothy Gale OUT. PEACE!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Tuesday Random 5: It's 2017! Edition

1. As Sherlock would say, “The Game is On.” I’m trying to relax as much as possible before The International Man of Intrigue’s deployment day comes, but as the January calendar fills up, the thought of 2017 stretching out in front of me makes my heart race.

2. It’s kind of funny being back on an active military post. Over Christmas, I was out and about running errands at the Naval Exchange. It’s kind of like a big department store. During the short time I was there, I saw a huge contingent from some Asian country, wearing their dress uniforms. I was rushing through the clothing section to make it to the Class Six (liquor store) when I saw an airman browsing through the shoe section in full battle rattle with her M-16. 

3. One of the big headlines on Hawaii News Now today is the shocking cold front that’s coming through. The actual headline reads, “Forecast: Bundle up! Cold front on its way in.” The seven day forecast calls for temperatures between 81 and 78. The struggle is real.

4. Do any of you Fellow Adventurers have any New Years Resolutions? I’m doing my usual—not resolutions per se, but a chance to recommit to things I always try to do, like journaling and exercising more regularly. Definitely not something I feel guilty about if I don’t succeed, more of a push to get back into things.

5. What have you been reading, Fellow Adventurers? I just finished reading “The Girl With All the Gifts” for a book club I’m in. I was handed the book a week before Christmas after British Neighbor finished it on the plane ride to visit us. Since then, three people have read it. It really is that good. I’m also reading “Britt-Marie Was Here,” the so far slightly disappointing sequel to “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry,” which was one of my favorite books of 2016. I imagine the sequel is disappointing because I liked the first book so much. I don’t hate it, though. It just isn’t quite as enrapturing as the first. I’m also reading “Truly Madly Guilty” for another book club. Skip that one, Fellow Adventurers. It’s really awful. I’m to the point of skimming. I would honestly stop reading it, but since it’s for book club, 1. I had to pay for it instead of getting it from the library so I’d have it on time, and 2. I feel like I should finish so I can discuss how much it’s just rubbish.