- The BikeWorks 10k in Waikoloa in a few weeks. I had been debating whether I should run it pushing Ryan, or let Ryan run in the Keiki Dash instead (since they're run concurrrently). However, as much as I love to see my little boy run (and this is very rare indeed), I think I'm going to force myself to run with him instead since I tend to structure most of my life around him anyway. :-)
- The Big Island Road Runners Mana Road Run in August. It's supposed to be a very scenic, challenging 10-miler through the hills of Waimea. Someone told me it's almost more like a hike in some places, so I'm very excited to challenge myself. I think it's a pretty small race, so it will likely be me and the occasional chicken out in the pastureland, but it still sounds super appealing to be able to run on dirt roads and in cooler temps.
- I'm also still waffling on whether or not to run the Volcano Half...it's a week or so before our Iceland trip, so I'm leaning toward not doing it since we should probably be saving money. It just kills me to not be able to support/run in a local half since there are so few here on the island (Ka'u had their inaugural half a few weeks ago, but I didn't think I should push it and do two halfs so close together).
Monday, June 27, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
It just wouldn't be the same without Uncle Joey there...
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
Someone tried to put on his underwear all by himself the other day, so NO WAY was I gonna point out that they were backward. ;-)
Thursday, June 09, 2011
One of these mornings, he was walking along the shoreline and saw someone in the distance methodically picking up objects and throwing them into the ocean.
He walked closer, wondering why the man was throwing things into the ocean, and once he was within earshot he called out to the man and asked "What are you doing?
The man stopped what he was doing for a moment and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean", and continued with what he was doing.
May I ask why you are throwing starfish into the ocean?" the man asked.
"If I don't, they will die when the tide goes out".
The man looked up and down the beach and saw many more starfish along the beach and thought that it was a pointless endeavor. So he said to the young man, "What's the point? There are hundreds of starfish all along this beach, what possible difference can it make?"
The young man smiled to himself as he reached down and picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean before he replied, "Made a difference to that one".
Sunday, June 05, 2011
1) I started my cooking inspiration board and made the pumpkin pancakes yesterday. They were...eh. Thank goodness I tossed a ton of chopped walnuts in there or I would have been tempted to chuck 'em (since we're usually spoiled with sweet, delicious banana pancakes). Even though I like the idea of sneaking a few extra vitamins, minerals and antioxidants into an otherwise nutritionless meal, I'm not sure it's a keeper. Still glad I tried it though!
2) I started my craft binder! I don't think I'll ever be one to enjoy arts and crafts, but I still want my son to love them. So the plan for tomorrow is to make corrals for his plastic zoo animals with popsicle sticks. Yay.
3) After being on my bucket list for about a year...we finally went to Kiholo Bay!!! And it was soooo worth the wait.
The plan was to run 13-14 miles and have the boys pick me up before continuing on out there, but it was soooo scorching hot that I quit at mile 12. :-) We asked my dad to come along and serve as Tour Guide since I'd asked him to hike out there months ago & scout the area for us. Spoiled? Yes! But I didn't want to get lost in the hot, stark lava fields looking for the collapsed underground lava tube pool while shlepping around a beach bag and an exhausted three-year old. And I'm so glad he was able to scout it out, because we never would have noticed the unmarked entrance to the road (fyi...it's about a half mile past mileage marker 83). The roughly mile-long gravel road was surprisingly well paved, which allowed us to drive all the way down to the ocean in our 2WD sedan. Here's a picture of the sign that greeted us at the lava tube-
From where we parked our car to the lava tube pond was about a third of a mile north. The beach itself was very unique- a black sand beach covered with smooth black pebbles. And we couldn't believe how many people were (illegally) camping down there! It was like going to Pine Trees in that there was tent after tent pitched under the kiawe trees, but there was a slightly different vibe. It seemed a bit more peaceful, blissful, slow, serene and relaxing. We loved it. So we're definitely going camping there this summer once Rich is done with school!So check this out. Is it awesome or what?! As I'd mentioned earlier, it's a lava tube filled with natural spring water that has collapsed in a few places, allowing sunlight (& people) to come through! It's like heaven on earth, really.
The mostly fresh water pond is very, very cold compared to the ocean. And the rocks and ladder are very, very dangerously slippery, but once you acclimate yourself to the temperature, it's very refreshing! Look Ma! No waist! :-) It felt surreal to be walking around inside the tube...Ryan was chilled, chattering and shivering within seconds of hopping in, but like me, he couldn't wait to explore.
The length of the entire lava tube was maybe only about 25 yards across, but because we happened to come right in between waves of people, we got to enjoy it all to ourselves. My father had originally gone on a weekday and said it was totally empty, but I get the feeling that weekends bring a steady stream of campers, hikers and tourists there to cool off and explore.
Our tour guide/scout dutifully handing us the camera from up above!
Once we were done, our little Snack King had some taro bread and arare (rice crackers) on a warm stone above the tube so he could warm up his little body.
After the tube, we hit the black sand beach! Grandpa tried to teach Ryan how to skip stones, and later, how rocks can be toys (they made a village below).All in all, Kiholo Bay was a mixture of classic, old Hawaii (we saw a number of wild goats on the way down, primitive roads and animal corrals from the paniolo days) and new (Loretta Lynn's condemned house, the Paul Mitchell owner's Bali House, and Earl Bakken, the inventor of the pacemaker's house). I don't think Keanalele was really a known entity while I was growing up (or if it was, it certainly wasn't well known), and there definitely wasn't any public access road (you probably had to hike), so I'm glad to see it so easily accessible to the public. We didn't get to hike north to the old fishpond and snorkel, so we'll leave that on the to-do list when we return to camp in a few months. :-)
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Today, at about 3:15pm, my grandmother died. I feel a mixture of great relief (that she is no longer suffering in such horrific agony), and tremendous sadness for the life that she lived. I don't quite know how to describe the relationship I had with her...it wasn't terribly complicated, but it wasn't traditional either.
Like many children of immigrants in the Hawaii, my grandmother was born into extremely difficult circumstances. To make matters worse, she & her seven other siblings lost their mother at a very early age (childbirth complications), and her youngest brother was given up for adoption. Her widowed father never remarried, but managed to keep the rest of the family together. My grandmother never provided much detail about her childhood other than to say it was very, very tough.
She provided even fewer details about her adult life. But I do know that tragedy struck again when her husband, my grandfather, died just years into their marriage. And like her father, my grandmother never remarried. She raised my mother in a very strict, controlled environment, and even with us, her beloved grandchildren- was very secretive, proud, fiercely independent, a bit abrasive, aloof, complained constantly, notoriously impatient, sanctimonious and well...a bit difficult to get along with at times. As harsh as that all sounds, I know that my grandmother would have agreed with me, as she was never, ever one for polite, fluffy, silly bulls&$t.
And lord-y(!) did she have her favorites. I was not one of them. Even though my mother and I were absolutely, 100% the only two people she ever relied on...we were not her favorites. In my case, I think this was because I was too much like my father (who ha ha, was still about 50 slots further down the list than ever I ever was). I was too outspoken, too bossy, too unwilling to listen politely in silence to her like others would.
I overlooked her blatant favortism for years, but about 6 months ago, when she really started to deteriorate, I finally started to crack. The breaking point was when she said certain things to my mother about her beloved favorites (none of whom I ever blamed, by the way), that I finally confronted her. I exasperatedly pointed out to her that it was ME who was there taking on errands, ME helping her bathe, me cooking her meals, ME taking out her trash, ME washng her dishes & putting them away, ME getting her mail, ME taking her to her blood tests, ME who came to give her pedicures when she couldn't bend over any more, ME who she called whenever she needed help... Not her favorite family member #1, and not her favorites #2, 3 or 4 either. She got very agitated, sort of apologized, refused to talk about it any further, and that was that. I never did find the remorse, appreciation or recognition I was looking for, but I at least said what I needed to say...and I think she was more aware of canonizing others in my presence after that. Still, it was very difficult for me to forgive her/ignore the grudge that had formed in my heart. I tried to tell myself that her behavior was due to aging, but it wasn't the truth, as her favorites had been formed years before she ever went south.
So why did I love her and continue to help her? Because she was at heart, a good caring person. She was unfailingly honest. She was fiercely independent and hated asking anyone for a thing. She had the sharpest mind of any 86-year old I've ever known. She was so tough that after fifty, FIFTY years of smoking, she quit by herself, cold turkey. In her seventies. She was so resilient that she didn't catch so much as a single cold in over 30 years. You could not leave her home without toting a plastic bag filled with canned goods from her pantry that she would insist she wanted you to have. And she was very thoughtful and organized. I know for an absolute fact that despite having a daughter, a son in law, four grandchildren, two grandchildren-in-law, & three great grandchildren...that she never once missed a single birthday or Christmas gift. EVER.
I will never forget the Barbie salon shop she gave me for Christmas. I will never forget the dresses she sewed for both me and my dolls. She gave me my first manicure(s), patiently filing and painting my nails. She introduced me to butter brickle ice cream cones. She took me on the bus to Ala Moana and let me pull the string for our stop. When I hit middle school, she paid for my first pair of contacts so I wouldn't have to wear my dorky glasses anymore. And later, when I moved off island to go to school, Japan and California...without ever speaking about it, she and I wrote wrote each other weekly letters for the better part of ten years. Ten years. Though she was a retiree who was for the most part, a shut in...she never failed to find enough to write at least 3-4 pages to me each week. So despite her less than grandmotherly behavior at times, we had a relationship. A connection that bonded us. There was love.
Over the last 6-8 months, even though she had always zealously guarded her personal and financial affairs from all of us, she finally trusted me to start paying her bills, opening her bank statements, speaking to her doctors and insurers, etc. She trusted me. She may not have loved me best, but she trusted me. Whenever doctors would ask her one too many repetitive questions, she would turn to me and ask me to answer for her (for her to relinquish this, it was unthinkable). And so I know that she loved me, that she trusted me, and that she appreciated me.
But whatever her flaws were, because we all have them- I know that her greatest, proudest achievement in life, was the large, growing, vibrant & healthy family she helped create. She deeply loved us all, and in the end, struggled to live to continue to be with us all.
I guess at this point, all I have left to say, is that I hope and pray that the God she so strongly believed in was there to greet her as she passed from our world to the next. I had a hard time believing he was there the last few weeks and days as the morphine failed her and she struggled to swallow, speak and breathe. So I hope He was there, that her husband was there, that her beloved sister Miyo was there...and that the angels carried her home so that she can finally feel whole again, smile down on us, and love and forgive us as we have loved and forgiven her.
I love you, Grandma. You gave us life and the best that you had, and it was plenty enough.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
We're almost halfway through the year, and now that it's summer, I feel myself slowly but surely slipping into lazy mode. So I thought I'd take this time to set a few summer goals for myself. It's a great time to do so what with Keni & Riki in Japan, Ryan out of school, and Rich so deeply engrossed in school/work/clinicals.
1. Work a little. Just a little.
After Ryan was born, I found it very difficult to balance motherhood, and rapidly went from F/T to P/T to Consultant to Totally Unemployed. Though initally it was traumatic, I have since come to totally embrace the new lifestyle. However, it's time to dust off my brain, earn some cash for the family and freshen up those job skills...so if all goes well, I'll be working with two former clients a bit this summer.
2. Learn how to make peanut butter mochi. Stat!
It's one of my family's favorites, and something I've wanted to do for awhile. But I've been putting it off for years because it's a lot more labor intensive than my other go-to mochi favorites (butter, pumpkin, blueberry). I think Ryan will love helping me too!
3. Plan a 2nd camping trip to Pine Trees.
Now that we have the instant pop up tent that I just haaaad to have, there's no excuse to not plan a quick overnight trip for Ryan. Our recent trip to Waikoloa reminded us how important it is to totally unplug from life and just hang out together. Because Rich is still in school until mid-July, I think I'm gonna shoot for Admissions Day weekend in August (is it horrible to be nearly 37-years old and have had no idea what Admissions Day was until I Googled it?). Psst- it celebrates when the state of Hawaii was admitted to the union!
4. Work on improving my diet.
After years of maintaining the same weight, I put on about 10 pounds over the last year. Needless to say, I miss that feeling of empowerment, strength and confidence. So I need to get serious about this before I find myself in the same position I was in back in '05- chubby, sweaty and lookin' an awful lot like a dude. Longtime readers- you know what I'm talkin' 'bout!
5. Start a cooking inspiration board (& inspiration book for projects).
I can scarcely believe it myself, but I subscribe to both Parents and Family Fun magazines. I frequently find great recipe ideas (pumpkin pancakes, sweet potato chili, crockpot veggie lasagna) and creative, simple craft ideas (giant balloon 'lollipop' decor, felt picture frames), but fail to do them. So I've decided to cut out each recipe/craft that entices me, pin it up to my bulletin board, and attempt to do them within 30 days (or toss 'em). Good incentive!
6. Explore Kiholo Bay.
It's been on my bucket list for over a year (I think), and it's only 25 min. away. There's no excuse for not going. Well, there's a good excuse for this weekend (since Rich is doing 8-hours of volunteer clinical work at a clinic this Saturday), but maybe we can swing it on Sunday when we attempt to celebrate our increasingly belated 14th anniversary. I'm thinking I'll try to run part of the way out there and get my weekly long run out of the way as well. :-) The half is only four weeks away!