Sunday, January 31, 2010


This Weekend
packed nearly the entire kitchen,
work made fun
by my friend coming over to help,
the chatting
making up for the inky, newsprint hands.
Cleaned out and painted two bathrooms....
Our lives
in boxes
organized in the garage
the next

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Travel Tip Thursday: Oatland Island

With things being crazy these days in Pseudo Land, not much time to be out and about the island taking photos and creating travel posts...

Today's travel post is brought to you from the summer of 2007, when our family took a once in a lifetime trip to the East Coast to celebrate Daughter's graduation from high school.

We stayed three days in Savannah, Georgia. We wished we had booked our stay there longer as we fell in love with Savannah in that short time.

We drove from DC to Savannah in one day, a day which happened to also be Teen Boy's 15th birthday. He was not so thrilled with being couped in a car for nine hours on his birthday. Apparently his mother's road trip genes didn't get passed on. It did not help that I-95 was pretty much the same view the whole way down.

We arrived in Savannah a bit late and quite hungry. The front desk at the motel recommended Sticky Fingers Rib House which was not too far away and would be open at nearly 9 PM. Not only was the BBQ delicious for hungry road travelers and a Teen Boy's B-Day dinner, our waitress was the sweetest, friendliest young woman. A biology student at the local university, she told us all about a preserve out at Oatland Island.

Teen Boy decided that the next day he wanted to go there for his B-Day outing. Hubs and Daughter opted for a tour of Old Savannah, and Teen Boy and I headed out to Oatland Island.

So glad we did.

I freaked out when I looked over the three foot wall to see these alligator eggs hatching and expected a fierce mama alligator to come tearing up and ruin the birthday outing. But this was one display that was actually fake. Took us a minute of staring to realize these baby alligators didn't flinch.

This bird is real.

The marsh walks were very cool.


There were dozens of baby turtles right below us at this pond.
We stayed for awhile watching for alligators on the perimeter, but saw none.
To Boy's disappointment and my relief.

The wolves were my favorite.

This possum was saved as a baby when its mother was hit by a car.
Teen Boy loved playing with it.

Today's travel tip? If you are ever in Savannah, head on out to Oatland Island. And when you get a friendly waitress? Ask her what is cool to do and take her advise.

Want to link up your own travel post? Grab the badge and link on up!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Flying through the trees on a vine

Pendulums swing like they always seem to do
Admin switching up just to confuse you
Consultants AND the power of the few
Teachers shake their heads and shed a tear or two


If you don’t get the little diddy you probably don’t work in education.
If a little tune did not pop up in your head you are not of my age.


Border collie has taken to getting on the bed at night.

At first it was on the foot of the bed.

Then he stretched out along my side.

This morning I woke up to him trying to get on my pillow and scootching my head off with bunny pushes from his hind legs. When I went to push him off the bed, he rolled onto his back coz he thought I was going to give him a tummy rub.


In Hawaii we don’t have fog. We have VOG. It looks like a haze, but it comes from the volcano on the Big Island and it plays havoc with my migraines and sinuses. We’ve had vog on and off now for like a month.


We are moving in two weeks. We have lived in this house for 17 years. So if I am not too present on the Internet it’s because I’m purging through a generation of living as we downsize.

For more Random, head on over to The UnMom's.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Happy is as happy does...

Creepy Over at Tiptoeing through the Tulips tagged me with a Happy 101 award.

List ten things that makes you happy and do one of them today. Then link to the person who tagged you and pass this little bit of love on to 10 others.

I haven’t been much for playing along with bloggy games lately, but I have been trying to appreciate my happy moments.

I’ll play.

And since the Spin Cycle is "happiness" this week, I'm doubling down.

1. Having just the right song come up on my I-shuffle when I’m out walking makes me happy. Today it was this one.

Acoustic guitar makes me happy. Peaceful, happy endings make me happy.


2. Making myself a snack and nesting in front of the tellie for some gratuitous show watching makes me happy. On that note I just netflixed the third season of The Tudors. If Netflix would release the next season of True Blood I’d be even beyond happy.


3. Going out with my girlfriends for drinks and pupus, endless chatting, and lots of laughs makes me happy. I got to do that last night. One of my favorite parts was when we compared how often we all have sex with our husbands these days. What? It’s not like I wrote it here. Two of those women were my college roommates 27 years ago. We like to keep track of each other.


4. Border Collie makes me happy.

5. Simultaneous foot massages on the couch with my 20 year old daughter (while watching gratuitous chick tellie) makes me happy.


6. Son’s smile makes me happy.

His teen boy humor make me happy (well, most of the time).

7. Talking to my sister on the weekends makes me happy.


8. Making up new words, new ways to use words (especially swear words) makes me happy. Creepy is a champ at this.


9. Playing in the ocean makes me happy.


10. Watching Friends on DVD always makes me happy.

Ten blogs that make me happy (and were not tagged by Creepy).

Captain Dumbass


Fragrant Liar

Jan’s Sushi Bar


Mo Stoneskin

Mrs. Bear

Sprite’s Keeper

...for more spins on happy, head on over to Sprite's Keeper...

Vodka Mom

Wizard of Otin

Friday, January 22, 2010

No Work Till Monday....

For all of you looking forward to your weekend...

a little aloha from my part of the world for you.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Traveling Kuliou'ou Ridge Trail

Today's Travel post is a hike I posted about once before. But it is one of my favorite hikes and worthy of reposting as a Travel Tip. Kuliou'ou Ridge Trail. For those of you who like to hike and enjoy beautiful views, this trail is something you should work into a vacation on Oahu. For those of you who hate hiking, especially an hour and a half of uphill hiking, come along on the virtual photo tour...

And, as always, click on the photos if you would like to see a larger version.

The begining of the hike looking out over Kuliou'ou Valley.

A favorite spot of mine. The tree that looks like it could come to life.

Looking through the foliage at Koko Head Crater and Hawaii Kai.

Clearer view of Koko Head and Hawaii Kai.

Some kind of berries. Probably best not to eat them, no idea if they are poisonous.

The end of the trail gets pretty steep.

Reward at the end. Looking out over Waimanalo, another side of the island...

Make sure you bring water. We also packed sandwiches and fruit and had lunch at the top of the trail.

Have a destination to take us to this week? A travel tip? Staycation tip? Link on up with Mr. Linky.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Random Golden

I usually try and watch the Golden Globes. It’s one of my favorite awards shows. One, because it combines television and feature films and, at the same time, separates drama from musical/comedy.

But two, oh lovely two. The foreign press makes it a banquet and serves the attendees plenty of alcohol and nearly always something interesting happens as a result.

This year, nothing all that out there happened as a result of an intoxicated Hollywood entity; however, the host, Ricky Gervais, was entertaining. I enjoyed his making fun of the celebrities. It seems not a whole lot in this world keeps them real, glad he didn’t spend the evening kissing their arses.

Whoever the director was – he sucked. When a winner was announced, every single one of the non-winners for that category was given a couple seconds on camera to gauge their reaction. How cheesy.

My least favorite moment was when Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner won for best screenplay. Ricky Gervais had JUST MADE some hilarious comments in a satirical fashion on how writers are overrated and we all know it is not the words that count but the way the actors say them. Then, while accepting the award, Reitman totally kissed ass to all the actors in the movie. Strap on some balls boy.


We all know and love Vodka Mom. Be a peach and go here to vote for her in a contest. You can vote once a day.


You know those SPAM comments? For a long time I never got any after I took off the word veri. Now I get them on older posts. Japanese comments that I can’t make out, or badly worded promotional crap. I made it so comments cannot be posted on posts older than 14 days, so it’s easier to find and delete them.


While I’m on comments, for the record, I like the pop up window best. It makes it easier to go back to the blog should I be behind and want to read back posts. Also, if I want to quote a particular phrase from the post in my comment I can still see it. Not that I’m expecting anyone to change their comment format just for me. I’m just saying.


I was doing my morning inspirational reading and came across these quotes from the Bible.

He who gives to the poor will not lack,
but he who hides his eyes will have many curses. Proverbs 28:27

Defend the poor and the fatherless;
do justice to the afflicted and the needy. Psalm 82:3

And it made me think of the two giant douche canoes, Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson. How they can make the comments they have made about the situation in Haiti and still have people listening to them is beyond my comprehension. Golden Rule boys.

For more random fun, head on over to Keely at the Unmom's.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Play nice...

Opinions. Everyone’s got them. This week Jen over at Sprite’s Keeper has us spinning them.

Opinions are a substantial staple of an English classroom and literature discussion. I ask my students three things.

One. Support your opinions. Be prepared to defend your opinions.

Two. Be respectful of others’ opinions. We call it discussion for a reason. Debate is something else, and even then it is not OK to say “that’s so gay.”

Three. Have an open mind. “Have an open mind” is actually in the ground rules for class discussion, listed in each sub section for a total of four times. I work on widening their perspectives all year long and I feel very fortunate to be able to teach To Kill a Mockingbird in 10th grade, as Atticus is the definitive example of being able to “step into someone else’s skin.” Those moments when I see that little light bulb go on over a teen’s head and, even if they don’t agree with someone else’s opinion, at least they understand where it comes from - those moments make the rest (like crap pay turned crappier with 17 furlough days this year) mostly worth it.

In my personal life, opinions have often been a source of angst. I come from a very opinionated family who are mostly better talkers than listeners. Growing up, everyone was intense about getting their opinions on the table and chopping off the heads (talking louder, interrupting, and making fun) of those who disagreed. A sensitive child, a middle child, I learned to keep my opinions to myself and tuned out the world around me.

Playing ostrich rarely works out. The issues one is meant to deal with seem to come back around and bite you in the ass. And so it is that in my later adult life I have come face to face with my problem of dealing with other people’s unasked for and unsavory opinions.

In my circle of friends most of us did not marry nor have children until our later twenties or our thirties. We spent most of our twenties whopping it up and bonding. We had a lot of fun.

Then, as we all became mothers, I noticed a couple of my friends were extremely opinionated in how other people raised their children. They had no problem telling me what was wrong with my kids and how they thought hubs and I should be dealing with it.

It leaves me speechless when one of my friends offers unasked for advice and gives not so nice opinions about my children or how we raise them.

I find myself avoiding them.

But. Lately. I have a fantasy. Of flinging the poo right back in the other direction like a monkey in a zoo.

If I ever get the nerve, I’ll let you know how it all works out.

For more spins on opinions, head on over to Sprite's Keeper.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Let the donations do the traveling...

A somber travel visit today. To Haiti.

The tip? Let's all give what we can.

American Red Cross

Click on Movie (also featured in the sidebar) or The Claw for more ideas to donate and help.

Link your post on up to send us Virtual Traveling.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I Remember when I was Young, Little Pseudo had so much Fun...

The first ten seconds of the video feels like being inside a martini shaker. I apologize. Hubs took the camera away from me because I was jumping around.

After an hour the video did not load. so here is one from youtube..

Yes, we had a lot of fun. Elton John put on a great show and my teen self came out for a visit. She was impressed with Elton's black coat with tails but wondered what happened to the star glasses and green leprechaun like outfit.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lost. Also Known as Mokule'ia.

Hubs and I are both beach people and I sometimes wonder what it is like to live here and not like the beach. Most of my friends who don’t like the beach are people who grew up here, so I guess it makes sense that those of us who would migrate 3,000 miles across the ocean and end up staying here might do so because of the beaches.

The island isn’t all that big; still, strangely, there are many isolated beaches that are beautiful AND deserted.

Today’s Travel Tip Post is one such area. Mokule’ia. Here’s a map. Remember, you can click on any of the images to see them enlarged.

See how Mokule’ia is all by itself? Nearly everyone heading to the North Shore goes east towards Hale’iwa and the world famous surfing beaches. But when you make the fork in the road, go left (west) towards Wailaua, past Wailaua, and out towards where the road ends at Ka’ena Point.

You will pass Camp Mokule’ia, a private camp owned and run by the Episcopal Church. If you stop along the road just past this camp, there are beautiful stretches of isolated beaches.

Drive on down the road, and across from Dillingham Airfield is a public park with parking, picnic tables, and showers. If you go up just for the day this is a good place to hang out.

If you want your own little tip of heaven, walk down the beach a ways to where we go. See that point at the end of the beach? That's our spot.

First you will pass a clump of beach houses smack dap on the beach. Owen’s Retreat. We stayed in the white house summer of ’98 and summer of ’99. My dad rented out the house; both my sisters and their families came out. We played board games and cards on the deck, whipped up delicious meals, let the cousins run around like crazy. Snorkeling. Reef walks. Barbeques.

Precious times. Cocktail hour sunset was a favorite.

The homes are owned by a local family and my hubs is friends with the sons since school days. Really nice family.

Rent the white house for a large group and the little orange studio right on the beach for a couple.

If you walk past the house and head up to the next point, you will come to a great “blue hole.” See, Mokule’ia is situated on a reef.

Which is great for snorkeling and for avoiding big waves when it is breaking like monsters everywhere else. That surfer is getting ready for a long paddle out. The surf point is way out there, but the waves that day were pristine.

So, to go swimming, you need to head to a break in the reef, which hubs has always called blue holes.

When you set up your chairs on the beach, it isn’t just the gorgeous view of the ocean you will enjoy. The small, private airport, Dillingham Airfield, is home to Skydive Hawaii and Soar Hawaii. Every half hour or so a small airplane dumps a clump of skydivers and while you are cruising on the beach you can watch them twist, turn, and twirl their way down. Soar Hawaii gives glider rides. First you see the small planes tow up the gliders and then you get to watch the gliders zig and zag back and forth across the ocean like a hypnotizing waltz in the sky.
Occasionally a glider will perform 360 rolls and I always am jealous. I love that stuff. Hubs, who fears heights, shakes his head. In ’98, a few of us went to the airfield and took glider rides. It was one of my favorite things I’ve done ever.

Further west of our little point in paradise, are a few random beach houses. Along these stretches were where the beginnings of Lost and the Lost crashed plane were staged.

You will also pass Camp Erdman if you go far enough. This is where the public school kids on the island get to go during 6th grade. It was the highlight of my kids’ elementary school education. My 47 year old hubs can still detail each day he spent at this camp 35 years ago.

Will post about Elton last night another time.

Have a Travel post to link up? Heeeeeerrrrrreee’s Mr. Linky.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Luckily it's Random Tuesday Cause That's All I've Got

Hubs and I are going to see Elton John tomorrow night. The tickets were very expensive; will report next week whether it was worth it. Wondering if while I am there my teen self of 1974 comes forward. I would love to see her again.

The students come back to school today. I’m looking forward to their smiling faces and unpredictable antics. Yesterday was a “teacher work day,” which means standing in line for the copy machine. I let a new teacher (thinking she might be a student teacher) cut in front of me as she said she only had one copy to make. I, on the other hand, was making 150packets. The newbie proceeded to copy her signature and several ID’s for banking purposes. And she did not bother to take the time to notice the arrows for alignment – so it took her three tries. It was mildly entertaining and yet irritating as well. It also made me wonder whether or not the College of Education ever actually flunks anyone.

My son surfed North Shore a lot this break. He broke a 6’ board in half on a wave with a 15’ face. I pray for his safety on a daily basis but could probably use some back up people.

No. We did not move yet. Apparently advertising your house to rent during December is not the best time. So it looks like the move will occur when I am NOT on break. That ought to be fun.

During the last ten years I never gave much thought to the fact that the decade had no name. No 90’s, 80’s, 70’s, etc. The post under the sunset in the sidebar has a witty discussion on the nameless decade. What did you all call it? I’ve got nothing. My daughter says it’s “the new millennium.”

For more Random, head on over to Keely at the Unmom’s.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Eve on Oahu

New Year’s is special here in Hawaii. If any of you ever want to get out of the cold one winter break, come on over here and spend New Year’s Eve in Waikiki. If you are also after tropical paradise in a more isolated and Bali Hai type setting, just book Waikiki for New Year’s and head to the outer islands or the North Shore of Oahu for the rest of your trip.

I had no idea what went on the first New Year’s Eve I lived here. I was working my way through college as a cocktail waitress at Bobby McGee’s and was in a nightclub the whole night. However, the following year I was off and went to a party with a guy I was dating. New Year’s Eve parties over here are family affairs. They are giant potlucks. Board games are played at card tables. Children and teens and adults who like things that go boom are thrilled with the fun of setting off skyrockets, fountains, spinners and sparklers. Women from several generations tend to hang at the tables, organizing games and chatting for hours. Dads, Uncles, and grandfathers watch over the fireworks tables set up in garages and make sure that the children and teens don’t bring matches or lit punks into the area. Children set off fountains of fun for hours.

The evening is centered around fireworks. Firecrackers. Sparklers.

Have been told it is the Asian influence in Hawaii. The noise and flash has something to do with clearing out the past and making way for good fortune in the year to come.

The island looks like Main Street at Disneyland from about an hour before dark (think anxious teens who sneak one or two off when no one is looking) until well past midnight.

Fireworks are legal and sold EVERYWHERE. From fireworks stands set up in parking lots to each and every grocery store on the island. Firecrackers of a certain disciple need a permit, which is fairly easy to obtain.

“Illegals.” Those professional only fireworks shot from a cannon like cylinder up into the sky. Yeah, black-marketed like crazy and it seems someone on every block is privy to how to get them.

I leave my house with my potluck dish around sunset, and as I drive across the island to my friend’s party, my kids (now 20 and 17) shout with excitement as blasts of color bursts go off left and right and ahead and behind as we drive.

My friend lives on a hill overlooking Waikiki, Kaimuki, and Kahala. She has a deck set up with tables and chairs and a buffet of yummies to last the night.

Her carport has a ping pong table for the teens. Along the side everyone leaves a contribution to the fireworks fun.

The kids this year range in age from 12 to 19. There are ten of them. The house next door has another six teens and four kids around ten. Eventually the two groups hook up and share ideas for fireworks adventures.

The home I went to for years (their kids are 23 and 20 and off the island so they stopped hosting the party), well at this house, the dad challenged his son and his sons’ friends with building a house that would not blow up. The boys and the dad would spend the day constructing buildings that looked like doll houses. They would put these houses on a table set in the street and drop firecrackers into them all evening until the houses disintegrated one by one. The last house standing would win. The dad is an engineer and he always won.

Every house hosting a party saves their best fireworks and a “25,000” string of firecrackers until the big show stopper at midnight. The homes with the illegal aerials and skyrockets save enough for a grand finale. This year, it was like a competition to see who could put on the best show.

While the adults stood in the yard admiring the skyrocket extravaganza, the teens had put together a roller coaster of firecrackers down the street, complete with fountains and spinners.

A good time was had by all.

If you book a vacation during New Year’s, get a room with a balcony facing mauka (mountain). Town is where the real show is this night.

Driving home, back across the island, it is like patches of fog. The smoke from the firecrackers is that thick. This is not a vacation for someone with asthma.

Oh. And the crowd young enough to go a night without sleep? They watch the sunrise on the first day of the new year from the east side of the island. Daughter and friends went to Lanikai.

This post is linked with Sundays in My City. Head on over for more unique photo tours.