Wednesday, January 28, 2009


- Colin will drink 1.2 liters of fluid a day... if you force him to.
- Kate will drink 38 liters of fluid ... unless you force her not to.

- Colin is in charge of all games and the rules (which become very fluid as he makes them up) and will tell you in great detail what you should be doing in the game at any instant in time.
- Kate is distracted by a loose toy, a shoe, or a butterfly going past, but will happily obeys Colin.

- Kate loves to be rocked to sleep by singing "Mockingbird" or "Big Blue Frog", laying down in her crib, and goes to sleep with a single peep.
- Colin is 'never' tired, and 'never' wants to go to sleep. He will read or play and then fall asleep sideways on the bed with his feet on the pillow and his head touching the end of the bed.

- Kate will eat anything, and will ask for seconds and thirds and eat them also.

- Colin does eat breakfast and lunch... if it's exactly what he wants. But unless dinner is Kraft Macaroni and Cheese or chicken strips from Papa Johns, forget it.

And the final and most important fact...

Grandma Hope is WAY too old to ever do a week with a two year-old and a five year-old alone again. Josiah, sorry - you're going to have to get your in-laws to do anything like this.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Channel 8 News, Your Leader in Hawaii for Rumors, Suspicions and Wild Innuendos

A wormhole, a supposedly hypothetical passage in space-time connecting widely separated parts of the universe, has surprisingly opened in our own Ewa Beach, Oahu, this past week. Incredible dimensions and occurrences of time travel are being created and experienced hourly.

Here is an exclusive interview with the local scientist, a Dr. H.E.W. Fong, credited with this discovery:

Dr. Fong, is it true that this wormhole actually opened to you on the interstate H-1?

Well, it’s Wiltfong, not Fong, and yes, the first experience was on the entrance to H-1 off Ft. Weaver Road. But I’m not…

What happened to you? Were you instantly transported to remote galaxies?

Eh? No, no, it wasn’t anything like that. It just seemed as if….

As a Hawaiian resident, do you believe this has anything to do with the recent inauguration of Aloha-President Barack Obama?

What are you talking about? I simply said that time seemed to go much faster…

Are the aliens more interested in our civilization since we have shown obviously developed higher standards in electing a relatively inexperienced head of our government based primarily on his Hawaiian origins?

Wait a minute; what are you talking…

How did this experience change you physically? Can you now read minds?

Hey, all I said was that time moved must faster when….

Was your Ford Explorer affected by your experience? Does it get better gas mileage now, or was it upgraded to an alien form of propulsion?

It’s not even my SUV, you stupid…

Your two grandchildren were involved in the first experience, weren’t they?

Well, I was driving my grandson to kindergarten, and all I said was that time seemed….

Are they both still physically humans, or have they moved to dimensions beyond?

Okay, they are Navy brats, so that may… hey, no, NO, they are just little KIDS! Where in the…

Okay, our station director is signaling us that we are almost out of time, so…

… world are you getting all this?!? All I said was that….

… before we break for wonderful updates from our sponsor…


… “National Enquirer”, now available at all lower quality gas stations and convenience stores open 24/7,


… just one final question, Dr. Fong.


How is Elvis?


(Completely and utterly inspired by Cheri Block Sabraw's blog at


I was born and raised right smack-dab in the middle of Los Angeles. Well, no, actually I was born in Glendale, which is sorta east-north of L.A. central. And most of my elementary school years were in Highland Park, which at the time was a higher-lower-income Chicano East L.A. neighborhood

Anyway, I always thought of myself as a city girl with a country heart. I grew up crazy about animals, especially horses, and most of my dreams involved stables, cowgirls (I wasn't gay, just not into guys for quite a while) and hitting the wide open trail.

Well, I didn't exactly get that dream right away. I did get a horse, but in a city stable, with riding trails right along the L.A. River (of the numerous huge concrete runways for flood waters scattered throughout the L.A. Basin) about four miles south of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

We could and did occasionally ride up to the bleak scrub of Sierra Madre and were all wonder about the wilderness - looking back now, it was quite pathetic. But for L.A., it was someplace that wasn't completely covered by cement and asphalt, was wilderness, so....

Fast forward about 35 years, and now I actually do live 20 minutes away from any city, on a dirt road, with two horses in my back yard. And when we first built out here, we also had a LOT of cattle grazing. On every side of us.

So one evening in the summer, I am driving home from work, and about one mile from our house find the road filled with cows, no human in sight. Seems one brave cow had stepped over a sagging wire to get at that legendary greener grass (although the best we usually have is less-brown scrub-grass), and others had followed her example.

I supposed I could have inched the car through and continued on my merry way, but I had learned that you always shut the gate, you always fill the water, and you don't leave neighbor's livestock out in the roadway.

So I parked my car, and began herding the cows back into the pasture they had obviously come from.

And it was going pretty well until my nearest neighbor, Jack, showed up in a near PANIC. He shouted over at me, "What in the *(#^@*)! do you think you are doing!?!"

I shouted back, "Getting these *(#$^@*@ cattle back into their pasture!!"

Turns out Jack didn't think I knew the difference between heifers and bulls - and yes, I was fully aware that there was one bull with this bunch of girls - and was gonna get myself KILLED thinking I was helping out nice safe 'ol cows.

So we ended up doing it together, and fixing the fence so they wouldn't get out again.

And I am certain this little episode is the one and only reason he let me buy his pretty little stud colt for a song when he left for Tennessee - I had proven myself.

Yippee-ki-yay, lil' doggies.


Shyly, she looked up through her long luscious lashes, allowing her stunning blue-grey eyes to fully hit the stranger. Her full, pouting lips parted slightly, showing the amazingly brilliant small teeth which only enhance the temptation of her gradually budding smile. A soft giggle, then a sweet shoulder turned, and she escaped back into the house.

Tantalized, the visitor hurried up the steps in pursuit, only to be stopped short by the emergence of a tow-haired giant with eyes of steel. His slim yet powerful body, the product of a five-year exercise program, radiated presence and vibrant intelligence. His tousled thick hair hung over his eyebrows, but did not hide the penetration of piercing judgment in his orbs.

Frozen to the spot for a just an instant, the outsider began a slow retreat which was hastened by an ominous shadow eclipsing the bright sun. The imposing bulk of the formidable grandmother loomed over the lizard, promising only certain doom if he tried any more advances of her grandchildren.

(Hey, it's late at night - best I can do)

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Proposed Schedule for Sunday Morning:

0530 - Awake, shower, shave legs, blow-dry hair

0545 - Study scriptures for Sunday School lesson

0600 - Fix family breakfast of pancakes, eggs and fresh fruit

0700 - Read "Bible Stories For Children" and discuss

0730 - Let grandchildren rinse dishes and load dishwasher

0800 - Leave house for church

What Actually Happened Sunday Morning:

0530 - Hit 'snooze' button.

0545 - Hit 'snooze' button again.

0600 - Decided to skip shower. Will wear extra long-skirt.

0800 - Awake from unintended sleep. Children already awake.

0815 - Dress children in church clothes before breakfast.

0830 - Take church clothes off and let them eat breakfast naked.

0845 - Frozen waffles eaten only partially thawed. Milk to drink.

0900 - Rinse granddaughter covered with milk in kitchen sink.

0915 - Dress both children. Change own outfit due to milk spills.

0945 - Load children in SUV.

1000 - Redress granddaughter due to diaper leak.

1015 - Redress grandson due to spilled juice.

1030 - Take children back instead and turn Wii games on for them.

1045 - Take Vicoden - go to sleep on couch.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


(STATION REPORTER AT CHANNEL FOUR NEWS) "Reporting live for Honolulu's Action News, with exclusive Action News Helicopter Coverage, we turn to this instant update by our field reporter, Darcy O'hanni'ia - Darcy, are you there?"

(DARCY O'HANNI'IA) "Lizzy, what you see on your television screen is a major law enforcement chase involving a black Ford Explorer and so far at least three police cruisers."

(STATION REPORTER) "Can you tell us what led to this situation, Darcy?"

(DARCY O'HANNI'IA) "We understand from police reports that this vehicle has been implicated in a Blockbuster Video crime. The driver of the Explorer, described as a mature Caucasian female, was initially charged with property damage after throwing a copy of the DVD of "Wow Wow Wuggsy" through the window of the store on the corner of Ft. Weaver and Iroquois Road while screaming, "WHY DON'T YOU HAVE A *%@$^ DROP OFF BOX OUTSIDE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, YOU MORONS?!"

(STATION REPORTER) "Wow, sounds dangerous. Was anyone hurt during this incident, Darcy?"

(DARCY O'HANNI'IA) "Well, Lizzy, we did have one report of a nearby Starbucks customer spilling their Grande Espperro Con Panna onto the cement outside. And there is one uncomfirmed, I repeat, uncomfirmed report of a Subway sandwich having no mustard put on it in direct response to this crime."

(STATION REPORTER) "And then what happened, Darcy?"

(DARCY O'HANNI'IA) "Police caught up to the Explorer at the McDonald's drive-thru, where the driver was forcing M&M McFlurry's down the throats of two screaming minors. The driver then took off, obliging police to follow in a wild car chase with speeds of up to 26 mph and strict observance of all traffic signs."

(STATION REPORTER) "What a thrilling chase, Darcy! And is it correct that this happened right in front of the Ewa Beach Lutheran 'Blessings From Above' Aloha Day-Care Center?"

(DARCY O'HANNI'IA) "It is, Lizzy, but as far as we can tell, all children and adults were evacuated by emergency vehicles immediately afterwards to wait out this situation. Again, as far as we know, all children at 'Blessings From Above' Aloha Day-Care Center are safe. Their location, however, is unknown at this time, and police are refusing to disclose it."

(STATION REPORTER) "Thank you for your outstanding coverage of this situation, Lizzy. What more can you add before we switch over to Honolulu's Up-To-The-Minute Weather Prediction?"

(DACRY O'HANNI'IA) "The situation right now is a possible hostage and ransom demand with the alleged criminal in the Ho'olwaii Housing Area, which has been completely sealed off. As you can see on our live cam, the entire area is surrounded by Honolulu and Ewa Beach S.W.A.T. teams as well as groups of Navy S.E.A.L.s, N.C.I.S., F.B.I., C.I.A., A.D.O.T. and S.O.B.s lending support.

"We will, as always, be keeping you up-to-date by-the-minute with our live-cam exclusive Action News Helicopter Coverage. Lizzy Bennett, Action News Live"

(SITUATION REPORTER) "Now we turn to our latest forecast - warm, sunny with some clouds, highs in the low 80's, low if the low 70's - same as today, yesterday, and most likely the next 322 days of the year here in Honolulu.

Good Night, and remember - All The News That Can Be Created is right here at Action News."

Friday, January 23, 2009


0530 - Awakened by clock-radio set to annoying AM talk station.
0531 - Radio thrown out window.
0545 - Discovered solar heater doesn't hold heat through night.
0600 - Awoke grandson. Awoke granddaughter.
0602 - Awoke grandson again.
0605 - Dressed both grandchildren.
0614 - Discovered breakfast cereal on floor instead of mouths.
0615 - Changed clothing of granddaughter; cereal not on floor on shirt.

0635 - Began to herd grandchildren out to van.
0655 - Buckled in both grandchildren. Began commute to kindergarten.
0705 - Traveled 2.4 miles. Memorizing major sections of the DVD "Cars".
0725 - Approached entrance to H1 while leads into Honolulu.
0735 - Began driving on H1 into Honolulu.
0750 - Arrived at school and dropped off grandson.

1630 - Began preparations for dinner.
1631 - Toy soldiers scattered through kitchen.
1632 - Organized toy pick-up time for grandchildren to take care of.
1720 - Picked up toy soldiers by self.
1721 - Began preparations for dinner.
1722 - Discovered box of macaroni and cheese missing.
1738 - Discovered box in toy solider container.
1740 - Ordered home delivery for pizza.

1900 - Began bath preparations for children.
1901 - Granddaughter hysterical - tropical breeze from bathroom window.
1902 - Granddaughter hysterical - bath water too hot.
1903 - Granddaughter hysterical - breeze meeting wet body removed from hot bath.
1908 - Grandson bodily removed - Weeble-Wobble thrown at younger sibling.
1909 - 2.8 gallons water dumped on floor in process.
1913 - Grandson returned to bath water after lecture on harm to siblings.
1914 - Changed own soaked clothing.
1930 - Grandson shampooed own hair under direct supervision.
1935 - Granddaughter hysterical about having hair shampooed.
1958 - 5 towels used to dry children, and 6 to mop up floor.
1959 - Debating possible intake of whiskey.

2035 - Popped popcorn, allowed children to watch "Madagascar" for 15 minutes.
2050 - Got vacuum cleaner to deal with scattered kernels.
2052 - Granddaughter hysterical at sight of vacuum cleaner.
2053 - Hid in laundry room for later use.

2107 - Both children in bed.
2108 - Began conversation with vacationing daughter.
2109 - Stopped conversation to check on crying granddaughter.
2110 - Administered ice pack to bruised bridge nose/upper cheek.
2153 - Sang "Mockingbird" song 128 times while rocking with ice pack to eye and suffering major guilt trip.
2154 - Unable to determine cause of injury -crib bars, toy truck, or Play-Dough toy
2155 - Major guilt trip for not detecting objects in crib.
2154 - Called vacationing daughter to admit granddaughter may have first black eye while under grandmother's care.
2200 - Collapsed into bed after mindlessly writing blog report.

Whiskey idea rejected, replaced by Diet Coke. Further report tomorrow.


Reporting live from Ewa Beach, Hawaii, we are in Day 2 of the Geriatrics Olympics.

First event of the day, Getting Colin To Kindergarten, was a crushing defeat for the Arizonan team. All advance training had been mired by severe insomnia the night before with the starting time missed by 42 minutes. The attempt at recouping lost time by eating breakfast in the SUV was sensible, but was trounced by both Ft. Weaver and H1 congestion and length of the commute. The team had to settle for a late drop off at the school, and seemed to be out of any medal competition for the day.

However we learned long ago to never completely write off any Western-state participant. The reduced team went straight into preparation for gaining back their position by tackling laundry as Kate commenced on her daily 497 laps of the downstairs.

Lunch was carefully and we must say brilliantly executed with an extra 15 minutes of time to pad any possible traffic jams. Although 8.3 gallons of gasoline were used idling in the school parking lot, the mission came off brilliantly as both children and the exhausted grandma were Down For Naps exactly at 1:06 p.m.

The judges deducted only 1 point for Colin never actually closing his eyes for the next two hours since he did remain in his bedroom. No verbal threats were overheard by the panel, although Colin did blanch slightly after his grandmother whispered privately in his ear before the actual time of the event began. Kate, certainly in a well-trained-for response to her 497 laps, slept sounding the entire time.

The 3:30 Wake-Up was a perfect 10, so the team was well back into medal competition once again. Although a short conference was held by the referees, it was agreed that a dinner of waffles was acceptable albeit borderline. No points were deducted for the use of syrup either.

The Evening Bath Ritual was synchronized beautifully, with an additional 10 points awarded for use of unusual bath/rub novelties (employment of a neighborhood dog was rejected for potential negative retort from the SPCA) and Colin's management of his own hair shampoo. Pajamas, hair combing and teeth-brushing were laudable in both efficiency and execution.

The only downfall in the evening activities were, once again, overuse of Mario Games, in particular with the character Dry Bones.

Competition will resume in the morning, hopefully with an earlier start for this magnificent team.

** PLEASE NOTE ** Due to international date lines, Hawaiian time, loss of sleep and the fact the laptop will not save anything that the PC upstairs can read, this report was delayed. Hopefully this evening we will be able to report LIVE from Oahu.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I am so pleased that used one of my 'prompts' for today's writing assignment.

So is the pressure on to write a succinct, sincere and snappy blog? NO! As ever, this is my outlet for the day - who cares if anyone else reads it?! (well, except for Harmony and Jen, of course - I'll cry if you don't).

Today was Official Day #1 in the week-long field research project of "Maintenance and Upkeep of a Two-Year-Old and a Five-Year-Old By An Almost Senior Citizen".

Predictions of physical exhaustion, temper tantrums and body leakage (by the grandma, not the kids) were proven incorrect, although scholarly criticized resources were utilized (i.e. McDonald's Happy Meals, one and a half hours of Wii Mario games, and seven consecutive readings of "The Four Seasons - A Preschoolers Stimulation Package").

Proper physical hygiene was enforced on the children, and hopefully after 2130 hours the senior citizen will be able to sneak a shower in. Nutrition requirements were minimally met, but the excess of both Mini Vanilla Wafers and Go-Go-Yogurts has not yet been approved by our dietary board. Also noted was consumption by the senior researcher of french fries and one Diet Mt. Dew.

Forecasts for tomorrow estimate poor vocal renditions of "Runnin' On Empty" before the 11:55 p.m. pick-up of the kindergartner.

The final reports on this project will continue to be available at, with the final thesis due sometime in the year 2014.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


The true reason for my all-paid, all-inclusive Hawaiian vacation must now be disclosed.

I am an extremely expensive babysitter.

My daughter and her husband have a chance (I refuse to use word the 'opportunity' anymore; subject for a blog sometime in the future) to spend a week in San Diego sans kids. That is, they can spend this week because of ME coming in to watch my grandkids for a week.

I have been looking forward to this for a long time.

However, I know that Kate can literally run in circles for hours. I know that my grandson can outwit me fairly easily - I mean, he's 5, and I'm almost 55, so the odds are in his favor to begin with.

But the real interesting part is going to be the commute.

Colin is in a private school. After having all three of my own children begin school here in Hawaii, I fully and completely support the concept - public education here is not very high quality (although I love all you teachers in Hawaii - the system stinks, not you!).

However, there is a bit of a drive involved.

To those of you who are not acquainted with Hawaii, there are a couple of things you need to know for my complaints to make sense:

#1 - Hawaii is composed of islands.

#2 - Oahu, where my daughter lives, is an island.

#3 - Islands have limited amounts of ways to get from one place to another.

#4 - There is only one main road from my daughter's house to the school where my grandson's kindergarten class is.

#5 - Every weekday morning, there are approximately 1.3 million people need to take that exact same road to get to work.

Since the school begins at 8:00 a.m., and most business begin at 8 or 9:00 a.m., the traffic here suddenly becomes very un-aloha with drivers refusing to yield their place in line, speeders darting in and out of holes in traffic (completely obvious of the drivers having to slam on their brakes to avoid them).

So what should be a fifteen drive becomes an hour + sitting in crawling traffic.

With a five year old and a two year old.

Thank God for whoever invented DVDs and put them in cars.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I'm named after my grandmother. My maternal grandmother died three days after my mom's birth, and my paternal grandfather was killed in an automobile crash when my father was fourteen. I did meet my maternal grandfather one time when he came out from Michigan for a visit to California, but Grandma Hope was the one I grew up with.

For quite a few years she lived in a cute little apartment above a garage, with a toy poodle named Suzy and a couple of parakeets. There was always two bowls of candy - one just peppermints, and the other usually some sort of See's chocolate. She had grown a vine which was approximately 8.3 miles long and draped over most of the furniture.

And, of course, an organ.

I was raised with pianos. And I mean a lot of pianos. The only time I can recall not having multiple pianos in our house was the one year we lived in an apartment on the second floor. Otherwise, we usually had at least one grand, two uprights and usually some studio models.

My dad taught piano, and clarinet, and saxophone, and string bass.... in fact, I can't remember much that he didn't teach and play except perhaps the sitar and harp.

But the organ wasn't part of our environment. I may have been mistaken, but the give and take, the actual touch of a keyboard, was somewhat missing from the old organ keyboards. The electronic keyboards of today are miraculous with their feel, but the old organs were pretty stiff and sticky.

However, my grandmother always had an organ. And had played the organ professionally. And you will LOVE what she played for.

Silent movies.

Her accompanying was five billion times better than the silly organ they put on television with silent movies. It was emotional, it was climactic, it was scary, it was comedic - all as necessary to go with the plot and the action.

And of course all you had to do was ask her to play for you.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Power outages can be the standard where I live in southern Arizona, and now seem to have followed me to Oahu.

At home, we are attached quite literally to any electrical power by a single strand of wire. High atop old utility poles by the highway which, unfortunately, have been blown, shot and knocked down - and then off the highway the wires are buried inside cheap plastic tubing that leaks. The telephone routinely goes out whenever it rains (which, for better or worse, does not happen often). Our water comes from a well with an electrical pump - so no electricity, no water.

Our wiring has persisted through eight years of gnawing by local residents. Now, this nibbling is done not by ungainly & ugly city rodents - but bright-eyed little field mice (vegans) who move inside only during the cold months to share hot chocolate, watch "Law & Order" marathons and help me with Sudoku puzzles. They have a completely legal agreement with the cat - he can pretend to scare them, and the mice won't openly flaunt their complete power over him.

But it does mean we only have one working telephone line, and lights that flicker even when the utility company has everything in the field working.

I don't mind power outages at home, even when "The Office" is on. It forces me to read by candlelight (which sounds oh so romantic, but is pretty tough on 50+ year-old eyes), walk outside by the moon and starlight, and (most often) going to bed incredibly early.

It is a wonderful excuse to be late for anything ("my alarm didn't go off!"), to add dash of the apprehensive disaster mode ("but all our power is off!") and the best reason possible to go ahead and eat all the ice cream in the freezer ("otherwise it's just gonna melt!").

But here in Hawaii it comes with at a bigger price - not just lights and phones, but sacrifices that must be made BY THE TOURISTS. Honolulu exists solely because of the military and the visitors to the islands - and if they can't count on artificial climate control, frozen foods straight from the mainland then made into colorful local dishes, ice to cool their drinks and cold air pouring of into their hotel rooms... well, who would come then?

Turns out during the last island-wide power failure in December, President-elect Obama and family were here on the island. Talk about bad publicity - can you imagine if the Secret Service didn't have enough Duracell batteries - did their little ear-wigs work - back-up generators for Air Force One?

I also discovered that both of my grandkids have MAJOR problems with the dark. I knew each one had a night light, but figure that was mainly for mommy's convenience when she comes in to check on them at night. Not so! Apparently creepy monsters and huge hairy bugs just wait for the dark so they can jump out and do their damage.

Wanna bet this coming week we'll have another power outage when it's just grandma and the kids?

So - I'll stock up on the ice cream this week!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I am beginning to appreciate what a terrible a parent I am - completely removed, impartial, cold and unfeeling.

None of the typical mother-figure, a full weeping and wailing and wringing of hands, apron thrown over her head, rocking back and forth moaning, 'Oh where oh where did I go wrong?!"

I'm not doing any of that.

I'm admittedly surprised that a child of mine has made some unwise choices. But he's not dealing with illegal drugs, hasn't gotten a girl pregnant, isn't turning to a life of crime (at least not as far as I know) - he is still going to church, he does keep in touch with me, he has admitted the 'seriousness' of his mistakes, and he is moving back home.

Heavenly Father had one third of his kids go completely over to the 'dark side' - and those of us who made it to mortality all have chosen some pretty stupid alternatives. We're hurt each other, those who are trying to help us, a bunch of us got together and crucified His son, had wars over trivial customs and property lines - in all honesty, behaved like a bunch of complete brats, ignoring His advice and commandments - repeatedly.

So why should we be surprised that it also happens to us lesser mortals?

Please, I am not trying to excuse myself here. I was a full-time working mom from when my first two were in school. I bent over backwards to respect my kids' privacy, allow them to make their own choices when possible and (most importantly) suffer the consequences of those choices (within limits, of course).

I am certain I could have done better. And done more.

But I also know that any of the moaning, groaning, self-castigating would not change what has already happening. I will try to reinforce the lesson(s) needed to be gleaned from this experience, but I cannot undo it. And getting upset, blaming, impugning myself or anyone else simply creates negative energy, increases tension, and does not accomplish anything positive.

So - why do I feel guilty that I don't feel guilty?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


How much of chance a part of our destiny?

Haven't you ever said, "Oh, I didn't know she/he died" - "When did that movie come out?" - "Why, is there a war going on there?" We miss two day's worth of news while on vacation - we haven't been to the cinema lately - the local papers only have a page and half devoted to international news.

We have an extremely narrow viewpoint of life. We are exposed to the news that is deemed 'newsworthy' by certain editorial process - why would anyone want to know more about the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo... unless you have a friend who lived there until last year. Did any national magazine mention the number of homicides in Naples this past year? Is there any interest in earthquakes in the southern rim of India?

It may sound like I am decrying this lack of information, but I fully acknowledge that we can only cope with a limited amount of information. Our communication avenues are so broad they are overwhelming with facts, details and trivia; we are not capable of processing all of it.

So a literal suppression of certain news is necessary for the non-specialist public to not wallow in information deluge.

I agree - in fact, I avoid the regular news like the plague. It may be true, but it's depressing, and if I can't do anything about it, I don't want to know about it.

So what is the point this crazy lady is trying to make (if she is actually trying to make any point at all!)?

My oldest daughter seems to be the one who turns on the lights for me - introduces me to blogging, to the iPhone, music, and (now we are finally get to something) some MOVIES. We sat together last night and today and watched "Mrs. Henderson Presents," a BBC movie that I had never heard of and would have never seen except to her getting it on Netflix.

It was hysterical. And poignant. And includes a full frontal shot of Bob Hoskins that I doubt you will see any where else.

How different would my life be if I had never been exposed to that?!

Monday, January 12, 2009


I have almost no short-term memory. I can blame it on my head injury, my age, or the simple fact that I just don't try.

I can see a repeat of a television show a week later, and laugh at all the jokes, be surprised once again at the plot twist, and not be certain who done it until the very end. I read the same old books, I watch old movies, I even watch television serieses (serieis?) on DVD until I can quote an entire episode - and with my memory, believe me, that's a LOT of times.

But I do always try to be truthful. Someone said that no one has a good enough memory to be an effective liar - if you tell something not true, it will influence something else you should or should not say, and THAT influences some things outside of that, etc. etc. etc.

My mom used to 'improve' a story each time she told it, and it soon got so far beyond reality it was difficult to connect it to the original event. And her role would always evolve from being a innocent bystander to becoming the conquering heroine.

I recognized in myself the same tendency to elaborate with details of what 'could' have happened, and work very hard on keeping that kind of story-telling on paper.

And I felt that somehow I taught my kids this lesson.

Maybe not well enough.

Dishonesty never ends up being just 'one' thing, so it's been a big, long string of side-stepping, avoiding, not returning calls, etc. One of those times when I should have acted on my mom instinct a few months back and done some research.

Now all I can really do hand over the shovel and speak encouraging words as this individual begins to dig themselves out.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT about either of my daughters. 'Nuff said.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Tourists/visitors to Hawaii expect an enchanted environment 24/7 - hula girls wearing the coconut bras and skimpy bikinis - tall bronzed Polynesian men standing with spears to catch fish in the shallow ocean waters - roasted pigs on the spit over huge fire pits - eating pineapple and freshly-caught mahimahi and drinking pina-colattas on the beach every sunset - sleeping on grass mats in the sand as the ocean waves crash softly on the beach (although how anything can crash softly is beyond me).

Reality check here -the majority of the island population remains modestly dressed, comfortably plump, short, and as fond of pizza as everyone else in the world. And when tourists stumble across a Wal-Mart, with even more trashy stuff as the mainland Wal-Marts (tourists junk), they are either reassured (read 'blue-collar') or horrified (read 'Target customer'). Same way when they are appalled that there are Burger Kings and McDonald's - or they end up eating there for the majority of their stay.

Much of Oahu remains the same as when we lived here in the 1980's. Everything is designed for mini-compact cars (I'm driving my daughter's Expedition, which is roughly the size and prize-range of a Hummer), so the freeway lanes seem especially narrow and curvy. Parking, always at a premium in any city but especially on an island, ends up being tortured tiny spaces or double-parking on the side street.

And most kama'ainas (island residents) drive at or below the speed limit, which forces mainland drivers to hang on their bumper or dash madly through tiny openings in traffic... all to get caught up at the same traffic stop at the exact same time as everyone they passed.

The hills are a little more developed, but still green, tall and lush. The newer apartment complexes are higher, the housing areas are still squeezed tight, and planning of more or bigger highways to accommodate the ever-increasing population seems designed to remain in planning and construction stages until the year 2044 (a guarantee to keep the unemployment level down for all those years).

However, the sky is just as blue, and clouds as white, and the sky breeze just as refreshing. The humidity still forces me to take two or three showers a day in order to stay in the same room with my daughter (she has an extremely sensitive nose, and I sweat like a horse), but I am thoroughly enjoying my aloha time.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


There are a few disadvantages about going to Oahu. The biggest is the six-plus hour plane ride from Los Angeles.

I had already been sitting on my big old fat butt for the two hours driving to the airport in Tucson - then the one-and-a-half hour flight to LAX - and then waiting for three hour there before the flight left.

It's difficult to do laps at an airport terminal (dodging passengers and luggage) although running backwards on those moving sidewalks has a certain surreal effect I do enjoy.

And I can't browse through the inflated-price shops without either bursting into tears because I find the most perfect laptop case that have ever existed for only $145,000 - or breaking into loud, raucous laughter at $34 price tag on a Wal-Mart item worth 34 cents.

So normally when I have more than twenty minutes to wait in an airport, I find the cleanest corner I can (usually an obscure corner either right AT the gate, or the furthest away), curl up with my luggage straps wound around protectively around my wrists multiple times to discourage any possible threat (although why a thief would even bother looking at my dirty-banged-up travel carry-ons for anything with actual cash value is beyond me), and go to sleep.

One of the great advantages of being partially deaf is if you sleep on your GOOD ear, the rest of the world disappears (or is at the least seriously muted).

No, I take that back. The ONLY advantage of being partially deaf is that.

Perhaps LAX has higher standards, or they just recently passed a law that no-good-bums-homeless-people cannot sleep in public places where it might-look-bad-to-the-tourist-flying-in-to-go-to-Disneyland. I figured since I obviously had already gone through all the security check points, and clearly WAS a passenger, no one would bother me.

However after dozing for just a few minutes, I was jolted awake by a female flight attendant who deliberately unlocked a fake-line-creating-random-column-holding-strips-of-seat-belt-like-material (that's the technical name for it) and allowed the automatic-fling-back-into-the-column mechanism (ditto) to SLAM one metal object (the clips-thing) into another metal object (the metal pole), creating a non-slumber-allowing KA-BOON.

It didn't break the sound-barrier, but to someone who was almost asleep, it was extremely painful.

While she didn't exactly smile as my groggy and exhausted body flung itself automatically into an upright position as my subconscious mind reacted to the sound and my dozing-trying-to-sleep mind careened together, causing all of my fifteen brain cells to slam into each other, it was obvious she enjoyed the reaction.

Then she calmly reconnected the fake-line-creating thingies back, and walked off.

I was pissed-off enough that I stayed awake the entire flight until we landed in Honolulu.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I both enjoy and hate packing for a trip.

Since I rarely see anyone during the day, I don't pay much attention to what I am wearing.

Okay, okay, those of you who know me, I don't pay any attention when I AM going to see a lot of people either. Just be kind and go along with the thought for a moment, okay?

So it's novel for me to color-coordinate outfits, plan on wearing more than one pair of shoes, and remember to download non-workout songs on my iPod - otherwise I am going to irritate everyone seated near me by unconsciously doing a little boogie as I listen.

But I want to pack the things that are important to me, not clothes.

I wish I could fill suitcases with the cold blast of wind coming off the snow-brushed mountains (snow-capped is the actual expression, but not appropriate here in southern Arizona).

I want to put in my horses' heads hanging over the gate in the dark every night as they fight over who is going to get the first carrot from me.

I need to hear my dog's sigh as he lays down for the last time at night. And feel my cat stuff his head under my armpit late at night when I'm watching "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" - I'm not entirely certain why he does that, I assume for the warmth.

And I'd like to take all my random familiar books scattered over my room, all my "The Office" tapes, every pair of socks I own (probably 72 pairs), and my filthy hiking boots just for the aroma of the horses which is ground into the leather.

But I guess I'll have to be happy with what can fit into a suitcase.

And maybe just one horse.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Never make a doctor's appointment to be seen at 7:45 a.m.

You might think, well, there wouldn't be any wasted time in the waiting room, because you'll be the first patient seen. You'll just skate in and skate out.


I already had to wake up at 4 a.m. to see my son off to college (since I drove up to Tucson when he came down, his dad had to drive him up today to catch the flight back).

And since I often sleep right through the nice CD player alarm I have (probably because it isn't the best idea to have something calm and soothing like Jim Brickman to wake you up), I thought, hey, let's use my CELL PHONE alarm. It's fairly loud, as every sound on my phone is (I'm partially deaf), so I was certain it would knock me out of slumber.

However, I did not really think it through, because for the alarm on my cell phone to work, you have to leave the phone ON.

So when one of your kids sweetly texts you a "Good Night, Mom!" at 1:02 a.m., IT WAKES YOU UP.

When a voice mail, left at 3:13 p.m. by your husband while he was at home and you were in town, finally comes wandering in after hanging in the cold air over Canada for almost twelve hours, IT WAKES YOU UP.

When your cell phone is programmed to 'beep' on the hour, IT WAKES YOU UP.

So going in to the doctor's at 7:45 a.m., after having... well, let's see, one hour and two minutes, plus two hours and eleven minutes, and then forty-seven minutes...

Well, let's just say it isn't worth it. Especially when it looks like both the doctor, his nurse, and the receptionist got every less sleep than you did.

Let's go get an extra-large Diet Coke and go take a nap. okay?

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I don't like flying. I'm not scared of flying, I just don't like it.

The seats keep getting smaller as my butt gets wider, the amenities one by one are being taken away (you used to get a meal on almost ANY flight... not that you necessarily would wanna eat it, but you could get one), and the only place you get a movie anymore without going international (actually, you get TWO) is flying to Hawaii

Plus I have a not-quite-pinched nerve in my back (slightly- tweaked-nerve?) that generally does not cooperate when I sit for extended periods of time. And the flight time to Hawaii is seven hours going and six and a half hours coming back (wind resistance).

So I end up standing in the back with the flight attendants and scaring off people who need to use the restrooms - they see me on my feet, assume there is a line, and go back to their seat. I probably cause more passengers to race to terminal restrooms the moment the plane lands than anyone in history. Especially after a seven hour flight and multiple fluids.
But back to not liking to fly. Like I said, I'm not scared of it, but I have a daughter who is TERRIFIED of flying - her flying, me flying, anyone flying.
No, it's not Harmony, you sillies. Harmony isn't scared of ANYthing... well, actually, she is scared of a couple of things but I am not going to list them publicly.

But Joy is literally freaking out because her brother flies back to college early tomorrow morning, and I leave Sunday for (how did you guess it?) Hawaii again.
But hey, this time I am going for a REASON, not just for FUN. I am going for a JOB... involving my grandchildren. But it is a SERIOUS task - honestly.
Anyone have any suggestions for combating something that is purely and solely emotionally fed and intellectually illogical?
And yes, she is already on medication to just deal with daily life.
But really, any ideas? Besides locking her up in a padded room until I get back home?