Monday, September 28, 2009


How can simply sitting be so exhausting?

It has been shown that while moving around, we assume a fairly upright posture. But when we sit and relax, the head and neck slowly protrude, because the muscles that support them get tired. As the muscles tire, they relax, and we get what is called "protruded head posture."

When this is maintained long enough (say a seven hour flight from Honolulu to Phoenix), it causes overstretching of the ligaments.

Okay, our physiology lesson for the day is over.

So after 'just sitting' all snug in my flight, visions of soft

bedding and multiple large pillows danced in my head, contrasting violently with the haunting reality of a four+ hour drive home from the airport.

Guess which one won?

And I didn't care about thread count, I didn't care about the free breakfast (stale bagels, weak coffee and juice), I didn't even care about how many stars the hotel has on its Expedia review.

All I cared that it was there - it was clean - and it was soft.


Thursday, September 24, 2009


First, allow me explore some dark scenarios with you - nightmares inspired by CNN then exploited by Fox News until you will hide under your bed whimpering and shaking for the rest of your limited and miserable existence.

Number one: H1N1 (previously called the "swine flu," but since that phrase didn't scare people enough and somehow restricted it to poor Mexicans who don't travel enough internationally to allow it to become a terrifying pandemic, it became H1N1, which is a WHOLE lot more frightening, reeking of control, test tubes, modified genes and government control - it also helps that a large monetary penalty applies to any news source which uses 'swine flu' instead of the shocking H1N1).

Here I think the major scare factor is that you can't really tell when you have H1N1 as opposed to a regular case of the flu (like Alzheimer's - diagnosed only when your brain is autopsied) BUT WITH H1N1 the chance that YOU ARE GOING TO DIE are so INCREDIBLY INCREASED like from 1.12% to 1.13% DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS YOU ARE GOING TO DIE DIE DIE and you aren't even going to KNOW IT IS H1N1 UNTIL AT YOUR FUNERAL!!

Number two: Terrorists - difficult as it is to keep the attention-deficit American public aware that there are still extremists who passionately believe in blowing up people (including themselves), the new image of fear is suicide-bombers targeting public areas where the public congregate - such as football stadiums, shopping malls, and the line to the only clean stall in the ladies restroom.

That is when terrorists will strike - something like anthrax dropped in the middle of the Super Bowl (just when the score is tied in the fourth quarter with 29 seconds left on the play clock and Houston has control of the ball) - or at the newest Target Enormément (the fourth in Venice, California this year) , a short man of uncertain but darker ancestry (wearing a baseball cap and a New England Patriots shirt - I have learned everything I know about criminals from NCIS, CSI and Law and Order) will be moving slowly through the crowd injecting each impatient customer individually with a rare and complex virus that IMMEDIATELY turns them into a mindless zombie who RUNS to Wal-Mart, purchases ALL the Charmin Toilet Paper and drive America insanely short of tissue choices.

Okay. Now back to my story.

So imagine a crowded flight of tourists... excuse me, visitors (the Hawaiian Visitor's Bureau feels that sounds better).... so a flight of crowded visitors.... um.... a visitor flight of crowds? Whatever - I was on an airplane for a long, long flight with a great number of other people (42% of Asian ethnicity, 31% military families, and the remaining 27% wearing tee shirts printed saying "Waikiki Forever" & "Kona Dry Goods").

And yes, I was that woman nosily expelling globs of nasal mucus into tissue after tissue after tissue - and then coughing and hacking and spitting up phlegm the entire seven hours of our flight, spending whatever cooties she had through each and every molecule of re-conditioned and shared 1.8 cubic feet of air per passenger throughout the entire airplane.

This is the only flight I wished had been crying infants and screaming toddlers to cover up all of the disgusting sounds I was producing.

And if 98% of the people scrunched in with me didn't think at least once about H1N2, close quarters, and this might be something more than a cold, I will eat my hat.

I think I was saved from a public lynching (or being locked into the smallest restroom) only by the mind-numbing in-flight movie of Eddie Murphy in Nickelodeon's "Imagine That" (hasn't the plot of overly-detached-father-figure ignores cute-little-girl-figure until magical-connection-or-curse joins-them-together been done about, what, three billion times now?).

Again, to all on that flight, my deepest and sincerest apologies to everyone who was on that flight.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


A couple of minutes ago, my grandson issued the ultimate threat to his dad; "I won't be your friend anymore!" He also warned me one afternoon this week that "I'm going to tell mommy about you!" when I insisted he take care of the toys splayed all over the front room.

It's cute to hear things like this from a six-year old, but it also makes me think of reasons people do suddenly not return your phone calls - shy away from conversations - somehow don't see you when you pass by.

Some are just as juvenile as the ones coming from a six-year old:

1) Politics. The two 'dangerous' areas of discussion seem to be this and religion, but I would happily, cheerful and THANKFULLY talk hours and hours on my spiritual beliefs rather than 30 seconds of "wait a minute, you voted for who?!"

2) Other friends. Somehow being able to hold an adult conversation with someone that they cannot is grounds for immediate dislike. Much like if you play with them, you can't play with me.

3) Personal and private life. There are certain subjects that just don't and probably shouldn't come up normally - which way your toilet paper roll hangs (I used to be completely an 'under' roller, and now I am unashamedly an 'over') - whether you are a Pepsi or a Coke drinker - what type of underwear you may put on in the privacy of your own bedroom.

Unless you and I are going to be sharing a whole lot of TP, it doesn't really matter. If your interest is in adorable fluffy white poodles, and mine is Black Labs, it just ain't a big deal.

And if you drink beer on Sunday, watch "Dueling Grizzlies" and hang out with the county's Lesbian Homeschooling Support Group, I may be tempted to throw a large stone or two in your direction ("But that's just wrong, I can't been see supporting that") - but hopefully stop as soon as I realize all of us live in extremely large glass huts of our own creating.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Someday, quite by accident of course, I am going to wander into a fragile corner of the universe where people are quite literally hanging by a thread waiting for someone (i.e. ME) who can 1) bake incredible chocolate-chip cookies, 2) teach seminars on destroying fear, and 3) set records of amount of naps to be taken in the course of a normal day.

Until that day, I can only admire people like Heather Armstrong who make a living (and to all Internet appearances, a very nice living) writing blogs that seem to rile up and insult Utah Mormons and publishing photos of her dogs, Chuck and Coco.

My church leaders wish I would feel such a passion for sharing the gospel of Christ, but I think many (if not all) of us feel we have something unique and wonderful to share with the masses. For my husband, of course, it's how to prevent terrorist attacks on government buildings - for my oldest daughter, dressing in style, taken crisp, coordinated photographs, and somehow keeping young children clean and pressed.

But for me, I would love to share/teach/commune (in a profitable but somehow not crass or commercial manner depending on late-night commercials with 800 numbers with operators-standing-by-for-your-call or poorly colored advertisements in glossy magazines right next to the cashier at your local 7-11) relaxation.

Not the "Ommm" meditation or breathing techniques, but simply how to accept the here and now, learn to enjoy it, and most importantly REMAIN in the present moment.

Which is where, I firmly believe, joy and peace are.

To paraphrase a scripture, we are that we might have joy. Our accomplishments, be they our career, family, or the number of temple sessions you attend while under an incredible amount of stress and lack of free time, really do much for our spiritual advancement unless we learn to have a good time doing them. Enjoy the moment. Be there.

I've been fortunate enough to have spoken to several General Authorities longer than the 4 second customary two-handed hand-shake (which when done by a politician always comes across as cheap and insincere), and two things have always made a big impression on me.

1) They are HAPPY.

And 2) they are focusing right on what I am saying. Not already adjusting their face for the next person in line, or what they are going to say back - they are right there - with me - at the moment - and interested in where I am.

I'd like to be able to do that, and be there, all the time, for everyone in my life.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Watching a group of five and six year-old boys play tag-football is way beyond amusing.

They all LOVE hiking the ball at the beginning.

And the whatever the-stomping-on-the-ground-in-place-with-your-feet-way-apart is called.

Shouting out their team name together is fun.

But then some things are just a wee bit difficult for them.

Such as actually catching a football that comes up in your face unexpectedly.

Watching where the football actually goes.

Listening to what your coach is screaming at you to do.

And, what seems to be scariest of all, is someone who suddenly is running after you with the obvious intent of HITTING you and knocking you TO THE GROUND.

At times like these, running wildly away from everyone else on the field seems perfectly reasonable and logical.


I get nostalgic about odd things.

I find the distinct smell of a doctor's office extremely reassuring... probably because my mom worked for several physicians.

I honestly do love those horribly ugly 60's and 70's 'art-deco' buildings - those were new while I was growing up.

The feeling of your skin when you have gotten too much sun - the 'almost-burned-but-not-quite' tightness, almost tautness of your arms and face (admittedly, I am very lucky - I very rarely have had sunburns which actually hurt) from either being at the beach or the pool too long, and you are dehydrated in very way possible.

And I have been homesick for Hawaii for years and years... in fact, since December 1991, when I left last time.

So tonight watching "Lost" reruns and being fully aware that the Pacific Ocean (well, the water in Pearl Harbor, but that's close enough) was literally 50 yards away....

Ah. Back home again.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I'm not completely certain why some people don't like cats.

I do understand that cats only pay attention to you when they want something - but how different is that from humans?

Dogs will consistently do whatever you ask of them, even if it's something stupid like retrieving a stick from a river or gobbling up whatever piece of food you toss their direction.

No, wait a minute, that sounds like just a male kind of thing, right?

Cat purr only when they honestly feel like purring - they sit in your lap only when they want to - and they will claw your ears out if you push their boundaries at all.

But right now I have a cat right next to me, laying flat on his back with his four paws all splayed out in different directions, and purring.

What more could you ask out of life?

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I find myself now surrounded by times that matter:

- Kate has to be up by 8:00 so she will take a nap at 1:00.

- Colin has to be out-the-door by 7:50 for school if the traffic on Kamehameha Highway isn't abnormal.

- Monday and Wednesdays are flag-football practice at 6:00 over at the soccer field in Pearl Harbor

- Kate must be awake at 3:00 from her nap at 1:00 p.m. so she will sleep tonight.

- Baths must begin before 7 p.m. if anyone is actually going to be clean before they go to bed.

I guess I do have deadlines back at home, but there are really only two:

- Najale and Sally need to be fed... sometime before dark.

Hmm... I guess that's only one, isn't it?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Most of us spend a great deal of time in the past; what happened, what could have happened, and why did it happen.

And then we get lost in the future - what if this doesn't happen, how could I possible deal with this, and the ultimate the world will simply END if THIS does/doesn't occur.

So very little time is spent in the present, thinking about exactly where we are, what we are experiencing, and how grateful we should be for just that.

I have just begun a book about a young boy being forced to become a revolutionary solider in Sierra Leona.

So this evening I am especially thankful for living in a free country, staying in a home with running water and food, and the wonderful feeling of safety.

But I am not worrying about a possible future with war-time conditions - I am not looking back to what I should have done to prepare for something like that - I am just sitting here savouring the taste of my Diet Coke, listening to Kate sing nonsensical songs to herself, feeling a cool breeze on my left arm, and spouting nonsense on my blog.

Life is good.