meandering simply

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

For the record...

Dragon Boating is Chinese Torture.


Monday, May 26, 2008

dragon boating

Tonight was the WahineKeiWaka's first night on the river for the season. Therefore tonight was my first night in a dragon boat. The river was very high and swift. I got down to the river and wondered, will they cancel practice when they see how swift the current is. Don't get me wrong, I was excited to get on the river I just thought it looked a wee bit dangerous. There was no mention of cancelling.

We were given our bench order and told to take our seats. I had two visions competing for brain space. One was of my capsized kayak last summer. The other was my sinking our family canoe the summer before that. With trepidation I stepped into the boat. Whew, it stayed upright and above water.

When I was a little girl my mom took a job planting trees. On her first day on the job (which was also her last day) she came home early. She parked the car and then honked the horn. Then she honked again and then again. Puzzled, my dad went to see what the problem was. The next thing I saw was Daddy picking Mama up and carrying her into the house. Plantin' trees wasn't easy.

Tonight after 1 1/2 hours of paddling UPSTREAM in a swift river I sat in my van calculating the route home that had the fewest turns. My upper body needed rest and I knew my reflexes weren't what they had been 2 hours earlier. I drove home - the straightest route I could think of - wondering how long I'd have to sit in the driveway before Gordon would think to come and check on me. I didn't need him to carry me in like my mom did, (I know Gordon is glad about that), I just needed him to put the car in park, turn off the ignition, and open the door for me. Alas, he wasn't on the ball that way. I managed on my own, but was very aware that my upper body had just been buffeted into subjection just like the Apostle Paul admonished. I didn't have the strength to fart, much less lift my arms.

I remembered Mama and her planting trees and I chuckled.

I am thankful to the good Lord, and I mean that in all seriousness, that I had the good sense to work on my cardio prior to getting on the river. Had I not been preparing for the past 6 weeks, I would have thrown myself overboard and said "no really, ya'll go on without me. I'll be fine." Thank You God, and again, I mean that in all seriousness.

I'm hear to tell you I MADE IT. I'm thinking about what I might look like at the end of the summer. I'm afraid I'll loose my toned look and take on a bulky mass look. I hope not. The bulky look just wouldn't suit me, you know?

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Check out Melody's blog

Since I don't have much to say these days, I will refer you to my niece Melody's blog. She speaks eloquently about her at-times-spacy family. I thought it was so cute. Please read.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

secret sister society

This weekend two friends in two different conversations talked to me about their secret sisters' club. If you don't know what a secret sister is, it basically boils down to sending gifts and cards to someone (your secret sister) who doesn't know who you are. At the end of the year, there's usually a banquet or such where the secret sisters come out of the closet, revealing their identity.

These conversations brought back memories of my year-long stint in the society of secret sisterhood. I was barely out of teenage-hood, but since I had a baby, I was invited to join the women's clubs of the church. I joined the Satanic Secret Sister Society. (It wasn't really Satanic, I just said that for effect and to subtly imply my thoughts on secret sister clubs.)

Gung ho with excitement, I was an amazing secret sis. An overachiever, no holiday went by without my sis getting something. St. Patrick's Day, Valentines Day, birthday, anniversary, Hanukkah, Martin Luther King Day -- they all were commemorated by this secret sis. (Hanukkah was a bit of a lie, but you get the idea, right?)

It didn't take long for the disappointment to settle. Whoever had drawn my name was a pathetic secret sis. Thanksgiving - no card. Christmas - no card, much less a gift. New Year's, anniversary, April's Fool Day, - nothing, nothing, nothing. My secret sister got Gloria Vanderbilt cologne from me for Christmas. I didn't get so much as a hohoho. On her birthday, she got a bouquet of flowers. The injustice of it all was blowing my young mind.

As the holidays slipped by, I got mouthier and mouthier about my disappointments with my best friend Debbie. Debbie got good stuff from her secret sister too. That didn't help my aggravation and growing disdain for whoever the louse was who drew my name.

Debbie and I lived on the same street. On my birthday I was at her house when a flower delivery car drove by. Ever hopeful that my secret sister had turned over a new leaf, I enthused, "Maybe that's something from my secret sister." I jumped off the sofa and ran to the street to see if the flower delivery guy stopped at my house. Dejected, I slumped back in to announce how my secret sister couldn't be worse if she tried.

Months went by. I never heard from my sis and I regularly defamed her to Debbie. The whole secret sister thing grew sour. I couldn't say "secret sister" without snarling my lips in disgust.
When the end-of-the-year banquet rolled around, Debbie nagged me terribly to go with her. I refused. Why humiliate myself? What could I possibly say to my revealed secret sister, "Oh gee, it was you? I never would have guessed, you low-life-turkey-tit." It was best to stay home. However, I couldn't wait for Debbie to find out who my pea-brained secret sis was.

Debbie had strict orders to come to my house immediately after the banquet. When she walked in the back door, she started laughing hysterically as she announced she was my secret sister. She had relished every malicious thing I'd confided about my scum-bag secret sister. She had begged me to go to the banquet with her because she wanted so badly to see my expression when I learned who my secret sister had been. To her, it had all been very hilarious.

I've not joined a secret sister club since my novice run at it. Surely Debbie was the lousiest secret sister ever, but she was an amazing real friend. I truly miss her.


Monday, May 19, 2008

a dreadlock-thinking victoria day

Happy Victoria Day to all you Canucks. Happy May 19 to all you non-Canucks. I hope to be a full fledged Canadian citizen by July 1. July 1 is our equivalent to July 4. I think it would be so cool to be sworn in on Canada Day. No promises about when my citizenship process will be over, but I'd never forget the day and the symbolism of it all if I got a Canada Day swearing in.

For those of you wondering what Victoria Day is, Victoria Day is celebration of the Queen's birthday. When it became a holiday, Victoria was the queen. Now it's the celebration of Queen Elizabeth's birthday, but it's still called Victoria Day. I wonder if that chaps Queen Elizabeth's royal hide. :-)

I have a mild fascination with dreadlocks. Ever since I heard a favorite writer talk about her dreadlocks with so much appreciation, I've been curious and a slightly envious of dreadlocks. I have painfully unstylish hair. And because I'm a "no maintenance" kind of person, I can't be bothered to make it look any better. It's fine and straight and generally as boring as hair can get.

I've kept this fascination with dreadlocks under my hat. My getting dreadlocks wouldn't go over well with anyone, so it seemed wise to keep it under my hat. However when asked "what would you do if you had the nerve?" my inner answer is get dreadlocks. Once you get dreadlocks, you get rid of them by shaving your head. So it's not like I could try them on for fit and then casually decide, "I don't look too good with dreads." Getting dreadlocks is a pretty big decision.

Many people I'm sure can't fathom why I'd even be fascinated. So let me explain just a little bit about dreadlocks. (Please note I know very little about them, just what I've read.) Dreadlocks aren't necessarily dirty. You can wash them regularly. Admittedly they look like a mass of tangles. What about that seems attractive to me? Quite frankly it's this. My hair wouldn't hug my head with ugly regularity if I had dreadlocks. Presently my hair sticks to my head like a barnacle sticks to a rock. It would look like a tangly mess, but it wouldn't look thin and boring and lacking personality. I really appreciate hair with personality.

So there you have it, a secret longing of mine. This morning a couple of my girls caught me looking at dreadlocks on the net. When I explained that I'd like to have dreadlocks, they yelled, "Mom no. You can't do that? Daaaaadddd, Mom's gonna get dreadlocks," which of course I never said. They took off toward Dad like I'd just packed my bags and said I was leaving with the mailman. I heard them tell him I was getting dreadlocks and I heard him respond confidently, "No she's not."

"Yes she is Dad, she said she was."

Gordon came upstairs and asked what the girls were talking about. I told him it was nothing more than a fascination. I didn't tell him all my rationalizations that I just spilled here.

He responded, "Dreadlocks are disgusting. They're sickening.... But I'll support you 100%."

So that puts a new spin on things. I wonder.....

Friday, May 16, 2008


Is it possible that somewhere there is really a doorbell like this beside someone's front door?

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Mother's Day to Stephanie

Yesterday was Stephanie's first Mother's Day. First Mother's Day is a special occasion. This is her precious little fam. Notice Roman's teeth. Isn't he a ham?

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Employee Recognition

Last night Gordon and I went to a work dinner to honor exemplary employees. Gordon was one of the honored. We had our picture taken. Just as we got to the photographer, the Pipe Band (bag pipes and drums) entered and marched right past us. It was LOUD.

The photographer grabbed us and put us into an embracing position. There were no preliminaries at all, he just started pushing us together and into this fairly intimate position. He grabbed our hands and placed them together. The bagpipes were blasting and in the mild confusion of the moment, I couldn't resist a small practical joke. As the photographer pushed us into each others arms I yelled - to get my voice over the bagpipes - "But we aren't together."

I thought it was hilarious.


Saturday, May 10, 2008


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Grandson Roman

Because I know it's important to you...., this is Romie Boy, 10 months.

Dang, isn't he cute?

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Saturday, May 3, 2008

the hunger site

A few days ago I read about a website called "The Hunger Site." It's a site all about feeding the hungry throughout the world. They have a fascinating thing going there. The idea is visiting the site everyday, and clicking on an orange button. Everytime the button gets clicked, money is given to the cause of feeding the poor. I signed up earlier this week. Every day I get a reminder notice to click. I open the link and click and I've benefitted the poor. Simple as anything.

If you'll go over there and sign up (and sign up to get the email reminder to "click" each day), the vendors on the site, give money to the poor every time you click.

In months perhaps we'll learn it's all been a sham. But hopefully not. And I can't think of a better way to "waste" 10 seconds of my day. Click click.

I don't feel I've explained this very well, so please please go look at the hunger site. They explain quite well how it works. Imagine actually doing something every day so simple yet powerful enough to feed someone somewhere.