Monday, April 28, 2008
There are some games I truly hate! For instance the volleyball and basketball we were wickedly forced to play in high school. I was actually the last person chosen for the teams on more than one occasion. I still remember very vividly standing there, humiliated, hoping that I would at least be the second last. Then, when the true torture started, I would stand there, terrified that the ball would come my way, bringing further humiliation with it! There are other games for which I feel the potential for enjoyment, but this is mitigated by the certainty that I will loose. These would include chess – I once won a game against a four year old, but other than that, my loss record is perfect. The last time I played was with my then husband, and I ended up throwing the chessmen at him. He still, forty years later, brings this up with a bit of pride and a triumphant snicker. I always lose at scrabble, no doubt because I am more interested in making clever words than in cut-throatedly concentrating on getting the highest score. Rachael and I used to play with no score-keeping, and it was far more fun! Then there is tennis. One summer many, many years ago, my friend Sue persuaded me to take lessons with her. Of course, I was the worst in the class, and she the second worst. We played together often in the evenings while out husbands sat on the sidelines watching the kiddies. She always won. I seldom even got the ball back over the net. One day, we were playing by ourselves – no husbands about – and I actually won! This upset her so, that she started crying, and made me promise never to tell her husband! Can you believe it? Took the wind out of my sails a bit, I can tell you! So when my cousin Mark said, “Tennis, anyone?” I naturally declined. Reading my mind, he added, “There will be no humiliation in this game.” I was persuaded, and so played for the first time in thirty years, and wearing Croc’s and a sarong! Marc had a huge bucket of balls, which he gently hit over the net to Steven Kekoa or me, and which we frequently retuned – Kekoa, far more frequently than I! It was super fun! The most fun thing I have done in a long time. We were drenched by the time we were done. I suppose I should change the title of this entry to a “dewy day,” since ladies never sweat – rather, they “dew”.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Miranda’s brother Steven Kekoa is a chef and gourmet. Here he is making pancakes with panache. After breakfast, he bought a coconut at the local Farmers’ Market. The gent selling the coconut claims to have been most recently living on Venus. He also has something on his arm which was implanted there when he was captured briefly by aliens. He had he doctor x-ray it, but the x-ray was negative for any abnormalities. The coconut was quite good, despite the vendor’s somewhat checkered history.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
No adventures or interesting contretemps today! Once again I am having internet troubles because the wifi of the nearby Sheraton Hotel is stronger than the wimpy internet of our condo. And despite their name, the Sheraton people won’t share. I can’t access it without a password, so I am stuck. I may never stay at a Sheriton Hotel again after this!
Since this seemed to start out as a “What I Had for Dinner” blog, I will stick to the theme and let you know what Popsicle had for lunch today – a yummy millipede and a cockroach. You can see his tongue grabbing the millipede and then his satisfied look as he finishes it up.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
This morning we went to Mass at St. Michael’s, the local parish church. Since last year, the church has been damaged in the recent earthquake, and is now condemned until repaired. Normally, it is a fairly unremarkable 1950’s style building with nice windows depicting historic events in the Hawaiian church – such as St. Damian caring for the lepers. For the time being, however, Mass is held outside in a tent. As you can see, the effect was quite charming, and one of the more pleasant Mass ambiences I have experienced. In previous years, we heard the world’s most awful choir. This choir was so bad, that they transcended awful, and rose to something almost wonderful. The voices all seemed as though they might blend if only one person were not there. She had a most distinct Mother Maybelle Carter sound - but this morning only another Mother Maybelle was there to lead the singing. I was sitting there, dully listening to someone drone on, thinking, “This is certainly not St. James!” No ecstatic Bach, no soaring Mozart, no frisky Britten, no brilliant sermons from Father Ryan. Suddenly I was fully alert! There was a little mongoose sitting at the edge of the altar! Now there is something that St. James can’t beat!
If you look carefully, you can see her disappearing behind the post. She was lurking about at Mass for quite a while, but as soon as she saw my camera, she scooted off, only to make several more quick reappearances.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Rachael tells me that I have to have pictures, but sadly, I can’t seem to manage to make the pictures small enough to upload. I just have not mastered this Mac. Or maybe I need a special program. So, I don’t have pictures, and I don’t have much to say. We are leading the dull life – crossword puzzles, knitting, reading, swimming and eating. Ecstasy! My thrill of the day yesterday was an allspice tree in my cousin’s yard. There were no berries at this time of the year, but it was full of bright, lively green leaves. I crushed one and it smelled wonderful – all allspicey and fresh. It was genuine aroma therapy. Allspice is one of my favorite spices, and in fact, was the main flavoring of the ugly but delicious pear pie I made several weeds ago. I have a friend who prides herself on cooking everything from scratch and never using ANY shortcuts. She was disapproving when her daughter used concentrated milk (an essential ingredient) when making candy, and bragged to me that she never used allspice, thinking that allspice was a combination like pumpkin pie spice, or Italian Seasoning. I told her that this was not so, but she remained skeptical. Now whenever I use it, I think of her, and, evil person that I am, take a certain malicious joy in it.
This picture is of a wild ginger bush which we saw on a walk last year.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
The mushroom was not fatal in an Agatha Christie way. It was more Shakespearian. If I had not so adored Rachael, and so wanted to cook her dinner, and had not so lusted after this lovely portabella mushroom, nothing terrible would have happened. I have long heard the witchy voices telling me to “Beware the parking lot of Trader Joseph!” I usually heed this warning and avoid that spot assiduously, walking blocks with huge gallons of milk rather than enter the dread portals. However, late at night when it is not crowded and seems more manageable, I venture in. As I was backing out of my spot, a horrid yellow pole-like thing – short and completely out or my range of vision- leapt out and smashed a dent in my lovely pristine car. I was devastated, as you can imagine.
Then ....... this morning, Rachael called and said not to cook her dinner, as she would have already eaten.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
For reasons unknown, this flower reminds me of a patient I have had several times. We became more or less intimately acquainted about three months ago when she had an evening of terrible diarrhea. Patients get so upset about needing to be cleaned up, but I tell them that we nurses love it. Some of us – perhaps I should just speak for myself – actually do. It is the one time that a nurse can slow down and really talk to the patient about more than their circulation, their pain, their nausea, or other medical issues. And no one comes in and says, “Joanna, I need you right now!” When you are up to your elbows in poop, no one disturbs you. They find someone else to handle the problem that they wanted to interrupt you for.
Anyhow, several months ago, I cut about four inches off my hair. Not ONE PERSON noticed. Not a family member, not a co-worker, no one in my choir (my fellow altos seem like the most likely to have noticed – altos are an observant and caring group – but even they did not.) I marveled about this and could not understand how it could be, but there you are! Then, I was walking down the hall at work on a recent evening, and a voice called out, “Joanna, Joanna!” I went into the room, and it was Patsy, my patient who had diarrhea, and the first thing she said was, “Why, you cut your hair!” We both laughed when I told her that she was the only one who had ever noticed.
Last week I made a pear pie, but did not show it to you, as while it tasted good – even the crust – it was not too photogenic. In fact, it was pretty ugly! I had four small pears left, which I wanted to have for dessert somehow, but there did not seem to be enough of them to really make much. Pear mush over ice cream would be just the ticket. Tom fried the pears in butter, added some sugar, orange juice and zest, and voila! Tres yummy!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
On a happier note, I figured out how to take close up pictures with my new camera. I tried for years to do it with the old one, and I just never seemed to be able to get it. One morning, shortly before that camera’s demise, I was taking pictures of crocuses (croci?) in my yard, and a family strolled by. The father asked, “Are you using your macro?” “No, I don’t know how,” I sadly replied. “Let me show you,” he said, and he did. With the new camera, the instruction booklet was naturally of no help, but using what he had shown me on the old one, I finally had success.
*Maria often channels suggestions through her mother Rachael. These suggestions usually have to do with ways in which I can make my darling Rachael happier. Or ways in which I can deal effectively with Michael, showing him that Maria is the boss. Her suggestions are often quite witty and practical. As now.