Thursday, December 16, 2010

Success!

I actually did it! We baked a birthday cake for Jesus! I said I was going to do it, and we did it! I am so proud of myself :)

Granted, it didn't go exactly as I had planned...there was no time to decorate the birthday cake because the boys took a loooong time decorating the gingerbread house (that wasn't in the original plan, but was a HUGE blessing). Brytin and I didn't gorge ourselves on birthday cake either, but that probably wasn't a necessary part of the fun.

We mixed the batter together. I baked. I frosted. I lit the candle, and all three of us sang "Happy Birthday." Brytin, of course, enjoyed a piece of the cake :)


Yesterday, a dear old friend posted this status update on Facebook, "if there is one flaw in women, it is this...they forget there worth and how remarkable they truly are!:)"

I think that one of the best ways to remember my worth is to celebrate my successes.

Yay me!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Simple Christmas?

A friend suggested we all focus this year on a "Simpler Christmas."

I can check that off my "to do" list.

I haven't hung a single strand of lights, and haven't yet decided if I even will.

I had good intentions. After Brytin's birthday, I was going to lug all the decorations out. (I always wait until after his birthday.)

But then I found out he'll be gone for the ten days preceding Christmas, and I just haven't been able to muster the energy to do any of the awesomely fun stuff we did last year.

Last year was an AWESOME Christmas - my favoritest. I will always remember it. I wasn't overburdened or burnt out or anything like that. I had every intention of working the same game plan this year. But, when the child will be gone for ten days, it just sort of changes the game, I guess.

Life has been pretty difficult for me since Thanksgiving. It was a pleasure to serve a Thanksgiving feast. But the pain that has invaded my hands and my ribs since...well, let's just say I've been a crabbypants for a few weeks now...

So, as I reread my friend's blog posts about simplifying our holiday celebrations, I am reminded that Christmas really can be best celebrated in many simple ways.

+ Every time Brytin and I are in the car, and it is dark outside, we take the time to enjoy the Christmas lights others have hung.

+ Christopher received a Christmas present that he truly truly truly L-O-V-E, LOVES. (An ipod nano.)

+ We take our dog for a walk after dark, so we can enjoy the Christmas lights in our neighborhood.

+ We took Brytin ice skating - and Chris had a FABULOUS time :D

+ I got a pea in a pod ornament to commemorate my pregnancy.

Brytin leaves tomorrow, so there really isn't time for much Christmas fanfare. I think that before he goes, he and I will bake a birthday cake for Jesus. And I will thank Him for a holiday that has so far been filled with peace and joy and love.

(Birthday Cake idea stolen from article, "Have Yourself a Very Simple Christmas."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

People-Pleaser Checklist

Ever wondered if you are a people-pleaser? I found this people-pleaser checklist in "Be Happy Without Being Perfect" by Alice Domar.

1. I should always do what others want, expect or need from me.

2. I should take care of everyone around me whether they ask for help or not.

3. I should always listen to everyone's problems and try my best to solve them.

4. I should always be nice and never hurt anyone's feelings.

5. I should always put other people first, before me.

6. I should never say no to anyone who needs or requests something of me.

7. I should never disappoint anyone or let others down in any way.

8. I should always be happy and upbeat and never show any negative feelings to others.

9. I should always try to please other people and make them happy.

10. I should try never to burden others with my own needs or wants.

You may need to replace "other people" with "my husband" or "my mother" or my "best friend" or "my children" to get a firm grasp on your true situation.

The book suggests writing opposing statements to train your brain to start changing the behavior. For example, "I should always do what my mother wants, expects or needs" could be rewritten to say "I know that I do not always have to do what my mother wants, expects or needs from me. I can choose to give when and if i want to do so."

Monday, November 29, 2010

The X in Xmas

This morning started the postings on Facebook regarding the man's attempts to remove the religious aspects out of the Christmas holiday. The first major offense being the "X" in "Xmas."

In an effort to set the record straight, I would like you all to know that the "X"
isn't an English alphabet "X." It is the Greek letter "chi."

I realize that Franklin Graham once said that it is "a war against the name of Jesus Christ," but "X" has been used to represent Christ as far back as 1021 AD.

If you don't agree with the "X" in Xmas, then you also need to remove all Labarum from your life.

Rather than focusing on any one of the numerous Christmas controversies, why not focus on making sure you yourself act a little more Christ-like this holiday.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Superfluous Spending is Stupid Regardless of the Actual Total

Hyperbole often leads to people actually missing the point.

There was this big hubaloo a couple weeks ago regarding whether or not an Administration trip to India was costing the taxpayers $200 million per day.

The local newspaper included a reprint of Thomas Friedman's op-ed piece (with a new title), "Never Let Facts Get in Way of Bashing Obama."

This column does an excellent job of praising Anderson Cooper for finding the truth (a.k.a. doing his job). The column also does an excellent job of pointing out how shameful it was for House Representative Michele Bachmann to have used the information prior to actually checking the facts (and the subsequent use of the misinformation by conservative radio hosts). "All you can hope is that more people will do what Cooper did - so when the next crazy lie races around the world, people's first instinct will be to doubt it, not repeat it."

I agree, people need to check their facts - that's why truthorfiction.com was created!

Unfortunately, the morale of the story - wasted spending - was completely overlooked by the fact that some moron jacked up the figures.

Anderson Cooper was able to find a ballpark figure on how much the President's trip to India DID cost the taxpayers. Robert Gibbs, the White House Press Secretary, was quoted as saying, "[This trip] is comparable to when President Clinton and when President Bush traveled abroad. This trip does not cost $200 million a day."

Cooper then pointed out that "Clinton's 1998 trip to Africa - with 1300 people and of roughly similar duration, cost, according to the Government Accountability Office and adjusted for inflation, 'about $5.2 million a day."

If the initial reporting regarding the trip to India would have said that the trip was costing the American taxpayer $5.2 million a day, we could have had outrage at the fact that the President was wasting our tax dollars on something extremely superfluous. Unfortunately, the story became about the exaggeration and about malicious journalism aimed at "bashing Obama."

From what I could tell, he spent two nights in India. At $5.2 million per day, that totals at least $10.4 million.

For whatever it's worth, I am outraged that millions of dollars were spent to send the President to India to talk about economic growth (a.k.a. outsourcing). This could have been done over the telephone.

Please Be Smarter Than the Proganda Thrown at You!

Hope for Our Economy is often the message I see in my local newspaper.

I'm all for keeping a positive attitude, but I think these articles are blowing smoke up our collective asses.

The Yahoo article states that "[Unemployment benefit claims] remain near their lowest level in two years." And because of this, and some other convoluted measure of unemployment benefit claims, there is once again "encouragement for the economy."

Really?!

I'm sick and tired of hearing how unemployment benefit claim numbers are improving, and thus signalling an improvement in our economy. To anyone who has half a brain, these numbers don't mean diddly squat.

Why? Because these numbers don't count a plethora of people.

Who? People who are underemployed.

Anyone who took a pay cut (i.e. salaried workers with furlough days).
Anyone who works less hours than they used to (including loss of overtime).
People who are staying at a job they HATE because there are no better options (Military retention at historic highs).
People who are employed less than their skill level (i.e. working as a cashier at the grocery store rather than an accounts payable clerk).
And finally, people whose benefits have run out. (Please notice the first quote above - "lowest level in TWO YEARS." No one gets benefits past two years, so of course there are less benefits been paid.)

It is annoying that the media and the politicians and the economists think the general population is too stupid to know when they are feeding us a bunch of bullshit.

I wish they would just be honest - America's economy is NEVER going to be what it was, and that's OKAY. But that's really a whole different issue :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner is ON!

When I thought about Thanksgiving earlier this month, I was concerned that I might wake up Thanksgiving morning and just not have the energy to cook a turkey and all the fixings. Plus, knowing that my unemp benefits are coming to an end, I was a little worried about the idea of feeding many people for Thanksgiving.

Then, my husband said his co-workers were asking if I was going to cook. Well that just put a little spring in my kick ;) Last year, I so greatly enjoyed providing a meal for some sailors and friends that weren't going to see their families (or just wanted to hang out with us!). I'm really thankful that it impacted some peoples' lives :)

And then today, I opened the Sunday paper to see some AMAZING sales at Ralph's and at Fresh 'N' Easy.

I know this was never meant to be a blog about bargain shopping, but seriously, I am awesome at grocery shopping! I have previously posted evidence of this:

Superwoman
Bargain Shopping

With $68.23, I bought:
39 lbs of turkey
20 lbs of ham
5 lbs rump roast
2 cans evaporated milk
6 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cans cream of chicken soup
5 cans chicken broth
2 cans beef broth
3 cans vegetable broth
4 cans Hormel chili
4 boxes stove top
4 lbs butter
4 cans cranberries
1 box hot cocoa
3 cans soup

I think we've got Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and maybe even Easter covered :)

Seriously, Southern California is FULL of transplants! If you don't have family to visit on Thanksgiving, you are more than welcome at the Broussard house :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

The One Thing That's Too Personal to Write About

Over my lifetime, I have written some very personal things on paper because that is how I have processed the emotions.

Over the past few years, I have published a LOT of those things on the Internet because I enjoy writing and sharing my writing.

Over the last couple months, however, the one thing I have not posted much about is my pregnancy.

I have been writing in a journal (when my carpal tunnel allows), but that journal is for my child to read someday.

The best that I can explain it, is that this pregnancy is MINE (and Chris's, of course). But I just don't want every little piece of information broadcast to the world. I do not put a lot of information on Facebook. I do not post my journal writings. I do not talk to anyone but Chris about my fears and joys and intimate moments with the baby.

I'm such an open book about every aspect of my life - my past, my marriage, being a stepparent, my extended family, my work history, whatever. If you have a question, I will answer it - sometimes even before you actually ask it.

But I guess, one of the quirky things that has happened during this pregnancy is that I am not interested in sharing these special moments with anyone but the father of my baby.

It might be superstition, "If I don't show the universe how excited I am, it won't take it away." There might be a little part of me that just cannot handle being inundated with advice and belly pats and opinions.

But my guess is that I just finally found something very personal and extremely sacred and my love and reverence and happiness is mine alone to enjoy.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

PostSecret chose to honor the Veterans this week by posting a four-minute video of postcards from soldiers and their families.

-----Email-----
I am disappointed that you would allow such a biased video to be presented on such an importantly honest website: one of the few in our world these days. (I even arranged a PostSecret Event at my undergrad institution). There is not a single reference to the horrible death and emotional ravages of war and that's just misinformation.

-----Facebook Comment-----
My husband has done two 12 month tours in Iraq. He made it home safely both times. I thought I was "hardened" to all the heartfelt military stuff, but I started crying at the second postcard. Thank you for reminding me how much joy, pride, patriotism, loneliness, heartbreak, empowerment, frustration, sadness, camaraderie, and LOVE there is in being a military spouse.

The first comment, apparently emailed to PostSecret, is so heartbreaking I cannot even find the words to describe my disgust. Though I am biased, I still don't think it is that difficult to separate support of the men and woman of the military from one's personal opinion regarding war.

The Facebook Comment brings me so many tears of joy, I cannot even find the words to describe my pride in being a MilSpouse.

Our First Separation
Thankful Pride
The Man I Support

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." The famous line, translated to current English from Robert Burns' poem "To a Mouse," is expertly explained on Dictonary.com as meaning:

"No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it."

As I learned this summer, God always has better plans. (That Freewill Reunion led to the bun in my oven!)

However, often times it sucks when our best laid plans falter. Rarely is it due to anything we did wrong or planned poorly. Sometimes, our plans just fail. Unfair as it may be, sometimes that is just the way it is. There is no rational justification - there is only 20/20 hindsight that maps the choices that led us to this disappointing moment. Unfortunately, hindsight is a tricky bastard that can lead us awry! We need to be careful that hindsight does not lead us to regret perfectly awesome decisions that just somehow did not work out in the end.

It sucks to watch a loved one's best laid plans falter. Especially when you can see that it was not due to poor decisions or faulty planning. It is just one of those unfair shitty life moments. It sucks to be helpless to fix it. It sucks to be only able to say, "Wow. That sucks." Especially when it is someone you really love who truly had perfect plans and some outside force just swoops in and goes Katrina all over their lives. Especially when it is someone you really love who is a really good planner who had really great plans that just spontaneously combusted and the remains have the potential to cause irreversible physical, emotional and spiritual damage on peoples' lives.

How do you lovingly encourage someone through that without sounding like you are down-playing it or worse yet, overreacting? How do you help someone without sounding like you are being condescending or even worse, pitying them? How do you shrug it off and lament with them, all the while encouraging them to find a better solution than the present - knowing full-well that the PERFECT plan is no longer an option? How do you guide a heartbroken individual to a place where they not only accept the hand they have so rudely been dealt but actually convince them to embrace it with doe-eyed optimism, mindful excitement and even curiousity?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

There are no Coincidences

A couple years ago, I heard a gentleman on the radio talking about his book, "Have a New Kid by Friday."

I finally thought to get the book from the library early this fall when Brytin and I were struggling.

The book, however, must be pretty popular, because it wasn't available for me to check out until around mid-October.

I realized today that the book was due back to the library yesterday, but I hadn't even cracked the cover (too busy reading mommy-to-be books)!

I tried to renew my check out, but of course, could not because someone ELSE has already requested the book!

So I started reading, thinking I could just skim it and return it this afternoon and the fine would be 25 cents, no harm no foul.

As it turns out, the book is pretty awesome and I don't want to skim it. But of course, I am too cheap to buy it. BUT, my library has fine free Fridays, so I figure that I keep the book until Friday (so I don't have to actually pay for reading it) and read the book in the meantime. Sneaky and unfair to the person waiting for the book, I know, but I promise I'll learn something!

Ironically, 20 minutes ago, I received a phone call from a friend who was having some issues with her offspring. And even though I am only on chapter Tuesday, I was able to give her this helpful advice:

(from pages 26-27) "Today's parents often don't act like parents. They are so concerned about being their child's friend, about not wounding their child's psyche, about making sure their child is happy and successful, that they fail in their most important role: to be a parent. They snowplow their child's road in life, smoothing all the bumps so the child never has to be uncomfortable or go out of his way. And why should he? He's used to having things done for him."

I suggested she let a snowball hit the boy in the face ;) I think I've spent too much time reading "Moms Who Drink and Swear!"

Anyway, all that just say, God sure has a funny way of bringing everything together for the good of those who love Him!

Be sure to read my review of the book :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Articles on HubPages

I have been writing in a journal ever since I was a in third grade. I have always enjoyed writing. In high school, that writing bug blossomed from horrible attempts at fiction, to commentary - non-fiction pieces that (hopefully) provide some insight about something you care about.

Back in the MySpace days, I wrote my first ever "blog." Chris and I were breaking up after six weeks of falling in love...

Over the next three years, I wrote occassionally. (Like five days later when Chris and I got back together!) Nothing consistent, and nothing ground-breaking. But at the same time, I wrote blogs that caused people to feel what I felt, learn what I learned and see what I saw. A lot of those Myspace blogs are difficult for me to read, because they are very emotion-filled about MY life. I can still see myself sitting at the computer crying about whatever, and writing my little heart out.

But, I saved them. I moved them to Blogger, because I figured I wouldn't be visiting MySpace much. Thus, in August 2009, the blog "Exercises in Writing" was born. I had always intended to write more, to write better, but sometimes life gets in the way. (See Our Two-Wheeled Adventure and Elementary Escapades for evidence!)

The same month, I stumbled upon HubPages.com. This website intends to be a source of information (like Wiki), but a writer's community, and at the same time a portal for blogs. Make no mistake, I have no ideas of grandeur about my writing "career." I write for me, I write for you, and if a stranger happens upon it - and learns something, sweet.

I more than likely will never write the book I always wanted to. I more than likely will never be a journalist. I more than likely will never be a world-renowned blogger. I'm okay with that :) I'm a wife, a stay-at-home-parent, a biker, a Christian, a daughter, a really great bargain hunter and a friend. Isn't that enough?!

So, all that to tell you that there are some articles I wrote on HubPages, that I think are pretty gosh darn awesome. Unfortunately, they did not get read much. I'll post them here for you to read at your leisure ;)

I hope you have an awesome day.

My favorite Hub articles:

America: Land of the Free?
Barack Obama: Nobel Laureate 2009
Gavin Newsom and Keith Bardwell: Heroes or Villains?

And finally, the article I wrote yesterday:
Voting Dress Code First Step in Restoring Respect

Saturday, October 23, 2010

MRS. BONINO

I am not a creative writer. I cannot write fiction if my life depended on it. But when I come across beautiful works, I definitely appreciate them!

I hope you enjoy!

MRS. BONINO

Learn a little more about the author, Mairdre on Hubpages.

Read all her published works.

Have a writer you love? Or a style of writing you adore? Tell me about it...
Rather than unneccessarily vaccinating us against chicken pox and the flu, why not find a vaccine for cholera that is killing hundreds in Haiti?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Even the Harley dealership has Breast Cancer Awareness fliers and sales pitches! Are you kidding me?!

Random Ramblings

It isn't very often I take to my blog to ramble, but my cat and my back refuse to let me sleep, and I obviously don't feel like cleaning, so here I sit at the computer.

I'm really tired of not seeing the sunrise. Every morning for like two or three weeks has been cloudy. It's annoying. Thankfully, I live in East County, so the sun does make an appearance every day. If it didn't, I would probably have started a riot by now.

My friend Tina started a blog. You should check it out. She writes Letters to God on a pretty regular basis. She has definitely impacted me with her blog! Encouragement is the best motivation for writing - please leave her a comment if she impacts you :)

October is apparently Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I have been racking my brain for 15 days to try to figure out how to say something in a non-offensive way. And then, I was on PostSecret yesterday and found the answer...

I am not a breast cancer survivor, so please forgive me if I sound insensitive, but isn't everyone in America already aware of breast cancer?
Over the weekend, I saw the NFL covered in pink. Last night, I was at grocery store and the employees were wearing pink. Almost every shelf had at least one product that was making a donation to breast cancer research...All I could think was, why aren't the guys lobbying so furious for prostate cancer research? Why do the women who have breast cancer get all the glory? There are a billion different kinds of cancers, why is breast cancer so "trendy" and everyone else hangs out in the shadows? Why isn't October "Cancer Survivors" month or something like that?

And another thing, I am not normally a consipiracy theorist, but seriously...shouldn't there already be a cure for cancer?!! Billions (maybe even trillions) of dollars have been funneled into the "industry" and the best they have come up with in 50 or so years is to lob off our breasts?! Gimme a break. Somebody, somewhere is making money off this whole thing, and it isn't the survivors (or the deceased)!

Chris joined a motorcycle club :) I am super duper proud of him, and excited for him, and really glad to have met all the people from the Royal Aces of San Diego!

My pregnancy is going really well. Except for when I try to sleep, I am never sick or even uncomfortable. Chris, I think, is having a really great time too. Except he's a little bitter that I refuse to find out the sex of the baby! Hey, listen, I have to give birth, I get to call SOME shots! I do not want to know beforehand, and so, he can't know either. No one knows except God and my Muffin. (Even though we're like 95% sure it's a boy.)

The first couple months were a little rough...I quit smoking, I almost quit caffeine, and I had to quit my depression medicine. Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck! Thankfully, my husband was willing to work with me and we survived! Now, honestly, I can't stop laughing. My therapist (whom I still see every week) says that it is entirely possible that I won't need that medicine anymore. (It won't even be an option until I'm done nursing, so it could be like a year from now that we'll have to make that choice.)

Did I tell you my BFF had her baby? Yea, Gavin. September 14th. He's adorable! She sends me pictures all the time. I sure wish I could hold him! It's been a lot of fun talking to her the past four weeks about life with a baby. I've learned a lot from her (like always).

Alright, that's enough rambling. I'm going to try to sleep a little. Have a blessed day!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bargain Shopping

So as many of you know, my husband and I do not have boat loads of discretionary income to spend. We pay our bills and we're pretty close to tapped.

Unfortunately, I have a HORRIBLE habit of spending whatever money we have left. I need to stop this, I know. I justify it, because I am always spending the money on food...but we are never in a place where we NEED food. Plus, I always get really really really good deals on food, only justifying my spending more...It's a horrible habit that I need to stop, but before I stop, can I just tell you how much I bought the other day for $53.29?

Sour Cream
Cottage Cheese
3 Yogurt
Tortilla Chips
Pumpkin Spice Cookie Mix
Frozen Raw Shrimp
Cinnamon Applesauce
Blueberry Fruit Juice
Can of Peas
Can of Carrots
Syrup
Bread
Pomegranate Sherbet
Red Tea
Printer (from Wal-Mart)
Haircut magazine (Hey, a pregnant lady is required to change her hairstyle)
10 lbs potatoes
Cake donuts (pregnant, remember)
2.5 lbs Chicken Legs
5 lbs Pork Chops
3 lbs oranges (that I didn't actually get)
4 avocados
1.5 lbs onions
1.5 lbs zucchini
1 bag carrots
2 lbs tomatoes
1.5 lbs apples
3 cucumbers
1 lb nectarines
3 bunches green onions
6.5 lbs cantaloupes
4 lbs oranges (that I did get)
2 gallons of milk
1 box Kix
1 box Honey Kix
1 box Corn Bran Crunch
1 jar super chunk peanut butter

Seriously, am I good or what?! People should pay me to shop for them!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Why the Peaceful Majority is Irrelevant

Why the Peaceful Majority is Irrelevant
by Paul E. Marek

History lessons are often incredibly simple.

I used to know a man whose family were German aristocracy prior to World War II. They owned a number of large industries and estates. I asked him how many German people were true Nazis, and the answer he gave has stuck with me and guided my attitude toward fanaticism ever since.


“Very few people were true Nazis,” he said, “but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.”


We are told again and again by experts and talking heads that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unquantified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.


The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars world wide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behea
The fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.
d, murder, or execute honor killings. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard, quantifiable fact is that the “peaceful majority” is the “silent majority,” and it is cowed and extraneous.


Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people. The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a war-mongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across Southeast Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians - most killed by sword, shovel and bayonet. And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery? Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were “peace loving”?


History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt; yet, for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by the fanatics. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because, like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.


Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Bosnians, Afghanis, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians and many others, have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us, watching it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts: the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gavin Scott

A baby was born on Sept 14th. Not my baby, but a baby I couldn't possibly love any more than if he were my own.

My best friend had her baby :)

It kills me that I haven't held him yet, but I know God is infinitely wiser than I, so there must be some great plan in the works...

Gavin Scott. What an AWESOME name. With a name like that he is bound to be the most popular, most adorable, most hilarious, most intelligent AND most athletic boy in all of Rockford.

As I've written before, Amy is priceless to me. Just as our mothers were close, Amy has been my rock for the last decade. I can only pray that somehow, our children don't feel the 2200 mile distance and become lifelong friends. (Or maybe I have a girl and the Glors and Galsters finally unite?!)

Congratulations, Amy and Brandon!!

If interested, you can read some of her experience on Little Lou Laughs.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Obama's Stimulus Cost MORE than 8 Years of War

I'm not making that title up. There's even a handy dandy little graph to prove it.

Check out the article here.

* Obama's stimulus, passed in his first month in office, will cost more than the entire Iraq War -- more than $100 billion (15%) more.

* Just the first two years of Obama's stimulus cost more than the entire cost of the Iraq War under President Bush, or six years of that war.

* Iraq War spending accounted for just 3.2% of all federal spending while it lasted.

* Iraq War spending was not even one quarter of what we spent on Medicare in the same time frame.

* Iraq War spending was not even 15% of the total deficit spending in that time frame. The cumulative deficit, 2003-2010, would have been four-point-something trillion dollars with or without the Iraq War.

* The Iraq War accounts for less than 8% of the federal debt held by the public at the end of 2010 ($9.031 trillion).

* During Bush's Iraq years, 2003-2008, the federal government spent more on education that it did on the Iraq War. (State and local governments spent about ten times more.)

I tried to find a concise explanation of said stimulus plan. No go. It's basically $787 billion of tax cuts and government spending. Have you seen the road signs "Putting America to Work." Yea, that's stimulus money.

Interestingly, I did find an article from Reuters in February that states that Obama actually saved America from a depression with this stimulus. However, today CNBC says we are actually in a depression...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

60000 illegal immigrant births per year in Texas

I bought a book at the Dollar Tree the other day, "Let Them In," by Jason L. Riley. I bought it because I am interested in reading an opposing point of view on the immigration issue. And the author promised to debunk all the common arguments made against immigration.

Unfortunately, I have been busy the last couple days and have not yet had a chance to read it. (There are actually a LOT of books on that list of "have not read yet.")

This morning as I was sipping my morning coffee, I came upon this article regarding illegal immigrant births in Texas.

It appears to me that the one side of the argument is that these helpless children have no where to go...that America cannot turn them away just because their parents broke the laws.

The other side is looking at the 14th amendment line that states "all peoples born within the borders of the United States become its citizen," and saying that it isn't necessary in the birth of the child to automatically make it a citizen.

First of all, I would be interested in seeing a comparison between the handling of the babies born in prison and the babies born to illegal immigrants. Both parents broke the law...how are the children treated relatively speaking? Children born to mothers in prison are in a very similar situation, and I believe, they end up in our debacle of a foster care system...

Second of all, the section of the 14th amendment that has been bastardized to allow illegal immigrants to give birth here was meant to protect slaves. It made illegal the state laws that prevented slaves from becoming citizens and from being treated as property.

Maybe that is why there is such animosity between the hispanics and the blacks?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Vicky Gray Deaton's Note Regarding Marriage

I have no idea where Vicky Gray Deaton got this note. I do not know if she wrote it, or if it happened to someone she knows or if it was just an email forward she received. I do not know. My intent is not to steal it or take credit for it. I did not write this. However, I want you to read it. I want you to learn so many things from it. I want you to feel how the husband, the wife, the son AND the mistress felt. I want you to get a more clear picture of human interaction, human emotion and the human condition...Will you achieve all of these goals I have for you? I do not know, but I PRAY that you at least try.

MARRIAGE...A MUST READ! Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 7:03pm

MARRIAGE

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I've got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.

She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month's time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.

She requested that every day for the month's duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife's divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don't tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside
the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn't tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me... she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to office.... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind...I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed - dead.
My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce.-- At least, in the eyes of our son--- I'm a loving husband....

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

Monday, August 2, 2010

4318 from home to home. Wow. Time for another oil change. LOL
Soooooo close! Just wanna sleep! This summer of travel has been dyn-o-mite!! But I'm ready to be home.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Now that i know my house clean, super xcited to?go home
Sunset in Nevada was unreal
Zion is indescribable. The canyon in AZ from UT on I15 is pretty awesome too.
Still trying to make Vegas by nine...
Fire in Utah near Kolob :(
179 to LV
Made it from Evanston to Nephi without stopping...SLC is way more beautiful than I ever expected. The suburban sprawl seems a little extreme, though...
388 to LV
If ever in Evanston, WY, do not bother stopping at Paul's Diner. It took almost an hour to get served less than mediocre food.
If we stop at Hoover Dam to show Brytin one more cool thing, we'll probly be home around 7 AM Monday.
By 9 pm and SD another 6 hrs later, or by 3 am.
SLC to LV is 419 miles. That's about 7 hrs with no stops. (Or at least 9 hrs with my travelling companions). So, if we dont make anymore stops, we'll be to LV
Stopped for breakfast at Paul's Diner in Evanston. Had no intention of stopping, but figured Brytin and my mom should probly eat!
144 to SLC
100 miles from Utah.
I'm taking over the driving. We have half a tank of gas. We're somewhere on the 80 in Wyoming. I think we're about 18 hrs from home.
Prairie dogs make the weirdest noise! We fed bread to bunnies, chipmunks, prairie dogs, birds an Jax. Super fun!!
I dont think I've been to WY before. Unfortunately it is dark and I am tired, so I still havent seen Wyoming.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

So my one goal was to show Brytin the bikes at Sturgis. We finally made it, and he is asleep!
Ok we are almost to Sturgis. How it has taken us all day I will never understand
I was more impressed with corn palace than wall drug. But at least I got pocs of Brytin in cut-outs like from when I was a kid
25 min to wall drug!!
I never thought I'd say this, but the rolling grasslands of SoDak are really pretty
OMG at this rest stop there were a million crickets. Where's St. Erho when u need him?
Mountain Time Zone! We just gained an hour! Thats awesome!!
Its hot its smells seriously im so over farm country. John Thune??
Medicine Butte in Reliance, SoDak was a place of worship and sacrifice for the Indians. So named cuz the plants, roots and herbs in area had healing properties.
Bijou Hills, Red Lake pretty cool :)
We've only gone like 90 miles in three hours! This is ridiculous. But at least we are having fun :) Took Brytin into Cabela's to see the wildlife exhibits.
Corn Palace, you are way coole than I've given you credit for the last 20 years.
Guess who is eating Taco John's????
320 to Rapid City! Prior to, of course, we'll be stopping at Corn Palace, Wall Drug and Cosmos :D
PS Brytin is trailering a bike to Sturgis this year. Hopefully I can post a pic when we get home.
33 miles from SoDak. Saw a motorcycle accident :( Please please please be careful out there. LOUD PIPES SAVE LIVES
Gassed up, loaded up, donuts, coffee, etc, etc. We are on our way - only 90 min late, pretty good for me and mom!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

OMG my mom and I are sitting on the patio and there is a little baby mouse running around!!!! EEEK!!!!!!
Had a wonderful day in MN. My dad loaded my truck with childhood memories and some gifts for my husband. Hoping to leave around 4 AM for Sturgis.
Gave my bff a hug. She's super cute preggers. Raining in MN today

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Another beautiful sonset in America
2nd couple i've seen going to sturgis
Just made last gas stop for evening. Should be able to go straight to destination :) It's 6 pm now...should be there by 9 pm!! Yipppppeeeee!
Praisin the Lord on 35 :D
On our way!!
Made it!!!
$10K if u hit a road worker
Omg im out of KS
Toll 8.50
I'm NOT stopping til Cameron!!!!
Chg of route (again) Currently on 70 east. Taking to 435 North. Then 29 North. To 92 east. To 35 North to Cameron. I just spoke to Brytin!I MISS HIM SO MUCH!!!
50 to Topeka
PS Taking 35 north towards Topeka. After Emporia, 35 becomes 335, then 470 in Topeka. When turnpike goes right to KC, stay left to St. Joeseph/59.
Still just outside Witchita. Slept, cleaned up myself and the truck,ate and fed Jax. Finally, we are on our way!!
182 to KC

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

70 miles to witchita. 5 hours from Brytin
Instead of waterboarding, we should make detainees drive back and forth thru Kansas
I forgot about the super loud bugs in KS. I thought I was blessed with KS at nite...not so much. It's really hard to see cuz it is sooooo dark
Moon is even more amesome tonite
Jax, I think we are in Kansas!!
40 miles to KS
Oklahoma is OK!!
What up, Big Texas? Thankfully, I'm on the sunny side of the storm :) I have ONLY dog that HATES wind in his face.
Goodbye 40. It was a great ride. Hello 54. Lets create some good memories, eh?
Wow another hitchhiker. This one had a yellow lab with him
Jax has gone potty. I have a cool drink. The truck has gas. We're leaving this po-dunk town in NM for bigger and better (and hopefully cheaper). Amarillo by 7?
239 to Amarillo
The NM Memorial of Perpetual Tears for fatal victims of DUI is heart-wrenching
The smell of rain
I lied. Stopped for Subway. Hopefully I'll make Alb by 1.
Continental divide
New Mex. No more stops til Alb. 152 mi
Querino Wash on 40E is one of God's special works.
OMG a hitchhiker!!!
Proof that AZ is awesome - talk radio on FM
299 to Albuequerque
A photo could never portray the beauty of sunrise in Flagstaff. Sunglasses definitely required!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

SD to Phoenix is 350 miles. How come it'll take me 8 hrs to get there? Shouldn't it be 6 hrs drive time plus time for stopping? I havent wasted 2 hrs stopped!!
75 mph limit is great for time, bad for gas.
Blg ass moon
On my way to Phoenix!
As per posted signs, I'm currently watching for animals. If I see a snake, I,m totally running it over.
Saguaro cactus on 95N
2.65 for gas :)
Arizona
Right outside of Yuma, the barren desert turns into beautiful sand dunes. Wind-blown, golden brown, beautiful. I dont think my camera will reflect their beauty
The boulders in East County are beautiful! As I stare out at the expanse of desert in Ocotillo Wells, I wonder if this is all really such a good idea...
129 to Yuma
So an hour after I said I was leaving, I actually was on the road. I went to 32nd St to get gas and got caught in traffic. Now I'm on the 8E right past Viejas.
Finally heading out. My general plan is 8E to Yuma. 95N to 10E to Phoenix. 17N to Flagstaff. 40E to Albuquerque. 25N to CO Sprgs. 24E to 70E to KC...

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Naming of a Child

I want to name my first daughter Latika (LAH-ti-ka) after the girl in "Slumdog Millionaire" or Aramis if it's a boy...if I never have a child, it'll have to be my next pet.

According to a Google search, Latika means elegant.

Aramis is the surname of a fictional swordsman in The Three Musketeers. Interestingly, he was ambitious and religious. Possibly, Aramis means "reflection of Heaven." Another interesting aspect, is that the name is French - as is Broussard.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

And finally, i am laying my head down to sleep
I do NOT recommend a red eye flight if you have something to do...I'm having a really crappy day and I'm sure it stems from the lack of sleep.
Seriously, its cold and raining in SD
At the airport...waiting...bought a neck pillow at Gredel's recommendation. Have to be at court as soon as my flight lands...hope I can get out of that ticket!
Fwd: Packing was really hard. I dont want to leave my husband...I cried a LOT. But I finally showed him my secret beach in the wetlands ;)

Bishop Museum Honolulu

I definitely had my fill of Hawaiian history this trip. I'm glad it went like it did - a week of research, a week of exploring and then 2 days of what they wanted me to know.

One cool thing I took away from the Bishop Museum is that ancient Hawaiians had a name for every stage of the moon. And often, they would refer to their birthday by the moon they were born under.

Lunar Days

How they ever memorized all the names, I will never know (there are 30 of them). And each day had very specific rules for their religion and their farming.

In contrast, I know the names of the following moon stages (from high school astronomy):
New
Waxing
Full
Waning

Sad, huh?

I wrote about a full moon once...

I even attempted to take some photographs recently with my mom's fancy camera.

Highly recommend avoiding the restrooms at LAX...
Made it to LAX...hopefully can make my connection in time...seriously, thats a long ass flight

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Seeing the only royal palace on U.S. soil was cool. I enjoyed the guided tour. I appreciated the woodwork and the Queen's quilt. The koa staircase is beautiful.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Really truly it is my last night. I'm ok with that. I'll miss my husband, but I am ready to go home.
Crap! I just realized that while I've been busy sunning myself on the Islands, I've been missing the Tour!
Trying to catch lunch on Hickam is a hassle. Tomorrow we'll visit Iolani Palace, Bishop Museum and Contemporary Art. No idea what's in store for my last nite...
Military Cemetery was BEAUTIFUL. Should have vertical markers, though.
HiSAM was basically a vessel to bash the white man for "ruining" the Islands...I'm not saying mistakes weren't made, I'm just saying that it cant be undone.
Made it to bot'l garden - more of a park. Sad that Queen L's land was never used for its full purpose...if I win lottery, I'm gonna donate funds to make it so.
At the HI State Art Museum. Interesting that natives focus on the destruction caused by man rather than the beauty created by God.
Big day planned - bot'l garden, military cemetery, art museum, mission museum, and contemporary art museum. Once Chris gets off work, the only U.S. Palace.

The Rumor Mill

I gotta get this out, and I don't know how else to do it but write...Sorry if I am posting something I shouldn't, but seriously, rumors are for junior high.

So the minute I got here, some guy was talking smack about quite a few individuals shacking up together. As a civilian wife, I like to pretend like hook ups don't happen. Why? Cuz you wanna believe your husband would never, but there's always the possibility that he is just a really good liar and has friends who are really good at keeping secrets...

Anyway, so my husband introduces me to this girl that he sometimes chats with at work. He thought we'd be a good personality match, and he was right. From go, I thought she was cool people.

Unfortunately, she was one of the individuals that guy was saying was doing the nasty with someone other than her husband...I'm SO not cool with that.

As time progressed, I mentioned to her that there were rumors and she refuted them. Then finally, I got the skinny from old buddy as to why exactly he put her in that category. As it turns out, he heard it from someone else and just took it as fact. I definitely don't play like that. I need to know the TRUTH. (Except with celebrity gossip, of course - I just make up my own truth.)

So, I give her the skinny. As it turns out, the skinny is totally thin. The dude knew the rumor was gonna fall flat on its face, so he put the blame on somebody else. My friend, of course, being similar to me, confronts this someone else and in turn starts a whole shit storm of drama...

I get called to the plate and tell it straight. Old dude said this. I said this. Why? Not to start drama, but to squash it. Either way, I'm looked at by some as the bad guy and some as the savior.

I personally think I did the right thing. If someone is spreading rumors about me, I want to know. If I hear rumors that don't quite jive with the personality I know, I want to understand. If someone who my husband considers a friend doesn't take a marriage vow seriously, I have the right to know.

Here's how I see it - don't start rumors. Know who you are talking to. Watch what you talk about. If you want to know the truth, ask. If you don't want rumors to be started about you, then conduct yourself in a manner becoming a woman. Don't put yourself in situation where anyone can conjecture bullshit - ESPECIALLY if you work in a command that is known for hook ups...Simple, right?

Monday, July 19, 2010

"Bubba Was My Best Good Friend"


For a die hard fan of Forrest Gump (like I am), Bubba Gump Shrimp is a MUST!! Movie memorabilia, trivia, and WAY better food than Joe's or Red Lobster. Five Stars from me!!

Chris had a bucket of mussels and a plate of cajun shrimp. I had a bucket of garlic butter shrimp and a plate of shrimp stuff with crab and cheese. YUM!!!!!!!!!

Our waitress was awesome. She even quizzed me on Forrest Gump trivia.

Q: Which bus did Forrest ride to Jenny's apartment?


A: Trick! He ran to her apartment. He was waiting for the #9 bus until the sweet old lady told him how close the apartment was.


Q: Which brand of shoes did Forrest wear on his cross country run?



A: Nike

Other quotes I often use from Forrest Gump:

"I'll always be your girl."

"This whole other country."

"She smelt like cigarettes."

In case you are wondering why I love the movie so much, it is because no movie like Forest shows the HUGE difference one man can make.
Visited the USS Arizona Memorial. Almost half the people who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor died aboard the Arizona. I balled like a baby.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Brutus




Meet the Honu
I would've gotten awesome pics of sunset over ocean, but we were being attacked by red ants, so we left too soon.
I was in the water and a GIANT turtle swam by me :)
There's a turtl on the beach today! I got tons of pics for all my readers :)

Malama na honu (Care for the Turtles)

Today I am scheduled to go back to Turtle Beach with Gredel.

In honor of such an adventure, I give you information regarding the green sea turle.

It eats algae and seagrass. It is an herbivore.

The shell is brown. It is called a green sea turtle because the fat underneath the shell is green.

Only eats while underwater.

Green sea turtles are actually ancient - they saw the dinosaurs evolve and become extinct.

They have a heart-shaped shell. A non-retractable small head. Males have bigger tails than females. And they all have big flat flippers for awesome swimming.

The green sea turtle is one of the few turtles that will leave the water (other than laying eggs). For what? Sunbathing, of course :)

One of the interesting things I read is that green sea turtles are easily stressed out, and that is why they often drown - in normal circumstances, honu can hold their breath about five minutes.

National Geographic
Wikipedia
Malama na honu

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sunsets of Oahu

On the flight to Hawaii, July 2


In Waikiki, July 3


Independence Day 2010


West Side of Island, July 10


Aloha 'Aina Park, July 14


For more pictures on July 14, see Sunset From Hickam

Aloha 'Aina Park, July 16


Sunset over Hickam, July 17

I saw a double rainbow!!!
When we arrived at Arizona, it started to rain. We got pedicures instead.
Now my husband is finally taking me to USS Arizona Memorial.

Lyon Arburetum

Visited a tropical rainforest today :)


Through research on the internet for waterfalls, I came across Lyon Arboretum. If ever you are in Oahu, you must visit this place. It is a completely different Oahu than anything we had yet visited. Just remember to bring bug spray!!

It is almost always raining there, so bring a poncho or buy a plastic bag with a hood from the visitors center for $1.25.




Unfortunately, because of the rain, I wasn't able to take many photos :(

Friday, July 16, 2010

I'm staying thru Wednesday :) Probly not gonna make it to USS Arizona today, cuz it's too hot outside for Mr. Hungover...
Woke up at 730 - not sure why...it's my last day :(

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Had more garlic shrimp at Honos in Hale'iwa. Yum!! Now we are invited to the Chiefs' BBQ...

Honu

I saw Sea Turtles!!!!! Aloha, honu!!!

We were at Laniakea Beach/Turtle Beach between Hale'iwa and Waimea

I was too busy watching to get any awesome pics, but they were really there :)



Remember, Sea Turtles are endangered. Please do not touch, tease, feed, etc.
Kolekole is a one way road. You can only take it from West Side from 7 am to noon. We missed it by 30 minutes. I really hate when my good intentions dont work.
Even tho I said I'd never go West side again, I am willing to make one more trip for the Kolekole Pass...a military only mountain road. Hope it's worth it!
38 hrs left on this island. What to do??

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A View of the Sunset from Hickam

Original Pictures:





Pictures that now look awesome after adjusting colors:










I dont know why God has blessed me with beautiful sights, wonderful experiences and precious time with loved ones this summer, but I do appreciate every moment.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Out for dinner and drinks with Gredel at uber cool Apartment 3 in Honolulu.
Finally gonna see the Leaping Place of the Souls.

Humuhumunukunukuapua'a

A lesson in the native Hawaiian language (as taken from Oahu Revealed - which I HIGHLY recommend, by the way).

The Hawai'i state fish is the humuhumunukunukuapua'a. At first glance it seems like a nightmare. But if you read the word slowly, it is pronounced just like it looks.

Humu (hoo-moo) is pronounced twice.
Nuku (noo-koo) is prounounced twice.
A (ah) is pronounced once.
Pu is pronounced once.
A'a (ah-ah) is the ah sound pronounced twice.

Now you try it:

HU MU HU MU NU KU NU KU A PU A 'A

I once had a friend who was a literary genius. Her favorite word to pronounce was humuhumunukunukuapua'a. I would then retort with "Atatata kata desu." Which means "It is warm outside" in Japanese and was my favorite phrase to pronounce.

Imagine my surprise when her little linguistic joy was broken down so simply for me :)

LB - I think it is time you upgrade from onomatopoeia!

A Little Lesson in Hawaiian History

One of the things I wanted to learn about when I came to Hawaii was how in the world these eight islands thousands of miles off the coast of California came to be an American state. I realized, of course, that it was probably a military strategy, but how did it happen?

When I went to the library last week, I found a whole shelf filled with books regarding said topic. From my lips to God's ears :)

The first book I read was A Concise History of the Hawaiian Islands by Phil Barnes. This book gave me an excellent overview of how Hawaii became the 50th state. From the first settlement of Polynesians in 400 or 500 A.D. to the Sovereignty Movement that sprung up in the 1970s.

The next book I picked up was From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawaii by Haunani Kay Trask. She is ANGRY!
Despite American political and territorial control of Hawai'i since 1898, Hawaiians are not Americans. Nor are we Europeans or Asians. We are not from the Pacific Rim, nor are we immigrants to the Pacific. We are the children of Papa-earth mother and Wakea-sky father- who created the sacred lands of Hawai'i Nei...
(the opening sentence of her book)
Her book includes her perspective on everything from Hawaii's history, to the economic plight of the native Hawaiian, to the bastardization of the Hawaiian culture through tourism, to political debates being waged over the past 40 years regarding the future of Hawaii.

And finally, I got my hands on Hawaiian Sovereignty: Do the Facts Matter? by Thurston Twigg-Smith. As the great-grandson of a haole (white man) who was integral in the colonization of Hawaii, he has an entirely different perspective.
As Will and Ariel Durant state in The Lessons of History, "Our knowledge of any past event is always incomplete, probably inaccurate, beclouded by ambivalent evidence and biased historians, and perhaps distorted by our own patriotic or religious partnership." (the opening sentence of his book)
Obviously, there are at least two sides to every argument. I'm glad I had the opportunity to learn the two most opposite sides of this argument. In case you are interested, here is my recap:

First of all, the "Native Daughter," though ethnically Hawaiian, was born in California.

Second of all, no one is "native" of Hawaii like the Native Americans. Hawaii was first DISCOVERED by the Polynesians, so the native Hawaiians are actually the offspring of explorers that landed here by happenstance. I'm not saying they do not have a right to claim Hawaii as home, I am just saying that their plight is NOT the same as that of the Native Americans. (Side note: in my research, I found an interesting Wikiarticle about Indigenous People.)

Third of all, if America had not stepped in and claimed Hawaii as ours, Japan would have. We did it without shedding blood. Do you think that Japan would have?

I agree that the Hawaiian culture, language, religion, etc should be appreciated, treasured and protected. However, deeming haole the enemy doesn't change the disrespect you feel. Rather than demanding sovereignty to go about life in your previous manner, why not seek to improve our capitalist, imperialist, parasitic way of life so that you can be proud to Hawaiian and American?
Got a manicure, pedicure and my brows waxed. This girl is PAMPERED!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Just saw stairway to heaven. Holy buckets!! I love how the only color besides green u see on H3 is pink flower of Octupus tree.
Today's lesson - know the intentions of the person you choose to follow, cuz he's probly clueless of your goal.
Swam in ocean for the first time. Much thx to Eugster for teaching me how to safely. Enjoying the sun, a book on Hawaiian history and a Hornsby Hard Cider.
This beach in Kailua is awesome!!!
My friend rented a paddle board...I might try it...depends on whether or not she drowns. LOL Seriously, I have HUGE fears of ocean currents sweeping me away.
Finally! I'm gonna go sit my butt on the beach and get my legs tan.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

La'ie Point is my most favoritest place in Oahu. Ka'ena St Pk, the Hickam Wetland and Aloha 'Aina Park are all tied for second :)
Ate at a shrimp truck in Hakuna. Garlic butter shrimp, mahi mahi, new york steak, macaroni salad, rice...YUM!!!
Ever want to know your fave shade of green? Drive the H-3. They are all there for easy comparison ;)

Clarification on the word "UGLY"

When I said the West Side of O'ahu was "ugly," please know I was referring to the lack of trees, flowers, green hillsides...It had nothing to do with the inundation of ramshackle houses, fast food chains and tent cities...

"The Dark Side of the Waianae Coast" is a depressing sight to see, but it doesn't mean you should not visit this location.

When I blog from my phone, I only am able to input 140 characters at a time, so I have to be as concise as possible. I meant no disrespect to the PEOPLE of the West Side.

Read all about my Hawaiian Adventure

2010 Dodge Challenger


Did I mention we just cruised O'ahu in a 2010 Dodge Challenger?!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Why are so many houses elevated? Tsunamis? What's with tent city outside Makuha?
My bad - west side. Stupid backwards island!
The East side of O'ahu is UGLY until you get to Kea'nu Park
Ka'ena State Park (where the paved road ends) is GORGEOUS!
Camping on the beach is apparently what the locals do on the weekend.
In Aka'a'awa, the road is so close to the ocean, the waves splash your car!

My Bestest Friend in the Whole Wide World


I have known her her entire life (and most of mine). We weren't always close, but at some point we became the closest two friends can get.


I probably need her more than she needs me...she's smart and funny and honest and real and I wouldn't have made it through the last decade without her.


She's having a baby shower today for her first baby and I can't be there. The miles that separate us on a daily basis never seemed so far until today...



I love you, Tutti Frutti!! (And Bronco too!)

Wanna see pics of her adorable nursery and pretty pregnant belly?
The Little Peanut Gallery by Angie

Road Trip!

Now that I have finished reading Oahu Revealed, I have changed my itinerary a little for the drive around the island today.

First, I plan to let Chris drive a ridiculously curvy mountain road (Tantalus). Why? Because the views will be awesome for me and the drive will get him "in the mood" for the trip :)

Then we will take the 61 North to the Pali Lookout.

Then the 83 N to the Valley of Temples

Then continue north on the 83 to La'ie Point

We'll take the 83 around north side of the island to 930 and go west. When the road ends, you gotta hike to the westernmost point of the island Ka'ena Point. But what I really want to see is the Hawaiian sacred site "Leaping Place for Souls."

I'm a really weird tourist, aren't I?! I have no interest in the water or the beaches, I want to learn about the island through their trees and birds and sacred sites.

By the way, we'll be seeing mountains and beaches the whole way - it is an island after all :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Trees in O'ahu That Caught My Eye

Pink Oleander (can be seen between North and South 5 in San Diego)


Rainbow Shower Tree



Octopus



Gold Shower Tree (the State tree)

Be Still, Little Yellow Oleander (the most awesome name for a tree EVER)




IDK


Hau Tree (pronounced HOW)


IDK

Palm Tree

Fan Palm Tree

Pink Plumeria

IDK

IDK

IDK

MONKEYPOD!!!

Leslie Broussard, tree photographer extraordinaire ;)