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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Adventure 9: The adventure-less adventure, plus a bump, and how I keep my sanity...

I wrote this a few days ago... but my lack of strong internet connectivity kept me from posting.

All of these bump pictures were taken
yesterday, (12/19/12), as we near
30 weeks.  Lono's tail makes
a brief appearance as it wags its
way in to the living room.  (He's
always trying to get in every
picture someway
or another).
I don't cry. I never cry. I'm lying... I never CRIED... Until about 2 months ago. I cry about once every two weeks while looking at my vision board, reading over my bucket list, and watching travel documentaries I've rented from the local library. In between those emotional longings for exotic adventures and huge wastes of AngelSoft toilet paper, my mind is having a raging battle of whether I should eat a few scoops of the world's greatest Roselani Chocolate Macadamia Nut Ice Cream or one of the world's best organic oranges given to us from my husband's co-officer's orange tree. I don't even know why I have that thought process at all because I'll obviously choose the ice cream to drown my pathetic sorrows, but I guess I needed to think of the healthier alternative just to pat myself on the back for considering it. And when I'm done, I'll carefully and lovingly read over 50 recipes to find ideas on what to make for dinner 5 hours from now because the kitchen holds the gold key to my sanity these days. And after THAT, I'll check the Fox News report on my phone for the 10th time today, trying to find out more about the 26 people, mostly 6-7 year old children, who were shot yesterday by a disturbed 20 year old boy.

Momma, baby Reise, and her guard dogs.   :)
I read about it, not because I want to add to the growing publicity of such heinous crimes, but rather because I feel compelled to understand as a parent, yet I feel completely ignorant, somewhat foolish and ashamed. I have no clue what the parents of the 20 children are feeling or going through. As Facebook explodes with sorrow, anger, concerns of gun laws, school safety, mental health care, and an endless list of my peer parents who are tearful and deeply affected because they have placed themselves in the shoes of those who have lost their miniature loved ones, I feel my baby trying to gain my acknowledgement with a few kicks and jabs to my stomach after I've just given her an ice cream sugar rush overload. Even then, I cannot understand being a parent. I still cannot relate somehow...

I'm slowly losing my belly button.  I joke
that it went from a regular adult sized
swimming pool to a very shallow
kiddie pool.   :)

I feel her, I see her movements, and I definitely see this visible belly that has grown into a half basketball in the past 7 months, but in some way she is still just an imaginary friend destined to steal all my sanity. From doctor's scares, (risks of Down's Syndrome to having contractions at 6 months), to being forced to drink large amounts of water, (my family literally called me a “camel” as a little girl because I had to be forced to drink liquids or I'd likely have dehydrated myself), to the hardest part of all... resting. I hear that when I meet her, the clarity and love will hit me full force and then I will understand all this waiting... all this resting. Those tears I've shed for lack of adventure and activity were selfish, I know. I should be grateful she's a living thing inside of me... Some are not so fortunate.

Just one of the may things you can
find on my bucket list/vision
board.  A recent addition,
hangliding in Brazil.
Rio De Janeiro
to be exact.

When I think back to meeting my husband, the falling in love, the marriage proposal followed by the talk of having a child, I expressed only one concern at every angle; a repetitive discussion for each new chapter for us. “Will we still travel? Will we still hike? Will we still surf? Will we still go camping? Can I still be me because ME is not a stay at home housewife who enjoys scrapbooking...” I would get specific, “How about Ireland? What about hiking the full trail at Haleakala? Europe? South Pacific surf trip? Stand up paddling? Alaska? The Appalachian Trail?” Now the later I understand will have to wait because taking a child on a 2,000 mile hike is extreme, but we both agreed that we would be our own trend-setters... that we would be a traveling, adventurous family and would not listen to the nay-sayers who insist, “It all comes to an abrupt end when you have a child”.

Now, at 7 months pregnant, I feel imprisoned in paradise. So stupid, so selfish, so immature, I know... but I'm a little hormonal, give me a break. The surf has been good lately, but I can't risk “falling the wrong way”. The sky has been outrageously starry, but hiking 19 miles into a Manhattan sized crater is “too risky if something went wrong and we needed to get help”. Zipline companies wont take a pregnant chick, though there seems to be no real danger. I feel I've become a liability to the world, like I've got some illness that requires I do nothing. To top it off, the swell has been so good that the water has been to rough to go stand up paddling AND I can't even drink wine to chill my hyper-active self out... So instead, we go for walks, volley at tennis, take the dogs to the beach, but mostly... I cook.

My therapist at the new house.  I don't know
what to do with all the space, but I sure
do love cooking somewhere that I
know has seen many cooks before
me.  This is a very old house.
I've always cooked and have always loved cooking. If I had to scratch my own back about one thing, it would be my hand at food magic. I have taken on the kitchen by storm, creating dishes from all over the world, from tonight's honey dijon pecan crusted salmon with cannellini bean soup, to yesterday's carbenara, to spicy exotic curry's, to ginger garlic chicken with rice, to a sensational meatloaf that Jun compliments by saying, “This is the best meatloaf I've ever had... It doesn't taste like Alpo dog food... It's sooo good!”So the menu is infinity and beyond, and rarely to never repeated unless Jun requests one of his personal favorites. Cooking has kept me sane. Dear kitchen, fresh local ingredients, my herb garden, and all delicious consumables; Thank you.  Love, Danielle

As for opinions and my take on all the issues and arguments that have arisen from the recent shootings;

Gun Control- I feel automatic weapons and military rifles should only be issued to persons in law enforcement and in the military, and those persons should be psychologically evaluated and tested before being issued one. If you are a hunter, you only need a single shot weapon and a little bit of target practice. If I can kill a deer with one shot with a bow and arrow, you sure as hell should be able to figure out how to hunt with a single shot gun.... Just sayin'.

Mental Health Care- It should be WAY easier to have access too and covered by most, if not all, insurances as it is an illness. If a child or any person threatens someone else's life, even if it's only verbally, that person should ALWAYS be addressed and evaluated... period.

My own issue that I believe goes hand in hand with Mental Health... 

How eerie is this image taken
from a video game?  It gives
me the chills all over to
think that kids enjoy
earning points for
Video Games- Every time I read about these shootings, it seems that almost every one of the killers is some sort of a “genius” gamer. Games are becoming so violently realistic that they are not only training them how to kill, but they are also giving them the experience of blood, death, and glory, (also known as points), for the kill, numbing them to what to most of us is the unthinkable. Some people have a real life addiction to games such as “World of Warcraft”, where they play with other live players and develop their own character. To some of us, video games are just that... games. To others, they are their other persona, their “cooler life”; one where they have power... Power they wish they had over the bullies, the teachers, the world. If a person has a gaming addiction, let that be a HUGE red flag. Already there is a fascination with weapons and killing... 

Can't there be some way to find these people and help them before the virtual world becomes the real world? Or are parents just so grateful to have them out of their hair that the games seem a blessing?

School Safety- If someone wants to kill people, they will find a way. As long as the staff and children know how to react in a bad situation, I think education is the key to keeping as many people safe as possible.

President Obama- I not only voted for him both elections, but I also door to door campaigned for him the first election. I'm a proud supporter but I'm also not one to pollute my facebook with political jargon. If you like me, accept me. It's a free country. =)

An ad that popped up on my Words With Friends
account.  Just another game that makes me sick.
Having young girls go into a fictional world
where they can be popular and pretty.
Life is about so much more than
popularity.  Take it from a real
life dork....

Therapist picture #2.

With Love and Aloha,
Danielle (Q.B.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Adventure 8: The Big Move to a Little Village

Our jungle cabin.
If you've ever seen the show WEEDS, remember that catchy song?  "Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky, little boxes on the hillside, little boxes all the same...etc.".  That is how Kahana, (where our casa in a neighborhood  that is very WEEDS-esk and the neighborhood gossip could have made a hit show), had always felt to me.  I am telling you, from the core of my core of my core, I belong in the country, jungle, farmland, middle of nowhere...  Somewhere where the soil is richer and food is easier to grow, the dogs can just run around and play, and if you need to walk outside in your underwear because you forgot something in your car, you don't have to worry about your creepy neighbor across the street seeing you and taking pictures or posting your bed-headed booty on YouTube.  

Playing with the boys at Hamoa beach, Hana, HI.

Jun is a police officer and working in Lahaina meant long days and lots of overtime, (something I could easily deal with as it's writing, cooking, guitar/banjo/ukulele playing time for me), but now with baby Reise well on her way, he doesn't want to miss her childhood and all of the "firsts" that some Dad's never get to see due to their careers.  So we talked and created a top 3 list of places we would like to live in Hawaii.  #1) Kauai- Refer to my blog HERE and you'll see my passion for "The Garden Isle".  #2) Hana, Maui- You'll find out plenty more about Hana in a sec.  #3) Upcountry Maui- Cowboys, pastures, cooler air temperatures, great hiking, a short drive to town, less crowding, but the downfall to here is that Jun would work in an even BIGGER town/city, defeating the whole purpose.  #1 we tried, but the department transfer was such a headache that we just skipped right to #2, (which was incredibly easy and painless).  

Ahh... A happy/frustrating moment...
Watching my honey surf with my 7'10" at Koki. Me,
forced to relax... Wishing so badly I could go too!

Now "Hana" is a small village on the far East side of Maui that requires you drive 54 miles of 600 turns, yielding umpteen times through a lush jungle of oversized plants and gushing waterfalls.  The Hana Highway is one of the main "Must Do's" for tourists, whether it be via tour bus or rental car, and it is common that they walk away with the powerful knowledge that they MUST pull over and let locals pass, plenty of pictures of waterfalls, and a souvenir to take home that says, "I survived the Hana Highway".  To get back from where you started, you either have to go the same way you came, or take an unpaved road through Kaupo which is prohibited by rental car companies, but a rule many break.  Once you actually reach the "town" of Hana, do not expect too much... I imagine the whole population is close to that of my entire high school.  

Cuban Red Bananas in our backyard.
You will see a handful of churches, a school, some houses, lots of cow pastures, the Travaasa Hotel, (once called The Hana Hotel), and Hasegawa's General Store, (famous for its ability to carry most everything one might need, yet it has such a barn meets western meets broken down building appearance).  This place must be a total bummer to some who drove 2-3 hours one way to get here, expecting catering to tourism in some form of shopping, live music, or events.  Look deeper though and you'll find it to be magical, (hokey sounding, but totally true).  The gorgeous hikes, the best spear-fishing and rod fishing on the island, the stand up paddling, the uncrowded surf when a swell comes in, the protected bay for kiddos to swim, the Red Sand Beaches, Black Sand Beaches, White Sand Beaches, the local families having beach bar-b-ques no matter what day of the week, the food that grows everywhere, even along the streets, the cliff jumping, the swimming, the body boarding and body surfing, the people that, once they know you, will go out of their way to hug and kiss you on the cheek and say "Aloha" when they see you...  All of this and more is in a 7 mile radius.  The PERFECT place to raise a child, with the one exception that you are an hour and a half minimum away from the nearest hospital, (a realization that hit us with the contraction scares).

The little things that make a house a
home.  A book with a Rotty that looks
just like Koa from a friend that's
a story of how he cares for a baby
while his human Mom is away, my
world wide time telling paper
weight, (a gift from my Dad when I
was just a young girl), a
painting of Lono Mono from a friend,
a flute I got in Peru, and a singing
bowl from my oldest brother, Donny.
So we moved to a cabin in the jungle on 18 acres, (where other cabins are hidden on the land, only one we've actually seen).  Our little "hale" is PINK, (not my favorite color but it gives it character none-the-less), it's off-grid, (rain water catchment, solar electric, and propane for stove, fridge, etc.), and it's only 450 sq. ft., (don't panic!).  We put in three gardens within the first two weeks of living here, (you know I get impatient when it comes to growing food).  This place came bare bones so I had to do a little "nesting", (that's what they call it when you're preggo I hear).  I hung pictures, art, cut a beautiful jungle bouquet less than 15 feet from our doorstep, bought candles, picked an avocado, banana, lime, lemon, orange, and pumelo fruit basket right off the land, and I even, (GASP HERE), hand-sewed kitchen curtains for the under part of the kitchen cabinets as they were completely exposed and I imagine no one really wanted to see our tortilla chips, quinoa, nori, pasta, tuna fish, etc.  Those damn curtains took me two hours minimum a piece and there were FIVE.  My Dad taught me A LOT in my life, (installing drywall, insulation, electrical outlets, changing oil, changing tires, even replacing a head gasket... How to make deviled eggs, swedish meatballs, coleslaw, and lots more there in the world of meat and potatoes... He even instilled in me a love of travel and adventure and taught me that the journey can be just as great, if not better than the destination), but one thing he did not teach me how to do was sew. Come on Dad... Remember those iron-on patches that never matched what I had torn a hole in?  I'm sure my brother Chris does... and possibly my whole 4th grade class. ;) Sewing, thread, needle, yarn... not part of my vocabulary until now... BUT if I must say so myself, I did a pretty darn good job.  And as if to teach my ego a lesson, like a moron I sprayed a cleaner with bleach in it on to the counters the day I finished and the mist of the spray made the biggest curtain polk-a-doted with nasty splotchy bleach stains.  You win some, you lose some...

The kitchen that had no character with the curtains
I made.  If you want to hear something that's a trip,
the onions on the far left shelf were packed and
distributed in Greencastle, PA. (The next town over
from where I grew up and graduated.
I love this little cottage, but as of mid December we are headed in to a bigger home in "town" with two bedrooms and all the luxuries, (running water, electricity, cell phone reception, and even the capability of INTERNET).  After the hospital shananagans, we realized that we should be ON grid in case of an emergency, plus we're almost out of water since it hasn't rained at all this week, plus an extra bedroom is great for guests, plus less mosquitos for the baby, plus it costs the exact same, plus West Maui Animal Clinic, (my job that I adored and left in Lahaina, was amazing enough to keep me on board as their tech/advertising girl, which having internet to do is kind of important)...  I will miss this little home dearly and can only hope that the next person will enjoy the gardens, curtains, and love that was put into making here a home.  

The unfathomable...

As I sit in the cabin now and hear nothing but the birds song, the leaves rustling here and there, (probably a mongoose in the jungle), and the dogs lazy breathing, I'm dreaming of rain, going surfing in just a few months, and a giant spoonful of organic crunchy peanut butter in my mouth...  Oh the life of an A.D.D. pregnant woman.

The fish the guys got when they went spearfishing
at Red Sand Beach.

Too many bananas... Must make more banana bread...

More of the little things that make a house a home...
The picture I painted of The Grand Tetons, (one of
my favorite spots on Earth).  Plus check out that
jungle bouquet in the wine bottle on the counter. :)

Fridge material is super important... My incredibly
precious and amazing nephew Warren and one
of my best friend's baby, Harlow, (automatically
making her a hanai niece).  ;)

Another kitchen view...  With nowhere to put my
longboard, so why not the kitchen?  ;)

Dining area... 450 sq. ft. means the
surfboard goes here.

To the right of the dining room table is this precious
piece of art from my best friend/sister, Kristina.
"Love you to the moon and back"... a phrase we
commonly use and a present from her in the mail.
Thanks sis!

Tin roof means music during rainstorms....

Sleep happens here...

I could call the bathroom Elise's room because...

I hung her surf art pieces she gave me in here.
Doesn't she rock?

Herb garden #1...

Bearing it's first jalapeƱo.

The bigger garden in the back with green beans, snow peas,
sunflowers, corn, lettuces, chives, and rosemary.  I staked
this baby in with local bamboo... Gotta love FREE!

Our first Thanksgiving dinner.... Mashed taters, roasted
okra, cilantro corn, and a chicken that I cooked like a
turkey with rosemary, lemon, garlic, etc.  YUM!

The boys having some Thanksgiving dinner.

I made pumpkin roll too for Thanksgiving... SO YUMMY!

Lono wearing his mustache... :)

And beyond the onions from Greencastle,
I found a taste of home right in Hana at
Hasegawa's store!  These are addictive!

Going away party yummys from my awesome bosses
in Lahaina.  They know I love my veggies and bagels!  :)

You know I love hearing from you!

Love and Aloha,
Danielle (Q.B.)

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