Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer Lovin’

This borderline abusive relationship I have with summer has GOT to go.

I mean, I’m a summer lovin’ West Coast Girl! At least I used to be - when I was actually on the West Coast.

I used to LIVE for summer.

I used to drive a convertible, for crying out loud!

I have all these amazing hot, bright, perfect-for-summer-toes-and-flip-flops nail polish colours.

Summer is a kick back and chill season. I am a kick back and chill kind of girl.

Today the heat was not its usual oppressive unbearableness, even though the high is 32C (96F). It was more like a deep, penetrating heat. Like a sauna. Or a hot rock massage. It was still too hot to move, but it felt more relaxing than like I was in hell and I was going to die.

The sky was full of wispy, fluffy bunches of clouds, not its’ usual boring pale blue. The colour of the sky was also a deeper azure. It looked beautiful.

The mountains have yet to turn brown, so they’re still grass green. It kind of looked like Tele-tubbie land out there today.

I’m marking this day in the win column. I’ll have to remember this day in the middle of July when I just can’t take it any more.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Wherein I Cringe at Posting This, but I feel like I should explain myself...

My mum always worries about me when she hasn't seen me online for awhile. She assumes I've "gone into my cave" and leaves me alone.

C3P0 hasn't sent me an email asking me where I've been, so I guess it hasn't been that long since my last post, but to me it feels like forever.

Apologies to those that are new and reading through the history. I hate these reasons I haven't posted in a while posts.

First off, everything's fine, everyone's fine, and I'm not in my cave.

I've just been busy. When I get more than fifteen minutes to post, I will go into more detail, but here's what's been up with me: (how have you been?)

1) We have burrowing seed pods in our yard so I have to pin Orso down every night and check his paws.

2) It's summer and it's hotter than Hades.

3) It's summer and Orso is shedding like crazy so I am in a perpetual war on dog hair; constantly vacuuming, sweeping, doing laundry, and brushing the dog.

4) Dewey is in swimming lessons so I don't get a moment to myself until 7:30 now.

5) I'm writing a novel. Please don't say anything or try to encourage me. I'm only three chapters in and I'm afraid that your kind words will be gratifying enough to satisfy me and I'll put it down and not finish it. I've already started two other books/novels and put them aside and I really want to finish this one, so shhhhh!

6) I'm trying to finish "Interview With a Vampire". It's kind of like eating your vegetables.

7) Pinterest

8) Polyvore

9) DH changed the lens on the camera and I don't know how to work it and I like to have photos with my blog.

That's all for now. I have to rush off to take Dewey to swimming.

Love you all!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer’s here – let the whining and complaining commence!

Remember summer? Remember the anticipation? Remember the celebration? Remember YAY, Summer’s here!!


I hate summer in Utah.

Hate. Hate. Hate.

It’s too hot. Air conditioning does nothing. The air doesn’t move and when it does, it’s like a blow dryer, there’s no cooling down. It doesn’t get cool at night. Sure, it cools down, but it only goes down to 70 F because it’s 95 F during the day. There’s no ocean. If you want to cool down, you have to drive to the mountains and who has time for that?

The sun just beats down on you and the sky is blue every day. NO clouds.

I know – wah wah wah, first world problems – don’t you know there are starving orphan children who are ravaged by war and forced into slavery? Yes, I know, we really should do something about that…

Back to me.

I have no motivation to move because if I exert an iota of energy, my body temperature increases and IT’S TOO BLOODY HOT!! Because moving is not an option, nothing gets done. Can’t cook, it heats up the house. No laundry, have to go up and down stairs.


Already this year we have had so many 90F days that 70F feels cool.

That being said….


Yesterday being the summer solstice.

I used to look forward to the longest day of the year. It was a fun thing to celebrate. I love the change of seasons. (Utah has totally ruined this for me.)

Any way….

Back to yesterday being awesome. The high was only 80F, so most of the day was absolutely tolerable. There was no extraneous sweating. The sky was cloudless, but it was this amazing colour of blue. Not the usual pale polluted blue, but a true deep sky blue. The mountains are still green – like a true grass green – so seeing the mountains in contrast against the sky was beautiful. There was the tiniest of breezes, and it was a cool breeze – it felt incredible. The air seemed so clean yesterday.

I actually felt like celebrating the solstice!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Patience, Padowan…

There is this scene at the end of The Phantom Menace where Qui Gon Jinn and Obi Wan Kenobi are fighting with Darth Maul. They come across this area where there are these energy doors (for lack of a better or geekier description – it’s late, I’m tired). Darth Maul runs through the hallway first and makes it through just as the series of doors starts to close. Qui Gon is first in line, and Obi Wan is further behind. Darth Maul paces in front of the doors waiting for them to open. Obi Wan also paces, waving his light saber around impatiently. What does Qui Gon do? He deactivates his light saber, kneels down and puts his light saber on his lap, closes his eyes, and meditates peacefully gathering his energy in preparation for the impending fight. As soon as the doors open, he jumps up, ready for action, chasing after the Sith Lord thus resuming the fight.

I have pondered on this scene time and time again, marveling at the different reactions between the young padowan, Obi Wan (rhyme unintended), and his Jedi Master.

Obi Wan is pacing, crazy, relying on instinct, eager to chase after this bad dude, while Qui Gon waits patiently, knowing that the doors will indeed open and that the fight will resume. I love how Qui Gon takes advantage of the time given him to gather his energy and his thoughts and further prepare for battle.

This makes me think about being older and wiser. I’m not that old or that wise, but I am older and wiser than I once was and hope to continue to grow in wisdom and be like the wise old Jedi Masters like Qui Gon, Yoda, and Obi Wan.

To have the wisdom to accept the situation at hand and use it to my advantage. To not fear death because it is not something I can control. To not fear anything that I can’t control and realize that the situation in front of me is out of my hands and there’s nothing I can do about it, so I need to not sweat it. To not over think things but realize that the power of the Force is in all of us. To meditate and find calm and peace when obstacles get in the way of my attempts to accomplish the thing I set forth to do instead of impatiently pacing and cursing and blaming others for getting in my way and turning myself in-side-out waiting for the doors of opportunity to open once again. To find peace in the chaos. To take a breath instead of getting myself wound up tighter and tighter thus causing me to react with my emotions and, in most cases, making the wrong decision.

As I have gotten older, I have achieved some of the necessary patience. Through my experiences in life I have learned to relinquish some control over the things that I can’t change, but to take responsibility for the things I can. I have learned to let go of the tight rein I try to have on my life and just breathe. It’s a rough journey and been a hard lesson to learn, and by no means have I completely leaned it, but I’m getting there.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ant bites

 On Saturday evening, I went outside to weed the stones that we have on our boulevard. It's been a major infestation of weeds and we have needed to do it for some time now and I finally had the time to do it.

I had to lift up some of the rocks to get to the roots of some weeds. I overturned a rock and upset a whole colony of ants.

I didn't know that ants bite. I mean, I knew that ants CAN bite, I just didn't know that they would. And with such ferocity!

At first, they were just crawling all over me: my arms and my rear end that was sitting on the curb. I was shaking and blowing them off of me, but not paying them too much mind as I went about my work as I naively did not think that they would bite.

Then the stinging happened. Yeowch!! Did it ever sting. That's when I realized that ANTS BITE! And when they bite you it stings. And then it burns!! We were almost done, so I endured until we got all the weeds out, earning more ant bites, but I didn't want to not finish the project and we were so close to being done. All I wanted to do was go inside and take a shower to scrub off the stinging and burning, and maybe curl up into a little ball and cry a little.

The part that bugged me was that there was no swelling, no evidence of my pain - and there was a LOT of pain. I had no idea that being attacked by ants would be so dreadful. Finally Sunday night, I started to itch and then the bites showed up. These pictures were taken today - four days later. I have exfoliated every day in an attempt to get rid of the itching. I. Itch. All. Day. These are worse than mosquito bites!!

I spared you the gory details of photos of my rear. Suffice it to say it looks the same but worse. I can't wear pants or anything that will rub against the bites thus angering them further. I can't just walk around all day in panties, so I've been reduced to wearing super shorty short shorts and enduring the ridicule of my DH and my eleven-year-old son.

I have learned the following things:

1) I am stupid and naive.
2) Don't piss off ants
4) Ant bites hurt, burn, and are super annoying even four days later.

I hate my life right now.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Nana and I about 1991 -we're both goofs
My Nana’s first name is Alison. (she changed the spelling after she moved to Canada, but that’s a post for another time).

Nana was born on December 20, 1921. I like this because she was exactly fifty years older than me.

When my Nana was a lass living in Edinburgh, Scotland trying to survive the war, she was hanging out with one of her friends when they met a couple of soldiers that were on leave. The soldiers invited them to go roller skating. One of those soldiers was my grandfather.

They fell in love and got married. “I wore a grey suit because the saying said, ‘get married in grey, live far away’, and I wanted to get as far away from Scotland as possible.” I guess the West Coast of Canada was pretty far away.

Nana moved to military housing north of London. My grandfather was a courier for the army. He drove a Norton motorcycle along the truck convoys relaying messages from front to back. Cool, eh?

My dad was born July 20, 1942. My uncle followed thirteen months later.

When peace was called in 1945, the army sent all the war brides “home”, meaning to the homes of the men. The men were to stick around and clean up.

My Nana is a queen. She took my toddler dad and my babe-in-arms uncle on a ship across the Atlantic to Nova Scotia Canada. From there, she got on a train to travel to the West Coast to meet her in-laws for the first time and to set up a home. My grandfather came back a year later.

I have been known to say that I know exactly what I’m going to be like when I grow up because I’m going to be just like my Nana. Our personalities are very similar and we have the same sense of humour. We both are obsessed with; dogs, Hawaii, turquoise (our birthstone), British Columbia, and the Native people. I’m her first grandchild and I’m pretty sure I was her favourite (I can hope). I love my Nana so so much.

She passed away in 2010 and I was unable to attend her funeral because we had already planned a trip to Disneyland at the same time. I feel super awful for missing Nana’s funeral to go to Disneyland, but it's not like I was going to be able to see her.

My husband had been nagging and nagging me every time I made a trip home to go and see my Nana. When I was growing up, my Nana was THE BOSS and everyone knew it. She was strong and opinionated and you knew exactly where you stood with her. She. Did. NOT. Mince. Words. She was a sarcastic woman. Look up tenacity in the dictionary: Oh look, there’s a picture of Nana! She ruled the roost. She had to be tough to go through what she did and to raise three boys with a truck driver husband.

When she got older, she started to lose her faculties. I had gone up on December 1, 2007 for my uncle’s funeral and saw her. It broke my heart. She was living in a home by this time and my dad’s youngest brother was taking care of her. I couldn’t even look at her, even though her once black, then silver hair had turned to a beautiful snowy white. Every time I talked to her I could see that the lights were on, but no one was home. I was so so very sad to see that powerful woman completely gone. She kept asking me how old I was and how old my brother was. I could see her trying to figure everything out and weed through the cobwebs to get the right memory, but she couldn’t quite get there. I imagine it was exhausting for her.

Every time DH would ask me if I was going to go see Nana after that, I would tell him I didn’t have time. One time he pushed the issue, telling me she would leave us one day and that I would regret it. I broke down in tears telling him that I couldn’t see her any more because she wasn’t there. She was just an empty shell, and my Nana was already gone. It broke my heart to see her. He reiterated to me that I might regret not saying goodbye to her.

I had my 20th high school reunion in October of 2009. I went up by myself and was only gone the weekend. I had decided to not tell anyone I was visiting except my mum whose couch I was surfing, and my uncle who took care of my Nana. I requested a visit with Nana. When my uncle entered her room he told her he had brought her two surprises, the first being his collie, Joey; her response being “oh HELL-o Joey!” (my love of dogs is genetic) the second being me. “OH! Rantgirl!” She was so happy to see me (told you I was her favourite - full disclosure, she's my favourite too). She remembered me, but didn’t remember that I was married or had any children, but that didn’t matter. We had a WONDERFUL visit. She even told me how good I looked: “pleasantly plump. I’m glad to see you’re not so skinny any more”. I was concerned about my weight even back then, but seeing what a skeleton Nana was – virtually wasting away – I was not offended but flattered. (from then on I had decided to “own” my curves as I had never had them before – thanks for the encouragement, Nana).

When I left the nursing home, I gave her a hug and a kiss and told her goodbye, knowing that would be the last time I saw her. She passed away the following March.

The moment I knew she was gone, I felt her with me. I still do today. I especially feel her judging me when I yell at my own boys.

I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to say goodbye to my Nana.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pearl Harbour

Kapaa Sunrise 2011
My birthday is December 8.

“OOOh, the day after Pearl Harbour!” Admit it, you thought it.

Unless you’re a music fan, and then you thought “The day John Lennon was killed.” I like you better now.

It used to drive me crazy when I would hear the thing about Pearl Harbour when people would ask me when my birthday was. Growing up in Canada, Pearl Harbour meant the U.S. finally got off their fence sitting butts and joined the war, giving us fresh soldiers and helping us win the war. (My view of WWII is slanted having a Nana who is from Edinburgh, Scotland, married a Canadian soldier and became a war bride. So when I say ‘us’, I am quoting my Nana.)

In 1998 I visited Pearl Harbour, went to the visitors center, and saw the Arizona Monument. I was forever changed. My attitude was adjusted. It’s good to see things from other angles so that you can get the whole story and form an educated unbiased opinion.

On September 11, 2001, I was nursing my 13 month old baby and watching the news when Ron Bird of KUTV announced that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. I thought “What kind of a dummy flies into a building in New York City?”. It was a beautiful, quiet lovely day before it all went to heck and our lives were changed forever. It was dubbed a “Day of Infamy”.

December 7, 1941 was previously referred to as a Day of Infamy.

On December 7, 2011, I was standing on the beach at the Kapaa Shores on Kauai. It was 6:30am. We were waiting for the sunrise. It was so calm and quiet. The breeze was gently blowing; the waves were making their constant crashing rhythm; the coconut trees were rustling and whispering in the wind; the sky and the sea were all silver in the pre-dawn light. There was a quiet, calm atmosphere. I felt such peace as I stood with my family around me on the beach waiting for the beautiful sunrise.

Then it dawned on me. I turned to my husband and said, “It’s Pearl Harbour Day.” I’m getting goosebumps and my eyes are tearing up as I type. The feeling that rushed over me was so powerful. I felt as if I was there seventy years ago experiencing the calm, peaceful and beautiful Hawaiian morning before it all went to heck and everyone’s lives were changed forever.

I watched a Pearl Harbour survivor speak at the Arizona Memorial about that day. I did the math and realized that he was an eighteen-year-old kid on that day. I was and continue to be overwhelmed by that.

I have an even more renewed respect for those who served then and continue to serve now. I honour those who were there and lost dear loved ones and fought to defend their country the best they could. I honour those whose tombs are the ships still buried in Pearl Harbour.

I am proud to have my birthday associated with that Day of Infamy.