Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Ray !

My dear beloved friend Ray had a birthday two days ago and I hope she will forgive me for this late post ... I was uh... shoveling ash. I am happy to report however that the air has cleared and I have finally decided to get up off my ash and post. Every year about this time, I feel my heart swell with love and admiration for my good ol' buddy Ray. I'm not sure how old she is, but I know it's somewhere between 14 and 25, at least that's how she looks and also judging by the ages of the men who ask her out. ( deacons mostly ). Ray is an incredible person with what seams limitless energy whose hair, according to my children, seems to smile along with her friendly yet mischievous expression. Ray has an easy countenance which causes those who know her well, and those who have just met her, and strangers in the grocery store, to feel comfortable enough to share all sorts of personal information.. their life stories.. and their health problems with. This always amazed me because I am of a serious expression which works wonderfully to ward off unwanted social interaction. But not Ray, she bears all like a saint. It must be because of a good upbringing. She always said she learned kindness by serving her family,especially her siblings who look to her for wisdom and knowledge and consider her a genius .. at least that's what she says. So here's to Ray ! Happy birthday my wonderful bright friend who I love and adore more than words could possibly express. May this year be full of happiness and laughter ( probably at my expense )

Love, Ambie

the end

"Thar She Blows" !... Mount Redoubt loses her temper

Imagine your driving along and you look in your rear view mirror only to discover a giant dark menacing ash cloud that looks as if it's coming straight out of hell to collect your pitiful soul. Well that's just what happened to me Saturday night. Mt. Redoubt blew once again which had already been doing the past few days, still we were hopeful that the ash cloud would be blown the other direction as it had been doing. Believe me it was a little frightening to everyone in Anchorage. The airport shut down, as did the mall and many other businesses that feared damage to their electronics and such. We hunkered down for the night and watched through the window as the ash piled onto our car and turned the snow gray. The air smelled of sulfur and was as thick as pea soup. This was definitely up there on my list of freaky weird days.
there is no

Monday, March 16, 2009

Why You Should Have Sympathy For Me

It's cold.

No, really, it's cold.

When late winter chills hit, the nation comforts and consoles itself as people keep their winter gear out despite the approach of Easter. But that sympathy is reserved "for the mainland only". As if compassion were as scarce as sunshine, I am left in the cold, so to speak, when I complain of the unseasonable cold here in Hawaii. When my fingers and toes are numb with chill, I am bereft of the kind warmth of sympathy or concern. All I get is derision and temperature one-downs-manship.

If a friend were suffering the pain of a broken finger, would you express sympathy, or would you wag your finger and say, "That's nothing! I've had a broken leg!"

Here's why you should remember me kindly as this seemingly endless winter rages on:

1. Insulation - I have none. Drywall in Hawaii is reserved for hotels. Most houses are built with "single wall construction" which causes the outside temperature to pretty much match the inside temperature. And while our lows in the low 50s may seem mild to you snow folk, I doubt you are sleeping in a 54 degree room like I am.

2. Heating - I have none. No heater. No fireplace. No way to warm my house or room if it gets cold. Well, there's always the oven. Coconuts don't burn well, as I've discovered.

3. Winter clothing - I have none. Heavy jackets, gloves, scarves, thick socks, or boots are just not to be found on this island unless it's brought from the mainland. I have taken to sleeping in a sweatshirt and a couple pairs of socks. My children wear two sets of PJs at a time. If I'm "soft" for complaining about temperatures in the 50s, then you all are "soft" for using Goretex and wool.

As I write this I can feel the chill seeping through my comforter (no down to be found here either unless I try to pluck a passing nene which, I'm pretty sure is illegal.) The end of my nose and my fingers are numb. And it's March for Pete's sake! So as you sit toasty in your heated, insulated houses with your wool socks and down comforter, just remember your poor friend in Hawaii who doesn't have all those luxuries, and shed a tear and write a word of sympathy.

No, seriously, I'm cold!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My New Profession - Not Being a Doctor

My children have the uncanny ability to pick the absolute worst time to have emergencies. My daughter drenched me with throw-up at the beginning of a 5 hour whale watching trip. One son split his head open on a Sunday requiring an E.R. visit and stitches. The other son chose a night my husband was out of town to split his head open so I had to drag everyone to the E.R. I had a baby on my lap in an airplane with a blown out poopy diaper right after take-off. And on and on goes the list.

My favorite, though, is when my daughter lodged a popcorn kernel in her ear canal when we had been living in Omaha for all of two weeks. I didn't even know where a medical center was located, let alone have a family doctor picked out. I tried tipping her head way over and banging on the other side hoping it would just pop out. She wasn't too thrilled with that. Then I told her if we didn't get it out, it would start growing and she'd soon have corn shoots sticking out of her ear and roots attaching themselves to her brain. She didn't like that either, for some reason.

I finally found myself in an urgent care center I found in the yellow pages. We were ushered to an examination room where a doctor took one look and said he couldn't get the kernel out and that we'd have to go to an ear nose throat doctor. Luckily there was one in the same complex and he could see her right away. With a giant magnifying glass and tiny, needle-like tweezers, the ENT was able to get the popcorn kernel out all the while telling us horror stories of things he's pulled out of kids' ears including tic tacs, plants, and a live bee.

So the story has a happy ending. No roots implanted in brain.

Then we got a bill from the urgent care center for an "examination" - $169. Huh? The doctor barely even touched my daughter before he declared he couldn't do anything. Well, I couldn't do anything either. Where's my $169? In fact, there's a lot of medical procedures I can't do, brain surgery, heart transplants, amputations, well, maybe I could do amputations. But if you can get paid for not doing a popcorn extraction, I'd also like to get paid for not doing the other stuff.

Think it'll work?