Friday, July 25, 2014

Hawaii Highlight # 3 Surfing

I told my parents I wasn't going to surf. I didn't think I was going to surf either; not until Andrew and I were standing in the surf shop looking at the cost for surfing lessons and times. Noon. Noon looked good with waves 3-5 feet. Andrew said, "we will see" and I said, "let's just do it."

There were six of us. Andrew and I were about 25+ years older than the kids. One of the gals said, "at least you are out here; my mom chickened out." I murmured, "smart mom." We got a dry lesson first. Everyone had to try it out -- it was like gym all over -- everyone watching you...

1. Paddle like mad
2. Arch
3. Knee and pivot
4. Stand but not really... more like squat.

Only it went more like :
1. Paddle like mad
2. Stand up
3. Fall in

It was difficult to get the knee up from the arched position to one leg up. There were three surf instructors in the water with us. Two helping us catch waves, and one acting like the anchor. On the first wave I was supposed to catch I didn't hear them say anything after "paddle, paddle." I went through the motions anyway and apparently the wave just petered out.

On the second try, I used my new information and made adjustments. I almost stood... but fell over.
On dry land I asked the instructor, what are the chances I will be eaten by a shark? He answered, none, it is too shallow for them in the cove. Yet he countered with, "out there by the horizon? About 50-60%." The instructors told us the danger of getting hurt was when we fell off the board -- fall as flat in the water as possible so as not to dive or pike to the coral below. Noted.

On my third try I got up! I was surfing! The kids had gotten up on their 1st or 2nd tries. Andrew was still struggling. After my success, he complained that he wasn't ever going to stand up. With some encouragement he was up on the next round. We even got up together before I was worried about Andrew too much and fell off.

There's proof of surfing around here somewhere. They had a photographer take pictures of my behind... it's on a disk, and for obvious reasons I am not to worried about not finding it. On the other hand, it is starting to bother me not knowing where it ended up.

I have a new respect for surfers. It takes a lot of energy to surf. On my fourth try I rode a wave as far as it would take me before jumping off, but that is a long paddle back to the anchor. The next time, my arm slipped and I gave up and rode the wave on my belly. After paddling back, I asked one of the instructors how much time we had left... a few more times. Okay, I put my best foot forward, but I didn't catch anymore waves -- I did ride a few of them on my knees... and then it was time to go in. After being in the water for about two hours, my legs didn't realize how much my body weighed so they gave up and sent me right into the lava at the shoreline. I scraped my left elbow and both of my knees. My pride was hurt more -- how many people saw that?!

Andrew didn't fair much better -- you know how those surfers sit on their boards? Well, my body doesn't bed that way, and Andrew's swimming shorts didn't either. Oh, well it wasn't that much different than the original Hawaiian's and their naked surfing. He wore my pink towel to the hotel store to buy a new pair of shorts.

Here we are just east of Waikiki Beach... No surfing, watching. We are almost below Diamond Head Crater; I could watch the surf and the surfers for hours.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hawaii Highlight # 2 The Sun

I love everything about the sun... the colors in the morning as it rises. The way the light changes every second that it comes up. I was up at 4:00am, which may sound impressive but on Minnesota time that would be 9:00am. I am not sure our bodies every adjusted to Hawaii Time. Once the glowing globe is up, it illuminates the breath taking scenery that is Hawaii.

Oh yes, the sun can be dangerous as well... so we sat in the shade and took in the warmth from the sand. Yes, we got red, yes we used sunscreen. I am thinking about putting Andrew in a wet suit when we are outside so no skin is exposed to the sun. I turn a golden brown... must be those French Canadian genes... I could be Hawaiian... is it too late to convert? I know that isn't how it works... but maybe it should.
I was worried that I had "missed" the sunset. On the second to the last day we ended up eating at the beach, but we were inside and well... eating when the sun was setting. The next night we were schedule for an activity and I was worried I wasn't going to get to experience a sunset. Sure, we had experienced a sunset the first night we were there, but it wasn't quite the same... seeing the sunset on an land we hadn't felt beneath our feet for more than a few minutes... it just didn't seem right. So I captured the sun setting when we were at a luau, and we missed the presentation of the pig so I could get this picture... and it was totally worth it. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hawaii Highlight #1

 In two days, Andrew and I managed to log about 6 hours worth of snorkeling. We brought our own masks and snorkel, and on day two we rented flippers. I had ordered one of those underwater cameras before we left, but it arrived in Minnesota while we were in Hawaii. I bought one at the hotel store. Andrew and I took turns taking pictures and we had agreed we were going to use the last picture for a turtle. Well, excitedly Andrew pointed at a large school seen below... the last picture... and then we turned the corner and there it was... a sea turtle. I said "Are you kidding me!" which sounded a lot like "du hav got du be kiddinb be".  And "big fish" sounds like "bid itsh".  The only time I was cold the entire time in Hawaii was when we went out a little deep and had been in the water a good hour. We followed the turtle for a little while; respecting it's space, and just taking in awesome sight. Snorkeling is a lot like flying, and the items found underwater are a lot like an alien nation of some kind.

We snorkeled at a place called "Three Tables" and then got back in the car to find a gas station or grocery store to find another underwater camera. I was determined to get a photo of a sea turtle. No, that's not a sea turtle... that's me.
 Here's the sea turtle. Here we were at Sharks Cove. No, there are no sharks there, but it looks like a shark took a bit out of it the coast line so they call it "Sharks Cove".
After spending enough time underwater it was time to head back to civilization. Everyday in Hawaii there is a rainbow. If you look close enough -- there's two here... 
The big adventure of the summer is over, but I look at the pictures everyday... I had this one printed up on metal, and I am going to hang it in my brown bathroom -- it will be a pop of color and every time I get out of the shower I get to remember. 
I am longing for Hawaii...and I've been dreaming about it every night. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Giant Jenga

While I was grading summer session essays, the boys were in the garage making a giant Jenga game. So far Andrew wins... I think Adam and I get impatient, and we think it is fun to see it topple. What a great rainy day wood shop activity for the boys.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

It's Electric!

 Andrew built a Tesla coil. He keeps it in the garage. It is pretty impressive but also very dangerous. I don't like it when he goes out to the garage to tinker, so I check on him often. Making sure he hasn't gotten too curious.
It makes an interesting subject to photograph. I can get some interesting light painting, and in case I never get the chance to photograph lightning, I think this is pretty close.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Recently Adam got Andrew's stilts down from the garage rafters. He's been counting how many steps he can take; today was 41 steps and he had an actual step down to contend with plus the giant puddle that could be an entrance to an alternate world.

The fields were releasing so much moisture fog gathered and hung just above the dirt. I find little beauty in this part of spring. With the earth just starting to thaw, our snow piles are shrinking and soon there will be mud.

The frost is deep and water forms in lakes on low lying grass and rivers flow in ditches. In a few days it will be like someone flushed a toilet and the water will disappear.

A month from now I will only have a week left of school... that's 6 weeks left... and counting.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Attitude Adjustment

Have you ever been told "you need an attitude adjustment?" I bet your mom told you that. I know my mom did. Have you ever opened your mouth and your "mom" came out?

Over the weekend we went to town as a family, this rarely happens anymore, but someone needed a jacket and someone else needed pants... and shoes. Noah and I are standing in front of the shoe store and the conversation goes like this:

"Do you want to go look at shoes?"
"But we are here..."
He looks disinterested in the fact that my lips are I give him a look that says: If we weren't in public I would strangle you...
"Would you like to come back into town after school this week to get shoes?"
"Then let's go in..."

Once he was in and picking out shoes the attitude went away, but it came back... every time he realized he wasn't grumpy he decided to be grumpy.

"What would you like to do in California."
"No comment."
"What do you mean no comment? What kind of an answer is that?"

It's hard to be 14...It's hard to be 14...It's hard to be 14...It's hard to be 14...It's hard to be 14...

After a restless night of sleep, I awoke from a dream in which my mother in law said something about cutting the apron strings... I didn't take it very well. Even after I woke up, I didn't take it very well.

I need an attitude adjustment...It's hard to be the mom of a 14 year old.... It's hard to be the mom of a 14 year old.... It's hard to be the mom of a 14 year old.... It's hard to be the mom of a 14 year old.... It's hard to be the mom of a 14 year old....

I know that now... apologies to my mother.