Saturday, May 19, 2012


My husband and I live in Lehi, Utah now.

There is a running trail we take, right by our house, that takes us on a nice, easy 6 mile run to a river and back. It's peppered with historical markers that give information about the history of the town. The city was settled by some historical people, named after someone or something from the Book of Mormon, and has a famous rodeo.

But what's most noteworthy about Lehi, Utah, is that it was the original home of the Brown Family from Sister Wives (not mentioned on any historical markers that I know of). It's a reality TV show. It's addictive. Look it up.

In all seriousness, we really like Lehi. It's fairly quiet and has an old town country feel to it. Several of our neighbors have horses. When a storm is on the horizon, you can hear them whinnying. It's a little spooky.

We love our new home and are slowly, but surely, getting it furnished.

Our older dog, Honey, recently had triple surgery on her right leg. All due to a careless dog owner who could not properly train her dog or discern playfulness from very serious aggression. (It didn't help that she kept saying, "Git'er! Git'er, girl! Good, girl!"). I want to have that dog put down; unfortunately it's a little too late and there was no police report filed. With lack of other witnesses, it seems difficult to have that done post-incident. Isaac and I will be making monthly payments for a long time towards surgical costs for someone else's reckless dog training.

Can you tell I'm bitter?

In other notes, I am in the process of The Job Hunt. It's not going as well as I anticipated. I was told Utah's economy is holding strong compared to other states in the U.S., but unfortunately that doesn't provide much for someone seeking part-time employment. People here either work full time or stay at home. There's not much middle ground. Still, the hunt goes on. I have a strong lead, and a phone meeting with a potential career connection on Monday. Fingers are tightly crossed!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Not in Kona anymore...

We made it to Utah. After a whirlwind move and a month of living in the northwest while I awaited the arrival of my car, we are finally here.

It's cold. And dry.

But also remarkably sunny (and snowy at the SAME TIME!).

The Salt Lake area is surrounded by 360 degrees of awe inspiring snow topped mountains. I really love mountains.

We haven't had a second to stop and relax. Isaac went back to the office right away and I have been doing my best to settle the homefront in our temporary situation. We start home hunting right away and are quite excited about that.

I was so worried about the dogs but they love it here. They think snow is the best thing ever invented, and I am pleased with how quickly it tires them out.

I hope that this weekend we get an opportunity to relax. I think both our bodies could use the rest so we can recharge for Monday. Hope to see more of our friends now that we are back on the mainland!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Head-Exploding Marriage Stuff

I have recently been on the quest to be a better wife. When I was younger, and even now, my "dream life" was always to marry the person I love, and to be not only a good wife, but a great one: one that my husband would brag about to other men. I realized that simply getting married and wanting your husband to be proud of you doesn't make that happen. Like all things, any goal worth attaining requires work and thoughtfulness.

So I called my father-in-law. Who better, right? He not only has the husband perspective, but he's spent the past 31+ years getting to know my husband. Certainly he would have a few pointers. He recommended a book. I winced. The author was by a woman I typically have great disdain for: Dr. Laura.

Before my other liberal and feminist friends react, let me say one thing: I have always believed that there is great value in hearing the other side. When two sides debate or disagree in our culture we seem to believe that the person who is the least willing to back down is the strongest, and the smartest. I disagree. I think that when one side makes a compelling point and the other side can recognize that, they are acting intelligently. They have the mental flexibility to let their belief system evolve. They may not adapt 100% to the other side's dogma, but their own way of thinking may become more valuable.

There were a lot of things in the book I had already been thinking about a lot lately, so it felt especially profound to have another woman spell them out as well.

Being bossy and mean, entitled, insecure and always looking for a reason to be angry with men does not a strong marriage make.

I was once irritated that Isaac liked to have a clean home when he came home. How dare he! Doesn't he know that a woman's "place" is not in the kitchen with a wash rag? Isn't he evolved enough to clean his own damn house?! (Granted, I always cleaned, but for a few months before we got married I always felt a little miffed about doing it).

But it turns out, that cleaning the house makes him really happy. [I learned this years ago, and it seems to be the best example to use]. Which is reason enough to do it. He works 12+ hours a day, every day of the year (his "days off" on the calendar almost always end up being spent on the phone and writing emails to stay caught up). He has an extremely high-pressure job. He comes home mentally and physically exhausted. He spends half his time each month traveling. If I were in his shoes and I asked for the house to be cleaned, and I worked such a difficult job to put a roof over his head, and he worked part time, and I came home to a messy house and a husband who was irritated that I had any at-home expectations at all, I'd be deeply hurt and angry. (Sorry, that was a long sentence with too many commas. My writing mechanics have fallen to the wayside).

That attitude of entitlement...expecting actions and things to be provided without giving what you are capable of giving in return...that is draining on a man. And, unfortunately, it's common of women. I can think of at least a handful of women I know personally who think and behave this way in their homes.

And this, I think, is where some women get confused about the feminist goal, and make feminists look really bad. Ultimately, they don't want equality with men. They just want their way. They want their jobs (or no jobs, in some cases), and successful men with jobs, and for nothing to be expected of them besides what they want from themselves, and for all the things they want to be provided to them. Which isn't equality at all. They want "girl time" with their friends, but act offended if their guy wants "time with the guys" at the bar or golf course. That's straight-up princess behavior.

Imagine if you called a feminist a spoiled princess. All hell would break loose.

But, I think the issue of entitlement has to end. Each couple is different, but in a couple, each person's needs for a balanced and happy home may not be the same. My husband likes my cooking and to have a clean house and for me to be nice to him. Small price to pay for a happy marriage, roof over my head, and food on my table. Me? I just like the things I do to be noticed, some affection, and for dirty laundry to end up in the basket. I don't care if he cleans or cooks, although I recognize how nice it is when he does.

But this very domestic balance that works for me and my husband, and frees up a lot of time for us to have fun together because we have nothing to argue about, seems to make some people very irritated. I don't understand why they waste energy being unhappy about a marriage they don't belong to.

I, however, am happy to be striking a happy balance, and to be striking it well. I am almost surprised at how much more eager Isaac is to please me when a few simple things are done each day. As long as my marriage is happy, fun, supportive and well balanced; other people can think what they want. At the end of the day, they don't share my home or my vows.

Friday, October 21, 2011

New Address!

No, we're not packing up and leaving Hawaii.

But I am starting something new.

It turns out, that within my new culinary limits, I am blossoming. I have been whipping up new concoctions every week, all on my own! And people like them! And a lot of those people keep asking me when I plan to blog those recipes.

And so, like every other person on the ole interwebs, that's what I'm doing.

The site hasn't quite launched yet. I still have a few things to purchase a REAL camera that can take quality photos, register a simple domain name, etc.. But the skeleton of the site is up.

I'll still blog about personal thoughts and goings on here. But my primary focus while I create a place to share my new recipes with the friends and family who ask for them will be here. If you have a minute, add it now. Don't miss out on the crepes, lettuce wraps, fritters, pasta dishes, garden-fresh sauces and indulgent desserts!

I'll be working on making each recipe accessible to the average kitchen, while still being completely free of gluten or corn. I may also start experimenting more with vegan recipes, to be even more allergy friendly and anti-inflammatory. :-) (Don't worry, bacon, I still love you).

Let's cross our fingers that the blog will be fully launched soon!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

To Procreate or Not?

Well, here we go. I make the whole thought process public.

My husband and I, a married couple with a stable economic situation, have of course been posed the question many a time, "When with the babies, already?!"

There was a time that we really, really wanted kids. We even hoped a few times that I had, in fact, been knocked up, and were very crestfallen when it turned out that I had not. But we picked ourselves up and got over it and every time started the discussion over again.

Often times, it looked like this:

"There's probably a reason."
"Yeah, maybe it's just not in the cards."
"When it's time, it will happen."
"We should just enjoy the life we have as it is right now."

The last line is exactly what we've been doing. And without the pressure on ourselves to start combining our DNA to make something cute, life has been pretty darned peachy.

We have the feeling a lot of people have, which is that there are probably kids in our future. Or maybe there aren't. (We go back and forth with either scenario and find ourselves pretty at peace with either). And we're at a place where we kind of go back and forth on the pros and the cons of pro creation.

Sometimes things sway us more one way than another. Like other peoples' kids. Hanging out with some really fun kids who are spunky and full of character and active and silly and happy...those kinds of kids get the biological clocks ticking faster.

Then there are the kids who are needy, fussy, high maintenance, spoiled, and impossible to soothe or placate, and those kids pull the batteries right out of an otherwise normally functioning clock all together. What if our kids turn out like that? What if we're the parents that mold needy, fussy, high maintenance children? Then we'd have nobody to blame but ourselves! God save us all!

So let's take a look at what our Pros vs. Cons of having kids are.

Pro: There would be someone to take care of us as we get older.

Con: If our kid doesn't have the means/isn't willing to do that, the idea is wasted and selfish.

Pro: It would be so rewarding to watch someone grow from an infant to an adult.

Con: The world is becoming overpopulated at a frightening rate. Food and water and other resources are quickly becoming slim. Bringing yet another soul into an economically unstable future seems selfish; and it would be heartbreaking to see a child become an adult who had to fight tooth and nail just to get food.

Pro: We believe we have the know-how and resources to raise a resourceful, intelligent, hard working and successful human being who could not only survive that future, but be innovative enough to help other people of that future.

Con: We might also end up raising a surf bum who lives on the beach and spends half his time being stoned. No parent plans on that future for their kid, but it happens.

Pro: We already have siblings who have paved the frontier, whose successes and mistakes we can learn from, who have padded the family with plenty of cousins to get to know, the kid would come into a big family.

Con: We do have some fear of disapproval in our child-rearing methods, criticism, and generally trying to make our own family style rather than standing in the shadows of those who've gone before us.

Pro: Living in Hawaii would save us on clothing needs. Babies here only need a few basics, and overpriced fall and winter clothes that they'd outgrow at lightening speed anyway are not on the necessities list.

Con: Everything in Hawaii is double over-priced and everything else for baby, including diapers, would be astronomical. Add to this that I wouldn't be able to work for some time, and living solely on Isaac's income would be very stressful.

Pro: We're the type who would take baby everywhere. Beaches, and as soon as it could hold its head up, hiking, on runs, etc.

Cons: There would be a limit to other activities. We would have to take turns in the water for things like surfing. We couldn't just toss the boards on the Highlander and head to the beach every time we found out the surf was up.

Pros: We live in the perfect place to get a baby well acquainted with water and the ocean very early.

Cons: With Isaac's job and rest requirements, I would be on my own many nights.

Pros: When he is on call and not flying, he would be around to help and get to know his child more than the average 9-5 dad.

Cons: What about the dogs? We don't want to leave them feeling forgotten and left behind, especially if that causes them to act jealous of the baby.

Pros: We have the opportunity to raise another "dog person" and maybe the dogs would love the baby and be extra protective of the home.

There are of course lots of other things to consider, but I could fill a book with them, and I'd rather not do that.

Ultimately, we're pretty happy being an aunt and an uncle, both right now and potentially forever. If we do have kids, though, I suspect we'd be pretty thrilled about it. We decided to it is best to be happy with what we have, count our blessings, and expect nothing else.

It does, of course, make us feel a little inspired when all of our friends keep popping out cute little people, but perhaps it is best to be happy for them and their blessing and happy that our own lives are filled with blessings we may not be able to take advantage of as parents.

I read an article recently that said that inflammation in a woman's body can prevent pregnancy and cause serial miscarriages. I suspect that may play a big part in why it never happened with the timing was otherwise right. Until my body is fully "de-flamed" (if you will) and I have fully mastered my food allergies, I may not be a fertile person. It seems simple enough that the option to make a baby lies within reach when we're ready.

So, there it is. Everyone can stop asking us about kids now.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

What we grow

Our food garden seems to be ever expanding and I am getting pretty excited about it. I have a few lists.

Currently edible if I wanted to harvest now:

Cherry tomatoes

Close to bearing fruit:

Green garden beans

Well sprouted seedlings:

Orange heirloom tomatoes
Variety of winter squashes
Red cabbage
More onions

On the lookout for a variety of other tomato seeds, kale, and a variety of sweet and regular potatoes. I would also like to try my hand at strawberries.
We have grown everything organically and so far have had a lot of success with it.
This week we will plant tangelo and Tahitian lime trees as well.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Anxiety and Relativity

I have been drowning in anxiety lately. I have this horrible lurking feeling and I just want October to pass. I don't know why, but I just feel like October is going to be a month where I am robbed of all my goodness. Where I lose everything I took for granted anyway. If I can get through October, if I can survive until November, life will go on.

I have been working on an exercise my Father in Law gave me. To this day, it is probably the most productive, most helpful piece of wisdom anyone has ever given me (in particular). He is a perceptive person, who knows I lose a lot of battles to anxiety, because I grew up always expecting the worst of every situation.

So when I am in a fit of anxiety, and my chest is tight and I am pushing back irrational tears, stifling sobs, and just trying to breathe like a normal, balanced, healthy person, I do my darndest to practice that exercise.

Whatever it is that I am focusing on in the moment is anxiety-causing because I cannot get my mind off of the worst possible outcome.

And since I have already mastered picturing the Worst Possible Outcome, I also force myself to picture the Best Possible Outcome. Which is really hard sometimes, when you are stuck in a place where you can scarcely believe there is potential for positivity to find a place in your head.

But it has helped me get a lot of perspective. Sometimes it doesn't work to rid the anxiety, not right away, but sometimes it does. At least for a moment. And then 20 minutes later I have to take a minute to clear my head so I can do it all over again.

I know that this is a first world problem. I know that there are hungry children in Africa, and mothers in third world countries that live every day knowing exactly how many children they brought into the world, and knowing that fewer than that are with them today. I know that there is a large number of people with no roof over their heads, no medicine within reach, no clean water to drink. I know that to them, electricity is a luxury and not even their first concern because there are far more basic needs than that which need to be met.

I know that there are entire nations where women have no rights, where love is not a principle of marriage, but abuse is. I know that there are places, both far north and far south, where this is not enough wool to make blankets to keep people warm. And if there were, who could afford it anyway?

I know there are men and children working 20 hour stretches in mines just to make ends meet, knowing they will not live long, and dying uncomfortable deaths from their working conditions.

I know that there are places where having a dog to love is not a luxury available to them. That loving a dog is absurd, because they need to eat and we practically make fun of those people by being offended that they feed their families with the food we feed for the fun of it.

So I know, trust me, that my problems are small ones, relative to all the weary souls on the planet I share.  But despite the meagerness of my problems, I ask as humbly as possible (knowing that it isn't humble enough) that anyone reading put up a prayer for me too. My struggles aren't worthy, but right now they feel pretty grim, and I am not sure how they are going to come to an end.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Worry, stress, anxiety and a 30-day Challenge

You have worry, stress and anxiety. It's hard to let go of. It's hard to picture a best case scenario.

What purpose does worry, stress and anxiety serve? Has it made you prosperous in positive outcomes in the past? Does it serve you? Does it serve those around you? Does it bring love, encouragement, openness, and help to other people in your life? Does it help you to engage in your spiritual life? Is it assisting you in experiencing this very short life to the fullest?


I am taking a 30-day yoga challenge, as prescribed by my yoga instructor. (I am on day 2, I guess). It's going to be tough, mostly because I have a difficult time committing to a daily routine. I can not predict the outcome of this challenge, but my ideal goal would be to learn to let go of my perma-anxiety. With any luck, I will learn to be a better person.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Progress Pictures #2: Back Yard

Remember the last post I wrote where I had a picture of Isaac standing next to a dirt mountain and a bunch of holes? Well, here's some progress since that last photo...

Here is Adam, our friend/landscaper, standing next to the hole that will house the water pump. That mound of dirt is going be a water fall!

Isaac posing next to his future oasis.

Progress as of yesterday.

And now, a few pics of the dogs enjoying the yard as it is right now...

As you can see, Honey loves being queen of the hill.

Rambo, enjoying the view from above.

Sorry for the picture quality. I took a look at my phone (which acts as my camera these days) and the lens looked quite foggy. Upon closer inspection it has become very scratched! I should take this as a motivator to suck it up and buy a reasonable point-and-shoot already. Hopefully future blog posts will bear higher quality photos. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Evolution of a Yard in Pictures: One

So, our yard has been coming along a little bit at a time, but I feel like we are making good progress. I figured a picture post was in order to show the state of the back yard as it is right now, and will do one (or two) more photo posts as we make more headway.

This is the "before" picture. This is basically what our entire yard has looked like for months. It was worse before the first time we leveled it, if you can believe that. So rubbly.

This is the north side of the house. We decided to cover the ground over here with mulch. Eventually it will turn into soil, and become our watermelon/canteloupe/squash patch.

Over here we have laid gravel to make a level place to put raised beds for vegetable gardening.

Here is Isaac, standing next to several big holes (watch your step!), and a dirt mountain. We've purchased a pump and some coconut palms. This is going to be our cascading water feature, flanked by palms. And when those palms have grown strong roots, we'll hang a hammock between them.

After measuring and cutting, Isaac is staining the outsides of these boards for raised beds. The insides were heavily waxed to ensure extra safe soil for food growing.

Stained boards.

First raised bed almost finished...

Isaac admiring our work on the first finished raised bed. The dogs seem to enjoy it as well. 

Raised beds set in place on the Mauka/East side of our house.

The dogs love the raised beds and dirt a little too much. It's already been a challenge keeping them out. We may have to add fencing around this area.

Today, I will Amend the soil and hopefully transplant my basil, carrots, onions, lettuce, cucumbers and first tomato plant.

We are also hoping that the shipment of dirt came in from Kamuela today so our landscaper can bring it in and put dirt over all that rock.

Then! Grass seed!