Slight Turbulence

Bring it on, bring it on, bring it on. From here to the eyes and the ears of the 'verse, that's my motto. Or at least it would be, if I start having a motto.


Title and Tag Line

I selected the blog name Slight Turbulence when I decide to move from iWeb to WordPress. Apple was discontinuing it’s service and I loved using iWeb and all the features. The kids even had their own site named iBartolome Web Show.

I had already been blogging for about two years after completing the “post everyday for a year” challenge I came across. I started off thinking my blogging would be a public journal of sorts; an expansion of thoughts I posted on Twitter. This was before Twitpix and Instagram and around the time Facebook was swarmed with everyone in the entire world!

I had finished re-watching Firefly and finally gotten to watch the Serenity movie so pulling a phrase or quote from the series seemed like a great idea. It describes how I like to portray my life. As if everything is going along pretty well with just a few occasions of slight turbulence. Of course really, it could all explode!

The key is to remain calm, as if we were just having a regular day. Shrug off the negative, focus on the positive, accept the definition of interesting as “Oh God, oh God, we’re going to die” and make the most of it because really, life wouldn’t be living if their weren’t any turbulence.

Today’s assignment for Blogging 101 was to “Edit your title and tagline.”

I’m keeping my title. I did edit the tagline.

It does occur to me that my explanation of the title and the title itself may lead readers to expect crazy, disastrous stories from my life. That will happen some of the time. I think of it this way: Remember when we had land lines? Phones without caller ID? If you had called me early in the morning. Not dead in the middle of the night, but around the time I should probably be up and about getting ready to be productive. Of course I’m not awake, however, if you phoned, I answered. I answered with the most perky, wide awake voice I could muster. I also claimed I was awake already. Yup, that’s what this blog has been. Even with the title, I have shared pretty much the good stuff. Perhaps I will share more of the turbulent now that I have revisited my title. I can already think of a few topics:

  • KidC’s college aspirations and how we will pay for it
  • My job position ending in June
  • Communication issues between the DH and me
  • The relationship I don’t have with my sister
  • Home repairs that cost a fortune
Gracious, my life is full of turbulence. Maybe Serenity would be a better title!


Revisiting the Reason

I’d like to be more focused and identify the “voice” of my blog and decided to sign up Blogging 101 offered by Word Press. The first “assignment” of the year is to share “Who I am and why I’m here” as well as “What are you about and why should people read your blog?”

My name is Christina.

I am a wife, mom, daughter.
I am a teacher, administrator, volunteer.

I procrastinate, plan, dream.
I direct, correct, clean.

I blog to share my thoughts and observations beyond the quick status updates and tweets and pictures.

I blog to document my life and use the public forum to improve my writing skill because a personal journal would have terrible spelling, incredibly long sentences, and isolate my feelings when really, sharing with the world is something of a legacy. (Yeah, I’m full of myself!)

My writing is pretty G-rated. Everything I write I’d be fine with my children reading. I’d be fine with my employer reading. I strive to be upbeat. I strive to not judge or create controversy. I do strive to encourage introspection and reflection.

I struggle with commenting on current issues and ultimately ask myself how my writing would help or add positivity to the discussion. That often leads me to not write about something as this platform is not conducive to a fair, empathetic discussion about polarizing topics. If you know me, you should know where I stand on issues and what I believe. If you want to know, just ask. Be prepared for a sincere answer that may contradict popular opinion. Be prepared that it will not change the way I strive to have mutual respect for everyone.

I would love for more people to comment on my thoughts. I would love for more people to read my blog! I will consider this blog a success when I make it other someone else’s Blogroll because they believe their own readers would enjoy reading my blog.

I work very hard to keep an even keel going in my life – with my marriage, my family, my job. That is never, ever what really happens. Slight Turbulence is the name of my blog because first I LOVE Firefly and most things Sci/Fi and second because the slight turbulence in my life could at any moment explode — it is with humor, love and support of family and friends, and my moral compass guided by the Bible and my relationship with God, the ship sails on!

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Get Moving. Faster!

IMG_4937Last Monday was a holiday and The Great Aloha Run (GAR). When I was just a kid (aka in my energetic 20s) I did the run a couple of times. Life was simple. I was fit. Running. Jogging. 8 miles was a fun morning with friends or relatives or whoever had signed up with their company or their church group or their civic club. So when I found out that this was the 30th year for the GAR, I finally got my act together and paid the registration in time to have my entire family participate.

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’m struggling to get my body into a different shape than it is now. I’m also managing high blood pressure and pre-diabetes. Yeah, I’ve really let myself go. The good news is that I’m working on getting things under control and hoping to do it with good old fashioned exercise, healthier eating, and smarter choices.

My training plan was covered by the exercise I began at the end of last year. I go walking with a great friend about 2-3 times a week. We usually go about 4 miles in an hour and ten minutes. See, I wasn’t exaggerating the “great” part, because she is totally in great physical shape and still willing to go at my pace to help me. (Seriously, THANK YOU SAM!!)


I told the kids about the run and at first the DH was going to just drop us off in the morning, and then he decided “What’s eight miles on a Monday morning?” and gave up an overtime opportunity to make it a family affair.

The kids all got new sporty outfits and at the last-minute, light-weight cover ups because of anticipated rain. In retrospect, I could have been a little less concerned about how they looked, and a little more concerned about having them train a little for the run.

All in all, it was a great experience. Upon reflection of the day’s events, all three children would participate next year. Their competitive sides have emerged and they all want to not only beat their own time, they want to beat each other to the finish line.

That makes me a little worried. I’m not a runner. I’m not really a jogger. I’m more of an “it looks like I’m jogging, but you probably could walk faster than me” kinda gal. So either, I better use this year to seriously train to be faster or … hmm, I guess there isn’t an alternative. Yikes!

Three things I learned during the Great Aloha Run 2014 :

1) People can’t jog or walk in a straight line.

Often when we are strolling through the mall or walking to our car in the parking lot or shopping through Costco, I scold the kids for walking in front of me. I remind them of their youth soccer coach who would shout, “Stay in your own lane” as they moved the ball down the field.

Well apparently, a lot of people did not learn that skill. Walkers and runners were all over the road as I made my way from Aloha Tower to Aloha Stadium. I would use the traffic lines as my guide so I know certainly that others were not. Walk straight people. There’s no one ahead of you. Quit drifting to the left only to drift back to the right and still be going faster than me so I can’t pass you.

2) People need stronger deodorant.

Yes it was humid because the forecasted rain never really materialized. However, how can we all be lining up at the starting line and you are already smelly? And I can’t believe how many people sweat so much that their deodorant wore out. Goodness, we are only at the 3-mile mark and I can smell you coming and thank you for staying up wind of me for the next mile.

3) I’m a solitary runner.

KidA ran with me for all of 2 miles. Then she was so frustrated with my slow speed that she took off and I didn’t see her until we regrouped at the stadium. She was the 1st place finisher in our family and claims it’s because she had promised me she wouldn’t complain from the moment we started until we finished. She said she had way too many “thoughts to share” she had to cross that finish line as quickly as possible. Oh, yes. In case you are wondering, thanks to technology, not only did she call me to tell me she crossed the finish line, she also poured out all her feelings while I was working on completing that last incline in mile 7.

My point is, once I stopped worrying about her, I was totally content to run alone, walk a bit, then run some more. I enjoyed watching people, pacing myself behind someone, planning to overtake someone. When I was with her, it was a little tedious to me to worry about her. The running silence was uncomfortable and conversation a little tiring. So, although I’ll continue to tease her about abandoning me, I am glad she did.

Final Results

KidA: 1:49
KidC: 2:04
KidI / Me / DH: 2:09

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 12.28.48 PM

We separated almost immediately after crossing the starting line. KidA with me and KidC & KidI with the DH. I found out later that they ran almost most 5 miles together before KidC saw KidA go by and tried to keep up with her. That’s a lot for KidI’s little legs to go!

I found KidI and hubby around the 6.5 mile point and we walked/jogged together the rest of the way. Well, until the very end when KidI sprinted ahead to make it across the finish line before me.

Yeah, next year I guess my goal is to be 10 minutes faster. I hope it rains again. I can’t imagine how draining it would have been if the sun was out instead of the occasional sprinkle and cloud cover.

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Surround Yourself with Success


In the last week of January I attended a professional conference with the site coordinators of the federal grant I administer. It included two full days of presentations, sharing, networking, and developing resources for the out-of-school time programs funded by our grant. It was nice to work side-by-side with these individual who work at seven different school across our complex. Morning coffee, after lunch sessions, and getting through evaluation forms which serve as your “exit ticket” builds relationships. It’s a lot about relationships when tough things happen and you are counting on people to get things done.

I came back to work the following week and spent a bit of time going through my notes and handouts to suss out what needed addressing, what was really useful, and what needed filing. The afternoon was spent going through the inevitable emails that stack up when out a few days and there was an email from one of my Site Coordinators.

I was copied on her message to the entire faculty of the school she worked. Even though our programs our not part of the school-day activities, because she required a substitute to attend, she was following “protocol” and sending out a brief summary of how she had spent the two days away from her classroom. She shared what she had learned and offered herself as a resource to anyone interested in learning more or accessing the online information we had covered.

Wow. Just wow.

It made me think of that saying of how successful people surround themselves with other successful and smarter people. I thought of how I love my job and how my enthusiasm contributes to the great job that I am able to do. Then I thought of how I am also, really successful because of those who work with me. They make me a better person.

PS: That Site Coordinator has gone on to plan a staff training session for our program activity leaders and I have shared how humbled I am to be working with her.

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It’s Called a Wattle

For the life of me I couldn’t remember what that red, fleshy, hanging thing off the turkey. I should know it. It’s a family trait on the Smith side once you hit your 80’s, along with these wide (thank you German genes), child-bearing hips. Both physical traits that I am now determined to combat with physical fitness and healthy eating. Oh, don’t worry, I’m not going to get all extreme and set a “below 5% body fat” goal, or heaven forbid, cut out carbs from my diet. No, I’m going to be reasonable, and moderate, and make it happen with help.

That’s what I’m really thankful for this year. The help I get from others. To be more specific. it’s really the fact that I value that help enough to accept it.

I was not always this way. In fact, I use to revel in being able to do everything, all of it, myself.

At work I designed curriculum, put on workshops, did repairs, created templates, vetted new software, and taught classes — myself. Then I was blessed with the HERN Team. Doreen, Kazuko, and Debbie got hooked on technology and they also got their hooks into me and forced me to include them in everything! (Mostly because they wanted the passwords, but they also were so willing to help.) Suddenly, I was a part of team to implement our goals and it was successful and it was fun and we ushered in an energetic wave of tech use at our school.

It happened again as I worked to earn my Master’s degree. Team Palm Villas met weekly to review case studies, create slide shows, practice speeches and presentations. We were all independent individuals used to accomplishing a lot on our own and here we were, forced to work together and we made it work — Casey, Ben, Marlene — if I said I couldn’t figure out the statistics assignment, you guys said stop and wait until we all could get together at Zippy’s to help me understand!

I don’t think I even asked Donnie & Richard to help, but they did! They would drive to my house in the morning at 6 o’clock to pick up KidI in her car seat so I could drive into town to teach summer school. I would have never asked anyone to go above and beyond the way they did. Their example of unconditional help has touched me beyond words.


Those instances were over 10 years ago… and then this weekend I was reminded again, about asking for help. I did and it was there. Without question and overflowing with humor.

  • Sam for helping me start exercising again!
  • Miriam, Luci, & Anna for helping with the wedding & reception!
  • Ricky & Lena for making me pretty!
  • Donna & Aurora (my MIL) for putting up with my response card and guest count rants!

I reflect on this, on Thanksgiving Day, for those people who not only help me, but have taught me that I do not need to do things alone. You are the people who MAKE the moments for which I am thankful. THANK YOU for being there when I need you.


I’m posting a blog every day this month for NaBloPoMo!