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.


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My Deciding Jar

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My Deciding Jar

My last blog post was about a Happiness Jar. Tonight I’m sharing my Deciding Jar. It was a gift from my girls (KidI and KidA). It contains about 100 slips of paper with QR Codes on each slip. The way it works is that I will scan the code to determine how much I will pay for their foot massages.

Two years ago, KidA thought it would be a neat idea to start a “loyalty card” for her services. She would punch my card every time I got and paid for a foot massage. Let me establish her skills at foot massages — she is incredible. Not only does she firmly massage all parts of the foot, she also will massage for a long time. At a certain point, I figured she should be rewarded for her skill and she set her price at $4 for a 30-minute massage. It is a great deal. Sometimes, it ends up being only 10 minutes per foot because she’ll get carried away in conversation or she’ll focus more on what is on television. She also insists on starting on a fifteen minute interval so that she ends “properly.” So I’ll have to sit and wait until it is 8:15 or let her stay past her bedtime to end at 9:15.

So I was happily getting my feet massages and paying her pretty regularly about once a week when she came up with the loyalty card. I was not very diligent about getting it punched. I had no idea what I would get if it was completely punched. Then last January KidA announced that all the punches were done, revealing my prize — half off massages for the rest of the year! Winner!

She admitted that she thought I’d finish the card back in October or maybe November. That would leave only a month or two of the half off price. None the less, all last year, I got my massages for only $2!

This year, she was a little more savvy and my discount ended at the stroke of midnight on the last day of 2014. No matter, I now have this ingenious “Deciding Jar” to give me the possibility of deal. Plus, KidI is in on the massages so really, I would have to say, a pretty great Christmas gift for mommy!

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The Happiness Jar

Improvised tickle tool

A few years ago, Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love author) encouraged fans to start their own Happiness Jars as she had done. She would write the best moments of her day on random pieces of paper and store them in a jar. Since I want to grow my writing skills, I’m looking for focus, inspiration, routine, basically anything to help me get going.

It is about 8:40 PM on the first day of 2015. I’m contemplating reminding the girls that their bedtime is 9 o’clock. I’m also taking the time to determine my best moment of the day.

Was it returning home from our four-day staycation? Vacationing is fun. It always reminds you of things you truly appreciate back at home. Things like strong water pressure in the shower. Or a full kitchen with spices, condiments, and utensils. Familiar sounds and all my clothes, shoes, and toiletries (because the DH always encourages us to “pack light.”

Maybe it was heading to the Tolentino Pavilion (aka Auntie Cindy’s house) for a late lunch with her family. Good food, great conversation, high spirits because it is a new year. Added plus that the second cousins all get along and actually put down their mobile devices and interacted with each other.

I could think of a few more moments in contention for “the best” however, I think it would have to be as I sat on the couch reading through Flipboard articles and the DH declared “One minute!” At that, KidI jumped up and started an attempt to make her daddy laugh. KidA soon joined in to find his tickle spot. At the last possible second, the DH laughed loudly and the girls called themselves champions as they continued to laugh as KidC and I watched their craziness. That moment, right there. My family. Enjoying themselves. Together. Best moment of January 1, 2015.

Happy New Year everyone!


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The Day After Christmas

It’s the day after Christmas. Everyone is calm. The initial thrill of new things has worn off. Probably due to a lot of eating and a lot of socializing and a lot of staying up later than usual. In exchanging season greetings via text with friends, who I wish I could see more of, someone commented that I hadn’t been posting to my blog in a while. That prompted me to challenging myself to pick up my random musings again.

The DH had to work today and KidC had already declared he wanted to do “absolutely nothing” today (he’s gotten hooked on Fringe via Netflix). The girls played to my lack of preparation and called my parents, inviting them to the movies and lunch. I tagged along for the free food and entertainment. That, and I really did not want to straighten tissue paper and flatten boxes for future gift wrapping needs.

Reflecting on the season I must admit it took me a bit to get into the “holiday spirt.” I looked at decorating as a chore. I considered gift shopping a task list to get through. I wanted to get through all the motions as quickly as possible. Fortunately for me, everyone else around me, my co-workers, my friends, my family, were cheerful and bright and full of joy.

Tonight, in the quiet of KidC getting through another season of Fringe, KidA working on her Trevi Fountain Lego structure, KidI creating tricks on the Indo Board while watching The Princess Bride, and the DH at the fire house, I am happy and content.

 

 


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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!!)

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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

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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.