Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My Aunt for A Lifetime

This past couple of weeks, I have been saying my farewells and preparing for the earthly departure of a special woman in my life, my Aunty Ke-o.
About 30 years ago, I made friends with Ke-o's daughter, Nalia.We agreed back then, with all the wisdom that we possessed at 14/15 years old, that church was a waste of time. She had the task of babysitting her young nephew Ali'i, and I decided that I would have the task of watching her do it. We only saw each other at church, since she was a year younger, and went to a different high school than I did. But we caught up on our lives every Sunday while feeding and burping her nephew, away from the ever watchful eyes of my mother.
Well, life leads to life and a couple of years later, I had my own baby to watch at church. Nalia would come to pick me and Beenie up at my house, and the four of us would ride around in Aunty Ke-o's Orange Banger (so named for the color of the paint), smoking cigarettes and drinking cokes and analyzing life, as we knew it, at 16/17 years old. (The smoking of cigarettes and drinking of cokes were only done by Nalia and me, so don't call CPS folks.)
The car, the money for gas, the snacks and cokes, even the money for cigarettes, were all provided from this Aunt of mine. Granted, she didn't give us money for the express purpose of buying cigarettes, but she did let us use the car for hours and hours every day without complaint. The cigarettes were us being resourceful. LOL.
Flash forward to me and Beenie a few years after that. I had had a particularly nasty run in with my own mother, which ended with something like "Get you and your daughter's stuff and GTF out of my house!" To which I gladly said "I'm out." So, actually, that is a "verbatim" convo, not a paraphrase. Anyhow, I took my daughter, and with nothing but the shirts on our backs and not even money for bus fare, we walked the 2 miles to Aunty Ke-o's house. I was infuriated, shocked, hurt and so many other emotions. Aunty and Lehua-Nalia's oldest sister-were not home. So we just waited out in the garage until they returned. I was a hot mess, and Beenie was tired and hungry. I was trying to contemplate what I could possibly do to survive the next few months. Would I even have a place to live? Food for my kid? Where would we sleep?  Money to get to school? Money for Beenie's school? Where were going to sleep tonight?
About an hour later, I had almost given up hope and decided I needed to start walking back home before darkness hit. Thank goodness Aunty Ke-o and Lehua came home. Aunty took one look at me sitting outside and said "Why are you sitting outside? You know how to get in the house, don't you?" And with that, there was nothing else I needed to worry about. It was simple to her. Even though she could tell I had probably gotten into a fight with my mother, she wasn't going to let her nieces sleep in the park like some homeless family.
In that moment, the acceptance that I was given, was a refuge to my physical self and a balm to my broken soul. After years of living with my own mother, who constantly made me feel that I needed to redeem myself and repent of my SIN and that I wasn't as good as my siblings or worth anything, I was now living with someone who loved me as I was, and showed me in her actions the parental phenomenon known simply as "UNCONDITIONAL LOVE". 
The 2 months that I lived with them was the best thing that I didn't even know I was dying for.  I was fed, housed, clothed, transported and supported in all that I needed. And that was a critical time in my life. I had only 8 more weeks to go until my community college graduation. Aunty made sure I had bus fare, food for me and Beenie, and any other material thing I would need. Uncle was always asking if we needed rides, or washing done. And Lehua and Baby Lono took over the drives that I used to take with Nalia and Ali'i. In fact, the whole family even came to my college art show, with refreshments
I think about all the words of wisdom that Aunty Ke-o has shared with me over this 30 year span, and I'm overwhelmed with how intuitive she was from Day 1. She was able to help me because she knew just how to help me in a way that would be impactful and sustained. She knew the true person I was. She didn't have to guess . And I knew that she loved me. I never had to guess.
Aunty, I love you so much and I will miss seeing you. I will miss talking for hours and hours and hours. I will miss our little gossip girl time. I will miss laughing at things with you. I will miss your wise counsel to me about life, and love, and children and grandchildren, and choices. I will miss your fun personality. I will miss how cute you are with modern technology. I will miss your dedication to your family history. I will miss how spirited you always are to people. I will miss your sassy comments when you were irritated with people, and then us laughing about it right after. I will miss knowing you are here on this physical plane at the same time as me.
I love you and Thank You for loving me back.
Rest now. Rest your weary body. Soon you will be with your loved ones.
Please visit me in my dreams if you have a chance. And give me some gossip about everyone up there. LOL
Aloha Oe & Manuia lou Malaga.



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Time After Time

So...these are some highlights of what has happened since V-Day 2010...

  • 2011-Windward Skies 
  1. Moved home to Hawaii and lived in Kahuku with The Man's good friend and their family.
  2. Got a job at Bobby Benson Center-a residential facility for youths with co-occuring substance addiction and mental health issues. LOVED IT!
  3. The Kid got married. Existential Crisis: The Beginning.
  • 2012-Hail Kahuku Hail 

  1. Got a job at Kahuku High & Intermediate School- a day program for youths with co-occuring religious and cultural conflicts interspersed with addiction, mental health issues, tom foolery, hooliganism, horse play (from real horses I tell you!) self-created drama, and an award winning sports programs. HATED IT!
  2. Moved to Punaluu-a residential half way house that housed many many recovering addicts, RSOs, and weed smoking people (the good kind) who raised the most polite kids I've met in the North Shore.
  3. The first of many hospitalizations for my declining health.

  • 2013-#FAF and #TLE and #LOTR 
  1. Mr. Wonderful Man and I finally "Sealed the Deal" at the Laie Hawaii Temple. He's mine! FAMILIES ARE FOREVER!
  2. After 3 surgeries, resigned my tenured position at KHIS due to my health issues-specifically compromised vision in my right and then left eye. I am now legally blind in The Left Eye. 
  3. Spent many a dark day listening to movies and gaining a greater appreciation for well composed scores. I now have a genre of movies that I call "Good Listening" for the ability of the movie to still convey the plot and emotional arc with more than just the visuals. The absolute winner is #LOTR. Every. Single. One.

  • 2014-Trumpet Behavioral Health, Moves and Baby Pala
                                                                                                         
  1. In January, on a whim, I answered a Craig's List ad looking to hire a SpEd teacher in a special school in Liliha. I had seen the same company advertise for a teacher for their Kunia location, but I wasn't willing to travel that far. I went, I interviewed, and I didn't get the job. The Principal said I didn't have enough experience. (Even though I have been teaching since 1997 WTF???) BUT...they asked me if I wanted to be the designated sub for their Kunia location as their newly hired teacher was about to go on maternity leave in a few months. Until then, I would learn how to be a behavior technician using Applied Behavior Analysis at both Liliha and Kunia. Okay. Why not. And so my journey with Trumpet Behavioral Health began. LOVED and still LOVING IT!
  2. The Kid announced that she was gravid. And that they were moving. To Utah. 
  3. Interviewed for a teacher position, again, at Trumpet in May. You see, the teacher who was hired for the position, the 25-year-old-just-moved-to-Hawaii-still-wet-behind-her-ears-but-still-had-more EXPERIENCE-than-me, yeah, that one, well, she was resigning. 5 months after she got the job. So I went. Again. And I interviewed. Again. And I ...didn't get the job. Again. But I loved the work and loved the variety that going between both locations gave me. So, I kept going back and learning and loving the job.
  4. In August, the teacher at Trumpet Kunia, the one who I covered for while she was on maternity leave, was seriously contemplating leaving. I didn't want to go through the process of interview/rejection for a third time, so I didn't make a move.
  5. In September, I happened to be in the Kunia building when a potential candidate for the teacher position came in. She was young. She was friends with the former teacher at Liliha. She was relatively new to the island. And, she was currently the teacher at...Bobby Benson Center. Well well well. Something in me clicked and I told the Principal that I would take the job if she wanted me to. Suddenly, 9 months later, after waking up every day at 4am and catching 3 buses to get to work (before the teacher arrived) and then catching 2 buses home and arriving at 6pm if I was lucky-suddenly it all paid off. That Principal who had rejected me two times, hired me as the new teacher. And after 9 months of her low-balling me on the pay scale, I walked away with more money than I had ever made in my life. #blessed
  6. October 23 I attended the birth of my first grandchild. The Kid was a beast. She powered through that entire process. I powered through holding her leg up during contractions-on a side note, I really think that hospital staff made that move up to occupy visitors in the birth room cause of all the movies I have watched, people give birth without assistance in elevating their legs. And I have actually caught a baby being pushed out of the birth canal and there was no "leg-elevation holding technique" being employed there. Just Saying. Anyway, I was physically tired and I had too many intense emotions-Existential Crisis: My Progeny- and had to sit out the last part of it on the side. But the results were exceptional.

  • 2015 Days of Our Lives
  1. Life at Trumpet included Resignation after Resignation after Resignation after Resignation. And so on etcetera etcetera etcetera. And just like that, DOE decided to Resign us from working for them. The contract was NOT going to be renewed when it ended June 30, 2016. 
  2. The Kid and her family "Sealed the Deal". That was the moment that I really knew that my job as a parent had narrowed in scope to its full circle conclusion. Thus ends my watch, my parental patrol and the final installment of Existential Crisis: An Eternal Family is in place.










Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Year Came and Went...Welcome 2KX!

I'm gonna have to work real hard to beat my 2KIX post score of 36.

Real. Hard.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

No Freebie Anymore...

Have to find a new way to connect. My piggyback days are over.

Monday, December 7, 2009

What music means to me...

I love music. There was a time when it was all I ever wanted. Then I heard my singing voice, and I lost some confidence points. I'm not fishing for compliments here. I know I can carry a tune, and I'm okay with that. But when I hear a truly inspiring voice, like Fatai's, I wish I had more ability to express my emotions via song.

My sister Margaret can sing like that. She puts her all in any song she sings. And her voice is really beautiful.
Jun says I can sing like that too, I'm just too shame. He thinks it is a lack of confidence and practice. My fear is that it really is a lack of talent. But I can dream that the sounds that come out of my mouth match the sounds that I hear in my brain.
Maybe a little more practice wouldn't hurt either.

I Support Poly Music Makers...

Here is my new fave gospel voice: Fatai Tovo singing her original composition. Also, her voice singing The Shepherd of My Soul at a church function, hence the shot of the ceiling.


Her gift of music is shared publicly and freely.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

From the mouths of babes...

No, I am not talking about cute guys here.

When entrusted with the raising and training of a child, one must be aware that one's actions affect said child. Whether direct or indirect, that child observes and often times imitates behaviors and attitudes modeled by the parent.
So a word of caution, be very aware that what you say and do in front of those little eyes and ears are being replayed to the general public.
At any given time, with or without prompt, your child says things that reveals what you have said in the privacy of your home. Your child repeats your opinions or statements or prejudices.
Whether of not they are the most brilliant child you have ever seen, they will do this unknowingly. Or worse, very knowingly. Can a child be sneaky and cunning? Be assured that they are very capable of using words as weapons. Especially if their parents use those weapons indiscriminately around them.

Food and the Palagi Ward

Since moving to Charlotte, I have had to adjust my mindset when it comes to refreshments at a ward event.

When I first got here in 2007, my cousin invited us to her annual ward luau. We were warned by Rachel that the palagis don't do food like we do in Hawaii. Store bought cookies and some tap water in a pitcher was what was usually on the menu.
We went to the luau, but stopped off at Panera Bread first to grab some sandwiches so our growling stomachs wouldn't give us away. Surprise, surprise. There was actually plenty of food. So much, there was food to take home. The next day, we went to the fireside/thank you dinner. I came hungry expecting the same abundance of food. Surprise, surprise. There was only enough for firsts.
My ward had yet to impress me with an abundance of food. Even the Relief Society activities here, usually an oasis of homemade goodies in Hawaii, are more often than not populated by plastic containers stuffed with store bought baked goods. Um, yuck.
So last night, I downed two sandwiches in expectation of a meager spread, and the ward surprised me. We had lots of food. A simple menu, but lots of it. The ham was tasty, the greenbean casserole creamy and good, the fruit salad delicious, the rolls tender and moist, the sweet potatoes crunchy and sweet. All in all, I had two servings and some to take home.
This ward has stepped up it's game. Right on.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday is for TV.

I have always been a TV bug.

I used to wake up, or at least try to force my peepers open at 6 am every Saturday so I could maximize my TV watching time. Imagine, I would literally use my fingers to pry open my eyes while my sibs all slept. Did I even enjoy TV in that tortured state? Duh. Yes.
So no surprise that as I have grown older, I still enjoy my TV moments. But to be fair, this past few years I have dwindled my time down. Partly due to the fact that we don't have cable-and it hasn't been as bad as I would have thought. Also, in large part to my LOVE of the Internet.
Anyways, Thursdays this Fall 2009 has been dedicated to the following shows: Fringe, Survivor Samoa, Grey's, and Private Practice.
Fringe is an X-filesish show that has creepy quirky plot lines, but we watch because one the main characters-Walter Bishop - is flippin' hilarious. One of his more memorable lines: "I ate that hot pepper once. The flatulence was terrible."
Survivor Samoa has one main reason we watch: Russell H. That little pygmy makes me laugh with how much scheming and conniving he does. He could almost be a real Hamo.
Grey's and PP are my so-so shows. I mean, if I get a chance to catch them, I'm cool. If not, I'm cool.
Finally, just as an afterthought...Wednesday is also for TV. I am a GLEEK! If you don't know what that means, go ahead and Google it. I always cry when I watch Glee. Always!!
And as another afterthought, I haven't watched as much TV cause I like to get on the Internet. But guess what I do when I get on the Internet?
Watch the TV shows I missed on the network websites of HULU.
Like I said. I have always been a TV bug.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mini-Me Mabeleen

I got a call at 8:30 am, NC time. It was from Beenie and I was immediately worried. Even with daylight savings in effect, she was calling me at 3:30 am, HI time.
I knew when I said hello that something was bothering her. She asked me if I was okay, and I say to her, I'm okay, are you okay? She had a bad dream about me and wanted to know if I was really alright. She was choked up and still in the grips of the nightmare that put the suggestion in her head.

I have had those kinds of dreams and wake up crying, or many times, need to be woken up because I am either whimpering or bawling hard out in my sleep. Maybe that's why I always give such startled reactions when someone wakes me up. Jun says that he knows I am fake sleeping when he has to call out to me more than two times. In fact, it is actually Ms. Beenie who gets a kick out of waking me up when I am sleeping and waiting for the ensuing shocked voice/face action that follows.
It reminded me of me, except I get to be the comforter now, instead of the comforted.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Commitment to Comment. Consistently.

The tsunami that hit my island on September 29 left me without words. Not merely speechless, but absolutely wordless. My mind could not begin to understand how so much destruction could happen so quickly. Mom was safe, and true to her nature, got busy helping out where she could. We lost our Aunty Michelle, who had been a major part of our Samoa life. We were lucky, not too many reasons to cry personally. But a sadness for the general loss was unshakable.

What followed for the next 3 weeks was my constant adding of links to my Facebook page. It included people's video and image shares from Samoa. I added over 50 links in that time. No words came from me, just the links. I wanted only to focus on what had happened in Tutuila. The images from Upolu were not as readily forthcoming. I had walked those streets, I had traveled to those some of those villages daily. My mind battled with the new landscape that was forced into being by the wild blue sea. I wanted to go home, I wanted to make it safe and restore it back to my mind's remembering. Does that sound delusional? I think I may have lost it a bit, because that was my homeland.
Many people I know were galvanized by that tragedy to send help in any way they could. I applaud their efforts and their abilities. Others were able to speak and move and do. They organized donation stations, shipping dates and concerts. T-shirt sales and graphics to use on the internet to show that Samoa was on the most important "to-do" list ever popped up overnight. I observed. That is what I did. Observe and pray. My default in detached crises is to observe. I know I can do when I need to. (I delivered a baby in my truck in 2005, so I know I can do when I need to.) But this was not in my proximity, and that helplessness was what caused me to only observe. But many many thoughts were and are swirling in my mind since September 29, and I want to get them out and about. I need to convert those thoughts into words.
That being said, I commit to comment consistently for the remainder of this year. On New Year's Day, I will revisit that commitment and see if I succeeded or not.
This is Day 1 of my Commitment to Comment Consistently.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Summer is officially OVER.

Yesterday, summer ended for me. It was a long one. Began on June 21st, as usual. I have spent the last quarter of a year moving and going and doing and losing and gaining and sleeping and napping and all-nitering and then and then and then...

Mom came for a week. She did baby duty, including baby doody, which is really unusual. She also made mussel oka, which was OKA OKA! There are some things that Mom will always make best,and that was one of them. She's back in Samoa now and we miss her.
Margaret-o and Tetsuya were here on a whirlwind visit to Charlotte. They came. They saw. They conquered. It was too fun and as always, too short. Mecha Sugoi! and Mecha Sayakuya! all in one.
Ti'a "Asomaletonu" returned to DC after a month long visit as well. I laughed my abs into one big lump while soiling my own pants multiple times laughing at his antics. I know, TMI, but that's why you are reading my blog, isn't it?
Amiri and Malachi are back to the school schedule and fighting it, like boys will. I mean, what magic happens at 8:30 that requires them to be in bed? (Their thoughts that I have picked up via telepathy)
Elijah is a big fat WORM that weighs 9+ lbs! I couldn't be more proud of his progress if I were a sumo stable master. OH yeah, and he is officially born, since his due date of 9/21 came and went. And he is now two months old as of 9/22.
Jun and I are enjoying our schedule with the Nephs, and looking forward to Christmas. Jun likes the colder weather, and I like the music and food. Okay, he likes the food too.
This year came and went so fast. Where did it all go?
A few more days and my baby make 21. Can't wait.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


And how could I forget the most famous character? Ti'a aka Smokey (duh)

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Cast of Friday...Durty South Edition

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Amiri aka Craig. He is throwing down the deuces for Monkey Joe's.











Here's Malachi aka Deebo...Quick, hide your stuff, he's coming!





Here's Elijah aka BIG WORM! Don't mess with the faux-hawk.










Thursday, September 10, 2009

Count von Jefferson of Buckleigh Street...Aah aah aah aah aah...

HOLY COW! Malachi knows how to count from 1 to 10 all by himself.

I'm not sure when this happened.
Maybe his teachers at Little Hedgepeth Academy, Miss Stacey and Miss Jessica, actually have a curriculum and daily lessons.
Maybe he has heard AJ counting and he always copies AJ.
Maybe he learned it from all the hours of hide and go seek.
Maybe because we are always telling him to do a feau while we count how long it takes.
Maybe because I used to do that to his mother when she was a young child and so he is genetically predisposed to counting.
What ever the reason, we salute you Count von Jefferson...the Original Pimp from Buckleigh Street!
Aah aah aah aah aah!

Texting Whoas and Hos by Ti'a and Mabel

Scene: Rachel's kitchen table and living room.

Time: 9 pm-ish
Characters: Ti'a and Mabel-why am I not surprised?
Background: Jun is upstairs with Amiri and Malachi, Ti'a is watching the US Open, but wants to watch "Changeling" on DVD with someone, and Mabel is busy farming online in the kitchen. It's been a long Labor Day. Mabel has just announced to Ti'a that she finally got a txt msg plan, since Rachel and Ti'a looovvvve to text to her instead of calling. Ti'a relays the information that he discovered that he texts over 100 times a day. It has been about 2 weeks since Rachel shared some of her ringtones from her blackberry via bluetooth with Ti'a. Mabel's phone was unable to receive the shared ringtones.
Mabel is also obsessed with online farming on FB.

SPOKEN approx 9:05
Ti'a: Mabel, I want to watch "Changeling", hurry up!
Mabel: Just a minute, I'm almost done planting my new crops.
Ti'a: Okay, I'm gonna smoke a cigarette and then we're gonna watch Angelina!
Mabel: Okay, okay. I've gotta use the bathroom then I'll be there.

Ring ring ding a ring ding a ring (generic phone tone to indicate a text msg has been received on Mabel's phone.)
Ti'a to Mabel 9:14p->Computer ho!
Mabel to Ti'a 9:16->U would know ole hoe
Ti'a to Mabel 9:17p->Changeling ho!
Mabel to Ti'al 9:17p->Change your diaper ho
MABEL FARMS AND GOES TO THE POTTY...
Ti'a to Mabel 9:44p->Changel!
Mabel to Ti'a 9:49p->Tennis ball ho
Ti'a to Mabel 9:49p->Lmao toilet ho!
Mabel to Ti'a9:51p->100 Per day Texting ho
Ti'a to Mabel 9:52p->Late txt msg plan having ho!
Mabel to Ti'a 9:54p->Pay as you go cricket phone ho
CRAZY TI'A LAUGHTER ENSUES FOR TWO MINUTES...Plus, Ti'a has to give Mabel a high five for a good comeback
Ti'a to Mabel 9:56p->scared to death to get a text cuz of overage charges ass ho lol
Mabel to Ti'a 9:59p->Can't get a contract cause me and all my sisters owe the phone company ass ho
Ti'a to Mabel 9:59p->No ringtone default tmobile ring ho lol
Mabel to Ti'a 10:00p->Blue tooth is the only way i can get ring tones ho
Ti'a to Mabel 10:02p->Fake blackberry strawberry ass ho

Gotta love that lil ho...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday Night Tickles...

*Jun is back in school, after a wonderful summer break. Ready to hit the turf! My OG is literally the OG when it comes to classes. BTW, my man is a 4.0 student. I've never dated such a smart nerd. Let's whip that math prep this semester!
*After a long break , Beenie is back in school. What do you get when you add FULL OVERLOAD COURSES+FULL TIME JOB? Answer: Tired girl who stays home on the weekends to finish up homewok and get ahead. Good choice Beenie, I'm here if you need me.
*Amiri is a 2nd grader at Morehead (good for your forehead) with homework on the very first day. Which he finished over half while riding in the car to pick up Elijah-Roo. That deserved a double scoop of Rainbow Sherbet.
*Mally does the bootydoo dance ANYWHERE...including the exit door from Senior Nursery when all the parents are awaiting their three year-old toddlers. BTW, he is the best dancer and singer in his class of 12 toddlers. I'm not being biased. The other kids never even heard of the "Stanky Legg".
*Elijah Roo gained 11 oz and he is officially 1month old (as of last week). He is a great little fighter, and he loves to do "Kangaroo Care" with Auntie Mabel. Actually, what baby wouldn't?


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Band of Brothers or Why I LOVE My Sister's Maternity Capris.

Rachel HolyBoat cleans out her closet that is more than a walk in -(I call it a run-in)-at least quarterly. Many a time, many an outfit that I currently wear are the fruits of her labors to empty out her shelter for fashion. My latest run-in with her walk-in yeilded some tops that I thought would be nice and flowy on me, I loved the colors and I loved the price i.e. free. Then she told me to try on the ensembles including a few maternity capris.

"Um, no thanks," I said with a sarcastic tone. "I don't want to wear your Band of Brothers pants".
"Eh, shut up. Just try em, if you don't like them, just give them back." she said while making her big eyes even bigger.
I put them on, one leg at a time. I pulled them over my full-grown calves(aka cows) and thunderous thighs and hula hips and belly-licious rolls and they still kept going.
Past the saddle bags. Past the love handles. Past the point of no return for most of my bottoms.
But something was different. These pants fit. They really fit!
And then the 4 inch stretch waist band that is in place to support big ol' preggytummy women settled right where it was meant to. AHHHHH. Comfort and support like I've never known.
NO more slowly suffocating via my tight waisted-metal buttoned jeans.
No more showing of the TOE. You know what I'm talking about-Camelitis Toe Showitis.
Multi-tasking of the following are now possible: Eating, Breathing and Walking
I have found HEAVEN and it's name is elastic.
Or, Band of Brothers.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fill-ups on Our life...

*Funny new curse word: Crepe. Yes, as in the flat pancake. Try it in place of it's more profane cousin. Ex. "Your so full of crepe." "That's a load of crepe." "Holy Crepe!"


*Baby Elijah update: He's home and doing well. Spent the night with us, and he was easy as pie. Elijah Pie. FYI-He was born 9 weeks early, and weighed in at 4lbs6oz, but he is a SURVIVOR and he is a fighter. Love you Elijah!

*Brother Ti'a: Visiting us for a few weeks here in the Durty. Glad to see him and as always, the laughs are never contained.

*Cultivating Friendships @ Relief Society: Gave a presentation at Enrichment night this week. Rocked their worlds with "Talofa Tips" which included these gems:
T-Take the lead.
A-Advertise your interests.
L-Learn to listen.
O-Offer service often.
F-Find new things to try.
A-Alofa means "LOVE".


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

G'Day Mates...Here's some Factoids-Updates

1. I've been on vacay since June 30. I went to Utah for my cousin Leonne's wedding via Las Vegas. Got a chance to visit with Pam and family. The kids are all grown up and amazing. In Utah, got a chance to help out with preparations AND visit with so many of my 1st cousins and their kids. That was priceless. Went to Hawaii for the Laughing Samoans/Adeaze concert put on by our friend every year. I am SO IN LOVE with Adeaze now...I'm a groupie. Got a chance to hang with The Beens A LOT and I loved it. Also stayed in Laie for a weekend and chilled with Nalia and family and enjoyed Laie Bash. ATE ATE ATE my way to Nirvana in Hawaii. Jun and I almost had to check in our butts as extra luggage. Back home to Charlotte as of last week, but still on "staycation" mode. Life is GRAND!

2. I am an Aunty again and again and again. This year has been fruitful for our families. Welcome to the following new additions this year: Salem Taosoga (Harold/Taeao) Arianna Magalei (TJ/Carey) Elijah Mitchell (Rachel/Royce) Memphis Hunkin (Dallas/Brittany) Tau Hunkin (Isaiah/Saipai). Still waiting on Baby Girl Hunkin (Daniel/Brandy) and Baby Faaola (Edith/Semaia).

3. I have internet access all the time now. Free laptop+Free internet=Free music+Free recipes+Free books. What does that really equal? FREE FUN!

4. It's Anne McCaffrey month at the Taosoga library. Many of you may not know that I started a personal reading challenge to myself in 2007. I wanted to see how many books I could read at a leisurely pace, to occupy my former TV/Compy time. I also added a few goals regarding that reading, like making sure to hit all the J.K. Rowlings each year, as well as my alltime favorite book-The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. My count for 2007-2008 was 45. I'm currently at 54, with a little more than 3 weeks left. Hoping to finish Ms. McCaffrey's Acorna series in that time, as well as HP 5/6/7. Don't know if it will happen without sacrificing my eyes.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Candy, Skittles and A Kiss

We just got a new camcorder/digital camera. I'm still learning how to use it, but of course, UNDERCOVER Paparazzi that I am, I was practicing my skills at home with the kids and Rachel. BTW, they no longer trust me cause I'm a silent picture snapper.
The
"video" here will also take you to my YOUTUBE channel. (Ok, I already linked my channel.)

Happy Mother's Day to Aunty Marge, who has helped raise all her nieces and nephews.
We Love You!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

May Day Wishes...

Something else I found. I know I'm a bit early, especially for the Mother's Day wish, but here it is... May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii.
All I can add is that as a product of Hawaii Public School education, I will always want to wear a lei on May 1st and sing some kind of song in a language other than English.
To date, I have sung in Hawaiian, playing the ipu.
Slammed the bamboos for the "Tinikling"
And then of course, they put all the chubby kids to work as narrators. Oh wait, it was cause I was a great reader. It was a coincidence that I was chubby. LOL

3+1 Factoids about Mabel

  1. My new fave author is Tamora Pierce. She writes YA fiction, and the majority of the characters are "sheroes", which I love. I originally read "Alanna" when I was in intermediate (cir. 1983), and followed the series to the conclusion 3 books later. I thought that was it. I have been pleasantly surprised that Tammy had dropped a book just about every year since then, making her publications equal to Ti'a's age. She writes great short, but complex plots, and I love her characters. And I also hate some of her characters.
  2. I am lactose indecisive. Some days, I can consume milk like a little baby calf, and have no issues. Other days, it's a symphony. NO, I think a cacophony.
  3. I recently discovered that I love the look of multi-mix snapdragon blossoms and violas. My husband is the direct reason for this. He is part of the grounds team at UNC Charlotte and he shows me all the flowers he plants around campus. He tells me he thinks of me when he is planting and beautifying. ( Ok, I'm just kidding. That is too gag-me-sweet-honeymoon-thoughts even for me.)
  4. I love these songs. "Sereima" and "Falealili Uma" and of course this one too "Hey Girl"

Mother's Day Wish

Happy Mother's and Grandmother's Day
Vaitinasa Salusalumalomamealeleimoleatunu'u Hunkin-Finau

Saturday, April 25, 2009

April with my boys...

Forget NCAA championship games, I just watched 3rd, 4th and 5th graders (mixed teams) battle it out at the 4th Annual Intramural Basketball championships at Grier Elementary. Max did an awesome job in Game 1, placing their team in the semi-finals. He was a super supporter in the championship game, showing good team spirit and positive attitude. Let me tell you, there was some intense spectators, energizing cheerleaders and refs were in danger, like in every "real" game situation.

AJ has had an awesome month of accomplishments that have included another stellar report card, getting to eat at a Pizza Party for getting enough points in his weekly Math Superstars homework, and being one of the class co-supervisors -basically, if other students are stuck or need more help and Mrs. Bunn is busy, they can go and ask Amiri. He always knows the answer.

Mally-Boy can talk. We just haven't caught on. When we picked him up to go to Max's game, he told us" Babasop. Me cut hair at babasop. Me go Mah baskball game. Go Mah. Me too. Junie bye bye. Me too. Me shoe. Go Blue. Yeah Mah. JJ fafa me. Qtip bie Tay's soo." Then he did the "Stanky Leg" in the cafeteria and more women fell in love with him.
Just. Like. Me.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's Raining Love...Halleluyer!

I'm so blessed, my heart is not merely full, it overflows.
The love of the right man has made me a better woman. These changes are not skin deep so much as they are soul deep. What were buds in my personality, have taken firm root and have begun to blossom.
Humility. Patience. Charity. Non-judging. Grace. Positive self-image.
I don't care that it may be self-indulgent, but today is the day I remember how we began.
Here we still are.
I love you Jun!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Blog On Demand...

So I have been complaining to Jun and Beenie that they are always the last ones to read my blogs. And here we are at the blog center (a.k.a. Library) and Jun asks me (Get ready for a shocker) "You don't have a new blog?" Like I've neglected him or something. And just a few days ago, Ms. Beenie told me "Nice blog on how you spent your day with the boys."
Is that what I think it is? Dare I say it? VALIDATION from extrinsic sources? Not to diminish my wonderful followers who faithfully login and read and leave me a msg. But Jun and Beenie? My husband and daughter? Are they, could they possibly be, fans of MumsTheWord-Mabel? Well, welcome aboard, and to all you closet readers-my self esteem is healthy enough to imagine secret admirers who want to know what's going on in my youniverse-our journey continues.

New Things:
Junius, my ever humble and hard-working husband, has bartered us new furniture. He started with a computer desk (computer included!) last year. Last month, 4 seater glass and brass dinette set. This week, matching couch and loveseat, another glass and brass coffee table with 2 end tables and a big old soft and comfy "Daddy" recliner that matches. It's only about 4 years old, but looks new. Did I mention that he's smart? All it cost him: 50 hrs working lawns with a co-worker. Love it.
*P.S. This is by far the nicest furniture that I've ever owned.

Recurring Things:
Next week Sunday, Jun and I will celebrate 3 years of US! Of course, we are reminiscing all the fun and laughs from those days. Like every couple that has been together for a while, we argue over who liked who and who did what and on and on. (BTW, I asked him on a date, since I couldn't risk turning 40 before he got over his shyness!)Again, who knew love in your middle aged years could be so rejuvenating? Love him.

Short Cuts I Love:
Maybe you all knew, but I have only recently discovered this neat little trick. I use bisquick mix to start the best bar cookies I've ever had. I have made PB-Double Chips and Oatmeal-Raisin bar cookies with my short cut. They come out crispy and not too sweet, and they are so easy. Do you want the recipe? Let me know. My hips are starting to show how much I love this short cut.

Nursery 101:
I'm at month #4 with my new nursery class. I see so much progress it makes me like kids all over again. No, but seriously, it isn't perfect, there are still some days that challenge my CTR instincts. But overall, they are starting to grow on me, and I'm even hugging some of them. And they are even starting to run to me for hugs. Kids...they can be so cute sometimes.
P.S. Then the bell rings and they go back to Mom and Dad and I can recharge for next week all over again.

Hey Jun, if you're reading this, thanks for pressing the "Blog On Demand" button today!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

three and free factoids about me and me blog...

Factoid #1) The name of this blogger layout is "Soul Blossoming". I loved it instantly for the color scheme and the layered meanings in the title. It speaks to me of spring, and rebirth and the pretty things in this world. And yes, I was surprised that I loved it despite it's lack of Easterly pastels.

Factoid #2) I spend on average of 30 hours a month on the phone. And I have gazillions of minutes left to spare. So, if you want to chat...

Factoid #3) I still strive to be as positive as possible. It's sometimes hard when I feel like I am a newly born person struggling with old baggage and issues. Couldn't I just get hit with temporary selective amnesia that sends a mental pop-up like your computer does before it proceeds to an action? I mean, could I just check the box labeled "Do NOT ask me this again?" and really mean it when I start to travel that downward spiral? Can I just ignore that saucy invitation to a pity party? Am I, as Jun would say, a "drummer"?

Well, I've hit the limit of free factoids for this month. Tune in next time...

A Regular day...

AJ just "snuck" past me with a bag of powdered donuts that he was waiting to grind, as soon as Malachi fell asleep.
We've had a wonderful weekend here with the boys, with some unexpectedly summery spring weather and time together.
Here's how our day went.
6:00 Mally up and ready to go, I had Jun put him on the potty, and he went, and straight after said "light off" and snuggled up to both of us. AJ still snoring away.
7:00 After lots of coercion from Mally, Jun decided to cancel his side-job for today and we all cheered "HOORAY". Jun is the best and most fun person when we are in a group. Had some toasted peach bread with real butter and some boiled eggs and grapefruit.(*only the eggs were boiled, btw.)
8:45 Mally and I take a short lap around the block on his trike. He provided most of the locomotion, I just guided with the detachable handle-thank you Radio Flyer for making the classic red kid's trike with a detachable handle! Jun starts the laundry. (Seriously, I'm the luckiest girl on the planet!)
9:30 Back home and time to switch with Jun. AJ still sleeping. Who does he get that from???
11:30 Mally screams that he wants hotdogs, so Jun has to go buy some more since Mr. AJ woke up in time for lunch and ate the last one. I ask Jun to pick up a loaf of bread too.
12:30 Jun and Mally return from the store about 3 minutes down the road from our house. Along with the pepa sosisi and falaoa, there is also soda, apple sauce, donuts, and ice pops. Jun says "In my defense, Mally picked the applesauce, donuts and ice pops." He needs to get better legal counsel.
1:30 Jun and Mally and AJ have been outside playing and waiting for a warmer time to go to the park/school playground. I try to force-nap Mally, but he resists oh so effectively. Fwam.
2:30 The whole gang packs up water and selves to go to the schoolyard. Mally falls asleep during the 7 minute car ride to the schoolyard. For the next 45 minutes. Double Fwam. AJ joins in a pick-up game with some random strangers and works on b-ball skill building.
3:45 Mally has played all he wants and promptly tells us "I'm ready" and starts to buckle up his own car seat. We head to our gloriously large 2 bedroom apartment and serve them some rainbow sherbet and saltines. (Gross, but the boys love it.)
4:45 After some chasing around our bedroom, followed by compulsory jumping and rolling about on our mattress(AJ and Mally), we head back to the Buckleigh house. All happy and well-snacked.
5:00 Jun and Mally and I head out to do trike lap #3, and AJ goes off to search for fun in the sun with his friends.
6:00 Home to start dinner and let the boys hang out with Uncle.
7:00 Unexpected phone call from sister in Japan(phonemes, and sight words and crafts and Tet, oh my!)
8:00 Feed the boys rice and shoyu chicken (always a winner) and discover that AJ can pound some rice.
9:00 Clean up and finish the laundry that Jun started earlier this morning, and set up the living room for family movie night.
9:05 After a vote of approval from AJ, we start "E.T.". Within the first minute, Malachi is snuggled up to me, and AJ joins him. We move to the bigger couch, and Jun joins us.
10:45 Movie done, and AJ still awake and eating aforementioned powdered donuts. (I have a hunch that sleeping in may have a direct correlation to donuts and being wide awake when all others are glassy eyed. Must investigate.)
11:15 Daily call from my awesome daughter Beenie. Chat for about 10, and tell each other we love the other.
11:00 Begin this blog with a smile in my heart for all the blessings that are in my life
.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Wannabe Just Like Her...

Just wanted to share this video clip of Ellen and Jennifer Hudson.
The Taosogas of NC are fans of Ellen. You have to understand something first, Jun doesn't really watch daytime TV. But more often than not, at 5pm EST, he is asking me "What's on Ellen?". He loves her for her witty humor, but more than that, her down to earth personality that is welcoming and comforting to guests and viewers.
Well, this season Ellen has a feature she calls the Bathroom Concert series. Who would put them self next to Jennifer Hudson and sing?
Ellen isn't a singer. She never said she was. But she puts her best and funniest self out there and it's hilarious.
I just want to say to both of them "YOU HIT IT SIS!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Can I just get a moment of self-indulgence...


I love to dance. Privately. When no one, and I mean NO ONE is around.
When I am my own private dancer, I win all the awards and competitions. But I am just too shy to ever share that with my adoring fan base.
I am, however, not shy to share something I am super proud of-dance wise that is.
I have included the link to my daughter dancing for her high school club, post high school, and in preparation for her bid at a scholarship/beauty/culture pageant in 2007.
A few things to know about Ms. Beenie...she is a VERY private person, so private in fact, I remember one of my sister's friends telling me that she had never met a kid who so thoroughly did not seek or seem to need an adult person's attention when in their company. She was 7 at that time.
I have never seen that, but I'm Mom, and I am always in her face.
But I digress. Beenie is private. She is very selective about when she dances in public. All the way up to this competition.
This dance in public, a solo dance that we call "taualuga" in Samoan, represents her hardest effort at a task or skill that she set her mind to. A skill I have yet to master myself.
Many of you may say, "Wasn't your Mom a dancer for PCC/Promo Team" in her younger days.
Yes. Yes. A thousand times Yes.
But that cultural dancing gene up and skipped me..and my sisters, if I may be so bold. (Note to my gentle readers, yes, all 4:Please do not think we can't get down on the club dance floor. The awkwardness is only in the realm of taualuga.)
This summer,however, I am having her work with me until my hands are graceful and my feet se'e like they've always known that movement and my body can bend and extend with the best of those Taupous.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy Easter from the Easter Bunny! Quack!

Running here and there, and finally arriving.

Finished my RS presentation last week Thursday, and I was fully focused on it for the week leading up to it. BTW, it was on my dad's birthday, and he would have been 67 years old.
I found out some things about myself, that, even though I am gonna be 38, I was still surprised to discover:
1) Beenie's rigidly fixated attitude toward some tasks is partly a genetic inheritance from me. In my need to complete the handouts to be a "perfect" copy of what they suggested, I spent too much money, time and stress. Had I just used that as a jumping off point, I would have been able to save money, time and stress.
2) I approach each "teaching" experience as a performance, so with that, I get the performance anxiety that accompanies a performer.
3) I try to be as good as I always remember my Mom was when she gave talks. She ROCKS! If you have never heard her present, in Samoan or English, you've missed half your life.
4) I missed my immediate family as I was sharing my message with my ward family.
5) My message was based on a story titled "Welcome to Holland" and you should all read it if you get a chance.

You may wonder at the title, so here is a little insight.
My mother's youngest sister, Arlene, who was hands down the coolest and most hip aunty that ever walked this planet, called us one Easter with this greeting. She's gone now, but these words and the little joke embedded in it always remind me of her. It is my traditional Easter sentiment since I was in 5th grade.

BTW, if you have time, go to my sister's blog and get a look into her life and a good ol' laugh as well.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Farewell to my Brother Vika

On Saturday, my older brother Vika will be laid to rest after a two year battle with cancer.
He was my father's son, older than Seka by 2 years. I met him when I was 11 years old, at Flag Day in Hawaii at Keehi Lagoon. He came up to Pat and said hello.
Salu just about had a heart attack.
I made a joke to an aunty after he was introduced "He's my long lost brother"
Salu just about had an aneurysm to follow up that heart attack.
My parents decided to tell us about him that night, after the fact. Up to that point, we had been a family of girls, so this was big news for me. I had always wanted a big brother who would beat up the bullies and mean kids that so often crossed my path. Seka didn't quite fit the image in my mind of a boy rescuing us from the evil palefaces that surrounded us.
I don't know what happened to him between that year we met and when we moved to Samoa 4 years later. His mother and my father were a complicated issue that resulted in him. Little did I know that that particular trait is very common in Samoan men in general, and Reid men in particular.
We were given the chance to really get to know him when we moved down in 1986. He worked for Pat's company, doing any and all feaus. He came and picked us up after school, watched us when our parents went on a trip, and never ratted us out to them when we snuck out with the car or had friends over. (Not always girl friends either. Ha ha.)
For the next 15 years or so, I would see him driving his bus or his tricked out truck on the road. The last time I saw him was in a store in Tutuila, maybe 6 years ago. He was shopping with his son and I was picking up something to drink.
It was not awkward-we were cordial. Chit chat for 3 minutes, then say goodbye. We never hung out or had Christmas together, but where ever he was, he was always my big brother.
No regrets for the times we didn't have together, just happy for the times we did.
Manuia lou malaga Vika.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cheap/Free/Easy

“When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.” Maria the Flaky Novitiate

So our apartment got flooded about a month ago, and we have been able to stay in this bigger apartment for the same price as our older one. How great is that?

Jun can borrow laptops over night from his work. It beats having to sit at his work or school library to do stuff. Anyways, just like in our old apartment, we can get on an open network to access the internet. How great is that?

We bought our small 19” TV last year for $25 and it’s been great. We don’t have cable so I just use the coaxial cable as an antenna and get the local stations. I’m not worried about Feb 17, because we can just get on the internet and watch episodes of our shows that we missed. How great is that?

Jun loves music. He spends the majority of his time on the internet looking for songs he loves. We go on YouTube and Lala-which we just discovered. We can listen to a song as long as we want and then click to the next, no charge. How great is that?

What’s better than a cheap buffet? A cheap buffet that offers coupons regularly. How great is that?

Love is the best four letter word ever. Happy VD to all!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

January Jeopardy for Mabel’s Life

· Category: Toddler Talk and Terrorists During Holidays for $200.
· The Answer: Applehead.
· The Question: What do you call the defensive move characterized by a 3-year old named Paytience hitting your 2-year old nephew Malachi on his head with the nearest fruit the day after Thanksgiving?

· Category: Answering the Callings for $0.
· The Answer: Service.
· The Question: What is the term given to teaching in the Senior Nursery with 10 crazy 3-year olds and teaching in the Wolf Den (Cub Scouts) with 3(soon to be 7) active 8-year old boys in your ward?

· Category: Precipitous Events for $550
· The Answer: Raining On My Parade, and Bed, and Couch, and…
· The Question: What do you call the leak from the 3rd floor sprinkler system that eventually flooded all the way down to our studio last week and requiring us to camp out at Rachel’s for a couple of days and temporarily relocating to a 2 bedroom while we wait for the repairs to be completed?

· Category: Chess for $1000
· The Answer: The Queen aka Mabel.
· The Question: Name the chess piece that has the greatest range on the chess board OR the only female in University City Ward’s Troop 215 leadership?

· Category: Journeys of a Lifetime for $Priceless.
· The Answer: Knowing I’m right where I’m supposed to be and doing what I need to right now.
· The Question: What keeps a middle aged, college grad, unemployed, re-located Islander sane and able to handle the separation from all things familiar and comfortable?

That’s all we have time for. Tune in next month for an exciting new version of “Wheel of Fortunate Happenings that Lead to My Sweet Husband.”

Friday, January 16, 2009

Blue about Grey’s
Is it me or is Grey’s Anatomy beginning to suck? I arrived in Charlotte almost 2 years ago. My sisters, Maki and Ray, as well as my brother Teezy F. Baby, were all hooked on this much praised show. Ray had it on her DVR. I watched, mid season 3, and then started to catch up on DVDs. I got hooked. I loved all of them, McDreamy and McSteamy.
I waited anxiously to get to season 4, and was rewarded. Loads of “Medical” and heaps of “Drama” in this season. But now, here in season 5, I could care less. In fact, I have gone from interest to irritation to disinterest.
What I’m bothered with on Grey’s is this repeated use of repeated dialogue.
Ex: A woman who finds out she is going to die of cancer says “It’s not fair. It’s not fair. It’s not fair.” in a slowly fading voice.
An intern, trying to seduce her attending, says “Teach me. Teach me. Teach me.” as she undresses.
A resident tells another resident she likes “I care about you. I care about you. I care about you.” until he plants a big smooch on her.
All these lines are delivered with a straight face. I know it’s only supposed to mirror real life, but I don’t know anyone who talks like that. And what’s up with the three-peatness of all these lines?
Is it me or is that just terrible writing?
Terrible. Terrible. Terrible.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Field is Un-Harvestable...

Trapped on my old computer at home are some 20+ pieces that I have worked on since September.
I am currently unable to transfer them from the dinosaurean relic of a desktop that I have to the new fangled comps here at Junius's work-school-library.
I also found at least 5 other pieces, in longhand, that were tucked away in my yellow and blue composition books that I tabbed last year.
Can I just say that reading my own writing after a year of forgetting was a treat. I actually had forgotten what I wrote, so each piece was a surprise. Some of the surprises were surprisingly good.
But then again, my writing is like my cooking.
I always love what I cook.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The 2-Way Street Called Forgiveness.

I was stopped by a conscience police at the intersection of self-righteousness and humility. He ticketed me for things unfinished in years prior. The list of offenses may be longer than I want to admit. But again, it was a conscience police. What lie could I give him that would work?
I may be due in court to discuss my side of this soon.