Some things have happened since I last reported on the Hula Press. You may recall a large storm from the previous post... well that led to some mild flooding of one side of our bedroom later that night and that was pretty exciting. It involved moving some bags and piles of things, mopping puddles up with towels, and speculating about peak depth (2 inches by the wall). We also had another quick trip to the ER because Tag caught a staph infection in his foot (that sh*t is after us!). Fortunately we knew the signs this time around and he went in right away, thus avoiding the IV antibiotics and appendage butchering that I had the pleasure of experiencing on Maui. Now Tag has ten days of pills and a much happier foot.
Pardon my negative blog post introduction but I have to lead with inclement weather and bodily harm, because that is what sells.
Anyway, the week was also full of plenty of pleasantness, and even some new love (romance sells, too). Benjamin has developed a deep fondness for our neighbor's daughter, Tyler. She is six years old and seems to genuinely enjoy hanging out with Benji, despite the age gap. They go on lizard hunts, make forts in the back of Gregg's pickup truck, eat popsicles, play chase and ride bikes. We hear her name all day, every day. "Do you think Tyler wants to play now?" "Is Tyler home?" "Why is Tyler not home?" It can even be hard to go to the beach because Benji hates to miss any opportunity to be with his first crush. He works very hard to impress her with various physical stunts and not-true stories, most of which are amusing to witness. In romantic pursuit Benji has equal doses of earnest dorkiness and blind bravado. I recognize these traits because I fell for them twelve years ago.
Speaking of my love, Tag caught piles of turtles today (for real-- there are about 25 of them). But they were not the RIGHT turtles. Nonetheless, they are all hanging out in buckets in our yard because they are still worth gathering samples from for other scientific reasons. In other research-related news, Tyler's chubby bulldog managed to dig through Tag's traps and eat some rotten chicken bait yesterday. After being forced to sleep al fresco for a night, Lei Lei fortunately showed no signs of stomach trouble.
Today's adventures involved a trip to the beach. The highlight was capturing Alice's signature stunt on film. She has perfected her form, and amuses many a beach walker with her circus trick. The kids also found a lovely sand castle to explore and destroy, which made for some good entertainment before leaving the beach to go to the farmers' market. I must say that having cocoa as one of the area's crops makes me even more compelled to show my support for local farmers. Purchasing gourmet chocolate bars never felt so justified.
|This is the beach that is 100 steps from our house, looking towards the right.|
|This is our beach view to the left side. It was a windy day so there were lots of kite surfers getting out on the water.|
|This is what I see right in front of me!|
|Alice performs her trick. This move is inspired by a photo Tag's grandpa Engstrom doing the same thing with one of his kids (but in the front yard!).|
|Outrigger canoes on the water. Kite surfer in the background.|
|Alice leaps into the pit, and Benji checks out the tunnel.|
|Cleaning off the sand is part of the fun, too.|
Regarding correspondence... we got two lovely pieces of mail yesterday at 267 South Kalaheo Avenue (by the way Kailua's zip code is 96734, just in case you want to send mail to a loved one here). One letter from Grandma Engstrom with the news from Paw Paw, IL. Plus we got a list of highly amusing Hawaii remembrances from Mr. Tommy Spofford (featuring sea urchin spines, sea sickness, and food poisoning, oh my!). We got two not-so-friendly letters, too. One from the Franchise Tax Board regarding their recent discovery of our unintentional underpayment in 2008 (has no one told California that it is now 2011 and we should leave the past behind us?) and one insurance notice about Alice's hospital visit (apparently repairing nursemaid's elbow with a tug and twist is worth $1,800 of surgical time). These two pieces of mail prompted Tag to ask, "remind me... why did we set up the mail forwarding?" Too many more letters like that and we might just have to change our identities and stay here for the long haul...