Monday, July 29, 2013

Storm Update

It got very windy here, but we had little rain.  We lost power and phone and cell service for several hours. 

I had already decided to work on my quilt - one break time project I didn't work on at all.  It did get quite dark with the stormy skies, but I sat near a window and did my best.  My daughter worked on a little bag and my son decided to take a shot a sewing a seam. 

We played Monopoly until we got sick of it - we said we'd play until 4:00, someone hit Free Parking, or the power came on.  The power came on at 10 minutes to 4, we all took one more roll to try for the Free Parking, and wrapped it up. 

Everyone is back on their electricity powered device again.  Sigh. 

It's still quite windy and our phone rings from the outside, but we have no dial tone.  I don't know why our telephone is so wimpy out here.  The cell towers must be back up because I have internet (4G) and my phone is finally showing a signal.

This was my last day of Summer...back to work tomorrow.  The students don't come back until next week, though.

I do wonder if the state will have a real hurricane this year.  Sometimes, it seems like if something starts this early, another is on its way.  I don't think the Big Island will ever get hit - those gigantic mountains seem to push the storms around us.  Maybe an edge might brush our shores, but it hasn't happened in recorded history.  We're more the tsunami island.  And the earthquake island - and the lava running over neighborhoods island. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Wind's Picking Up

The wind is picking up a bit, but it is an astonishingly beautiful day - and effectively my last day of summer.  I don't report to work until Tuesday, but my daughter is meant to be in her 9th grade orientation, so .... I will be at work.  Unless of course, they cancel it due to the weather. 

I also have to go the DMV, and I have a sneaking suspicion that it's going to be closed because of this storm - Maui County has closed their offices for tomorrow, but I haven't seen a similar announcement for Hawaii County, but I do notice a few public schools which are opening tomorrow....aren't.  Now, I am wishing that I had gone to the DMV on Friday - I was down in town pretty much all day dealing with getting school stuff: the formal dress uniform that costs a bundle and the kids wear exactly 5 times in their whole high school career (I kept my older daughter's but they changed they style for the 9th graders only, sigh), folders, pencil cases, trading in old, too small uniforms for other people's old uniforms. It's worth it going through boxes of old uniforms, because one uniform set new is over $50 - they last forever.  My son is wearing shirts his brother wore for 4 years and they are hardly worn.  Very sturdy buggers. 

My husband is NOT going to be happy if he is the one who has to go to the DMV because I have to go to work on Tuesday - I was counting on doing it on Monday.  He is already NOT happy that he gets the joy of taking our daughter to her physical.  Wait til he finds out he also has to take her back on Thursday to get the TB shot read, too.  I think I will let the nurse tell him that part. 

The last time we had 50 mph winds was when we still lived in the cabin.  I kept feeling like the roof was going to rip off, because it wasn't completely screwed down - and the cabin was really kind of shack - the roof was nailed onto rafters and those rafters were our ceiling.  If the roof had blown off, it would have meant rain on our head.  Several buildings in Hilo lost roofs that storm, but we didn't.  Then in the last few years we've had two little tsunami, one no show hurricane (also named Flossie), and 12-13 years ago, we had 24 inches of rain in 24 hours.  We couldn't hear anything, because that much rain pounding on a metal roof is LOUD.  Some bridges washed out that storm, but on our property, you couldn't tell anything major had happened.  It wasn't until you went out and saw the drainage ditches had eroded and taken out chunks of road that it seemed anything significant had happened. 

Now, though, we have barns, and that greenhouse structure, and the trampoline thing - and our water tanks have moved - are closer to trees.  Usually, though, the massive size of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa push storms off to the side, so it will probably be worse up on the north of the island and just wet (when is it not wet here?)  here.  We'll see. 

Tropical Storm Warning

Sadly, they named the storm "Flossie" which was probably a mistake as Flossie was the hurricane that didn't happen in 2007.  I see on Facebook that a lot of younger people are dismissing the storm, partially because we've had a series of natural disasters that didn't really happen (or were small enough to feel like they didn't, unless YOUR house was the one that got washed into Kealakekua Bay). 

Even I was dismissing it until this morning and I've lived through two hurricanes.  I am still not totally worried;  I think we'll take down the trampoline tarpaulin and secure some of the loose fly away stuff around, but we're not near the water and we've had up to 24 inches of rain in 24 hours without much effect.  The sheep stall might get nasty, but everything else should be fine.

I am mildly worried that our water tanks could get damaged (they are in a new place since the last big weather), but I think things will be fine.  The real issue for me is that my BABY GIRL has her 9th grade orientation tomorrow.  Wondering if they'll cancel or if I will be driving in wind and rain - but mostly thinking - WOW,  I am OLD. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Recap

I actually technically have 3 more days of summer left, but Friday I need to go to the school bookstore, and Monday my daughter has her 9th grade (!!) orientation, today I am working.  Tomorrow is, therefore, my last real day of summer.  My (newly) 21 year old daughter leaves this morning, so it seems over today, actually. 

Of course, I came to work nearly every day this summer because both my high school aged kids are running cross country this season and they had practice.  I also worked four extra days, went to that conference, did 3 other days of curriculum really not much summer.

That's my excuse for not learning to sew better, like I wanted, for not getting my garden really expanded, like I wanted, and not working on my quilt project, like I wanted.  I did read about 20 books, clean a lot, and spend time with my whole family at least a few days.  I also had a huge breakthrough with my horse - he is finally not afraid when people mount and not afraid when being ridden.  Of course, this big bad monster fear was hiding a huge lack of any kind of training.  The next obstacle will be getting him to realize that there is more to life than, "Kick means go, and pull means stop."  Too bad summer is over.

On the other hand, I am super excited to get back into the classroom with my new students.  I know so many of them - from coaching track and field when they were in elementary, many of them are friends with my son (who is their age), or siblings of other people I've taught, or the kids of people I've worked with in other schools (and this one).  It's weird.  I don't feel that connected to this community - even after 17 years here, just because we skip around to different masses at different churches, we haven't done a lot of community age-group sports, we don't do adult social things like golf or dance class or what have you - but when I look at 100 kids in my classes and have either coached them or had them sleeping on my couch, it's a different story. 

The registrar was very careful not to give me either my niece or my son, but I did end up with my son's absolute best friends in the world - frankly, that's just the same as having my own son - there've been summers that those boys haven't spent more than a night or two away from each other - they were either at our house or theirs.  For the record, I have taught my older two kids with no ill effect on either of us and it will be fine - but this current 10th grade son is just as relieved as I am that he is NOT in my class.  At first, we both wanted him to have my class, but then he realized that my class is most likely going to be organized in a different way than mine.  He likes the daily assignments, test/quiz, move on model - and I am a big messy question, lots of reading and talking and multimedia making and writing type of teacher.  I have to admit those cut and dried, just show me what to do kids are often quite uncomfortable having me until they catch on.  It's funny, because my son is really a much more project-based kid on his own things (most kids are), but he is a bit nervous about letting loose in school.

And the truth is, although it would help me, his brutal, critical honesty wouldn't always be fun.  It was one of the things I wanted to have him in my class for - to tell me the kid view straight-up but with some love - but my courage failed me.  Also, with his honors classes and second language class - he basically has set classes in the periods in which I teach, so the point is kind of moot - taken out of our hands.  

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bawling Babies

So, this little ewe lamb keeps getting "lost."  Sometimes, she doesn't get out the gate with the others and just stands there bawling.  I have to lift her up so she can see over the hill and then she starts running in the air, so I put her down and let her go.  Sometimes, I have to carry her out, if the sheep have turned the corner. 

Sometimes, I hear her crying out in the pasture - if it goes on long enough, I go out and find her.  Once, I found her standing five feet away from her mother facing the wrong way.  Her mama was patiently bawling back at her (saying, I swear, "Turn around, girl!") I picked her up, turned her around, and she spied her mom and ran over. 

There is a reason sheep have the reputation they do.  It doesn't apply to all sheep, but this one takes the cake.  Either that, or she loves to make noise. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Attempting to Tame the Jungle

Unfortunately, I am not talking about the "fallow" areas of our rainforest property - but the outside garden and the greenhouse.  The end of the school year is always disastrous for the house and garden as only the most basic chores are done (ie making sure the cat has food and watering the greenhouse plants and pulling some of the more egregious and easily reached weeds).  This year, June has been just as bad.  The outside garden in particular had weeds as high as my knees. 

I gave my two teens a choice - outside chores or clean house.  Disappointingly, the girl chose to clean the house and the boy chose the garden.  How cliche!  Oh well,  son and I attached a swathe of the garden - and that's all we got done.  We decided to take it in stages - I had some finishing touches to do on my work accounting for the conference last week and the bills - so I told him we could do more tomorrow. 

In other news,  my husband joined me on my walk/run the other day.  We decided to ask the guys with all the tires in their yard if they sold tires... one of the Volvos needed new tires.  They said yes, and then asked if we happened to have any old cars....  This led to us trading old cars for tires.  We are down two Volvos!  I can't tell you how great it is not to have a hunk of rusting car at the end of the 90 degree turn in our driveway, and how great it is to be able to park the working Volvo in the extra carport instead of on the driveway in front of our house. 

Now, if I can get someone to take out the tractor and mow the lawn and get the garden cleaned out and replanted, everything will feel much more finished and summery.