Archive for the ‘dad’ Category

She Shed and Man Caves

July 29th, 2015

I read that women caves are the new hot answer to the long-trending man caves. In this case, they're little sheds separate from the house.

I first saw this on Facebook, when my California friend Nanea Hoffman posted a series of excited updates about her She Shed. It's in her backyard.

I didn't realize this was the new, hot thing. Much later, I read about it in Time magazine. That means it's a big deal.

We don't have enough house-space to create the traditional man cave, so my husband's is in the garage. It's where he does all his testosterone stuff.

Bike, work on his bike, read about his bike, clean his bike, tend his bike equipment, and let it all hang out in a way that won't gross out the two females he lives with.

I decided I needed a woman cave. I don't have enough yard to build one. My yard is the size of a postage stamp.

Back Camera

Everyone else has a space all their own. The dog has her porch. The kid has her room (which nobody else wants to enter because it's always a minefield of toys). The cat has the world.


I needed to carve out some house-space for my own estrogen sanctuary. I considered the master bedroom, but it's called the master bedroom for a reason: it's not the mistress bedroom. I have to share it with the master.

I thought maybe I could claim the master bathroom because Claus likes his own space so he exclusively uses the guest bathroom, but I can't. Olivia has all her stuff in both bathrooms and uses some of my hair products. Plus, meditation and toilet aren't the words I wanted to put together here.

We have a teensy little storage area, pretty much the size of a generous walk-in closet, that I decided to use. It's peach colored and has a ladybug light sconce, so I'm halfway there.



In went my yoga mat and my spiritual meditation items. Inspirational photos. Calming images. In went me.

I shut the door, sat down, and felt really good. I closed my eyes and listened to the Gayatri Mantra (yoga stuff) and focused on breath. Outside I could hear the house noises as they slowly faded off as I tuned out the world and into myself.

This is nice! It's clearly not a stand-alone shed, so I've named it the Meditation Chamber. That sounds fancy and authoritative.

People came to check on me. Olivia wanted permission for something or other. Claus wanted me to help find something or other. The usual family requests.

Hey! Head wounds only!

Hey! Head wounds only!

"I'm in my Meditation Chamber," I called back through the door. "Don't bother me unless it's an emergency." I defined for them that "emergency" means you're bleeding from a head wound.

So they left me alone. Mommy got her head screwed on straighter after half an hour of down time. Niiiice.

I like my repurposed room. I'll be in there if anyone's looking for me.

Do you have a Man Cave or She Shed?

Kids and pets

July 27th, 2015

Lots of randomly funny things happen to me living with a young child. Things I would not think to do in my adult, set-in-my-way, routine life.

"Leave me alone."

"Leave me alone."

Last weekend I heard the cat yowling outside for about five minutes. This is not usual. The cat hisses, growls, or meows, but this sound was not in her behavior pattern.


I walked outside to see the cat tied on a leash next to the dog. Olivia was trying to force them to be friends. The cat looked miserable in that comically pathetic/ grumpy way only cats can.

"Take that cat off the leash," I ordered my kid.

"Mommy! I just wanted them to get to know each other. Maybe they'd like each other if they spent time together," Olivia explained.

"That is not going to happen. Let that cat go," I demanded, in what was probably the happiest moment of Ocho's day.

In a related story, it's been very hot lately. Olivia comes home in the afternoon and plays in the yard. She turns on the hose and sprays water around.

I remember liking that too, when I was little. I could spend what felt like a long time watering the yard. Why is water so fascinating?

As it happens, she's decided to do the following to either justify her playing with the hose, or to make herself feel like a big girl helping with tasks:

Wash the dog
Wash the cat
Empty out my fishpond, wash it, and fill it up with fresh water (except she discarded all my lily plant dirt!)
Water the street ("Stop that! Only water things that are alive!")
Hose off the dog's porch

For three days straight, Inca's gotten a bath. The cat is smart enough to dart off, but the dog, oh - Inca's loyalty is going to be her demise.

Olivia used her shampoo on the dog. Half the bottle.


This is why I refuse to buy her expensive shampoo. She gets the $2 VO5 brand because the other thing she does is scrub the tub with it.

My husband said when he went outside the dog was covered in bubbles and he had to supervise while she rinsed the dog off. For ten minutes.

"The dog was not happy," Claus reported.

So Olivia dries off the dog and when we're elsewhere in the house she lets the dog in. I can hear the nails clacking on the floor so I know what she's done.

"Mommy, can I let Inca in?" Olivia asks after the fact. "I dried her super good." Then I hear shaking of dog fur. Do you know how much fur Labradors shed?

15-7-4 Inca & Olivia

"No! No wet dogs in the house!" I command.

Something else this kid does is feed the dog her breakfast one pebble at a time. I'm not sure why because I have no patience for that, but it makes Olivia happy and Inca unhappy. It makes Claus unhappy only if he's pressed for time and needs her to hurry up.

When I think about all these silly incidents I laugh and shake my head - and wonder what foolishness the next day will bring. Aah, parenting.

July events at Maui public libraries

July 23rd, 2015

Want to learn to play the dijeridu? You can this Saturday at Kahului Public Library. The free event is part of the celebration of the end of the HSPLS Summer Reading Programs.

July 25 (Saturday), 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. - "Dijeridu Workshops 2015," Library Lanai.
Wes (Forest) Hada, Maui's foremost dijeridu performer and teacher, will provide information about the history of this unique aboriginal Australian instrument, demonstrate how to play it, and invite participants to learn how to play the dijeridu in two different two-hour workshops.

Hada has nearly 20 years of experience teaching and performing throughout Maui with bands including "Lost at Last" and "Jivatma."  Hada is also a dijeridu craftsman who makes the instruments from Maui bamboo and agave flower stems.  These workshops are suitable for ages 12 and older.

The Maui Friends of the Library is sponsoring this event. Contact the Library as soon as possible if a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation is needed for these events.

Kahului Public Library is located at 90 School Street.  For more information, call the Library at (808) 873-3097.

In Wailuku, you can learn to protect yourself from con-artists at a July 28 lecture. "How to Protect Yourself and Your Money from Predatory Tactics," a free program for adults, will be offered at Wailuku Public Library on Tuesday, July 28 at  2 p.m.

Con artists will say or do anything to try and take your hard-earned money away from you! Theresa Kong Kee, Investor Education Specialist for the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Office of the Securities Commissioner, will conduct an informational presentation with examples of predatory tactics, questions you can ask to protect yourself, and how the DCCA Office of the Securities Commissioner can help you.

This one-hour program will include a question- and-answer session.  Contact the Library as soon as possible if a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation is needed.  This program is made possible by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation through Smart investing @ your library (r), a partnership with the American Library Association.

Wailuku Public Library is located at 251 South High Street.  For more information, call the Library at (808) 243-5766.



When you are a mommy

July 22nd, 2015

When you are a mommy, the following could possibly happen to you, as it has me:

-People will leave presents in the toilet for you to marvel at/ inspect/ analyze.

-Those same people will wake you up from your sleep to look at it right now.

-You will ask your husband if it can wait until tomorrow.

-Just kidding. You will roll over in bed and tell them it can wait until tomorrow.

-Your marital bed will never be the same (for a decade) because people have scary dreams and want you to protect them at night.

-In the early years, you will get peed on.

-You may also get accidentally barfed on.

-You will be a walking bio-hazard of childhood diseases for the first five years straight, and then subject to the occasional elementary school epidemic that will take you hours and days to sanitize your entire family and house. Buy a sturdy dryer.

-Food will be shared with you that, once you put it in your mouth, you will find out has been dropped on the floor; or worse, in the yard; or the worst- licked by the dog first because aren't we all family and family shares?

-The walls will get drawn on. Count on it.

-Kid stuff will be strewn about the house all the time, even ten minutes after you tidy it all up. There are magical elves dedicated to this task. Congratulations to you if you have a maid. I don't.

-Your kitchen counter (as every other surface in the house) will have all kinds of toys on it such that one day you find yourself using the cutting board with a tiny My Little Pony that fell on it. And you're so tired you just keep cutting the food and avoiding the spot with the toy.

-Your cleaning standards drop. A lot.

-You will be so tired some days you wonder how you put one foot in front of the other and keep going.

-You will likely give up on a sugar-free household, even though you really thought when you were pregnant you would not be one of those moms. And now you are.

-Your child will absolutely notice the difference between your weekend makeup, your work makeup, and your date night makeup, and will give you guilt for going out without them.

-You think it will be nice to have a break from the routine but all you end up talking about at dinner is your lovely child.

-You will notice your hairbrush has hairs in it that aren't yours, including short dark hair that you realize is dog fur, and plastic purple hair that came from a My Little Pony.

-You have to tolerate people whining because they "aren't tired" and don't want to go to sleep, and you are wondering how on Earth anyone could think this when all you have wanted to do since you woke up is crawl back into bed.

-Their schedule is your schedule.

-You are officially a chauffeur.

-You get to wait around at endless activities and rehearsals for hours at times that are very inconvenient for working adults.

-Basically, your boss is well under five feet tall.

-Then someone puts their little arm around you at night and tells you they love you bigger than the Universe and that you're their favorite person in the world, and your heart is full and everything is worth it.

Did I miss anything? What's on your list?

Love Your Pet

July 20th, 2015

My daughter is eight now, and the "birds and bees" talk may have been forced upon us earlier than we wanted by a summer fun trip to a petting zoo.

When she came home, she told us, "We all wanted to barf. There was a donkey and he took a big dump right before we ate lunch. Then, his p--- came out, went back in, came out again, and went back in again. It was THIS BIG! And THIS WIDE!" (Arm gestures to illustrate.)

If you could have seen the look on me and my husband's faces.

Claus and I were amused and a little surprised at her use of appropriate medical terms, and wondering for a while if we had to explain anything to her. We waited a day and nothing more came up, so we're just going to avoid this topic until necessary.

In other pet news, she asked me at dinner, "So, what guests do you have tomorrow on KHON2?" My marketing manager and I love how young minds soak up branding.

She was so precocious in the way she phrased the question; being an only child she tends to emulate adults, so it's like living with a mini-me. It sounds like the way I converse with Claus.

Foolishly, I thought she was trying to learn about the news cycle. "Well, the morning news is made up of a combination of the previous evening's news, so if we watch it tonight we'll know some of the stories that will re-air tomorrow on Mommy's show."

Me with Dr. Richard Fujie of the King Street Pet Hospital

Me with Dr. Richard Fujie of the King Street Pet Hospital

She interrupted me. "Sometimes you have guests, like Love Your Pet. Is that tomorrow?"

"No. Tomorrow is the doctor," I said, "But you're right. We do have guest segments scheduled in advance so those, I would know about."

With Drano, the turtle Dr. John Kaya brought in.

With Drano, the turtle Dr. John Kaya brought in.

"But also, we include anything that happens in the world overnight, so I won't know about that until I get in tomorrow," I finished, feeling all proud I have a kid who might want to know about my industry.

She stared at me with disinterest. I apparently lost her at No.

"So what you're saying is, no Love Your Pet tomorrow," she reiterated.

Then I realized she only cared about seeing animals on TV. I guess I'll save the whole "Let me pass along my knowledge" thing until some years from now.