April 28, 2013
Friday was a bit rainy and overcast. But Saturday, Saturday was glorious. We caught a late morning boat from Saipan. Probably half of the times that I have gone to Managaha, I was with my sister and her husband and we jumped on smaller boats that were owned or captained by their friends. The other half of the times I rode on the various bigger tourist shuttling boats. This was the first time I had ever seen one of those big boats so full. They didn't let us up on the upper deck, so we were seated shoulder to shoulder on the benches inside the cabin. And as more and more people the filled the cabin, my children's celebrity status was elevated.
Having grown up on Saipan, I'm used to visitors randomly asking to take pictures with us. But this was a whole different photo studio. These visitors were from China, meaning they did not speak English and we did not speak Mandarin - except for when my kids said "xie xie" in response to one of the women giving them a candy (I know, I know...just...never mind). I don't know what happened, but all of a sudden they were taking turns taking pictures with my kids. One would sit next to a kid and a friend would take the picture. Then they'd switch. Then they'd switch again and take pictures with my next kid. Then with all the kids. One after the other after the other. The women mostly, but the men too. It was really something else. The pictures stopped soon after the boat started toward the tiny islet, and the visitors' affections quickly turned toward the sea. But the kids weren't forgotten, one kind woman helped steady Katelyn as she stood on the bench to peer out the window.
We arrived on Managaha quickly, and I was glad too. I have never felt seasickness before in my life, but sitting in that boat as it rocked along, with most of the breeze blocked by all the people who swarmed to the windows to admire the sea, I started to feel the beginning of motion sickness. Which didn't feel good, but it did remind me to get some Dramamine before our big move.
My camera battery died quickly so I was only able to snap a few pictures as we walked around the island after we first arrived.
(Taking a moment to remember our ancestor Chief Aghurubw)
I haven't been to Managaha in a long time, like in twelve years long time ( I know, I know...just...never mind). The island is still just as beautiful, but quite a bit has changed. There are protected areas cordoned off for nesting birds, there is a really great section of the beach that has eroded away, and the concession area is huge now. And I've honestly never seen the place so full of people.
We walked around the island, but the area where I was hoping we could hang out had eroded away and the other good spots were already occupied by other locals. So we kept going and before we walked the whole way around, we found a spot near the edge of a touristy stretch. I would have liked to walk back to where we took the picture above, but it was just as well; at least this way Jacob and Katelyn made a friend and we were able to ask his father for the time. It was quite an interesting encounter as the man had lived in Covina and Washington State - you may know that James and I lived in Covina and now we're moving to Washington State.
The sun and water were glorious - clear, moving, sparkling, alive. The breeze never stopped. The birds flew overhead. It was perfection.
We caught an early afternoon boat back to Saipan. This time we sat on the upper deck and enjoyed the ocean, the sun, and the breeze. Paradise.
April 16, 2013
We let go of the reins; our faith is in Him.
April 03, 2013
March 23, 2013
March 16, 2013
My tooth hurts. It hurts so badly I want to grab a pair of pliers and pull it out. It hurts so badly I want to curl into the fetal position on a giant leather bean bag and suck my thumb. Except I'm pretty sure that sucking my thumb would be so painful it would cause my left eyeball to explode.
I don't understand, I thought a root canal involved the removal of the supposedly dead nerve from the tooth. So why is my tooth hurting?!
March 07, 2013
As usual, I pulled into the parking lot and after I parked Katelyn and Maui went off to their classrooms and I walked Jacob to his. But not as usual, I was dog tired. So tired, in fact, that I had been dizzy all morning - I leaned as I changed my clothes, I stood askew at the stove. I had been up most of the night and I needed to sleep. I had been walking around in a self-induced haze.
I walked back to the small parking lot and headed toward my car that was parked in my usual drop-off parking space. I pressed the unlock button on the remote as I approached the car. I opened the door and for a split second I froze. A round woman looked up at me with stunned eyes. She was eating breakfast and clearly wasn't expecting some stranger to open the door and attempt to sit on her, or worse, sit on her food. I sincerely apologized and quickly started to shut the door. She grabbed the handle and shut it for me. Humiliated, I found my real car and left.
In all likelihood, I will run into that woman again. There's no way I would remember her face. But if I run into a round hostile local lady, I think I might invite her into my car for some breakfast.
It's just pajamas, Baby!
March 01, 2013
Have you ever thought, "hmmm, this would be a great night for taco salad", so you go grocery shopping and work your day around being able to make taco salad for dinner; but then as you're chopping the lettuce you suddenly feel something strange so you look down at the cutting board and see that a huge chef's knife sliced into the tip of your index finger? No? Just me?
You might be thinking, "ew, gross, Deece". And if that's what you're thinking, then yes, yes it was very gross, indeed. But if all you're thinking is gross, then I'm not sure you fully understand the situation. You see, I was chopping lettuce for taco salad and then I CHOPPED INTO MY OWN FINGER!
Without thinking, I removed the gargantuan knife from my left index finger and used my right hand to hold my finger together, applying strong pressure all the while. You might think I did this because that's the proper way to administer first aid to a laceration - by applying pressure. Nay, I did this because I thought the tip of my finger was going to fall off and I just didn't want to see that.
I sent my daughter upstairs to tell her father to drive me to the hospital. I shouted out the window for my sister (who is also my neighbor) to come help me. My sister came over and took our three kids to her house and James buckled me into our car and drove me to the hospital. I looked real spiffy in my faded, tore up putrid orange yoga pants and baggy white t-shirt with holes around the collar.
I prayed pretty much the whole way to the hospital. Between pleadings for God to spare my finger, I silently reassured myself that it would be okay because they were able to sew back on that guy's penis, right? I just couldn't remember that guy's name. Regardless, I still attempted to prepare myself to lose the tip of my finger.
I tried to stay calm. I just held my finger in place and squeezed. And I prayed.
We arrived at the Emergency Room quickly. I walked in with a nurse while James parked the car. I would have to wait a little while before he'd be able to join me in there.
The nurse helped me pry my right hand off of my finger. My muscles were held in place so strongly that it was really difficult for me to release my grip. When I did, I refused to look at my lacerated finger. The nurse was very nice and reassured me that they've seen worse. But what did that mean? Great, you've seen worse. Have you fixed worse? Have you successfully reattached a finger? Because that's what I needed.
She asked about how it happened. She asked how old I was. I told her, "I'm thirty-one, but I feel like a baby." I felt like a complete idiot. I know how to hold a knife. I know how to properly chop. I just....I just...I just didn't do it that time, I guess.
She poured sterile water over it, covered it in gauze, and directed me to squeeze it as I had before. But her gauze wrapping was awkward and puffy so I couldn't get a good grip on it. It only bled a small amount from the time I cut it at home to the time she cleaned it at the hospital, but it probably bled out about five or six times as much blood after she wrapped it in that loose puffy gauze. And it turned out to be even more of a nuisance because when the Physician's Assistant (PA) came to take off the gauze and stitch me up, the stupid blood had dried; and soaking/cutting/peeling off that stupid gauze was a hassle in itself.
The nurse then gave me a tetanus shot because the last time I had one was in 1995. She saw that I was really squirmish about my finger. I couldn't look at it and I had to force myself to breathe evenly. I was freaking out inside. I didn't want to be a bad patient so I tried to contain it, but I clearly wasn't fooling her. She asked if I was afraid of needles and I told her I wasn't. But she clearly I didn't believe me as she kept telling me reassuring things about how it won't be so bad and it's important to get this shot and blah, blah, blah. I told her I wasn't afraid of needles, I was just freaked out by my finger. What I was afraid of was looking at the tip of my finger that I was convinced was hanging on by only a scrap of skin.
James joined me in the ER as I waited for the PA. She arrived and she didn't look much older than me. Maybe she wasn't.
After finally removing the stupid gauze, the PA cleaned it off some more and told me she needed to suture it up. Good. Let's get this show on the road.
She injected some local anesthesia into the top side of my finger, down by the first knuckle. Have you ever had local anesthesia administered on a digit? It hurts. It hurts a lot. But I didn't want to be a bad patient, so I kept my hand still and whined the whole time and psudo-cursed. You know, "shoots manoots, holy moly, what the what, that freaking hurts!"
We waited a few minutes and she proceeded to do the first suture. YOWZA! I could feel it! I felt her sew my finger! I felt the needle enter, move through, and exit my finger. I felt the string pull through my skin. I felt the sharp pains as she tugged on the knot.
"You felt that?" She asked.
Could you not tell from the way my eyes rolled back into my head?
She was conflicted. There was one more suture to do, but she didn't want to hurt me. The suture needed to go through my fingernail.
I told her to go for it.
Instead, she came back with more anesthesia. She gave me two more shots on the underside of my finger down at the base near the first knuckle. Oh my goodness! I'm not totally convinced that it hurt less than a non-anesthetized stitch through the nail would have.
A few minutes later and my finger was numb, but felt like it had swollen to the size of a dill pickle. One last stitch and she was all done.
February 23, 2013
November 30, 2012
November 26, 2012
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. We had a nice low key lunch at my sister's house. And I have to say, I was quite surprised with myself. I certainly ate my fill, but my fill seemed to have gone down a few measures. I felt like I hadn't reached my maximum capacity, yet I was as stuffed as a turkey going into the oven.
It's that time of year again when I agonize over what to give my husband for Christmas and his birthday. Last year, I did a good job of pretending that I didn't know what to get him when all the while I had already bought him an iPod touch and a telescope. But this year, I have no idea what to get him to wow him.
What are you giving your special someone?