Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kauai 1989_2011

Hi. Been awhile. My bad, we've been a smidge busy.

And even worse, there are no Brenna pictures in this update. Don't worry, I'll make an effort soon to work my way back to late September and fill in the blanks. For now, to keep this blog somewhat interesting, I thought I'd jump to the present.

Emily and were fortunate enough to spend this past weekend in Kauai (thank you, Aunt Beth!). This was Emily's first visit to the Garden Island, and my third.

My first visit there was with my family in 1989, so I thought it would be interesting to compare some of the most popular sites of the island in a swell before and after fashion.

Obviously I can't do a before/after of our accommodations, but the first two shots are of just that, views from the balconies of each.



At the top of Waimea Canyon is one of the wettest spots on earth. Don't even ask me to try and spell it, you can read it on the signs below. This is at about 5000 feet in elevation, at the end of a 22 mile winding road. Fortunately I was driving this go around, I'm guessing in 1989 I was sick to my stomach at the end of this jaunt.



I'm jumping around a bit here, since organizing photos on this blog site is such a pain in the ass.

The next two shots are from a viewpoint at Spouting Horn near Poipu, on the south side of the island. I recognized it right off when Emily and I got there, from years past.



This spot hasn't changed at all apparently in 22 years. This is the view of Wailua Falls, a few miles south of Lihue on the east side of the island, at the end of a 4 mile road that takes you through farmland and dead ends into a sea of chickens.



Back to Poipu on the south side of the island, here is the aforementioned Spouting Horn, still spouting.



As much as I enjoyed taking the Smith's Fern Grotto tour again down the Wailua River, this was a pretty depressing stop for me. According to our tour guide, this part of the island was hit with 42 days of heavy rain in a row five years ago, damaging part of the cave that the ferns thrived in at one time. To protect the public from any future rock slides, the cave has since been corded off. As you can see from the 2011 picture, the vast majority of the ferns have yet to recover. A startling difference from then to now.



Back to Waimea Canyon, another popular overlook of the Na Pali coast, inaccessible by car (we took a catamaran tour to view the cliffs, more pictures to follow, if time permits). I couldn't quite find the same view point as the 1989 shot. The mountain was partially obscured by clouds this go around, and maybe there's more vegetation blocking the view.



22 years separate the trips, but the experience was equally enjoyable. Emily and I hope to return to Kauai again in the near future, with Brenna, and anyone else that's willing to go with us.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Morbid Curiosity

My apologies for being off the grid for a few weeks. I had some outpatient surgery late last week to ensure that we're not adding any new letters to TEB(OT), and spent time leading up to the procedure getting things done around the house, and have been laid up lame until recently.

I did, however, manage to drag my carcass off the couch on Saturday afternoon/evening to go with the family to the Desert Botantical Gardens in Phoenix. I've lived here for over ten years now and yet I've never been before, pretty insane considering how much we enjoy the Arboretum. Maybe the allure of cooler tempatures are what pull us to drive east instead of west?

Here's a horrible segue; they had these huge wooden insect sculptures all over the place. Here is one of them, pretty damn large, reminded me of War Of The Worlds for some reason. Emily took pictures of many more of these, some of which are pictured below.

Brenna is shown here flashing a new gang sign. I think it means take me to McDonalds (again). Can you believe the small child will be 5 in a week or so? Scary.

Here's another wooden bug of some sort. A shit weevil, I'm guessing. Ahem.

I elected to stay on my feet for the duration of our visit, until coerced into posing in this alcove with the rest of the family. Oof. Not pictured, Beth, who took the picture, and Rachel, who's simply too good for us (j/k). Ron was off shooting something, I'm guessing.

Here's another wooden bug. A dung beetle? I should read the signs; that's what Emily is for.

Hey look! Brenna posing next to a rock on a bridge!

No, wait, that's a desert tortoise eating some prickly pear cactus.

Ok, I know what this one is, a grasshopper.

Thank you all for your patience while I've been recovering. Posts may be pretty spotty for the next two months as we have trips to Birmingham, San Diego, and Kauai planned.

Five days removed from my procedure, and it only gets better from here. Good night!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Week (Or So) In Review

My last blog post was over on the Hoes site, so while it may appear to the casual observer that I've been slacking off, I have officially posted something in the last week. My goal used to be to post something every two to three days, but as the demands of our small child increase, my blogging frequency has decreased accordingly. And that's just fine with me, I wouldn't miss this time with my little girl for all the slot machines in Reno.

We've had a very busy weekend.

Not pictured, on Friday night we drove into downtown Mesa for a cool guitars and antique cars show at the local arts center, complete with live music, crafts, and I think they had dwarfs juggling ferrets as well. You name it, they had it.

On Saturday we took the small child to her weekly swim practice, and spent some time at Aunt Beth's while the two sisters worked out. And then, because we couldn't tear ourselves away from Beth's presence, we meet she, Grandma Becky, Rachel, and Lily at the dollar movies to see The Zookeeper, went to Ross together (where I finally found another pair of low cut Converse in a half size, apparently a rarity, or else I'm just not looking in the right places), and then spent the rest of the evening at her house eating dinner and watching it rain for hours on end.

Yes, it finally least at her house.

Here is Exhibit A through whatever:

That last picture is Beth and John's driveway underwater. Shame it missed our house, although admittedly we did get some. Maybe there's more to come, only the shadow knows.

On Sunday, after church, Brenna and I played pretend cafe, where I was served a wide assortment of breakfast fare, all very tasty indeed. What a wonderful hostess she is. She even cleaned up afterwards with a (toy) vacuum. The small child has quite the imagination.

Finally, before I go, I was advised that the missus wasn't terribly happy with a picture I posted in the last Hoes blog. So, in penance, I offer awkward Tom photo number one, this taken back in 1988 when I was 14 or so, at Glacier National Park in Montana. Yep, that's all 125 pounds of me, Kid N Play hair and all. Maybe I'll make this a regular installment of the blog, I have nothing to hide.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Got The Time

Another event-filled weekend has come and gone, and here I am on a Tuesday afternoon with nothing better to do than share a few pictures with you! You're so lucky!

We had better seats this weekend for Brenna's swimming lessons, so I took a few shots of what the small child is learning about these days for our xx.xx dollars a month.

1 - It's more fun to float on your back than on your stomach. Matter of fact I can think of numerous reasons to not be floating on your stomach.

2 - It's more fun practicing holding your breath on your own terms than being dunked by a Katie Holmes look-a-like swim instructor.

3 - It's more fun jumping off the back of a foam hippo than a live one. If you're jumping off the back of a live one, you've got some serious problems.

En route to Aunt Tansy's goodbye party, we stopped at a local outlet mall. With cousin Rachel in tow, everyone posed briefly by this horsie ride.

I have a picture of Rachel riding the horse also. Rachel, you're welcome.

Not pictured: Falling asleep on Uncle Don and Aunt Mollie's sofa, watering the yard and cursing Mother Earth numerous times, and eating fish for dinner with burnt rolls.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Week In The Life

It's been a very busy week here at the Homans' Household, and thanks to the aforementioned phone technology that's been dropped in my lap, I can bring you along for every spine-tingling moment.

For starters, we took the small child to a local mall to get one of those Build-A-Bear things, as a reward for her not clawing anyone's eyes out during the first few weeks of school. While we're not against bloodshed here in our household, we frown upon such things when they happen in public.

Before a nasty haboob rolled in, Brenna had a chance to play outside, posing here on a wiggly worm and a butterfly.

The most exciting thing to happen at school this week was discovering that Brenna doesn't have to keep her shirt tucked in all day. Our little caveman lawyer (inside joke) was pleased with this, and who can blame her when it's 114 outside.

Back to the subject at hand, here we find Brenna and Emily picking out an outfit for her new bunny, later named Hopsy Flopsy, or Fartsy Schmartsy, I can't recall at the moment.

Our cousin Darrick came down from Minnesota for the occasion, he's standing around in the background by the front door, checking things out. Just couldn't stay away from our wonderful August weather, could you Darrick?

Hmmm, so many names to ponder for the stuffed rabbit. Well, I gave that one away earlier, Hopsy Flopsy, Poopsy Doopsy, something like that. So much for suspense, I blew that one.

Okay, here's another picture with no story line to go with it. Brenna's getting a little help here keying the rabbit's name into the registry. I think for what we paid, we got LoJack installed in it as well.

Later in the week we bought Brenna a helmet for her bike, not pictured here. She felt inclined to ride around the pool table with it on. After all, it's hard to ride your bike in hell, with the tires sticking to the sidewalk and all, so for now we're indoors. Pictures of the Cinderella bike to follow perhaps in a later post, when it's cool enough to step foot in the garage for five minutes.

Ah, here's a nice picture of us enjoying a crisp fall evening on the veranda. No, actually it was 110 in the shade at the Lawn & Garden section of Wal Mart when I took this shot of our enthusiastic child.

Finally, typical attitude from the child, almost complete had there been a middle finger or some tooting involved.

And no, I'm not at all bitter about summers that last until Thansgiving, that's completely natural.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More Shots From The Phone

I'm blaming my absence for the inability to email myself these photos from my new phone. Turns out I had to remove and re-add my Hotmail login ID and credentials to sync back up and forward these along to myself. Blah blah, technical jargon, yadda yadda.

Anyway, I'm summoning the energy for a quick update before I collapse for the evening, so here goes.

Our local Borders is going out of business (along with the rest of the country, is it 2012 yet?), much to our chagrin. While that means new books at used book prices, our favorite coffee shop at the mall is closing with them, so we'll be migrating to another locale for our Friday afternoons of fun in the near future. Here's a shot of Emily reading to the small child in the small child section of said bookstore. Brenna apparently thinks I'm part of the paparazzi.

Here she is in the play place at the same mall, striking the perfect mermaid pose atop this fancy, spotted turtle.

You must be this tall to crawl through a beaver.

In other news, with the help of Commander Brenna, these three fortunate souls were blasted into space from Grandma Becky's house. It's a good thing they had on their protective goggles for the trip, lest the creatures from Uranus steal their eyes. That one never gets old.

Finally, as a last gasp, here's another shot of our child from a week or so ago. God willing and my phone continues to email photos properly, I'll be back in due time with more randomness for your reading enjoyment.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Non-Informative Blog

Another week has passed in the Homans' Household, and there is nary a thing to share since the last update.

Brenna is slowly getting used to an 8 hour day at Kindergarten, and we're getting used to making it a habit of forcing our night owl to be in bed at a decent hour so the morning routine goes a little smoother.

For your viewing pleasure I've uploaded a blast from the past, Brenna going off to her first day of pre-school last year, and another shot of her from this year, but in a different outfit.

She's so grown up now, it's almost ridiculous.

I've been having issues with my phone (the one I've been bragging about) not emailing photos to my Hotmail account properly, so I have some good ones that are stranded presently. In the meantime, Emily took a few shots of Brenna being a mermaid over the weekend. There was a play involved, including at least four Acts, an intermission, audience participation, and oodles of singing. We took video of part of the show, but until I can track down the proper cable, uploading off the camcorder is no longer possible. The new phone takes killer video, but alas, the inability to email them to my Hotmail surfaces again.

So, until all is right with the world (which may take a while, depending on how you're looking at it), here is a picture of Tigger as a cross-dresser. Enjoy.