November 9, 2019

Hard Working Joe

In political news, "Hard Working Joe" of political work glove fame, has been using his campaign fund as a slush fund. And not in just a "I forgot to put the money back in that pot over there when I borrowed it" kind of way, but a "I falsified documents to cover it up" kind of way.

Oh Joe.

Graft. It's what's for dinner.


October 28, 2019

Firenadopocalypse

This weekend's planned activities included Oktoberfest, and then a food tour planned by bigsis. Oktoberfest was cancelled because a big fire was raging nearby.  And bigsis was stopped by a raging fire near the freeway.

Fire came within a few miles of our house, so I started listening to the county fire department scanner and folding laundry to pack in our go bags if we needed to evacuate. Lots of 50-year-olds with chest pains yesterday.

So that, in a nutshell, was our firenadopocalypse, and it was real. And it's not over, so that's something to look out for.

In the meantime, the sweet mama was a super poo this weekend. I bought her clothing online in the wrong sizes. She was disappointed and decided that the wrong sizes I sent mean that I don't love her. Do I think she's that size? WHY would I buy her something that doesn't fit?

I felt awful about that all weekend, even though it didn't make sense. The real thing driving her need to give me a hard time was that she wants to be with me every weekend and when she knows I am not working and I am not with her it hurts her feelings that we are not together. Doesn't really matter that I spent last weekend with her and spent all of Monday taking care of her car. My absence is painful to her.

So after my sulking and laundry folding and emergency bag stuffing yesterday I had some fun putting paint samples on my lady bathroom wall. Now that's a good time. 

Decisions are made!


October 22, 2019

Tongan Feast

This weekend I cared for the mama. We had such a good time. We watched about 4 episodes of Fixer Upper, 1.5 Madea movies (a weekend of firsts!) and went to a Tongan church festival.

Both of the mama's caregivers are from Tonga, and they attend a Methodist church with an all-Tongan community of parishioners. Once a year they have a big food and tithing event, and we were invited to attend. In fact the reason that I was caring for the mama last weekend was that the ladies were unavailable / cooking / preparing for / recovering from the event.

We started the day choosing outfits. Mom wanted to wear black pants, so I put some on her that my sis bought her at the thrift store. She looked exactly like the character Carl from the movie Up! We got her all dressed and then she looked teary and I asked her why she seemed sad. "It's ok, but I'm sorry she's gone," she said. It became clear that she thought our caregiver died! Once we got that cleared up it was a much nicer day.

We got in my first ever Lyft, and knew we were at the right destination when we saw gigantic tents. The music was deafening and fun. 99% of our day was in Tongan, and I had no idea what the customs or rules were. We sat at one of dozens of tables that had long, tall platforms on them. Each table was identically set with drinks, towers made of cans of corned beef, cakes, and roasted pigs. 20 or 30 of them, each one ridden by two cooked lobsters that were held onto them by means of skewers. As more guests arrived, each set of them had a cooler or two that contained identical portions of tasty treats, enough for every one of the many, many, many tables at the event. These little portions went underneath the pig platforms. Here are a few photos. The first was taken over my shoulder, with the minimum of pig in it. The second, is the hands of the lady sitting on the other side of the table, who I never saw, because there was a roasted pig at eye-level between us the whole time.

 
Above, you can see fried shrimp, fish marinated in coconut and lime, with tomato and cucumber. An interesting kind of lau lau that seemed like it was made with Underwood Deviled Ham, enormous white sweet potatoes and bottles of Snapple, which were both beverages and columns that held up the cans of corned beef.
 
Whenever the music was blaring, ladies danced. And then the music would stop mid-song.

Eventually the dignitaries arrived, the religious parts occurred, the choir (including one of our caregivers) sang, and the eating commenced. While we ate, there was also a call and response from men seated on the ground, involving a gigantic kava root and a more gigantic hog. Four strapping Tongan men struggled under the weight of the pig, which they brought in on a litter. This is the kava root.
 

Eventually, there was a lovely speech given by our main caregiver, whose family was in charge of the largesse we were treated to. She was a Queen, I tell you.

She arranged for the mama to have a gigantic gardenia lei, which was flown in from Hawaii. Here is the mama and our caregiver (in purple). I love this woman. She is so fun and kind and good with mom and all of us.

She was so thrilled that we went, and we had such a good time. It was a real treat to be able to participate in something that was so different from what I know.

They insisted that I take home a lobster. That will be a story as well, I imagine.
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