Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fish Head and Rice

Of all the things on my mind right now, it's that my dad is leaving and it makes me feel sad.  We cooked a lot of good food which Misa expressed so sincerely to him as she kissed him goodnight:

Papa Joe I'm going to really miss your good cooking.

Here's what he cooked up on his last night with the family.  That's fish head, pancit, crab salad with tamarind, rice and fine dine.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Catching Up

It's been awhile.   I write everyday in some form or other, and lately, it's been writing to my mom once a week so I took a little break from the blog.  Today's Mothers Day and when I called my mom she said, "Did you get my message?  I called early VeraJean.  I wanted to get all my blessings over with."  Always the blunt and direct one, from one  to the other, she made my day.   Here's a picture of my annual herb garden (started by Emma) and container garden.

So the updates:

Climbing.  I took a few months off  (for no real reason other than I got in the groove of just being un-motivated and dis-interested in it . . . ) but now I'm BACK!  After the comp at Boulders two weeks ago, I got psyched to get on all the routes, and even though I was intimidated, I got back after it pretty quickly.  So far so good.  I'm cruising up the 8's and 9's, feeling perfectly scared leading all the 10's, and sufficiently shaky on the 11's.  Just what I would expect of myself.  But what makes it really FUN, is that Brad is climbing again, and he's leading and staying injury-free.  Here's a picture Misa took:

Running in Wisconsin.  In the midst of my hiatus from climbing, I've been packing in the miles and have a solid base of running  under me as well as some fun playlists.  The trails are open and the temps are just right for this islander who still wears long sleeves even in 60 and low 70 degrees.  Today I did 20-miles - the first 8 miles felt awesome, the next 4 were okay, 13-15 totally sucked, and miles 16-20 were surprisingly strong.

Culture.  Misa has been in training to cook the perfect rice.  John-Pio wrote a story about a Chamorro Tortilla boy who was attacked by a coconut crab and a brown snake.  Emma is deferring college for a year and will be going to Kenya to volunteer with Global World Vision (so proud and excited for her . . . ), and my dad and sister will be here this week and you know what that means: Wisconsin will have a temporary increase in Brown folk.  They're coming in for Misa and John-Pio who are receiving their First Holy Communion together.  As the event nears, so my thoughts about what it means for me to raise my children Catholic deepens which also means a future piece about my eternal conflict being Catholic will follow.  Stay tuned.

The subtitle of my blog is "Climbing, Culture, Cheese, and Connections to Professional Life," so here's my piece about "cheese."  Suzi and Matt came to town!  All I have to say about that is they're coming back in June for Lisa's wedding.  Suzi-Fest!  Yesterday, Molly married Steve and from start to finish, it was lovely to celebrate such a special love.  Friday night we went to a cool BBQ spot for a cocktail hour and the clique I was hanging around with each had to branch out and meet at least one new person.  I met a really nice woman from Georgia who put Molly and Steve's event on the map as she and her husband are en route to Jackson Hole, WY where they will be volunteering at a campground as nature interpreters.  It was so fun to get dressed up, witness such a beautiful ceremony, and dance with Brad, Misa, and John-Pio.

Connections to Professional Life.  Oh man.  This is loaded.  We've done some cool stuff the past few months.  I'll focus on that another time, but the one cool thing is our designated class dress-up day is the first Tuesday of every month.  I usually dress up too, but I didn't this time, yet several of my students did.  Here's a picture of them: