Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jet Planes

We're looking at airline tickets for our March/April Australian trip. Going to beach with Nick's folks and then down to Tasmania for a wedding. I am looking forward to getting back to Hobart, a brooding city nestled between the brooding mountain and the brooding sea. Nick and I lived together for the first time up on the shoulder of that mountain with astonishing views of the bays, peninsulas and finally the open water. At night we had bandicoots in yard, scratching their ears and nosing through the underbrush. We also had a cantankerous possum who dwelled in our compost heap. After dinner we'd toss our scraps onto the pile and listen to him growl and squeal in delight at this manna from heaven.

Today, or rather tonight, or rather pretty much tomorrow we are flying to mainland. The flight is scheduled for 11.55pm and gets us into Phoenix somewhere around 8am. Then it's a two hour layover and off to Detroit getting in at 4.15pm. For the amount of traveling I do, I've become somewhat of a weenie when it comes to flying. Not sure why. I can remember being shaken and stirred countless times flying into Missoula without lifting an eyebrow. Than a few years ago, BOOM, white knuckle terror.

I have a general propensity to worry. At some point my worry-o-meter, apparently always on the lookout for the latest in brow-furrowing, realized that airplanes were unexploited territory. And away it went. Which is really ridiculous when considering I don't get stomach knots starting my car in the morning, or laughing really hard with my mouth full of food. Both much higher risk activities. So I'm hard at work dismantling my worry-o-meter. It's not very useful. Plus, here in the Pacific, it's a plane or a long swim to anywhere so I better just enjoy it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


People often ask, "What's it like living on Hawaii." And generally my response is "Alohatastic." Living on a small island isn't as claustrophobic as I had originally imagined. The first month we moved here, I refused to drive to the end of the road to give an (de) illusion of space.

Quickly, that was revealed to be a poor tactic because A) the "end of the road" is the enticing Na Pali Coast and B) really, my day to day life is something of an island. By this I mean my day generally consists of: wake up, work, shop/gym, cook dinner with an occasional evening swim. This was also my routine most other places I've lived. Wildly exciting, no? Pretty typical, yeah probably. So that leaves weekends for exploring and the beaches and mountains are nice enough that it never feels like "Oh jeez, another sunset..." "Ohia trees again? Booooring!"

However there is (as in all good things) some sort of hidden not-so-good thing. In our case it is:
Don't be fooled by the deceptively cute face, these guys have the cunning and iron will of a vel0ciraptor.

I had the head cold from hell a few weeks ago and one night did not close the back door properly. The cunning creatures who have grown fat feasting on the rotten guavas, mango and java plum surrounding our treehouse had their chance served up on a golden platter. That night I dreamed of rats. The next evening I was meeting them face on in the kitchen.

We (by this I mean Nick) got the two insurgents out of the house but by then the proverbial blood was in the water. Rats were suddenly peeking in the windows while I tried to sip tea, scrambling over the tin roof, and worse....methodically testing all doors. At night they would hurl their wiry bodies at the two doors, again and again, like maybe just maybe this time I left the door ajar.

So last night Nick set the traps. Body count: 1.5 One rat has gone to the land of the everlasting guava tree. One rat is missing a few toes, escaping with his bubonic plague as Nick tried to plunge him into a water bucket while I sat on the bed plugging my ears. Yes, I am a hypocrite. I hate the rats. I hate the rat poop left in my shoes outside. But I can't bring myself to execute one.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


My sister, the lovely Nutmeg
has been living somewhere in Malawi since June 2006 on a Peace Corps Assignment. This means another Christmas is coming without her wiggly ways and sly giggle. We are a very female dominated family (My mom, two sisters and me vs. my dad, brother) and yet somehow without Megan around, our "force" doesn't seem to be fully functioning.

(above, Taddonio ladies without full power of "the force")

This is a girl who lists her religious views as "I believe there is something out there watching over us. Unfortunately, it's the government" and spanks little village children who spy on her. This is also the girl I remember crying inconsolably over a elderly homeless woman shakily sipping orange juice at a London McDonald's.

So while I love the fact she's busy building beehives, protecting baboons, and making life a little better for people living with HIV/AIDS....I miss her and wish she was home.

ndimakukonda (i love you),
your big sister

Monday, December 17, 2007


Nick and I leave on Thursday night for a red-eye to Detroit.

I've got a lot of nostalgia for my childhood growing up in Southeastern Michigan. Scenes of snow quietly settled on bare oak branches, marveling at the naked Neanderthal diorama at the University of Michi
gan Museum of Natural History, getting free boxes of brownie mix at Jiffy (my mom was and is still famous in a tri-state area for her ability to sniff out a bargain), walking Main Street in my hometown of Manchester (home of the World Famous Chicken Broil). This prestigious event is made even more awesome by the logo of a chicken busy at the grill. Nick says any time there is an event promoted by the featured animal cooking itself, you know it must rule on multiple levels. I've gotta concur with the wisdom of my mister on this account.

So bring on a temperature somewhere in the low 20's...

So bring on icy roads and a wind that flash freezes a runny nose...

I still own one fleece and...

The woods are lovely, dark and deep