A few things

The radio:

The radio cracks me up here.   First of all, whenever I am in the car the lady from the computer in the car speaks to me in Japanese.   When I change the radio station or put the key in the ignition, and sometimes just for no apparent reason, she speaks to me in Japanese. I wish I knew what she said.  I've got to make a Japanese friend so she can help me out.  (I'm working on that!)   Anyway, after I get the radio on, you get a huge mix of songs mostly from the states.   In a 45 minute drive yesterday I heard Hansen's "Mmm Bop", Micheal Jackson's "The way you make me feel", Gloria Estaffan's "Conga song",  "The wild wild west" by the Escape Club (yes, I googled that) and Bob Marley all on the same station.  A lot of times it's songs from the 80's and 90's that you've completely forgotten about, like Mambo #5  and Zee Zee Top's "She's got legs" all smattered in with current music and Fijian tunes.  It's always a random surprise!

Cooking and shopping:

I am feeling more interest in cooking lately.   If I have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I couldn't ask for a better view.   I just ordered this cookbook 100 days of real food cookbook hoping that it will help us get healthy and that we can find some of the ingredients here.  We tried the 10 day "real food" challenge in Atlanta and loved it... Now I actually have the time to cook, so hoping that this will be a good start.  I did actually make hummus yesterday.  Real live hummus from scratch!  I soaked the chic peas and everything!  It's so good.  It took me a lot of time and I made way too much...but it's also a start.   (One recipe I read said to  peel each and every chic pea for smoother hummus.  I peeled about half of them and couldn't tell the difference between the two batches of peeled chic pea hummus and un-peeled chic pea hummus.   In short, don't waste your time peeling those little suckers!)

Our housekeeper, Fannie, was very interested in the hummus and wanted to learn how to make it too. (She is a vegetarian and always looking for new options.)When I pulled out the "lemons" for the recipe, she laughed and said, "Kate, those are limes."  I thought so too, but the bag they came in said lemons and the grocery store labeled them as lemons!  They look exactly like limes though, probably because they are limes!  Fannie informed me that you cannot buy lemons at the grocery store and that you have to go to the market.  I told her to come with me, because I have no idea what Fijian lemons look like (not like ours in the states) and I am pretty sure they won't be labeled lemons, because the limes are labeled as lemons.   I don't know if it's not normal to drive your housekeeper around because I could tell Fannie felt sort of funny about it, but maybe I was reading too much into it.  When we got into the car, she tried to get into the backseat, but I insisted she get into the front seat with me.   Thank goodness I had her with me because she asked for "Moli Coola (sp?)" and they gave her lemons which turned out beautifully in the hummus!   Now I know what to look for and what to ask for.  Lesson learned.

View from kitchen window.  Not a bad view to cook to!

Here it is through all of the bars and dirty dishes.   

Lemons - Fiji style

Homemade hummus!  Yum.

The kids:

The girls have their up and down moments.  Mostly, they are happy.  We had two birthday parties on Saturday.  The girls had a complete blast.  From what I can gather, this place is amazing for kids.  They can run around barefoot, outside all day and swim almost every place they go.  The Fijians LOVE children, especially white children for some reason.  I even had a nanny confirm to me, "We love children with white skin."  It surprised me when she said it, but I can tell they love their own children as well.  They are very gentle and sweet with kids, always laughing and showing affection.  The kids get to explore nature, soak up vitamin D, be surrounded by phenomenal beauty, and just be kids.  In the grocery store, you don't have to keep an eye on them the whole time.  They can go explore and you find them when you are done shopping.   It's so small and so safe for kids.  It reminds me of growing up in the suburbs...so much freedom to just play and be happy.  Also, the kids here seem more innocent in some ways.   At home, Andie and all of her first grade classmates were way too old/cool for princesses.  Princesses were for babies.   They had moved on to monster high and vampires, instead of princesses.   Well, here, 6 and 7 year olds are still into princesses.  They have princess backpacks and pencils and clothes.  No one is "too cool" yet!  Love it.

I think they are homesick in some ways.  They ask for Lola and their best friends.   They want to go to their Atlanta friends' birthday parties and get sad when they talk about them.   Zoe in particular has been going through some pretty tough ups and downs.  She has had temper tantrums fairly regularly the evenings.  I am not sure if they are a factor of her age, giving up her naps, or all the newness here...but I am assuming all three.    Last week she screamed that she hated Fiji.  She hated this house.  She hated our pool.  She hated her school.  "This house is damn-it!"  I think that's the most awful thing she knew to say.   She cried and cried and said she wanted to go back home.   Two days later we were at a party where all of the kids were swimming outside. She and I took a break so she could use the restroom and while she was sitting there, she says,  "Do we have to go back to Atlanta?  Can we stay in Fiji forever?  I want to be here always."   Their emotions are all over the place.  I understand sweet girls, mine are too sometimes.

Birthday party fun

Maybe one day I'll get sick of taking the sunset pictures from our porch.  But, I'm still so amazed by it!

Update on Mom:

A few people have inquired about my mom and the surgery.  It went well.   Everything is as it should be.  She is having a hard time being a good patient and keeping her head down, but she's nearly half way through.  Thanks for all of the well wishes.  Keep them coming!  Here is an update on her recovery in her words from her post on facebook.

Still staring at the floor. Or my chest, whichever is closest to face down. I understand fully that I am a terrible patient! Can you say Bored? I am Soooo Bored! Really, my eye doesn't hurt most of the time. The white is totally red. That should go away, but for now looks so awful. I see only blurry images from the left eye. That should clear as the retina heals. And I see more distinctly now than 3 days ago. But that's not saying much. I'm watching a lot of TV through a 2 mirror set up which keeps the image right side up while I watch face down. Let me tell you - TV programming is not very robust right now. I have an audio book that I'm enjoying. I have a podcast - Serial, which is really interesting. I've found more ways to keep my face down while not being flat on my stomach than I would have believed. My iPhone is my lifeline - my main form of staying in touch with everyone and my entertainment! Altogether, as torturous as I expected...but getting through it.    


  1. Yep looks like limes! Lol ... and good for them for not being into princesses.So many better options for female role models.

    1. I know, you would think common sense would have told me they were limes. Why did I want to believe the sign in the store?!?! Especially after I recently saw cherries labeled as nectarines???

  2. By the way Tina, the cherries here are about $30 for a bag...so I don't buy them! The price was still high even when labeled as nectarines!


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