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Month: October 2006

Happy (Haunted) Trails, Everyone!

Happy (Haunted) Trails, Everyone!

We are happy to report that it almost feels like Halloween for real out here in our tropical (rainy) paradise. This is partly because it has been overcast and rainy for the past week, and partly because it is somewhat cooler than ususal. Of course, we realize that if we were back on the mainland this rain would more likely be snow and we most definitely would not still be wearing our Chacos to work.


In an attempt to get even more Halloween spirit into our holiday, we went to a haunted ranch for FHE last night with Kareena and Manny. Gunstock was advertising rides through their spooky trails for only $3 a person between 7:00 and 10:00. We arrived at the ranch at about 7:20 and quickly realized that the owners had overextended themselves. The line was already long and they only had one (1) pickup truck with hay in the back taking people on what was probably a 15 minute ride. People were lining up much faster than the truck could take them through. Just as it should have been our turn to ride (but, alas, it wasn’t as a group of hormone charged teenagers thought it was a good idea to cut in front of us–even though when they asked us if we minded and we gave them an adament NO), it started pouring. The funny thing was that it had been sprinkling before and Kareena had said, “I hope it pours when it is our turn.” Silly Kareena. But the rain didn’t last long. In fact, just as it let up the ranchers found their other truck and brought it out to help with the customers. We were overjoyed, until, of course, the girl who was getting everybody on kept saying, “I sure hope this truck doesn’t get stuck somewhere.” We hoped not, too.

The trails themselves were fun in a, “It’s nice to see them try,” sort of way. The Indians were nothing special until the ones riding horses came at us. The horses were definitely cool. Other than that, it seemed as though the rain had dampened the spirits of most of the spooks who were supposed to jump out and scare us out of our pants. And Crazy Cooper, the headless horseman, must have been daydreaming while we sneaked up on him, so we watched him as he mounted his steed and tried to pull his cloak over his head before he circled the truck. The hanged cattle rustlers were good, though. They definitely looked like mannequins, so we all got a good jump when they started throwing spaghetti at us. And when I say “us” I do mean “us,” but unfortunately their aim was bad and they only hit Micah. He ended up with a lap full of wet spaghetti noodles that kept us occupied for the rest of the ride. What a joy.

At least we didn’t get stuck.

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

For the sake of comparison, we used to live in the house on the right, but now we live in the house on the left. Although it looks like it may have been a downgrade, and although our new place is older, it is also cheaper and we like it a lot more than the fancy-schmancy mansion house. Why? You ask. I will tell you why.

1. It is carpeted. Yes, the carpet is kind of old and not very pretty, but it is nice on our feet after the tile in our old place.

2. It is separate from the landlord’s house (although there are two boys that live in half of the downstairs).

3. It is two stories. Never mind that the stairs are pretty steep and not of uniform height. It gives the apartment a nice feel to have things separated.

4. It is roomier. It was advertised as a studio, but is definitely a one bedroom. The bedroom (or bed closet, as we like to call it) is definitely separated from the office/walk-in closet, which is kind of separated from the living room. The kitchen and bathroom are downstairs.

5. It has a yard. Or at least, the landlord has a yard and our house is in the middle of it. But they are okay with sharing it with us, and even have a nice spot for our garden (which has perked up a lot since the move). And they have a lilikoi (passion fruit) vine that they said we can pick off if we want.

6. It is homey. And when I say this, I mean that it is kind of quirky and homemade looking. As I mentioned, the stairs are kind of tricky to navigate. Also, the rafters are exposed, so we can see that it looks like they just took whatever piece of wood was handy and pounded it in to place.

7. It is well ventilated. Our other apartment would get hot and stuffy because we couldn’t open the windows for fear of bugs. We have no such fears with this place. The windows are also bigger, so we can get a decent breeze blowing through on occasion. It has been so cold, we’ve actually needed a blanket at night. Weird.

8. Walkability. It is within walking distance of just about everything: work, church, temple, doctor, grocery store, etc. Not only that but there are three (count them, three!) streets with sidewalks: Naniloa Loop, which runs in front of the temple and the university, Kulanui St., which is the street the university is on, and Hale Laa, the street the temple is on. The streets are also better lit than Hauula streets.

9. We get to paint it. And when I say “we” I mean Micah and some of our friends. Pregnant women don’t paint. I was going to post more pictures of the apartment, but then I would just have to post more when we get the painting done, so you’re just going to have to wait to get the grand tour.

Of course, it isn’t all sugar and spice. The stairs are really steep, which makes me nervous for five months from now when I’m huge and clumsy. There is (or was) virtually no counterspace in the kitchen although the situation has been rectified with a shelving set from Wal-mart. And there are chickens. Lots and lots of chickens. The first week we could hardly sleep, but we’re getting used to them now. Still, we have been strongly tempted to get a bb gun for the little monsters. That’s about it.

Way to Go Baby Beluga

Way to Go Baby Beluga

One of the many things on our list of things to get when we moved into our new apartment was a couch. We have one comfy chair that the Phillips bequeathed to us when they moved and two camping chairs, but we thought we needed a couch to really make it feel like home. But of course we are stingy about money on this sort of thing, especially since we are not even going to be here a full year. Enter Craigslist.org. On Monday I started searching for couches on Oahu for under $50 and found a black leather couch going for $40. It sounded reasonable, so I emailed the seller, mostly expecting to be told that somebody else had already snatched it up. I was surprised, as you can imagine, to hear back from her that not only was it not snatched up, but she was so desperate to get rid of it that she was going to give it to us. FREE. How could we say no?

This is where the adventure begins. It was all the way down in Schofield Barracks (which, like just about everything else on the island, is about an hour away), and we have no truck. We called some people to see if we could borrow one, but we couldn’t get ahold of anyone. We were afraid that somebody else was going to come by and see the nice free couch and grab it before we could get there, so we decided our best bet was to tie it to the roof of Baby Beluga. Now, for those of you who have met Baby Beluga, you know that she has exactly zero qualities to recommend her as a couch mover. She is not very big and not very spacious as far as holding really big objects for long periods of time goes. But she proved that she has both strength and stamina as she hauled almost all of our stuff between Hauula and Laie, so we were willing to give her a try. After passing the skeptical guards at the guard shack (“You’re going to pick up a couch? Is it going to fit in that car?) we made our way around the barracks to the couch. It is in great shape. It is real leather, with only one small tear on top and some damage on the back that nobody will see once it is against the wall, but all in all, it was much more than we were expecting from a free couch.

But it is also heavier than we thought it would be. We (mostly Micah) managed to push it on top and then we (mostly Micah) tied it tightly with a clothesline from Walmart. Once there was no more rope left to tie it with, we said a little prayer and hit the road. I must admit, it crossed my mind that this may be one of those times when we were doing something stupid, knowing we were doing something stupid, and still hoping Heavenly Father would help us through our stupidity. But I needn’t have worried. The couch didn’t move an inch the whole way home. It is now safely at our apartment, waiting outside for someone strong to help Micah bring it up the stairs. We’re looking forward to seeing how it looks–and feels–in our (soon to be) newly painted apartment.

Houston, we have a heartbeat.

Houston, we have a heartbeat.

It’s true. We’re going to have a child. Actually, what we really want is a chinchilla that we can spray paint yellow and call Pikachu, but I think we went about it the wrong way this time around. You win some, you lose some.

Honestly, though, we are super excited to become parents, especially as this child is going to be the cutest thing you ever did see (Suri Holmes-Cruise? Shiloh Jolie-Pitt? They will have nothing on Liz or Micah Junior.) and is going to make us millions of dollars as a child model. How else are we going to finance our child’s Harvard education? We got to hear the heartbeat when we went to the doctor’s on Wednesday. At first I was a little nervous because it sure sounded like they were probing in outer space and not in my abdomen, but soon enough there it was, 170 beats per minute. It was pretty exciting. As of right now the little one is about 2 1/2 inches long and weighs less than an ounce (for those of you who are not familiar with 12 week old fetuses).

We’re not picky about gender . . . we’ll take either, although we’ve kind of felt that we’d have a girl first. It’ll be about six weeks before we find out if we’re having a Little Micah or a Little Liz. Until then, feel free to post your guesses, and any name suggestions you might have. We’re thinking about sponsoring a “naming theme” contest for the Micah and Liz Heiselt Children. You know, things like “Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys” where we name our girls names like Mace, Oregano, and Paprika and our boys names like 4th Avenue, Broadway, and North Temple (okay, so they aren’t really back streets, but you get the idea), but we’ll get back to you on that one.

Feel free to bust out the ginger ale and celebrate!

Living it Large on Friday the 13th

Living it Large on Friday the 13th

Yes, it’s been a while since our Friday the 13th party which we co-hosted with our friends the Thomanders. Since we were in the midst of moving, it was at their apartment, and most of the guests were their friends. But it was our idea. And we had the best costumes. And Micah made the pinata. It was a potluck. We made mashed potato eyeballs, the Thomanders made brain pasta, there was eyeball jello, slime pudding, and wormy dirt. We ate and talked and told scary stories and broke the pinata. But the really fun part was our costumes.

Micah spent weeks on these things. After coming up with the design, he papier mache-ed the masks, then sanded, painted, and sanded again. As you can see, the end result was awesome. The tricky part was finding something to which we could attach the masks that would allow us to see through the mouth holes. The original idea of using football pads was replaced by the styrofoam-cardboard alternative. They were much lighter and we didn’t have to return them to someone at the end of the night.
Of course, the day of the party we were scrambling to get them finished. Micah’s frames and masks were all ready to go, I just needed to sew the fabric together so he could assemble it. We borrowed a sewing machine from some friends at about 4:30 and I sewed like a fiend until 6:54. The party started at 7:00. I left to go pick up some friends in Laie hoping Micah would somehow whip the costumes into working condition. What was I worried about? The man is awesome. Our costumes were the hit of the party. People were pretty weirded out by the fact that we could “grow” by lifting the frames up (the cloth part is about 9 feet long) and it was fun to shrink and grow and bow and have people talking to us but not knowing where our faces were. The black fabric is transluscent, so we could see out just fine, but nobody could see in.
The pinata was a big hit, too, of course . . . get it? Pinata? Big hit? Oh, never mind.

Earthquake!

Earthquake!

Okay, so it really wasn’t that dramatic for us. We had church at 8:00am, so we woke up at 7:00 (after going to bed at 3:00, and listening to roosters crowing since 3:30 . . .) to get ready. I was changing my clothes and Micah was still in bed when the house started shaking. It didn’t last very long and it wasn’t very powerful. We thought it was an earthquake, but then we weren’t sure. We just moved in, so maybe the house just shook every once in a while? Maybe the boys downstairs got in a fight and were wailing on each other? Maybe the semi that just drove by on the highway made it shake? The power didn’t go out for a few minutes after the quake, so we didn’t really associate the two events at first, and we expected the power to come on again at any moment. But it didn’t.

We drove back to Hauula for our last week in our old ward (it was the Primary program . . . they wanted me to bring two loaves of sandwiches for the after-program party), where we were informed that everything was cancelled. We went back home and got back in bed, but then our landlord knocked on the door to let us know that we had to ration our water because the sewer system is partially dependent on electricity, so we were facing possible sewer back-up if we took a really long shower or used the toilet too often. After our four hour nap, we still didn’t have power. We got some of our stuff organized (the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom are more or less put together; the living room and office? not so much) before Kareena, Shelley, and Whitney came over to visit. They live off-campus, so they had food, but they couldn’t stay too long because they had ice cream melting in the freezer that needed to be taken care of (we still don’t know how ours faired). Micah’s intern, Jay, who lives on-campus, called and said he was dying of starvation, so we took him and his roommate one of the loaves of sandwiches and some of our hard boiled eggs (actually, we went to his dorm right as he was coming to our apartment, so we missed each other at first, but then ran into each other on the way back home).

Our 5:00 dinner date with the Mills family (one of the families Micah home taught) was, unexpectedly, not cancelled. The Mills are professional Scouting people, so they were like, “No electricity? No problem!” We had a delicious dinner of mashed potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower, Dutch oven roast beef with carrots, salad, and banana-tapioca pudding. Delicious. It was the first time we had been invited to dinner by a family in our ward (besides Ken, who was our landlord as well), and it happened just as we were moving out. Figures. But it was oh so good. A home cooked meal that we didn’t have to cook ourselves! And it did not involve 1. Poi 2. Kalua pork 3. Po’e 4. Fried anything 5. Plain rice, all of which are things I dislike, but which seem to be served at every gathering here in Polynesia. It was real American food at its finest. Yum yum. We spent a few more hours in their candle-lit living room playing games with the Mills and the Hansens (Micah’s HT companion and his family). The Mills have five girls (ranging in age from 5 to 17) and the Hansens have two girls (aged 2 and 4), so it was pretty much a girl party. The youngest of the Mills and the two Hansens decided they liked brushing my hair, so I spent a good half hour being groomed by a couple of pre-schoolers before we headed home to our dark apartment.

The nice thing about having the power out is that the chickens are quiet, so we got about five hours of good sleep before the power came back on (over twenty hours after it went out) and the roosters started crowing. I’m pretty sure we are going to get used to them at some point. I hope it is sooner rather than later.

Good Karma

Good Karma

Where do we even start? We had tons to blog about before the earthquake . . . now we are simply swamped with stuff we want to tell everyone. Here it goes:

We moved on Saturday. It took us all day, largely because we didn’t bother asking anybody to help us out, except when we needed a truck to move our garden, desk, and chair. Other than that, Micah did all of the loading and unloading, and Liz did all of the cleaning. We made a great team. We got all of our stuff into the new apartment at about 9:00pm and then headed down to Wal-Mart for a few things we didn’t think we could get by without–sheets and utensils and stuff like that. We hadn’t gone very far when we passed a bus that was broken down on the side of the road. There were a few people hitch-hiking, and since we have had personal experiences with broken down buses, we were empathetic and decided to give them a ride. There were four of them crammed in the back of Baby Beluga, but they just needed to go to Turtle Bay, which isn’t far. They said that we were the second car to offer them a ride, but the first guy seemed a little drunk and was asking them for money. They were just about to give up when we pulled over, and they immediately sensed that we had good karma (those were their exact words). By the time we exchanged our bus adventure stories, we were at Turtle Bay and it was time to say good-bye. As we were leaving, a guy came chasing after us wondering if he could have a ride to Wahiawa, which is the town right before the town where the Wal-Mart is. Gus sure did keep us entertained on the long ride down. He had a some good stories about why he believes in God and how he ended up in Hawaii. About half-way down the road, he stopped his stories to let us know that our car had good karma (once again, his exact words). We were glad that we had it out of the mouths of two witnesses. Of course, we probably could have guessed it on our own, considering how things worked out for us this weekend. More on that in coming posts.

I will go down in history as the girl who cannot boil an egg.

I will go down in history as the girl who cannot boil an egg.

So, we’re having this Friday the 13th party tonight, and I’m going to make some scary food for the potluck portion. I decide to do deviled eggs with green olives on them because it’s like an eyeball, so it is scary, right? Well, it turns out that what is really scary about the whole situation is that I have discovered that I cannot boil an egg. I’m not going to lie to you, I spent an embarrassing amount of time carefully following this Julia Child recipe for the perfect boiled egg. I was afraid I had overcooked them, even. I allowed them, I thought, to get to the “just boiling” point. I let them sit in the pot, covered, for exactly seventeen minutes, just like it said. I moved them to ice cold water and let them sit for two minutes more while I brought the water back to boiling. I put the eggs back in for ten seconds (or as close as I could come) and was once again afraid of overcooking them. I let them sit in the chilled water for another 20 minutes. And then I choose one to peel. I crack it. It doesn’t crack well. It is, n fact, mushy.

It turns out, I did not, in fact, overcook the eggs at all. I have a wonderful picture to illustrate my humiliating discovery that I am probably the only person in the world who cannot properly hardboil an egg, but once again Blogger isn’t cooperating with my pictures. We’ll figure it out later.

Okay: I believe if you can see the long rectangle above this post, and you click on it, you will get to see the lovely picture of my “hard”boiled egg resting on top of a pile of potato peelings.

FoodFest: Eating the World

FoodFest: Eating the World

I don’t think it is a secret that people out here like to eat. A lot. So it should be no surprise that BYU-H’s FoodFest is probably the second most well-attended community event, right after any and all Kahuku High School football games. They have a FoodFest at least once a semester. All the school’s clubs make food that is representative in some way of the club and then they sell them for tickets, which cost 50 cents a piece. Most of the clubs are nationality based: Thai Club, Samoan Club, Indian Club, etc., although there are clubs like Badminton, Diving, Exercise Science, and English as well. We were persuaded by Micah’s intern to go to FoodFest last night because of the possibility of getting tasty Thai food for cheap. We got there late, knowing that most of the clubs start dropping their prices as closing time approaches, but were dismayed that the Thai club’s food was the most expensive, and Jay, our hookup, was nowhere to be found. After circling the party a few times to get a feel for what was there and how much it would cost, we blew two dollars on four tickets (I know, I know, we were splurging, give us a break) and started haggling with some of the more desperate clubs. Singapore gave us three cans of juice for one ticket, and a take home box of mapo tofu for another ticket. India had roti advertised for 2 tickets, and we thought that was a worthwhile investment, knowing that Sister Rama, our first landlady in Laie, sells roti for $2 on payday. We waited around for 15 waiting for a fresh batch (since they were all out when we got there), only to find out that they were not selling roti stuffed with curry like we were used to, but just the tortilla-like wrap portion. You win some, you lose some. Fortunately, we ran into a friend whose eyes were bigger than her stomach and had a peanut butter rice crispy square weighing her down. We gladly eased her burden. And just as we were about to leave, Jay the Intern, came to our rescue, and, as promised, hooked us up with some tasty Thai coconut rice with mango. Mmmm mmmm good. Not a bad haul for 2 dollars, when all is said and done.

*Yea! We got the pictures working.

Making a Move

Making a Move

Just wanted to let all you all know that we will be moving to Laie next week (beginning Oct. 12). We’ve been looking for a new apartment since June when we found out our rent was being raised, but nothing has worked out until now. We checked out the apartment last Friday and received word last night that we are the chosen tenants. Happy day.

The apartment is a one bedroom with a full kitchen (hooray!). We are really excited about it (except for the part about having to pack up all of our stuff, drive three miles, and then unpack it . . . and the part about having to buy dishes and stuff). It is right next to the grocery store, and just down the street from the temple, the church, and work, so we can walk EVERYWHERE! We’re going to be so fit.

We’ll post some pictures of the apartment when we get moved in.