Wednesday, February 12, 2014

How to Keep Sane with Tribal Survival Food

Happy February! I do not know how that happened but it did. Seems my crazy life of 2013 has decided to make 2014 it's sequel. I totally meant to make at least one other blog posting in January- something catchy and would keep me motivated to post a blog at least twice a month maybe once a week. However, life swept me away and had other plans for me.

So if you've been following me along so far, I made mention of a list of things I would like to achieve/accomplish in 2014. One of those things is to travel more. Well, I literally just got back from an impromptu trip to Hawaii a couple of weeks ago. Now before you roll your eyes and sarcastically mutter "poor girl", it was not for the best of reasons.

Have you ever heard that saying about how God or the Universe laughs at any plans that you make? I know I am paraphrasing it horribly but it still holds sway here.

So the original plan was for us to take a family vacation to Kauai and visit my family for my grandfather's 90th birthday in May of this year. The universe looked at that, liked part of the plan and said, "Sure, why not?" What the Universe failed to read was the whole going home under good circumstances and making it so that we could all go.

Instead, the Universe laughed and said, "Go now! Because your grandmother fell, broke her hip, had a heart attack, and is in the hospital."

Now, I'm not saying that the Universe took it's mighty pointer finger and pushed my grandmother over causing her to fall while scarring the crap out of her which then caused her heart attack. All I know is that any plans we had made were moved up quite a bit due to this incident.

So my mother, me, and baby Alice flew to Hawaii and helped the family take care of grandma during her homestay hospice care. It was a great trip in that we spent a lot of quality time with family.

Mom and Alice reading on the plane
Now when I say that we spent lots of quality time together it was usually at the dinner table over a bowl of what my Uncles like to call "Survival Tribal Food." I guess that's what my family does. We cook, we eat, we talk stories while we eat, and we heal.

I don't know how many times my uncles came over and cooked something for my grandma and us and we spent the evening talking and having a good time. It just made it easier to deal.

Alice hanging out with TuTu G.G.
The food, the company, it took away the awkwardness and tragic state my grandma was in. Even if my Uncle Butchie made jokes about her looking dead (nothing is sacred when it comes to his sense of humor and wit), it helped. It was easier to sit in the living room while my grandma lay delirious in bed or was moaning in pain. We could all lean each other in serious times, fun times, and sobering times.

The mung bean soup, chicken adobo, chicken shoyu, Hawaiian lobster, Samoan crab, Niihau fish, chicken papaya, and all sorts of goodies kept all of our spirits up. Especially my grandma. It was like tribal food for the soul exploded all up in my grandma's house.

Chicken Papaya
Hawaiian Lobster
The trip was great overall. We did tourist stuff during the day and took care of my grandma at night. I had fun getting to know my family and introducing them to my awesome baby and I also got to eat some amazing Hawaiian and Filipino grub. Surprisingly enough, I actually lost weight. Who knew tribal survival food was healthy? That and all the walking and bicycle riding at the beach we did.

Alice and I cycling the coastline in Kapaa
All that to say, yes, I went to Hawaii. No, it wasn't the best of circumstances but we made the best of it. I'm just sad I had to go home. If this whole writing thing pans out in a way that I end up like J.K. Rowling or even do half as well as she did, I am totally opening up a writer's retreat in Kauai. I will live there 6 months out of the year and write like I have never written before. :D Maybe I'll even invite my writing friends and we can have writing parties or something. :-) Definitely something to think about.

Either way, I would be happy with a shack of a house next to Hanalei Bay.

Until then, I shall keep writing to you from my desk in sunny Southern California.

~V.M. Flower

Our feet enjoying the sands of Hanalei
Alice in her adorable sun hat. :-)

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