Friday, October 29, 2010

Pineapple peace

Today was pineapple pickin' day. Ron wanted a photo of me with the fruit, in front of some other fruit, to tout his pineapple growing prowess. Never mind that we've harvested maybe 4 pineapples in the five years we've been here. "You can't grow pineapples in Glenwood," says our neighbor Leonard. Whatever Leonard says we can't grow, Ron sets out to prove him wrong. This, I must admit, is our best pineapple yet, twice as big as any we've whacked before and twice as sweet. I attribute this to the unusual amount of sunshine we've had with this year's drought and to uncharacteristic patience, waiting, waiting, waiting, until the thing was actually ripe before picking it, something we've rushed with our previous harvests. For those who may not know, the pineapple belongs to the bromeliad family. Riveting, huh?

That's a lemon tree behind me.

Here's the big news.  A far-from-literary cyber-rag has written to say, "We love your story," a piece of flash fiction called, The Lemming Sisters. I'm a sucker for compliments, of course, especially when it comes to writing, so I'm way more thrilled by this than I should be. The publication is called Hobo Pancakes, an online humor magazine based in San Francisco. Some of the stuff they publish is funny, though some is crass, tasteless, juvenile potty humor, which, I'll admit, I also find funny more often than not. November 1st marks their third, quarterly edition. With time, increased exposure and better material, (like my story), Hobo Pancakes will improve and become the humor site to which it aspires.  My contribution is a fluff piece (and I do mean that literally) with furry rodent as protagonist.  It's silly, sure, but also, if I don't say so myself, well written, a bona fide piece of serious, talking lemming literature.  So stay tuned.  I'll publish a link on Facebook Monday when it hits the Web.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Crazy normal

My husband pads down the hallway in his slippers, thumps muffled by the soft soles of his L.L. Beans. He arrives at the lanai, where I sit with my coffee and laptop, working (checking emails and Facebook). He's got the paper in his hands and a grin on his face.
"Guess who just filed for bankruptcy?" he asks. Maybe it's Donald Trump again, or one of those famous TV investment advisor like Jim Cramer or Dave Ramsey or Suze Ormand. Maybe it's Sarah Palin or Christine O'Donnell. It could be one of those greedy bankers or mortgage brokers responsible for the real estate bubble and subsequent economic collapse, maybe an AIG, Countrywide or Haliburton executive, or maybe it's Dick Cheney, somebody who either knows better or deserves it, someone big, rich and in the spotlight. I'm intrigued.
"I don't know. Who?" I ask.
"Toni Braxton," he says. A few seconds pass. I don't know what to say.
"How would I ever guess that?" I ask. "Seriously, how would I ever conjure the image of Toni Braxton from that question?"
"I don't know," he says. I am stunned to complete silence. I shake my head. Blink.
"Why do I care if Toni Braxton declared bankruptcy?"
"I don't know. I don't even know who she is," he says. He-e-e-e-lp me!

The pigs are back. Of course, like an old fashioned love song, they're never really gone. A few nights ago, sitting on the same lanai at 7 p.m., a shotgun blasted out through the darkness. I jumped. Ron came running. "What the..." Dogs barked. cats ran for cover, except for Abby, who looked at me with a half squint expression from his chair as if to ask, "Is that something? I'll be worried if you are." The gunfire around this neighborhood makes me think sometimes I've actually moved to Gangland, U.S.A. and the state of Hawaii has hired Hollywood set designers to make us believe otherwise.

On Tuesday, we found two baby coffee trees unearthed, holes dug with such neatness and precision you'd think they used a shovel, seedlings lying traumatized but otherwise unharmed on their sides. Pigs aren't normally so considerate, more often opting to trample and snap everything in their path. Their piggy tracks were everywhere, so there was no denying the culprits. It was the one little patch of new planting without a fence. We had taken a chance with that, we knew, and the gamble cost us. We replanted and placed wiring at the base of each tree, our best, quickest way to deter the detestable omnivores. Ron is now on regular PP (Pig Patrol) every morning and evening. Meanwhile I stand, or rather sit guard from lanai.

A hui hou. Aloha!