Poetic musings

You make me see life from the other side, keeping it real, allowing the little things slide. Not letting emotions cloud life’s moments of revelation–adapting, evolving, changing to meet the challenges of friendship. It matters not if it’s “like” or “love”, it’s the way you feel when both options are equally solid.

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Paint and Sip

Over the years I’ve heard of Paint and Sip parties but have never the opportunity to attend one until today. This was a fun(d)- raiser for the daughter of alaka’i of our hula class. Tehani is running for Miss Hawai’i Teen America so I wanted to help support her in that effort. I had no idea what to expect. What fun! Along with the Merlot and Chardonnay we had pizza, katzu chicken, pork and string beans, sushi, veggies and dip and a variety of cheese and crackers…and did I say wine?

We each were given a table easel along with an 8×10 canvas and an example to follow. The painting we were to try to copy became just a memory as each of us “made it our own”. Several did get a very close to the original, but many decided to add to, subject from or just totally change the topic altogether. The original was that of a huge moon which covered the top half of the bigger canvas. Under the moon was a silhouette of Mauna Kea with palm leaves and the ocean in the forefront. Melia did a very Tolkienesque landscape in soft watercolor like purples, blues and pinks, with a touch of gold and a little greenery.  Patty went with a smaller moon with the fluttery leaves of ohi’a in the top corners. I decided to depict my mountain with a snowy top. I have four leaves instead of three. I put my moon into the corner, but generally stuck with the program as painting is certainly not my forte. I took photos of my progress along the way. In the end I didn’t hate it though it isn’t quality work, but for my first painting, well, I don’t hate it.

My first attempt.

 

Adding the palm fronds and the shoreline.

 

This is coming along, but the snow looked too “pointy”. So three glasses of Merlot later, I change it once again…about the tenth time!  I softened the snow and at this point I also added a sprinkling of stars using a cool splatter technique. I then added my favorite constellation–Orion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Added stars, smoothed out the snow…all pau!

This was a fun experience. It has given me some insight into where my creativity lies. This evidently is not as an acrylic paint artist. I will continue to keep on my path as a fabric artist!

 

 

 

A DAY IN THE PARK

Dancing, eating, socializing at Kuhio Kalaniana’ole Park in Keaukaha

Today about 20 members of our hula halau decided to hold a practice at the park. We’ve been planning on doing this monthly and today we finally got it together to do it…thank you Patti. She arrived with her super sound system that has Bluetooth capabilities so no need for electrical outlets.  It was like having all of our favorite singing artists right there in the park with us. This was a video showing the beautiful park, the bay and some of us getting ready to dance, but some reason it uploaded as a photo. Oh well, another glitch with me and Windows 10.  Since I was dancing, I didn’t get any of us actually dancing.

The weather was perfect. It’s been incredibly hot lately. My poor trees at home are suffering, my grass is brown and crunchy. I’m sewing in my little out-building which is usually about 95 to 96 degrees. I’m thankful for my little tower fan! However, the park was perfect. It’s right at the edge of Reed’s Bay in Hilo, there was a nice tradewind blowing through the beautiful Shower trees. There was just enough shade for some of us to dance in with a few line changes so we got a break from the sun. A pop up tent protecting the incredible array of pupus–everything from fried chicken to a vegetable platter with hummus, orange/walnut scones baked fresh that morning. The children of some of the girls had a great time swimming, riding scooters, playing catch. We DANCED! Some of the songs I’m still “following” as they were taught when I was on Maui for three years, but it gave me a chance to practice a couple. Some of the songs were old favorites–Ke Aloha, Ke Akua Mana E, Holei.  Some were new favorites–Pua Kiele, Wainiha,  He U’i, Kaimana Hila. Some days are just made for dancing.

This park held a lot of memories for me as when, in 1963, I was 18, my family sailed from San Diego to Hilo and it was at Reed’s Bay that we dropped anchor. But without any facilities, after a couple of weeks, we sailed on to Honolulu. Then when I returned to live in Hilo in 1975 my husband and I helped organize the Hilo Sailing Club for Hobie Cats. After our regattas we would come over to what is now this park. At the time we had to clear a lot of the California grass, pick up litter and make a little area to have a BBQ by the beach. There was an old abandoned store or hotel that had burned down, so we cleared quite a bit of cement chunks, but had a bit of a foundation for folding chairs and the hibachis. Much has changed, but much has not. It still has a local vibe. It still welcomes families. The bay is still refreshingly cool on a hot day.

We plan on doing this monthly at many of the different parks around the Hilo area. I can’t wait!

My Recent Trip to Santa Cruz

AS USUAL, MY PHOTOS ARE NOT GOING WHERE I ASK THEM TO GO, SO JUST GO WITH THE FLOW.

 

Christmas my youngest son and his sweet girlfriend gave me an open ticket to come for a visit. My first thought  was no way was I going to go in the winter, so I advised him I would postpone Christmas until April. I was still trying to thaw out from three years in Kula, Maui. So, when April came I flew from Kona to San Jose where Jaron and Alexa awaited. The flight was uneventful. Traveling is no longer fun. The seats are small, leg room cramped. There are no movies on overhead screens. Apparently one is expected to provide her own. No warm blankets, no hot towels, no hot meals. I couldn’t justify paying $12 for a box of crackers, pretzels and maybe a cheese spread. I longed for the 70’s and 80’s when amenities were standard.

Santa Cruz is spectacular. Within about 15 minutes one can drive from the beach, where the “kids” use to live, to the redwood forests where they now live. The scenery is stunning. The air was still crisp but not debilitating. As much as I love the ocean, I find inner peace in the mountains. These trees were amazing giants. Deer wander in and out of yards as do wild turkeys. They don’t seem afraid of us humans.  We had an adventure every day for the ten days I was there. Both Jaron and Alexa were able to take off work so I was able to see Santa Cruz up close and personal. We went to the forests, to the beaches, we visited farmers markets where I wished I could carry back all the produce I saw. I mean, a pound of beautiful strawberries for $3. I pay $7 for 6-8 oz. Corn on the cob at home, on sale, is 99 cents each ear. Here they are something like 6 or 8 for a dollar! The price of living in paradise I kept telling myself.

We went to the “artichoke” capital of the world, or at least the city. We saw roadside flowers covering the walkways with benches placed for viewing the ocean.

While so close I made arrangements with special friends from K-12. We met in the Amador Wine Country. What a fun time. We talked and talked and drank wine and bought wine. We visited a few of the wineries. It was perfect weather with such a marvelous group of people.

 

Jaron and Alexa are working on their new location. Jaron built a nice picnic table for BBQs on a very large lanai. It will be a great gathering place for friends.

 

We went out to dinner at a wonderful restaurant where there were several levels of dining choices. We rode in what seems similar to a ski left from one level to the next. The restaurant was beautiful, spacious and the food was good.

 

I have a ton more photos, but this is so frustrating I’m going to give up. But, the trip was such a highlight of my year so far. It was wonderful to spend time with the two people I love.

The levels of dining

Alexa

Our gondola, comin’ to get us.

The picnic table built from scratch by Jaron, painted by Jaron, Alexa and I.

lavender bliss

Marcia, Carol and Jean

 

The front yard where the deer and wild turkeys roam.

My son and I at the park close to their home.

Old Lady

This afternoon I turned on the TV waiting for the NCAA National Championship game and to kill time while I was cooking dinner I flipped on Law and Order, SVU. An “old lady” is raped and people are wondering why anyone would want to rape an old lady.  While looking for evidence, one of the detectives asked the age of the old lady. Well, she was 72. Now this is also my age and I’ve never thought of myself as an old lady. But, it did get me thinking about aging and what it means to each of us. I have certainly noticed several changes in my body. Things are starting to go south, my hair is getting very thin and getting silvery. I’m discovering age spots on my legs and arms from spending way too much fun in the sun as a girl. I spend a lot of time bending over my sewing machine and I spent many years taking notes on a laptop computer at work so my back is getting a curvature it never had before. It’s more difficult to get up off the ground when I sit on it to put grommets into my hula implement bags.

On the good side I still have a lot of energy. I take four classes of dance a week with extra practices here and there. I still have enough balance to work out on my Simply Fit Board which helps keep the heart rate up, the waist trimmed. I’ve kept my weight down at 125-128. I sleep well and eat well. I enjoy cooking healthy and seldom eat out. I can still mow my yard although the huge buffalo grass has me whipped. I keep my mind from atrophy by trying to keep up with current events which unfortunately also makes my blood pressure rise, but since it’s always been very low, I’m not worried. Although I didn’t grow up with computers and Smart Phones, I can usually manage to use them without a lot of problems except for Windows 10, which I loathe. I have a lovely relationship with my youngest son who calls me every week just to talk. We always seem to find so much to talk about. And, I’m happy that both my sons are doing well and have very special women in their lives.

So, though I might be considered an “old lady” by some standards, by my standards I may be getting older, but I’m not feeling my age. I’m anxiously awaiting what is in store for me in the future…number one wish–a partner that dances!

The Oddest Memories

This morning I was on my computer browsing and came across a small bit about someone remembering something he had learned in college by Thomas Hardy. He mentioned that though it had been many years, he could still quote the passage. This got me to thinking about how our memories are quite amazing.

When I was in high school I had an English teacher who, at the time, I disliked for making us memorize the first few lines of the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. I can still, after 55 years,

still recite them and understand the Middle English:

Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote
the droghe of Marche hath perced to the roote.
And bath every veyne in swich licour
of which ventu engendred is the flour.

This morning I decided to read the entire prologue’s 200 lines. What amazed me was although much of the English spelling has changed over the centuries, the sounds are still similar enough that I could read and understand much of these oddly written words  and in doing so could appreciate what an amazing poet Chaucer was. His description of some of the characters that would be featured in his Tales are so lively. He painted pictures with his words which enabled me to SEE his traveling companions in my mind.

I remember some time ago the movie “The Knight’s Tale” came out. I loved it. My favorite character was Geoffrey Chaucer, the “knight’s announcer” prior to jousting battle. I think now I will have to read “The Knight’s Tale” by the poet himself.

I guess I owe all of this to Mrs. Hall. Thank you so much for engendering the passion to continue learning.

Ariana, The Hunter

Ariana is my shelter cat. I got her when I lived on Maui. She suffered as did I during our first ten days or so back on the Big Island. Me, having to face the sad disrepair of my home and Ariana having to face solitary confinement at a good friend’s house. We did make it through all the initial discomfort and are now happily ensconced in our little cottage. When I picked her out at the shelter they told me she was a good hunter, but I had no idea how right they were. This week alone I have rescued six geckos, two coqui frogs, a bird and two mice. She never eats them. She just brings them into the house through her cat door to let go for me to chase. I think she gets pleasure in watching me scrambling around the little studio. Thank goodness it IS just a studio! Last week I came home to a room full of feathers…I mean, everywhere. Feathers on the bed, under the bed, on the kitchen island, the TV console, the computer desk. This little bird didn’t give up easily. I, as yet, have not found this one and some day I’m sure I will come across a naked little bird body in my laundry hamper or in a shoe box. I haven’t put much effort into finding it still secretly hoping it escaped or Ariana just got bored and took it back outside.

Lately though, her hunting has taken on a new dimension. She has evidently decided that small critters aren’t worth the energy expelled. A few days ago she was outside and I don’t like to see her close to the road, so I called to her. I She came out of the brush carrying a HUGE rat. It was dangling about four inches on each side of her mouth. YIKES! I immediately ran inside shut the door and blocked off her cat door, the whole time yelling, “no, no no.” About an hour later she came to the door without any critters so I let her in. But, the last few nights I’ve heard noises in my pantry and have found evidence of either a mouse of a rat. I’m thinking rat because it has eaten most of the plastic tops off of things like nuts or raisins. It had ripped open my couscous and pasta shells and about five other goodies. I have tossed more food than I have eaten. I went to town and now have just about everything in large jars or mason jars. I still hear it, however even with a flashlight have not been able to see it. I’m ordering an electronic mouse trap. It’s a speedy, efficient device that doesn’t involved squishing the poor thing, but I don’t want them in the house. Today, I locked Ariana out when she tried to get in with another rat which she eventually let go on my screened-in lanai. Hopefully, it will find the way out and not in. I also kept out another gecko. Frogs, geckos and an occasional mouse I can live with, but rats, no way! Hunter indeed. What to do, what to do?

Oh, Christmas Tree

My oldest son’s birthday is in early December, so I’ve always waited until after that to “go Christmas”. And, even though he now lives on the Mainland, I still adhere to that tradition. However, every year trees from the Northwest come in earlier and earlier. This year they arrived before Thanksgiving (a travesty). But, I knew if I bought a tree at this time, in this humidity, it would be dead by Christmas, so I waited. Luckily, Home Depot didn’t bring their trees in until after the first week in December. I’ve always disliked artificial trees, eventually they will end up in the landfill and stay for, what I’m sure, is about a thousand years. I real tree can turn into mulch in a matter of weeks! As you know, I live in a small studio cottage so space is at a premium. I don’t have the room for a large tree, about 4 feet tall will suffice. So, off I go to HD. They had a great assortment of small trees, unlike most of the sites in town. I carefully chose one that “called to me”. It has thick needles, a lovely piney smell and good spacing. Of course, NOT $8 or $10 like in the “olden days”, but worth the $30 I spent.
My Little Christmas Tree

My Little Christmas Tree

 

Somewhere in my storage shed were all my ornaments I’ve treasured for several decades, but, well, I didn’t really want to put forth the effort to try to find them. So, I opted for lights, silver garland and lots of tinsel (I so wish it was the old kind that was heavy and stayed on the tree through cat meanderings). I did find that box. And, lo and behold, it had two little ornaments in the corner. So, along with the shiny things are now a “Jack in the Box” holding a sign of “JOY” and a beaded blue tree! I’m not classic white when in comes to lights. I like mine in a riot of color. I need a top for the tree, maybe a bright red bow, yes!
I’ve had so much fun this holiday season. I’ve been line dancing my fool head off. Went to the Elks club and joined about 75 others on the dance floor. It was fun to see so many men dancing! Many wearing cowboy hats and boots which, for me, is an immediate attention getter. Dancing at the Eagles club this week. I’ve been to way too many potlucks, fun gift exchanges, concerts and cantatas. There is now snow on Mauna Kea so the feeling of Christmas is in the air.  I do love this time of year!

Renewal during the Holidays

A couple of days ago I went to Ben Franklin Craft store to get a wreath form for making  autumn and winter wreaths for the house. I found so many pretty leaves in “autumn colors” and silver, red and white for the winter wreath. Yesterday I worked on my “Thanksgiving” project–and it’s beautiful. But I find it’s more than just a wreath at my door, it’s a symbol of renewal.

Autumn is a time for losing those leaves of old, so there will be room for new leaves come spring time. The colors of fall are in my “color palate”. I love the oranges, yellows, reds, golds. They are uplifting colors preparing us for the wintry colors of, um, winter and the soft, muted pastels of spring…the jolt to get us through the colder days. Well, here in Hawai’i, the cooler days.

Autumn is also a time for reaping what has been sewn during the spring and summer months. I have worked hard to sow seeds of joy in my home, in my town. I’ve made new friends, I find great pleasure in the company of old friends. I’m now reaping the benefits of belonging to a community where everyone says aloha when passing on the street. Where my church members greet one another with hugs and kisses, where people get up and dance at restaurants when the music moves them.

So, when November is over and I replace my autumn wreath with my winter wreath I will make my Christmas wishes and be oh so thankful for having such a joyful life.

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