As most of you by now know I’m a dark chocolate fan. Today I unwrapped a little square of Dove and there is always a little piece of encouragement, wisdom or “you go girl” blurb. This one said. “after every storm there’s a rainbow no matter how long it takes to show up.” This made me think.
Today, of course, it rained. April showers making May flowers is still going on. But, although it rained fairly hard during the night, my lanai flooring, for the first time in nine years, was dry! The roofing wasn’t built completely correct and where the two roofs overlapped it leaked. It has been getting worse and worse over the years. It started when the plywood ceiling started looking dark, then it become black with mildew, then it started flaking onto the floor and I had to bring it 8 buckets to catch the water every time it rained. After a year of this I was getting shoulder pain. However, I didn’t have the extra funds to pay for a new roof. But, then I was blessed with $2000 from the government. As it turned out this was the exact estimate of the cost to fix the roof.
I decided to change the roof completely. Instead of plywood and tin which made the lanai dark, I opted for purling and polypropylene panels. I do know this is a kind if plastic, but normally here in the islands it lasts at least 12-15 years. I chose a smoke color instead of clear. This gives just the right amount of shading but I can still see the trees through the ceiling. It’s awesome. I love it. I will be able to practice hula out there. I will once again be able to eat breakfast or dinner out there. I’m already dreaming of changing the color of the walls, changing the base of my glass table as the legs have been sitting in the wet for far too long and no longer offer good support. The glass top is tilted about 20 degrees and I’m afraid it is going to just slip off and break. I do have a little sort of bookcase which is just the right height. It has a top and one shelf. I have daydreams of painting the top to match the walls and décor and I can put a vase of flowers on the shelf. It would be so pretty. It will take some time as I now have a car payment so I will have to budget a gallon or paint, etc. each month. But, I am so happy!
Today is Easter Sunday. Hauʻoli lā i ala hou ai Ka Haku. Happy Easter. Of course, every Sunday is special at Kuhio Chapel and our Mother church, Haili Church. We, at the very Hawaiian Kuhio, are holding services in person, but our Kahu (pastor) is at Haili with his congregation so part of the service is virtual on a large screen. It’s almost like he is still here. We are masked and sanitized and because we are distancing there are far fewer persons in either church. However, today is Easter Sunday, communion Sunday and the Sunday for giving to the homeless. We joyously sing songs in Hawaiian and songs in English. We say the doxology and Lord’s Prayer in Hawaiian, we sing Happy Birthday in Hawaiian. Haili does all of these in English. We are mix of ethnicities, but we all come together as one.
Today was more than special and though I’ve belonged to the church for sixteen years, I’ve never witnessed this particular ceremony. I still become teary-eyed thinking about it. At Haili, next to the alter stands a tall cross. It is shrouded in black cloth and stands stark as a reminder of its meaning. Then, before the sermon, each person in the congregation is asked to come forth and place a flower on the cross. Kahu who is in the neighborhood of 6’5′ started by placing his flower on the very top along with two beautiful lei. Slowly, each person came to the front, the taller members were able to reach close to the top, the children placed their flowers close to the bottom, As the cross gained in color, it also changed in meaning. No longer naked, but something beautiful. When the service was over, I drove from Kuhio Chapel to Haili in order to take a photo of this oh so special cross. Little did I realize there would be so many people wanting photos WITH the cross so I waited in line while extended families, couples and singles took part. I was thankful I had worn a mu’umu’u to commemorate the occasion. Of course, I’m squinting! But, but isn’t it exquisite? I think every one of these flowers came from a yard, either one’s own or a neighbor’s. We are so lucky to have such a tropical variety of blossoms.
After church every Sunday I drive to a good friend’s house to practice hula for class on Monday. It’s always such a wonderful time spent. We dance, we correct mistakes and we have a wonderful lunch which we take turns making. Today was Genie’s turn and we had a delicious pumpkin/chicken curry soup and Shrimp Poke. Along with it was fresh baked French bread and lemon bars that I contributed. I don’t have to cook tonight as I always leave stuffed. We have recently learned a new mele called Melia, a lovely song about someone’s love being compared to the beautiful Pua Melia or Plumeria. or in the Mainland, called Frangipani.
I was going to share a video of me dancing Melia, but although I can see the video, my computer is unable to recognize it neither by name nor by number. I’ve tried several back doors, all of which are apparently locked. I’m bummed, but, oh well. Maybe I will be able to figure it out in a future post. In my search I have discovered that in order to post my video, I have to upgrade my program to the the tune of $8 a month. This is a reasonable amount, however it is billed once a year and right now $96 is a questionable amount since I only would maybe post one video year. I will have to think about it.
It has rained all morning, but right now the sun is bright and warming. This has been a cold winter for Hawai’i, at times going down the low 60’s. I purchased a space heater that has kept my tootsies warm when at the computer and has made taking a shower something I look forward to. Things are working out a little better this month. I found a wonderful yard man who cut down the tall saw grass, did my yard, trimmed my trees and it still cost less than before. I now have my circular driveway again which was previously block by a forest of 15ft. grass. He recommended industrial vinegar to at least kill the plant above the ground and it has slowed its progress. I only did half so now I have to do the second half after I cut the green tops off. After the initial cut in two days they were a foot tall again. If the vinegar doesn’t work, I’m going to resolve to using Round-Up and kill it! I hate doing this but I’m afraid I hate the grass more. In this pic the grass has been cut back quite a bit, the rest went the next day, but the yard has short grass now and is very green, my plumeria is no longer in danger, though I still plan to build a rock wall around it, fill it with soil and compost and cut the bag away.
My internet service sucks! I get the internet in the mornings from about 7:00am to 7:45am if I’m lucky, If I want to stay on longer, I have to pull the plug on my router, pull the plug on my modem, do the 1-10 count, plug back in and then restart my computer so it can realign with the satellite station which is in SEATTLE! This causes a disruption in everything including the TV so I have to time things if I don’t want to lose the last 10-15 minutes of a good mystery. I remember when I first built the house I had what was called Verizon Mi-Fi. I seem to remember that it worked well. Recently I checked it out on the web and it only had two stars by reviewers, so maybe it hasn’t kept up with technology. There is something with 5 stars called the Google Nest, but I’m not sure if it is its own Wi-Fi or if it is a booster for a current one. I will have to see. Today when the internet went out and I had to reboot, it was always raining hard so I also lost my DISH coverage which meant my TV went out as well. I was hoppin’ mad and had to do something during the long wait. So, I hung a mirror. Now this might not sound like much but I’ve had this mirror for about a year and have never had the courage to put it up. It is heavy and I have drywall. For about 5 years I’ve had a tiny 6×12 long skinny mirror in the bathroom. Why I’ve put up with it for so long is beyond me. It was time to go! The new mirror is big and can’t be hung with a single wire across its hooks. It needed two points to distribute the weight so I got out my measuring tape, hammer, drywall anchors and screws and went to work. The measuring was easy enough, but I don’t own a level so I had to eyeball it a bit. The first plastic anchor buckled as I hammered a little to hard…lesson learned. The two following went in easily, the screws went in easily. The hardest part was getting the two little hooks on the back of the mirror to stay open long enough for me to get them over the screws, but it worked, it looks so grand and I can see more than just my face in my new mirror. I have a small bathroom with little storage space, so my small counter is always crowded with the things I use every day.
Still mad and the TV still searching for the DISH satellite, I decided to rearrange my closet. In retrospect this might not have been the best tack. Before, all my dresses are at one side, then blouses, by color, then pants, by color. It had a little bit of a rainbow effect. Now, I have blouses that match particular pants together. The dresses are the same. I suppose instead of looking for a blouse that matches pants I want to wear, now I will look for a blouse I want to wear and miraculously the pants will be there. It’ll be a bummer if the the pants are in the wash
COVID19 wise, the Big Island is doing exceptionally well. We have been from zero to 2 or 3, one 7 for a couple three weeks at least. Last Saturday the Eagles Lodge opened up for country line-dancing. It was so much fun! It felt very safe. We all masked, distanced, signed a contact info list. We danced for 3 hrs. with little break. It was great to see friends again. There was a max of 55 allowed and I think 55 came. It was so festive. I’ve had my first vaccine so I wasn’t too worried. We’ve been dancing hula since October without any problems. I also feel safe there. It just feels like things are getting back to a new normal though I anticipate we will be wearing masks for some time.
I’m thrilled that we have a new White House. I was so sick of hearing the name Trump. For me, he has been pretty much an afterthought following the inauguration. I can’t believe our country had to suffer the insurrection of our Capital. What a sad day that will be another to go down in infamy. It is going to be a hard climb back into the light and I’m not stupid enough to think President Biden can do it all. It is going to be at least a decade before the country finds it way back to democracy, but Biden has empathy and compassion, experience and wisdom which will get a lot of us through.
My business has been off as many hula halau have been closed and are just now starting to open. A friend of mine gave me several pareo, or sarongs. They are two yards each so I’ve made a few really cute dresses. This has given me something to do that I enjoy. That and cooking. I’ve found a new love for cooking. For a while I seemed to be baking a LOT. But, after gaining a couple three pounds I’ve decided to channel my culinary aspirations into main dishes. A couple of nights ago I made Italian Lasagna Roll Ups. They were very time consuming to make and the bake time was an hour, but the were so worth the effort. They had a white sauce in the bottom of the dish, the noodles were rolled with ricotta, parm, spinach and prosciutto. Then, covered with a marinara and mozzarella. Oh my, a must-have for someone special in your life. I figured I was special enough! Last week I made an Italian Beef and Rice casserole which was delicious, not nearly as difficult, but very tasty. I generally don’t care that much for Italian foods, but so far, my record of yum is unbroken. Because there is only myself to feed these dishes make more than several meals if I pair them with a salad. If I freeze a good portion, I have them to go to when I don’t feel like cooking. I’m cutting my portions because, of course, Italian food isn’t exactly known for its low calorie count. Along with these meals I’ve kept desserts to a minimum. I’ve decided I will only eat dark chocolate. A life long friend from the Mainland sent me a package of See’s dark chocolate truffles which is the perfect dessert, especially for Valentine’s Day. A few days ago I also bought a box of Hawaiian Host dark chocolate/macadamia clusters which also hit the spot. Chocolate is especially good with Rooibos Nutcracker tea from Adagio Tea Co. The shipping, though, is far too expensive so I will have to check with the local Tea Leaf and Coffee Bean store and see if they carry anything like it.
Today is a lazy day. I’m going to watch a Hallmark movie, I know, I know, but sometimes you just need to feel like seeing a love story…then a nap. For dinner I’m having a good ole Hawaiian favorite–Kalua/cabbage.
I love dark chocolate, always have since back when I was a child and my favorite candy was a LOOK bar. Nowadays, I always keep a jar of DOVE dark chocolates in a jar in my cupboard. Each little square is wrapped in a little bit of tinfoil upon which is written a little upbeat saying, usually written by someone across the country. The last piece I chose had this saying which stuck with me, “If things aren’t going right, go left.”
Right now too many things aren’t going right. I have 15ft. cane grass (or saw grass, buffalo grass, California grass). Whichever, it is taking over my yard and now is encroaching on my poor little plumeria tree which is still in a bag and too heavy for me to move. And, I will need a huge pick in order to break the ground which is lava rock in order to permanently plant it before it dies. I will have to call someone to cut the cane grass down, AGAIN! I didn’t poison the ground last time as I hate that, but it seems this is the only way to keep it from coming back and taking over. And at $300 a pop, I can’t afford to do it every six months. My plumeria bloomed this past summer and fall which was so beautiful and so fragrant…nani loa and onaona nui. My regular grass which at one time was considered a lawn is now two feet tall with what we call sleepy grass or prayer grass taking it over. This is a problem as in order to cut it I will have to clear out the sleepy grass first or it tangles up in the blades. And, despite a friend attempting to fix my mower, it still won’t stay on. It starts, but then in 10 ft. dies. Auwe!
We have seen a lot of rain in the past few weeks so my lanai is usually underwater as my 8 pails and 5 gal. buckets can’t keep up and neither can I. It gets increasing hard to lift the buckets and years of sewing and computer work have taken a toll on my back. During the pandemic because I was staying at home much of the time, wasn’t shopping, wasn’t dancing, not buying new clothes, etc. I’ve managed to put some money into savings. Now if just stops raining. My water catchment lost its top to the weather and the water is no longer suitable for anything other than showers. When it rains, it pours is not just a saying regarding the rain. So, it continues to pour. My two electrical outlets on the outside of my house are no longer working. So, I’ve had to re-route the wiring to my sewing shed and my lanai fridge. So, now I have two electrical cords traveling under my welcome mat and under my door to plug into my wall socket, Yikes! But everything works.
So, I’m going to go left! I’m going to do things that make me happy. I’m making my own Christmas cards this year with card stock, felt, colorful paper and ribbon. At one time this was a family tradition. We made our cards for years starting when the boys were maybe 2 and 5 yrs. of age. We had some pretty crazy cards in those days. I’m quite sure my friends thought we were nuts when they received a finger painted card done by a two year old. But, it was such a fun enterprise for us. This year I’m also making my Christmas gifts. I usually do this most years, sewing up things. But, this year it’s a craft project and I must say they are coming along splendidly. I’ve, for years, had a problem with tendinosis in my thumbs so those two little appendages are suffering but if I don’t do a lot at a time, I can manage. I baked, from scratch, a Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. What’s Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? I had a delightful time with a longtime friend and her daughter and one other friend. We properly distanced and I had a lovely time.
I’m enjoying hula with my hula sisters, dancing when we can and practicing where we can. This is my number one passion so it’s nice to be able to dance.
I’m once again writing letters to Georgia Democrats urging them to vote in the upcoming run-off election. I wrote 80 letters for the general election and feel I had a small part in Georgia voting blue. With the shorter time constraints and Christmas around the corner, I only sent 20 letters this time around, but I still feel I’m doing my part. I feel this is as important an election as the general because I fear for our democracy. This is far left but this too makes me happy.
This was taken at a memorial service for an infant baby girl. I think God was welcoming her as this is such a rare occurrence to see a sunset from this side of the island. Usually Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa block the sun. But this day, the sun set between the two mountains. It was breathtaking. The service was wonderful, more like a lu’au with Hawaiian food, music, we danced hula–Ke Akua Mana E or How Great Thou Art.
I’m masked , distanced, mostly homebound but keeping on my happy path keeping left.
Home, neighborhood, town, county, island, state, America, World
I remember when it was popular to track you six degrees of whatever it was called. Recently I’ve been thinking of all the ways we come together though apart in this health crisis and politically charged atmosphere. My eight degrees starts with my home. It’s been terribly neglected as of late. I can’t seem to muster up the enthusiasm to even mow my grass or pull my weeds. I do love my little cottage but it’s beginning to feel like I’m living in the jungle that is closing in a little closer daily. So, I’m venturing out a bit more. I’ve discovered in my neighborhood we have had several street-side fruit and vegetable stands pop up. We also have a couple who sells homemade kettle cooked bagels, a man who sells papayas with a money slot for trusted buyers. We have a woman who sells fresh raw honey and a fisherman who sells fresh ahi. I do try and buy from as many as I can. We also have a home who has set up a roadside pantry. People can drop off goods and take an item or two as they need. It’s nothing short of a miracle how we find ways to support one another.
My towns of Kea’au, Pāhoa and Hilo are slowly opening up. Many of the stores are open for business with protocols of safety to follow, but welcoming. Every other week I dance hula on the sidewalk of Downtown Hilo to promote the opening of the stores, restaurants, gift shops. Dancing hula in the heat, wearing long dresses and a mask is an experience I’ve not had the pleasure of having before.
We should call ourselves the Hula Bandits! But, we are setting an example for the community to follow.
Our county and island has been suffering lately with an increase of COVID19 cases as residents become more complacent and start to relax the mandated masks, distancing etc. We have had 47 deaths all within just a couple of weeks. We seemed to have gone from 0 to 47 incredibly fast. Many were at care homes where we spent so much time entertaining guests in what seems like years ago instead of months. The Kona side of the island has had a recent increase at a college on that side. Unfortunately, this age group does not adhere well to rules. On October 15th our islands were opened up for the return of tourism. This gives me a feeling of both relief and dread. I loved dancing at the pier for passengers of huge ships and at the Mo’oheau Bandstand for those who venture into town. But, with an influx of outsiders, there will undoubtedly be an increase in CV cases. Some of the public schools are also slated to open soon as well. I’m willing to wait for a return to our everyday lives, but with so many businesses depending on tourism I can’t help but feel we need to at least try for some semblance of normalcy. I am back to my hula class. After 7 months of no structured classes, it’s such a blessing to be able to dance together once more. We have very strict regulations. Each enters with a temperature test and hand sanitizing, masked. We go immediately to our designated marked off six foot square. We are allowed one bag for our water and car keys which is set in the corner of the square. I feel safe and I’m more than happy to adhere to the safety instructions. My line dance class was cancelled until January, but a few of us get together at one house or another, wear our masks and distancing ourselves. It’s not quite as formal as my hula class, but so far there haven’t been any problems.
The state of Hawai’i, especially the island of O’ahu has had a 10,000 a day tourist influx. Everyone arriving is suppose to have a negative CV19 test within 72 hours and a second test locally if going to an outer island. 114 of those arrived without a test and were immediately quarantined until cleared. Why would someone arrive without the test only to be stuck in a facility for three or four days of their vacation? I don’t comprehend this. Until recently there was a mandatory 14 day quarantine for any arrivals. We had people arriving knowing of this and were remanded to their hotel or vacation rental. Many tried to skip out and were caught and sent back home. Why come? We, at the time, were essentially closed and not ready for visitors.
I feel lucky not to be living on the Mainland. Our problems are mostly local issues. We haven’t been subjected to rioting, armed militia. Our marches for Black Lives Matter, or for presidential candidates have been peaceful events. We have such a diverse population. On our islands we have Hawaiians, haole (White Americans), Black Americans, Asians, Indians, from both America and India, Polynesians, Micronesians, Samoans, Fijians, Europeans and I’m sure a ton of others. For as long as I can remember we have been a Democratic state. I have Republican friends with whom I have heated conversations on social media, but we keep our friendship free of politics when face to face. We have all learned to live together in relative harmony.
To me, our country feels so divided. We need to take time to heal. Because I have been a Democrat my entire life, though I have to admit I’ve crossed party lines occasionally, I fear our country has taken a turn for the worst. In my lifetime regardless of who is President of the United States, my own life changed little. But, this time it feels different. I worry that social programs that I depend on like Social Security will be cut, Medicare will be cut, Medicaid will be cut that many others depend on. My sons no longer want to bring children into this world so I will never have the joy of being a Grandma. I’ve seen so many good regulations cut or gutted, EPA, CDC, Osha. Policies that protected us. Climate Crisis denial while California, Colorado burn, Louisiana struggles through another hurricane while still suffering from the previous one. Drought in some areas, floods in others. We need to come together and put our country back together.
The world. We are no longer looked upon as the most respected country in the world. We are no longer welcome in many countries due to our response to the CV19 crisis. We seem to have alienated many of our allies. But, we will survive, grow again in stature and strive to assure our place in the world.
These eight degrees of contact bring us together in unexpected ways. It is our responsibility, our kuleana, to nurtured these contacts to bring about peace and pride.
I know, like all of you, that this has been a challenging six months and I’m not going to go into the politics of it all although I have extremely valid opinions. I’ve come to realize that we are now facing a “new normal” and, as difficult as that may seem, it might be with us for some time in the future.
I’ve missed so many things in my previous life. I miss dancing for all the tourists at the pier when they disembark to enjoy all the wonderful things about Hilo town and the surrounding areas. I like to think that dancing hula for them will give them just a little taste of what our culture is about and what sets us apart from other destination locales. Even though hula is now all over the world and in every state of the union, it has a different feeling when dancing here where it all started. As you all know I sew for hula hālau and I have sent hula apparel to just about every state. I love sharing this tiny bit of Hawaiʻi with America.
I miss dancing at the bandstand in downtown where tourists can actually get up and learn a few moves and hand motions, where they can learn to make a lei or kupeʻe (bracelet) made of ti leaves and flowers. Dancing to live music with renown musicians and having a radio personality MC for us. Itʻs so very special.
I miss going to the different care homes and sharing our aloha with the guests. Sometimes we have serious hula and oli (chant), with a live duo playing the ʻukulele and a bucket bass that I just love. After a couple of years, these people have become like our family and not being able to see them now breaks my heart. Sometimes, we have hula that is just fun. We play ʻukulele or we dance with implements. The guests seem to really love these impromptu fun sessions. I wish I knew how everyone was doing. I did send a card to tell them how much we miss them.
We danced at the Veterans Center and now I fear that many of the patients there have passed away as it has become a hot spot for Hilo with most of the deaths coming from this center. The staff is overwhelmed and though we were able to send cards and bake goods, I fear the morale is still low.
Right now our saving grace has been the ability to dance in downtown Hilo for the revitalization of the town. Many people don’t realize that downtown is open. So, we dance on the sidewalk in front of different stores for the drive-by cars with families. We have a marvelous story teller that recalls ancient legends and various musicians who take the time to come down to play for passersbys, some of which take the time to sit and listen or watch if one of us gets up to do a solo hula. Because of the health protocols set by our local government we dance six feet apart and wear a mask. We have been “smizing” a new word meaning smiling with the eyes. Expression is such a large part of hula and some of that is taken away with the mask, but I wear one for myself, my friends and my community.
Things are starting to open up a bit more, with restrictions. I was able to go line dance once weekly until the recent outbreak. My official hula class will start up again on Oct. 5th. We will have to wear a mask, sanitize and distance, but it will be so good to be back to a new normal again.
When I first started writing this blog it was to be additional exposure for my new on-line business called, yeah, Sew Me Hawaii. I sew outfits and accessories for students or schools of hula. I was newly retired and ready to take on a new project that I could do at home. I have a passion for hula as is stated in my bio and absolutely never tire of making things from the beautiful Hawaiian print fabrics. Therefore, everything I make is made with tropical fabrics. I do believe my first blog was about the Etsy shop, but then it began to evolve. I started writing about things I saw or did in the islands. It started to look more like a travel log. I added poetry, photos of my yard. Lots of pictures of me dancing hula, my time on Maui and the many problems I had when I returned. Both my sonʻs weddings…
Now I am going to shamelessly promote my shop because I realize I have things in my shop that are not necessarily for hula. So, look out for photos that were originally made for hula, but can impersonate something else!
Of course, I make pā’ū (hula skirts), traditional tops, blouse, bloomers for under pā’ū, pull on “sleeves” to make a traditional top look a little more formal. And, more…
For those of you who may actually dance hula or know someone that does, I will add a couple of photos of what I do the most…pāʻū and tops for adults and children.
Mahalo i ka hoʻomanawa nui–Thank you for your patience.
Last week I marched in a Black Lives Matter protest. Today on Juneteenth I marched against systemic racism. I’ve marched regarding climate change and in the Women’s March last year. Growing up in San Diego until age 17 I had never seen racism until when my family was moving to Hawai’i and we sold our beautiful home to a wonderful black family. My father, sister and I went ahead with my Mom staying back to make arrangements for shipping my sister’s horse, selling personal items and finding homes for special keepsakes. Since we were to be living on a 40ft. sailboat, downsizing was essential. So, my Mom was way out in the country alone when one night she arrive home at dusk to find two men with chains in the driveway threatening her with very racial epithets. My Mom always had pluck and she also had a small caliber gun in the car. When they started to advance, frightened, she shot right through the door of the car which made the men “literally crawl out of the drive”. As far as we knew they never returned, however I never knew if the new family had problems. That was my first and only encounter with racism.
I had been in the islands the previous summer staying with a lovely Hawaiian family who I still consider to be my hanai family (adopted). I was treated as one of the family and learned many of the traditions and ways of living with aloha from them. When we moved over permanently I tried to maintain that attitude. I have now lived in the island for almost 60 years and still have not felt, as a haole (originally a foreigner, now a caucasian), treated differently. We have a special way of living here. We have every race of the world in our islands and somehow we always manage to mostly get along. We do occasionally have problems, but very seldom. And, in my opinion, many of the problems come when haole move from the Mainland and never assimilate. They bring attitudes with them that simply don’t match those of the indigenous population nor of those who adopt the aloha way of life. I find, in my “old age” I have the pluck to say how I feel and I’ve taken to FaceBook and Twitter with a vengence, a renewed sense of activism. Though some will disagree, I find it hard to understand how anyone with any intelligence can stand with the man who calls himself president. From a distance I see our democracy eroding, I see hate. I feel strongly against about all of his policies. We no longer have confidence that our air will be clean, our water will be clear, our land will be preserved. Tomorrow he will put 20,000 lives at risk at his rally along with the people living in Tulsa with an already increase in COVID patients at further risk. He, as usual, is putting politics ahead of people. He find him to be so self-serving that he simply would be unable to side with people above himself.
Last week my sign said Black Lives Matter. But, today my very unprofessional sign held a different message. It said: Cops…Citizens…Communities–Here, We are all ‘ohana.
‘Ohana means family. Police Officers are someone you turn to if you’re in trouble. They try their hardest to keep us safe. When returning to my car after the peaceful rally (all of us masked and distanced) I passed several police officers standing by their car. When I got close, I showed them my sign and one of the cops said, “thank you for protesting”. This is how it is in Hawai’i. We have respect for each other.
The other day I did a YouTube workout–p.e. with Joe. Three days later my muscles are still aching so this morning I decided to go for a walk instead. I planned my route which is just about two and a half miles. I didn’t want to go any farther because for some reason I gave my good jogging shoes to the recycle center. I’m now having to wear my just walking around the mall sneakers. It is a beautiful spring day. The sun has just appeared so it’s still cool and it hasn’t rained yet this morning so I’m in luck. Talking about luck, when I walk I generally take my phone with me for assurance and I carry a face mask in case I meet someone on the road. So, as I walked I took the time to “smell the roses” and took lots of photos of my adventure.
So far…Lilikoi blossom, an unexpected pineapple, hybiscus – melemele & ‘ula’ula
Jade plant, Bougainvillea and Tahitian Tiare
More Bougainvillea, something I don’t know, I think a Century Plant
Okay, I don’t know what any of these are, but they were interesting. The first is growing on the trunk of a coconut tree, the second is a weed that grows everywhere, but it has really sweet purple flowers. The third is a tree that has a perfect ball for a fruit.
These are trees…the beloved ‘Ohi’a, a fan palm and a different palm.
There were many more but I think this is enough for now. The last three are from my yard, my Monstera, a Paclan, which is in the Magnolia family with fragrant small tiare looking blossoms that bloom every couple of months. The last is my Fern Tree and my tiny home behind. I’ve recently acquired a Pua Melia or Plumeria and it is just now getting leaves. Soon it will have heavenly scent blooms which are still my very favorite flower.
Thanks for going on the walk with me. I glad I had some virtual company.
I am going on my third week of self-quarantine. I’m perfectly fine staying by myself. I’ve always enjoyed my own company. I’ve live alone many times in my life, as a 20-something in my first apartment to the many times, married. when David was in the Mainland, when on Maui for three years and now back on the Big Island and living by myself again. So, sheltering in place is not a problem for me. However, I find that I really miss the interactions with friends. I have several groups that I regularly dance with. I have my hula hālau with 30 women. In Hawaiian style we are use to hugging and kisses each other in greeting. When the virus first started and we werenʻt yet on restrictions, we started blowing kisses and keeping a distance when dancing. Then the classes were closed. I danced with a group of 12 called the Hula Sisters. We dance within the community. We performed at the pier for visitors coming in on the ships and we danced for tourists and locals at the Moʻoheau Bandstand. Several of us danced at luʻau and celebrations. Another group of three, Na Haʻa Wahine, danced at the Life Care Center and Hale Anuenue, care homes. Three times a week I had a line-dance class. When you spend this much time with friends on a weekly basis it’s now up to technology to keep us in contact. My phone has become my life line for messaging. I realized that though I like living alone, I don’t like giving up my dancing life. Practicing to videos is not quite as much fun as dancing with friends. I am on the board of directors of Haili Christian School and tomorrow we are having our first virtual meeting on ZOOM. That should be interesting. My church’s Kahu has his sermons on line, but it’s different then being there sitting in the church.
I have discovered how much I enjoy trying out new recipes. This afternoon I made banana crunch muffins and they were amazing…Thank you Ina Garten. They had mashed bananas, diced bananas, walnuts, granola in the batter with a crunchy granola top. I eat a lot of granola type cereal and when I’m at the end of the box, down to small bits, I throw them into the freezer. I can then put them in smoothies, grind them in a food processor and use them as a “flour”. They are good on ice cream. When I started doing this I thought to myself, “are you nuts, this is just going to take up space.” Whoda thought? Last week I made braised short ribs with a tomato/wine reduction. They were so tender, fell off the bone. I got five meals out of them. Tonight I’m having shrimp/asparagus risotto…not a new recipe but it’s my comfort food.
I have been making cloth face masks for essential workers. These, of course, aren’t suitable for doctors, nurses, etc. but are good for care givers, nurse’s aides, the general public for going shopping, etc. Making them makes me feel like I’m doing something for my community. I’ve made about 60 or 70 of them to give away. One of my neighbors gave me a stack of 100% cotton fat quarters which is perfect for the masks. I always have lots of elastic as I buy in 144 yard spools.
I find a like bartering and trading. I gave some masks to one friend and was given two laulau in exchange. She makes the very best! For those unfamiliar they are little packages of beef or pork and butterfish wrap in luau leaves and then either in ti leaves or foil. They are steamed and the luau leaves become much like steamed spinach. They are so delicious. I gave another friend some masks and she gave me some hand sanitizer along with a bottle of aloe gel for making my own. The stores no longer have any so this was a welcomed gift.
I find that I have more time to write. My blog is finding it odd that I would post more than once every month or two. I also have time to work on my book. I have been writing letters to people who haven’t voted for a time or two. It’s through Vote Forward. They send you a list of voters to tell them the reason I vote and encourage them to do the same. My first list is from Georgia. It makes me feel good that I could have a hand in turning Georgia blue. We aren’t allowed to be partisan but I think a lot of people who drop out are democrats. So, if I can urge them to go the polls, so much the better.
So, I hope you are all keeping in touch with love ones, friends and family and are finding ways to enjoy your time at home.