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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Closing down Palm Breezes

For those of you who wish to follow my blogs I will be switching over to my Holo Holo Hawaii blog

If you wish to continue to recieve updates just go to that page and click on follow and the post will be automatically sent to you. Please beware though I will be posting some of the post from Palm Breezes there for awhile but will also be interspersing other newer post in between. I do hope you will continue to follow me.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Into One's Life a Little Rain Must Fall

I was the first to arrive at San Souci yesterday for a family picnic. I stood on the beach and looked up at the sky. The wind was just starting to pick up and I did not know if it was dark because it wasn't quite 6 AM or was it rain clouds. I just knew it wasn't going to be a nice sunrise.

As the dawn started to break I could see a ship out on the horizon.

Then I noticed this big lump on the beach that turned out to be two guys and two girls sleeping it off, what ever "it" was. 
Then it started to get dark again.


The wind really started to pick up.

We started to gather under the tarp. I started to cover my camera as you can see on the corner of this photo and the kids threw blankets on themselves to keep the rain off them. 

My son stood under his umbrella and watched the rainbow as he talked away on the phone.

I looked down the beach and a few people were starting to come out again and it was getting brighter

At last the sun shone brightly. Ships started to pass, sails were set aloft and people propped up their chairs. Our friends and family started to arrive, kids went down to the ocean, and a good time was had by all.

 La Ľkea on the left and his cousin Nico on the right.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010







Today I got nico off to school with the neighbor who takes turns with me taking and bringing the kids to school and home. I swept the front and back yard and got a load of laundry in the machine. 

Then I got all my things together to go to the swimming exercise class at the "Y."  As I went through the house closing windows and locking up, Max vigilantly clip, clopped behind me. Slowly he lagged further behind as he realized I was going to be leaving the house. I hate, hate, hate leaving him at home. And you know what? I hate leaving the house too! As I closed the sliding door I thought to myself, why am I going when I want to stay. 

So I started opening all the windows again, pulled open the sliding door, dumped all my bag out and put my purse away and patted Max who was now realizing that I was staying home. I started to clean the house. 

I was actually happier cleaning the house then going to the pool. Well of course I was going to the pool to excercise not to swim. But I told myself I will do the 2 mile walk with Max tonight to make up for it. Well that's what I told myself and since Max doesn't understand what I'm talking about he won't be able to hold it against me. 

So as I cleaned I made a list of things I needed to do. I've almost finished that list and when Nico comes home we will go to get me some glasses so I can say I've accomplished all that I WANTED to do today. Now to go and read a book. Wow life is grand. 






Monday, May 24, 2010

Max Eyes The Gate




Max ran away.
It was a lazy day for me and it seemed the less I did the less I wanted to do. I looked at Max as I sat back on the overstuffed lazy boy with my feet up in the air. He was sitting right beside it and I was patting his head. 
I pulled back his bangs from the top of his rag mop head and looked into his huge teddy bear eyes. Before I knew it he leaped off the floor and was on my lap. 
“Take it easy Max, there’s not room for both of us in this chair” I said to him as his toenails dug into my thighs. But for him, there was more then enough room as he sat with his head totally blocking my line of vision. 
I brushed him off of me and got up out of the chair and headed out the door. “Come on Max I’ll comb your hair.” I didn’t want a repeat of the snarls and tangles that had overtaken his fur the week I had not been home. 
I sat on the chair outside and began to slowly comb his head, ears, back and down his legs as he twisted, flipped on his back and turned away from which ever side I was trying to comb. I looked at him and ordered him to sit. 
“Max, your just too much dog for me” I told him as I thought about having to walk him that evening. I sure wish someone else would help me out with you. I knew he was getting antsy  and needed to be walked that night but I just did not want to do it. 
That afternoon I had left the gate to the yard open to bring in a shelf. Max stood back and was very good about not going out as the large garden shelves were brought in. 
When 4:00 PM arrived Max was doing his velcro thing. He followed me everywhere around the house. “Oh, it’s your dinner time.” I put his food out in the patio and he began to crunch.
Ten minutes later I listened for his whine to come in. He was not at the door. I looked out into the yard and thought, “Good. He is doing his business.”
Then all of the sudden I remembered. “I left the gate open!” I ran to the front door to look calling out to my son in law, Alika, “Max is loose, I forgot to close the gate!”
 Alika ran out the front door and I passed him Max’s leash as he headed down the street.
Alika ran to the park down the block, I started calling up towards the end of the culdesac thinking maybe he had chased the neighbors cat. Then I jumped in the car. The whole time Max’s big brown eyes stared  at me through my minds eye. ‘Please, please, please, Max. Don’t run out in the road.’ 
He was such a willy, nilly never paying any attention to what was going on around him. I looked to my left and to my right as I started to drive down the street. My son in law was just coming home with an empty leash. He said he could not see him anywhere.
It had only been ten minutes. Could he have run straight down to the main road? As I headed out to the main drag I called out the car window to a boy, standing in his bare feet, staring down the road.
“Have you seen a black shaggy dog?” He answered in the negative and asked me if I had seen a gray spotted dog running loose. I remembered the dog as he always got loose in the early dawn when I would walk Max. He would always run after us trying to get Max to play. I would always have to cut our walk short to take him back home.
“No I haven’t seen him but I know where to bring him if I do.” In my mind I could see Max and his wayward pal running down the busy street jumping and playing. I was afraid to drive to the big park. I was so afraid I would see Max, dead, his black fury body, motionless in the street. 
Of course all the things I shoulda, coulda, would have done for Max went through my mind. Was this going to be the last time I ever see him again? 
I drove everywhere, asked everyone. I even thought maybe he’s still in the house. I thought about the time I tore out of the house looking for Zoe, crying because I could not find her only to realize that I had accidently locked her in my closet and there she was crying to get out when I got home. 
No, I knew Max was outside and I knew he was gone. So I slowly drove home. I could hear the boys dog barking to get back into his yard as I drove by, but no Max. I gave it one last call as I passed our house. I yelled as loud as I could and looked in the front screen of the house from the car. I thought I heard click, click, click on our wooden floors. I started to turn the car around to head out again when Alika called out to me that Max was back. 
He had been where I thought he was in the first place. At the neighbors, chasing their cats and eating all the cats food. I was so relieved and happy to see my little guy. The water bowl that I had filled up with clean water just before Max had run away was now full of red dirt. Max was panting and I think he was smiling too. 
I took him out in back once again, this time the gate was closed. I started to re-brush all of the weeds that were stuck to this Brillo pad dog. Lifting his bangs, I looked into his eyes and said to him. 
“Well, I guess I won’t have to take you for a walk tonight.”
 It turned out to be a great day for both of us. 


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Tail of two vets





Yesterday I had to deal with Max as he was biting the hair off his tail. He has a big bald spot on it. I was dreading going to the vets as it was like stepping into a big vacuum that sucked up all your money. I called another vet that my friend takes her dogs to and she said she was inexpensive. She works out of her home or she can come to you but it is quite expensive if you have her do that. So I took Max there and it turns out that she examined him right in her garage between two cars. But she said he was in excellent condition and his teeth looked great. ( the other vet wanted to do a teeth cleaning on him. But it was more like she was going to do a cleaning on my wallet as it would cost $400.00 dollars)

She said that if his knee was out of whack she would not want to do anything about it until he walked with a stiff leg. As he is jumping up and down at home he is still fine. ( the other vet wanted to operate to the tune of a couple of thousand dollars. 

she gave me all home remedies to use on max's tail and a tick collar for him as she believes that is why he is biting his tail (and he has ticks) She advised me to put fish oil in his food and gave me all kinds of samples of things for Max to try. (I'd never got a sample from the other vets)

She gave me a 6 month supply of heart worm pills for $22.00. We paid the other vet $17.00 for only one pill! Can you imagine that?

Her visit with tax came to $20.00!! The tick collar was $17.00. I would not have walked out of the other vet without having to do test, and buying very expensive medicine and pills, I know. I am so stoked because now I know I can take Max to the vet if he gets sick and know he will be taken care of. 

The home made solution has kept him from biting his tale and he is relaxed and just fine. I am so happy that there are still people in the world who truly do want to help and still know that they can make money without taking advantage. The whole visit took around 15 minutes. 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A friend of mine named Ed Greer wrote this and I thought I would share it with you.



 ON "ABC-TV" Monday October 12, 2009

 DURING THE "NETWORK SPECIAL ON HEALTH CARE".... PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS ASKED:
 
 "MR PRESIDENT WILL YOU AND YOUR FAMILY GIVE UP YOUR CURRENT HEALTH CARE PROGRAM AND JOIN THE NEW 'UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE PROGRAM' THAT THE REST OF US WILL BE ON ?" Charlie Gibson


 "MR PRESIDENT WILL YOU AND YOUR FAMILY GIVE UP YOUR CURRENT HEALTH CARE PROGRAM AND JOIN THE NEW 'UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE PROGRAM' THAT THE REST OF US WILL BE ON ?" Charlie Gibson
 THERE WAS A STONEY SILENCE AS THE PRESIDENT IGNORED THE QUESTION AND CHOSE NOT TO ANSWER IT! 
 IN ADDITION, A NUMBER OF SENATORS WERE ASKED THE SAME QUESTION AND THEIR RESPONSE WAS. “WE WILL THINK ABOUT IT." 
AND THEY DID THINK ABOUT IT! 
THEIR ANSWER AND RESPONSE WAS WRITEN IN THE HEALTH CARE BILL THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL BE FORCED TO SUBSCRIBE TO WHILE IT ENSURES THAT CONGRESS WILL BE 100% EXEMPT ! 
 SO, THIS GREAT NEW HEALTH CARE PLAN THAT IS GOOD FOR YOU AND I, IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE PRESIDENT, HIS FAMILY OR CONGRESS? 
 “WE THE PEOPLE” NEED TO SEND A STONG MESSAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT, THAT THIS SORT OF SELF SERVING, “I’M THE CENTER OF THE WORLD” BEHAVIOR IS UNACCEPTABLE,  CORRUPT AND JUST PLAIN WRONG! 
 ANY LEGISLATION BEING PROPOSED BY CONGRESS OR THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH SHOULD APPLY TO EVERYONE – NOT JUST THE LOWLY CITIZEN WORKER BEES - NO EXCEPTIONS!
 IF WE DO NOTHING, THE WASHINGTON "ELITE" WILL KEEP PROVIDING THEMSELVES WITH THEIR GOLD-PLATED HEALTH CARE COVERAGE, RETIREMENT OF OVER 100%. FOR JUST 2 TERMS IN OFFICE, AND TAX EXEMPTIONS BEYOND BELIEF, JUST TO MENTION A VERY FEW OF THE VAST AMOUNT OF PRIVILEGES THAT THEY HAVE PROVIDED THEMSELVES WITH, INCLUDING GIVING THEMSELVES RAISES AT THEIR OWN DISCRETION.
THESE PEOPLE ARE EMPLOYEES OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WHETHER THEY ARE A SENATOR, OR A CONGRESSPERSON. THEY ARE NOT A ROYAL CLASS OF RULERS DESERVING OF GREATER BENEFITS THAN THE PEOPLE THEY HAVE SWORN BY OATH TO SERVE.
A BIG DOSE OF REALITY AND CLEAR DEFINITION IS CERTAINLY MERITED HERE WITHIN A PROPOSED 28th AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION.
THIS WOULD BE AN EXCELLENT PLACE FOR US TO START RETURNING AMERICA BACK TO THE PEOPLE.
AMENDMENT 28
Congress shall make not law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators or Representatives and Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.
IF YOU BELIEVE THAT THIS WOULD ADVANCE A POSITIVE DIRECTION TOWARDS RESTORING INTEGRITY BACK IN AMERICA, THEN WILL YOU PROMOTE THIS IDEA OF A 28th AMENDMENT TO EVERYONE IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK?


Friday, February 12, 2010

Someone Who Loves Me

The heading in my email from the dog treat site I subscribe to read "Baggens at Peace." My heart sank. Before I even opened it visions for my Zoe started to emerge. I opened the mail and started to read. When I read where the writers dog had lain at her door, I saw Zoe. Her dog was dying and I knew every pain and emotion that she was going through and started to cry. 


Nico got worried, so quickly ,I dried my tears and got myself in order. Just then Max looked up at me and I felt the invisible tap on my shoulder. The whisper in my ear from nobody but yet I knew it was someone reminding me. "Max is only four but you can't take him for granted." 


I got off my chair and hugged him and ran my hands through his stiff, dusty fur. It had been a month since his last bath and worse yet two weeks since I've been able to walk him due to tendonitis in my foot. With his stinky paw  on my knee I told him, though it was late in the evening, he was getting a bath so that he could feel good again. 


That night he slept on my bed next to me. He smelled so good and felt even better. I was bound and determined to appreciate him even more. 


Tonight as I sat at my computer, frustrated, trying to figure out a program, Max put his paw on me. It was 8 PM and no one had walked him yet and since my daughter had hurt her knee and my son in law was complaining about his foot, I knew if Max was walked it was just going to be half a block. 


I tied on my shoes, loaded my phone into my pocket and grabbed my keys. Max knew the signs and was leaping like a lamb by the time I got to the door. I figured if I walked slow enough and let him sniff as much as he wanted it would suffice for not being able to walk at any length. 


We walked the half block to the park and he pulled me into it. I'll let him take the lead, I thought, maybe he'll do his business and head home. 


He walked, sniffed and peed from one end to the other. We made a full circle and then as we got back to the sidewalk, Max looked back at me. The wind blew and caught his fur just right. The fur covering his one eye lifted,and with that one eye, the look he gave me was as though he was saying, "can we go further?


 How could I not. 


Now were home. He's laying at my feet, I'm eating a bowl of cereal watching "You've Got Mail" for the umpteenth time. Comfort food, a feel good movie and my companion next to me.


 For this moment everything is all right in my world. 


 ( If you would  like to read her blog it is http://www.all-natural-dog-treat.com/Baggins_Bites-backissues.html)  



Saturday, February 6, 2010

Just another day in paradise

I took a ride out to the North Shore this morning with Nico. Checking out another shave Ice stand for my "Holo Holo" blog. It was out in the middle of nowhere and right across the street from the beach area called Sharks Cove  Nico nocked his shave ice over again. That's the second time this week he's done that. I think he is getting tired of testing shave ice stands with me.



I had their Grilled Ahi with Teriyaki Sauce and Pico de Gallo over it. Delicious. We took the food over to the other side of the road to watch the waves.

This is what you see from the shave ice stand

As I sat on a large rock and Nico walked around taking his own set of photos I enjoyed my food. Nico was too busy picking up plants, rocks and the run of the mill treasures on the ground. He was to intrigued to eat. 

I started snapping photos from where I sat and could not stop. The beauty of the ocean was like popcorn. Once you take a photo you just can't stop. 

It's just water but throw in a little foam and it becomes mesmerizing 


From blue to blue


As I look at the ocean I ask myself, Why do I find it so hard to do this? I must leave the house more often



The waves just kept coming


It was like a step back in time

Then Nico got into the picture. He was pulling up a long piece of grass


Then you turn around from the ocean and this is what you see. Reality. But if you look on the top of the mountain you can see a big estate. That was once owned by Elvis Presley 


Time to go and thankfully we head away from the traffic that is now backing up


We pass the Dole Pineapple Fields as we head to Wahiawa where I am going to go to the egg farm to get some eggs


We drive down the street appropriately named Palm Avenue

We pass a cherry blossom just coming into bloom


And we head down the road that leads to the egg farm



The Egg Farm



Then it's home again, home again, jiggity jig



Had a grand day, Max was waiting at the door and Nico then went off to his other grandma's to get the ants out of his pants. I took a long nap.





Thursday, February 4, 2010

Information on birds

I thought maybe some would like to look at a few sites that I visited for more information on birds. http://bit.ly/deXngt This is the Audubon Society. There are some beautiful photos of birds and information on the endangered Hawaiian birds.

Also if you would like to read more about the egret you can go to this site; http://www.audubon.org/bird/BoA/F38_G1h.html

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Old Men or why I like Egrets

Here is the guy who started my day. As Nico and I trudged our way up the long winding ramp to his school I looked up. There was a large Egret sitting in the very top of a tree on the school grounds. It was as though he was smiling down on us or more likely trying to send some good juju to Nico so that he would not cry when I left him at his class.


SENDING GOOD JUJU TO NICO

What is it that attracts me to these birds? As I drive down the road I have to whip out my camera to quickly try to capture them. Yes, I have got to stop taking photos while I drive. Well one saving grace. I don't talk on my cell while operating the vehicle. Yes, I know that doesn't cut it. 

Well for these particular photos, I pulled over. Egrets were every where. I quickly yanked my camera from my purse and tried to focus as one Egret was standing in the sprinkler. He gave me the side eye as I rolled the window down to capture him and sauntered away turning his back to me. I swear I heard him say, "tis to laugh, it tis to laugh."

"Man, I missed another good shot." I slowly drove down the road some more (yes I know I said I pulled over but I was on the private road leading out of the recycling center) and there were a few of them walking on the sidewalk.

Giving the eye


The other eye giver

Now I've heard these birds described as Great White Egrets. The Great White is supposed to have a yellow beak and black legs. Hmm that's what he looks like. But every time someone talks about this bird they call him a Cattle Egret which is supposed to have yellow legs. Nope doesn't look yellow to me. 

This bird does have the same M O that the cattle egret has. He will follow the machines around the field waiting for bugs to be dug up or follow any disturbance in the soil or lawn being mowed waiting for a free lunch. 

Ah, but is there a free lunch if he is in the Kunia  fields a few blocks from my house? You've heard me mention the Frankinseeds a million times. But it is worth mentioning a trillion times. Monsanto and their GMO's are growing strong and I worry. As the flocks of birds fly gracefully to the fields in the early morning sunrise, they could be sickened and die like so many tested animals in research on Monsanto's GMO's. 

I would miss this old man of a bird who slowly walks the turf thrusting his head out and then back again, lifting his legs as though he wanted to make sure his knees did not give out. But if it was proved that the birds died from eating Monsanto grown corn etc. Monsanto would only come back with a suit against the birds like they did the farmers whom they accused of having acquired Monsanto patented seeds with out their permission. 

I hope not. They may remind me of old men but their young. I would only wish them a long life. May they grow to be old and cranky. 




His knees hurt because there on backwards 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Watch what you say or it could bite you in the end

Budget cuts sliced our library visits to pieces. Wednesday is a short day at Nico's school so it was a given. Wednesday comes, I get him from school, pile a few of his buddies into the car and off we go to, as Nico called it, the book house.

Now the library closes two or three wednesdays a month to help put money back into the state coffers so they can blow it on, oh lets say, a big trip to China  for the Shanghai Expo for 2010. (see end of article)

Back to our outing. So now the library is closed Wednesdays and I suggest today, Tuesday, we go as it has been a long time since we last went. Nicolai chooses his friend Luke to go along with us. 

Knowing how crazy they get I remind them to behave. They nod their heads vigorously and off we go. At the children's section I once again tell them if they don't behave we will have to go home and they will not get to rent a CD. 

I'm being stern because I want to work at my computer and hope against hope that they will want to rent their CD's so much that they will keep quiet. I'm sitting with my laptop open and getting ready to do some writing. Laughing comes from the far corner. 

"Nico get over here" They both appear at the table looking anxious. "You guys better calm down or we will get kicked out. Do you want to get kicked out?" They shake their heads like little bobbles. Back they go again to their corner.

Finely I have everything all set up. I'm two words into my blog and the security guard comes over and tells me that they are now doing flying tackles behind the stacks. 

Damn. I had finely found my muse. But my word is my word. I call them over and lower the boom. Though we aren't really kicked out they see the security guard standing next to me. I tell them it's over, no CD's and they have to get their books (that's what I really want them at the library for, not the CD's) and we have to check out and go home. 

I'm bummed. I thought I would have at least 20 minutes to myself. I'm the one being punished here not Nico or Luke. But Nico thinks that the library is really for Bakugan CD's and that books are just something he has to take home in order to get his movies. 

So I take them home. Nico with his bottom lip dragging on the ground and his shoulders hunched. ( I swear their is a marker for that in our genes as my daughter, granddaughter and I did that when we were young) 

It took us longer to drive to the library then it did to visit. Disappointing Nico ruins my afternoon. I hate having to be the leveler. I drop Luke off as the rain comes down from the gray, gray skies. As we pull on to the main boulevard I try to cheer Nico up by telling him we will go on an adventure on Saturday with our cameras but his lip still hangs. 

Then I see my reward for having to put up with all this. The ground is wet, the sky is darkened with clouds and the colors on the Orchid tree are vibrant. The flowers have dropped on to the road as though to make a flowered path for me. Nothing softens a bite in the butt like a carpet of flowers. 



 
http://hawaii.gov/gov/news/releases/2009-news-releases/china-trip-update-promoting-tourism-hawai-i-exports-and-clean-energy-partnerships

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s decision this week to spend money on the Shanghai Expo for 2010 was a very wise decision on their part. I’m very excited about it. I’ll be there in Shanghai for that expo as well as to attend ceremonies honoring the 25th anniversary of our sister-state/province relationship with Guangdong. It will be a much larger trip next year, we will invite members of the community, business community, education community to travel with us on that trip and we certainly hope the media will make that trip. It is going to be a very important 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Judging a book by it's cover

  


     I just finished watching "You've Got Mail." I could not tell you why I like that movie so much but I can say, I so love that little book store and, it breaks my heart every time I see it closed. I get very upset when I think about these bookstore chains that have pushed out the little guys. I enjoyed going into a snug shop with employees who were always able to recommend a book because they knew you and knew your preferences.  I miss the atmosphere of being cradled in shelves of books and not having to wonder in a wasteland of remainders. 




A book in the hand beat a Kindle any day


     I've tried to understand what the draw is. I must admit when Borders first opened I enjoyed it for a bit because I could sit and read in the coffee shop. That is my favorite thing to do. Then the smaller shops started closing and I really missed them because I did not like loosing the personal attention and the ability to get good recommendations.

      That seems to be the way the whole job situation is going. But again as I watched the movie I thought, maybe these large chains employee a lot more people then the small book stores so is anyone getting hurt? Well, a lot of books are being printed overseas. How many jobs are lost there?

      Like other job sectors where their work is going overseas, this means more people without jobs. People without jobs have no money to spend, and if they have no money to spend it does not matter how cheap an item gets, nobody has any money to buy it.



Halloween cards being sold at Borders. Hmm is Hallmark next?  


     So how are these big bookstores, with cheap books helping the average person who is loosing their job? Are we really better off getting our things at a cheaper price because they are being made overseas? Or is it a catch 22? 
     How are we going to buy anything if eventually the only work we can find is going to be in a foreign country? Does anyone get it? 



Books are a good thing!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

To Bee or Not to Bee

Butterflies chased one another as I knelt down to weed. As my knees started to lock in place I decided I’d been crawling around long enough and with all my weight on my hands I slowly got into a standing position. I pulled out the hose from the side of the house and turned on the sprinklers. I then headed inside. Before I closed the door on the garden I took one last look at the sprinkler. A bulbul was sitting on the edge of the garden chair shaking his fluffed up feathers enjoying the shower.

 I ran to get my camera and quickly set it up. The black bird with the red butt was still quivering, and vibrating when I looked into the camera screen. And just as quickly he was gone, up into the tree where I once again focused and just as quickly he flew behind the branch where  now I cold only see his beak and tail feathers.

Leaning against the door frame, I waited. Sitting on the tile behind me hoping I would put the camera down and take him for a walk, Max waited too. We both waited. The bird alluded me just as the walk alluded Max. I thought why not photograph the butterflies.

 Once again I set up the lens, only this time I walked out to the purple tree where a butterfly was skimming the branches.  Again I was dealing with a camera shy creature. Each time I found my focus the butterfly flew off. Each time I found the butterfly it was off to another branch. I did manage to get a few shots but not a good one. 


Shy Butterfly

Meanwhile as I’m fussing over the butterfly, carpenter bees keep blocking my lens as they too, wanted to get to the flowers. Damn pesky bees, I thought. Then I remembered what I had done to the disenfranchised workers. 

It had just been a few weeks back when I had started to clean up the euphorbias on the side of the house.As I cleared away the weeds I noticed that one of the trees was in sore need of a clipping. Put a clipper in my hands and I’m like that dreaded beautician that  you’ve requested to trim your long locks and when she’s finished you look like a Mohican. I started with a few clips here and there, then my eyes glazed over and before I knew it I was cutting the bigger branches off the trunk. 

What My Euphorbia usually look like

Before I could take notice of the hole in the tree, I had cut into the house of the carpenter bees. Previously they had  killed one of my trees as they set up house in it. As soon as I cut it down the bees took up residence in the healthy tree right next to it. As I looked at the row of trees I thought I might as well sacrifice the tree so that they would not keep moving down the line. A newspaper article I had read said to try not to disturb these bees as they were just about the only ones left to do any kind of pollinating due to the disease that was killing off Hawaii’s honeybees. 

Where the bees took up residence


What the euphorbia looks like after they move in


But I guess the rues had not worked as the bees had moved down to the tree that I had just cut into. A black carpenter bee crawled out looking around trying to figure out why there was so much light inside her house. I then realized why the tree’s trunk looked so dried out. Then it happened. 

Max who was sniffing for lizards right next to me saw me jump. He quickly ran over and started for the tree. I tried to grab him as the dreaded queen came out full of piss. I stopped dead.  Should I reach for Max and take the chance of getting stung (and she was a huge one) or should I let Max get stung. I looked at him bravely trying to fight off the bees and made up my mind. I screamed for Max to get away but that only made him more curious about the tree. He started for her as she flew by. I didn’t want to hurt her but I wanted to get Max away. The article kept running through my head. “Don’t kill them. We need them. Stay away from the Queen she stings.”

Finely she landed on the ground and I tried putting a large rock over her carefully in hopes that I could trap her long enough to get all the debris  out of there and let her go. I quickly started picking up branches and shoving them into bags as the black bees kept flying around. I was almost finished when I looked behind and there was the queen headed for me. I picked up a branch and kept swatting while shaking my leg at Max trying to keep him away from her. Once again she landed on the dirt. This time I picked up the rock and slammed it on her. I had to it was her or Max.

 I felt so guilty. Slowly I lifted the rock and looked under to see if maybe she had escaped. No. I had killed her. Her workers were flying around the now cut down house and looked so lost. I wondered how they would take it once they realized their leader was dead. They flew from one branch to the other totally forlorn, I watched them zig zagging in and out trying to figure out where their house had gone.  I was sick. 

I went into the house and tried to forget about what I had just done. I didn’t even want to  tell anyone. How could I have been so cruel? All week I checked the purple tree. There were no bees. I was so depressed. Not only had I killed their leader I had killed my tree. I imagined all of Monsanto’s Frankenstein seeds flying over  from across the road and pollinating their dreaded canola plant in my garden then suing me for growing their patented plants without their  permission. And all the time the bees would be across the street laughing at me as they pollinated the neighbors garden. 

Now, here I was today, trying to get them out of my way so that I could take the photo of the beautiful butterfly, when I realized that this pesky little bee that was blocking my view was the most beautiful of them all. As I took its photo (after all there would be no tree if not for her,) I thanked her for coming back  Maybe that’s all it wanted. Recognition for work well done and maybe next time keep my clippers in check.

It's good to Bee forgiven

Friday, January 15, 2010

Good things don't always come in small packages

My daughter has me use the family van as I don't have a car. Well it's part of a deal we made but that's not here nor there.
The Van is nice and I have been driving it for a few years now. But every once in a while her husband takes it for what ever reason, mainly to stuff all his cycling equipment in and that it drives nice. When that happens I have to use Chris's car, a Ford Focus.

To say I don't like her car is being very nice. Well I had to take it today to go to the museum. I was running late and thought I would take my tea and drink it along the way when i remembered I was taking her car.

Sitting inside her car is like sitting in her purse. She has cutesy  garbage cans, little bags here and there and tons of kleenex boxes for the nose, disinfectants and hand wipes.

I used to drive an RX7 and it had more room then her car. I groaned as I realized I was going to be driving my daughters home away from home.

I stuffed my carry all that has the things I need for tours at the museum and my purse in the small space in the backseat. I put my lap top in the trunk and then got in and put my tea in the holder.

As I backed out, her country music station was on. Half way down the street I tried to read her radio that has pictures flashing, lines jumping up and down and little, tiny, microscopic buttons to push on the radio. None of which change the station. I pulled over and for 5 minutes tried to figure out how to find NPR. I could only find the damned classical station that so infuriates me that I often think of withdrawing my contribution to NPR as they play so much classical and jazz that... wait I digress. So I can't find anything as the station won't change and I decide to listen to the classical instead of the fuzzy sounds.

At the stop light I take a drink of my tea and the light changes and I go to put my tea back into the holder which is set into a cave like receptacle as it is so dark under the dashboard I can't see. So I put the car in first and am blindly poking around with the cup to find the holder and there is no holder. I quickly put the cup in my left hand and try to feel around on the bottom.

I feel some kind of lump where the holder was supposed to be. I pull it out while I am trying to keep up with traffic in first gear and barely able to steer the car. I put it in second as I enter the freeway but I have to get this cup out of my hand as I can't steer and there is no place to set the cup down. I reach down with my right hand pull the lump out of the holder toss it to the passenger side and deftly put the cup inside.

At last. In the back of my mind though, I'm thinking is that cup safe or is it going to fall out?  I reach down and it is sitting quite still. I'm driving for 20 minutes doing OK then I reach the museum go around the curve to get to it and my tea cup falls out of the holder, on to my clothes and the floor and I am soaking wet. Now i can't go to the museum.

I pull into a parking lot to assess the damages. Nope I have to go home. Ugh. I have to drive another 20 minutes listening to that music. I put on my glasses and try to figure out the station while I'm in the lot. Now, i've lost the music and I am listening to loud static as the nob to turn the music down does not work. I'm totally enraged by now and have called the car every name I can think of, I'm cursing Alika for his stupid radio and I am mad because my whole day has just been shot. I punch and punch the buttons hoping one will turn a station on but no luck.

I back out of the lot and give one last stab at the radio to shut it off and low and behold it shuts off. I pull out of the lot trying to console myself with the fact that it's OK to listen to silence and that I don't need to be taking in the state of the world all of the time and that I can listen to my thoughts every once in awhile. I turn the curve to get on to the freeway and the radio flies out of the dashboard and on to the floor of the car. Serious thoughts of ramming the car into the wall on the freeway pass through my mind all the way home.

When I arrive home I see what had happened. Her cup holder has another one inside of it that comes out. When I took my tea out to drink it, It stuck to the cup, fell back in and turned upside down and hence I could not figure out where the cup holder went.

I will not drive that car again. I will stay home and rot before I do. As I sit here writing this, there is one very happy being in this
room though and he is laying at my feet. Max. Thank god for him. I'm now calming down.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

GRASSES, FLOWERS AND TREES, OH MY




Gently, an herbarium sheet of the Perrottetia sandwicensis or the olomea plant is opened before me.  I’m looking at more then just a plant. I am looking at a plant that was gathered in 1779 by David Nelson. Nelson traveled on the Discovery, the ship that accompanied the Resolution, commanded by none other than Captain James Cook, to the islands of Hawai’i. This would be Captain Cooks third and last voyage as he was killed on the island of Hawaii. On board the Resolution, as Cook’s sailing Master, was the infamous William Bligh, whom Nelson would later accompany, on the ill fated Bounty, to care for 600 Breadfruit plants.

Whipping out my camera, I ask tentatively If I can photograph the sheet. I want to photograph this little slice of history if only to vicariously touch this person and his experience at that point in time.




Perrottetia sandwicensis called olomea



 I am at the Herbarium Pacificum at Bishop Museum. Clyde Imada, a Research Specialist in the Botany Division of the Natural Sciences Department, is my guide. Hearing of of a project that the Botany Division is planning, I’ve come to find out what it is all about

         







Clyde Imada amongst his mounted plants

Clyde appears to be quiet and unassuming but his sense of humor peaks when he tells his wife Pumehana (who works in the Vertebrate Zoology Division) that I am here to interview him for the National Geographic. His enthusiasm shows as he introduces me to dried mounted plants, explaining about the types of makaloa, a sedge that grows on the islands. He shows me the sedge called kohekohe, deep red at the base, used to create designs on the famous Ni’ihau mats.  I see plants preserved in jars, photos of plants as they looked before drying and a wonderful wooden box, called Box Lamott, that was made specifically to hold mounted ferns. 





Box Lamott 

Clyde smiled when he told me that he did not especially like to garden. He liked to hike and identify plants. I thought this was odd but he soon explained the difference between a horticulturist and a botanist.

Clyde first got his degrees in cartography at the University of Hawai’i. Then he went back and got a second degree in horticultural technology. He has been at the Herbarium Pacificum for 25 years.

The Department of Natural Sciences was recently given funding for a project that will bring the Museum from the inside to the outside, so to speak. Through the Education through Cultural and Historic Organization (ECHO), Allen Allison (Vice President, Sciences)has conceived a program in which the majority of plants on the grounds will eventually be replaced with native and canoe plants. 

Clyde and Napua Harbottle (Collections Manager, Botany) are in the process of working on themes that would incorporate plants and Hawaiian cultural and natural history.  Among the host of plants that might be included, mamake was used medicinally and for bark cloth, and is the host plant for our native Kamehameha butterfly;  makaloa, used to weave fine mats; a restored kalo lo’I; or even a grove of wauke that could be tended for kapa-beating classes at the Museum.  Many plants could fill the grounds that would complete the authenticity of the museum. 

The plan at this time is to start on Phase 1, which will commence near Hale ‘Ikehu. It was even suggested that the Hale might be converted into a classroom to be used to teach how to use these plants as the Hawaiians did in their everyday life.

One of the ECHO requirements is that the vender chosen to do the job must be willing to participate in a internship in which high school and college-aged students will be able to participate in planning all stages of the landscaping. This is to be a community participation project.


This first stage of the program will have to prove viable to continue to receiving funding from ECHO. It is hoped that groundbreaking will begin sometime in late January or early February 2010.
Clyde expressed a hope that the community might embrace the opportunity to actively participate in bringing this project to fruition. Volunteers will be needed to help to clear the project area, plant, weed, and create signage and a self-guided garden tour brochure.  Once the landscaping is installed, there will also be a need for people who might want to adopt an area and help to maintain it. 

The environment for the kanaka maoli is just as much an artifact as what is contained in the museum. An immense part of their life was dependent on what they grew or harvested from the native landscape: Food containers, clothing, household objects, fishing and hunting equipment, weapons, medicine and of course food. In the Museum all that is shown can be connected to all that is grown.

This project will add so much more to our garden tour and to the museum. Maybe we can even plant the olomea and add the story of the Discovery to tell our visitors.

Count Me In

Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather
It feels good to be free

Fourth of July in Waikiki

Fourth of July in Waikiki
Early morning view just kicking back

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Do you want to know about Hawaii from a locals point of view? Where do we like to go? What things do we like to see. This blog is about seeing Hawaii without being trapped. This is a journal about Good eats, Hawaiian events, and looking at the islands through the eyes of someone who has lived here for more then forty years.

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