YOU MAY BE RIGHT, I MAY BE CRAZY EATING AT JAMESON’S BY THE SEA

The sky is bright blue. The birds are singing from morning to sunset and I am surrounded by a blanket of blue to swim in. And yet I’m at home.

Well thanks to my knitting group I made it, yet again, out of my hideaway and to my favorite side of the island, Haleiwa. My neighbor, Linda, had barely parked the car before I was jumping out and fumbling in my purse for my camera.

Oh my god, it was gorgeous out. The sun was starting to set, it was as warm as a sweater and I was ecstatic. Smiling, and rushing to take photos before the color was gone I had forgotten that I wasn’t out here for my own benefit but I was out here to have one last dinner with a member of our knitting group whose husband was being transferred to Texas.

Loss, once again a member of our group is leaving us and taking a piece of our heart. It seems that we just get to really feel comfortable, look forward to talking to and relying upon their knowledge at group, when all of a sudden they are gone.

And so here I am out on the North Shore so happy to be here and so sad to say good-by

 

 

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Finely we make it into the restaurant. This is our view. What is wrong with me. What am I thinking? Staying home? Looking at this? Staying home? Looking at this. No brainer right? But I must be crazy as I stay home. But I took photos and they make me feel guilty to look at them, yet they may spear me on to do this again.

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Here is a few of our knitting group. Lisa, the one who is leaving is sitting on the end with the leis around her neck. I’m sitting next to her, Linda ,my neighbor is next to me and across from us, closest, Kim who is always knitting, Sara and Jennifer. You can see the pink of the sunset is reflecting on our table. The glow is making me feel so good inside.

P1000175On the inside looking out. I must return. I think I can, I think I can

P1000194And as the sun sinks slowly into the sunset

P1000193Everyone rushes to get that one last photo

P1000186To be able to share this with someone would make it even more special. But we say good-day to the sun, thank you for always being there. Our food arrives and we get on to a most enjoyable dinner.P1000192Yes, I must be crazy but not for long. Good night Jameson’s by the sea. I’ll be back to get another dose of sanity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out of the Mouth of Babes

I must be getting very old. Not because I just had a birthday. Yes, there is no rest for the wicked as I continually have birthdays. I’m getting old because I am actually beginning to enjoy giving tours to the little kids. They have warn me down. They have won me over and I actually prefer them now to giving the adult tours. It must have been that group hug that I got from all of the kids in  a past tour. I actually felt energized after that.

I’ve come a long way since the time when I was giving a tour to pre-schoolers. I was talking about the Lei made of human hair and a whale’s tooth only to look down and see all of the kids were watching their friends two floors below and not a one was listening to me. (See photo below)

P1000025  You have to be quite tricky and interesting to compete with Kamohoalii, the shark god who accompanied Pele from Tahiti to Hawaii.

  I have found that it is much more of a challenge and takes quite a bit of studying to find information that will keep their attention. Last week I did a tour for a Hawaiian Immersion school. Normally they are done by Hawaiian speaking guides but scheduling did not allow for that.

Not having enough time that week to learn Hawaiian I hoped that they would forgive me when I told them that my grandson also went to a Hawaiian Immersion School here on Oahu. They were visiting from the outer islands. The teacher said with a big smile, maikaʻi (good, great, fine, etc.) So I felt I was on firmer ground.

DSCN1415Kahili just to the left of the feathered cape

Going into our Kahili room where we have the portraits of the Alii from King Kamehameha to the last reigning monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, the children started calling out the names of each alii and their accomplishments. I was left with my mouth open. What were they saying? Did I dare try to add to it? They were giving me the tour.

Turning to the teacher I asked, do you want me to explain about the Kahili? He smiled and said they already knew all that. I was so disappointed as they already knew all about the little prince, Albert Edward, who was my favorite to talk about, I couldn’t even tell them how the Kahili were put together. What a disappointing tour guide I was turning out to be. I grasped at one last tidbit of trivia.

“Do they know about his Kahili?” I asked hopefully. No they donʻt. Happily I took them over to the feather standard shaped like a flower bud and went on to explain how  Prince Albert’s mother, Queen Emma,  had commissioned it to signify the child died like a flower that never had a chance to bloom.

As we left the room I wondered how many more rabbits could I pull out of my hat. When we were almost done with the tour and after not being able to really tell them anything new the last place I took them to was the replica that we have of the first heiau ever built in Hawaii on the Big Island of Hawaii. It is called Wahaʻula.

The first Heiau built in Hawaii in the 13 century in Puna Hawaii

The first Heiau built in Hawaii in the 13 century in Puna Hawaii, Wahaʻula

The kids gathered around the  Heiau and I started to talk when all of a sudden the teacher speaking in Hawaiian talked to the kids for well over a minute. I asked him, fully expecting it, if he had just told them about Wahaʻula. To my surprise he said “I told them to pay attention to what you were saying.” I breathed a sigh and went on.

I was proud of the kids even though they didnʻt need me along. They were well versed in their culture. They knew their roots. Like Charles Bishop had intended these children were coming to the museum with a full knowledge of their ancestors and seeing first hand what their kupuna  (elders) had accomplished.

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Where’s Karen

Not having posted in so long I’m not even sure anyone is reading this blog anymore. My knitting needles have been clicking in my hands, my garden has entangled me in weeds and life has somehow stolen away many hours from me.

raggedy AnnShe takes me over 50 hours to knit

I’ve not gone out to do much photography and if you have followed my blog for any length of time you may know how I fight with myself to leave the house.

I’ve been managing to get to the museum to do my tours. I’ve met with one of my knitting groups regularly, in part because I am allowed to take Cadie with me as it is pet friendly but other than that it is rare that I step out.

IMG_1928Because Cadie wears her glasses she is allowed into Green World Farms. She looks more like a person that way.

I’ve taken many a trip while sitting in my chair knitting or laying in my bed trying to work up the energy to go and do something that has been on my mind but as you can see by my empty pages I’ve not made it past the caverns of my mind.

I’m still trying to work out just how to get myself going and posting. I need to get back that curiosity and desire. If you have any suggestions they would be more than welcome. Of course I don’t guarantee I will act on them but I will certainly entertain them as I clack away at my needles.

So, when all is said and done? You will find me at home for now. I’ll try to un-glue myself. I think I can, I think I can.

Does Hawaii Have a Winter?

246772_2038314394142_3246539_nWith my raincoat and rain boots I was one happy kid on a winter day. The above house where I lived as a young girl in Daly City California was usually shrouded in fog. On a winter’s day which seemed to be all year-long I would dash out the door on my way to General Pershing Elementary and immediately jump into the gutter where the water was over flowing the curb.

I was a smart kid because I knew that the water would go into my boots and soak my socks and shoes. Why was that smart you may ask? I hated school and I knew that the teacher would see how wet I was and therefore sit me in the hallway on a bench with a heater under it.

Smiling, I would sit and miss a good hour of class. That was my winter in California.

IMAG0055This is my winter where I live in Hawaii. signs of winter? Well you can see there are not too many people on the beach in Waikiki. Who in their right mind would want to swim in 68 degree temperatures? You’ll notice that most of the people still have tee shirts over their bathing suits.Of course it is still early morning.

IMG_3104No leaves on the plumeria is a sure sign of winter. Oh, and you will notice there are gray skies above. But the plumeria seems to be the only tree that looses its leaves this time of year. Remember in Hawaii it’s a jungle out there.

DSCN0725Then there is this wall of orange flowers that has bloomed in the late fall. Pretty apropos since Halloween is just around the corner when you see this in bloom.

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How did the ancient Hawaiians recognize winter? It was during this time that the Makahiki season began. The above symbol for the god Lono would be carried around the island and offerings were collected. When this was finished the official season would begin.

The Hawaiians knew this season by the rising of the constellation Makalii or Pleiades and they would put away all intentions of war and would play games. Games that would demonstrate ones skills such as throwing spears, or slings among other things. These would sharpen their ability to fight during a war.

Of course this being winter, the ocean would be to rough to paddle canoes to carry warriors to battle so this all made sense.

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Navigating the long lines headed out to the North Shore  I see many signs of winter. Someone must have piled their stones to ask for big surf or maybe their work of art. In ancient times it was not unusual to see pohaku ( stones) piled or placed around a dwelling as the Hawaiians believed that stones could have mana or power.

DSCN2269But a dead sure sign of winter is this sign. I never get tired of looking at the waves. They are magnificent. Unfortunately I did not have my good camera with me and did not get any shots. I was having trouble looking into the viewer on my pocket camera and was lucky I even got these shots. Lessen here is never leave home without my Cannon.

DSCN2280                                    50 foot waves and higher are the surest signs of winter and that brings out all the surfers…..

1044422_10203000667967669_41725385_n                                     Gotta catch that wave.

DSCN2272                                                                                           and sightseers.

So you see, we do have winter in Hawaii. Ah it’s a bitter season but someone has to endure it. Never need my rain coat and boots anymore. Even if I had them it is too hot to use those rainy day items. What can I say. Lucky I live Hawaii.

Mau Kau Kau (Are You Ready?)

It’s Friday morning and I call my friend, Yvonne. “OK the paper says that “Saving Mr. Banks” is playing at 10:30 at Kahala Mall. So let’s make it for Sunday, that way there will be even less traffic for me to drive in.” Yvonne lives in Waikiki so she is close to the theaters. “We can watch the move and then go get some lunch” I add.

Yvonne thinks that sounds good and I think I’m pretty smart because if I go into town at that time and on that day I will save myself a lot of stress driving.

Sunday arrives, I zoom into town and I pick her up and we are at the ticket office by 10 AM. I get my ticket. Yvonne puts her money down and for some reason the woman who is selling the tickets ask Yvonne, “Do you want the 1:00 PM show. She never asked me that she just gave me my ticket. We both say “No!”

I look at my ticket and notice mine says 1PM. “We want the 10:30 show the one that was in the Friday paper.” Ohʻ she says. The schedule changes on Sundays.

“Oh no!” I’m going to be stuck in traffic. Yvonne this is the absolute last time you will see me. If you don’t take the bus out my way I’m just not coming into town! And so my day begins. Full blown curmudgeon. I’m here, I want to see the movie, I have no choice. I jam my ticket into my wallet and try to calm down.

So we decide to walk through the mall and stall for time and take in an early lunch. So we start our stroll with plenty of time to kill.

DSCN2235In the middle of the mall there is a crowd waiting for something to start on the stage

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The people were waiting for these little girls.  I whip out my not so trusty pocket camera and try to focus. For some reason I can’t get a clear photo. Trust me these blurry little faces were adorable.

DSCN2210Here again as in my last blog these children who are getting ready to perform on stage in front of dozens of people are so calm and can think of nothing else but what is going on with their wrist.

DSCN2230Well one of them is paying attention and is standing ready at the stage. But where are the others?

DSCN2213They are laughing and enjoying themselves in line. No longer examining their hands they start to form some sort of line with their little ukuleles held tight. Still they are calm and collected.

DSCN2226At last they stand by the stage. Mommy makes last-minute adjustments.

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DSCN2224They watch as their kupuna (elders) finish their performance

DSCN2227And now it is time for their little bare feet to step upon the stage and warm the hearts of all those friends, families  and shoppers.

DSCN2228Another Mommy makes another last-minute adjustment and…DSCN2234Mau Kau Kau?DSCN2215Ai (yes). There little bodies move, maybe not in unison but they dance their little hearts out. Who knows. Maybe the next “Little Miss Keiki Hula is in this halau.

Now I have to admit, I truly enjoyed this. I went to have lunch with my best friend we looked in stores and I found a few things I needed. We then enjoyed watching the story of the making of Mary Poppins even though it made me feel like crying remembering how much I loved Walt Disney, the man not the studio. As a child I was ever hoping that I would see him one day at Disneyland. But alas when he died my dreams were shattered.

Then it was time to go home. To drive in what I knew was going to be a mess of traffic. How did I know? Because I’m a know it all. And as they say “mau kau kau?”  for the traffic? Aʻole (no.) And was there traffic? Aʻole. But am I going to go back? Not anytime soon.

Hey Kids Let’s Go Ride a Horse. Equine 808

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The sharp crevices cut into the mountain range where I live has been a topic of a few of my blogs. The range  shelters the sun as it sets into the west leaving me staring from my window as it turns gold, orange, mauve and colors I can’t even identify.

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The range follows me as I drive up the long road to the north shore. It is shrouded either in clouds, rain or bright blue skies.

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Why the mountain range even gives a beautiful backdrop to my nemesis Monsanto as they plant all their Frankinseed crops.

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This mountain is a ceaseless source of beauty for me and I’ve turned into it many a time to go to my post office or the nursery where I buy vegetables and plants

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There has been many a time when I’ve traveled up Kunia Road and I’ve seen this sign. But I’ve never turned in to see what it was all about until one day at my grandson’s school a couple whose child went to the same school invited anyone who would like to come and visit there and see what they were about. So I did.

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Turning into the mountain I watched the farmer working his field and wondered. His crops were planted within a stones throw of Monsanto’s fields.

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Looking down from the mountain range into the fields for the horses and onto the farms and Monsanto. Off into the distance you can see Diamond Head just past Pearl Harbor. Not only was the mountain range beautiful to look up to but just as beautiful to look down from.

DSCN0091This was the road we traveled on to get up to the horses. When I got home the car was a totally different color. Talk about mad woman washing. I sure didn’t want my daughter to see the car and ask where I had been. She does not like my trips off the beaten path. Not to mention the beaten car.

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Here is one of the friendly faces that greeted us.

 

 

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This little guy was the companion of the above horse I believe. Not only do they rescue horses but there is a large population of Donkeys and mules that are also rescued on the islands.

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These guys have a great view of the mountain range too. Lucky stiffs.

DSCN0112And another view

DSCN0097I poked my head in everywhere. This tack room looked like a work of art to me

DSCN0106My main reason for going up into this mountain to check out these rescued horses was to try to interest my grandson in horseback riding. One of the ways that this foundation earns money is by giving riding lessons. Now what kid doesn’t like horses? Actually I think the question should be, what grandmother does not realize that not everyone is like her? Oh well. This is where the kids wanted to stay. Looking at the goats. None of them wanted to go near the horses. But at least I got to take a closer look into my beloved mountain range and pet a few horses into the bargain too.

 

Niihau Shell Lei, a Little Bit of This and That

 

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From the small little island of Niihau, 18 miles long and 3-6 miles wide, comes the small little shell, columbella varians sowerly, or more commonly known as the Niihau shell. How small you ask? Well in the above photo of a lei made from a variety of this shell you can count 7,000 of them!

And like the shell, Niihau is small but unique. Niihau was purchased in 1864 from King Kamehameha the IV for $10,000. Imagine owning your own little island at that price today. The Sinclair family bought it to start-up ranching. The native Hawaiians lived and worked there but no other people were allowed to visit or take up residence. It became known as the Forbidden Island. Through the years the island came into the hands of two brothers, the Robinson’s, who were descendents of the Sinclair’s.

The island being isolated for many years meant that the Hawaiian language and culture were in many ways preserved. The Hawaiians were employed by the Robinson’s and provided with places to live.

I had heard people say how there were no modern conveniences and that the only entertainment they had was a radio. I’m not sure how they lived as I never met anyone who had managed to get on to the island. Only friends or relatives of the residents there could visit. But in my research I was fascinated to find that their was a school for the kids that was supported totally with solar power that allowed the children to use computers. Now that seems modern to me.

Alas in 1999 the family had to shut down the ranching. That left residence with very little employment. Now there is said to be maybe 70 Hawaiians living there and during the summer when they go to visit relatives on nearby Kauai, there are as little as 30 left on the island.

The Niihau shell lei which can sell for more than $10,000 is considered now to be the prime source of earning an income on the island. Unfortunately with all of the people moving away there are very few left to collect these microscopic shells. This means that there are very few people who are carrying on the art of making the lei and there are few skilled artisans to make and pass on the craft.

Once a piece of art that you could buy for five dollars on the street may become a thing of the past. But for now the leis are still available and still quite popular. Here are some photos from the current exhibit at Bishop Museum. I’ve also included some sites where I have gotten some of my information from. You can check them out at the end of the photos.

 

 

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Niihau shell drapes.  From the late 1800′s to early 1900′s. It would have been used to decorate a doorway or display over a mantle.

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http://www.islandbreath.org/2005Year/a05-19-farming/0519-03robinsonlegacy.html

http://niihauheritage.org/niihau_today.htm

http://www.niihauheritage.org/niihau_history.htm