Haleiwa Hawaii Farmers Market Cacao Festival

People Brave the elements in the dead of winter to attend the Cacao Festival.

I headed out to Haleiwa  to visit the Farmers Market in search of Non GMO vegetables and to peruse what unusual crafts might be on sale. I was not disappointed.

Aren’t those beautiful avocados? I stopped at this booth looking for a plant to plant on my fence.


I looked through more plants asking myself why don’t my plants look like this? Of course I need to fertilize them and give them more soil but besides that why don’t they look like these. I didn’t find my plant I was looking for so I moved on to the next booth.


Proprietor Keven Easley (itzsoap@gmail.com) Gives a Shaka sign as he helps a woman make up her mind.

I  hadn’t had breakfast yet and when I saw this booth, I immediately thought of jello and fancy molds. There was Cinnamon and vanilla and many scents to wet my appetite. But I would have been blowing bubbles had I taken a bite. These were all types of soaps for all types of skins. You can just about smell how wonderful they are just by looking at the woman taking in one of the bars.

If you’re looking for a nice gift the soaps are wrapped and ready to go

In case you’re wondering the North Shore Pipeline is a surf spot not pipes being lain for oil.

Seaweed, the vegetable from the sea. Really love this in a salad

I was so tempted to buy this seaweed plate lunch it really looked good but I was saving my appetite to go out for Mexican food for lunch afterwords


Lets take an orchid break

Remember when we used to hope for one of these when you went on a date. Oh, I’m really, really dating myself.

Aren’t these just beautiful?

The Rambutan  is a very good fruit. For information on this strange-looking edible you can check out this site. http://www.rambutan.com/
And what is Hawaii without an Aloha Shirt
I’m not sure what these guys are but I thought they were very cute.
I just loved this sign. Unfortunately it was not for sale it just told people what they sold
Oh, I almost forgot! Yes, this was a Cacao Festival and here it is before it becomes Chocolate.
And here is what the nut looks like inside and one of the products made from Cacao

Increase Brain Power By Playing Tourist

I thought that this blog written by my friend Karen Gibson would be appropriate here. Traveling isn’t all fun you know (though I would be hard put to say it isn’t) it can also strengthen your brain. Now who of thought?  Though she speaks of Hawaii, it could be anywhere you live. So if your brain is in need of a tune up maybe it’s time for a look around your town.
A 1-1/2 mile hike to Maunawili Falls can provide much needed R & R for the brain.
Watching daredevils jump off Maunawili Falls can inspire your brain to get out of your comfort zone.
(photo by Karen Gibson)

How will playing tourist in Waikiki, visiting Pearl ridge or enjoying a local plate lunch help increase your mental potential? Locals in Hawaii do not realize what a rich environment Hawaii offers to the brain. There’s no need to travel to exotic places in order to offer your taste buds delectable dishes from Egypt, Thailand, Korea, etc. A brief visit to China Town will be a mini vacation if you have the right mindset.

Does this conversation sound familiar?

“I’m having a senior moment!” a 72-year-old mom exclaims with frustration. She can’t seem to find her glasses for the umpteenth time.

“Where did you last see them?” her daughter asks her, hoping to trigger her memory.

“If I knew that answer, I’d be wearing my glasses!” she replies, her voice dripping with sarcasm.

“Oh mom, I’m only trying to help,” her daughter says in the most encouraging tone to cover her frustration.

“You wait until you’re my age, then you’ll know how it feels when your memory goes,” as if every senior citizen is destined to lose their memory.

It is never too early or too late to improve the physiology of your brain, boosting its optimal intellectual and emotional heights. In other words, there are certain exercises we can practice on a regular basis to help our golden years be a positive experience. Some of the exercises sound simplistic, but engaging in them consistently will not only improve the function of your brain, it will create a happier and longer life.

Believe it or not, venturing out and playing tourist or just truly being in the present moment while observing visitors at Pearl Harbor, walking along Kailua Beach or even going on a hike to view the breathtaking Mauanwili Falls can provide stress relief. Making time for stress relief is one simple exercise we can all benefit from.

When was the last time you visited Pearl Harbor, saw a hula show or toured the International Market Place in Waikiki? If stress ages the brain, then wouldn’t it be worth it to take the time to explore your island? We all realize the importance of relieving stress. So, the next time you have some down time, why not pretend to be a tourist?

Hawaiian Winter, Toughing it out

It’s the season of Ku . Lono has had his time and now is fading away for the year. (Lono Arrives) As he leaves with just a few more months of winter left I look at all of the dark clouds and mango trees being blown in the winds. I mourn as the blossoms fall to the ground. It means there may not be a big crop this year.

As I drive Nico to school in the early morning, the clouds cover the sky and the sun just barely breaks through. Our winter, the time of Lono, barely seemed to be a winter at all. And though Lono no longer presides over the season, it seems that he has left some cold reminders as Ku ushers in what will soon be our summer. But not to quickly as, hopefully, we will have some rain to help with the very dry winter.

Now it may not seem like a winter to those of you who do not live in Hawaii. It is to us who are used to the temperatures that normally  hang in the high eighties with humidity that can get to be  brow wiping higher . As I sit here in my tee-shirt and jeans my feet are cold. I’m wearing a sweater and drinking a very hot cup of coffee trying to warm up. My feet are cold because I don’t have slippers.

Here in Hawaii you don’t wear shoes in the house. It is part of the Hawaiian custom. My slippers were, well, getting too slippery so they went the way of the trash can.

Our winter has become my favorite time of the year though. The colors become more intense in the sky and rainbows are in abundance. And the snow! well actually it’s the shower trees. The winter winds blow the flowers from the tree looking to me like tufts of snow. But of course you don’t need a snow plow, salt to keep the roads ice-free or mounds of clothes when the thermometer drops to the single digits. You just have to stop and smell the flowers.

I had to pull over and take out my trusty camera to capture the beauty of this winter day.

Yellow Shower Tree

The flowers, like snow, lay on the ground

During the evening I drove over to the other side of the island. I took the the H-3 Highway. If you ever get to Hawaii, you must, I can’t emphasis this enough, take a drive through the H3. The mountains cut like diamonds from the volcano’s that once erupted on this island are covered with green that often looks like velvet. Palms, rubber trees, mangoes and every form of ground coverseems to spring up as you drive from one side of the island to the other.

As I pulled over to the scenic point that was at the end of the highway it was with much disappointment. It was still winter after all and the hoped for sunset was nowhere to be photographed. But, after all, this is a blog about Hawaiian Winter. No sun straining through the clouds, just gray mass shrouding the mountains and darkening the sea.

So as this boat sails off into the clouds I wish you hot chocolate and snugly blankets. Unless you live in Hawaii and if you do then maybe I will see you at the beach tomorrow! Hey somebody has to live here.

Airline Security Or We Should Have the Same Rights As Kids

12 28 09 Bearman Cartoon Airline Security

Image by Bearman2007 via Flickr

I thought I would repeat my post on my old blog as it is still relevant  and I am still upset at what is happening to our rights. Since this is more of a travel blog I believe it bears repeating.
Kids seem to have more rights in their high school then I do when I travel. OK, I don’t want to beat this air travel thing into the ground but when I saw this letter to the editor in our Sunday Honolulu Advertiser I got all riled up again.A Kilauea, Kauai reader wrote to the editor about the changes to Chapter 19 concerning student rights to privacy. She stated that if they were to allow for searches in lockers, drug sniffing dogs etc. the students would have to surrender their dignity on demand.

My sentiments exactly as I’m standing in the middle of the airport having air blown up my dress. And believe me I’m no Marilyn Monroe. But surrender my dignity I had to or I would not have been able to fly home.

Drug sniffing dogs? I ask you , how many of us have been seated waiting to get on a plane when someone lets the dogs out and he is sniffing what ever you may have in or on you? My right to privacy? Out the door.

Then she goes on to say bad outcomes will present themselves if we… “indoctrinate our youth to accept personal space violation from figures of authority.” Have I been indoctrinated?

And last but not least, the statement that had me hitting the paper with the back of my hand and ranting to Max as he sat at my feet. “Unreasonable searches of students’ bodies and property undermines our country’s core civic values.”!!!

So when do kids in school who may have drugs in their lockers or guns or both deserve more privacy then I do when I am boarding a plane? They are not even subjected to body searches. Unlike me just because some old lady with a uniform doesn’t like the way I look and pulls me over. Is it because I am taking a flight and she’s at work? or she has to wear a mans uniform and I’m in a dress and she would like to see me look miserable rather than look like I’m going to enjoy a trip to Hawaii?

I thought after 9/11 our core civic values were done away with. I did not realize we had rights anymore. Well at least someone has rights, just not adults. I don’t fly free from harassment, someone listening to my phone calls or reading what I search on-line.

All I can say is, better watch out kids, your days are numbered. You’re an endangered species. Beware when you see some little squat woman speaking with an accent descend upon your locker. Don’t say a word or you may end up in detention and never go home again.

Chief Seattle’s Totem, The Tlingit’s Housepost and Hawaii

While in Washington my friend Ed sent me these photos of Chief Seattle’s grave site.


I was fascinated. Totems and Indians.These totems are of Cedar wood and painted in black and rust. They are carved by a Squaxin Island tribe member, Andrea-Wilber-Sigo.

Though I have heard of Seattle Washington I was totally ignorant of the Chief whom the city had been named after. I thought how interesting to see a totem at a grave site. I would have loved to have seen it up close. But then I remembered, we have a totem here in Hawaii that was actually made by Indians.

What does Hawaii have in common with Chief Seattle and the Tlingit’s in Alaska? Totems!

Chief Seattle

Image via Wikipedia

Chief Seattle

Chief Seattle was said to have given a very famous speech about our environment. Many have heard it or have heard some of it. In part it said ” the earth does not belong to man; but man belongs to earth.”

There is much controversy concerning this speech. Much of what we know today about Chief Seattle’s speech was actually written by a modern-day screen writer for a documentary. If you would like to read more about the speech you can go to http://www.synaptic.bc.ca/ejournal/muhisind.htm (speeches)

I am calling him Chief Seattle but within the Puget Sound Indians there is no name such as chief. These particular Indians were powerful men who were known for accomplishing particular feats. Seattle was known as an intelligent and formidable leader, important and dangerous. He was nicknamed by the men at Hudson Bay Company as “Le Gros” or The Big One as noted for his physique and personality. He was a force to be reckoned with amongst his enemies.

Chief Seattle’s memorial


In his last skirmish where he effectively wiped out his rivals, one of his son’s was killed. This had such an affect on him that he turned to the Catholic Church where he was converted and his name was changed to Noe (Noah)  Siattle. In turn he had his whole family convert to Catholicism. This then ended his fighting days. It was at this time he turned to helping the American settlers and eventually sold large parcels of land to the government and became involved in business.  He then  became known as the friend of the white man. For more information you can go to this site http://content.lib.washington.edu/aipnw/buerge2.html

So how does this connect with Hawaii? Totem Poles were symbols of the North-West-Coast Native tribes. There were many types of poles. Some were house post that may have held up some part of the front of the house or inside as a main pole holding up the house. There were even free-standing poles in front of houses. Each pole would identify and give the history of the owner.

Western Washington tribes carved grave monuments such as what we see standing in front of Seattle’s grave site.

This is a house post carved by the Tlingit people of Alaska.

The voyaging canoe Hawaiʻi Loa was built with  Sitka Spruce given to the Hawaiian people by the Tlingit and Haida tribes of Alaska.

The above House Post was given by the Tlingit tribe to symbolize the merging of two cultures. It was carved by Nathan Jackson.  On the upper left arm if you look close at the Killer Whale carving you will see many long strands of human hair. The hair comes from someone who is part Hawaiian and part Alaskan who is a village member. Again symbolic of the merger. The two males in the carving are representative of the two cultures, Tlingit and Hawaiian. (Hawaiian on the right with the green Haku)

If you would like a little back ground on the voyage and photos you can go here http://www.northwesthawaiitimes.com/hoha.htm

And where is this House Post? Why at Bishop Museum.

And last but not least, I love trivia and I thought you would enjoy this piece I found while doing my research

Myth: The “low man on the totem pole” has the lowest status.

Fact: There is no universal significance to the order in which figures are placed on poles. Occasionally “ridicule” figures were carved to shame or embarrass a rival. You can go to this site to see other tidbits.  http://www.burkemuseum.org/ethnology/faq_nwtotem

Not So Exotic Hawaii or weeds can be pretty too.

What is the first flower you think of when you think of Hawaii? I bet many will say “orchids!” But as you drive throughout the island you will be hard fixed trying to find one. It’s not to say they don’t grow here I’ve seen them wild in the mountains but they are very, very small orchids.

As I drove Nico to school today, and I must say, it is always when we are running late, I came upon this site. Weeds!

I pass this patch every morning but this morning I was bound and determined not to pass it by without taking a photo.

It is the winter sunrise that hits this patch every year and turns these weeds into a beautiful orange that makes me think. You can find beauty no mater where you live and it does not have to be an exotic orchid to capture your attention.

So I pulled to the side of the road, checked my watch and praying time would stand still I whipped out my trusty camera and took the photo. Normally an eyesore growing in front of someone’s house, the winter sun breaths life into that patch and cheers me every morning as I rush to get Nico to class. And you know what? Time did stand still. I got him to school with minutes to spare.

Then as I headed North to pick up pills for the newest addition to my pack, our boxer, Caddie, I passed a wall of flowers that I have passed for many years.  Every time I passed it I would say, I’ll come back and photograph it. But then we moved and I had not seen the wall in years. But as I zoomed towards Mililani and the vet the wall called out to me.

OMG the wall is in bloom! But I could not stop as I had just minutes (as usual ) to get to the vets. The sun was hitting it perfect, the oranges were popping and it was right at its peak, covered with blooms. Don’t ask me what kind of flowers, that I’ve never known. But they are not exotic, there just common flowers I’m sure.

After leaving the vets I came upon it again. I stopped at the bus stop and while keeping an eye out for the bus I hopped out of the car and this time I would not pass up the opportunity to get the photo. And here it is close up.

And this is the wall at its full length.

So no matter where you live I am sure you have a little bit of Hawaii out there in a weed patch or wall that when the season and sun or just right they take your breath away. In fact if you have a photo of it send it in or to my email and I will share it with the rest of my readers. Just remember to stop and smell, no photograph the flowers, Hawaii can be anywhere.

What Are These Museum Artifacts Or What Are Friends For

Today I met with Evelyn. I’ve never met her before. In person that is. We’ve communicated via blogs. She runs a blog that inculcates many blogs and I’ve sent some of my post to her to put on her site called Carnival of Aloha Since I know how interested she is in Hawaii and the museum I invited her to meet me there today.

Have you ever been around an object, place or person so much that after a while you don’t see it clearly anymore because you’ve almost become jaded?

Being with Evelyn today made me realize just that. We were on the first floor of the museum called Kai Akea or The vast ocean. This realm contains many gods, illustrates some of the creation beliefs and stories of gods like Maui and Pele.

Evelyn is one of these museum goers that takes in everything. And so we explored this first realm quite closely. As we looked at the different artifacts she started asking me questions.

I explained how the hall had been restored to its original condition. The poles you see here were once painted over in white to reflect the much-needed light as there was no electricity for lighting until the 1970’s. The beautifully carved Maile vine that you see here was totally lost in the white paint that once was part of the museum.

As many times as I had been in the museum I never once noticed that each floor had carved moldings at the top of the columns. But once the restoration was done and the hall had been brought back to its original condition I was fascinated at the intricacy of the architecture.

Then she started asking about the Ki’i or the Gods. While I explained the main gods like Pele, Ku and Kaneikokala,  when it came to the other gods like the one above I drew a blank. I could only tell her what I had read about the wavy carvings on the images here that meant that it was some type of water god. At least that is what I had read.

you can see the carved marks above this gods head

But I knew nothing about this god

Or this one. Beautiful work but I only came away feeling overwhelmed again. You get complacent giving your set tours with the same groups of children. It was good for me to be with a friend and a lover of antiquity to remind me of the wonderful exhibits that I’ve overlooked, become complacent about and have just plain ignored.

So I will have to start back into my books, researching my artifacts and visiting the great museum library. Nothing like a friend to help you see how little you know.