Communication

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Yes this is pretty much how he responds to me when I want to talk to him

How do I find common ground with my  preteen grandson?  For that matter just finding common ground with any of my grand kids has left me wanting.

I don’t want to just be grandma, the old lady that always wants a hug and a kiss. Of course here in Hawaii that is a given. Regardless of age, you would not dare enter a room without giving your kupuna (elder) a hug and a kiss. That type of respect is ingrained from day one.

I want to communicate. I want to discuss, to ignite conversation and encourage my grandchildren to experience life beyond cell phones and games.

Two of my grandsons love photography.  One lives about 20 miles away and I rarely see him. The other, Nico, lives in the same house as I do. Our communication has been limited.  “What’s for dinner?”  “When are we leaving for school?”  “Why did you pick me up so early from school? I was still talking to my friends.”  And last, but certainly not least, “Good night grandma, I love you.”

So Nico gets a Camera for his 12th birthday. He no longer has to take photos with his phone, he now has a DSLR!

Here we go, the common ground! “How would you like to go on some adventures like when you were younger?” I ask him.  Quickly I add, “I mean we can go to different places to take photos.” So far, he has used his cell phone to take photos of buildings as he drives by, photos of feet, close-ups of his dog and things around the house. Fun photos I admit, but his area is limited.

To my great surprise he says, “Yes!”  I suggest a drive to Haleiwa, ( where else?), we can go in the evening and photograph the sunset.  The date is set and surprise again, he reminds me that morning about our plan.

As we get ready to leave he heads out with his camera bag. I start to tell him that I would rather he put his camera around his neck, and he pulls a face on me and starts to get grumpy.  So I let it go.

When we get in the car I tell him to let me know if there is something he wants to photograph along the way. Out comes his phone and before I know it he is deep into YouTube.

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Unfortunately his phone arrives with him. Notice his camera is now around his neck. “Sort of late,”  I tell him as people will notice that we put his camera bag in the trunk. “Oh well,” I think to myself, live and learn.

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I try to call him over to explain about the two Hawaiian flags. How  the Hawaiians were forced to take down their flag and put up the American flag. He is having none of it.

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When we arrive at the beach he wants to know how long are we going to have to wait for the sun to set. I feel like he is the kid in the back seat of the car asking “are we are there yet?” I tell him, “Look around you.  The mountains are behind us and the clouds are setting on them. You can photograph that.” Too late, his phone is back in his hands.

P1010054At last he exchanges his phone for his camera and is starting to take photos. I think to myself had he been dressed all in white he would have blended right in with the windmill farm behind him.

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The sun is setting quickly and I’m not sure if he is still taking photos but I don’t want to miss it. This view was worth the hassle, and I marvel at the fact that it is now past 7 pm and the weather is still nice enough to be out in the ocean swimming. I want to tell Nico to try to get some people in his photos but I push that out of my thoughts. He will do what he wants to do.

After the sun has gone down he shows me his photos of the sand, his name in the sand and photos of things around. I did see one really nice sunset photo but he was clicking through his images so quickly that I’m not sure.

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I snap one last photo of the sun going down

P1010024I say goodby to the shack and beach where “Bay Watch” was filmed.

Maybe one day he will let me show him how to put his photos onto the computer so that we can see them together. I won’t hold my breath though.

As we head back home I resign myself to the fact that I have once again failed to communicate with him. “Nico, we don’t have to do this anymore I know you did not enjoy it.” But he surprises me and says he really did enjoy it and wants to do another adventure again. Wow! Communication at last.

He pulls out his phone and down the road we go.

Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained

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Wailua Sugar Mill

 

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The road to Wailua

I went over to Wailua this week. I had to pick up dog food . I noticed  sign to a nursery. It was behind the sugar mill. So I thought I would explore it as I had been thinking about finding a nursery for some seeds.

IMG_4421Lokahi Nursery

It was just a small five-minute walk through from one end of the nursery to the other if you were counting time. But it was packed with roses, herbs and native plants.
A young girl was kneeling down working on some plants. She was the owner of the nursery and was a wealth of information.

What started out as curiosity for me turned out to be a shopping trip for a new rose, several herbs, a gardenia and pikake.(Jasmin)

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I also picked up the above three herbs called Tulsi basil.They are of the Tulsi family but  I can’t remember what their individual names were.  I was told that they are very good tea herbs that are considered some of the best among health teas. Can’t hurt, so I am trying to grow them now.

If you would like, you can read about the herb here  http://layoga.com/food-home/herbs-spice/growing-holy-tulsi/
The owner also offered to take a large cutting from my Aloha rose. ( the same rose cuttings that caddie ate. The cuttings  were just beginning to sprout.) she is going to  sprout them for me. I am so happy as I have never been successful after the caddie  incident.

I just love it when I find these unexpected places. It’s just a matter of taking a drive down the unknown path. Yes and I gain a lot.

 

I Can See Clearly Now That The Vog Is Gone

FullSizeRenderLos Angeles has smog and San Francisco has fog and Hawaii has vog. You are looking at a photo over looking Pearl Harbor. If you have really good eyesight you might even be able to see Diamond Head in the middle back part of the photo.

Vog is sulfur dioxide from the volcano that mixes with other gases and emits a type of pollution into the atmosphere. When the winds blow from the Big Island of Hawaii towards Oahu the above photo shows the results. People start complaining of headaches, sinus conditions and coughing.

IMG_1613Ah, but when the trade-winds come back they blow away all the vog and your eyes clear up, your headache goes away and you can see forever.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Four Equals One

My kids were up all night packing. When they left with tents, three mountain bikes and food a part of me went with them. Cadie.

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If you’ve been reading my blog long enough you might know how I feel about my four dogs. I should say the family dogs but they sleep with me, eat what I put down for them and gather around me when ever I sit out in the patio. Do you see how Cadie  in the above photo is looking at me so admiringly? That is how she looks at me all day long as she follows me from room to room. She is a White Boxer

When ever I leave the house she shakes like a leaf when I leave her behind. Consequently I have a very hard time leaving to go anywhere because it breaks my heart that I have to leave them behind.

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Now if Cadie could only behave like this when I leave I might not have told the kids to take her camping with them. I needed a “heart-break.” I am going to a knitting lesson tonight and I know I will be gone for many hours and the thought of leaving her home locked up just tears me to pieces.

So off she went without so much as a good-by as my son-in-law whisked her away with his quiet departure. I quickly pushed down the emerging sadness as I thought “I didn’t even get to hug her.” But I said to myself “be happy you won’t have to feel guilty when you leave tonight.”

 

IMG_0766Now this is Ka Mea. A Pit Bull.  And this is how he appears in the morning when he greets my daughter and I. He actually talks to us in long sing-song sounds. He is a happy little guy and when I leave he is just fine. He goes to his crate and settles in like a clam. No problem. He is Caddie’s pal and partner in crime if someone forgets to lock them up before they leave the house.

Many a time I’ve come home to my books and Nico’s books torn from the shelves and totally chewed up. I used to leave them in the yard until one day I came home to a snow storm. They had torn open all my yard furniture pillows and both sat at the sliding door looking at me with grins on their faces.

6689_1168430500950_1533576266_448836_2596211_nThis is what Max looked like when my kids first rescued him from the Humane society. He is a Polish Low Land Sheep Dog.His tail never lifted for the longest time and he walked sadly next to me when I took him out. But at least he was easy to walk.

DSC_0067_2This is “Mad” Max now. When we go for walks he pulls me down the street and his tale looks like Captain Feather Swords, sword. As Cadie and Max go whizzing by him he growls and grumbles. He pushes to be the first out to the yard. He barks at everything and everyone as they go by or don’t go by. He just loves to grumble. Cadie and he both stalk me. I have to make sure that I don’t give Max more attention then Cadie or it results in a big fight.

See that long mustache. That was Ka Mea’s playground when He was a pup. He pulled every bit of it off hanging off Max’s mouth. And Max never bit him.

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And last but not least is Kylie.

Kylie is part Beagle and part Basset Hound. She she is a rescue also and really could be part anything. We were told of her wonderful virtues  when we decided to get her. She was housebroken (but not when it rains we found out. She pees on any and every area rug she can find) She doesn’t shed (when she is standing still) and she is a picky eater (If they meant picky as to what spot she is going to pick like the counter in the kitchen where she throws anything she can find down to the other dogs and then helps herself to the better foods. And we still can’t figure it out as to how she gets her short little legs up there as she is no higher than two feet.)

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And Kylie and Ka Mea were best buds. UNTIL… Cadie. This brings me back to the beginning. Cadie became the toy hog, the pillow hog, and the dog hog. Ka Mea being the youngest loves to play and so does Cadie and Kylie. But Cadie won’t let Kylie play. I guess you can say she is the school yard bully. So Kylie has devised a way to get even with Ka Mea for dropping their friend ship.

When Ka Mea is all snugly in his crate rolled up into his pillow and Cadie is no where around. Kylie will stand in front of the cage and lean down on her two front paws in play position and bark a come out and play bark. Inevitably, Ka Mea will get out of the cage and prance and do his happy dance and Kylie will quickly go around him and run into Ka Mea’s cage and lay down on his pillow and go to sleep.

So those are the four. One is now camping and as I go into the house the three are not the same. Mea has been pacing and Max doesn’t seem to care that I’m not with him and Kylie? well she’s just Kylie. But as for me, how in the world did I ever think it would be a break for me if she went overnight with the kids? Three is not better than four. Would 3 limbs be better than four? Would  Three of my grand kids be better than the four? For that fact would 3 Hagen Daz Bars be better than a whole quart? Wait that’s not supposed to be on my mind.

No, I want my arms and legs in total. I want all my family together and without Cadie my pack is not complete. Oh well she will be home tomorrow.

And if you would like to see where the kids are dirt biking tonight here is a link to Kualoa Ranch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1dPL5vbDMg

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day at Punchbowl Cemetery

I visited Punchbowl cemetery to attend a funeral.  It was only a few days after Memorial day. As we headed to Punchbowl Memorial Cemetery the driver and I discussed how the children of Hawaii during school would gather and make plumeria leis for all of the graves. No grave was to be left un-draped.

This year, though, was different. The children were out of school already for the summer so that would mean that only volunteers would be left to make the needed 50,000 leis. We wondered if there would still be leis.

IMG_1171Plumeria flowers growing on one of my plumeria trees. I’ve been talking to it quite a bit and it must like my voice as it’s been blooming lots of bouquets  even though this particular tree is in a small pot and barely any soil. (I keep saying I’m going to get soil but alas things keep distracting me)

IMG_1157As we arrived at Punchbowl I could see plumerias but they were still on the tree as you can see. There were flags on every grave but there were no leis that I could tell.

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Here you can see Old Glory flying over some more graves and they too had no leis. Since I was not really that familiar with the lei tradition I still felt sad as I looked at the flags waving. But this being Hawaii and has a tradition of beautiful exotic flowers I took a closer look at the graves that had been decorated by loved ones.

IMG_1163Though there was not a plumeria lei here I think that these ginger and anthurium flowers would make any spirit feel lifted. They definitely say Hawaii.IMG_1164But as it happened I did find a plumeria lei that had been placed on a grave. Some loved one mad sure the tradition was carried on, at least for this soldier.

IMG_1159As I looked on and on at the thousands of flags waving in a cemetery that is now so full it can’t take anymore dead, I could only wonder. When will the day come that we will not grieve over the loss of our precious loved ones because man just can’t get along. Please tell me. When will we see those plow sheers.