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.

Photo on 2013-01-12 at 13.20 #3

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.


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.


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.)


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.





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.


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.

Karen and Cadi’s Excellent Adventure At Wailua Beach

Photo on 2013-01-12 at 13.20 #3

With four dogs I find it very hard to manage a walk for any of them. It’s a matter of them all crying and pawing to go all at once. Of course I’m not able to do this as I would be dragged down the street so fast that I’d be blood and bones by the time I got to the end of the block. I’ve been asking the family for help as these dogs need that exercise but so far no takers for now.

Cadi has become the biggest beggar and every time she thinks I’m going to walk out that door she runs to it and begins to shiver all over. The above photo pretty much shows how she looks when she pleads with me. Today since my daughter was home I decided to take Cadi for a ride with me to Waialua where I get the diatomaceous earth to help control fleas and ticks on my little pack.

After picking up the powder and cow hooves for them to chew on I stopped off at my favorite “Waialua Fresh” Vegetable (You can find them on facebook) store to pick up some Hawaiian honey. I walked to the car where Cadi sat ramrod straight waiting patiently. She deserved an adventure. So off we drove to look for a beach that didn’t have a sign that said “no dogs allowed.”


Yup. Here was a  sign with no restrictions. So out of the car jumped Cadi for her first outing to the beach. Even though this island is surrounded by ocean it is very hard to find a beach that is not jammed full of tourist that you can park your car close to or one that allows dogs. If there are beaches that are empty they are more then likely to be surrounded by expensive homes that cut off access to the nicer beaches. So when I saw this sign I immediately  pulled up to the one of three parking spaces.


With the sun shining brightly and the access so inviting we started our walk towards the ocean. But as we walked I was drawn to a small body of water to my right.


This looks like it might have been a stream that had come down from the mountain and towards the ocean. But if you look closely (click on photo for a closer view) You will see large pieces of rubbish  and unhealthy looking water. I always feel sad when I see how people carelessly destroy such beautiful surroundings.


At last we come to the beach. A few men and their kids were casting their poles out into the surf.  The beach is full of drift wood that might have come in with the tide. I wasn’t sure I wanted to walk this way so I looked to my right.


To my right was a long stretch of sand uninterrupted by any mounds of drift wood. Just as I started to walk this way I heard excited yelling from the kids on the left side of the beach.


One of the young boys had pulled this dead blow fish out of the water. Again if you zoom in you can see the hole on its side. To me that did not look right and I wondered how it died. I was hoping, not from some kind of disease.  I went to get closer to take another photo.


As I stepped toward the fish the boy picked up his find with his fat stick and flung it back into the sea. Was he thinking the fish would swim away? I felt bad about the fish. It reminded me of the blow fish that used to swim in the indoor saltwater pool at a restaurant where I worked. Everyone got a laugh from him as every once in a while he would climb up on a small rock and bark. That is also why they are called dog-fish. This poor little guy won’t bark anymore. And for sure you don’t want to eat this fish even if he was still alive they are highly poisonous. In Japan they are quite a delicacy and Chiefs take years to learn how to prepare them.


So we turned to the right again and headed down the large stretch of beach where Cadi sniffed along luxuriously taking in all the smells. I was looking at the homes that lined the beach and thought why do they allow special people to build homes along the ocean and deny the majority of the pleasure of an open beach?


Obviously one of the homeowners has set himself up in quite a wonderful spot to watch the moon go down or the sun set. And if he needs some rest after counting all his money he has his hammock set up under his little grass hut.


But still. I had access to this beach and Cadi was so happy to be out with me that I decided to look closer at the plants along the way. Here are photos of the flowers that actually grow along this coast. As I looked at them I thought they were quite pretty.




Here you can see a close up of the drift wood that is piled along the beach sand. I tried but could not think of what I could make from these pieces but they certainly were attractive.


And as I knelt  down to take an even closer photo of these flowers Cadi stepped right in front of my camera taking a quick lick of my lens (OH No!) and totally blocking my shot. I pushed her and I pulled her but she refused to move until I got up and started to walk away. She had had enough of dead fish, driftwood and plants.


So I turned around and headed back up the beach and to the access road where Cadi with sand on her lips happily walked to the car. We got in, headed down the road and up the winding path, past  Schofield Barracks and down the long stretch lined by farms.

Once at home Cadi stood in the middle of the living room so that the other three dogs could sniff her, taking a vicarious trip  via her fur and paws. Then they all ran to the door crying. OK now it’s their turn.

Lucky You Live Hawaii


The Sun goes down and the water remains bath tub warm. The view makes me want to cry. But I’m not here. My son took this photo. This is his youngest son who is still going at it as the last rays flash into the horizon. If you look closely you can even see red sails in the sunset.

I am sure there are those of you who would give anything to be sitting on this beach watching the sky change colors like a chameleon. Maybe take a moonlight swim or just hold hands with someone special and kick your feet with a slight splash as you stroll along the shoreline.

I know that is what I would love to do. “Hey wait a minute” you may say, “you live in Hawaii, what keeps you from doing it?”

Hmm. Good question. I’m becoming a recluse. With all this beauty around me I rarely leave the house. So I’m going to force my way out of the house and look into a few places that one of my readers, Helen Dano, suggested. Sink holes and a natures preserve.

I will just do it! Meanwhile I need to head down to that beach and capture a few shots of my own. I need to be rejuvenated. After all, to paraphrase a saying here in the islands,  “I’m lucky I live Hawaii!”


China Town is Not Boring








I needed tea and a little staycation. Chinatown has always been a way to take a trip without leaving the island. No matter how many trips I make down there I will always find many curiosities that make me realize how little I know about how people live around me.

As I’ve stated in an earlier blog going on photo trips should never be done with friends or kids both of which I was accompanied by on this day. Every time I stopped to take a photo I would look up and my friend and the kids were a half a block ahead of me.

By the end of the day I was limping to keep up with her. The only time she paused was when we came to a jewelry store. Where I on the other hand found all of the displays in front of the stores fascinating.






Here my friend paused. I was bored as I’m not a jewelry person but I thought this is not something everyone sees everyday so I took a few photos. Of course as I took this photo I was blocking the many, many people rushing to and fro and once again a blurry picture.


Wow, Jade bracelets for $20.00!! Yeah and I bet they are injected with dye. But… their colorful.

Now these are the things I found fascinating. Hum, how do you cook lotus root. I was trying to get the photo when out of the corner of my eye I could see my friend moving on down the street. I quickly took the shot just as a man emerged from the side of the store. He lived in one of the new apartments that had been built in the nooks and crannies of China town.

Quickly passing me by he said under his breath ” boy you must really lead a boring life.” As I released the shutter I looked up at this tall, wrinkly, skinny guy and looked him in the eye and said, “no, I’m quite happy with my life and find it quite interesting.”

He was shocked that I had heard him and even more taken aback that I stood up to him. I told him that I had friends that have never seen some of these things and I liked to photograph these for them. He then acquiesced but then got belligerent again.

Why do you need to send them photos when they can look it up on the web and with that he quickly turned around and took long strides down the street.

At first I thought yes I guess they could look them up on the web and then I remembered what would they look up if they have never heard of them? What a jerk that guy was. Then I looked to my left and saw that my friend was already at the end of the street. Damn I was not even going where I wanted to because I was trying to keep up with her.

Do you know what these are? if so you probably have already looked them up on the web:-) This is dry cuttlefish. At least I think it is. I didn’t have the time to ask. Limping quickly down the street.

These were packed in like sardines, in fact I think they are. Dried sardines. Rush, rush, rush.

Now this I took a chance on as my friend paused at a store. I ran inside and took the photo. I could see it was kind of dark but I thought I have to move on. Running quickly to the place next door.


Where’d she go?  She’s not in here.

Oh the heck with it I thought. Look at all these colorful pieces of plastic. This store was so packed that there stock was piled in the ally next to it.

Now how often do you eat this? I thought they were  sponges. But the sign said, dried white fungus. How interesting. What cook book would I find a recipe for these? Bored indeed. Humph!

As we headed back to the car I quickly took this shot. Originally I thought it was an interesting building showing the typical Chinese architecture. It was not until I got home that I realized that this was one of the finest restaurants in China Town in its day. One of the places I had always hoped to be able to eat at if I was so lucky. How sad to see the state it was in. You can go to this site if you would like to see what it looked like in its glory day. Wo Fat

Now for the total opposite. This was the movie theater my family and I went to years and years ago to see “Bugsy Malone.” Yes that many years ago and it was falling apart at that time. Now it has been totally restored and has really brought up the caliber of the neighborhood.



Thankfully it was restored. As many times as I had been to this theater, I had never seen these panels. Beautiful! But as I took this last photo I turned to see my friend was already a block away and by now I could barely walk with the blister on my foot from walking so fast. Limp, limp, limp.

Next time I’m going by myself. But boring this was not. I’m thankful I can see wonder in mundane things, beauty in a restored building and the ability to share it. I think it was that idiot of a man who must walk as though he was on a walkalator, passing life as he glides by.