Archive for March, 2010

Carnival of Aloha Alert for Bloggers!

A quiet corner in Kapolei on Oahu

It’s that time again!  The deadline for submissions to the Carnival of Aloha has been extended to Saturday, April 3rd.  The Carnival is set to go live on Monday, April 5th.

If you are a Hawaii blogger or a blogger with a post about Hawaii, any island, feel free to join us and send us your story!  Submit the link to your post using this submission form.

Come join us for the fun and thank you, in advance, for sharing the Aloha!

A Little Lenten Aloha

Phoenix Palms found at Home Depot in IwileiLent has been quite a struggle this year.  Many of us have been sick, Mom spent time in the hospital again, taxes are still looming around, and there is a multitude of life’s other dramas rearing their ugly heads.

Sometime back (a few years ago) I took it upon myself to put the palm leaves together for Church, to be blessed and shared with the faithful on Palm Sunday.  Because I live in a condo, palm leaves are not always easy to come by.  You would think that, since we live in Hawai’i, finding those palms would be simple. Right? Not necessarily.

To avoid “borrowing” branches and leaves off the side of the road, or worse, every year I buy a couple of little trees from one garden shop or another.  I take the little guys outside to my car, cut off the bulk of leaves, and then take the newly-sheared plants back into the store I got them from — so they can give them away to another customer who might like some free plants!  You should see the looks I get!

This year, even buying these little trees was a problem.  The ones I found were, to put it kindly, sort of scrubby looking.  I finally resigned myself to a couple of Phoenix Palms that were for sale at Home Depot in Iwilei.  While telling the cashier about my annual palm activity she looked a little puzzled.  The conversation went something like this:

“That’s all you want, just the leaves?”

“That’s it,” I replied. “I’ll bring them back and you can give them to whoever wants ’em.”

“Oooh, I would like those!” she said, actually taking an interest in the conversation.

“Are you serious?”  I asked, a little amused.  She nodded eagerly and I couldn’t help but smile at her.  “Then they’re yours!  I’ll be right back.”

The way she said it was so sweet and so sincere.  She didn’t think I was coming back.  Yeah, you got it, she took them home.  They were pretty bald but she was so happy to have them and thanked me for the gift. I gave her a hug and wished her a Happy Easter.  As I confirmed that she had a copy of the receipt so her employer wouldn’t accuse her of stealing, she still seemed incredulous.

Palms and pussy willows for Palm SundayTo lighten things up a little I grinned at her and said, “I’ll come see you next year to cut their branches off!”  She giggled and said she would let me know.  I needed that fun experience.  Just a moment of sharing a giving moment with a stranger who appreciated it — lent, and my life, go just a little bit better.  Seems odd?  I think so too.  I couldn’t help but want to share it here.

The picture on the right is what they became.  Since I attend a Russian Orthodox Church, it is tradition to include pussy willows because Russia has no palms.  At this time of year, the flora most in bloom in Russia is pussy willows — they grow even when snow still covers the ground!  So, we take palm leaves, some stalks of pussy willows, and tie them with a bow to be blessed!  That way we take advantage of both tradition and Tradition.

Do we grow pussy willows here?  Uh, not that I know of!  Watanabe Floral always takes care of that for me, and other floral needs, every year.  I also got the bows from them — and very beautiful bows they were!

Aloha spirit all around?  You bet!  Sending a huge mahalo out to Home Depot for hiring the right people and to Watanabe Floral for what they provide and for having the best staff that tolerate me, even when I’m horrid and grouchy!  Of course, flowers do tend to put us in a better mood.  🙂

Salad Creations Caters to Our Needs

During the weekend of the Honolulu Marathon we needed to get something for coffee hour at Church.  I came up with the brilliant idea of feeding people salad!  Salad Creations caters!  I didn’t want them to cater the salad, I just wanted someone to make me a really BIG salad.  They did!

Salad ordering counter at Koko Marina Salad Creations

I had to go Saturday evening in order to avoid all of the road closures on Sunday morning.

Catered salad packed neatly and carefully wrapped for customer pick up.

The parts were divided and there was more than enough breadsticks and utensils included.  They even gave me three choices of salad dressing!   The best part was those wonderful plastic containers you see with the bulk of the salad in them.  It was amazing that something so simple could keep the salad fresh for so long!

Left over salad after two days.

I took some of the left over salad home and ate it for several days thereafter.  Four days later it was still fresh!  The croutons were a bit soft in spots but still very tasty and the leaves were still nice and fresh.

I highly recommend getting salad from Salad Creations.  You can buy a lunch at the one downtown on Bishop Street but if you want it catered, or created in bulk for a party, check out the Koko Marina location!

Salad Creations
Koko Marina Center
7192 Kalanianaole Hwy., E-123
Honolulu, HI  96825
Phone: (808) 396-2380

Historic Events Repeating Themselves

King Lunalilo’s Tomb

King Lunalilo’s tomb was blessed with new kahili a few weeks ago as part of the King’s 175th birthday.  These kahili were beautiful new additions to replace the old ones that were not in the greatest of shape after all of these years.

Kamehameha Maertens

Apparently the making of the new kahili was orchestrated by Paulette Nohealani Kahalepuna which says to me that these kahili were not only crafted of feathers but that they were done correctly, carefully, and beautifully.

The gentleman pictured here on the left is Kamehameha Maertens.  He is quite familiar with the kahili in King Lunalilo’s tomb.  Back in 1938 an article in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin listed him as one of the kahili bearers back then. Mr. Maertens’ grandson took him to the new kahili event to celebrate Lunalilo’s 175th birthday on January 31st at the King’s tomb on the grounds of Kawaiaha’o Church.

That, in my opinion, is certainly something worth talking about — a man revisits a part of history that he himself was a part of.  I’m not sure how many of us will be around long enough to see history repeat itself or to say we actually had a hand in it!

In the Star-Bulletin article, Kamehameha Maertens was listed incorrectly as a member of the Royal Order of Kamehameha.  His first name may have been the reason for the reporter’s confusion but he was certainly an important part of the royal procession paying tribute to the memory of a man who was once a very popular monarch.

After all of those years gone by, I can’t help but wonder if he ever dreamed that his own grandchild would push for the preservation of the Hawaiian culture through the protection, perpetuation, and restoration of its treasured language.  In case you can’t get into Facebook, here’s the meat of what’s on the other end of this link:

“After the unlawful overthrow of the Hawaiian government by white supremacists, four generations of Hawaiian people endured cultural genocide beginning in 1896 when the Hawaiian language was banned as a medium of public instruction. 30+ years have passed since the 1978 Hawai’i State Constitution nominally restored Hawaiian as an official language along with English, yet speakers of Hawaiian cannot vote using their language. Without public information readily available in Hawaiian, the current policy of English-only community services is indeed tantamount to ethnic cleansing! Will you please join with us to implement Hawai’i’s Official Languages Act to put this unfortunate era of cultural genocide against Hawaiian speaking people behind us for good?”

I’ve talked about this before and, while it is a touchy subject, most people will agree that it is a terrible thing to cut off a people from their own language.  It is a wretched behavior for a country claiming to be “civilized.”  Make no mistake about it, I’m an American and proud of it, but there are times when I just don’t know what we were thinking!  But I digress.

There are quite a few of us who missed the Hawaiian-language boat in school and are now trying to learn.  This is where Mr. Maertens’ grandson comes in.  Michael Malulani Odegaard is trying to help us do just that.  Some students are doing better than others.  I have to admit that life, as usual, gets in the way of that too.  Mahalo, Kumu, for all you do and for your infinite patience!

For those of you looking to learn ‘olelo Hawai’i or looking to brush up on your skills a little, there are small classes available on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 PM and Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 7:00 PM.  Follow this link for more information about the Wednesday evening class and for contact information in case you have questions.

For those who try to call it a dead language, I’m very happy to let you know that you are sadly mistaken!  It’s alive and well and getting stronger every day!

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