Entries Tagged as 'Community Events'

There’s nothing like food to get your attention!

Well, it works for me. The topic of food seems like a great way to start a person writing, too! As you can see, I seem to have decided that blogging is a semi-annual thing, or a quarterly thing at best. Based on previously posted items, the former seems to be the adopted definition. So, let’s talk about food; I am always willing to talk about that!

June, I read somewhere, was National Fruits and Vegetables Month! I found that acclamation again — San Mateo Public Library confirms it! They have a beautiful picture to go along with sharing this foodie holiday.

So what? What does this have to do with Honolulu? Well, there is this little “business” that was sitting right in my own backyard, so to speak. O'ahu Fresh logoIf you live on O’ahu, doesn’t the logo on the left look just a little familiar? I’ve seen the van and I thought they delivered to the stores, grocery and otherwise but I was wrong. They deliver to us!

O’ahu Fresh gathers local-grown produce and delivers the items they gather in a bag of goodies to you either every week or every other week, depending on how often you want them. If you work in Downtown Honolulu just pick a spot where they already drop off the bags and add yourself to the list. That’s what I did.

I even called O’ahu Fresh to change my order from bi-monthly to weekly because, “June is Fruit and Vegetable Month!” I was aiming to share this here on Homespun Honolulu because food it such a great topic and O’ahu Fresh would benefit from my blabbering, and I could learn how to make new things, and, um, well, it’s JULY! O’ahu Fresh still benefits, local readers still benefit, I have already learned new veggie things, I am still excited about it, I have a new friend over at Oceanit (where I pick up my bag) so the only one to suffer really is Fruit and Vegetable Month. Oh well.

Local produce

O’ahu Fresh has managed to introduce me to some weird things — things that you can actually eat. “What’s that? Never heard of them!” They may be grown here but they are new to me! Fortunately, the O’ahu Fresh website tells you, every week, what is in the bag that week. The best part is they provide definitions for the strange items and links to recipes for all the items!

Do not let the oddities scare you — if you have your pick-up spot close to work, you can always find someone at work who will eat what you will not, or cannot. I hate tomatoes. I hate cucumbers. I hate lychee. Between taste and texture they are all out the door for me. Blech! However, I have found a recipe that works very nicely with cucumber and I found a recipe for katsup! I love ketchup! There are a lot of recipes for catsup! There are even more recipes for ketchup than there are spellings!

With O’ahu Fresh you are not stuck with just produce. They will bring you dairy products, jams and jellies, coffees and teas, and even meats, if you want to add any of those items to your bag. These are all locally grown items which means that beef is free-ranging, grass-eating cattle (compliments of the Big Island farmers)! They have actually, recently, mentioned fresh fish!

Be still my heart with those dairy products and the beef that is as healthy as you can get beef to be! Love fresh produce, I love my home, therefore, I love O’ahu Fresh! Coming up I will share recipes (mine or theirs) and keep it all with local-grown Aloha in the process. Maybe I will be lucky enough to meet up with some of their farmer partners — that would be cool! 🙂

Native American attractions in Honolulu

Don’t happen often enough! When it does, I always seem to miss it.

I have been very drawn to the Native American culture over the last five years or so.  Unfortunately, I always seem to be in the wrong place when they have an event.  I’ve never seen anything like it!

On my way home the other day I saw something out of the corner of my eye.  “That looks like… I think… it IS!  It’s a teepee!  They’re there!”  How fast can you cross three lanes of Beretania Street without killing yourself or getting a ticket?  Don’t ask, I just did.

Indian architecture that caught my attention.

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I just had to!  I had to find out more, to know more about a culture that continues to elude me. Native Americans share heartaches that are not dissimilar to those of Native Hawaiians.

Brightly-colored, tradtional dress.

My heart goes out to them and seeing, learning, and sharing in the beauty of their culture means so much to me. Perhaps the fact that they are so geographically removed from Honolulu just adds to the mystique.

Ovwer the years they have assimilated quietly here and they have become part of our society’s makeup. I just want to “know” them.

Ring dance.

I had to understand what the above activity was all about so, I asked!  I was told that this is a healing dance done to help those who are ailing. Each ring respresents whatever ails you.

Youngster very skilled with the rings.

I was amazed at the agility and ability with which the rings can be handled and the spheres that the dancer above was able to create.

healing-dance-with-rings.JPG

Anyone would feel better after watching this!

Feathers and beads make for some fascinating traditional dress!
Cultural fascinations in traditional dress.

I must admit, I did take a lot of pictures. It was hard to resist! Traditional dress is often very colorful and the feathers just make it all the more fascinating!

The little ones are dancers too!

The little ones get involved as well.

I couldn’t get enough of admiring the cultural dress and wishing I knew more aobut the meaning.

This afternoon was all about my desire to understand more of the culture and customs of our Native Americans.  The good part of this visit was that I got myself added to their notification list so, hopefully, I will know well ahead of time when these events are about to take place!

A flyer to tell you all about powwow etiquette!

What did I take away from this?  Pow wow etiquette!

Indian ornament.Little buffalo to bring good luck.

It would be a good thing to put together a list of questions for the next time I’m lucky enough to run into this!

Thank you in Cherokee.

Many thanks go out to the various participants for sharing their culture with everyone!  I’m looking forward to the next pow wow!

Honolulu Welcomes the Dragon!

Chinese dragonKung Hei Fat Choi!

Every year I wait for the sounds of those drums!  Whenever I hear them I follow the sound, grab my camera, and grab my wallet for dollar bills, or $5 bills if I am in a good mood and feeling the need for whatever prosperity the Chinese New Year will bring.

We are closing the year of the Rabbit and welcoming in the year of the Dragon.  I love dragons.  I’m more prone to the Old World dragons that guard castles and nest on piles of gold and jewels but, like I said to someone last week, a dragon is a dragon and I’ll take whatever I can get!

No, I am not superstitious and, no, I do not follow the teachings of the zodiac.  However, I have to admit that there is often some truth and accuracy to the things they say about our character traits.  Besides, it’s fun.  You can take it with a grain of salt but it is a heck of a lot of fun to see how things fit the people you know!

Chinese drums move down Fort Street in Downtown Honolulu

There is just something about the sound of those drums, when they are done right, that just triggers something.  Of all Asian art and culture, Chinese lion and dragon dances surpass it all for me.

Lions dance and spectators offer money for bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year.

The best part of Downtown Honolulu at this time of year is that it is so very close to China Town.  Businesses frequently enlist this rite to chase away evil spirits from their doorways.  Hopefully I will run into more of them this year than I did last.  I do not want to wait another year to hear those drums and watch this cultural marvel unfold.  Firecrackers included!

STRIKE! Perhaps this will send a message…

… if enough people participate.  You might be surprised at how many people/sites that will be participating.  Here is the scoop:

January 18th is going to be amazing. Sites are striking in all different ways, but they are united by this: do the biggest thing you possibly can, and drive contacts to Congress. Put this on your site or automate it by putting this JS into your header, which will start the blackout at 8AM EST and end at 8PM EST.

Websites: How to Strike


  1. Black out your website for 12 hours with this page’s HTML, or by putting this Javascript into your site’s theme. Tucows is doing this and so is BoingBoing.
  2. Other people have made tools to strike. Some other ways to strike:
  3. Don’t be silent that day. Tweet all day from your official company account (#SOPASTRIKE) and share news on sites like reddit. You will get much love in return from your users, and the bigger the action you do, the more love you will be feeling 🙂 – You can follow us on twitter for news as the strike gets closer. If you are really feeling shy, you can blackout your site logo / add STOP SOPA messages wherever you can.

Everyone: Prepare to Strike


  1. If you have a Twitter account, tweet about the #SOPASTRIKE and ask your followers to get ready. You can follow us on twitter for news as the strike gets closer. Go to Blackout SOPA to add ‘STOP SOPA’ to your Twitter image.
  2. Post this SOPA Strike page to your Facebook account by clicking here.
  3. Get ready for January 18th! Email and tweet at your friends, tell them to tell everyone about the strike. When the day comes, call Congress, tweet like crazy (#SOPASTRIKE), and help the strike appear everywhere!

On Jan 24th, Congress will vote to pass internet censorship in the Senate, even though the vast majority of Americans are opposed. We need to kill the bill – PIPA in the Senate and SOPA in the House – to protect our rights to free speech, privacy, and prosperity. We need internet companies to follow Reddit’s lead and stand up for the web, as we internet users are doing every day.

Um, that’s tomorrow gang.  So, if your favorite site is down, now you know why!  Follow the links and send your protests!  Tell Congress NOT to mess with OUR Internet!   

Sharing with the Keiki

2011 Toy Run
The Street Bikers United Hawaii – Oahu Chapter shared information about the 2011 Toy Run on December 4th.

The following is a list of the charities that received toys from Toys for Tots Hawaii: 

Alu Like
Adult Friends for Youth
Agape Assembly of God
Armed Services YMCA
Banyan Street Manor
Catholic Charities Maililand
Central Samoan Assembly of God Chursch
CFS Healthy Start Oahu
Congregational Samoan Christian Church of Maile
Cup of Water Outreach
DHS First To Work Downtown
Domestic Violence Clearinghouse And Legal Hotline
Drug Addiction Services of Hawaii
Emmanuel Temple Church
Family Programs Hawaii
Family Services Center Preschool
First Judicial Circuit
First Lap
First Samoan Full Gospel Pentecostal Church
Friends of Foster Kids
FSCCC-Maili
FTS The Salvation Army
Good Samaritan Church
Graham Builders Inc.
Hale Kipa
Hawaii Children’s Cancer Foundation
Hawaii First Samoan Assembly of God
Housing Solutions Inc.
Honolulu Church of God
HCAP Leahi District
HCAP Leeward District
442 Head Start
HCAP Central
HCAP Kalihi-Palama
HCAP Windward
Honolulu Samoan Assembly of God
Ho’omau Ke Ola
Hope Chapel Kahuku
IHS Women and Families Shelter
Jesus Is the Way Church Of God
Kahana Community Association
Kahikolu Ohana Hale O Waianae
Kalihi Valley Homes
Ke Ola Mamo – Ko’olaupoko Unit
Kokua Kalihi Valley Family Services
Kukui Tower
Ku I Ka Mana Program Coordinator
Life Foundation
Lighthouse Outreach Center
Linapuni Elementary School
Makakilo Assembly of God
Mauga Olive Assembly of God
Mutual Housing Assn – Palolo
Naval Reserve Center Honolulu
North Shore Mental Health
Oahu Salvation of Souls AG Church
Once a Month Church
One Love Ministries
Pacific Gateway Center
PACT Family Center
PACT Respite Care
PACT Ohia Domestic Violence Shelter
PACT Teen Program
PACT Intensive Support Program
PACT EHS / HS
PACT Administrative Offices
PACT Kaneohe Community Family Center
PACT CPS Program
PACT Hana Like Visitation Program Waianae
Palama Settlement
Palolo Valley Homes
Papakolea Community Development Corporation
Poly USO Productions
Puuwai Momi Resident Assn
River Of Life
Solid Rock Fellowship AOG
St. Patrick’s Outreach
Sts Peter & Paul Outreach
Star Program
The Salvation Army Leeward Corps
The Salvation Army ARC
The Salvation Army ATS
Vietnamese Catholic Community
Voice Of Christ
Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center
Waipahu Assembly of God
Wings of Love Samoan Assembly of God
Waianae Neighborhood Place
Waianae Community Outreach
Word of Life
Waianae Coast Early Childhood Services

Wow!  That was quite and event!  Merry Christmas to our keiki!

Bringing Hawai’i History Back to Life!

‘Ike K???ko?a
Liberating Knowledge, The Newspaper Type Scripting Project

Awaiaulu, Perpetuating Past to Present, or binding that part to the present securely, is hard at work at a project to restore 60,000 pages of long-forgotten newspapers.  I had no concept of just how much Hawaiian text there is out there!  You have GOT to watch this video!  There are pages and pages of Hawaiian newspapers to be put into searchable form! This is so exciting!

Typing Hawaiian newspapers and turning them into searchable text.

I am so very proud of the volunteers who have stepped up to devote some of their time to this project!  Will they eventually translate it all into English?  I don’t know, but we can hope.  Yes, I know, we should all learn to speak and understand the native tongue of our home but, I have to admit, it’s hard to teach old people like me a new language.  In time, maybe?  The main thing is it will assist in the recovery of lost history!

Pssst… if you’ve been caught throwing things out your car window, if you need to put in some time doing community service, this counts against your required community service hours!  I’m just saying.

Suddenly I feel the need to say, God bless ‘Aha P?nana Leo for what they have become and what they have accomplished over the years in keeping the language alive for all!  Those who are the products of the Hawaiian immersion schools will be able to read, and maybe even translate the recovery of this history.

If you can, please get involved!

2011 Toys for Tots Motorcycle Run

What do you do on a peaceful Sunday morning?  Do you go to Ala Moana Park and paddle board?  Do you go sailing?

Paddle boarder and a sail boat off of Ala Moana Park on an overcast Sunday morning.

Some people do.  Is that why I was venturing over to Magic Island?  Uh, no.  If it’s the first or second Sunday in December, I’m there for one reason and one reason only — the annual Toys for Tots Motorcycle Run!

Motorcycle decked in blue and silver

The weather has been overcast all weekend so one can only guess that stuffed animals were not the toys of choice this year.  While there were a few soft critters, not all of them were toys for the kids.  Some of them were mascots.

GEICO gecko catches a ride on the back of a bike.

The GEICO gecko made sure to show up for the occasion.  In case you’ve missed the commercials, they insure motorcycles.  Actually, I wonder if this one was a going to be gifted.  If that’s the case, I need one for my car!  I seriously wouldn’t mind having him as a passenger.  This was actually the first bike photo I took as I thought, “They must be here.”

GEICO tent at the start of the motorcycle run.

Indeed they were, with bells on!  They were even ladies walking around taking monetary donations for Street Bikers United to help with the cost of the Toy Run, to keep it running!  It is a great cause and quite the community event!

Animated reindeer surveys the event.

I liked this animated reindeer.  He was just sitting there looking from side to side to see what was interesting, just like me!

All dressed up for the event.

The bikes are always a fascination but the people are too!  There were people who dressed for the Christmas event that this is intended to be.

Iron Circle Hawaii members dressed like bikers!

Then there were people who dressed, well, like bikers!

Santa and his biker chick.

Of course Santa was there!  He even found himself a biker chick!

A pirate biker joins in the fun.

There were the ones who attracted every camera lens.  A pirate!  Why a pirate?

Ocean Dive toy

This rider is a diver.  The toy gave that away.

Shark rides co-pilot with the pirate.

Of course the co-pilot shark kind of helped with that, too.  So, a pirate is the proper attire — anything ocean!  This is Hawai’i, how can you argue with outfitting yourself with anything ocean?

Biker vests tell great stories.

This one on the left was my favorite and I let her know that I thought it was too cool.  And you guys thought I was kidding when I mentioned biker chick.  Oh yeah, they were there too.  Awesome!

The beauty of this event is that nobody knows what these people do for a living.  Tank’s Lady may be a pediatrician for all we know!  (If she sees this, I hope she tells us.)  One of the other rugged-looking dudes might be an architect.  It happens!  That is the beauty of events like this and that is why I take every opportunity to squelch the negative opinions the seem to pop up whenever people hear the word “biker.”

Like anything else, riding is a passion that runs through a biker’s veins.  It’s like hunting, fishing, running, or any of the other events to which people devote their time.

Bikers are not the ogres people try to make them out to be.  Yes, there are bad a**es but there are those in every group of people.  This is just one example of good people trying to do something good for their community and enjoy themselves in the process.  Trust me, I was there!  I was at KCC with a four-wheeled vehicle (who wants to see a car at a biker event?) and still I was allowed to sneak in.  I witnessed the camaraderie among bikers, and I enjoyed the acceptance of this crazy blogger who was there with camera in hand simply because they were all there being who they are!

Patience, understanding and a lot of ALOHA makes this event what it is every year.  I witnessed it and I enjoyed the benefit of it — of course the “I Brake for Bikers” bumper sticker on my boring automobile may have helped with that part.

Christian Motorcyclists Association are “Riding for the Son.”

I so love it when people prove me right!  <sarcasm>Gasp!  Those horrible people!</sarcasm>  There is an annual bike blessing, by the way, in case you have friends or family that need to have their bikes blessed — which is not a bad idea on our Hawai’i roadways!

Hope for the Highway book of scripture.

Every year I come away with something in my hand.  This year I did not come away with a GEICO bandana or a Marine Corp flyer.  This little treasure brought tears to my eyes as I picked it up and found that it was the New Testament in its entirety along with stories that I will share with everyone later.

As I thumbed through it to see what was included in the text, I decided that I would have to share the stories with everyone later.  This is the best season to do so as most of them are recovery stories about overcoming some of the different challenges that life throws our way.

Santa’s sleigh pulled by a reindeer with a motor.

I always look for fun and fascinating things to share.  Santa’s sleigh is always an important thing to share!

Beautiful yellow bike with all the trimmings a biker would want.

In the process of seeking these fun things, I always seem to find at least one bike that makes me catch my breath.  This one was stunning!  If the owner catches this post, please share your story for this picture I have labeled, “My Star Performer.”

Pooh and what I belive was a group of Veterans.

Everyone loves Pooh Bear and the Veterans are no exception.  I’m assuming these were the bikes of Veterans.  Anyone is welcome to correct me if I’m wrong!  Please do!

The lot at Ala Moana Park by Magic Island kept filling up as the morning progressed.

With every turn the lot was filling up quickly.

More bikers file in.

One biker from this large group noticed the camera.

Bikers continue to arrive at Ala Moana Park to join in the ride.

They just seemed to be coming from all directions

Either way you look, bikers made thier way into the staging area.

There must have been more this year than in the past.  It was getting crazy at the starting point but it was unbelievable at the end and police officers had to direct the traffic for the stream of bikers filing in to drop off their toys!

Line of bikers dropping off their toys with the Marine Corp.

So many bikers, so many toys.

The Marine Corp waiting to accept the gifts for all of the children.

I asked the Marine officer who was taking in the toys if these toys were for the children of military, disadvantaged children, or whose children.  His response was that the toys are for all children.  My assumption is that they are for all any and all children in need at this time of year.

We even have a biker dog!  Very cute looking Pomeranian mix.

I leave everyone with this little mascot.  A biker dog!  What a cutie!

Someone asked me, “Do you ride?”

“No, I’m a coward and have too much road rage — it would be a suicide mission for me to become a biker.”  That small bit of intelligence on my part does not change my desire and my admiration for those who do!

My one regret this year is that those ladies collecting donations were doing so to support the event itself and I missed an opportunity to show my support.  But, all is not lost!  If you want to make a donation to help keep this event running, please do by making your check payable to “The Toy Parade Inc” and mail it to: SBUHI, P.O. Box 5003, Kaneohe, HI  96744.  I am!

Heartfelt appreciation goes out to Street Bikers United, the Marine Corp., and all of the bikers who participate in this event every year.  Thank you for sharing your excitement and passion with us, and mahalo nui for letting me live vicariously through all of your passion and events!

Wordless Wednesday: Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace, draped

Be Still My Heart! (I seriously need to get a life.)

With all of the businesses closing around town and in key places like Aloha Tower Marketplace (which we will talk more about a little later), it is always heart-warming to see a new one about to open.

I knew this little place on Bishop Street was under construction but I didn’t know what they would be opening.  My co-workers saw the signs before I did and one of them said, “Evelyn’s gonna be happy!”  Sure enough, they were very right!

A new business is under construction!

Just in case you have not been able to make out the logo on those signs in the window, let me see if I can help you with that… just a little bit.

This is where I say, “Be still my heart!”  What can I say?  You may think that I must be losing it but let me tell you, there were at least two other stunned people who were saying, “7-11?  Right on!”

A new 7-11 in Downtown Honolulu!This is an exciting event for me!  I can’t help it.  This is one of my business favorites!  If you could see my bank account statement, the list of charges would look something like this:

7 Eleven
Longs Drugs
Safeway Store
7 Eleven
Safeway Store
ATM Withdrawal
7 Eleven
Zippy’s Rest
Longs Drugs
Safeway Store
7 Eleven
Fresh Cafe

Well, something like that anyway.  You get the point.  If you work in Downtown Honolulu and did not know about this until now, then you should be excited too!

Finally! Downtown Honolulu has been needing a 7-11 Store for a very, very long time. Life is good!  I already know what I’m going to buy, just because I can!   Work life just got better!

Hawaii Pet Expo 2011

Every year I say I am going to go to this event but never quite seem to make it there.  This year I made it and it’s pretty darn amazing.  This is definitely something you should put on your calendars for next year!

Tails of Aloha banner sums up the whole event

No, “Tails of Aloha” is not the banner for the event but that name certainly sums things up nicely.  In reality, Tails of Aloha is the organization that cares for animals that need homes.  Visit their sight and check it out!

People and dogs everywhere!

People were walking around socializing with each other while the dogs were doing their own socializing.  You could tell that these animals had been socialized before — they must go to doggy parks a lot.  They were all so well behaved and people-friendly.  It was fun to watch this all taking place indoors at Blaisdell Center.

Birds are definitely a pet attraction!

The birds are always beautiful to watch and observe but they can also be life-long friends for some lucky people.

Felines have the personality to match!

The cats were here as well.  There were fish too!  Someone actually had koi there!

Persians are fun and fabulous felines!

These baby Persians, my feline breed of choice, were the cutest ever!

This very large Dalmatian was about hip-high if you stood next to him.

Dalmatians come in different breeds!

While there were not 101 Dalmatians at this year’s Expo, I am not altogether sure which one of these Dalmatians was the largest!

Pet Blessing anyone?  For more information on this event you can either visit www.e-shrine.org or call 841-4755.

Pet Blessing Festival takes place on June 5, 2011.

This was definitely an event I would like to attend again.  It was very crowded and there was so much to see.  There were animals and pet foods and animal care products and… just a lot of stuff!  An event for the whole family to enjoy.