Entries Tagged as 'Island Life'

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!

Happy New Year Carnival!

A perfect yellow hibiscus blowing in the breeze.Welcome to the first 2012 edition of the Carnival of Aloha!  I was surprised to hear that more than 70% of Americans were very happy to put 2011 behind them.  Really?  You mean I’m not alone?  It was a rough year for many of us, and in many ways.

Yaro Starak, the blogger’s favorite entrepreneur, had a hell of a 2011!  He calls it, My Most Challenging Year Part I: When Family Tragedy Strikes that he posted over at the Entrepreneurs-Journey.  I can certainly relate although I am not as open to talking about these things brought to us in 2011 like Yaro is.  No, Yaro did not send this to me for the Carnival and no, it has nothing to do with Hawai’i.  It was in my Inbox because I am subscribed to one of his lists.  This could not have been more timely.  His post certainly helps me make my case for wishing a speedy aloha to 2011.  Thank you, Yaro, for helping me with that.

I know I’m ready to move on into this new year with hopes of a much gentler outcome.  Chinese New Year at the end of this month will be welcoming in the Year of the Dragon and I am looking forward to having that Dragon come roaring onto the scene!

Great news!  We are already starting out on a much more positive note!  Hmmm… I guess we’re eating seafood for this Carnival.

Karen happily shares Squid, Fish and I, Oh My Or Fishing in Waikiki posted at kareninhonolulu, saying, “my latest blog from my trip to Waikiki this New Years Morning. It’s a fun blog to start off the year.”  I don’t know if any of those squid made it to the hot coals that morning but we’ll go with it.  Karen was relaxing but I have to tell you guys that she is the hostess with the mostest over at Bishop Museum — we’ll talk about that later!

I know the calamari lovers are starting to salivate out there so I’m really glad we have a remedy for what these much-loved delicacies leave behind.

Sheila helps us freshen our breath!  Aloha Friday Photo: SPAM Breath Mints? posted at Hawaii Vacation Blog – GoVisitHawaii.com, saying, “Well, since you suggested it, here’s the SPAM mints post. 🙂 These crack me up!”  I confess, I did suggest this would be fun to share.  Besides, what is more Hawaii than SPAM?  Thank you, Sheila, for sharing this crazy breath freshener!  I can see how a Pez could look like a slice of SPAM.  Works for me!

Santa makes an appearance at the Russian Orthodox parish.You may think our next post is not too timely but I beg to differ.  The old-calendar Orthodox just celebrated Christmas last weekend so this is perfect timing!  Santa Claus even stopped by on his way back to the North Pole!

Gigi wishes everyone Merry Christmas from Hawaii posted at gigi-hawaii, saying, “Wishing you a very happy and healthy New Year!!!”  We can’t argue with that!  Gigi also shares some truly wonderful photos with us from earlier in the year when she visited the Big Island of Hawaii.  They are beautiful photos indeed.

Our “Happy New Year!” continues with what is culturally traditional.

Kay starts the New Year off by buying Kadomatsu for Mom that she tells us about over at Musings.   This was another case of perfect timing — I had just been thinking about these items because they have, once again, started appearing in all the stores.  They are very pretty and they are a cultural tradition!  It’s great to be educated like this.  Thanks, Kay!

Now that we’re full and festive, you know I have to share a little bit of Mr. TenBruggencate’s intellect and continue to educate all of us.

Jan TenBruggencate has shared yet another bit of scientific knowledge over at Raising Islands–Hawai’i science and environment.  Our bees have been a concern for quite some time and Jan sends yet another warning when he says, “A solution to honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder? Doubt it.”  I have been wanting to talk about our bees for quite some time and I am so grateful for these insights.  This way, I can sound intelligent when I approach our local bee keepers.  We just won’t tell them how I got so smart.  Shhh!  Let’s just hope the New Year brings good news to our bee colonies!

Just to add to my weirdness, I’ve started a new endeavor to add to the Honolulu mix.  My friend Karen who fed us fish and squid at the beginning of the Carnival sounded almost excited when I told her about this one so it made me just brave enough to share it with all of you.

Evelyn (my strange self) wants to share a new development.  Well, it is not really all that new.  It has been brewing for several years actually.  I just finally found something to do with my strange fixation.  It’s a… well… it’s a… a graveyard blog!  It’s what I do during my times of Resting Reveries.  I just provided the link to the blog because there isn’t much to it, yet.  It is amazing just how much history is contained in those stones!  You can click on the circle with the rabbit and you will find that there are a lot of people out there who are fascinated by the graveyards, the history, and the genealogy!  So I get to talk about some Hawaiian history from time to time — sounds like a good idea to me!  Don’t you think?

Happy New Year, everyone!  This concludes this chapter of our ongoing Hawai’i blog Carnival. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of Aloha using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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What the camera sees, and I miss!

You know those pictures that you take and there’s more there than meets the eye?  You know, the ones where you don’t see anything unusual until you get it home and look at it more carefully.  Just before Christmas, I was getting some exercise and was on my way to the nearby 7-11 Store for some water.

Photo of an historic cannon in downtown Honolulu.

Well, I thought this cannon was fascinating so I tucked my wallet under my arm and took several snap shots before I decided I would continue on my way to 7-11.  I was really thirsty!  I’m glad I stopped to take these pictures because one of them worked as a great prop for announcing the upcoming Carnival of Aloha.

While I was trimming the photos and selecting the one I liked the best, I saw that one very important item that the camera saw but I missed at the time these photos were taken.  It reminded me that I had not shared this with you guys yet.

See, I went to 7-11 and took a bottle of water out of the fridge.  I took it to the cashier and suddenly, “Nooooooo!  Where’s my wallet?!?”  I knew that I had dropped it somewhere between that cannon and the store.  I ran back, looking at the ground the whole way.  “It’s gone, it’s gone!  Don’t let this happen now, not right before Christmas!”

My wallet!

I got back to the cannon and, thank goodness, there it was!  It was broad daylight but nobody saw it!  My little flowered wallet with its little Chinese bell was sitting right there where I had dropped it while trying to take a decent photo.

Go ahead, scroll back up.  You know you want to!  You’ll see it right there.  I missed it completely when I snapped the pictures — I had to be sure I got the whole cannon in the shot.  Focusing on the ground was not part of the plan for these photos.

Talk about lucky!  My advice?  If it does not have a handle, leave it in your bag until you get where you’re going!  The cashier will wait for you to dig it back out again, trust me.  When I got back to the store they got a good laugh out of it all but I was nicely freaked for the rest of the afternoon!

New Year’s Carnival coming soon!

Calling all Bloggers!  Don’t forget to send in your posts about Hawai’i to the Carnival of Aloha!  Let’s blast into the New Year!

Cannon to shoot us into the New Year!

Feel free to share your articles about any island, any topic, any reason — if it’s Hawai’i specific, you’re in!  We will post it the week after New Year’s  so you can send in your posts about your New Year’s celebration too, if you would like!

The deadline is January 7, 2012 so be sure to send one in now or tickle your calendar so you don’t forget!  Submit a link to your post of choice using this Blog Carnival form and help us all kiss a another not-always-so-wonderful year good-bye!

Having a Carnival Christmas!

You’ve got to love a Panda that eats saimin!

Welcome to the December edition of the Carnival of Aloha!  This will be the last chapter of our Carnival for 2011.  Suffice it to say, 2011 has been a strange year in many ways and it will stick around for quite some time in many of our memories.  We need to take the edge off so let’s have a drink together as we move closer to the end of this interesting and sometimes troubling year!

Sheila shares 4 Favorite Places for a Sunset Drink in Waikiki posted at Hawaii Vacation Blog – GoVisitHawaii.com, saying, “What happened to 2011? The year went by so fast! Well, let’s all toast to the close of 2011 and the welcome of 2012 with a Waikiki sunset drink. :-)”   Thanks, Sheila, you have always been a great person to share with and a great help to my nerves!

Now we need something to eat so we don’t get too tipsy!  It gives me great pleasure to introduce a local blogger who has been around for quite some time but we have never connected until now.  Since that panda at the top of this post is not going to share his saimin, Kay is going t0 feed us a Hawai’i favorite!

Kay actually shows us How to Cook Opihi!  Some time back someone let me try opihi, directly off the rocks, and I thought it tasted a little like sunflower seeds — it must have been the salt from the ocean.  Kay’s recipes posted over at Musings sure look a lot tastier than sunflower seeds.  I like the comment she shared about them tasting like the escargot someone had while on a cruise ship.  It does sound much more appetizing to eat opihi made that way rather than snails!

Now we need a little bit of intellectual stimulation.  I found something I thought you would all find interesting.

Jan TenBruggencate over at Raising Islands–Hawai’i science and environment was talking about Hawaiian volcano science: why Kilauea sits on Mauna Loa, but is a sister of Mauna Kea.  This is interesting information that I thought it would be great to share.  It is always fascinating to learn the secrets about what goes on underneath the surface and creates the beautiful scenery and great photo ops we all enjoy!  Thanks, Jan!

Are your fingers itching to write about Hawai’i?  Pua is going to help us out with that!

Pua sends out an invitation to bloggers as she presents 8 Best Maui Vacation Tips posted at Best Hawaii Vacation with Hawaii Vacation Blog, saying, “We invite people in love with Hawaii and Hawaii vacation to write a guest post on our blog. A short bio will be included. So, if you have something nice to say -NO advertising though – please, share with us like the writer of this ‘Maui vacation tips’ article did.”  Another place to share your island discoveries!

Need a ride?

Evelyn, that’s me, shares the Street Bikers United annual gift giving event — the 2011 Toys for Tots Motorcycle Run posted right here on this blog.   This is a great way to start the month of December every year.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could ride into 2012!

We may not have snow but we have all of your bloggers and readers with whom we share the holiday season!  Have a wonderful holiday season and please, please stay safe!

Aloha to 2011!  The next Carnival of Aloha will have us welcoming in 2012.   Come on and submit your blog articles to the next chapter of the Carnival of Aloha using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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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!

Call for Submissions — December Carnival of Aloha

December Carnival of Aloha!Kamehameha Statue

How did that happen?  I think it should still be March or April!  We need to talk.  Come on, share your stories from 2011 with us.  Be it good news or bad, I’m open to it all this month.  It has been an extreme roller coaster ride of events this past year, both for our State and for many of us as individuals.  Please share your triumphs and/or your drama.

Let’s do a review of 2011 — if it happened in Hawai’i, you are welcome to share!  If this has started your fingers itching and you want to write about it now, go for it and then submit the address of your post so we can link back to you.  If you have a favorite post for the year, share that too!  Join in the camaraderie and connect to the Carnival of Aloha! Submit one of your Hawai’i posts to the Carnival by using this form.

I am reaching out to all Hawai’i bloggers (or bloggers visiting Hawai’i) to participate in our Carnival of Aloha!  I will even accept links to publications as long as you tell me who you are and why you’re sharing it.  There is room on the form to share all of that!

All you need to do is submit one of your posts (or a link) that talks about a local city, town, event or anything else that’s typically Hawai’i.  Or, if you’re a resident, something that’s typically you!

Bloggers from other states, or other countries even, are welcome to submit posts to the Carnival of Aloha. If you’ve been to Hawai’i, on vacation or otherwise, and have a story to tell, please share it with us!

Since it is the holiday season, I will extend the deadline to next Friday, December 9, 2011.  Let us “hear” you!  Start submitting, or writing and then submitting at BlogCarnival.com using our form for the Carnival of Aloha!  As always, the Carnival will be as exciting and informative as you help me make it!  Join us?  Please?  I’ve missed a lot this past year and I need you guys to educate me!

Wordless Wednesday: Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace, draped