Archive for December, 2007

Don’t Miss the Train Ride!

All Aboard! Come along and catch a ride on Chapter 5 of the Carnival of Aloha! There is no order of preference, just a bit of timing and making use of these wonderful posts that carry us through this holiday Carnival! We’re going to wrap up 2007 and welcome in the New Year!

Menehune Train

Let’s hop aboard this Menehune Train over at Honolulu Hale before it chugs its way back to the North Pole. We’re going to share some gift-giving stories from 2007 and some of the ways we share the Aloha!

Lynn Vasquez starts us off with her selfless giving at her Slippah Project 2007! posted over at Auntie Pupule, saying, “Please read “Delivery To The Leeward Coast!”

I’m going to slip in here that this is important because that delivery of slippers, and other thoughtful gifts, to the Leeward side of Oahu is not only close to my heart but something that links Lynn’s and Skeet’s posts together. Skeet blogged about the Leeward trip as well and you can find it on her blog… as soon as you check out her entry for the Carnival…

Skeet certainly continues the emotional impact of the aloha style of gift-giving as she shares the sentiments behind a rather unusual gift. For overly-emotional saps like your host, this is another one the pulls at the heart strings. I was very struck by the intent behind this gift that Skeet received, and she tells us all about My Mo’olelo over at Skeet’s Stuff.

Sheila shares 8 Great Rainy Day Things to Do on Maui that she posted at her Hawaii Vacation Blog – Sheila says that, “Maui is wonderful even when it rains. If you find you’re on Maui when it rains for a day or two, this article will give you some suggestions of what to do to have some fun out of the rain.” I guess running up Haleakala in the rain would not be the best or safest idea, huh? Shucks!

Kuanyin helps us along with Sheila’s suggestion. If it’s Thursday and it’s raining Kuanyin suggests Thursday Thirteen posted at Who’s Yo Mama? Kuanyin is also helping us start the New Year right by getting better after being sick for so long. Let’s all start the New Year healthy! Glad you’re feeling better Kuanyin!

Mel presented Gone to the Birds posted at Mel’s Internet Universe Weblog. I have to giggle… Mel said, “And for something completely different, I offer birds…” Actually, Mel, those beautiful birds are perfect timing! We may need to catch a ride with those birds since the airline tickets to the place we want to be are so scarce!

Where do we want to be? Following the Warriors of course!

Cheryl over at Hawaii Vacation Gifts shares a reminder with us that Life is Sweet, as she tells us all about the wonderful season the University of Hawaii football team has had and the excitement that awaits us on the first day of the year, January 1st! That’s tomorrow! That’s the place we want to be!  Thank you, Cheryl, for taking us into the New Year in style!

Okay, maybe we can’t actually be at that game, but we can certainly watch the whole thing on TV. We can stock up on drinks and snacks for the game. I almost forgot about my post… so let’s get our football party supplies at Safeway!

Evelyn at Homespun Honolulu (that’s me) wraps up the gift giving for this holiday Carnival by sending, Aloha to My Safeway Family for Christmas.

If we’ve successfully caught your attention and/or heightened your interest in the Islands, you might want to think about coming over to visit, or… maybe even coming over to get married?!?

Mitch McDonald will help with that last part by telling everyone that Hawaii Wedding Packages Are A Dream Come True posted at FYI

That concludes this Chapter of our Carnival.  At this point I would like to extend my gratitude to all of the wonderful bloggers who have participated and made this Carnival an ongoing success!  I am so proud of the wonderful things you all bring to the table for our monthly celebrations of our Hawaii bloggers!

Happy New Year everybody!  God bless and warm wishes to all for a safe and fun celebration.  AND… Go Warriors!

If you missed this edition, feel free to submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Aloha using the carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found at the Carnival’s index page.

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Warriors are Bloggers Too!

These last few days before January 1, 2008 are worse than waiting for Christmas! I’m not the girly-girl type so nail biting is no big surprise but this Sugar Bowl anticipation stuff is driving me crazy!

Ryan Grice-Mullen, UH WarriorAt least the University of Hawaii Athletics Department was kind enough to set up a space for Ryan Grice-Mullen to keep us posted, blogger style, of the team’s activities while they’re in New Orleans. My only gripe is that there is no place for us to leave comments or ask questions. Of course we do need to realize that if there was a place to comment, etc., there would be so many comments that Ryan would never make  it to practice! 🙂

I “borrowed” this picture from that same UH website — thanks guys.  🙂   I can only hope that whoever is manning the website over at the University will let us know that they did receive a track back or something so they know we’re reading it!


I did receive a phone call from the UH Alumni Association yesterday. They were looking for alumni to renew their memberships and show our solidarity. Of course having the phone call come in from California didn’t help their case, but I fell for it anyway.

I know that as I’m typing this, more and more Hawaii residents are disembarking aircraft and heading for hotels. The excitement has got to be huge over there! It is here too! I think I’m going to have a cup of tea… with a lot of SUGAR! Thank you to New Orleans for hosting this event and I hope they get a nice boost to their economy because of it!

Don’t forget about us back home you guys! We’re excited and ready to scream and holler loud enough for you to hear us all the way over in the “Big Easy!” Stay safe, stay strong! GO WARRIORS!

Cherished Memories

Did I tell you guys that I got a new camera for Christmas? I’m hoping that the pictures will be improved since the mega pixel count is more than double what it was on the old one. The beauty of blogs is that those pictures we try very hard to get just right, stick around for a very long time. The photo albums of yesteryear are wonderful but the photos fade over time.

My father, Charles Henry Hunter, Jr.I have an old photo of my father that I will need to do something with before it is gone forever. I know there are people locally who do photo restoration. I’m afraid of that because this is the only real picture that I have of him, as I remember him. But, photo restoration may be my only option. Old photos are certainly worth restoring or preserving somehow!

This photo is what my father looked like during the latter years of his career as a history professor at UH Manoa. You can barely see it on the right of his face (case in point) but he is smoking a pipe. Like I said, it needs to be preserved, and restored, somehow.

Another thing that I ran across while I was searching around was a company that will actually take a photo and paint an artist’s rendition of it in oil! I have heard of this before but I have never really seen it in action like this. “Paint Your Life” — what a great name! Well, they certainly paint a person’s memories! Neat stuff and the videos on their site show you what they do step by step.

Yes, I know there’s Kat Vondee with her tattoo-artist’s eye, but this is art on canvas, not skin… and with oils! If you want to, you can have them stretch the canvas, mount it, frame it and wrap it for shipping. Maybe this is another thing to add to my shopping page. Even though it’s a little late for Christmas, there are still the other occasions for gift-giving and this would certainly make a great birthday gift!

Those birthdays are coming along fast a furious too! Egads!

Great Aloha Run, 2008

Bird taking a floral drinkFebruary 18, 2008! I’m excited! I love this event! I talked about the 2007 Great Aloha Run at the beginning of the year. My biggest problem is that I now compare every other running event to this one. That’s very unfair for me to do because the others pale in comparison.

I’ve already signed up. If you have n0t signed up yet and you want to participate, you’ve still got time to sign up — either online or by printing out the form and mailing it in. If you forget, you can always sign up at the Expo that will be at Neal Blaisdell Center on February 15th, 16th and 17th! sends great emails if you sign up for them. They sent one recently with this neat little advertisement for personal reflectors, pouches to tie to your shoes, ID bracelets and all kinds of useful things. I have my eye on three of the items they have.

Firefly Safety ReflectorI thought about it and these would be great for anyone exercising in the evening or in the rain.

They’re good for runners and bicyclists as well! For the record, I checked with HPD and it’s okay to wear those little blue lights, as long as it’s not on your motor vehicle! 🙂

Honolulu Fire Boat

There’s nothing more heart warming than this wonderful scene. The morning sky is lighting up, we’re singing the Star Spangled Banner and the Honolulu Fire Boat is sending a watery salute to the participants of this much-anticipated, annual event. It’s all about the aloha!


  • Early Entry with Training T-shirt $35 until 12/2
  • Regular Entry $35 until 1/19 then $40 until 2/2
  • Register at GAR Expo, Feb. 15 – 17, NBC Exhibition Hall $45, Cash Only
  • Keiki (5-12 yrs)/Seniors Entry $25
  • Child under 5 yrs in Stroller Entry $5

Run, walk, it doesn’t matter! This is a community event like no other. (Okay, okay, I’ll give up that position to the UH Warriors, but aside from that…) 🙂 Not into running or walking but still want to get involved? They’re looking for volunteers!

Come on you guys! It’ll be fun! Community participation was high last year and I’m sure it will be again!

Aloha to My Safeway Family

There’s one thing people in Hawaii love to do and it doesn’t matter which island you’re on or which side of town — we love to eat! Restaurants are a great thing but our menu items are often, much like us, an ethnic blend of recipes we have tweaked and morphed to our own liking. This is where our local grocery stores come into the picture and take on the highest priority!

Safeway's Interior Signage

I never noticed this sign until I was walking around with a camera. I never noticed the other half of it either… Safeway has been in Honolulu as long as I have! I knew there was something good about this place. Works for me!

More internal signage

It was three and a half years ago that I wrote a letter to Safeway’s corporate office in Arizona. I couldn’t think of any other way to let them know how pleased I was with my favorite grocery store. I opened the letter saying,

“Sometimes it really pains me that there is nothing that can be done by a consumer to fully show their earnest appreciation for the staff of an establishment like this one.”

Read the rest of this entry »

About that Ruff PC…

Here is what Ilker at the Thinking Blog has going on now:

POLL: Vote For the Best Ruff PC Review


ruggedThe time has come and all the reviews are now up for votes. If you don’t see your entry listed please send us an email. You have 5 days to vote for the best entry in this poll and the person with highest votes will win a brand new RuffBook Tech. Hopefully this way it will be fair and ensure we give equal opportunities to everyone at winning this stellar prize! The winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 25th 2007 on a seperate post, and Ruff PC will get in touch with you to send out your Christmas gift. Good luck!

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS: Read the rest of this entry »

Paying for Paradise

I’m often asked how much money I make blogging. I just look at people who ask, smile and say, “It’s actually costing me money.” You should see the astonished looks I get! Bloggers know. Unless you’re a name blogger like Darren Rowse, Yaro Stark or John Chow, this passion is probably costing you money too! Kudos to these gentlemen and congratulations for a job well done.

Yeah, I started out blogging because I needed some extra funds to cover some monthly expenses. There, I said it. Nobody told me I was going to fall in love with doing this stuff! The passion runs high around here — between the love for my home, a passion for writing and the wonderful new friends in the blogosphere, how can I not want to blog and nurture this little niche and the rest of the blogging world too?!?

With that said, I’ve gotten myself into the situation where I now need to recoup some costs in addition to trying to cover the stuff I was trying to cover to begin with! I’m telling you guys up front that I’ve found something that stood out above the rest. PayPerPost has been nothing but helpful, friendly and warm. They helped me, told me what I needed to do and they also came highly recommended. We all need to make money to cover costs from time to time.

From time to time you will see some blog posts that are sponsored discussions about various things. Relax, I’m not going to spam you with stuff. I love my blog and all of you too much for that! If it doesn’t interest me, or if I can’t stand behind it, I’m not talking about it! Period.

That’s the beauty of PayPerPost! I pick what I want to talk about! Well, there may be things that I think will interest you guys and I might talk about that, but, that’s it. You’ll know. There’s no hidden agenda around here. It’s all up front and straight forward with all of you, just like I’ve always been.

Besides, maybe we’ll get some inside scoops to new products or services and stuff!

A Paniolo’s Life is Timeless

Time stood still for me yesterday. I got the phone call that said, “Bad news. I’m sorry. Daddy passed away on Monday.”

Joe and Queenie

“Screech!” There’s the sound of that phonograph needle across the record of time. The memories came trickling in until I found these old pictures in an old photo album — then the memories came flooding back! So did the tears.

A huge father figure in my life, Joaquin (Joe) Joseph, Jr. may be gone, but he’s far from forgotten!

Remember the Polaroid SX-70? You know, the ones where you would take the picture, it would slide out of the camera and we had to wait for it to develop? We thought they were the best cameras back then! I used a lot of that crazy film. The pictures lasted and, while they’re certainly not the best pictures, they’re all I have.

Unloading the grass cutter from the truck

The Polaroid was not the only thing that was an advancement in technology. I remember this grass cutter that Joe and one of his sons are seen here unloading from the truck. It was noisy and clunky but it sure beat the sickle for cutting all the grass needed for the horses.

Although the pictures aren’t the quality we see in today’s digital cameras, the sight of the old stables in the background with its tin roof and the Waianae mountain range behind that, was enough to make my tears fall even faster.

I would not have had those memories if it were not for this man who worked so hard to keep food on his family’s table and who struggled all those years with the financial difficulties of survival and raising thirteen children and one stowaway… me. His wife, Diane, endured it all right by his side. This has got to be a hard time for her!

Life there was hard work but full of fun and a great family community. I miss the sound of the rain falling on the tin roof, the roosters in the morning and the smell of the stables with freshly strewn sawdust. We were brats but we had fun! Joe and Diane had their hands full with their own children and I was around a lot more than they probably would have liked.

Joe shoeing a horseIf it wasn’t some drama with the kids, it was a crisis or must-do event with the animals. Both required a lot of care and a lot of reprimanding. So much of what I remember of my years growing up I have to credit to Mr. Joseph and his firm hand.

Time moved on and I had to deal with college, growing up and finding a job and all that junk. Over time, the family members who still remained moved with Joe and Diane to the Big Island.

Over those years in Waianae Valley on Oahu, there were many joys but a lot of sorrow too. We lost many much-loved animals over the years and the family eventually lost two of those thirteen children to accidents or teenage stupidity. Through it all, Joe persevered. He was a true patriarch and will be a very hard act to follow.

In 2002, thank you Google, Joe was among the seventeen cowboys inducted into the Paniolo Hall of Fame. I missed it. I didn’t know and I had been separated from the family for too many years. Malia Zimmerman shared the story through her article, Hawaiian Cowboys Recognized for Making Paniolo Culture Legendary over at the Hawaii Reporter.

* Joaquin Joseph, Jr. of McCandless Ranch & Tongg Ranch, Oahu

As the first-born son and namesake of a McCandless Ranch cowboy, Joaquin had ranching in his genes. “I was born a cowboy type,” he says. Known among his peers for his roping ability, Joaquin says His favorite part about being a cowboy was riding out on the range, catching cattle and bringing them in for branding. But he also had to be a jack-of-all trades in his job. Back then, a cowboy had to do just about everything -– fix fences, shoe horses, and work with cattle. But Joaquin is proudest of his skills as a horse trainer.

“I’m going to be 72 this month and I still train,” he says. “When I ride, I like to feel the animal under me.”

He probably inherited his love of horses from his father, Joaquin Joseph, Sr. He remembers that when his father was dying and had come home to spend his final days, he looked out at the arena and asked to be put on a horse. He wouldn’t rest until he was sitting in the saddle.

“That’s going to be my last wish too,” Joaquin says.

The rest of the article is great and very accurate when talking about the look in their eyes. Life was rugged but in between all of that Joe smiled a lot and tended to the physical and emotional needs of both animals and children.

He taught me a lot more than just riding, roping and barrel racing. It would do me a lot of good these days to remember his patience and endurance. We all should live more by such an example.

Apparently a few days before he died he knew his time was near. He told family members he was going to go. On Monday, he did. Dad will be buried on the Big Island, next to his son Albert. Albert and I graduated from Waianae High School at the same time. He was a brother to me and a very dear childhood friend.

I was lucky — a few months ago Joe’s wife, Diane, and his daughter, Ivy, managed to come and see me at work here on Oahu. I’m so glad that they did. At least I got to hug him and hear him say to people, just one more time, “This is my haole daughter.”

~ Joaquin Michael Joseph, Jr. ~
September 15, 1930 – December 16, 2007

Love you, Dad! So much of who I am was molded by your example! I know Red is standing there at the gate waiting to greet you — that’s one beautiful stallion who has waited for his rider a very long time. As you ride the rainbows and lasso the stars, rope one for me!

Year-End Carnival Reminder!

plumeria flowers on the treeJust a little note that the deadline for the next Carnival of Aloha is a week away! Posts should be in before the end of December 26th!

So, while you’re sitting safely at your computer, recovering from the Christmas Day festivities, remember to send in your post for the upcoming Chapter of the Carnival of Aloha!  This link will take you to the guidelines and the link to the submission form.  🙂

Chapter 5 will go live on the following Monday, December 31st! We’ll have time to read all of the entries that evening too… as we wait for midnight!

Manana Elementary Goes Christmas Caroling

Adults picking up after the kidsI decided to step outside for a little bit for some fresh air the other day and I heard little voices singing. Then I saw all the signs of that group of keiki who find their way to the downtown area every year — a whole bunch of clothing for changes and a few teachers and chaperons (probably volunteer parents) fixing the clothes and straightening things up after the last series of changes.


The Manana Elementary School Children’s Choir, Na Keiki ‘O Manana, went Christmas caroling in downtown Honolulu last week and I was lucky enough to stumble right into the middle of it!

Still other parents were admiring the young performers and standing proudly by while business people and passers by enjoyed the music and pretty costumes.

Different children took part in little skits while the choir sang some traditional Christmas tunes and other tunes that had been written especially for them. Read the rest of this entry »