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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pouty Baby...


Dad knows I like to hug, kiss, and tickle pouty babies to cheer them up...

Gorgeous Day...


Dad sent this today. It was a gorgeous day in Ka'u...

Squeegee...



I saw these two guys pushing water off the roof of a renovated building after a heavy rain. I wanted to go underneath them with an umbrella and run back and forth under the waterfalls. They would have either thought they were on hidden camera or I was completely nuts. Or both...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Messages...



I was feeling down after thinking about the prison and had my eyes cast down in deep thought. Then suddenly I saw a piece of rainbow on the street which fell from the sky. I looked up and saw the rainbow with the missing piece. My kupuna sure know how to cheer me up when I am feeling down. That is why I love them with all my being. If I could give you a piece of rainbow to cheer you up. I surely would. I just don't quite know how to do it yet...

Hale Pa`ahao...


I drove by the prison in Honolulu today. I could feel the broken 'uhane of my brothers inside. I could feel the broken 'uhane of their wives, children, parents and other 'ohana on the outside. But for the grace of Ke Akua, I would have found myself right there beside them. Our Hawaiian men. Our warriors in the fight to restore the life of the land. Good for anecdotal statistics or sensational sound bytes and crime clips on the nightly news. Then forgotten and discarded. Or shipped far away like current proposals for handling our increasing urban waste. Hawaiians knew how to let your spirit, your 'uhane travel, when your body, your kino, was stationary. We need to teach our pa'ahao, our prisoners, how to keep their 'uhane free to reconnect with their 'ohana. You may think it isn't worth the effort. But when you aloha our incarcerated men. You help heal their broken families. Their children. And then the kupuna take notice and love all of us even more. All of the kupuna. Living and dead...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wildflowers...


I love wildflowers. I think they make the nicest bouquets because they learn to survive in harsh and trying conditions and with the omnipresent threat of being overrun by weeds. And all without constant watering, fertilizing, pruning, weeding, or otherwise undying attention. Yet they always emerge with such colorful and pure vibrant beauty. And in my humble opinion, far more beautiful for having survived through hardships and struggle. Much like wild beautiful you...

Workout...


I can't afford a gym membership for my boys. So three times a week, we go to Sport's Authority and I let the boys work out on the free weights. It has been seven months so far and I don't think the store workers have noticed.  At least I don't think so...

Pohaku...


We are people who love our land. It is our sacred connection to our ancestors and all creation. When you touch a rock, a pohaku, you may forget that it once was warm, fluid, and full of movement. Just like life. Now it is just heavy, cold, and lifeless. Much like the human body at the end of our journey. But with the human body, the deceased, we still offer respect, love, remembrances, and aloha for the beautiful life represented through the miracle of creation. So too with our pohaku...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Plan Better...


I almost fell for the pleadings of these dogs and opened the car door. Needless to say. One of these dogs completely ruined the chances of escape for the other one. I won't name breeds...

From Bad to Worse...


Looks like the addition of a bath time buddy only made matters worse. Definitely need a larger tub...

Buckets of Fun...



Dad sent me this photo from earlier today. Looks like somebody isn't looking forward to bath time. Maybe they need a larger tub. Always makes my boys happier...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Little Grandpa...


It is kind of strange seeing my father as a happy little boy sitting on my grandfather's leg. His twin sister Eleanor and older sister Betty look happy too. In fact they all look happy. Sometimes when I look at my father's time worn face. I can still see that little boy. I try to show my sons what their grandfather looked like as a little boy with their great-grandfather holding him. It sets the stage for me with them. And for them with their children. My little Elliott is named after his great-grandfather. He is actually the IV. If I had a daughter, she would probably be named Elaine instead of Eleanor, my dad's twin, only because of the kaumaha in her difficult life. I could have named Koa, Elijah, but chose not to. Alliteration is cool. Naming your child after ancestors is always a good idea in my book. I didn't really get to know my grandfather before he died on the operating table during an elective surgery he really didn't need to have. I recently was shown some of his personal writings and journal by my father. I know a lot more about him now. He was an amazing man. Soon I will start talking with him directly and ask him to help me do the things I need to accomplish during my life. For my sons' lives. But I don't want to really bother him right now. Not until I really start to need him...

Life Skills...


When I replaced the carpet in our apartment, we went with laminate flooring. We saved a bundle by prepping and installing ourselves. I saved even more by having my sons learn how to install the flooring. It isn't child labor. It is teaching them skills to earn a living just in case something happens to me. The did a great job. I would hire them again even if they weren't my sons.  Now I have to teach them how to lay tile in the entranceway and kitchen...

Legacy...


Dad on one of his motorcycles. Too bad he sold it. If he still had it. I would have rode it in my crazy college days. Of course, in my recklessness, I would probably be dead now. And my boys not here. But, man, what a legacy that would have been. Right?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Confirmation...


This is the face Koa makes when his food is especially delicious. Or especially sour. But I don't think his ramen was sour. So it must have been especially delicious and not sour. I hope...

Reading...


One of the most important things a parent can do for their child is to read to them. To listen to them read. To read together. It is one of the most important single acts a parent can do to give their child a head start in building life skills to be successful in any endeavor. I try to teach the boys this principle by letting them practice reading to their kids as well...

Intimidating...



I heard the boys screaming in the bedroom. When I arrived. I found a large praying mantis on the outside window. How he flew up 25 stories is a mystery. I don't think he climbed all the way up. They can be pretty intimidating for children. Especially with the scary little face on the chest...

No Big Deal...



All kids have accidents. Koa knocked his soba over at Ala Moana Foodcourt. Yes, it was a mess on his school uniform. However, it didn't deserve any kind of yelling, screaming, slaps or harsh tones as I often see. We laughed. He knows it wasn't a good thing to happen. We will always remember that day in a positive way when we look at the photo. You can always wash stains out of clothes. You can't wash admonishing anger or parental meanness, however, out of a child's memories...

No Excuses...


When Dad was young. He was poor and worked in a parking lot. He used to lift weights and exercise anyway he could. Even squatting with dangerous sawhorses as his racks. Now we have access to so much more equipment and a much safer workout environment as well. That leaves us with no excuses...

Healthy Hat...



When Koa had to make a healthy hat last year for his school healthy hat parade. We chose Hawaiian health. Fish. Poi. Limu. This diet made our kupuna incredibly robust...

Fried Ice Cream...


This must be Compadres' signature dessert dish. I don't know how they fry ice cream but I really don't need to know. All I do know is that it tastes absolutely heavenly. What truly amazes me is not how they can fry ice cream without it melting. But how they can make something so delicious and heavenly. So firm on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside. So truly satiating and sumptuous that it creates intense hunger and desire. And yet, still not come anywhere close to what you do to me...

Reading Material...


I am not a big fan of bumper stickers. At least for my own vehicle. I don't mind them on other vehicles however because there is so much traffic now. It gives me something to read while I drive. These are certainly a lot of bumper stickers. And not one is on the bumper....

Reefs...



It is the Year of the Reef. Low tide provides an opportunity to experience the myriad of life, medicine, food, color, and beauty in the reef without a snorkel and mask. It is a nice way to end the day. Closer to nature. Closer to life's beginnings. Closer to God...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chihuahua...



The boys want to go visit Nana and Poppy soon. Why? Because they have new additions to the 'ohana. Chihuahua puppies...

The Floods...


I wonder how it will be when I pass from this Earth. And get to see loved ones who have passed on already. I am fortunate to still have both parents. But my grandmothers and grandfathers. My great grandmothers and great grandfathers. Uncles and Aunties. I can only imagine the overwhelming emotion that will flood my spirit. I imagine I will cry for days as I reunite and embrace so many loved ones. The thought of seeing them again or getting to know them overwhelms me with emotion. Kupuna I've only felt in presence, to actually see them and touch them and embrace them will be awesome. Then there are my friends and others who have passed on. To see them again will be overwhelming too. And others. Bruddah Iz. Gabby. So many. Then to finally meet my beloved Queen Lili'uokalani. I will cry for days. And Kamehameha. And his 'ohana. Kalaniopu'u. Kahekili. Keopuolani. And Henry Opukahaia. And Princess Pauahi. Father Damien. Abraham Lincoln. All my precious Hawaiian kupuna. And my haole kupuna. And my Chinese kupuna. And my Seneca/Mohawk ancestors. And my Russian, German, French, Scottish, Austrian, English, etc. ancestors. Wow. It will be such a humbling honor. I don't know if my soul, my 'uhane, will be able to cry human tears. If so. Ke Akua needs to have Costco size Kleenex crates around for me. Otherwise, it will rain on Earth for 40 days and nights. Be warned...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Memories...


When close friends have passed. I truly miss being able to reminisce with them about experiences we shared together. When you recall a special memory alone, it can bring joy. When you recall a special memory with someone else who also shared it with you, it brings much more joy. A confirmation of recollection and the shared human experience. As you get older and more friends pass away. It becomes harder and harder to find people to reminisce with about your younger days. At some point, the joy of your life experiences starts to fade away as you find it harder and harder to relate to the  younger generations and their very different experiences in a very different world. That is why people really don't want to live forever. Even with billions of people in the world with you, it would be far too lonely losing the people you love and shared life with. When they all go. You will want to go as well just to be with them. I thank Ke Akua all the time for letting me go on this journey with the people who have entered my life and who share this earthly journey with me. I couldn't ask for a more perfect trip. Or more perfect beautiful people...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Watching...


As I enjoyed the beautiful sunset and end to the day at the beach. I couldn't help but feel Ke Akua was watching over my boys...

Mystery Solved...


I discovered what was hiding in the water. It was actually more enjoyable than a monk seal or whale...

Breaching...


Something was breaching the surface. Not sure what is was. Maybe a school of akule, a monk seal, or a baby humpback whale...

Brothers...


It is my hope that Koa and Elliott will remain close throughout their lives. To always be there for each other...

Suspicious Smile...


This is exactly the face Koa makes when I catch him in the act of doing something he really isn't supposed to be doing. I'm not sure what is going on here. It looks innocent enough. Unless he just finished burying something. Come to think of it. I haven't seen my cell phone since the beach...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Cyrus...





Little lonely Cyrus...

Almost made it to two. Almost...
Tossed over the bridge and onto the freeway
By an adult you trusted
Who held your hand
And calmly led you to your horrific death
Little lonely Cyrus
Just wanted to be loved
Wholly dependent upon adults
It is all of us adults who failed you
All of us...
Little lonely Cyrus
Just wanted to be loved
Now everyone loves you
When it is far too late...
Your mountain of toys
Useless to you now...
They are for us. The living
Sanctified by tears of strangers
To ease our daily indifference
And salve our guilt
Before we go back to life as usual
And wait for someone else to address poverty
And wait for someone else to address drug abuse
And wait for someone else to address domestic abuse
And wait for someone else to address incarceration
And wait for someone else to address mental illness
And wait for someone else to address the child welfare system
And wait for someone else to address childhood neglect...
Everyone is praying for you now, little Cyrus
But it is us who need the prayers...
You are safe with Ke Akua...
When He promises to keep you safe
He keeps His promises...
We should be praying for your mother
We should be praying for your incarcerated father
We should be praying for you grandfather
We should be praying for your murderer
We should be praying for your social workers
We should be praying for the drivers of the vehicles who had no choice but to hit you
We should be praying for the police, ambulance and emergency personnel who had to retrieve the broken little pieces of your body
We should be praying for the many more children facing your horrifying fate...
So many casualties little Cyrus. So many...
Yet you still pray for us precious little boy...
That the toys and gifts don't rot in the sun and rain
But instead go to the hundreds of little boys and little girls still alive
Who face neglect everyday
Who still desperately need love...
Who need their hugs, kisses, tears, stuffed animals, balloons and prayers while they are still alive
Not lying in a coffin...
That's why we love you little boy
Sweet precious little Cyrus...
Because after all you went through
You still trust us adults to do the right thing
You still trust us...
You still forgive us...
And you still love us...
Love you Cyrus. My little innocent sweetheart...

Kickboard Fun...




Even though the water was cold. This made me really happy and warm inside...

Walking on Water...



Somehow I don't think this is a sport for rough water and waves...

Fearless...


Like a baby to water. Sandy diaper and all...

Don't Splash...




The minute you tell a child not to splash you. They can't resist...

Ala Moana Beach...


The boys wanted to go swimming yesterday. The conditions were beautiful with 100 percent chance of Rainbow...