JULY 4, 2019

We have a porn show going on in our living room.  In fact it’s been going on for some time now.  They have no shame!  They don’t care if it’s day or night, if it’s dark or they’re under a bright living room light.  They catch sight of each other and the chase is on.

It’s actually been very interesting, though I sometime feel like a voyeur.  She starts the action by twitching her tail in a certain provocative way and it appears to attract him like flies to honey, or in our house ants to peanut butter.  He will race across the room and sidle up next to her, nudging her with his abdomen, and before you know it he’s wrapped around her like there’s no tomorrow.  His tail twitches, hers twitches, and they stay that way for a good minute or longer.  And it will happen several times over a 2 or 3 day time frame.

Geckos lay eggs and sometimes, when they’re on the window outside and the light is right, you can actually see a large egg within the body of the female.  I’ve seen them with bulging abdomens struggling around the walls, walking in a manner very pregnant women walk, sort of a wobble.  We have found their eggs on window sills in the house, in the printer, behind the TV and even in the smoke alarm.

And then we have seen the newly-hatched babies on the ceiling, about half an inch long and just plain cute.

However there’s a not-so-cute side to this.  Adult geckos eat their offspring.  They chase them down and swallow them headfirst.  I’ve watched it happen.

One of our geckos has actually made friends with my husband. It will jump down from the windowsill, sniff his finger, stick its head down into his glass and if it’s something he or she finds of interest will actually crawl down into the glass and lick up what’s there.  Or lick the condensation on the outside of the glass.  We make sure it’s nothing that will harm it, mostly just water.  Recently the second gecko has also come over to sniff Eric’s finger.  They’re becoming his pets.

The cat finds this whole thing fascinating.  She will watch the geckos, sometimes chase them or peer under a piece of furniture with great curiosity, but she does not grab them.  I understand that they give off an odor or a protective shield that makes them unappealing to cats so Nani only peers and watches before returning to her chair for a nap.

Recently employees at the Ke Kai Marine Mammal Center in Hawaii started receiving numerous calls from within the hospital.  Over a period of fifteen minutes they received nine of these calls.  When the director approached the phone the calls were coming from, she discovered to her surprise that  they were being made by a gecko!  The gecko has now been returned to the outdoors and the phone now only receives calls from people.  USA Today actually wrote this up after the director posted it on Twitter; the gecko was sitting on the touchscreen of the phone wiggling its feet which were making the calls.

You just gotta love it!!

May 14, 2019

For some strange reason I decided to clean out/consolidate my book shelves. While doing so, I found the following and decided to share it. The author is unknown.
The following poem was circulated by a man at the poor peoples rally in Old Town – Albuquerque – New Mexico, and was later printed in “El Papel”
I was hungry
   and you formed a humanities club
   and discussed my hunger. Thank you.
I was imprisoned
   and you crept off
   to your chapel in the cellar
   and prayed for my release.
I was naked and in your mind
   you debated the morality of my appearance.
I was sick
   and you knelt and thanked God for your health.
I was homeless
   and you preached to me
   of the spiritual shelter of God.
I was lonely
   and you left me alone
   to pray for me.
You seem so holy
   so close to God
But I am still hungry
    and lonely
    and cold
So where have your prayers gone?
   What have they done?
What does it profit a man
   to page through his book of prayers
   when the rest of the world is crying for his help.

April 28, 2019

Our world is broken. Not just cracked or breaking but broken. We see this in the increased shootings at places of worship. We see this when a man sworn to protect the public tazes a child. We see this when someone shoots into a car, not knowing who is inside. We see this when a driver plows into a group of people because some of them are of a different nationality. We see this when a child dies in its crib inside a house because someone shooots at the house from outside.
This realization came while watching the Merrie Monarch celebration at the end of April 2019. Watching the protocol, the respect paid to those representing the royal couple, hearing the chants, watching the hula performances honoring the land (`aina), the ancestors, the gods and goddesses. And I realized that we have, as a people, walked away from our spiritual center. As our world is broken, we are broken. We have allowed people with no compassion, no heart, no soul to rule us, to dictate to us, to lie to us and we’ve stood back and done nothing.
Now, I’m not talking about one spirituality; there are many. But collectively I believe they come from one Source, neither Christian nor Jew, Buddhist nor Hindu, Zoroastrian nor Islamic. Or any of the other spiritual practices around the world. We have let our spirituality be impacted by greed, by radicals who believe their way is the only way and everyone else should suffer for not believing in their way. We have even let these others tell us what we should and should not believe. And we listen.
The problem is there is no easy way to fix this. We have walked too far away from who we once were. Or have we? Have we the ability to look back and recover where we came from, what our ancestors taught us about living in this world? And again, I’m not talking about one race but the ancestors of our many races. Our combined humanity.
Can we repair what is so severely broken?
I don’t have the answer. It’s not that simple. But each of us in a way has part of the answer, part of the understanding that can begin the healing process.
If we would only reach inside and listen.

JANUARY 23, 2019

We are living in a time of such turmoil. Now I’m aware that others, in generations past, can and did write the same thing. Many saw it as the world coming to an end as foretold in the Bible. Others saw it as a time for reformation–I think of Martin Luther, Hiawatha, Tenskwatewa (the Shawnee Prophet, brother of Tecumseh), Wovoka, Martin Luther King Jr. All saw turmoil, either in the church, their country or their world. Some saw it in all three.
I think of this time as a time of Growth. We need to listen to these Reformers, study what they’re saying. But most of all we need to Grow from these experiences.
The issues in the White House did not happen overnight and they’re certainly keeping our country divided while injuring so many families. The economy has caused many to live from paycheck to paycheck and to fear for their very lives and the lives of their children. As someone who is retired and living on social security after the pension we counted on to help out was eaten up by medical insurance, I can understand their fears. I suspect that the food that workers have in their cupboards is rapidly diminishing if not already gone. Their savings are being eaten up (pun intended) and soon, if this shut-down doesn’t end, there will be no place to turn.
So how do we start? First, by growing our own food. A packet of seeds doesn’t cost that much and will yield much more. Many here are starting to see the necessity of this and are creating gardens in their yards or on shared vacant lots. Remember hearing about Victory Gardens?
Budget, a bad word to many but a necessary one. Learn to do without the big fancy car, dinner out every week. Shop at discount stores, farmer’s markets (which benefit you and the farmer), sharing (has your child outgrown his or her clothes; pass them on to a child who could use them–don’t sell them on facebook unless you need the money for your family).
Save. What you have at the end of the month, after growing your own food and budgeting, can be put away for emergencies. And they will come. Early in our marriage my husband’s employer went on strike and the city of Seattle basically shut down (“Will the last person to leave turn out the lights?”). We found ourselves with one small child and one on the way. Unemployment and scavenging the beach, as well as odd jobs, got us through until his company started hiring again; he was first in line.
If you’re not affected now, prepare for the day when you will be, not if but when. It will happen. Be ready.

November 21, 2018

Yesterday I shared a post on Facebook, one which refers to an incident that took place on a reservation in North Dakota, November 20, 2016. The rest of the post is as follows:

“November 20, 2016, the night water protectors came under attack with water cannon in -20 below zero weather. This was a night many water protectors were injured by the militarized Morton, Dane, Cass country sheriff along with North Dakota State police and hired mercenaries of Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Energy Transfer Partner. 

“This is a day which will live on forever as militarized police attacked unarmed water protectors in the United States of America in subzero (-0) weather. Many people injuries ranged from being shot with rubber bullets on the water protectors back, hands, head, eye, and arm injuries. Many of the water protectors will never have full use of their body parts as they are maimed forever by rubber bullets and gas grenade.


“The militarized dressed sheriff, state police, and mercenaries were never charged with the use of deadly force against unarmed water protectors. The procedures prescribed for the use of deadly force has policies and procedures while shooting rubber bullets against people. Policies and procedures prescribed “Do Not Aim At Head or Genital Region.” Both the head and genital region were shot by the militarized dressed sheriff, state police and mercenaries. Clearly a violation of departmental policies and procedures.

“Federal lawsuits must be filed against those who injured unarmed water protectors as well as World Court Charges against Human Right Charges.

“May we laid tobacco this evening at approximately 7 pm (CST) when this attacked started on our water protectors on that fateful evening of November 20, 2016.

We Will Never Forget!

“=->>>—- Kenny —-.>

Today I received a message from my cousin Herb, who was there when this happened. His father and mine were first cousins and Herb, his wife Allane and Eric and I have become good friends as well as family.
In response to this post, he commented, “The night when the government did everything they could to escalate it to the next level. We came with Prayer and Song and stood our ground.”
A mutual friend and family member added this: “And we carried the wounded for many hours and then went back to the bridge the next morning (7:00am) and stood at the bridge when they tried to take it.”
And my cousin asked me, “Look at the wire and the concrete barriers. Does this remind you of another place that is happening Now?”
And yes, it does. Today Trump has given our troops, hiding behind the barbed wire on our southern border, orders to shoot anyone who tries to cross. I suppose this means no exceptions, including children.
And I asked Herb, “God, what is going on with our country?” I have only one answer: Trump.
Wake up America, or DAPL might happen in your back yard too.

NOVEMBER 12, 2018

Well, the Midterms are almost over. Florida is still recounting ballots so it’s not over till it’s over. Some of the candidates I supported won; some of them lost. That’s the name of the game. I only hope the winners will do what they promised or else it will be just the same old political run-around elections seem to bring out.

And so we carry on. Kaua’i had the highest voter turn-out in the state, and for that I’m proud. We’re a small island, between 65,000 and 70,000total population but we care about what happens in our county, our state and our country. And we’re willing to stand up and be counted. We’re willing to stand on street corners in the pouring rain to make our voices heard. I’ve done it.

Now that the politicking is over, we’re watching the dreadful fires in California and grieving for those who have lost their homes and livelihoods. Watching my neighbor’s house burn down last February and feeling their pain over pets lost and belongings destroyed, I empathize more with the residents than I used to. Every time we drive down the road I see the hole in our neighborhood that used to be a family’s home and I feel a deep sense of loss.

Then the President has the nerve to blame the California fires on poor management at the state level. There are no words. That’s like blaming my neighbors for not taking proper care of their home and causing the fire. NOT! They did everything humanly possible to keep their home safe. The homeowners in California did everything humanly possible to keep their homes safe. Brush around their houses was cleared out, fire alarms checked, propane tanks properly stored. And still the fires happened. The firefighters on Kaua`i came back long after the neighbor’s fire was out to check for hot spots, just like the firefighters in California are doing. Poor management had nothing to do with any of it.

So now that the Midterms are over it’s time to gear up for the 2020 elections. It’s time to fight for our country against those who would bring it down. Those who blame others for what is obviously their fault. It’s time to write, to speak out and let our voices be heard. We can make a difference. It’s time.

OCTOBER 30, 2018

It is so hard to know what to write when you’re living in a world turned upside-down. And that’s what I feel is going on.

I grew up being taught that when you need help, go to a policeman. But now you might be tazed if you try or if your skin is the “wrong” color shot and killed.

I was taught that the government worked in the people’s best interest and since I’m a citizen it’s working in my best interest. But I don’t think it’s in my best interest to take away freedom from those only trying to build new lives in my country, to call media reports “fake news” when they’re writing the truth.

I was taught that we live in a country where we are free to speak without fear of retribution, free to write without fear of dire consequences. Now I feel that the words I write on my computer sitting at my desk are read by those who would imprison me for writing them, that no matter where I may be I’m being watched by hidden cameras.

Paranoid? Yes, but that is what this government is causing us to become.

Fearful? Yes, but that is what’s happening when you fear gathering for worship, a concert, a shopping trip, school.

I know that good people outnumber the bad in our country. I have to believe that. I hear of Muslims taking up a collection to help a small Jewish synagogue that’s lost 11 members of its congregation to an anti-Semitic gunman. I witness people leaving their homes, their jobs, to help others who have lost their homes, their jobs to hurricanes and fires. I see people offering a hand to help others up.

But there are still those days when I think we as the human race are spinning out of control. And on those days I can only shout, “Stop the world! I want to get off!!”

AUGUST 27, 2018

Hurricane LaneThis photo by Schar Freeman shows the outer edge of Hurricane Lane as it approaches Kaua’i.

This is pretty much a rough draft but deals, in a way, with Hurricane Lane which is affecting our island. I thought it made a great title for a poem!


Hurricane Lane is a long path
And it is a short path.
It runs smooth and straight
It is filled with twists and turns.
It is gentle and calm
Until a gust of wind blows you off-course.
Challenged, you search for the path
Sometimes finding it
Stretching before you smoothly
But sometimed not,
Finding only an ending and nothing more.

You start on this path
Pushed from a dark safe place
You don’t choose which path to follow
It’s chosen for you
even so you follow it to the end
You can do nothing else.
You may trip over a rock or two,
Find the path muddy or spread with gravel
Paved or mushy and rough
But you continue on
until the path comes to its end.

Kaua’i Flooding April 2018

In 1986 my family was evacuated from our home when the hillside across the road collapsed during a particularly bad Seattle storm, bringing down boulders, mud and large trees in its wake. Immediately the neighbors came out of their houses and started shoveling mud, diverting it away from our home and two others and down our driveway into the garage and out into a wooded area.

In response the city delivered empty sandbags to our location, which our husbands started filling with mud; the sand didn’t come until a day later. Bales of hay were placed alongside the road which provided the only access to our homes. We were able to walk on these bales to our homes to do laundry and prepare food but had to be out by dark because city inspectors, fearing the slides would continue (which they did) and we wouldn’t hear them ordered us all out and posted “CONDEMNED” notices to that effect on our doors.

We were the fortunate ones. Two other houses were destroyed and never rebuilt. One afternoon my husband and I stood at the top of the slide area surveying the damage only to see another slide, taking a tree with it, moving down toward our home. Luckily it was diverted down our driveway and into our garage, where it flowed into an open pit area; we’d been visiting friends so still had our car.

We moved into a hotel kindly arranged for, at a much-reduced rate, by a friend who worked there. The Postman agreed to deliver mail for all of us to one mailbox on a neighbor’s front porch while the Seattle school district arranged transportation for our three children to and from school daily. I was taking classes at a local university studying for a degree in Theology and my class that quarter was “Revelations and Apocalyptic Literature,” most appropriate we decided.

When the rains, floods and mudslides hit the North Shore of Kaua’i, we had only a slight inkling of what the residents here are going through. My daughter is the team leader of CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Kekaha, my daughter-in-law a member of the Kekaha team, while my husband is a member of CERT Kalaheo. All were called out to volunteer their time and energy to survey the damage and to assist the families so badly affected, distributing food, cleaning supplies and evacuating well over 450 people caught unaware.

While most of us were able to return to our Seattle homes a month later, it won’t be that easy for the North Shore. Well over 49” of rain poured down on Hanalei and the North Shore. Highways were buried beneath mud, boulders and trees. Homes were pulled from their foundations and some washed down rivers. Bison from the nearby farm were also impacted and several lost their lives, though many others were recovered. The taro crop was lost beneath floodwaters. Businesses were covered in mud.

Recovery will take months and unfortunately some areas may never recover. But the people of Kaua’I are strong and resilient. They’ve faced disasters before and undoubtedly will again. They roll up their sleeves and get busy, doing what needs to be done, sharing what they have with others who have lost everything. While there were injuries, no lives were lost and in a spirit of gratitude they survive.

the photo at the top is of a tree on Kaua’i

APRIL 2018

I’m back. I’ve been trying to find something positive to write about for the past few months but the news keeps getting drearier and drearier. So I’ve been avoiding it as much as possible.

I do notice that now there’s a march or walk for something or other nearly every weekend. If it’s not a march/walk for a disease, it’s for an important cause. All of these marches/walks are important and serve good purposes so I cannot choose just one to showcase over the others.

Instead I will write about a beautiful event that happens the weekend after Easter: the Merrie Monarch Festival. The festival showcases hula, both Kahiko (before the illegal overthrow) and Auana (after the illegal overthrow). All of the dancers were spectacular; I’d hate to have to judge. And the halau (hula school) on our island placed this year in Wahine (women) Kahiko, Wahine Auana, Wahine Overall, and Overall Winner! What an exciting three nights!!

That same weekend I took a class lead by my friend and fellow writer Dawn Kawahara on Riddle Chants, of which I knew nothing. A riddle chant asks a primary question in the first stanza and then answers it in the following stanzas. I wrote my very first one and decided to share it with you. As a genealogist, of course it deals with my ancestors:

Where Is The Home Of My People

Of you I ask a question.
Where is the home of my People?
Where should I seek them?

In Eastern forests
Deep, dark, dense
They dwelt among the wild things
Roamed where they would.
The forests are silent now.

Of you I ask a question.
Where is the home of my People?
Where can I find them?

Among the buildings of newcomers
Bustling with activity
The smell of furs heavy in the air
They took up brief residence
But the newcomers are gone now.

So I ask a question.
Where is the home of my People?
Where should I seek them?

At the dividing place
They dwelt in harmony
And separated in peace
Choosing to take three paths
That place is now filled with strangers.

And again I ask
Where is the home of my People?
Where should I seek them?

Beside running waters
Wild birds, deer were plentiful
Marshes offered reeds for building
Roots gave food for growing
That land gives home to new people

And I must ask
Where is the home of my People?
Where should I seek them?

Long trails carried them
Prairies void of trees
Alkaline waters
Confinement, containment
At the mercy of the winds

Where is the home of my People?


the image of Turtle Island was posted on facebook by a friend