Category Archives: Uncategorized

March 30, 2020

My daughter-in-law Debbie took this eagle picture over at my husband’s summer cabin in Washington State.

Members of many Native tribes pay homage to the Eagle. No, they don’t worship it but they honor it. It is believed that Eagle, as the highest-flying bird, carries our prayers up to Creator. It is also believed by many that Eagle keeps our world alive by flying high and making note of those living in traditional ways, praying in traditional ways and caring for Creation.

But this isn’t just a Native thing. We are all called to honor our earth, to care for her gently, to not abuse her or take from her more than we need.

For the last century we haven’t lived this way. We have taken more than enough. We have dug deep into her heart and robbed her of essentials she relies upon for her very life. We have not replenished. We have released deadly toxins into her air and poisoned her.

And because of that she can no longer gift us with sustainable life. Along with those toxins come diseases, diseases we’ve never faced before. Covid-19 is one of them.

Corona virus sounds like a bad beer disease. But it’s all too real and it affects us all. The precautions we are taking are necessary to our survival and that of our loved ones. We are asked to wear masks when we leave our homes; these masks protect us from coming in contact with the droplets that spread the disease, droplets we each release when we cough or sneeze.

Social distancing is another protection we have, keeping at least six feet away from each other. Quarantine in our homes is another way to stay safe. Yet so many do neither. They adopt the attitude that this won’t affect them. Tell that to the 13-year-old who died this morning.

This is serious, folks, and if we don’t take precautions we will all suffer, not just by contracting the virus but by losing loved ones to it. Who in your family are you willing to sacrifice? No one? Then take precautions now. And live respectfully on Mother Earth.

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March 1, 2020

I have often said that living on Kaua’i reminds me of growing up in Kansas in the 1940s and 50s. When you meet someone new, you will soon find that you have friends in common. We learned that people we didn’t know knew who we were and where we lived, even before we were fully settled in. I like that; it made me feel we were part of the community.

Growing up in Kansas, in Wichita and then in Park City, a suburb, I knew I wouldn’t get away with something before my parents would learn what I’d done. That’s how it is here and I find comfort in that.

We didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up so to supplement our diet, Daddy would go rabbit-hunting. Often he’d bring one home and we enjoy it for dinner–it tastes like rabbit, not chicken!

I was reminded of this when our son, daughter and daughter-in-law showed up at our house Friday night with bows and arrows and a rifle to take on the feral pig in our lower yard.

This pig, and it’s half-grown piglets, have been ravaging not just our garden but those of the neighbors on either side of us. In fact, one neighbor invited them to use his lanai so they’d have a better view of our valley!

So far they haven’t been successful; the pigs haven’t appeared. But they will return, both the pigs and our kids. Feral pigs are creating havoc on our tiny island, not just destroying gardens but also our wilderness areas.

In Hawaii, “game mammals (which includes feral pigs) may only be hunted from one-half hour prior to sunrise and until one-half hour after sunset. This is year-round.” [web page] In fact, it’s only $5 for licenses if you’re a local. That in itself should tell you something. “Feral swine cause major damage to property, agriculture (crops and livestock), native species and ecosystems, and cultural and historic resources. In fact, this invasive species costs the United States an estimated $1.5 billion each year in damages and control costs.Apr 5, 2016. [
Feral Swine Damage – USDA APHIS › ourfocus › wildlifedamage]”

Groceries in Hawaii are quite expensive, which is why many of us grow our own vegetables, plant fruit trees and hunt. The kids plan on butchering the pig and enjoying it for several meals to come. And hopefully they will invite us to dinner!

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February 18, 2020

I am Mom to a beautiful calico cat named Nani [which is the Hawaiian word for beautiful]. She was born in a shed in our lower yard with 3 siblings, one of whom I also adopted; sadly he left us a couple of years ago. Nani and her family were captured in a neighbor’s storm drain and I was asked to take her and her brother in for a week to socialize them. That was 12 years ago. I’m still working on her.

Many people who come to our house don’t realize I have a cat. At the first sound of a car door closing outside, she runs upstairs and hides under the bed. The UPS man last week said he saw a cat diving up the stairs when he came and that’s about all most people see.

Our children have seen her on occasion when she comes down to eat while they’re here. Two visiting dogs know she’s here–they cornered her under the bed on Christmas and lived to tell about it [so did she!].

She follows me from room to room, lies on the couch as close to my chair as she can get in the evening and naps in my office when I’m writing. She will tolerate my husband when I’m out of town but the moment I walk in the door she forgets who he is.

With me she purrs loudly and long. She shows me all her favorite places to be petted. She lets me know when she wants out of the front door, we have a cat door, and walks me to her dishes when she wants food or water, a trick her brother taught her.

I’ve had cats my whole life and she’s the shyest, most scared cat I’ve ever had. But she lets me know when someone’s coming and keeps me company when I’m alone. When I return from a trip, she runs downstairs to greet me–and lets me know how lonely she was without me.

I dread the day when she joins her brother but I know it’s coming. She’s a little slower, has a harder time jumping up on the couch or in “her” chair and sleeps more than she used to. But until then I will love her, enjoy her quirks and rub her chin.

January 14, 2020

For Christmas this year I gave several women a package of note cards. And I explained to them that I have a friend who lost her brother just before the holidays. She received a lot of sympathy messages on FaceBook but only one actual card, the one I sent to her.
As I thought about this, I realized that it is so easy to jot a FB message and move on but so hard to buy and mail a card with a personal message. Or to send a personal note of encouragement or a personal note period. So I’m going to try and be better at it this year.
I may still send a FB message to some but to those whose addresses live in my address book I’ll try to do more. In this techy world we live in we’re losing that personal touch we used to have.
For instance, my Mother taught me to send Thank You notes to people for gifts. We didn’t do it when we could thank the giver in person but for my Grandparents and others who lived far away, we sent notes.
When Eric and I were married, we sat down together and wrote Thank You notes to everyone who’d given us a wedding gift BEFORE we put the gift away.
When friends or family took the time to mail a gift, whatever the occasion, a Thank You note was sent before I could use it. It felt good to me to do it. And when I receive a Thank You note I know the gift was appreciated.
What is the price of a friend? Surely a stamp and a note card are a small price to show a friend you care.

Christmas 2019

Christmas trees are as individual as those who decorate them. For instance, our tree this year has a Hindu goddess beneath it, just because to me she representrs calm. One branch has an ornament bearing the word “God” in Hebrew, memory of my year studying Biblical Hebrew. Another ornament represents Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, a university built on Potawatomi ground which has Potawatomi burials on its campus.
Then there are the handmade ornaments created by my mother and my mother-in-law; such special memories. My mother’s are knitted, my MIL’s are ceramic from a class she took.
A carved wooden fish, in a Pacific Northwest design, brings back memories of our lives in Seattle, where we married and raised our family.
Several ornaments tell the story of a trip to the Christmas shop in San Francisco, taken some thirty years or so ago.
Ornaments from our first Christmas are also found on our tree. They’re a bit “used” but we hang them every year to remember that first Christmas as a new family. They’re antiques now, as are we!
Some of our ornaments are from crafts fairs in years past, one from the artist’s gallery where I work. All in all they tell a story of life lived, love shared.
But one special ornament is a pale blue ceramic ornament, a sleeping baby, with the words “Kenneth Nolan December 30 1995” on the back, the memorial for our grandson whom we never got to hold. Every year it finds a place on our tree.
So whatever you put on your tree, if indeed you have one, may they bring back memories of special times with the people you love, and memories of those who have gone before.
Happy Holidays from our house to yours!

November 3, 2019

When I was born
Daddy was training fighter pilots in Florida
teaching them not just to fly
But how to lighten their planes
So they could fly faster and farther.
Doolittle’s Raiders had put this into practice
And were able to complete their mission.

When I was born
Mom was a young wife in Kansas
Working at the Coleman Factory
Living with her parents and brother
While awaiting my birth
Daddy tried anxiously to get home.
He barely made it.

When I was born I was an only child
Only granddaughter
Only grandchild.
We lived in my grandparents’ house
Then in a garage in Sebring
I had my first experience in a pool
An alligator moved in a few days later.

When I was born
Germany was yet to surrender
Nagasaki and Hiroshima
Were still thriving cities.
I had my own ration book
And FDR was president.
Anne Frank was sent to concentration camp
And imprisoned Jews were released in America.

When I was born it was a cold winter day
I had to be tightly bundled against the wind
Six months later I lay in a buggy
With a very proud dad standing beside me
And palm trees swaying behind me.
Two beaming parents posed for the camera
While I sat between them smiling.

And that’s how it was
When I was born.

October 12, 2019

The neighbor cut some branches off of his Longan tree this week and left some on our back doorstep; in another week or so when we harvest bananas he will be at the top of the list for a hand or two. It’s the island way and only one of many reasons we so love it here.

Longans have a tough, leathery exterior with a sweet, firm, gel-like fruit inside which surrounds a black seed. I find that biting into the skin and peeling it off is the best way I know to get to the fruit inside. The seed is for planting. I don’t know how to describe the taste. It’s not like a grape, sweeter than a lychee or rambutan and juicy when fully ripe.

I sat at the table this morning picking the fruit off the branches and headed to the fridge to put the bag in when I almost stepped on one of our Madagascar geckos that was hanging out in front of the fridge so the fruit is on the counter for now.

The geckos are still running around. Several hatchlings have been eaten by adults so we don’t have as many as one might expect; fortunately enough get away that our gecko supply is renewed.We had a cool, wet spell so didn’t see much of the geckos for a few days but it’s warmed up to 90 so they’re running around again.

And yes, I believe in global climate change. Our coral reefs are bleaching from the warmer ocean temperatures and we’ve never had such a long run of hot temperatures that I can remember; even the locals comment on it. But we had an amazing thunder and lightning show with lots of rain that helped cool things off.

Meanwhile thr first humpback whale was spotted off North Shore on October 1. The whales are back!! Time to get out the beach chairs and go whale-watching.

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