Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Southern Holiday : Family History

Since I stepped off the plane in this beautiful Southern city of Huntsville, Alabama, all I've been doing is EATING! I am so full! I been eating too much, fa real! I think I'll return to Hawai'i about 'fitty' pounds heavier! Other than eating, I also been doing a whole lotta family history. I knew I would be. On Monday, my husband found an old trunk that belonged to his grandfather. For those not familiar with the hobby of genealogy, an old trunk is a gold mine of information.

Whew... the trunk was full of old pictures and all sorts of legal paperwork. I was able to plug in all kind of information into my family tree. There were death certificates and birth certificates and military records, and tons of photo's and names. It was pretty amazing! Also, with the help of, I was able to correspond the names I found with the United States Federal Census. It has been an AMAZING experience!

Prior to the 1880 United States Federal Census, it gets really tough to dig up information if your ancestral lines lead back to the U.S. slave trade. There are a number of reasons why that is:

1. Slaves were counted as possessions, like cattle, and were not enumerated as people. They were property, counted as assets for slave holders! What this means for genealogy researches like myself is that the slaves will not be "named" in the U.S. Census.

2. Slaves were thoroughly and effectively weaned from their culture in the most abrupt manner. They were severed from their culture and severed from other slaves that shared the same culture. I think we know what the implications of that would be. Effectively "colonizing" the African to be English-speaking American's!

3. Effectively "colonizing" Slaves meant they had to take on "Christian" names as ordered by the slave holder. This was to turn the slave from a heathen into a Christian. What this means for genealogy researchers is that we will have a tough time making the link to Africa.

4. Strong and burly men and women were breeded to produce strong and burly children then sold at top dollar to other slave holders to be able to breed them. This meant that the strongest slaves were sent from slave owner to slave owner to make babies. Do you see the similarities today? That's a whole 'nother blog that I'd have to visit sometime in the future. What this means for the genealogy researcher is that we may never know if the names we find are the actual biological parent. **sigh**

Well, thats what I've been doing with my extra time. I love it. I love making the connection to the past. It's pretty amazing what I've been able to find and then be able to share with my inlaws. They are thoroughly excited as well.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Southern Holiday : Day 02

Day 02 started out really slow. When the whole house was finally up and moving around, it had to be after 10am. I had already showered and felt fresh and clean but sluggish... I'm assuming its the jetlag.

We started talkin' family history. Genealogy is a serious hobby of mine. I shared with my in-laws what I have been able to gather about their families so far. My in-laws seem impressed with the progress I've made. We had a long discussion about family stories. It seems that every generation loses something from the past thinking we have it figured out.

I remember my father telling me stories about his childhood and life without electricity. I find it almost unbelievable to hear them. I remember my mother telling me about outhouses (eeew!) and working to eat, as there were no grocery stores in Samoa. And I think to myself how so far removed am I from a life of physical struggle. Yet, I have a desire to know that hard life to feel and experience the contrast between my life here and now and the life of my parents 50 years ago.

In those 50 years, the clear and definite lines between good and evil have been blurred beyond recognition. The state of the family now includes "blending" and alternative lifestyles. And the world almost seems so screwed up, without a clear direction toward happiness. The gender roles have been squashed and I sometimes think that it hasn't been for the advancement of humanity. I think the Creator made us to carry out different roles and to have different characteristics based on gender.

The past 50 years since my mothers day and mine has seen much technological advancement but I wonder -- what have we advanced from? Has more computers meant a better standard of living or has it created an even wider gap between the rich and the poor? Has the combustible engine helped humanity in any way? We get to places a lot quicker yet have surrendered to oil dependence. We've stopped growing our own food and now have to wait to hear on the news if the produce we've consumed has been recalled. We have become so dependant on others for our basic necessities, from food to fuel, that if the grocery store closed its doors, America would starve. Can you imagine the people in the highly populated metro area's? **sigh**

My discussion with my in-laws prompted all these thoughts about their life, about my life, my parents lives and how much progress have we really made? And then, as if to spit upon all the ideals we had just spoke about, we carted ourselves off in a big, gas-guzzling SUV to a mall that's a hundred miles away, to shop for the commercial-driven Christmas presents that our family is waiting for. **sigh** Ironic, isn't it? We ate at Dave's BBQ in Franklin, Tennessee... not having to lift a finger to get fed. (Notice my plate, BEFORE and AFTER)

Don't get me wrong, I am truly grateful for what I have. The Creator has placed me here at this time, in this very special place, and I am humbled that he chose me to have so much abundance. Just imagine, you or I could have been born in much different circumstances. Yet the Creator has placed us right where we are.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Sermon

My favorite passage of scripture in the King James version of The Holy Bible is found in St Luke, chapter 7, verses 36 - 50.

36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. and he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.
37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointement.
38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed the feet, and anointed them with ointment.

I am particularly drawn to this particular verse (38) because of the imagery.

39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him for she is a sinner.
40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.

Verse 39 points out how judgemental the Pharisee was of the sinner woman. People all around us do this daily, several times a day. In my own life, having experienced such a colorful past, I was thoroughly aware of the people who whispered about me. I find myself doing it from time to time and have to remind myself to be compassionate.

41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou has rightly judged.

This is such a simple parable to understand.

44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavesT me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not cease to kiss my feet.
46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth litte.
48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

This passage of scripture has pulled me through my sinful ways into the brightness and light of goodness.

The hardest, most difficult part for a sinner to do is to step back into the light. We are afraid of all the people judging. I remember folks telling me, "Did the chapel fall when you walked in?" That made it more difficult to come back the next time.

I had a Bishop stand at the pulpit and tell the entire congregation that the church is like a hospital and they don't make hospitals for people that are well. Bring them in who need Jesus! That forever changed how I view the church and humbled me. I became unafraid of those criticizing my awkward steps back into the light. And I shed tears and washed the feet of Jesus with my hair. And I kissed his feet! And in those moments, I gave up my sin for the forgiving touch of the Savior. And the most beautiful thing is.... YOU CAN TOO!


**Photo Credit

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Southern Holiday : Day 01

Husband and I made it to Alabama, all perky and bright eyed. I'm so excited to be here. I don't know if it's because I've been suffering from a slight case of island fever or if I needed to take a real vacation. The last time I went on vacation was this past July for a Family Reunion. That wasn't a real vacation at all because I worked my tail off. Needless to say, I'm glad to be here with my in-laws lounging in the lap of luxury. I don't have to be anywhere or see anyone. I can just relax, unwind, and maybe even get some writing done. I've been working on a novel. I wrote the prologue for it and am hoping to lay down chapter 1 one while I'm here.

I've always said that my dream job is to be a writer. Specifically, a published writer. I'm moving in that direction and allowing the story to come out of me. I'm not sure how other authors and creative writers write their stories, whether they sit in front of the computer and just start writing or whether they meticulously plan each character or series of events in their story. Me, I'm approaching this project as though the story itself lives inside me and I'm allowing it to come out. Does that make sense or sound spooky? **shrugs** All I know is that I have been in a writers funk for the past couple of years and have finally crawled out of it. I required a muse before and now the story is just unfolding on its own. Funny how it all works out.

So my southern holiday, day 01, here in Huntsville, Alabama is my opportunity to allow the story inside of me to be told. Perhaps I will email a copy of my prologue to you for a serious review on what works for you, as a reader, and what doesn't. I really want honest truth so if you're game, leave me an email address to forward the material to you. If I don't chicken out... I'll send it. LOL.

It took 9-hours or so of straight flying time from Honolulu International Airport to Atlanta-Hartsfield (?). We chose this route, even though it cost $1200 per ticket because we didn't want too many lay overs with the possibility of flight cancellation due to inclement weather. Routing through Denver would have been half price but we opted to fly directly to Atlanta. Just thinking of all the flight cancellations across the midwest makes me happy I chose this route! Lay over was nearly 3 hours in Atlanta then a short 40 minute flight to Huntsville. The in-laws were waiting at the gate with a video camera. They all look so good! I'm so glad to be here with them. My little niece, Olivia is just absolutely adorable. We headed to Cracker Barrel in Madison for breakfast, on the way back to the house. I had a country fried steak, biscuits and gravy, grits, hash brown casserole, and some sweet tea. It was all so delicious!

When we finally made it to the house, I showered up then took a three hour nap. It was much needed. Husband and I conked out. What woke me is the aroma of food, wafting in from the kitchen. My father-in-law made a dish called Low Country Boil. He had all the regular fixings in it: Shrimp, Sausage, Corn, Potatoes, Carrots, and he added some hard boiled eggs and some chicken wings. My, my, my... it was exactly what I wanted! This is why I love it here! The food is always so good and I rarely have to lift a finger to get it. **smiling**

I wonder what's in store for tomorrow!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Clueless Customer Award

**LEGAL Disclaimer: This is my opinion! This is, as the title of this blog implies, how I remember it. If you continue to read on, you are agreeing that this post is LEGALLY inactionable... pun ENTIRELY INTENDED!**

I mentioned in a previous post that I run a surplus sale for the University that I work at twice a week. It has been a thorn in my side on more than a few occasions. I have been pushing to change our department policy in regards to our surplus sale for quite some time. My boss was able to experience some of my frustration, this past Tuesday.

A beautiful desk was sold on Tuesday to this years Clueless Customer. This person is a frequent customer to our Surplus Sale though she has never been as clueless as she was this past Tuesday. Clueless Customer was incorrectly charged $10 for the beautiful desk rather than $50. It was entirely our error! I will give Clueless Customer that but what gets me irritated is her response to our error. In typical American/ Capitalistic/ spoiled fashion, Clueless Customer took advantage of our error rather than exercising some integrity to fix the situation. It is a case of Moral vs. Legal dilemma. (Read on to see how it turned into a legal dilemma.) In both scenario's, I think our case holds up quite nicely and that is the approach I will take in explaining why I am handing out a Clueless Customer Award this year.

Addressing the MORAL dilemma:
To sell or not to sell... at $10... is the question. We made an error in pricing. It comes with the territory, especially when your entire staff are student workers. To remedy the situation, we asked Clueless Customer to pay the difference or get a refund of her $10. This is where it gets interesting and I'm skipping over a confrontation between my staff and boss with Clueless Customers cousin who came to pick up the items instead of Clueless Customer. This is a violation of our posted policy which states that the purchasing customer must be present when picking up items. But I'm skipping over all of that.

When Clueless Customer shows up to try and remedy the situation, I give her the options that we are offering her. Refund her $10 or Clueless Customer must pay the difference. The right and, dare I say, moral thing to do is to pick either of the two options. That would be the most honest thing to do. (Of course, honesty is a decaying value as is integrity.) Clueless Customer, gaining steam and coaching from her Clueless Cousin, believes that "LEGALLY" the items belong to her because she has purchased it.

This is where the fun discussion on legal rights begin. In any surplus transaction, in order to pay, every customer signs a waiver form:
In signing this receipt, I, the buyer, relinquish and indemnify all legal responsibility from **insert my employer name** ...

I ask Clueless Customer, "Did you sign the receipt (waiver) form?"

Clueless Customer says, "Yes!"

"Well, did you read it?"

With an appalled expression, eyes wide open like a deer in headlights, she quips, "I don't have to read it. LEGALLY, I should get my desk. What does me signing the receipt have to do with my LEGAL rights? What are my legal rights?"

I replied, "I'm not a lawyer, I cannot give you legal advice and you should read everything you sign."

Again, the deer in headlights look, she states, "I feel I have been wronged. In the Civil Rights movement, people stood up for their rights. I feel I have been wronged."

I smirk in utter amazement and respond, "Civil Rights? What are you talking about?"

Maybe she takes me as another dumb Polynesian to swallow her story about civil rights. She is totally CLUELESS to how special the Civil Rights movement is to my little family. She is totally CLUELESS to how my husbands family (consequently my family now), deeply rooted in Alabama, took part in the Selma days of Martin Luther King Jr's crusade. Did she just spit on that history by comparing it to her $10 transaction?

Deer in headlights look, Clueless Customer says, "This is such a small issue. Do you really think it should go as far as small claims court?

I counter, already heated because of the Civil Rights statement, "Is that a threat? Do you want to take us to Small Claims over $40?"

Clueless Customer, behaving like a spoiled, American, capitalist responds, "I don't want to but LEGALLY, I could." She shrugs her shoulders.

Not at all frightened by the prospect of Small Claims, I listen to her gripe about her LEGAL rights to a beautiful desk that she paid $10 for. If it weren't so rude, I would have rolled my eyes at her shallow threats of legal action.

Having observed legal proceedings in District Court, most judges will require mediation prior to hearing the case. If a mutually satisfying arbitration doesn't occur then the judge, without sympathy, will hear the case and make a judgement.

Here is where I think Clueless Customer errs in her threats of legal action:
1. The law IS RESTRAINED from placing the complainant in a better position than before the incident.
2. We offered to "make her whole" by refunding her the original payment of $10, in which case she would have not suffered at all.
3. This is more a customer service issue, if anything, not a legal issue.

The 'legality' of issues blur the moral lines. There shouldn't be any gray areas between honesty / dishonesty. It was our error in charging her incorrectly which is a customer service issue, not a legal issue. Her refusing to pay the difference is a moral issue, not a legal issue. Her rights as a consumer is to be recovered to the position she was in before the incident. In the end, my boss allowed her to take her $10 desk and asked her not to return here.

Drum roll, please!

The 2008 Clueless Customer award goes to the Deer in Headlights. Not only, as a side effect of her behavior, has she managed to ban herself and her cousin from any future business with us... she has forced us to change our policy. The surplus sale will be closed to the public! Her wheeling-and-dealing is done at this facility and sad to say, it will be for the rest of the public. She fought to have that desk and forfeited all future "deals" because of it. I hope it was worth it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

In the Open Air

The photo's are my own original works but the writing is from The Daily OM. Subscribe to it even if the topic of metaphysics is not particularly your "thing". It will help to stretch the perimeters of your mind. Read on to get connected!

In the Open Air
Spending Time in Nature

In this modern age, we spend so much time indoors, focused on the busy-ness of our lives and disconnected from the earth. But much of what we truly need can only be found under the naked sky, alongside tall trees, on open plains, or in the sound of running water. Spending time in nature allows us to commune with other living beings and to find comfort in the nurturing embrace of Mother Earth. You can’t help but experience a different sense of self while walking in a wood or traversing a mountainside. Being in nature connects us to the earth, grounding us as we walk, unhindered by concrete, upon her. Surrounded by other living beings, both bigger and smaller than we are, we remember that human beings are simply one form of life in this vast universe.

Because we instinctively know that nature is good for us on many levels, it’s not unusual to feel powerfully drawn to it. Even if you live in a city or find it difficult to travel to a forest or the countryside, there are a myriad ways to reconnect with nature. When you step out of your door each morning, pause for a minute and close your eyes long enough to let your senses absorb your surroundings. Listen and breathe deeply, until you hear the wind rustling through branches, smell rain on damp grass, and see the reflection of leaves brushing up against windowpanes. If you have time, crouch down and closely examine any nearby grass and soil. The sights, sounds, smells, and sensations we experience that are part of nature can remind us of all the gifts Mother Earth grants us each day.

Spending time connecting with nature nourishes the soul, reminds you that you are never truly alone, and renews you by attuning you to the earth’s natural rhythms. Taking a walk under the stars or feeling the wind on your face may be all it takes for you to reconnect with nature. Remember, you are as much a part of nature as are the leaves on a tree or water bubbling in a brook.

What do you think?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Weekend in Review

Happy Birthday Babe! Today is the big 20+10 for husband. Yes! He is 30 today.

Normally on a Sunday, at this hour, we'd be at church doing our normal duties. Me on the organ, husband helping the deacons. But today is not a normal day and this weekend has not been a normal weekend.

It all began on Friday night. Husband and I got off work at our regular time. We were looking forward to going home and relaxing and preparing for our upcoming vacation. (We're headed to Alabama for the holidays to visit with husbands' family.) As we made our way home, normally a 7 mintue drive, we were stopped by a pile of traffic just two miles from the crib. The road was closed. Someone hit a utility pole and caused the transformer to be hanging in the middle of the main road. To make a long story short, I had to take the two hour trek to circle the island to get to my house.

As fate would have it, midway through our trek around the island it started pouring rain, thunder, and lightning. It was just too dangerous for us to continue. So we stop at my cousins house in Mililani..... and stayed the whole weekend. That same night, Friday, we headed to Pictures Plus to purchase photo frames to finish off my Christmas gift for my parents. The rain was coming down hard. We went out to Wal-Mart and bought clothes, ordered pizza for pick-up then headed to my cousins house. We watched some comedy shows that evening... Katt Williams, to be exact... even through all the curse words, he was still so funny! His mannerisms and jokes had me rollin'!

Saturday, it was still raining but we headed out on my cousins truck to do more Christmas shopping. Husband and I finally bought us watches. We were supposed to do that on our Wedding Anniversary last month, but the opportunity didn't present itself then. Husband loves his watch and so do I. The silver looks so good against his skin. We were going to buy a Wii for us and a Wii for my brother and his family but stupid Gamestop doesn't allow purchase of two Wii game systems. How dumb is that? I thought the idea was to get rid of the items. It's not like they were giving the systems at a cheaper price than their competitors. So, I opted to skip buying it from them altogether. I'll hit Best Buy sometime this week. I "heart" Best Buy! But that's another blog.

We were also able to catch a movie. The Day the Earth Stood Still, starring Keanu Reeves. It was not something I would pick to watch. Husband picked this one. The ending SUCKED THE BIG ONE! But thats alright -- it was nice to bond with my husband and cousin. We headed back to the house after that and played on my cousins Wii all night. The tennis was so much fun on that doggone machine and can be a workout at the same time.

So what did you do this past weekend?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pro Pono

I was quite interested in a story that appeared in the Honolulu Weekly, a free publication that is distributed at the local grocery store. The cover reads, Ho'oponopono A Hawaiian sense of peace, and features a photograph of the last ruling monarch in the Hawaiian islands, Queen Lili'uokalani. Also pictured is Gandhi and Martin Luther King. The Queen fits perfectly among the two very public figures of peace resistance. The picture and the title of the cover story piqued my interest.

The cover picture alluded to the fact that the Queen should rank as one of the great leaders of peaceful resistance. However, the story details the life and thoughts of Reverend Kaleo Patterson, a current Hawaiian activist. The beginning of the editorial runs through a list of credentials for Reverend Patterson, from his education to his protest activity.

The article skims the surface of "ho'oponopono" and barely touches the non-violence resistance of the past. I would have enjoyed reading more on the similarities between Gandhi, Lili'uokalani and MLK, Jr. That topic is the name of a class that Reverend Kaleo Patterson offers at the Center for Indigenous Leadership and Peace Making, housed at the US School of Social Work. I suppose if I'd like to know more on the topic, I have to take the class. **giggles**

Many cultures in the world practice "ho'oponopono" in their own way. I interpret it to be a form of repentance and restitution for the sinner/criminal and the victim. If practiced correctly, it allows the sinner to make restitution for his indiscretions until the victims family can fully forgive and accept the wrong and put it to rest.

The act of restitution and forgiveness is all but absent from our contemporary jail systems. The criminal is never allowed to attempt to clear his name and make restitution to the people he has wronged. He is never called to admit his guilt or to ask for forgiveness. Rather, he "does his time" and is released, only to repeat the behavior that placed him in jail in the first place.

Ho'oponopono would work for both the offender and the offended. The offender seeking for forgiveness is an act of humility that places the offender in a state of submission to the offended. The psychological act of forgiveness by the offended to the offender brings a peace of mind that is so absent in contemporary society. Both pieces are necessary for a successful reconciliation.

The story sparked several thoughts for me and I'm grateful I stumbled upon it. As I attempt to adopt ideals into my life, forgiveness ranks at the top of my most admirable qualities.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Tribute

I met him in a chatroom on Blackplanet then we met up again in a Yahoo Group. At the time, I had just separated from my ex-husband and I felt so vulnerable and so utterly heartbroken.

We were such great friends, "D" and I, such great penpals. He knew so much about me. "D" understood my thought process, knew my deepest heart aches, yet never used it to manipulate me. He remembered all my special days. From my birthday to my wedding anniversary. He sent me beautiful cards in the mail and thoughtful gifts. He was growing on me in a scary way, in a way that would have probably meant infidelity to my "then husband". He was so utterly sweet, so thoughtful, so romantic and I was so in need of that kind of attention.

He and I talked so often. During my separation from my ex-husband, he was more accessible to me than my ex-husband. I mean, he was always there for me no matter the hour. Often, we'd have lengthy conversations in the wee hours of the morning. It would be midnight where I was at and he'd be six hours ahead of me, getting off the graveyard shift at work. He was such a rock to lean on at such a precarious time in my life.

He saw me through my entire separation from my ex-husband. At the point when my then-husband decided he wanted to reconcile, I told "D" and he was so upset but supportive of what I needed to do for me. He was such a gentle soul and at times I miss his presence dearly mostly because he said all the things I needed to hear.

The reconciliation with my ex-husband lasted all of two months, at which point my ex decided to divorce me. All things happen for a reason. I'm fortunate that there were no children between he and I to complicate the relationship further. As soon as the dust cleared, "D" booked a flight to come out to Hawai'i and finally meet in person.

There were no fireworks between us and I was so caught up in my own junk, I couldn't really thank him for always being there for me. I didn't fully appreciate his beautiful heart. I did nothing with our time together. I think we seen each other three times while he was on my island. **sigh** We split not having really bonded. He left the island and we lost touch.

I pay tribute to him today. He was truly one of the great friends I've had in my life. He disappeared a couple years ago, got married, and I heard moved to the western U.S. I'm glad he found someone to share his life with. I hope she makes him happy. He deserves all the happiness one heart can hold.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Post Nasal Drip Post

Lastnight, before dinner, I noticed my throat feeling raw and scratchy. This morning, my nose was draining and I had a little cough. Now, I find myself at work feeling absolutely horrible and desiring very much to lay down in my comfortable tempurpedic bed.

How did I find myself at work? Well, my boss called me bright and early to tell me he was sick. He beat me to the punch. Since there's just he and I as full-time employees in our office, it's either him or I. We both can't be sick at the same time. We both can't go on vacation in the same month. There are 11 student employees that work under me but they can't answer all the questions that need to be answered in any given business day. They are not relegated to make decisions for the operations of the warehouse.

So here I am, miserable at work but LOVING that the boss is absent. I get to listen to my music and blog incessantly. **sigh**

Kleenex - check
Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice for Vitamin C - check
My favorite herbal tea - check

I think I have everything I need to be here 'til 5... let's hope I can keep it together.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

What I'm Reading

I just started reading, The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama. I didn't vote for Obama this past November, opting for the more obscure Libertarian candidate, Bob Barr. I once identified myself with the Democratic party but have become disillusioned with the current political leadership in any party. Thus, my decision to vote outside of the popular candidates.

Deciding to read the words of the President-Elect, Barack Obama, is about choosing to follow him and give him the respect he has earned as the elected leader. I want to know more about him, in his own words. I was thoroughly impressed to find this gem in the first couple of pages of the book:
"You seem like a nice enough guy. Why do you want to go into something dirty and nasty like politics?"

I was familiar with the question, a variant on the questions asked of me years earlier, when I'd first arrived in Chicago to work in low-income neighborhoods. It signaled a cynicism not simply with politics but with the very notion of a public life, a cynicism that - at least in the South Side neighborhoods I sought to represent - had been nourished by a generation of broken promises. In response, I would usually smile and nod and say that I understood the skepticism, but that there was -- and always had been -- another tradition to politics, a tradition that stretched from the days of the country's founding to the glory of the civil rights movement, a tradition based on the simple idea that we have a stake in one another, and that what binds us together is greater than what drives us apart, and that if enough people believe in the truth of that proposition and act on it, then we might not solve every problem, but we can get something meaningful done. (Italics and boldface added for drama.)

I want to believe that he is everything he purports to be. I love that he is an intelligent man, an intelligent Black man, and intelligent Black man from Hawai'i! I love that he is confident, self-assured, and very prepared when speaking. He is eloquent and is careful with his speech. He appears genuine. I believe he will bring a sense of "solemnity" to the White House.

I am believing in Barack to make the changes he promised he'd make. I wish him well as he embarks on the journey of being the most powerful figure in the Free World!

***Now... back to my reading!***

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Seasons Greeting : Island Fever

I'm really excited about spending the holidays in Alabama with my in-laws. I have been suffering from serious island fever! It has just recently dawned on me just how small this place really is. I won't even get into the square mileage of this little island that I live on. Just know that I can do one half of the island in about three or four hours of continuos driving. Toss in the west side of the island and you might get another two from that. In any case, the island is not that big. And the little section that I live on is even smaller! Everybody knows everybody so your business is never just your business.

I know there are thousands of people that would just love to live on this island where the weather is PERFECT all year long. It gets a little humid in the summer and really wet in the winter but overall, it can't be beat! I love it as well for those reasons but today, I'm definitely suffering from island fever.

There is a world of difference when I go on vacation with my folks and going on vacation with my in-laws. With my family, in typical Polynesian tradition, there is NO leisure time. My mother, who hails from Vaitoloa, (Western) Samoa, believes whole-heartedly that her children should be in service at all times. Sleeping in is NEVER an option at my mothers home. There is never an excuse to skip daily chores, not even if you're sick. Of course I'm grateful that she has instilled such a strong work ethic however, she never taught me how to balance that with leisure. I'm finding out that having as much play time as work time is so vital to having a joyful life. We were created to find happiness and joy, not slave over the cleanliness of our homes - even though that's important as well.

In contrast, going to my in-laws is like truly taking a vacation. I never have to lift a finger, even though I do help out around the house. I don't feel guilty for sleeping in or running to the room to lay down and watch some TV. That would be considered totally rude at my mothers home. If I want to stay in my pajama's all day, skip putting on a bra, and brushing my hair, it's quite alright to do so. Once again, totally unacceptable at my mothers home. So I'm looking forward to unwinding in Alabama.

It'll also be nice to be in the cold for Christmas. It's been quite some time since I've been cold on Christmas day. It'll be nice to dress up. I purchased some boots this morning just for this trip cause I don't know when I'll see the occasion to wearing boots here in Hawai'i. I look forward to not sweating while blow-drying my hair. I look forward to not sweating while walking in the mall. I look forward to a nice, cozy fireplace -- which my mother-in-law fires up in the winter. Yay! I look forward to some really good Southern food. I'm so excited!

Island fever has definitely got me this season and I'm so happy to be taking a break from island living. Seasons Greetings!

**Photo Credit

Monday, December 01, 2008

Throwback Post : Stolen

This was originally posted in March 2007... but I had to go back to it... cuz this is what I was feeling today.


I despise tourism.

I despise foreign-owned holdings in Hawai'i.

I hate that Hawaiian people are living on the beach while foreign investors over-develop what little land is left... cause the property taxes to SKY-ROCKET and cause the "host culture" to be displaced in our own land.

I hate that Hawaiian "blood" will continue to dissipate.

I hate that the UNITED STATES federal government wants to "qualify" Hawaiians.

I hate the Akaka Bill!!!!!

I despise the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

I hate American "nature conservationists". All they want from Hawai'i is to place more and more "conservation" land INTO the jurisdiction of the United States federal government.

I truly despise the thought of my children and the rest of my posterity having to defend this land and keep the foreigners away from land ownership.

I hate that my generation is lulled by a false sense of security that all will be well -- when OBVIOUSLY our rights, our lands and our freedom is continually being stripped from us. WAKE UP!!!

I hate ignorance!

The other day a caucasian male told me that Hawaiian's should "get over" the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. It is exactly this attitude that fuels my anger toward foreigners. I'm amazed that he felt he could speak on it.

I hate that a FOREIGN legal system has been imposed on Hawaiian people and my people are ignorant to the ways to navigate through the legal fodder.

I hate that the prisons are filled with Pacific Island people.

I don't want to assimilate into mainstream American culture!!!

I hate that foreigners have NO concept of Hawaiian values and want to impose their own values instead of adopting ours.

Revolution!!! Protest all that is WRONG! Wake up and DO SOMETHING!!! Get involved. Grass Roots is where its at.

I'm done!!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Revisiting Thomas

I suggest reading through the Thomas Chronicles for background information.

First installment of the Thomas Chronicles


I dreamt about Thomas last night. I don't know why he entered my dreams but he seemed to be the constant theme through it all. It could possibly be because I had googled him the other night and found him on some reunion site. He doesn't look as good as I remember him to be. The years have crept up on him.

Through the grape vine, I've heard that he's doing well. He works. Supports all his kids. Is still married. Bought a house. He's settled! As it should be.

In my dream, he followed me everywhere. There was no escaping him. Wherever I was, there he was. I was in a library -- there he was. I was walking on the street and he was following me in a white truck. I was at a restaurant, eating with some friends, and there he was, observing me from the window. I was in the middle of the city, hand in hand with my husband and there he was following us. The crazy thing is that he wouldn't talk to me in the dream. He would observe from a distance but never confront me. It was downright creepy. Everywhere I'd turn in my dream, he'd be there staring at me.

I think my subconscious is regurgitating all these emotions because at one point in our relationship, at the tail end of it all, he began stalking me. The guilt I've felt over how I "did" him haunts me from time to time. I feel like reaching out to quail my tortured soul and perform some kind of restitution. But I think that restitution would only serve me. Me contacting an ex to apologize for bad behavior would offend my husband, would offend Thomas' wife and would only benefit me. I would be the only one able to unburden my sins.

**heavy sigh**

It's funny how dreams always seem to affect me in such an emotional way. I know that this is how my subconscious speaks to me. As I purge, I let go of my "sins" and become more and more ready to accept more of the abundance in the universe. I deserve it!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Lately I've been doing all my writing in my personal diary. There's some kind of connection between handwriting and creativity. I seem to blossom with idea's when I hand-write in my journal. That's where all my stories and opinions have been going. I thoroughly miss BLOGGING so I'm here today, right now, in this hallowed land of words. **giggles**

I don't remember at what age I knew I loved writing. I remember in the 4th grade, my Language Arts teacher, Miss Elly Tepper, conducted a weekly journal session. It would take place right after lunch recess. She'd shut off the lights and start a meditation to calm us down to get in "the zone". For some, this exercise was challenging. Some folks didn't know how to calm down, didn't know how to be silent and sit still. For me, it was an absolute treat. What thrilled me is the power I had to write about anything I wanted to. Fiction or reality, it was all up to me. I admit that I embellished the truth a lot in those days and probably created more drama in that composition book than any 4th grader then. At the end of the exercise, we'd turn our books into Miss Tepper. She'd read the journal entries, make a few comments with her red pen, then give them back to us the following week.

My mother encouraged me from a young age to keep a daily diary. I have volumes and volumes of my journals to pass on to my posterity. It is quite an event when I pull out the journals I kept when I was a teenager. The vocabulary I used as a teenager is absolutely horrendous. I didn't curse on paper. What I'm talking about is the type of slang words and phrases that I used as a teenager. The terminology was weird and at this point in my life, I just don't find the humour or logic in my selection of slang phrases. I'm sickly amazed at the tone of my entries. I was so boy-crazy! **giggles** Even though I was such a tomboy all through grade school and the seventh grade, eighth grade found me blossoming into a young lady. My diary entries detail a school girl with a brand new crush every single day. I'm almost sure that my mother insisted I keep a journal so that she could sneak and read them to know what's going on in my world.

My childhood and teenage years were spectacular, void of any real drama. Having such a solid foundation of happiness and joy prepared me for the struggles that were ahead of me in adulthood.

Through my journals I'm able to revisit some of the darkest days of my life. That era was the post-teenage years on up until probably 30. Between 18 and 30 was an absolute challenge. Age 18, I was raped. I pressed charges and endured two trials in front of a jury of my peers. The first trial ended in a hung jury. The second trial set my attacker free. I married at age 21 and endured the most difficult heartbreak ever. The problems in that marriage started early on. Things just were never right between he and I. We were separated a couple years after marriage then finally divorced when I turned 28. My journal details every dark day and builds the anticipation for a brighter day.

I'm thoroughly convinced that my posterity will revel in the emotional narratives written into each and every page. The journal chronicling 2007 reveals a woman beginning a total-life-makeover where I had since re-married, kicked the tobacco, alcohol, etc. to prepare myself for a spiritual awakening. Awaken I did, along with my husband. It has been, by far, the most eye-opening experience EVER and I cherish it dearly.

Here I am today, my journals are less exciting, almost monotone yet filled with my most intimate thoughts and emotions. It's value is invested in the future. The ones that will benefit from my innermost feelings, my childrens childrens children, will connect with me from beyond mortality and see in to my life with perfect insight. These journals, as are these blog entries, are for my children.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ramblings : A Days Lesson

Several days ago, a professor came to my office. I'm not quite sure what the visit was for; maybe just to chit chat, shoot the breeze, whatever. He didn't have a specific request for me nor my boss. The professor is a sculptor. He teaches in the Fine Arts department.

He began the conversation talking about Rome, Italy. Last month he went to St. Peters Basilica and was amazed at the long line of people waiting to touch the foot of a bronze statue of St. Peter. He stated that there was a placque on the figure that said that it had the power to heal any of your ailments. This professor is a very accomplished sculptor around these parts and admired the bronze figure but could not figure out the faith of the people. I was utterly engulfed in his account of his visit to the Vatican and how he was not particularly fond of Rome. He preferred Venice or Florence over Rome.

The conversation shifted, moved and changed as really good conversations do. He began to speak about the different types of chiefs and kings in Tonga. He shared that the speaking chief for a specific Tongan king in his genealogy, similar in occupation to the press secretary for the U.S. President, was of Samoan descent. This speaking chief was loved by the Tongan king because of his loyalty and his knowledge in farming and caring for the livestock. I found it quite interesting to hear stories about Tongan family history mingling with my own ancestral lines.

I have become a serious ancestral buff in recent years. I have an intense desire to dig deeper into my past. My mother is chock-full of stories about her life in Samoa. You would never guess that she came from a place without indoor plumbing, running water and other modern conveniences like a washer and dryer. Til this day, my mother insists on line-drying her clothes. In comparison to my mothers humble upbringing, I am fortunate to be here in this space, at this time with all the modern conveniences I can afford.

The greatest thing that has come from my mother, what she has passed on to me, is a sure identity of who I am. My mother and father have given me a solid foundation to build my life upon and I am truly grateful. The other day, I was watching Judge Mathis and there was a woman on there, Shelley Williams. She was obviously African American. She spoke with some sort of impediment and a strange accent. She was very condescending when speaking of black women. She said 80% of her relations with black women have been negative and she can't stand them.

Judge Mathis asked her, "Aren't you Black?"

She replied, "No. I am not Black, I'm mixed."

The Judge went on to break it down for her and explain old slave mentality in regards to color and her desire to be lily white. He told her that her desire to not be Black shows how little respect she has for herself. The episode was an eye-opener for me! She pointed out to Judge Mathis that she was getting her skin lightened. I shook my head in disbelief. How could that woman NOT love her pigmented skin?

I thought on all these things. On the statue at St. Peter's Basilica and the faith of the people. I thought about ancestral lines and my mother. At the end of the day, seeing that episode of Judge Mathis further made me realize how blessed I am to have a strong, rich heritage inherited from my parents and extended family. The gratitude for such was realized in the string of events of that day. From the conversation with the professor to the Judge Mathis episode, it all pointed to the strong heritage I have been gifted!


Photo Credit for St. Peter
Photo Credit for Polynesian Triangle
Photo Credit for Judge Mathis

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


My cousin is getting married and she has asked me to be her matron of honor. (Me on the left, she on the right.) I'm honored! I have never been a maid of honor for anyone. Let's see, I was in my older brothers' wedding line. That was nice. Didn't really care too much about how my hair was done in that wedding. It just didn't match me. That couple is still going; 10 years and 4 kids later. Also, I was a flower girl for my moms sister. She just divorced him this year after 25 years and 6 kids. Oddly, my hair done up as a little girl was the same way they had done it for my brothers' wedding. LOL...

I don't know if there's a secret recipe to the success of a marriage. My parents are still going strong after 37 years. I should ask them how they keep it together. With my fifth anniversary just passing this past Friday and my cousin getting engaged, I'm a sentimental mess.

Diligent visitors to my blog and really close friends and family know that I've been married before. My ex-husband really put me through the biggest heartbreak I have ever experienced. Nothing could compare to that kind of pain. I've blogged about it profusely. The subject has almost become monotone. However, I have gained many learning experiences from the heartache. I have also become very much empowered to have the courage to demand what I want and need in a relationship. No one will ever "walk" all over me again. Ever!

I am so in love with my husband. I have never experienced a more loving man in my entire life. Even though we get on each others nerves because we spend so much time together, I know he has my best interests at heart. He is my best friend and most times, I rather be with him than with anyone else. The success of our marriage has got to be our shared belief in God. He and I are always headed in the same direction. We worship the same way, pray together, and help to keep each other remembering all the sacred promises we made to each other. There's no secret behind that!

All of this talk of successful marriages has been my inspiration in figuring out what to say as a toast for my cousins wedding. I know I will have to say something, at some point, at the wedding reception. I am taking this responsibility very seriously. I want my thoughts to be meaningful and something the couple will always remember. I have a few thoughts simmering in my head about this.

What are your thoughts? What's a good wedding toast?

**Photo Credit for champagne classes

Saturday, November 15, 2008

5 Years of Wedded Bliss

Friday, November 14th was husband and I's 5th anniversary. I did this lil slide show cuz I was feeling a little sentimental. **sigh** Good love is always RIGHT ON TIME! I thank God for sending me this angel to make my world so beautiful!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I Love Your Blog!

My cousin, Uilani... pronounced oooh-wee-lani... gave me the award of I Love Your Blog. So cute!

Here's the way the "Blog Awards" work:

1. Whomever I nominate get to put this same picture on their blog.

2. Link back to me on your post (it's all about getting visits to your own blog and to others).

3. Nominate 5 other blogs.

4. Link up to them.

5. Leave a message (comment) on those blogs to let them know they were nominated.

Here's a list of my 5 favorite blogs, in no particular order. (My cousin who gave me the "I Love Your Blog" is one of my faves but I already linked to her at the top of this post)

2830 -- This blog ALWAYS puts me in a very reflective mood. I feel so connected to her through her words and experiences and the range of her emotions. When I read her posts, I often think back to a similar experience of my own and get all sentimental.

Hassan -- "Blogging While Black" always keeps me thinking about the social issues that affect minorities, primarily the African-American community. I enjoy his political commentary, sarcasm and humour. He is a wordsmith. A poet. A master of lyrical imagery.

Darius Williams -- "Welcome to Life Experiences 301" is entertaining. His posts, detailing events ocurring in his life are funny and quite the conversation piece. He also has a food blog that won a Blog Award.

Me, Myself and Eye -- I love this blog though I rarely ever comment on it. I enjoy reading her perspective on life and being a voyeur, reading about the single life. It makes me so nostalgic about my single days.

Martha Is My Homegirl -- This is a fun blog. I comment on her blog from time to time. I enjoy reading it. It stays quite nicely on the positive side of things. Hallelujah for optimism!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Give Me One More High

It's been two whole years since I threw out the tobacco, put the "bottle" down, and gave up the intermittent bouts with "pakalolo". Food has semi-replaced the tobacco and that HAS NOT been good for the body but I'm pretty sure the tobacco was worse on me. The alcohol has been replaced, also, with food. The marijuana, I've replaced with my intermittent attempts at a regular exercise routine. There's just one thing I haven't been able to replace.

After high school I picked up the habit of smoking. I must say that acquiring that habit was not my greatest moment. My clothes stank, my house stank, my car stank, my hair, my breath! Everything smelt like cigarette smoke. But one thing about cigarettes that I have yet to discover is an equal replacement. Food doesn't do the trick because I just keep packing on the pounds. An equal replacement of cigarettes, namely Misty Men.thol Lights, would have to afford me the following:
1. Instant and immediate relief of stress: The first drag was a huge relief after a stressful day and the EXHALE was magic!
2. Able to keep me up when driving over an hour.
3. Able to keep the food out of my mouth.

Just give me one more night of barhopping drunkenness. Nothing can replace that feeling of being in the moment and loving every minute. I have never been more present in my life than when I was enjoying a nice tequila-buzz. In that moment, I rarely ever contemplated tomorrow and the hangover that was waiting. I didn't obsess over the drama at work or the apathy of the average citizen. Drinking afforded me my own optimism. Bottled up in a beer, concentrated in a shot glass -- Alcohol helped me be happy about living. Not to say that I'm not happy now... but alcohol was a different kind of giddyness. **sigh**

The thing I miss most, above the alcohol and tobacco is the sweet high of marijuana. What ancestor in the ancient world discovered pakalolo? Surely it is a gift from God. LOL! The way time would span out, the littlest things would send me into a rage of laughter, the secret jokes in my head... I miss that about weed.

So I beg someone, anyone -- Just give me one more high!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes We Can!

I'm sure the talk of the week will be our new president-elect. This is history happening right here and right now. It's a beautiful thing. As I watched Obama give his victory speech, I was truly moved. Both husband and I shed tears of amazement. I voted for neither Obama or McCain but can TOTALLY recognize such a historic event. (I cast my vote for Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate.)

I seen this on DL Hugley's CNN Show. How in the world did he get that gig? Anyway... I am highly irritated by it and all the negative conotations to Hawai'i.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Schizophrenic Ramblings

Some days are better than others.
Sometimes communication is better when I'm not PMS'ing.
Sometimes he understands me. Most of the time he doesn't

My mind is so deep, so beyond logic.

I feel joy slipping out of my hands and life becoming a monotonous jumble of predictable days and routine nights.

I long to feel totally uninhibited by dogma.
I long to feel totally uninhibited by expectation.
I want to be set free from familial responsibility.

Let me set my feet on ground that isn't so probable.
Give me some uncertainty.

Free me from the discipline and restriction of purity.
Send me into a stormy night without an umbrella.
Set my uneventful life on fire and let it explode into a million pieces.

I long to feel totally uninhibited by dogma.
I long to feel totally uninhibited by expectation.
I want to be set free from familial responsibility.

Let the bounty of the universe find me and allow me to be the blank canvas for its greatest painting.

Help me crawl from under the heaviness of expectation into the brightness of unpredictability.

Send me into the rain forests of the Amazon to be at one with God's green earth. Find me in the mountains of Tibet learning to listen to the voice of God. Place me atop the Pyramids at Giza to remind me to look to the heavens for the mysteries on earth. Let me swim with dolphins and listen to the cries of humpback whales in the Pacific Ocean and really hear their sad tale. Let me walk without shoes, without a coat to warm me, empty pockets, and armed with only my faith in humanity to feed me. Teach me compassion and how to really love.

Free me from the chains that bind me. Whatever they be. And keep my mind from going off into the abyss of insanity.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Has It Been a Week?

Wow... It's been a week since I last posted. What's up with that? My disappearance has not been for a lack of topics to blog about. I actually have a slew of posts that have been started. I just haven't been able to finish them off. **sigh**

Halloween is coming up. My cousin is having her housewarming party on Halloween night. I contemplated being the Bride of Frankenstein while husband is, naturally, Frankenstein. We're still debating. I have all the necessary items: the makeup, the dress, the hair yet no excitement to put the look together. We'll see what happens.

I've been helping my cousin plan her wedding. She asked me to be her matron of honor. Of course I'm honored yet at the same time I feel like I'm too old or something. LOL... Weekend before last we went to a Bridal Expo. There were a bunch of vendors touting wedding stuff. The expo also featured a fashion show. We were particularly drawn to a specific boutique so we immediately went to the actual boutique when we left the show. My cousin purchased the first dress she tried on. It was a little pricey for me but she can afford it. I also found my dress at that boutique and all alterations are included in the price. The actual color of the dress will be royal blue and ivory. Woohoo... killed two birds with one stone! Her plans are moving right along.

The actual wedding will be in Columbus, Georgia next July. I can't believe she's having it in the middle of the summer in humid, hot azz Georgia. She consoled me by reminding me about air conditioning. Hah! She will make a beautiful bride and I think her marriage will be wonderful. Her fiance has as much going for him as she does. That's rare since my cousin is quite the go-getter. They make a brilliant couple. I'm glad she has finally found a piece of happiness.

We all deserve all the happiness one heart can hold.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Honesty is a very important part of character.
We have all seen men who think they are not accountable
to the laws of men or of God.
They seem to feel that the rules of human conduct
do not apply to them.
A popular philosophy is, "What can I get away with?"

As someone once said,
"The difference between a moral man and a man of honor
is that the latter regrets a discreditable act

I use this quote as my jump-off today. It has weighed heavy on my mind for quite some time. As I mature and get along in years, I find that I have become more repentant towards universal truths. Honesty and integrity have endured through the history of the world as admirable characteristics.

I used to work at the local grocery store. I'm omitting the name for fear of incrimination (lol). I knew the ins and outs of the grocery store. I could perform every function in the store, just short of the responsibilities of the Store Manager. I knew when the produce deliveries happened. I knew the exact time the Budw.eiser guy would show up. I knew when Heine.ken arrived. I knew when the ATM guys would reload the machine. I knew where every camera was, including the hidden ones. I knew when the main office courier arrived. I knew when the vault was open for the bank courier. I'm telling you, I knew every function of the store.

With such a vast knowledge of store operations, I felt empowered to extend store assets as my own. You get where I'm going with this? LOL... basically, I gave out product for free. My friends would come in, load up their shopping cart... I'd pretend to ring them up. And well... you get the picture. What did I get for my dishonest behavior? Nothing but a repentant heart. I don't even know how to start reparations for it and yet I do want to try and repair what damage I may have caused.

The current trend portrayed in the media is that the world is full of dishonest people. It seems that robbers and thieves, both on the street, in the halls of government and in corporate offices, are the main feature EVERYDAY in the mainstream media. It is such a skewed vision of the world. I believe that honesty and integrity is alive and well here in the United States and across the globe. I have to believe that there are more people like me out there, striving to make today better than yesterday.

My dishonesty from yesterday extend to my adult life as it continues to haunt me. From the day I left the grocery store, I promised myself I would never be 'that girl' again and I haven't. I've rediscovered the ideals of my parents and my brothers, that being honest in all my dealings is a legacy to preserve and pass on; that being honest honors my family and protects our family name. My repentant heart lays on the precipice of dishonor and as I write, I unburden the sins of yesterday in trade for the safe harbor of goodness.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Box

My cousin and his wife gave me a box several years ago for Christmas. It's a beautiful storage box and is the perfect size to keep photo's in. The box was so beautiful that it remained empty for several years because I could not find anything that absolutely fit in it. Discarding the box wasn't even an option.

When my ex-husband first broke the news that he was leaving me, I wanted to destroy everything in my possession that was connected to him. I wanted to have a bonfire to burn every letter I wrote him, every letter he wrote me, all our pictures; I wanted to be rid of anything that reminded me of my life with him.

My best friend requested that I hold onto the things I wanted to be rid of. She said that they were worth saving for future examination. She said that one day I'd want to re-read the letters and look at pictures. I thought, at the time, her request was ridiculous. Only a sentimental fool would hold onto letters to and from a man that broke my heart over and over again. Against my emotional desire to be rid of the ties that bound us together, I kept the letters. It now sits in the beautiful keepsake box that I received from my cousin and his wife.

I visit the box every now and again. Each time I open the box, I'm immediately transported to the world I left behind when my ex-husband left me. I can't say for sure what his motives were. I do know that he's on marriage #3 now. (I was #2.)

The first thing I see when I open the box is the engagement picture. What I wouldn't give to look the way I did in those pictures. It's not the physical characteristics of my face that I long for, though it wouldn't hurt. What I long for is that fresh, never-been-hurt excitement that comes with new love. The picture reveals, every single time I look at it, a girl in love with love. Yes, I was still a girl. Girlhood kept me chasing Prince Charming. Experiencing my first broken heart, at the hands of my ex-husband, shattered the dreams of finding a prince and brought me into womanhood. Not every girl will have to pass through the halls of heart break to find what it is to be a woman, but I did.

My first broken heart still aches, especially when I open up the beautiful storage box full of my life with my ex-husband. After getting through the engagement picture and staring at the girl I used to be, the next thing I find is a package of letters that I wrote him. Lets see, we met in 1994. Married in 1997. Separated in 2001. Divorced in 2003. All of my letters to him, spanning those years, are in there; neatly sorted chronologically. Actually there are a few letters from after '03 in there as well. After the divorce, we did indeed speak and correspond via email and regular postal mail. Nothing ever came of it, mostly because I had moved on then eventually he did too.

Removing the letters gives way to the pictures from our wedding. It was a huge event. So huge that this was our wedding cake. Count 'em... 22 tiers! I look at the pictures and think how far away that life seems. The white dress. The bridesmaids and groomsmen. The JR bridesmaids. The flower girls and ring bearers. The eloquent speech by my Uncle Cy, who married us, about love and blessings and the need to nurture each other. The daddy/daughter dance. The bouquet toss. The garter toss. That life is indeed behind me, left at the foot of other girls longing to be a bride.

It takes me a couple of hours to get through everything. I usually sort through the letters. I read the words I wrote and remember the exact moment I wrote them. I think about how hard I worked at loving him. I wanted to be the "exceptional" woman, the one to change his mind about women and relationships. I wanted him to know what a loyal wife truly is, in contrast to his first marriage. I wanted him to experience a good woman, first-hand! I think I did all that and more. In his own words:
Woman, oh womanI miss your mind and soul, I truly wasted a blessing. You said to me once, forgive yourself. I understand now what you were saying to me.

God has always worked in ways unknown to man. sometimes you have to be hit hard to wake up, like i did. I do know that i needed to be a more humble person in this life and to be more grateful for and to take better care of the blessing i am given. I have messed off more than any man can want. and im alright on through his grace.

i ask for God's forgivness almost everyday now, cause i know in my heart i messed of one of his sweetest gifts.

I wish i could turn back time but i cant you are always in my thoughts and when i pray you are there too. so know this, we are fighters! take care of your happiness. I do miss you and think of you too thats why i'm writeing this at this time i dreamed of you again you are such a beautiful woman inside and out take care woman.

Opening up my special, little box reminds me of how far I've come. That little box runs through brand new love. Fairytale wedding. Girlhood to womanhood. Broken hearts. Divorce. And the conclusion: the ex-husband finally realizing that I was and always have been a blessing in his life. Nothing is sweeter to me, in regards to that relationship, than knowing that when we split I had nothing to hang my head about. I had done everything in my power to try and make it work and he still chose to leave.

My special visit to the box always makes me cry. After that, I feel grateful for what I have now and am reminded that my life is so wonderful. The man that shares my space is so wonderful and that after all that has happened, I did find my Prince Charming.


**Photo Credit

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Political Rant

Barack Obama is indeed making history. I'm thinking he's our next president. When he first submitted his bid to represent the Demo.Cratic Party, I told my husband that he would win or die trying. Take that last comment as you will.

I think Obama is indeed a convincing orator. He truly moves people with his speech delivery as well as the content of his speeches. As opposed to McCain, who is quite dry and his voice bordering on sound like Kermit the Frog. Also his current wife looks like an alien and aesthetically just wouldn't match in the White House.

I have not decided on who exactly I will be voting for. I will say this -- it won't be neither McCain nor Obama. I would just as quickly vote for Cynthia McKinney than either of the two representatives from the major parties. I would have rather seen Ron Paul as the Republican candidate. I'm a big fan of his politics and I tend to lean more toward the conservative side anyway.

That's my political rant for now. We'll see how it turns out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Random Thoughts

I've spent most of my evening running back and forth to the bathroom. I ate some chili that is just not agreeing with me. It could be that I ate a chili-dog after DEVOURING a bag of popcorn. **LOL** Who knows? All I know is that this is indeed uncomfortable and I just can't fall asleep. Now I'm here blogging away my thoughts.

My latest addiction is Real Housewives of Atlanta that airs on BravoTV. I think the show is such a crack-up. I'm pretty amazed at the "excess" people live in. Since I've only watched two episodes so far... I love the Hartwell couple. They are just too cute. I'm glad they selected a woman that is doing things for herself rather than relying solely on the husband to finance their dreams/ business entities.

I actually digg a whole lotta shows on BravoTV. They also air my other addiction, Project Runway. I would just love to do that show. I don't think my sewing skills are as finished as the people that make it on the show but my sketches are gorgeous and totally fashion forward! I just love Tim Gunn... he is the quintessential fashion police and has impeccable taste.

So anyway, that's been me lately. I've also been working on a fiction piece to be published on this site. I have an EXTREME desire to spark more of my creativity. I've lost it somewhere along the way. I've started toting my sketch book around with me and also my color pencils. I also carry my camera everywhere to capture the right picturesque "postcard" shot. My journal is always handy as well. I have a real need to get in touch with my creativity.

I hope all is well in your world.

**Photo Credit

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Dream Symbols:Death

I awoke this morning with a strange sadness. I dreamt that I had died of a heart attack. In the dream I was so happy to be able to transition to the next stage in the eternal being of my soul.

I dreamt that I had died of a heart attack. Another person was there to escort me to my next stage in my progression. At this moment I don't remember who she is.

I dreamt I was talking to my parents and telling them what I wanted for my services. I dreamt that my mother was taking care of all the arrangements for my funeral. I was shaken by the dream so I looked it up on the internet.

The Dream Doctor explains the dream in this manner:

Dreaming of one’s own death (a dreamer may witness his or her funeral, or may “just know” that he or she has died) symbolizes an inner metamorphosis and an evolution of development. Old ways of perceiving are passing away; new self-discoveries are being made. The dream is a symbol of transition.

How apropos... in my transition to trying to become a mother. I hope that is what the dream is indicating. But, any change will be good for me!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

That is THE LIFE

I just got through watching the season premiere of Bizarre Foods. His location: Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa. I was so thrilled to see my mother's home land, which consequently makes it my ancestral home.

Andrew Zimmern, the host of Bizarre Foods, visited the two main islands of Samoa. His commentary in between the actual eating segments made me so proud to be 'teine Samoa' (Samoan Girl). Andrew appreciated the same things I do about the culture of my people.

The people of Samoa practice the traditions of their ancestors as passed down from generation to generation.

Samoa was invaded by the Brits, the Germans, New Zealand and the United States. The U.S. took what is now known as American Samoa, an official U.S. territory like Puerto Rico. The Brits traded Samoa for Fiji with the Germans. Eventually, under the direction of the Brits, New Zealand took political control. Even with all the different political take overs in Samoa's contemporary history, the culture has remained intact! In 1962, New Zealand left Samoa for good and allowed the people to determine their own destiny and they have successfully ruled themselves since.

I look at how Samoa was able to gain independence from all conquering countries and am hopeful that maybe one day the same could happen for Hawai'i. In contrast to the strength of Samoan culture despite outside influences, Hawai'i has become a melting pot of Asian and Caucasian traditions with sparses of Polynesia intertwined; totally "americanized" and void of any real connection to Hawai'i's colorful and strong history. Samoa, on the other hand, still prides itself on holding fast to its cultural strength.

Samoa practices a type of "caste system", in that each person has a specific job to fulfill. The thought of a caste system in these times seem archaic, however, the system has worked for generations on end before foreign contact. Each person knows his/her place in the village and each person plays an important part in maintaining harmony.

Respect is above all else. In Samoa, children still listen to their parents no matter the age. You can be 50 years old with a large family of your own and you are still subject to your parents rule. I find that quite endearing in a world with decaying family values.

The best thing about Samoa, for me, is that village is life is run the same way it was a century ago, two centuries ago. People live to raise their families and their crops. Money is not as valuable as the number of children you have, the yield of your crops, the daily catch of seafood, the number of chickens in the village, the size of the pigs in the pen... money tends to run low on the totem pole.

But the absolute best, best thing about Samoa is time! There, you won't need a digital time piece. Time is set by the position of the sun in the sky. Its rising begins your day. Its setting ends it. And everything you need to do falls between the two. You can work the plantation and nurture your crops. Cool off in a mountain lagoon. Set lobster traps just off shore. Dig for clams in the shallows of the ocean. And yet and still, there's plenty of time to do everything you love doing. No office to run off to. No soccer practices to shuttle kids to. No outrageous energy bills enslaving you to a paycheck. Ah yes, THAT IS THE LIFE! That is the life I want for me!


Photo Credits:
1st Pic
2nd Pic
3rd Pic

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Don't Tread On Me

Those who know me know that I would love to see RON PAUL as president. He believes in returning to the "gold standard" and returning to the ideals of the Constitution. How revolutionary in a world full of corporations! We have moved so far from the ideals of the Constitution and small government. **heavy sigh**

Get to know Ron Paul -- he might change your thinking on what a political leader should be like.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Song For You

1. Song that makes you dance, no matter what:
As by Stevie Wonder

2. Song you'd use to tell someone you love them:
Out On A Limb performed by Teena Marie

3. Song that has made you sit down and analyze the lyrics:
Redemption Song ...Bob Marley...

4. Song you like that a two-year old would like:
The Circle of Life from the Lion King

5. Song that gives you an energy boost:
Shackles performed by Mary Mary

6. A song you and your grandparents would like:
September ... Earth Wind and Fire

7. Song you really liked when you were in high school that you still like now:
Remember the Time performed by Michael Jackson. The video is off the chains as well!!

8. A sad song that would be in the soundtrack of the movie about your life:
By Your Side performed by Sade... the tone of the song is so sad and it would be played in the movie of my life during the time I was getting divorced from my ex-husband.

9. Peppy song that would start the opening credits in the movie of your life:
The Glow... it's a song from one of my favorite 80's movies... The Last Dragon. LOL...

10. A good song from a genre of music that no one would guess you liked:
Easy... Nessun Dorma as performed by Luciano Pavoratti

11. Song you think should have been playing when you were born:
Close To You ...yes... the one by The Carpenter's. The lyrics do it for me!

12. Favorite duet artists:
Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack

13. A favorite song you completely disagree with:
Me So Horny from 2LIVE Crew... such a raunchy song but I like the beat and the hook... if only the lyrics were different. I feel like it almost has NO artistic merit.

14. Song that you like despite the fact that your IQ level drops several points every time you listen to it:
I Don't Give a 'F' ...Lil John

15. Smoothe song for relaxing:
Wey You ...Chante Moore from the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack... the whole thing is good for relaxing.

16. A song you would send to someone you can't stand:

17. Favorite political track:
War Bob Marley... you could actually pick from any number of Bob Marley songs and find the best political commentary through music.

18. Favorite track from a band considered a "super group":
Loves Holiday from Earth Wind and Fire

19. A song that makes you reminisce about good times with a family member:
It's Not Easy from South African reggae artist Lucky Dube -- reminds me of my cousin Jason who passed in 1996.

20. Favorite song from a soundtrack:
Home from The Wiz... that is just the BEST!!

21. Your favorite song RIGHT now:
Isn't She Lovely from Stevie Wonder

**********YOUR TURN!*************

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Anomaly in the Matrix

I've been feeling so bogged down by my inability to CREATE or to use my innovativeness to really make changes in my work place. I've been feeling so stifled at work and am halted at complete boredom. I've been contemplating making a change. Two months ago, I started school but had to quickly withdraw because something came up. Now I'm back at square one, in a funk, not being able to express my creativity fully. That is no ones fault but my own. With that being said, what is it that I would rather be doing?

Sustenance must come from somewhere. However, if I follow my heart and do what I'd really like to do, I'd probably be studying art or music somewhere or writing my first novel or childrens book. I love photography and looking at beautiful things. I've never really thought of myself as an artist although I'm quite artsy... I sketch well, write poetry secretly, would love to study ceramics. There are so many things I would rather be doing than being in the office, working for someone. Really, I should follow my passion and do EVERYTHING that I love.

When people do what they LOVE doing, they build a wonderful life for themselves. I think about farming and gardening, both of which I thoroughly enjoy doing. I'd rather be producing food than being in the office. Although, I do feel a small sense of fulfillment at the J-O-B, it would not and could not compare to doing things that I absolutely LOVE. So more changes are coming for me. Isn't that what life is about?

Funny side note which pulls all my previous thoughts together, hopefully. Last night husband and I went on a double-date with my cousin and her fiance. We went and watched the new Tyler Perry movie (it was a total soap opera). Going out on a week night to the movies is really out of the ordinary for husband and I. As we were driving home I told him, "Wow. Movies on a weeknight. We have caused quite an anomaly in the Matrix."

So... hopefully, I can create more anomaly's in the Matrix in the future. I never want my daily actions to be routine or predictable.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Guitar Strumming

Bought myself a guitar on Saturday. No more GUITAR HERO -- I'm trying to do it in REAL TIME now!!! Woo hooo!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Beautiful Disaster

This is all I got today... in a funk! Don't care too much for her singing but the lyrics.... the lyrics always gets me a little misty.

And today... I'm not feeling at my best.


He drowns in his dreams
An exquisite extreme I know
He’s as damned as he seems
And more heaven than a heart could hold
And if I try to save him
My whole world could cave in
It just ain't right
It just ain't right

Oh and I don't know
I don't know what he's after
But he's so beautiful
Such a beautiful disaster
And if I could hold on
Through the tears and the laughter
Would it be beautiful?
Or just a beautiful disaster

He's magic and myth
As strong as what I believe
A tragedy with
More damage than a soul should see
And do I try to change him?
So hard not to blame him
Hold on tight
Hold on tight

Oh 'cause I don't know
I don't know what he's after
But he’s so beautiful
Such a beautiful disaster
And if I could hold on
Through the tears and the laughter
Would it be beautiful?
Or just a beautiful disaster

I'm longing for love and the logical
But he's only happy hysterical
I'm waiting for some kind of miracle
Waited so long
So long

He’s soft to the touch
But frayed at the end he breaks
He’s never enough
And still he's more than I can take

Oh 'cause I don't know
I don't know what he's after
But he's so beautiful
Such a beautiful disaster
And if I could hold on
Through the tears and the laughter
Would it be beautiful?
Or just a beautiful disaster

He’s beautiful
Such a beautiful disaster

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Power of Intention

My father bought me this boook last week and I've been reading slowly... trying to soak in the new knowledge. Trying to turn it into wisdom. I'm highly excited about many of the things I have already read.

What the author, Wayne W. Dyer, shares is some of the truths he's picked up along life's journey on how to co-create your world. I think the book is great. Some people may have to build up to reading something as heavy yet simple as the power of intention. I do have to say that this book is easier reading than A New Earth -- the book Oprah has been touting for a couple months. This book is far less complicated than A New Earth yet stresses the same principles. Essentially, both books are talking about the same universal laws. My opinion is that The Power of Intention is easier to assimilate into your everyday life.

One of the passages I stumbled upon yesterday is as follows and I quote directly from the book:
If you become what you think about, and what you think about is getting what you want, then you'll stay in a state of wanting. So, the answer to how to get what you want is to reframe the question to: How do I go about getting what I intend to create?


Lately I've been highly unsatisfied with my job/career. If it were up to me, I'd probably be doing something artsy -- sculpting, photography, creative writing -- something along those lines. I wouldn't be working as a Buyer/Supervisor in a distribution center. You get where I'm going with that?

Why am I not doing what I'd rather be doing? Why am I not filling my life with things that I love?

Fear of the unknown is what keeps me right in place, succumbing to the monotony of the rat race to support myself and my family. Life is so predictable in the rat race versus the unpredictability of seeking out my own creative endeavors to sustain me.

I long to know what the Creator would have me give to the world. What great work must I do to complete my task on the planet?

One of my most favorite scriptures in the Old Testament is Psalms 46:10 which reads, Be still and know that I am God. In my effort to find out what I am and why I was placed on this planet, I must first BE STILL and listen for the Creators voice to guide me along. I will put my hand in HIS and let him gently lead me.

All this from a single passage in a book? Yup! I dare you to read the book!