Friday, June 26, 2009

MJ... I Love You

I'm gonna miss you Michael Jackson!!! He was my first school-girl crush. I used to dream of being the girl with him on his Thriller video, on a date with him to the movies. I laugh just thinking about those feelings.

Michael made REALLY, REALLY, REALLY good music.
We Are the World was like... was like... I have no words.

Sad to see him leave this world but I know he's on to better things -- to hear even beautiful-er music in the next world!!

Photo Credit

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Simple Flower

I got off the bus this morning, after an hour and five minute commute. (I love public transportation.) As soon as I exited the bus, I saw this beautiful flower on the tree.

For those who live on tropical islands, a simple plumeria is abundant especially at this time of year. I don't know what it was about this flower but it called me, beckoned me to look at it, and now it sits on my left ear as an adornment to my face.

The flower smells so sweet. Its simple beauty reminds me of our creator's abundant universe and I am so grateful to be in it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Prepare To Be Enchanted

I lived in New Mexico on two seperate occasions. First was in a little town called Clovis on the eastern border. Texas was right over the state line. Second was in the infamous Roswell, sight of the famed UFO incident.

Clovis, New Mexico has nothing grand that distinguishes it from any other town in New Mexico. It gets hit often, with crazy sand storms. It's miserably cold in the winter. My first experience with "black ice" (tar frozen over by extreme cold) happened along its city streets. Tumbleweed litters the landscape and everything looks so bleak. Especially in the winter. My stint in Clovis, New Mexico lasted one winter season and on through spring.

I was a fish-outta-water in the deserts of New Mexico. How could one place be so void of moisture? I landed in New Mexico on one of my journeys to somewhere/nowhere and always in pursuit of love. I had boarded an airplane in Honolulu, landed in Oakland, California and spent some time with friends. Days later myself and a dear friend of mine, BooBoo, found ourselves aboard a Greyhound bus to Los Angeles. What had possessed us to be so bold, so brave in such a crazy world? From Los Angeles, the next leg of our tour of the southwestern United States took us through Arizona and into New Mexico. BooBoo and I parted ways. She was on to Texas and I was on to Clovis. It was a tearful seperation but we were on different paths. She going her way and me going mine.

The last stop before Clovis was in a town called Portales, home of Eastern New Mexico University. I was young, so young and the man I was in love with was 11 years my senior and there he was, at the Portales Greyhound bus station waiting for me. I left everything in Hawai'i to follow him. If he led me to the depths of hell, I would have gladly paved the path for him -- that's the kind of love I had. Partially responsible for such blind devotion is teenage angst. I was just 19 when I landed in New Mexico. I met him when I was 18 and he was 29. On that fateful day, 10 April 1994, my life changed forever.

My romance with such an older man was due, in part, to my yearning to fall in love. And it could have been any man, probably! I just knew I wanted to be swept off my feet, to be whisked away into happily-ever-after. Isn't that the promise of every fairy tale? Isn't that what little girls are taught when they watch Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty? I don't quite know why I was in such a rush to be in love. Really, I should have been concentrating on being in love with me. **sigh**

Clovis, New Mexico proved to be too much for me. I spent enough months there to know that I didn't want to live there forever. When the beau and I decided to part ways -- I got on a plane and headed back to Honolulu. I thought I had seen the last of New Mexico.

Fast forward two years and the beau I had parted ways with became my first husband. That landed me in Roswell, New Mexico where family feuds are numerous and ongoing, and aliens are rumoured to have been housed in the Air Force Base at the edge of town. There's not much difference between Roswell and Clovis. Same sand storms. Same dry heat. Same tumbleweeds. Same bleakness.

I felt so cramped by being land-locked, without the ocean to gaze at. Strange was how the sun would drop into an earthen horizon rather than into the ocean. Even though there were several places in New Mexico where you could look up into the night sky and feel like it was just you and the stars all alone in the universe, and even if you could drive for dozens of miles without seeing a soul, and even if you could look toward the horizon for hours and not notice an inkling of life, I felt utterly crowded in by the wide expanses of land. I was entirely homesick for Hawai'i where jade green mountains bordered my town on one side and the turqoise Pacific ocean on the other. How could I have placed myself in such unfamiliar territory?

Within a year of moving to New Mexico, the man that started out as my beau and was now my husband, he and I packed up and were headed back to Honolulu. The desert air had sucked the life out of this island girl and I saw no future in Roswell. We stuffed our car with whatever possessions we couldn't part with and headed west to California where we would see some family and ship our car from Long Beach to meet us at the shores of Honolulu. Arriving in Honolulu, I had hoped that my heart would leap with joy yet something was missing. While I celebrated the warm tropics, my husband yearned for the wide expanse of New Mexico. If my story were a cultural myth, it would read: "Once upon a time, a fish married a coyote." Our inability to decide on a place to live was one of the larger factors of the demise of our marriage. A fish couldn't possibly live in the desert and a coyote would drown in the Pacific.

New Mexico's nickname is The Land of Enchantment. On all the times that fate led me to its desert landscape, I found myself ever longing for Hawai'i, ever enchanted by the memory of the isles in the middle of the sea. Even now, after all these years, when I think about New Mexico I cringe with homesickness. The man I followed to New Mexico on several occasions is now my ex-husband. My heart ached more than it should have when we split. Hindsight being 20/20, I think I mourned the loss of my ability to love with complete abandon rather than love for him. I am still ever prepared to be enchanted by love, by Hawai'i, by the beauty of my island paradise.

Even though obstacles present themselves, I prepare ALWAYS to be enchanted. I'm not waiting for disappointment to arrive, rather I'm waiting to be captivated and magically moved by life and all its mysteries. Oh that my eyes will ever view the world as a newborn does in its first hours... anxious, anxious to be, anxious to be enchanted!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

An excerpt from the book by Dean Koontz, Life Expectancy

Folding the paper, tucking it in a pocket, I sighed. "It sure is spooky this side of paradise."

"But lovely."




"Oh yeah," she agreed. "Sweet."

Gently, reverently, I took tiny Rowena from Lorrie. So small she was, but in spirit and in potential, no smaller than any of us.

Holding her so that she faced away from me, I turned in a full circle. Even if her eyes were as yet unfocused, perhaps she could see the room in which she had been born and see the people who had been present for her entry. Perhaps she wondered about them and about what waited beyond this room.

Turning with her, turning, I said, "Rowena, this is the world. This is your life. Prepare to be enchanted."

**New Mexico logo Photo Credit
**White Sands Sunset Photo Credit

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Family History & Reunions

Everyone who knows me well knows how much I love to do family history. Last summer I ran a family reunion for my mothers side. It wasn't as well attended as I thought it should be but I take full responsibility for not having planned out anything that seemed appealing to all the different age groups. The more I do these kinds of family events, the better I become at planning and executing activities on a large scale. My mother has 9 siblings that are still alive. There were 17 altogether. Seems like the only people that make families that large are featured on TLC, as anomaly's. From the 9 siblings, each have at least 4 kids. Most have more than 6. We are a typical Polynesian family, in size. The story of how such a large family came to be is quite interesting to me and is the driving force behind my love for family history/ genealogy.

A small sampling of my mothers side during our reunion in July '08.

My grandmother is buried in Orem, Utah. Although she spent most of her life in Vaitoloa, Samoa. After most of the children were out of her home, she emigrated to the United States, became proficient in English and became a U.S. citizen. She did it because it was easier to travel back and forth to Samoa. My mother, on the other hand, remains a citizen of Samoa (formerly known as Western Samoa) which is another blog entirely! lol...

I thoroughly admire my mother's mother and didn't appreciate her enough while she walked the earth. Oh how I wish I could speak to her again and extract from her all the knowledge she possessed in regards to natural healing. She had to make hard decisions for her family. After bearing 15 children, my grandfather was murdered and she was left alone to tend to all the children. Soon after, she remarried a Tongan man and bore two more children. He was eventually deported and once again, my grandmother was left alone. She allowed three of her children to be adopted by American missionaries. I'm glad to say that we are in touch with all of them. In fact, one of the daughters that was adopted out became the sole caretaker for my grandmother until she passed from complications from a stroke. The stories are endless and I am dedicated to telling it for future posterity by way of a book.

Right now I'm in the throws of planning a family reunion on my fathers side. For me, getting the family history together is the best part of the planning process. My fathers mother was also left a single mother, as she was widowed when tubercolosis took the life of my grandfather. She bore seven children. I'm sure it would have been more, had by grandfather survived his illness.

This is the first flier I designed for the reunion. The images are actual ancestors. My grandmother in the top left. Her husband, my grandfather on the bottom left. The couple to the far right are my grandmothers parents. What is interesting about that couple is that he is listed on the U.S. census as being Black, however he is 100% Hawaiian. The last two people are my grandmothers grandparents, parents to the woman of the couple to the far right.
I selected, as the theme of the reunion, e ho'i i ka piko. There is no appropriate English translation. The English language is limited in it's explanation of olelo Hawai'i. The closest translation that I was able to gather from different olelo Hawai'i experts is that e ho'i ka piko means to return to the source of your existence; to return to your ancestors, to your roots; to return to your center. I find it appropriate that our first reunion be centered around us returning "home".

I'm the second to the youngest grandchild and am the first to actually sit down and plan a reunion. Somebody has to do it. My husband has caught the bug and has started drumming up interest for his family to get a reunion going as well. Good luck to me that I may carry out this family reunion to fruition and that I may continue on my path of researching my family history. Genealogy tips are greatly appreciated!

**Photo Credit

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lastnight, husband and I went over to a friends house. They're an older couple and we met them through my parents. We attended the same ward. Our interactions with each other go on and on. Due to my ongoing fertility/ infertility issues and my total disgust with Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, we have decided to try the natural route in balancing my body. They are the exact couple we needed to see to point us in the right direction, in terms of natural health care.

At this point in my journey through infertility, I am so done with Kaiser Permanente. Everytime I go into an appointment, I'm speedily sent through the normal grind. Check-in and PAY before any service is rendered. The co-pay is $20. (I remember it was $1.50 30 years ago.) Next, you're shuffled to the waiting room. Nurse calls your name. She does the vitals, weight, blood pressure, etc. She asks what the problem is. You answer. Then you're off to the patient room where you wait for the doctor. He/ She comes in and mildly skims over the issues. Prescribes something then you're done. I have never felt like a doctor was really concerned about my well-being. NEVER! I'm so done with Kaiser. October is when my job holds open enrollment. I can't wait. Until then, I'm going the natural route.

Anyway, the couple we met with lastnight is helping us along our journey. We sat down and chit-chatted about health and choosing food that will truly feed our bodies. As of March 1st, we've given up the cow and the swine and have slowed down significantly on fowl and seafood. Quite an accomplishment for an avid steak lover like myself. Next on our "to-do-list" is to eliminate dairy completely. It is quite an exciting road to travel. I have tons of energy and feel great -- all the way around. I haven't pulled up to a fast-food joint since mid-February and I don't miss it at all. The very thought of McDonalds makes me cringe.

Our conversation with the couple was focused almost entirely on me. We discussed me, as a whole person, not just symptoms as you would with a clinical doctor. We talked about my physical health. What my challenges are. If I've had a complete blood work-up to see where I'm at in terms of cholestorol and blood sugar. We talked about my stress levels at work and with life in general. We explored my emotional health and that is where we found several issues that needed to be worked through. So that's what I've been up to.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Graduation: DONE, etc. etc.

I've been on vacation since last Wednesday. My mother-in-law was in town. She came to attend her son, my husband's, graduation. I've been enjoying my days off but oddly, I'm anxious to go back to my place of occupation. WORKAHOLIC! As much as I say I'm not a workaholic, I know I am.

So, as I was saying. Husband is done with his undergrad. I'm so glad for him! I hope he finds a job quick.... just for his peace of mind (according to him, he's supposed to be the breadwinner). He'll be starting a masters program in July so he's not looking for a career just yet. We been tossing around the idea of opening our own business. There are several things we're exploring in that avenue. We'll see how that turns out. I want desperately to finish my novel. I feel so drained by everything pulling me in different directions. I wish I could shut out the world, sometimes.

We really enjoyed my mother-in-laws visit with us. Of course we wish she could have stayed longer but she has a life to get back to as well.

Friday, June 05, 2009

GRAD Luncheon

My husband receives his undergraduate degree on Saturday. I'm very excited for him. He did it in three years and was just shy of a cum laude degree. That's quite a feat for a man that ended his high school career with a 1.7 GPA. lol...

I planned a little luncheon to celebrate. He is sooo not feeling the party thing but it's such a great accomplishment. He would rather not be the center of attention while I don't fret either way about it. I am very proud of him and am happy to break bread with our closest friends. It's not a huge luncheon. Just a couple of friends and their families ar coming for which I have prepared:
40 pounds of Roast Beef + Gravy
60 pounds of Shoyu Chicken
10 pounds of Rice
50 pounds of Potato Salad

He thinks I'm over-doing it. I think it's average. I want to show him off to the world and celebrate his accomplishment.

Congrats GRAD!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Televised Dysfunction

Why do we have a society that delights in dysfunction? Let's see what the headlines were this week: (I'm not posting any links on my blog to further spread the dysfunction. You can google it to read the story.)

  • "Octo-mom" has signed a book and tv deal - You're really sick if you want to see this single woman raise 14 children alone... on TV.

  • Jon and Kate plus eight are splitting - Who cares? Why is this even news? Adultery used to be a shameful act. Now, it's just the norm. It's like the collective consciousness of America accepts the continual degredation of society. This whole thing is being played out in the media like I should be concerned! ugggghhhh!!!!

  • I'm just super irritated with the media. If it were up to me, my home would NOT have cable. Serious! The consciousness of man should be elevated to seeing, hearing and surrounding themselves with positive things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy, I seek after those things! (Some of you might know where that comes from. **winks**)