Monday, March 29, 2010

Photo Blog: Dusty Highways

Our journey west has been smooth sailing, unless you count the fall I took right in front of the Super 8 motel in Georgetown, Colorado. It was a really bad fall but I think I was more embarrassed than anything else when it first happened. So what happened was I tripped on the top step and went straight for the glass door. My face slammed into the door while everything else slammed the hard concrete. Needless to say, this morning I woke up in a whole lot of pain. Thank goodness for my very dense, Polynesian bones -- nothing's broken except my ego. Actually, I take that back. My back is aching and very stiff. I knew that was coming. My fall was pretty intense and I knew the whiplash was coming. I did file an accident report so if anything major comes up, I'll pursue this further.

As I was saying, our journey west has been smooth sailing. We left Oklahoma City at like 330 in the morning. The GPS took us off the beaten path, on state highways instead of the interstate. The state highways are not lit so driving that early in the morning is a really lonely experience. There was a large, gorgeous moon sitting over the blank landscape. At any moment, I felt like aliens were going to abduct us. It was that lonely. That silent! It was very early and we hadn't slept at all so we pulled over at a lonely service station to get some shut-eye. It was a very eerie place. It reminded me of all the haunted places on Scooby-Doo. There was an owl nearby that prevented me from going to sleep. So 45 minutes later, we were back on the road.

On the island of O'ahu, the island of my birth, you can never drive through hundreds of miles of vacant, wide-open, blank land. So driving through the deserted landscapes, off the interstate, and through the littlest towns you could ever imagine, I felt really alone. It felt like it was just hubby and I all alone in the universe. Some little towns were deserted, like the people had moved on. Like the world had moved on. I instantly thought of a Stephen King series I had begun reading many years ago called The Dark Tower. Very interesting read. I'm a huge fan of Stephen King and this series of books is outstanding!

America looks different from a speeding car on dusty state highways. I'm taking it all in and enjoying the images I witness everyday. Though my longing for Hawai'i will probably never fade, I'm trying to be in this moment, in the now -- to savor every experience as it is handed to me. I am extremely grateful for my husband who has been the pilot of our uHaul ship. I think I drove a total of 2 hours so far. He kicked me out of the pilot chair when I nearly nodded off to sleep. Yesterdays journey ended at Georgetown, Colorado. We drove through the city of Denver. Seeing the Rocky Mountains coming into view was a wonderful experience. I miss seeing mountains.

Whether I was staring at blank landscapes, large windmill's, or the beautiful Rockies one thing is for sure -- God created this universe just for me. Just for you! Life is great (except for my fall yesterday). Wish me safe travels.












Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hello. Goodbye. Oklahoma.

We arrived in Oklahoma on Wednesday. As husband and I suspected, the vibe is so different having come this far west. Better! I can't quite put my finger on what was different about Alabama but I'm very glad to be gone from there. I have really enjoyed this trip... up until the moment that is causing us to get on the road two days before our original departure date.

The memorial service that placed us here in Oklahoma went off very well. It was sweet. Short. Yet tragic. It was a gorgeous day also except for the wind whipping at up to 50 MPH. We were in the deep country-side of Oklahoma. It really is beautiful, different from the Pacific Ocean that I'm so used to. I wish I could have taken more pictures of the rolling hills, cows on the range, and all the windmills. I could almost imagine what life was like a century ago. I can't imagine it was much different than it is now.

Dirt roads are everywhere, sharply contrasted by the US Roads that are paved. Then of course Wal-Mart. Even with a population of just under 7,000, Wal-Mart sets up shop and sucks the life out of the retail businesses in the area.

As we leave this place, I feel a sense of trepidation. My husband will definitely go through some interesting things in the near future in regards to his family dynamics. I'm bracing myself for it. All will be well. I'm sure of it!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Keep On Truckin'

I'm headed down the road. Husband and I are leaving Alabama behind. The only reason we'd ever come back is for a quick visit and never on a permanent basis. Ahhh... but we'll see where our lives will take us.

On our way to our next destination, we are stopping in Oklahoma. My husband's family ran into a bit of bad news so that will be our pit stop. Our car is loaded on the transport that is being towed by the UHaul we rented and we are definitely ON OUR WAY. I'm excited!

I bid farewell to Alabama and my dear niece pictured here. She is so precious. I wish I could take her with me. The next time I blog, it won't be from here. So pray for our safety and send me good vibes as I make my way across this nation AGAIN (just six months since I crossed this nation the first time).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Afternoon Nap

I fell asleep on the couch at my in-laws house today. I don't know why I've been so sleepy and so tired. It could possibly be the intense workout that I had at the gym. Anyway, I knocked right out while sitting straight up in the couch. There's just something about that particular spot on that particular couch that sends me right into sweet slumber. As I drifted between consciousness and sleep, the voices of my husband and my in-laws punctuated the clouded story lines in my dream world.

The final story line in dream land delivered my dearest friend from beyond the veil, Mish, and placed her conveniently in my in-laws study, in my dream. (I wonder why my subconscious mind often places Mish in my dreams. **sigh**) In the dream Mish sat in the study, playing on the computer. Her fantastic smile and delicate giggle made the conscious me MELT. I miss her so much. The significant portion of the dream made me so confused when I woke up.

She delivered two babies to me. Gorgeous, gorgeous babies! And... they ABSOLUTELY adored me. The younger baby was ready for a diaper change. I took him into the study and asked Mish for a diaper. She looked at me and mouthed, "Sorry babe. I didn't bring any diapers." And with that, my husband woke me from my nap.

What does it all mean?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cookie Corner Answer: Submissiveness

I've told the story that led to the question I posed the other day. Is submissiveness appropriate in male/female relations? I was having a conversation with a young, well-educated woman. The discussion of marriage prompted the topic of culture and submissiveness. I shared with this particular woman my own experiences and I really wish I could have gone into greater depth with her to maybe allow her to see POSSIBILITY rather than limitations.

I believe that a certain amount of submissiveness is essential to successful relationships, including male-female one's. As children, we are all subject to whomever is responsible for our care. If this isn't learned in this first essential relationship, then future relationships will be more difficult to endure. Both men and women, especially in the marital bond, are required to exercise a degree of submissiveness. One cannot be more dominant than another. Looking at successful parent-child relationships, the same temperate submission must be fostered. If it were a dictatorship, the relationship would not be a productive one. We see this type of stuff in government as well.

I think every relationship, whether at the macro level or micro, would be more productive and foster happiness if everyone exercised more humility and less self-righteousness. More compassion and less judgment. Love flows more freely when those positive qualities are nourished.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cookie Corner Question

I was having a discussion with some young women here in Alabama. One woman was very passionate and against women being submissive to a man in marriage. She believes that a woman should NEVER serve a man or anything even close to it. She went in depth about how wrong it is and how it sets women back if we do it.

What do you think? Is submissiveness appropriate in male/female relations?

My answer tomorrow.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Epiphanies.

Has it really been a week since my last post? Wow! Time flies. It's funny how I don't work, haven't been really busy doing much but didn't find time to get on my blog.... and blogging is something I really enjoy. Well, we're getting ready to move back west and I'm super duper excited. Everything is set and ready to go. Life is amazing and I'm ready to get out of this place. As soon as husband decided that Alabama wasn't for him (I already knew that it wasn't for me), it was as if God's entire universe was in on the decision. Money "fell from the sky" in support of this move. Serious. That always humbles me... the way things that I need and want manifests in my life. I am extremely grateful!

The most compelling reason why we're moving is because we just don't fit here. The level of consciousness of the people here is not exactly on our level. Not that we're extremely advanced or anything but we have moved beyond what we've found here in Alabama. I attribute this "change" in us to our commitment to living a healthy lifestyle, from regular exercise everyday, minimal meat in our diet, weekly worship, and an enduring humility, respect, and love for GOD. This has truly separated us from the average person in Alabama and I am truly grateful. Grateful in the sense that I'm no longer lost, without a direction because I'm no better than any Alabama-an. I am, however, different and I just don't "fit" here. My commitment to pursuing a life full of love, light, and truth has been so very fulfilling.

I miss my parents and my family immensely. Especially my nieces and nephew. However, I realize now that they have infused so much of their goodness in me. And for right now, in this moment, I know that I experience all of this because I come from good stock and I am strong enough to perpetuate that. It is as if I have an increased appreciation for my heritage, for the neighborhood that I come from, for the people that I have been surrounded by in the community, for the high school I went to, for my religious affiliation... well, you get the picture. I am very grateful for all the people who have ever contributed to my life. I am humbled when I look back at my pride and ignorance of yesterday. Hopefully that will never be a problem again. **sigh**

Life is such a beautiful process, especially if you're open to possibilities. The most difficult time in our lives are truly the proving grounds; it is the process by which the 'dross' or the impurities in our lives are pushed out. The best thing to do is to hold on tight and move through it. I'm moving through it and I know you can too.



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Photo Credit

Friday, March 05, 2010

True Love & Family Dynamics

Every woman wants true love. Yet the question remains, what is true love? If I asked a million different people, I'd get a million different answers. I know what love looks like for me and it changes quite often. However, there are a few constants that will always mean TRUE LOVE for me. What is to be said about women, and men as well, whose ideas on love are skewed?

I think of a specific woman in my life. Let's call her Sarah. Sarah is a brilliant girl, really. Very intelligent! I don't think she has fully defined what TRUE LOVE means for her and I have come to realize that the definition of TRUE LOVE is what's crucial. I've watched her battle with her parents over the state of her life and the relationship she has with the father of her children. Her parents don't approve of the man/boy that fathered the children and yet she just bore child number three with him. Rather than continue to tear apart this beautiful young woman, I wish her parents would support her decision to be with this man. **heavy sigh** Maybe even assist him in trying to walk the right path. **shrugs**

The couple are still unwed and have no future plans of doing so. Not that marriage is the answer to solve this obviously broken family but it at least brings the family unit together -- as a tool to battle the weakening moral values of the world. Yet in this particular situation, marriage might not be the greatest thing either.

Sarah called me today to watch her three children for her. Three children under the age of three. She had to run to the jail to put money on the books for her "babys daddy". Yeah -- marriage is not really an option for her with this man right now. Apparently, the mother of that mans first child filed a child support claim against him so he was taken into custody and will be forced to participate in a work-release program. I can't even begin to wrap my mind around the different issues in this relationship. What's even more disheartening is that she's not the only woman I know that is involved in such a twisted tryst.

While I've been here in the south, I have met some neat people; people that I will probably maintain a friendship with even after I leave this place. Being exposed to so many different people has been a real eye-opener. I feel super grateful for the type of upbringing that has been afforded me. Seeing so many broken families around me and so many distorted views of TRUE LOVE has reinforced the values that my parents raised me to follow.

A different young woman that I've come into contact with is college-educated and made it through one year of law school before she decided that she'd rather pursue an MBA degree. Let's call her Asia. Asia is single, has no children, and is currently in the market for a job. She is an intelligent young woman also. As we sat at The Cheesecake Factory discussing different topics, Asia proceeded to lecture all of us there on why the odds are stacked against her in terms of love and marriage. She broke it down in a very calculated way that her selection in men is very limited. Her sad perception of love and marriage stems from how her mother raised her. Asia detailed how her mother, a single woman, did it all by herself. "Nobody can tell her anything cause she did it all by herself. I feel the same way. I can do it all alone as well."

Does being a single mother empower a woman? I think of both of my grandmother's. Both were widowed at a young age. My moms mother was widowed with 15 kids to raise on her own. I've mentioned it before, I know! My fathers mother was widowed with 7 children to raise. I would bet my life on it that if I asked them if they wanted to do it alone, they'd both say no. So why does a woman choose to go at it alone in this day and age? Having a spouse to share the world with doesn't make me less of a woman. Yet Asia would have me believe that being slightly submissive to a man compromises me as a woman.

The gender lines are blurred. The definition of the family is totally distorted and TRUE LOVE has gone the way of the earth. Elusive. Like the mythical holy grail to be sought after by many but never discovered. TRUE LOVE, to me, is synonymous with respect and genuine affection. The concept is taught by example at the feet of two loving parents and thus, in later years mirrored by their children. I'm glad to have learned TRUE LOVE at the feet of my parents; observing their sincere adoration of each other. I know what "that look" looks like and I recognized it in my spouse.

After all these years, my parents are still together and more in love than they were when they were just starting out. Love like that comes with constant attention through extensive periods of time. It comes after years of putting in the work and not walking out when that would have been the easier thing to do. I'm glad I know TRUE LOVE.



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Art Piece Photo Credit

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Book Review (Mid Read): The Bonesetter's Daughter

The Bonesetter's Daughter
By Amy Tan

The last time I read an Amy Tan novel (The Hundred Secret Senses) was more than ten years ago. I don't remember the story at all, yet I remember being impressed with the movement of the story. The way Amy Tan weaves American values with Chinese cultural identity has always fascinated me. It resembles my own life and struggle with pop-American "cult"ure and my very Polynesian heritage.

The Joy Luck Club is, by far, Amy Tan's most popular novel probably because it was made into a movie. This particular story covered a wide range of women issues centering on the sacrifices made for the sake of daughters. But deeper than that, it focused on the delicate mother-daughter relationship and how the generational gap can be bridged. The movie, in my opinion, is a dramatic masterpiece and should be a foundation for any chic-flick collection!

Thanks to my previous run-in's with Amy Tan's writings, I selected The Bonesetter's Daughter to read this week. I have to admit that I am just a hundred pages into the story yet I can already see Tan setting up the mother-daughter dynamic. She is also incorporating the conflicting east versus west argument. I'm interested in seeing where this book will lead and how it will all reconcile. So far, there is no mention of a bonesetter but it's very well-written. Rather, it's an easy read and not overly verbose.

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Photo Credit

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Why Fluoride Worries Me

In a previous post I touched on the subject of fluoride. I felt like I had to go further into it so that you, the reader, can understand my stance on the subject. I really, truly am endeavoring to be the most healthy I can be. I want to honor my body and the beautiful temple that has been gifted to me. The lifestyle changes I've made supports that. From going almost totally veggie to including a daily workout, really contributes to a more healthy lifestyle... one that is about longevity and quality of life.

Fluoride was used in Nazi concentration camps for mind control experiments. They fluoridated the water to be ingested by their prisoners. Believe it or not! Glen Yeadon, author of Hydra in America: Supressed History of a Century, "fluoride was added to drinking water in the prisoner of war camps to take away their will to resist." Is it any wonder that the United States is full of so much apathy? In the book, Water: The Shocking Truth That Can Save Your Life, it relates the following:
Adolf Hitler sought a means to make people docile and suggestible. He discovered that odorless sodium fluoride slowly poisons and makes dormant the small tissue in the brain's left rear occipital lobe that normally helps a person resist domination. Fluoride allows muscles to move one way, but not relax. In large doses fluoride can cause paralysis and death. [1]

I'm happy to say that Hawai'i is one of the very few states that does not have fluoridated water. If you live there, you must fight the use of fluoride in your water at ALL COSTS! If you live in a state that has fluoridated, chlorinated water (which is everywhere else) -- get a filter immediately or switch to drinking reverse-osmosis filtered water. Here is a list I found on fluoridated water, by state. Washington DC is 100% fluoridated. What an indicator of the forced compliance of politicians to the will of the big corporations. Hawai'i ranks 49th, with Utah at #50 being almost totally free of fluoride.

Another interesting point of view from Water: The Shocking Truth That Can Save Your Life.
At first, industry could dispose of fluoride legally only in small amounts by selling it to insecticide and rat poison manufacturers. Then a commercial outlet was devised in the mid 1930s when a connection was made between a water supply bearing traces of natural fluoride and lower rates of tooth decay. Even after this connection was proven erroneous, it became a political, not a scientific issue! Many opponents originally started out as proponents, but changed their minds after closer looks at mounting evidence. They started viewing it as a capitalist-style con job of epic proportions poured down their American throats. [1]

Quick Facts


  • Fluoride is found in sarin nerve gas - the stuff that was released in the Japanese subway train tragedy a couple years ago.







  • Fluoride is found in Prozac - the stuff prescribed to people with "nerve" issues.







  • 98% of Western Europe has chosen fluoride-free water.





  • There is so much information out there regarding fluoride. These are just a few "scary" facts but are a great introduction to why fluoride worries me. This all sounds so academic and that is not the note I'd like to end on. Deep, down inside, in the gut, in the na'au, at the seat of the soul is pure intelligence which will tell you what's right for you. Quieting the mind and blocking out all the indoctrination is essential!

    I speak from experience in saying that I have not used fluoridated products in years and my teeth are more healthy than when I did use fluoride. The bone and calcium inside the teeth are much more healthy now. The density has increased rather than deteriorated. That is my experience. Hopefully, you'll make the decision to be fluoride-free also and have your own experiences to share.

    Source
    [1] Bragg, Patricia & Bragg, Paul C. Water: The Shocking Truth That Can Save Your Life. Health Science. 2004. California.

    Photo Credit