Sunday, March 30, 2014

color mantra

As I write this... we are in our third day of non-stop rain. And this afternoon we had thunder snow. Seriously, go home winter. You're drunk.

Other years at this time we were barefoot on the beach and dancing under the cherry blossoms. We've decided to try to give Mother Nature the hint by playing with as much color as possible hoping she'll imitate.

We like reading about how other cultures throughout history celebrated the changes in season with each solstice and equinox. There are loads of great web sites that talk about this for spring, like this one. And of course we love Wendy Pfeffer's books too. So this year Zach and I thought it would be fun to imitate the Indian Holi celebration by having a bit of a color war with friends on a rare, dry day.

Next year, we need to get more powder. They had a BLAST throwing and smearing color powder on each other.  While it does wash out, this is not something to do in your Sunday best.

While cooped up on the boat during this wicked 3 day squall, we have been painting, and planting seeds, and painting some more. Anything to keep busy and ring in spring time, at least in spirit even if the heaters are still on full blast.

Finger and toes crossed that we can pop the bubble and hatch out into some decent weather later this week. Please.

Monday, March 24, 2014

hula girls

Every week for 2 hours I get to go on vacation. I drive 15 minutes away, walk up 3 flights of stairs, and suddenly I'm transported.

I have been studying hula on and off for about 4 years. I danced through my pregnancy with Naia, I strapped her to my back and danced with her as a baby until she got too big and wiggly to come to class with me. Then I took about a year off and got right back to it again as soon as I was able.

There are so many things I love about hula. The music, the traditions, the language, the chanting, the color, the meaning. Banish all thoughts of coconut bras, it's so much more than that. In any given class we might learn the song we're dancing on the ukulele, learn Hawaiian language, chant, play the ipu (gourd drum), or dance to the full moon.

My step-mom turned me on to hula when we first started visiting my parents on the Big Island. She dances with the kupuna (elders) and it's just so beautiful and captivating to watch them dance. Their group starts at about age 60 something and goes one up and up. It's such a lovely way to work mind and body and soul no matter how old you are.

Naia is not a happy camper when it's my hula night. She always wants to go with me and pouts as I head out the door. When I get home, I always try to show her dances we're working on and that usually makes up for it. Even before she went to Hawaii, she's been a fan of hula. She loves hearing the music, she loves when I sing to her in Hawaiian at bed time, she loves "playing" ukulele with me, and often when she is allowed to have some screen time she wants to watch the Merrie Monarch Festival videos. All of this of course makes this mama quite happy.

When we announced we would be traveling to Hawaii the one thing she begged to be able to do there was hula dance. We brought her to watch and dance a bit with the keiki (kid) group. She was in awe of the big girls who have all been studying hula since they were not much older than she is now. And of course she also wanted to go with grandma to kupuna. Oh my, this request tickled grandma pink and she was kind enough to let Naia come to her kupuna group practice.

 She was shy at first, taking it all in and loving watching grandma do her thing.

Then she couldn't resist. She gleefully went over to grandma and danced and danced and danced with her. Two happy hula girls.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

sun snow

It's hard to know where to begin with all we saw and did while in Hawaii. The irony of this post is that I am sitting here, back on the boat, heaters full blast, wool socks on, and it's snowing like crazy outside. Sigh.

When Naia saw the big flakes coming down tonight, she started jumping up and down shouting, "It's Christmas, it's Christmas!" I need to channel some of that enthusiasm. Or I can just look at photos from Hawaii and pretend we're still there.

So here is some absolute tropical fluff. Meaningless sunny pictures of palm trees and beaches and blue water. Just turn up your heat and pretend.

Here's some more irony. There's snow in Hawaii. The Big Island is amazing because on this one little Big Island there are 10 of the world's 13 climate zones (the number varies depending on the source, but you get the idea, there are a lot in one little place.) So while driving through the rain forests of Hilo to the dry desert beach area of Kona you pass snow capped mountains.

Look closely at the left side of the mountain. You'll see the observatories of Mauna Kea (meaning white mountain) where scientists from all over planet Earth come to gaze at the universe from this clean, clear, cold top of the mountain. We've never been up there because there are all kinds of restrictions about who can access that altitude (no kids, no pregnant ladies, etc), but ya know what? That's ok, because I don't come to Hawaii to be cold and make snow balls.

I can do that here. Today. Five days before spring.

Sunday, March 02, 2014


I've been absent from this space for good reason. We flew out to see my parents on the Big Island of Hawaii and internet here is slow, rare, and mostly non-existant. I had this idea that I could post photos and updates from here as our trip unfolded, but that's not a reality. So, I'll drop a picture or two here or there and have to give the full update once we return.


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