Sunday, August 26, 2007

My Pal, Casey McKinley

Case had an incredible adventure at the Duke's Ocean Fest in Waikiki. He competed in the tandem competition with his neighbor, Brian Suratt. They rode a tandem surfboard together. Several days earlier, after a breathtaking ride, Case was quoted as saying, "I had an out of body experience. This was the best day of my life!"
Bravo, Case!!
(This photograph and the following four were taken at the Duke's Ocean Fest in Waikiki at Kuhio Beach, by the Duke Kahanamoku statue.)

My Newest Friends

Namika, on the left, and her sister, Luna, were in top shape for the events in the Duke's Ocean Fest. They were having a fine day with their mom and dad. They love to surf!! Like me!!

A Fellow Surfer

Namika adored me!! She especially wanted me to "ride" my little surfboard like she rides hers. Here I am catching a wave in her arms!

Big Wave Rider

Ken Bradshaw lives a few houses down from me at Sunset Beach. He's a surfer who rides the biggest waves on the Earth!! Here he is in Waikiki competing in the Dukes' Ocean Fest. He's been surfing since he was a young boy. He shapes surfboards for a job and loves it!
Check out his web site at

My Parisian Pal

Here is Maximillian holding me in my garden in the mountains. We had fun together! He was always making me laugh with his happy smile and witty remarks. He was visiting the islands with his parents from Paris, France.
If you look really, really hard, you can see my friend, Honey Girl, to the left of Max, sitting on the ledge!

My Friend, Kaya

Kaya is a very kind and generous friend of mine who lives in the little beach town of Haleiwa. It's about 15 minutes from my home in Sunset Beach. He has the most beautiful lotus garden which he loves to share. I felt fortunate to visit with him and walk around viewing his flowers and sculptures and collectibles. As I was leaving, he invited me to have a ginger ale under a giant banyan tree. He had a little cooler there and the drinks were chilled to perfection. He is such a fine gentleman. And best of all, he has a great sense of humor!
The next five photographs were taken on his property.

Wow! What a Fountain!

I loved this fish sculpture in Kaya's garden. The water spouting from its mouth into the lotus pond made a beautiful sound. It was quiet and peaceful there. I was ready to lie down, curl up, and take my afternoon nap!

Hawaii Takes My Breath Away, Again!

Living in Hawaii is so special. Today I'm in Kaya's Lotus Garden.
Everyday I am able to experience beautiful scenes of mountains, valleys, exotic flowers, blue skies with floating clouds, waving palm fronds (which tell me I'm in a tropical place) and all the while feel the trade winds caress my whiskers. Best of all, I'm on the beach.

Being here keeps me healthy. Read THE VELVETEEN RABBIT and find out where the main character went to recover from his illness. It's a great book, and one of my favorites!

The Lotus Flower Up Close

This breathtakingly beautiful blossom is a lotus flower. It lives in ponds where the seed grows out of thick, oozy mud. In Hawaii it starts blooming in May and continues until September. Artists love to paint the lotus. Check out this website to see some fabulous paintings:

Making Sugar the Old Fashioned Way!

Growing sugar was very popular in Hawaii for a long time. Now all the cane is grown in southeast Asia.
I'm standing by a very old sugar cane press. Sugar cane is just giant grass. It was harvested and fed through the rollers on this wooden machine when a crank was turned. The juice was squeezed out and then "cooked down."

Yikes! Geese Everywhere!

Kaya keeps geese and they love the ponds. They are good "watch dogs" too because they start honking and moving in if strangers approach.
They made me a little nervous. I wasn't sure if they thought I was a stranger!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

My "Made in Hawaii" Surfing Throne

Last weekend I had a lot of fun. I went to the Made in Hawaii Show in Honolulu. There were over two hundred businesses selling items from cookies to t-shirts to photographs to sculptures. I could go on and on. I stopped and talked to lots of friendly people and tasted many yummy treats. I'll go again next year for sure. The following six pictures were taken while I was there!

Above the Crowd

Wow, look at me way up high! Kimberly Walsh is always clowining around and telling jokes. She's a fun person! She's standing in front of her business. She sells the coolest switch plate covers. She has a web site if you want to buy one or two. The address is on the banner above us. I left her feeling all happy inside!!

An Artisian from Sunset Beach

Karen Howes is one of Mom's friends. She works at Sunset Beach Elementary. She also sells yummy food and handmade crafts (like those on the tree) at the Farmer's Market at the school every Saturday morning. She liked me a lot, especially after she looked at a photo of me on my summer trip. She had been to to same town, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, with her sister several years before and was very excited when she saw me there too!

Ummmmmmm, Lavender

I was so lucky! Mom placed me in a big tub of fresh lavender to take this picture. We were at a booth that sold soooooo many items made with the herb-----lip balm, misters, bubble bath, and even scones to eat! The farm that grows the lavender has tours all year long and you can even make crafts there. It's called the Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm and is located on the island of Maui. As they say, "Maui No Ka Oi!"

One Happy Wahine

Moana adored me!! She is a recycle artist and had lots of her creations displayed at the Made In Hawaii Show. Her big smile and bright eyes made me happy!

The Printmaker

Aren't those cool colors and designs behind me? Phillip is an artist who creates pictures and silk screens them on t-shirts and dishtowels. I bought one that had the cutest little dogs on it!! (If you look very carefully, notice the tip of my surfboard sticking out of my backpack to the left of Phillip's hand with the red bracelet.

Baby Clothier

Here I am with Dara. She makes cool clothes for babies. Lots of people stopped at her stall and oogled her baby wear. Do you think some of those little outfits would look good on me? Are they my colors?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Young Artist

Mickey Wooley is a twin. He and his brother, Nat, are opening a brand new silk screening business and gallery in an old sugar plantation town called Waialua. (It's about 15 miles from my home at Sunset Beach.) They are renting a Bank of Hawaii building that is many, many years old. Their shop is across from the public library.
I am very excited!
They will be printing the first of my clothing line. Hooray!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Farmer's Market in Paradise

I'm heading into the largest farmer's market on Oahu. It's every Saturday morning near Diamond Head at Kapiolani Community College. I love all the fresh food and flowers, and so does Mom!! I sure am glad she' packin' me on her back, otherwise, I might get trampled!! Yikes!!

Yoga Master

Paul Smith is one of my very favorite friends. He manages Cholo's, a Mexican restaurant in my little beach town of Haleiwa. (You can see it in the background.) But best of all, he teaches yoga. He's patient and kind, and most importantly, has a great sense of humor.! His smile says it all!!
If you ever want to take one of his classes, just go up to the Turtle Bay Resort at 9:00 am on Sunday, and head to the spa. You'll do postures as the trade winds dance around you and the waves sing a lullaby.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Very Important Person in Hawaii

Mary Steiner is the leader of the Outdoor Circle. It's a club whose motto is "Clean, Green, and Beautiful." This environmental organization is almost 100 years old. It started to keep billboards out of Hawaii. Mary was holding me in front of a very big tree called a Chinese banyan. She was at the University of Hawaii volunteering during the International Tree Climbing Competition. It was part of the annual conference of the International Society of Arborculture (Tree Care.)
The following 10 pictures were taken during the middle of July after I came home from my Mainland Journey on the Amtrak.

Looking Very Proud, Happy, and Strong!

These are two of the climbers who came from all over the world to compete in the International Tree Climbing Competition. It was the yearly meeting of the International Society of Arborculture. The people who are in this organization (club) take care of trees for a job. They plant, prune, and, sometimes, cut them down. They also know how to tell if a tree is healthy or sick.

Wow, Look at Those Muscles!

Here is Martina. She is the girl in the previous picture with the short dark hair. She's just starting her competition to see if she is the best "female" treeclimber in the world. She had to go up really high and do five different tasks in the tree, like ringing a bell on a tree limb that was way far out from the trunk of the tree. And to make it more difficult, she was timed!! She told me she was very nervous before she started. I told her to drink some water and breathe deeply!

We Did It!!

Mom and I were in a tree about 30 feet off the ground. It was exciting and fun to make my way up the ropes! We had a lot of support from the specatators. Mom had so much fun, after she came down, she went back up again!! She was having a very good time and it was really, really safe! Also, she was making her arm muscles a lot stronger.

A Very Understanding Teacher

I was so happy to meet Peter "Treeman" Jenkins. He had traveled here from Atlanta, Georgia. He operates a climbing school there and teaches children as young as five years old to climb trees. He was very patient as I made my way up the ropes. He made Mom feel safe and confident. He had a fabulous sense of humor, too. You can visit his web site

Friends from Maui

Daniel and his dad, William, were volunteering at the "Kid's" treeclimbing event. I appreciated their tips!

Molly and Me

I went up in the tree with Molly, too.

Having Fun at the ISA Conference

Max is holding me and giving the "shaka" sign. It's a special wave of hello in Hawaii. That's his dad, Greg, next to him. They have a canine friend, called Rat Dog, who is a diver and they want me to meet him. I think that will be fun. I may get to go out on a boat and explore the Pacific Ocean with them.

My Friend

This is my friend, Doug DeMoss. He is a famous orchid grower on the mountain behind my house on the North Shore of Oahu. The place is called Pupukea. Doug has been cultivating (growing and experimenting with) the beautiful tropical flower called an orchid for many, many years. Did you know that the vanilla bean, which flavors vanilla ice cream, is from an orchid plant. Also, the island off the southeast coast of Africa grows the most vanilla beans in the world!! What's the name of that island? There is a recent movie named after it, too! Can yhou guess?

Another Champ

Look at Dan Krause's big smile. He was just getting ready to climb a really big tree on the campus of the University of Hawaii at the International Society of Arborculture's annual conference in midJuly. He was born on the Big Island, called Hawaii, and learned to climb trees from his dad. Now he lives in the state of Washington.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bernd Beddes, the Winner

Beddes, from Germany, is one of the top five treeclimbers in the world. He has won the big annual contest a number of times. He won it this year, too! He is as swift and at ease in a tree as a monkey!! No kidding!! He told me he should have come to Hawaii earlier because he was very tired on the day of the competition. He was ready to snooze with me!! (Did you notice all his climbing gear, especially the hard hat?)