Monday, January 21, 2008

Waimea Valley--All Day Long

I was in charge of the Children's Area at "Optimysstique", a health, wellness, and sustainability event on the North Shore at Waimea Valley. It was fun! Here are Aaron and Diana in my little tent full of books and games! (This is the first place people ever settled on Oahu many, many years ago.) The following eight images are from the day.

Cuttin' Up, as Usual!

Lily, on the left, Kalia, and Braden were having such a good time playing on the big grassy lawn. They were serenading guests and entertaining everybody. Looks like they are really enjoying themselves, don't you think?

Performing Under a Monkeypod Canopy

This halau (group) was dancing the most wonderful hula. They radiated love and aloha and my heart filled up as I watched them smile and move so gracefully.

Under my Tent

Chad, on the left, and Ugo, came from Honolulu to experience "Optimysstique." They stayed around and chatted with me for a very long time. Ugo is from Genoa, Italy, and teaches at the University of Hawaii. Chad is a college student at Hawaii Pacific University. He goes to Juneau, Alaska, in the summer to teach photography to tourists who come by on cruise ships. Doesn't that sound like fun! Maybe I'll go up sometime and take a few lessons!

A Great Big Smile for Me!

Lama Wangchuk is from Tibet. He lives in Hawaii now and teaches meditation to anyone. He is always happy and full of life! I talked to him for a long time and he told me some pretty interesting things. If you want to know more about him, go to


Janie looks a little apprehensive as she goes to feed the peacock. These colorful birds with a fabulous tail are all over Waimea Valley. Oh my gosh, one of them squawked nearby and I nearly jumped out of my fur!! They are a bit scarey for me! That beak was pretty sharp and it was pretty close. I'm leaning back so I felt a bit safer.

The Music Man

Jeff learned to play the sitar last year when he was traveling through India with his new bride. I really liked sitting on his shoulder and listening to him strum. He played well because he has been playing the guitar for 20 years! Do you see that peacock in the background? It's sniffing around the "solar oven" Jeff brought to the event. It had been baking nachos earlier and I'm sure the bird was looking for some crumbs!

The Drummer

I joined in with Ben and was shaking a rattle as he was doing some West African drumming. There were many other children who were playing along too. We had fun shake, shake, shakin'! It was a great way to close the day!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Here I am surrounded by my family and friends at the Kapiolani Community College Farmer's Market in Honolulu by Diamond Head. They are all singing "Happy Birthday" to me. I am one-year old today-----I sure look pretty mature for my age, don't you think! From left to right--- Jeanne, Mom (holding me and singing the loudest), Shelley, Tom, Robin, and Laurie. It sure made me feel good to have such a swell party!
Did you notice the huge red flowers in Laurie's hand? They are tropical (warm climate) flowers called anthuriums that last and last, sometimes for a whole month!

Jeanne, the "Big Wave" Tomato Lady

Jeanne made me the most delicious cake---tomato spice! Mom passed it out to all the marketgoers! It was very kind of Jeanne to have a party for me, and to bake me a cake! Stop by her stand sometime and try her pizza---it's the best ever! She grows her own tomatoes and basil in Waialua on the North Shore, and best of all, she puts her homemade cheese on every slice! Yummmmm!

Enjoying Birthday Cake!

Maia is eating a piece of Jeanne's birthday cake and wondering about me. Her dad, Ian, was happy to be in the picture and thought I was a pretty cool one-year old! Did you notice our party hats?

All the Way from Kansas City

These windsurfers, Amy and Michael, from the Midwest, were at the market and joined in the fun at my birthday party. They were with Amy's sister, Claire, who lives on Oahu. They enjoyed all the hubbub around me on my first birthday and I enjoyed their high spirits and goodwil!

Glad She's Not in Boston

Christine joined me for some party fun! We talked for awhile, as usual. She visits Hawaii from Boston every winter for three months. She said from now on she'll be staying for six months each year because she loves it so much here!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Please Come to My Birthday Party!!

I'll be one year old next Saturday, January 19th. Jeanne Vana (above) owner of Big Wave Tomatoes is having a celebration for me. She knows I like to eat healthfully so she'll be serving complimentary "tomato cakes" at her stand at the farmer's market at Kapiolani Community College. She grows the best tomatoes and makes her own mozzarella cheese and pesto sauce!! Yummmmmmm!
I'll also be handing out free bookmarks! Please come celebrate with me!
A factoid for you: there are over 7,000 varieties (kinds) of tomatoes in the world!

Neighbors at the Farmer's Market

You may see Momi and Kylie from Kahuku Farms if you come to my party next Saturday. They have a stand near the Big Wave Tomato.
Drop in and tell them you saw their photo on my blog! And.....
Try the free sample of their Mango Body/Hand Cream. It's wonderful!

Learn to Prepare Mexican Food

Adriana was at the KCC Market yesterday taking photos for a food conference coming to Hawaii. She was very friendly and we started talking, of course. She teaches Mexican cooking at the college. Anyone can take the course and it's very reasonable, and it non-credit. Tell your parents!
Find Adriana at to learn more.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Beauty Queens and Me in Waikiki!

Wow!! Look at me with Jonelle, Miss Hawaii USA, on the right, and Miss Hawaii International, Kellie. We were attending an event in Waikiki at Wyland's hotel. It was a fancy party to raise money for the Kokua Foundation and the Wyland Foundation. There was live music by Willie K around the pool and fabulous food. I was lucky to be invited! There was a silent auction too. The surfboard in the photograph, shaped by Wyland, was one of the items up for grabs. I would have bid on it, but I thought it was just a little tooooo long for me!!

The Marine Artist, Wyland

Wyland loves painting the ocean and the animals and plants in it. His murals and images are everywhere!
Now his sealife is on an Aloha Airlines jet that flies back and forth to the mainland. His artwork is all over his new hotel, the Wyland Waikiki. It was a very comfortable place---open, spacious and very tropical. Google "Wyland Waikiki" and find out more! The rates are great for kamaainas--only $109 a night!


How beautifully Wyland's artwork is displayed in the lobby. Doesn't it make you want to come visit?
I felt like I was in an art gallery.

Somebody Love Me!

Miho Teipel thought I was very warm and cuddly. She told me she loves all animals, especially dogs, and her husband, Joe, in photo below!

Keeping Me Company

Crystal, on the right, is in charge of publicity for the Kokua Foundation. She's the one who invited me to attend this gala affair!!
She's always working hard and doing her best to support Jack and Kim Johnson's non-profit educational organization. Google "Kokua Foundation" to find out more, and join in the effort. Arianne, Crystal's friend, is holding my paw.

I Was in Heaven!!

This chef, Leighton, had baked the most wonderful "melt in your mouth" sweet potato casserole ever. It was soooooooo yummy! He's cooking at the Waikiki location of the restaurant that's on the banner above his head. Drop in. I know I will, very soon!!
He talked to me for a long time. He was inspired to become a chef at the local community college, KCC, and then went on to study in New York City. Lucky for us he came back home to cook!!
His parents, who are in their 80's, own a pikake farm and pick the blossoms every day to sell to the lei makers!

Pretty Swanky

I could get really comfortable at the Wyland Waikiki. This sofa was looking pretty soft and cozy. I was just about to chase my tail around a couple of times and snuggle in, but decided against it. (Maybe next time.) I will definately return to this hotel!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Whooppeee!! I'm on T.V. and the Radio

Here I am with Tiny Tadani (and Mom.) He's a radio and t.v. personality with his own program showcasing events and people around the islands. Can you believe I'm getting so famous? I was on his show to promote a wellness and sustainability event at Waimea Falls Park on Sunday, January 20, from 11 to 11. I'm bringing some of my puppies (who love reading, of course) and lots of books to the children's tent. Please come and meet me and read to my pups!

In Business for 62 Years

See me!! I'm at the best place to buy gravel on the island---Kiso Store. It's located on Waipahu Depot Road in the heart of Waipahu. At first it was a dry goods store, and 30 years ago it began selling building materials. Everyone who works here belongs to the Kiso family and is extra friendly and always wearing a smile!

Wow!! This Place is Soooo Big!

I'm perched on a garden lantern. In the background are many other garden items that are made at Kiso's. Look way back and you'll see a big pile of blue gravel.
There are piles of all sorts of building materials everywhere. This place has everything you could want for your yard or garden.

Looking West

Now I'm on the other side of the yard with my back towards the Waianae Coast. Look at those fabulous concrete benches in the background.
They would be perfect in my mountain garden!

Behind the Scenes

Here I am in the back of the yard where the Kiso men make lots of garden objects. This was a pretty impressive operation. I was told a secret. See the molds to the left in the photo, before concrete is poured into them to set and make stepping stones, oil is applied so they won't stick after they harden! Very clever, don't you think?

Safety First!

Did you notice the the glasses near my head? Everyone at Kiso's makes sure he's safe when working!
Look very carefully and you'll see some of the tools the men use to make all the interesting statues, garden furniture, and stepping stones in the yard. Drop by this place and you'll be happily surprised!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year!!

Because of many cultural influences from all over the globe, the "New Year" is celebrated in lots of different ways in Hawaii. There are fireworks going off all the time before and after midnight on the 31st.

In the top photo I am perched next to a Japanese "good fortune" tree. People receive their fortunes and tie them to a tree and hope for a prosperous and happy year.
In the second picture, I'm standing in front of an arrangement of bamboo and pine called Kadomatsu. This is another way the Japanese people welcome in the new year. Google "Kadomatsu" to find out more!