Saturday, January 28, 2012

When She's Not in the Kitchen

Lucky, Lucky, dog, me!! Beautiful Marlys left her chef hat at her healthy, healthy restaurant/juice bar, THE BEET BOX, in Haleiwa to take me on a trip to Europe. And here we go..........

Road Trip----My Favorite!

Here's our fuzzy map. We ventured down the Romantic Road in Germany visiting castle after castle following an old trade route from Medieval Times, the 1500's. Go to to see tourist info and a more detailed map.

Oh, So Fancy

Built in 1720, this is the Wurzburg Residence which, as you can see, is really a palace. Napoleon said, "This is the nicest parsonage in Europe", and I think he was right.
And this is the back of the palace! Can you imagine? Did you notice the roses? For centuries these flowers have been known to have medicinal properties. Just whiff some essential oil of rose and see how you feel.

I Think I Hear Someone Yodeling! Can You?

I spent a long time looking down this valley towards the Austrian Alps. I loved the view. I can see why this is called the Romantic Road.

Just Big Forts

This is one of the many castles I saw on my adventure with Marlys. Come on, follow us, we're hiking down.

Whoa, Where are the Walls?

So.......there were these neighbors who kept fighting and blowing up each other's castle. Now all that's left are these ruins. Isn't it so much better to talk out problems than to get angry and come to blows.

I'd Better MInd My P's and Q's

This is what the northern European soldiers, of the period during Napoleon's time, when the castles were being constructed, looked like.
Pretty imposing don't you think, and he's floating to boot!

As I Said, "I'm a Lucky Dog"!

Marlys was such a good traveling companion. She loved to talk and laugh, and she's so smart and beautiful, too.
I hope we'll be going on another adventure very soon.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kung Hee Fat Choy!!

It's the Year of the Dragon. The Chinese base their calendar on the moon's cycle, so the date of the beginning of the New Year changes, but it's always in January or February. I took a trip to Chinatown in downtown Honolulu to buy special items for the celebration! See what I found in the next few photographs.

Chinatown---It's Safe

I met these friendly police officers, and they were happy to chat with me. They told me to enjoy myself and know they were around if I needed them. I liked that!

Celebrate---Eat Special Foods

Those little cakes behind me are called "Gau". They are made of sticky, sticky rice flour and if you eat one it will bring you good fortune in the New Year. They are also symbolic of keeping the members of one's family close together.
One of my favorite foods is above the Gau-----peanut candy. Yum! This little bakery is in the middle of Mauna Kea Street.

Plant a Bulb---in Water!

One of my favorite things to do to celebrate the Chinese New Year is to grow a narcissus bulb. Buy one, peel off all the dried, brown layers, trim off the old roots on the bottom, and then set it in a shallow dish with pebbles. Put it out in the sun and change the water every couple of days. When you see a bud, bring it inside and watch it bloom. Then smell the wonderful, wonderful fragrance of Spring.

The Shopkeeper of my Favorite Shop

Danny Au and his father own "Bo Wah Trading Company". I have been coming here for a long time because the prices are great and this store has almost everything I need---perfumed soap, ceramic dishes, painting brushes, red money envelopes, and Rabbit candy. The address is 1037 Maunakea Street. Remember, tell them Rex the Surf Dog sent you!

Whatever You Need

Chinatown is a perfect place to find almost anything you need------housewares and food, jade jewelry and art and the prices are always right!

The Artist

Zong Chen Liu has many talents. He was painting good luck signs with gold ink when I was visiting Chinatown, but he also carves stamps and is an expert paper cutter. To see his work, stop by his shop at 111 North King Street.

.....And if You Need a Lei

If you have the time and need a lei, or just want to look a the tropical flowers and the variety of designs, Chinatown is the place for you. They are very reasonable too. This is Pauhi Leis and Flowers at 1148 Maunakea Street.

.......And if You Need a Remedy

Chinese medicine has become very, very popular in America over the past 20 years, and it's getting more popular all the time. Mom stopped in here to buy some herbs for her friend, Teacher Nancy, who took a tumble three weeks ago and needed some medicine for the swelling.

See you in Chinatown

Now, for the next month or so, when you go Chinatown, anyone of many in major cities around the world, say, "Kung Hee Fat Choy! and wish the residents and shopkeepers, Happy New Year"! You'll receive many smiles and humble bows.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Skater Girls on a Mission

Heidi, one of the top female skaters in the world, is at Banzai Skate Park on the North Shore. She's in town from Santa Cruz, California, with the POESIDON FOUNDATION. I met her earlier in Mom's classroom. She's with a group of young women who are sharing the message: "Follow your Dream". They were meeting with young people on the island and encouraging them to find their passion and aspire to it. Check out the website:
Heidi's an architect. She's just starting a new career, though, and studying nursing at San Francisco State University! Wow! She's following her dreams!!

Yikes!! Taking My Breath Away!

Jen, holding me, and Lizzie were taking some steep drops at the skateboard park. My heart was in my throat! They are great skaters and know how to fall properly if a move gets off course. Lizzie is the best female skater in the world! She won the title in 2010 and 2011. At 18 years of age, she'll be competing for the championship this year, too. I asked her what her goal in life is, her reply, "Be Happy". I like that goal; it's mine too.

Getting Ready to Roll

Jen, skating for 20 years, the 2003 World Champ, and the first girl in the X Games, gave me the opportunity to try out her board. I think I need better balance to be good at this sport. Being a skilled skater takes a lot of practice, but as Mom says, "Practice Makes Perfect Sense". I love that! and I'm going to listen to her.
Jen told me to be "True to Myself." She's right. That's the message she's speaking as she travels with the Poseiden Foundation around the world.
Because skating takes special gear, especially shoes, Jen has designed her own line---TRU2EVE. Check it out!

Rippin' Up and Down the Ramps

Jordyn is a neighborhood girl who happened to be at Banzai Skate Park when the champion skaters were there. She was flying and smiling around the bowls and impressing me time after time. Her mom, Joann, was taking photographs of her and looking mighty proud!

CB the Sage---Full of Wisdom

CB has been skating "forever", as she says. (She's a champion snowboarder too.) She wants girls to have the same opportunities as boys to skate. Traveling with the Poesiden Foundation gives her the opportunity to encourage young women to do whatever they want, just like she did. Gender doesn't matter---follow your heart, create your dreams, and then live them!

Gettin' Dark and Headin' Home

There are no lights at Banzai Skate Park so when night falls, the skaters leave and walk, ride, or bike home. Kaiser, holding me, just started skating three months ago. He was flying up and down the ramps!! He resisted skating for awhile because his dad is the Van's rep and you know how children are, they oftentimes don't want to do what their parents want them to do. Am I right? I asked him what changed his mind. He replied, "Skating's fun to do when their are no waves!"
Kala, his skating buddy, kept taking pictures of me in Mom's arms.
Well........what I've figured out by watching and listening to the champion girl skaters is this: Be inspired to do what you love---follow your heart-----live your dreams-----and, most importantly-----GIVE BACK!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Vroom, Vroom, Vroom--Truck Farm

Simon Beins was warming up for a big event at Sunset Beach Elementary---the screening of the documentary, Truck Farm. Presented by the Kokua Hawaii Foundation, Aina Kine Student Farmers' Market, and me, it was an evening of growing greener activities, the film, and guitar playing and singing with Simon and former student at SBES, Jack Johnson.

Calling All Volunteers

Kelly Perry was instrumental in making the Truck Farm event happen-----she is so organized. (Mom just breathed a sigh of relief.) Her job with the Kokua Hawaii Foundation is to coordinate volunteers. Want participate in "green" events, want to support students learning to take better care of themselves and the planet? Go to Kokua's website and contact Kelly!!

Hi, Everybody, We're Having Fun Coloring!!

I had an table at the Truck Farm Aina Family Night. The children were given "passports" and they went from table to table doing an activity and got their passport a stamped. Afterwards they were given a raffle ticket for each activity they did.
Tickets were pulled and prizes given just before the documentary began.

A REAL Truck Farm

This is the first "Truck Farm" in Hawaii! Kay is the principal at Windward Nazarene Academy and she drove the farm over to Sunset Beach to show us what it looked like. Wow! I was impressed, so much in such a small space. There are "Truck Farms" in 25 cities across the United States, and more are coming! Why don't you start one in your neighborhood. Watch the film, Truck Farm, and get some good ideas.

Delivering Fresh Pizza to Sunset Beach

Yes, this pizza truck participated in the Truck Farm event!! Lianna, holding me, Ava, and Saffron in the splashy tights, were waiting for their local veggie-covered pizza pie. The smells were heavenly. Impossibles Pizza cruises the neighborhood every night, mostly parked at Shark's Cove, so if you are ever in the mood............

Got Pizza?

These two neighborhood kids enjoyed the pizza and free salads provided by the Kokua Hawaii Foundation at the Truck Farm screening. Boy, that pizza sure smelled good! I really wanted to take a little nibble, but I minded my manners, and didn't even take a lick.

One of My Favorite Pals

Collette and I have known each other for awhile! She gets around like I do. Her mom, Kelly, totes her everywhere and we bump into each other often. She loved being at the school with all the kids. She especially loved smelling the pizza, like I did!

It's a Family Affair

Meleana Judd and her dad, Cully, were sharing their farm knowledge at the Truck Farm screening. See the big basket of produce, that's from Mele's CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm. She's been growing organic food for about three years on her land next to the school. That basket was one of the raffle prizes. Are you interested in getting farm fresh produce? Email Mele at:

Entertaining the Kids, and Adults

Simon Beins and Jack Johnson closed the Truck Farm evening with some strummin' and some singing. They encouraged all the kids to dance, and lots of them did. This family night event was full of love, laughter, and goodwill. I'm sure everyone went home with some new green knowledge.

So..........Are You Ready?

Yes, you can start your own Truck Farm, anywhere! It's fun, it's healthy, it's smart!! Start thinking about it today!

The Brilliant (and Funny) Documentarians

Thses are the filmmakers, Ian Cheney (in the middle) and Curtis Ellis, with Mom and me last summer in New York City. KING CORN was their first documentary, then TRUCK FARM, and their latest release is THE CITY DARK. I encourage you to watch all three. They will enrich and educate you!! I promise!
Check out their film company: