Tag Archives: England

Shades of Green

Living on an acre of lava that offers many shades of black and gray, I might quote the Muppets and say, “It’s not easy being green.” I forget what it means to be green.

Friends from the mainland came to visit and were amazed at my catchment system, and for the first time, I had an inkling of just how “green” we live here in Ocean View. I know my friends in California think they are being “green” when they put in a 100 gallon rain barrel. It’s no wonder they are in awe of my 15,000 gallon tank! Still, our planet appreciates every 100 gallons saved.

So much of what we grow and eat here goes through its green stage, like these bananas before they turn yellow . . .

. . . or the coffee berries before they turn cherry red.

Herbs in all shades of green stand close to my kitchen door.

Fresh corn and other veggies offer more shades of green.

Then we have fruits – the enormous jackfruit. . .

. . . and wonderful limes.

I love cooking up a mess of fresh greens from my garden . . .

. . . or a pan of this brilliant green chard.

There are so many places where shades of green forms a spectacular frame, like this scene from Kauai.

Mostly green forms a background to other colors of Hawaii. . .

. . . or for our sensational orchids, and other flowers.

St. James Park in London provides another backdrop for early spring flowers.

Our Hawai`ian fauna also comes in shades of green. There is the florescent green of the Jackson. . .

. . .and the dark almost black green of the sea turtles.

The stately ti plants are considered good luck when planted around your home.

The green lotus leaves create a sense of serenity and peace.

The many pictures of green in my albums would fill a few coffee table books, each one another category of my life. This is only a small sampling of my green pictures. Beyond the visual green, there is a lot of symbolism to be found in the color green. I think I’d better reserve that for a future post!

A hui hou!

Seven-Link Challenge

One of the blogs about blogging I read is ProBlogger. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? This week, there was a challenge to respond to seven categories. I decided to take part, mostly because it requires some thinking about my posts in the past and where I’d like to go in the future. Here are the seven categories:

1) My first post.
I started this blog as a record for myself only. I was trying to make soil from compost and other materials in order to get something to grow on this acre of rocky lava we call a`a.

2) The post I enjoyed writing the most.
The reason I enjoyed this post is that it is about a special family event I wasn’t able to attend. My first granddaughter got married in October on the mainland and I couldn’t get away from teaching to fly over. Also, I didn’t take the pictures, but it showed several of my children and grandchildren. Needless to say, I shed a few happy tears as I put it together in a post.

3) A post which had a great discussion
I’ve written about lilikoi (Passion fruit) several times and each post brings more discussion than anything else I write about. Mainland readers probably don’t have a clue what lilikoi is, so it’s mostly Hawaii residents who get into great discussions about this fruit with an unusual flavor.

4) A post on someone else’s blog I wish I’d written.
My brother writes a blog that is way more popular than mine, and he tells of great things to do in and around the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg area. Like me, he writes about his travels. He and I had just been to England, and we both loved London. I absolutely love this post he did all in black and white photography. It gave me an entirely new perspective to London.

5) My most helpful post.
This post was about a little book that has guided my life and the lives of others over and over. If you are looking for a way to set goals and objectives for the next year, this is the book that will help you.

6) A post with a title I am proud of.
I think the reason I’m most proud of this title is because it represents several decades of waiting to have my book of the same name published. It is about a book I used in my psychology practice and with students. It can also be a self-help book by exploring some hidden meanings in your life.

7) A post that I wish more people had read.
This was posted to honor AIDS Day, and invites us to look at our lives and how we respond to unexpected events in our lives. AIDS awareness is growing, but still not enough.

It took me a while to decide on each of these categories. There are so many posts that would fit into each category. After looking at these seven posts, I get a good sense of where my pleasures reside in writing this blog. My topics have evolved quite a bit over the past two years, and on an unconscious level, I think I have been going in the direction that most suits me best.

I hope you are finding these rambling posts helpful when you garden or cook or travel or reflect on life.

A hui hou!

Aloha!

Feral Fables, my newly published e-book, will be available for a special promotional price of $2.99 until August 1, 2010. Go here to to buy or sample Feral Fables. Use the promotional code “SL25S” (not case sensitive) at checkout.
Mahalo! (Thank you!)

Inspired by Shakespeare

I have always been an Anglophile, with an interest in traditional English culture and the monarchy. Although my senior paper in high school focused on the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II, I’m not quite sure how or when my love affair of England actually began.

 

Then in college, I focused on English literature, and more specifically on the language of Shakespeare’s time. Even though it was basically “English,” it was like learning a completely new language. Knowing the meaning of the words changed my whole perspective and understanding when I watched his plays.

 

I won’t bore you with other areas where my interest and research centered around the British, but when I had a chance to visit Stratford-Upon-Avon about four years ago, I was ecstatic. I also visited the Globe Theatre in Bankside, London. I will intersperse a few pictures from beautiful Stratford, as I tell you about the Hawaiian Shakespeare Festival of 2010.

 

The season in Honolulu opened with Julius Caesar on July 9 and will run through July 18. Then from July 23 through August 1 you can see Measure for Measure. The last play of the season is Henry VI from August 13 through August 22.

 

This is the 9th season of the Shakespeare festival in Honolulu. The shows are performed at The ARTS at Marks Garage, 1159 Nu`uanu Ave. on the corner of Nu`uanu and Pauahi, one block south of Beretania near the historic Hawaii Theatre.

 

You can get tickets through Brown Paper Tickets at 800-838-3006 or online here.

 

Tickets are $20 on Friday and Saturday evenings, $15 on Thursday evenings and Sunday Matinees, and only $10 on Wednesday evenings. Such a great bargain!

 

I hope to get over to Oahu to see one of the plays in Honolulu. I went to many at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego when I lived there. Even if you don’t understand all of the language, you’ll love the drama. I suggest finding a synopsis of the story line so you’ll know what is happening.

A hui hou!

Aloha!

Feral Fables, my newly published e-book, will be available for a special promotional price of $2.99 until August 1, 2010. Go here to to buy or sample Feral Fables. Use the promotional code “SL25S” (not case sensitive) at checkout.
Mahalo! (Thank you!)

An English Spring

DAFFODILS IN ST. JAMES PARK, LONDON
click here for larger image
DAFFODILS IN ST. JAMES PARK, LONDON

 

Four years ago during my Spring Break, plus a few days, I traveled to England with a friend. Although it was very cold, especially to someone fresh from Hawai’i, there was no rain for the three weeks we spent there.

These photos will be in three sections. The first group was taken in London, in and near St. James Park. As you can see above, the daffodils in England are a brilliant herald of Spring. They are some of the first flowers to be seen.

MORE SPRING DAFFODILS IN LONDON
click here for larger image
MORE SPRING DAFFODILS IN LONDON

 

They were in large clumps everywhere I looked.

ANOTHER VIEW OF THE DAFFODILS
click here for larger image
ANOTHER VIEW OF THE DAFFODILS

 

Of course, there were more flowers in bloom than just daffodils. Tucked here and there one could find these lavender beauties.

MORE LONDON BEAUTY
click here for larger image
MORE LONDON BEAUTY

 

Here is another view in St. James Park with its carpet of blooms.

CARPET OF BLOOMS
click here for larger image
CARPET OF BLOOMS

 

If you rest on a park bench by the river to feed the squirrels or have a cup of hot coffee and warm up, you will see the “old man willow.”

OLD MAN WILLOW
click here for larger image
OLD MAN WILLOW

 

This second section shows our drive through the Cotswolds, visiting such places as Stratford-Upon-Avon (Shakespeare country). Again, there were early blooms poking through the cold ground in little hidden spots.

EARLY SPRING IN THE COTSWOLDS
click here for larger image
EARLY SPRING IN THE COTSWOLDS

 

Of course, who among us doesn’t love the romantic sight of a thatched roof? It brings back memories of “Merrie Olde England,” doesn’t it? There are a few flowers blooming along the road in front of this home.

THATCHED ROOF COTTAGE
click here for larger image
THATCHED ROOF COTTAGE

 

Mostly we drove along narrow roads lined with bare hedges, and through the narrow winding streets of the villages.

ENGLISH HEDGEROWS
click here for larger image
ENGLISH HEDGEROWS

 

The fences were made out of the yellow limestone so common in Cotswold country.

LIMESTONE FENCES
click here for larger image
LIMESTONE FENCES

 

For the third part of our journey, we drove toward the English Channel and the White Cliffs of Dover. One of the English women I’ve come to learn about is the novelist Vita Sackville-West. A visit to her home in Kent (Sissinghurst Castle) took us through her “white garden,” even though very little was blooming. If you are interested in seeing her gardens in full bloom, go here.

 

The English spring daffodils were in full bloom here, too.

DAFFODILS AT SISSINGHURST CASTLE
click here for larger image
DAFFODILS AT SISSINGHURST CASTLE

 

And narcissus….

NARCISSUS AT SISSINGHURST CASTLE
click here for larger image
NARCISSUS AT SISSINGHURST CASTLE

 

In every corner of her gardens you are invited to rest and meditate.

A PLACE TO MEDITATE
click here for larger image
A PLACE TO MEDITATE

 

I love to fantasize about what it would be like to live in an English home like this one. I can imagine the novelist working out in her gardens (when she wasn’t writing), then sitting on the bench against a warm wall to view her results, cup of tea in hand.

HOME OF VITA SACKVILLE-WEST
click here for larger image
HOME OF VITA SACKVILLE-WEST

 

There are pictures of Sissinghurst in bloom on this website, as well as a different view of her home. I spied these blooms climbing up the end of her home.

CLIMBING VINES
click here for larger image
CLIMBING VINES

 

Sometimes you are left with the feeling that she has just paused in her planting. These beds are ready for the new annuals to be put out. Because her gardens and castle are part of the National Trust, I’m sure there are gardeners who still carry on her “white” theme each year.

BEDS READY FOR PLANTING
click here for larger image
BEDS READY FOR PLANTING

 

Here is another cluster of color along one of the winding paths.

CLUSTER OF COLOR
click here for larger image
CLUSTER OF COLOR

 

There was a moat that surrounded one area with a boathouse under the bridge. The boat was still there! In the background you can see the roof of one of the oast houses, used for drying hops to make their brew.

MOAT
click here for larger image
MOAT

 

I’d love to go back to visit Sissinghurst sometime when it comes back to life in the early summer. Someday I will get to do that.

A hui hou!

Canterbury Cathedral

 

I started this week out with the RMS Queen Mary 2, fondly referred to as QM2. In the interest of staying with the English theme for a couple of days, I went to the Rollright Stones in the Cotswolds yesterday. If you missed these two posts, click on them in the list below.

Today I’ll continue our British theme by taking us to the Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, part of the World Heritage site. It is the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion and the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Cathedral’s history goes back to 597AD when St Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory the Great as a missionary, established his seat (or ‘Cathedra’) in Canterbury. In 1170 Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in the Cathedral and ever since, the Cathedral has attracted thousands of pilgrims, as told famously in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. http://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/history/index.aspx

Of course, we just had to stay at the Chaucer Inn, right outside the walls of the cathedral. It was within a short walk of the cathedral.

 

I can’t begin to explain the eerie feeling that came over me the minute I walked into the cathedral. It was as if I’d been there before, and I definitely felt the Holy Spirit there, more than any other place I’d ever been. Walking among the tombs of the saints was an experience I’ll never forget.

There was a choir rehearsal going on when I went in. During their break, I told the choir director I was a retired United Methodist minister from Hawai`i. I was immediately invited to come join in the services that evening, but I had to decline. The Methodist denomination is a direct descendent of the Church of England, or Anglican Church.

Next time I go back, I’d like to spend more time there.

A hui hou!

Rollright Stones

 

Stones – or rocks – have an interesting background. Many myths talk about the petra genetrix, or the Motherstone, that births heroes and saviors. The stony deserts of the Middle East have been called the “Gardens of Allah.”

On a recent trip through the Cotswold region of England, I was impressed with the mythology (and longevity) of the Rollright Stones. The picture above shows a circle of knights with their king. Read more about them here. They were built by late Stone Age people over 4000 years ago.

One of the Knights close-up
One of the Knights close-up

 

Stones often represent obstacles or a certain barren quality. Yet those same “stones” can be viewed as a source of our strength and stability. I am reminded of scripture that talks about the stone the builders rejected becoming the cornerstone of something greater. Throughout ancient manuscripts we find that much of what we consider worthless, is actually valuable.

My home in Hawai`i is on an acre of a particular type of lava rock known as a’a, a lumpy, rocky substance that blew out of the depths of our volcano. I have no problem calling my “pile of rocks” (in which very little grows) a “garden.” But there are many nutrients in the seemingly useless lava that somehow nourishes my plants.

Rollright King
Rollright King

 

One weighty scripture says that if we are kept quiet, if we are not allowed to speak, even the stones will cry out! It is time for us to cry out for basic human rights.

The rocks in my garden were tossed out by Madam Pele, our Volcano Goddess. I like to think she was demonstrating outrage.

When we feel the least valuable, when we feel our voice is not heard, when others cannot speak for themselves, we must become transformed, reclaim our strengths, and cry out!

A hui hou!

An English Spring

DAFFODILS IN ST. JAMES PARK, LONDON
click here for larger image
DAFFODILS IN ST. JAMES PARK, LONDON

 

It was three years ago during my Spring Break, plus a few days, that I traveled to England with a friend. Although it was very cold, especially to someone fresh from Hawai’i, there was no rain for the three weeks we spent there.

These photos will be in three sections. The first group was taken in London, in and near St. James Park. As you can see above, the daffodils in England are a brilliant herald of Spring. They are some of the first flowers to be seen.

MORE SPRING DAFFODILS IN LONDON
click here for larger image
MORE SPRING DAFFODILS IN LONDON

 

They were in large clumps everywhere I looked.

ANOTHER VIEW OF THE DAFFODILS
click here for larger image
ANOTHER VIEW OF THE DAFFODILS

 

Of course, there were more flowers in bloom than just daffodils. Tucked here and there one could find these lavender beauties.

MORE LONDON BEAUTY
click here for larger image
MORE LONDON BEAUTY

 

Here is another view in St. James Park with its carpet of blooms.

CARPET OF BLOOMS
click here for larger image
CARPET OF BLOOMS

 

If you rest on a park bench by the river to feed the squirrels or have a cup of hot coffee and warm up, you will see the “old man willow.”

OLD MAN WILLOW
click here for larger image
OLD MAN WILLOW

 

This second section shows our drive through the Cotswolds, visiting such places as Stratford-Upon-Avon (Shakespeare country). Again, there were early blooms poking through the cold ground in little hidden spots.

EARLY SPRING IN THE COTSWOLDS
click here for larger image
EARLY SPRING IN THE COTSWOLDS

 

Of course, who among us doesn’t love the romantic sight of a thatched roof? It brings back memories of “Merrie Olde England,” doesn’t it? There are a few flowers blooming along the road in front of this home.

THATCHED ROOF COTTAGE
click here for larger image
THATCHED ROOF COTTAGE

 

Mostly we drove along narrow roads lined with bare hedges, and through the narrow winding streets of the villages.

ENGLISH HEDGEROWS
click here for larger image
ENGLISH HEDGEROWS

 

The fences were made out of the yellow limestone so common in Cotswold country.

LIMESTONE FENCES
click here for larger image
LIMESTONE FENCES

 

For the third part of our journey, we drove toward the English Channel and the White Cliffs of Dover. One of the English women I’ve come to learn about is the novelist Vita Sackville-West. A visit to her home in Kent (Sissinghurst Castle) took us through her “white garden,” even though very little was blooming. If you are interested in seeing her gardens in full bloom, go here.

 

The English spring daffodils were in full bloom here, too.

DAFFODILS AT SISSINGHURST CASTLE
click here for larger image
DAFFODILS AT SISSINGHURST CASTLE

 

And narcissus….

NARCISSUS AT SISSINGHURST CASTLE
click here for larger image
NARCISSUS AT SISSINGHURST CASTLE

 

In every corner of her gardens you are invited to rest and meditate.

A PLACE TO MEDITATE
click here for larger image
A PLACE TO MEDITATE

 

I love to fantasize about what it would be like to live in an English home like this one. I can imagine the novelist working out in her gardens (when she wasn’t writing), then sitting on the bench against a warm wall to view her results, cup of tea in hand.

HOME OF VITA SACKVILLE-WEST
click here for larger image
HOME OF VITA SACKVILLE-WEST

 

There are pictures of Sissinghurst in bloom on this website, as well as a different view of her home. I spied these blooms climbing up the end of her home.

CLIMBING VINES
click here for larger image
CLIMBING VINES

 

Sometimes you are left with the feeling that she has just paused in her planting. These beds are ready for the new annuals to be put out. Because her gardens and castle are part of the National Trust, I’m sure there are gardeners who still carry on her “white” theme each year.

BEDS READY FOR PLANTING
click here for larger image
BEDS READY FOR PLANTING

 

Here is another cluster of color along one of the winding paths.

CLUSTER OF COLOR
click here for larger image
CLUSTER OF COLOR

 

There was a moat that surrounded one area with a boathouse under the bridge. The boat was still there! In the background you can see the roof of one of the oast houses, used for drying hops to make their brew.

MOAT
click here for larger image
MOAT

 

I’d love to go back to visit Sissinghurst sometime when it comes back to life in the early summer. Someday I will get to do that.