Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mahalo Hawaii #2: I saw the sign

Today's pictures were taken on the go. In the rain. From the car. I will pause for a moment to let all the mothers out there get the inner-lecture out of their system.


Better? Ok. Normally, I don't have the phone out while driving (unless on Bluetooth). And I think it's not very responsible. But, in my defense, there as NObody else on this not-at-all main road, and I was alllmost at a stop. Try to ignore the crack in the windshield of the car (thanks a bunch, lava rocks). You can click on either picture to see a larger version.

Without further ado, today I am thankful for slightly unexpected street signs in my neighborhood. They provide a little something to smile at and wonder about. The first confuses me. Is it a joke? Does someone think their neighbor is a "donkey" who needs to get back to the mainland? On the other hand, wild donkeys DO roam these parts, and similar signs are seen on the highway. I have heard donkeys hee-hawing at night a few times, but have yet to see one in my neighborhood. So, hmm...

The second one is particularly difficult to see because of that darned windshield crack. Under the lower gear sign is a "Surf's Up" sign. Most definitely a joke, but I love it. It reminds me daily that the nearest beach is 15 minutes away, and I live amongst a people who get so much out of the ocean! Not just food, but exercise, leisure, and play as well. I'm also thankful that the legal people responsible for making sure these things don't stay up have never taken it down. It's been there at least as long as we've lived here. It's my first indication when I start driving down the volcanic hill to our house that I am almost home.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mahalo, Hawaii - The first of my Thanksgiving series

As suggested in a previous post, I will be using this month to express my gratitude for things Hawaii has that I can enjoy, that Hawaii has provided for me, changed within me, or just made me feel thankful for.

It's something I like to do every November-ish in mental preparation for Thanksgiving. I've never done it this specifically before.

I am hoping to have pictures in every post. I hope I stick with that. Picture-of-the-day sorta thing.

Pictures will probably come exclusively from my camera phone. Don't forgive the low quality photos --- embrace them! This will be fun! I like seeing what kinds of pictures I can take on the fly when there wouldn't be time to dig out a normal camera.

Without further ado...

Today, I am thankful for coconuts.

Let it be known that I used to hate coconuts. Just the smell could make my stomach turn. I don't know what the turning point was. I don't need to delve into what my turning-point was, because this is all about what I am thankful for right now.

Last night for supper I had Coconut chicken soup with Jasmine rice. As we speak, my lunch of coconut brown rice and spiced chicken is a-cookin'.

[May I pause for a second? I know that this is NOT a food blog, but I really am thankful for coconuts and all their popularity on this island; especially since I can no longer enjoy dairy without embarrassing repercussions].

In Hawai'i, coconut food is everywhere. The Hawaiian people love it, and so do I. For pictures today I went into my front yard (to capture our coconut tree) and my kitchen:

Some of my favorite snacks above and below. The mother-in-law opened my eyes to coconut water during marathon training. You can find it just about anywhere out here! Coconut products abound in Hawaii (which isn't surprising).

Behold, the ingredients for lunch today. Delicious! The rice recipe was courtesy of the Gluten Free Girl. A gluten-free friend told me about this blog a long time ago. I think I was hooked on her blog and recipes not because I needed to be gluten free, but because her writing was brimming with so much wit and positivity, I was drawn in. And the food was blissful, so that kept me coming back.



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And Then It Hit Us

Hawaii is home now. We decided this recently. Chalk it up to the economy, the job market, and the need to finally start settling down. Living in paradise sort of helps the decision to start getting rooted as well.

For the foreseeable future, we will be bunkering down here.

Although it is sad that the location of our home makes it difficult to see family and friends often enough, no happy life comes without some sort of sacrifice. Perhaps, though, those few times we spend with family each year will feel a little sweeter because they'll be just a little more precious than before.

There will always be a list of things I will miss and love about my mainland home (hey, I'm a typical human. Look to one of those very evolved Nirvana-esque monks if you want inner perfection). But recently, I have been working on focusing on the things I am comforted by and am delighted by in our Hawaiian home:

  • Geckos. Splendid, rainbow-colored, cute-as-buttons geckos. 
  • Poi dogs.
  • Beaches, beaches, beaches, as far as the eye can see.
  • Sunshine.
  • Variety in languages.
  • Aloha.
  • Mangoes (and mango salsa, mango smoothies, mango in everything. I never get tired of mangoes!)
  • Fresh fish.
  • Wonderful Asian food. (Pretty sure the world's best bowl of Thom Kah Kai exists in this little town).
  • Healthy people.
  • My continually tan skin.
  • Wearing slippers every day.
  • Hitch hikers (they can be annoying, too. But I love that I live somewhere that is so safe and friendly that hitch hiking is legal and common practice).
  • That locals kiss each other on the cheek when greeting hello or goodbye. (And all this time, I thought that was a purely European thing!)
  • Women of every age who love to shake their hips.
  • A husband who looks like a kid in a candy store every time he goes diving or snorkeling.
  • Guessing the weight of the honu every time we see one on a beach.
  • The ocean-view sunset from our lanai.
  • A people who know exactly how gorgeous their home is; and who, as a result, are quite particular about keeping it clean and well-loved.

The list goes on and on. I think, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I will be posting pictures of things for which I am thankful in this green, sunny home of ours. Mahalo, Hawai'i!