Our tradition – Camera Photos, A Year in Review

I do not know when exactly this became a “thing,” but, for over six years, Squire and I have been making use of our camera photos each year to commemorate that year and fill our family and friends in on what we have been up to in the year, or at least the things we decided to capture with our phone cameras. It has become a regular thing that we send around the holidays, and by regular, we now feel compelled to do it because people actually made a point to mention that they like it enough to hope they get another one so they can see what’s happening. Who knew? But this is just our 2021 one to welcome in 2022 and wish all of you the best of the best. See you sometime in 2022.

3/25/21 update: Is Covid-19 all Bad News?

News outlets that skew strongly in one direction or the other, seemed to focus on bad news in regards to Covid-19. At least that is what this working paper states which is published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, and titled, “Why is all Covid-19 news bad news?

So I want to focus on what the good news is right now.

Vaccines save lives.

Highlights of the New York Time article, “Good Vaccine News.”
  • All five vaccines (with public results which are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson) have eliminated Covid-19 deaths.
  • They have reduced hospitalizations.
  • None have been remained hospitalized 28 days after receiving a shot.
  • The shots dramatically lower your chances of being infected.

Also understanding the difference between effectiveness and efficacy is something we might need to understand better here in Hawaii as this article makes clear from Hawaii Tribune Herald on “Three ‘Breakthrough’ virus cases found in Hawaii.” It misuses the concept of efficacy as 5% of vaccinated people could get covid based on the clinical trial which is not true. Efficacy in these trials meant that people with the vaccine in the clinical trial were 95% lower in risk to acquiring Covid-19 in comparison to the control group. Efficacy is related to clinical trials and effectiveness is related to real world use. Real world effectiveness can be lower then clinical efficacy because trials are typically not a true representation of the population in demographics and overall health. It is also worth mentioning the possibility that 1) people were exposed prior to getting the shot or during the two week time period after vaccination where the body has still not built up an immunity, 2) underlying health conditions inhibit the immune response to vaccination, or even 3) you were exposed due to being in a situation where the virus was running rampant and that large dose of virus exposure overwhelmed your body’s built up immune defenses.

Something to celebrate. And just thinking seriously about the vaccine and what it means for me and those around me.

3/23/21 – Hearts (Pu’uwai)

So this story is based on my furbabies dislike for vegetables. We are one of those fur-parents that stopped feeding their dogs kibble and have tried raw food, mixing it with other things, and now all the cats and dogs get cooked food. They love chicken and it fits our cat, Kili’s allergy needs as well (I cannot believe how much of cat food has fish something in it, even if it says chicken).

Chicken has been all of their main protein but getting them to eat more vegetables to get the vitamins and nutrients they need has been … a challenge. I know I can try to find a supplement for them, but personally it is not my favorite option. I would rather find it naturally in the food any of us eat.

I mentioned this issue to my dad when he visited one day, he mentioned trying chicken liver (vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin C, selenium, copper, and iron) and gizzards (zinc, iron, selenium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B12, niacin, vitamin C, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, manganese, and calcium). So we went to Times to find it. They also had these items at Don Quijote and Foodland Farms. Foodland Farms is where I also found the hearts (fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, iron, taurine, and zinc) this last time. So we bought it and most of them just gobble it up.

We do not want to give them too much because we worry about any issues with feeding them too many organ meats, like purine (uric acid level rise) and saturated fat. So we fried a little of each and I cut it up to create small portions for the five of them. Cutting up the hearts bothered me a little because they kind of looked like what I thought my heart would look like. This piqued my interest so I did a little search time looking up what hearts look like for other animals. Also do animals have hearts that look like mine? So the answer is basically, yes, if the being has a heart it does look a lot like mine.

The idea that all beings that have hearts, have a heart that looks a lot like mine, is something that has really stayed with me and I am still reflecting on it. I recently went a little smaller in my reflection, with the realization that the human heart looks the same in all of us. Right now I think there is something special in remembering this and I should keep it top of my mind.

Thought for March 17, 2021

Happy St. Patrickʻs Day (Hauʻoli Lā ʻo Patrick Haipule – I think). So there is some positive news around covid-19 and potentially being around others. Vaccines in Hawaiʻi are on the upswing – some of our counties have over 25% vaccination rates, we are nearing Tier 4 reopening (although as of this writing we have over 1% testing positivity rate – which is supposed to be under 1% for two weeks for us to move into Tier 4), and more vaccines are becoming available to more of the population. With the guidance from the CDC for those that have been vaccinated, I am looking forward to seeing my grandmother soon.

Year 2020 Furbabies update


Just to share, very soon after my September 2019 post we lost Onyx. Ten months later she came home to us. This was thanks to her being chipped and a call from the Hawaii Humane Society.

Happily Home

Did you knows? we learned from this experience.

Outdoor cats are estimated to live on average of 5 years and indoors cats live on average of 15 years.

Chip your animal and keep your info updated, you never know.

Onyx was missed.

Government Shutdown

So, Squire works for TSA at HNL and we are impacted by his not receiving a paycheck. Mostly because we need to use our line and don’t know when he will receive his back pay for the work that he is doing now. It will become stressful if this goes on too long.

Things that I have enjoyed during this stressful time have been:

  1. The amount of transportation officers that are going in every day even though they are not getting paid and don’t know when the longest shutdown in history will end.
  2. The support we are getting from friends and family.
  3. The more congenial nature of the passengers that my husband has to interact with to ensure that he is doing his job to keep all travelers through HNL safe and secure.

Many of the people at his work are still showing up after over three weeks of working without being duly compensated.

Many of our friends and family at my workplace and in our sphere have reached out to us both to extend any help that they can.

People are thanking them at the checkpoint for being there and doing their job.

Hopefully this won’t last too much longer as we are placing American lives and their very real circumstances at the mercy of spontaneous and poorly planned actions that suit vanity and divisive ideology.

Board and Stone

So it has been a while … good thing this wasnʻt one of my new year’s resolutions ….

But I wanted to share a couple of things.

So I had a great work environment experience in the last couple of years. I was able to work as close to nature as I have been in a very long time. I enjoyed it a lot, the peace I felt looking out my window was never overestimated. It was hard to be stressed there but it got harder to look out the window and not realize that something was missing.

I realized that I didn’t belong there anymore though and really thought carefully about what I wanted my next step to be. I wanted to be in a place that fed what I felt there on a deeper level. I loved being around nature but I wanted to feel it in my DNA which meant I had to also embrace aspects of myself and my ethnicity. Which led me to my current job and I don’t regret it one bit.

Back story aside, to the board and stone. We are taking a 11 week class with Keiki O Ka Aina and Kamehameha Schools taught by Earl Kawaʻa. It is awesome. Star Advertiser Article “Hawaiian educator teaches how to craft poi ponders, boards

So it has been a week in, we met last Thursday to get a debrief of what the Saturday huakaʻi (field trip) would be about. Then on that Saturday we were in Punaluʻu for the day, finding and cutting down hau sticks to make our koʻi (adze) and then stripping the bark and facing it, then at the stream finding our stones to create our pohaku (poi pounders), and picking a slab of monkey pod for us to use as our papa (board).

I am so sore now. To make the koʻi for removing the bark of the papa we had to tie bike tire rubber around the hau stick to keep the blade in place, between trying to keep it in place and continuously rewrapping it when it slips off. I now realize that I am in zero shape and have an ocd quality about myself. You see, they scored the boards for us and now that I see the indention marks, I have been compulsively trying to reach them with my koʻi. Until today, I think I got in at least half an hour but, “Oh boy.” I am done. Tomorrow will be a day of rest, hopefully I wonʻt regret it when we get to start on the pohaku (stone).

My tired muscles aside, I donʻt want to give you the impression that I am not enjoying myself. I have to say that I am very excited about this whole process and the work that we are doing for it. Which is why I want to share the photos with you

Board after a day one work

Board back, to give you an idea of the grain

Board after day two work

The koʻi.

Our ʻalā stones for the pohaku

Supplies to make the koʻi.



Happy New Year Resolutions

Happy 2017!

So this year I tried to make a resolution in advance. And so far it is working ….


  1. Make your new year resolution in advance of the new year.
  2. Start your new resolution before the new year actually begins.
  3. Start small, e.g., if it is to exercise, make it 5-15 minutes a day.
  4. Give yourself a break off point or a deadline, like 30 days.
  5. Keep track, find some way of logging your progress.
  6. Donʻt push yourself to do more and allow yourself to do less.

So far so good.

John Oliver – 2016 …. This is Not Normal.

I loved this episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and think I found a way to spend the next few years.

Favorite quote, “Hindsight is 2020.”

Things to make sure you are ready to do starting now:

  • Monitor Legislation
  • Vote


Places mentioned in his video (around the 19 minute mark) to actively support by giving money (recurring donations or in the name of a Trump voter close to you for holiday giving) or time:

Women’s Health and Rights –

  • Plannedparenthood.org
  • Reproductiverights.org


Climate Issues –

  • nrdc.org


Refugees –

  • refugeerights.org


Extra ideas –

  • naacpldf.org
  • thetrevorproject.org
  • maldef.org


Also support true journalistic endeavors –

  • The New York Times
  • The Washington Post
  • Local Newspapers
  • Public Radio


or donate to propublica.org (a non profit that does investigative journalism pieces).