Jan has put up this thoughtful piece about Bernie Sanders. The dance around Israel and the Middle East is starting up again and will become huge since Sanders is running a serious campaign for the presidency. What a pain. But we're stuck with it, unless we choose to ignore it all, an understandable reaction but not a wise one.
We take our democracy for granted, frayed though it is.
In other news: A dangerous tropical storm is approaching the islands. Will it become a hurricane? This is the most serious threat of the season so far. Kauai has been devastated twice, in the 80s by Iwa and in the 90s by Iniki. Will this be a repeat? The way it has formed and its projected path are like those of Iwa.
Our visitors are leaving today. It's been a lot of fun. Their little guy is adorbs. And exhausting.
Yuck! We're going up to the Park hoping for relief. It's at 4,000 feet. I kind of messed up breakfast for our guests , because I used whole wheat flour instead of white flour in the waffles, and they stuck to the waffle iron. They [the waffles] tasted fine, however.
No more waffles. We're going on to Ken's Famous House of Pancakes for breakfast tomorrow. It's too warm to cook anyway.
45 minutes in the early a.m. and I'm drenched! We are expecting house guests who have a little kid, but we have managed to get prepared. When you live in a place like this, you must be willing to share it with the less fortunate!
Our local nemesis, James George Borden, was not at Lincoln Park yesterday. He is missing on a lot of days, now. He had it real easy for a while, just putting up his signs and hanging out, and now it's a lot more difficult. He's lazy, so confronting him makes him feel overburdened.
Now, several hours later, we've been to the market and met our friends and bought our groceries and are taking a break. It's almost 11:00, or 11:00 a.m. in the morning, as they say in the Islands.
I'm taking the slow cooker out on the deck and making a "Swiss" steak from a Martha Stewart recipe. That will be good with polenta and bok choy. We forgot to get dessert items, but I may be able to scrounge up some cookies. I think there are some stored in the basement.
I found this read on the decision one woman has made not to take "it" anymore. She's an optimist. Old age does not exempt people from "taking it," not if you are interested in staying in the game. Furthermore, you are really going to have to brush up on your people skills if you find yourself needing care later on. Money alone is not sufficient, and if you are short of money it could get very bad. There is plenty of competition for services, and good service people will be able to pick and choose who they look after. Elders aren't so popular as a group that they can afford to let their people skills lapse or be real choosy about who they hang out with. Doing that can mean getting stuck with the worst kind of people in your last years, creeps and exploiters that you turn to out of desperation. You have to continue to serve.
Fred the cat is home and prowling around. He had a small piece of steak and some sour cream and is feeling spoiled again. We're happy that he won't have to be boarded next time we leave, because our Portland friends, David and Laura, are coming out to house sit and they like Fred in spite of his cranky ways. He enjoys the catnip toy Laura made him. The weeds have taken over again. I have some splendid orchids but my camera is on the fritz so I can't take photos of them. Terry is out with his pellet gun plugging a few loudmouth coqui frogs that have gotten too close to the house; we have the place reasonably well cleaned up for our guests, and I'm really tired but think it's going to be OK. Just wish the yard still looked the way it did when Toby and Michel were here and did all that work for us. It was a showplace for a couple of weeks. Now the grass is high again and the big breadfruit leaves need to be picked up and the potted plants are full of weeds. Hope we have time to take care of some of this before our guests arrive.
Nope. Sitting in the holding pen or lounge waiting to board the plane for Maui and then onto Hilo. We had a great time in Seattle and visiting friends in Portland. The limousine driver this a.m. on the way to the airport, a very entertaining Russian, was telling us about his overnight trip with his wife to Port Townsend, how awful and expensive the service was and how they, people in their sixties,were about the youngest people there. I mentioned that this did not sound like a place that would attract young service workers,so they would have to be short of help there. He concurred and pointed out that he saw no Mexicans around, either,who would be expected to be there in the kitchens and doing housekeeping and groundskeeping. Hmmm...
It sounded ghastly.
He did say his wife noticed that the air was clean,as she remembered from her last trip to Hawaii. There are so many fires now and so much car exhaust that the Seattle air is less than pristine,though not terrible.
Well,time to board. Need to use our share of the non-renewable resources before they are all gone.
To me, the most wonderful thing in life is to stumble across something great without any warning. Knowing nothing whatsoever about art as I did then, the Goyas at the Prado, which I saw in the 70's, had maximum impact which would not have been available to anyone who had had so much as an undergraduate art course or looked at an art book or, as is possible these days, browsed his work online. There is some virtue in ignorance. I've seen many wonderful things, but it is this element of surprise that is so fulfilling and which affirms for me the existence of first rate things.
And so when I unexpectedly confronted a masterpiece at Fort Vancouver in Washington, Maya Lin's gate, part of the Confluence Project being deployed along the Lewis and Clark Trail, I was thrilled. I hope this doesn't spoil the surprise for anyone! Photos like the one I posted previously can't convey the effect of the translucent mask, which seems to be floating in the brilliant sunlight. The installation is remarkable, over all. The photo is mundane, but maybe that is good. Won't spoil the surprise, really, for anyone who has not yet seen it. It would take a real pro to capture the essence of her work in a photograph.
I had only heard the sour comments about her Vietnam Memorial, which I've never seen, so I did not realize that she is a great artist. And there were some problems, I understand, with her Civil Rights Memorial at the Southern Poverty Law Center, but that has been fixed. I would love to visit these places now that I have experienced her work in person; maybe some day, but they will not give me that thrill of feeling I have made a unique discovery.
We are going home to Hilo, wishing that we could convince ourselves that we could live in Seattle, because we desperately want to be closer to our family but are mostly unable to tolerate the atmosphere of this town for more than a couple of weeks at a time. It's a place for the hustling, impatient and upward striving young, not for the likes of us. The traffic is terrible. It's also overwhelmingly white. Portland is easier-going but it never really was our cup of tea, and it is also overwhelmingly white. And we would have to negotiate I-5 to get to Seattle from Portland, often a nightmare, so there would be no particular advantage to living there. We accepted this atmosphere once upon a time, but one trip to Hawaii was enough for us to understand that Hawaii was our place. The Seattle condo is a compromise, and it gets used not just by us but by friends and relatives and their friends. We spend two or three months out of year here, two or three weeks at a time.
As usual, it's the black folks, the most oppressed, who have to take up the cause for all of us. We are not going to develop and thrive in this country if we continue to deny equality to millions of people. We need to get on top of this issue.We can't go down the road of increasing conflict, especially with all the guns around. We have got to calm down. Scott Nakagawa is the voice of reason in this piece.
As he says:
That Black leaders have been willing to rise above the humiliation of being patronized and tokenized while their issues have been ignored – that so many have stayed in the fight in the face of this – is nothing short of amazing. It is a demonstration of political maturity and determination from which all of us can take a lesson.
One of the nicest things to do in the Vancouver, WA area is to visit Steigerwalk Lake Wildlife Refuge. This is a fairly extensive area. It's all flat, which makes for a pleasant stroll on a very hot day, such as was the case last week when we went there. Most of the wild things were hiding out because of the heat, but we did get some good shots, not magnificent wildlife photography but proof that some of nature's original creatures still live along the Columbia.
The frogs are so well camouflaged that they are invisible unless they move.
A heron is waiting for one to pop up that it can make a meal out of.
Osprey with fish that it caught.
Sorry can't be more specific about species, but there is more information on the "virtual brochure" on their web site. I think an interpretive walk would be necessary to learn the exact names of the creatures we saw.