Amid all other influences

Amid all other influences
"reaching for the light"

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Happenings!

I am amazed at how much of a big thing celebrating Halloween can be, living in the center of Mormondom. With all the activity, let me clarify here, Church Activity, abounding in this area, we can't resist having a good time, just about for any reason. Let me elaborate, we celebrate all the major holidays observed by our nation plus an extra one, that being Pioneer Day. Of course, paying respect to the pioneers for coming to this valley in 1847. We celebrate patriotic holidays and religious ones to, that including Thanksgiving and Christmas. We profess to observe the "WOW" or word of wisdom, abstaining from tobacco, alcholol, and harmful drugs, while supposedly eating in moderating or if the price is right, eat out at places like Golden Corale and Chuck A Rama, plus a host of other places that really put out the spread.

Now back to halloween, most channels on the TV feature those haunted, gore, multiple psycho killing dramas, and people can never get enough of it. So, to make a positive statement, our local churches, or Wards and Stakes, usually have activities such as "Chilli Cookoff, or Ward Chilli Dinner plus dress up, keeping in mind to stay away from cross dressing, masked dress, and indecent attire that would be considered shameful. So, staying within the lines, we subject ourselves to such activities and sample some chilli that can be from one extreme to the other, or championship caliber chilli to rottgut chilli, in other words, you better bless it before consuming it chilli. At the dinner, since people dressed up, there must be a contest or judging of the best, most original, etc. All this culminates with the safe and proven easy way to go "trick o treating", in other words, "Trunk o Treat" in the parking lot of the meetinghouse.

Tonight was no exception and me personally, this is the second one of these within a week. I don't know if my stomach can take any more chilli, let alone the gradual buildup of gas. Let me regress a bit. On Friday, we went to my Married Student Ward for our Chilli Cookoff with dress-up and games. Seems like everyone brought chilli and we had more that enough. Jo and I were the judges, so dutifully, we tasted each chilli. Not good, I mean some of the chilli, but we bravely selected what we taught to be the best. Then we also judged the best costume and that was fun. Those young families, some are so creative. We had fun that evening.

Today at work, the building custodians took myself and some of my workers on a tour of the "Haunted House" located in "The Belly of the Beast" as they described it of the JFSB. Now this is a relatively new building and I hadn't heard of it being haunted or anything strange in it. Anyway, walking down the hallway of the basement where classrooms are located, there was one door that they opened that was not a classroom. Walking in it, we descended several steps to a dark hallway and into another room that my senses felt to be large and spacious. It was a very very large dark room with the sounds of mechanical equipment operating. We walked following out guide to the far reaches of this room and with the sudden blast of air pressure, the mist and spray of what felt like water, and the clanking of chains, this truely felt like a haunted room. Then we exprienced more creepy effects to our senses and of course the howling of so called creatures, and so it was, a very fun haunted house experience, down in the belly of the beast of the JFSB.

This evening, we went to our home ward for the annual Ward Chilli Dinner and were again subjected to Chilli. This time, most of the chilli was of a higher caliber. All I can say is that our home Ward Members have had more practice making chilli over the years and they proved it again tonight. There was the costume parade followed by the trunk o treat. All fun and now the tummy aches for the little kids from eating all the candy. Oh well.

I've sermized that living here amongst the Saints and observing their ways is a lesson in making the best of an otherwise no fun celebration. The people like to eat, so chilli is an inexpensive way to feed alot of people, especially if you have a large family. Candy is always a favorite and more fun to eat when they come in fun sizes, like for kids, even though the parents are the major eaters of the candy. So, keying off the halloween celebration, more candy is available during this time of the year for consumption. Since we observe the WOW, then coming to a ward chilli dinner function is our way of being in with the times, and reason for dressup. Of course, we get to carve pumpkins, decorate the house, and make your front yard look like a cemetary.

So, if you can convert them, join them.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sound Off!

I guess at times we are naive to think that blogs are harmless rants and raves of twisted minds or the ill conceived posts of people just letting off personal thoughts and expressions. Perhaps its an opportunity to just let off some internet gas, politely and not have to look around and apologize in public. Harmless, innocent, just fun, but over the past year, it seems the fun family/friend blogs are falling victim to a few who deem to take its credibility and use it for abusive desires. Shame on those who use the innocent content of others to cause harm in any form, shame on you.

If you are one of these people of whom I'm referring to, how about giving it a rest? Whatever your intention is, just know that family/friend blogs don't need your contribution or abuse. Leave us alone, just go get a life.

Now for all those whom we communicate and confide with, I think the world of your blog contributions and entries. It helps to keep in touch and to enjoy your happy lives.

Some time ago, one of our family members felt the need to privatize access to their blog, and for good reason. I thought it was extreme, but over time felt better because it gave their content a select audience, of family and friends. Later, another family member decided to change the information/names of actual people in the household to protect identity and keep things on a more not to personal level. I certainly agree on this need to shield our loved ones from potential harm. Another family member expressed their decision to limit the access to their blog page due to miss representation and missinformation.

I know, we all don't live our lives only through and on blog pages. I barely have time to read them or check them once a day. However, when I get the chance, they are important to me and that perhaps is how I keep up with the goings on of people who mean alot to me personally. Keep the faith, let's "keep moving forward", from the video "Meet the Robinsons". Have a nice day.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pics of Paradise

An old rock wall made of lava rock was decorated with some plants seen growing on its top.

Modern super roadways climb up the east side of the Koolau Mtn. range on Oahu.

Gigantic breadfruit tree with fruit in abundance growing on the side of the road on the Hamakua Coast.

Rain clouds approach Coconut Island in Hilo Bay.

Scene of Onomea Bay, once an arch on the Hamakua coast. The arch fell sometime in the late 50's but still a popular scenic spot.

Two old fishing boats layup on drydock perhaps to one day put out to sea again.

A couple pass the time away fishing from Laie Point as the waves come crashing against the rocks.

Trees grow over an old road, once the major roadway along the Hamakua coast.

Picture of a colorful plant that graced the front yard of a home near the roadway.

At a popular local fast food resturant, the menu is to die for if you like local food or grinds. Courtesy of Cafe 100, a landmark in Hilo dining.

A bamboo grove on the side of the old highway of the Hamakua coast.

Still popular to locals, this Queen Liliuokalani Park is a combination of several Oriental cultures captured in one spot.

Hope you liked the pictures. Enjoy.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Home To The Islands
It's taken me a couple of days to get over the jet lag and get back to the time difference from a visit to Hawaii. The trip was short but I got to spend time with our family and that was the most important matter. On Oahu, I loved visiting with Rachel and Jase and the children. They filled my time there with so much fun and enjoyment. The children have grown a bit and are a joy to be with.
They took me all over the island and it was great fun to see the different tourist spots. Both Klailea and Rykell are such sweethearts and they are so bright and funny.
This island hasn't lost its beauty or appeal, just lovely. Wow, how I miss the green lush color of the countryside. They only challenge was to get accustomed to the humidity and rain.
We got to see the Aloha Swap meet and shopped for all the goodies that are offered there.
We travelled throught the impressive H-3 Freeway and through the mountain several times. It's fun to look out the window of a fast moving van and take pictures of the mountains. Click, click, click, click. . . . . . Hope I don't get one of those light poles in the pictures.
Sometimes I wonder why we every left the islands. You only have to look at how crowded, how busy the traffic is, and then look at the price for just living there, then you get a sense of reality.
It is a blessing to have Rachel and Jase and the family there. Almost like a strategic Bed and Breakfast, or perhaps, a Bed and Luau, or a Bed and Tour Guide, or just family. How nice.

The beach at Sunset is always a popular place to stop at.

Then, you always have to get a dozen or so malasadas. This is a tradition and fixture.

At a park on the North Shore, the kids played hide and seek from Grandpa.

The picture tells it all. Klailea, Grandpa, Shae, and Rykell.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Happy 11th Anniversay to Troy and Leslie!!

Today is our duaghter Leslie's 11th wedding anniversay to Troy. Since I am away on an expidetion and to access to some photos that would bring back memories, I thought I would share some of the highlights of this blessed union: (I'm trying to be like our daughter Nikki, who can come up with all this numbering stuff!)

1. Troy loves our daughter Leslie so much so that he gave up his beautiful Mazda RX7 (red) car so he could drive around in a more modest older Nissan (I think). After all, the Mazda wouldn't hold as many grocery bags as the Nissan. I really thoughjt the red car was cool!
2. They received such wonderful wedding gifts at their reception in Lyndon, WA, and we got to haul the presents back in our travel trailer for them while they went on their honeymoon. There were some beautiful matching bath towels, etc., to start their new life. At one of their first apartments (basement dwelling), there was a backup of the sewer or drain, and in an emergency, they used the beautiful towels to help stem the rising tide, but in reality, ruined the beautiful new towels. Oh well, if that emergency didn't happen, the poopy diapers or something like it would have won out.
3. To get to know his new father-inlaw better, Troy takes him fly fishing on the Provo in November weather. While fishing, his father-inlaw falls in the river, and had to swim for it. Later when he caught up with the father-inlaw, he had the presense of mind to call leslie and make sure there was clean dry towels at there apartment for Dad, also, not to laugh, but especially, not to tell Mom. (Good guy, don't make to old man look bad.)
4. Since Leslie was the first of the family to get married, and set a tradition in place, Leslie and Troy were set in front of the entire family and questioned about their intentions to get married, what kind of person Troy was, etc. This would make the Spanish Inquisition seem pale in comparison. Troy, good natured and a good sport calmly accepted the intense questioning by his future sister-inlaws.
5. Troy asked for Leslie's hand in a most sincere and dignified way. Buddy, from that point on, you set the standard for the rest of the future son-inlaws in this family.
6. Always creative, talented and with an eye for solving problems, Troy got some old wood, spare lumber pieces, and built shelving in their apartment for things like storage, etc. Later, he gave one of the shelves to us, which we still use to this day.
7. At the wedding in the Seattle LDS Temple, the only tears of joy shed in the sealing room were from Troy and I. I love you son! It was also there that Leslie lost her bridal veil somewhere at the temple.
8. When son Christian was born, after Leslie's long labor, there was hubby Troy, mother, dad, and sisters present plus a person that was a Doula or abdoula or something like that. Something about a birth coach?
9. Though Troy and Leslie relocated to WA, we are blessed with their happiness there and it's a good place to raise a family.
10. Even though they are far away, we keep in pretty close regular contact, by blogspotting, phone calls, occassional visits, etc.
11. They have a beautiful family and the wonderful children, Christian, Anna, and Emily, compliment each other. They in turn make our entire family a piece of heaven on earth.

Happy 11th anniversary. Love to you all.