Archive by Author | reneeriley

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all who nurture others.  For those of us who have had caring mothers, grandmothers – or any adult, male or female, to pay attention and guide us, we are blessed – even if our time together is short.

Often the importance of a caring person in our lives involves passing on life lessons.  One woman I admire who is a mother says, “Life is practice, and I tell my girts this every day.  You are practicing who you are going to be.  Do you want to be dependable?  Then you have to be dependable.  If you want people to trust you, then you have to be trustworthy”  – Michelle Obama.

May you have such a wise person in your life — and be such a person too.

 

Who are you practicing to be?

Happy Mother’s Day.

Aloha, Renée

photo-Mother's-Day

My dear Mom and Dad – my pesky sister, Patty (who turned out great on the left) and me on the right.  We were probably about 6 & 8 years old.   Essential people in my life.

 

Banner photo by guille pozzi on Unsplash

 

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Thought for the Day: Be Kind

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” – Plato

mikito-tateisi-333584-unsplash Photo by Mikito Tateisi  on Unsplash.com

Aloha, Renée

Thought for the Day: “This we know . . .

“This we know: the earth does not belong to man [or woman]; man belongs to the earth.  All things are connected like the blood that unites us all,  Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it.  Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”

– Chief Seattle

matthew-smith-5935-unsplash

Photo: Matthew Smith   https://unsplash.com/photos/Rfflri94rs8

Aloha, Renée

Thought for the Day: “I nod . . .

“I nod to a passing stranger, and the stranger nods back, and two human beings go off, feeling a little less anonymous”  – Robert Brault

 

viktor-forgacs-140600-unsplash

Photo by Victor Forgacs on Unsplash:  https://unsplash.com/photos/PNv0pESh9Uk

Let’s greet one another.

Aloha, Renée

 

Thought for the Day: Peace

“In modern society, despite sophisticated policing systems with advanced technology, acts of terrorism still take place. Although one side has many sophisticated techniques for keeping track of the other side, that other side is becoming more creative in carrying out their crimes. The only true guardian of peace lies within a sense of concern and responsibility for your own future and an altruistic concern for the well-being of others.”

From: “Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Inner Peace: The Essential Life and Teachings” p. 155.

https://www.amazon.com/Dalai-Lamas-Little-Inner-Peace/dp/1571746099

Banner photo by JD Rincs on Unsplash

Aloha, Renée

Poetry: “A Brave and Startling Truth”

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it. “
Maya Angelou

From: <https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/a-brave-and-startling-truth/>

Maya Angelou

Listen to Maya Angelou reads this poem in front of the UN in 1994: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjEfq7wLm7M>

For an even better version of this poem that also encourages us to be for others a rainbow in a cloud, go to <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfdJnNMydIk>

Maya Angelou was inspired to write this poem after seeing the photo of Earth taken by Voyager 1 on February 14, 1990 – and reading Carl Sagan’s reflection on that view of our “pale blue dot.

In contemplating this view of Earth, Carl Sagan wrote:

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

— Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

Carl Sagan

Copyright © 1994 by Carl Sagan

From: <http://www.planetary.org/explore/space-topics/earth/pale-blue-dot.html>

Aloha – in light and love, Renée

Banner photo – This image of Earth is one of 60 frames taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft on February 14, 1990 from a distance of more than 6 billion kilometers (4 billion miles) and about 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane.

Let’s Get Cooking: Chia Seed Delight

I love the nutritional benefits of chia seeds — and the way just having some fills me up. I don’t get hungry between meals when I include a teaspoon of chia seeds in my oatmeal or water bottle!

Because my Brazilian friend Rosita has asked for dessert recipes, I’ve kept my eyes open for something relatively healthy (since it is still January and most of us want to keep our New Year resolutions for healthy choices).

Here’s a recipe that you could use to start your day or serve as a tasty, healthy, colorful dessert.

From the November/December 2018 issue of “Eating Well” magazine, comes –

“Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!” — Fruity Chia Pudding

Active: 5 minutes Total: 8 hours, 5 minutes

To Make Ahead: Refrigerate pudding for up to 3 days. Mixed with a fruity base and refrigerated, chia seeds expand to form a thick, creamy texture similar to tapioca pudding . . .

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup blackberries, raspberries and/or diced mango (fresh or frozen) divided
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole-milk plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup granola

Directions:

  1. Purée 1 1/4 cups fruit and milk in a blender or food processor until smooth. Scrape into a medium bowl; mix in chia, syrup and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.
  2. Divide the pudding between 2 bowls, layering each serving with 1/4 cup of the remaining fruit, 1/4 cup yogurt and 2 tablespoons granola.

Serves: 2 about 1 1/3 cups each.

Nutritional Facts:

  • Cal 343/Fat 15G (Sat 3G)/Chol 8MG/Carbs 39G/Total Sugars 18G (Added 6G)/Protein 14G/Fiber 14G/Sodium 125MG/Potassium 573MG

**Chia seeds are packed with fiber, a nutrient Americans [and others] often fall short on. Just 2 tablespoons provides a whopping 9 grams of fiber (p. 44).

Be healthy and enjoy this yummy dish for breakfast — and/or dessert..

Aloha, Renée

2019 Women’s March – Maui

We were back at UHMC for the third time – for many of the same issues. Again, the spirit was mainly up-beat with the knowledge that there is much to be done – and we can unite – and we will not wait for others to speak and act for us.

The third Woman’s March – Jan. 19, 2019 at the UHMC campu

Women and men, old and young gathered for a few hours of music, inspiring speakers, socializing, learning about new issues, and just generally being re-inspired to keep working for the values we support.

Nursing professor Kathleen brought her daughter. Paddling sister Gail brought her 90-year-old mother and two sisters from the U.S. Mainland.
Flags and banners added color and declared interests

According to “The Maui News,” about 2,000 people participated in our Women’s March in Kahului. One participant expressed what many felt: “he came out to support women’s rights and to support the planet’s rights and to try to have solidarity with everyone who’s turning to the positive side instead of the negative side” (A 1).

One of our Maui event organizers, Robin Pilus, noted, “At the very beginning, we felt we could make a difference; it seemed like we could sprint, with all that energy. Now we realized it will be a long-distance run.” (A 3).

I thought this sign was from an environmental group – but no. Many signs were fun and funny!

The guy with the bullhorn from last year was back. As we marched off campus, he screamed at us, “You are going to hell!!” One of his signs noted, “Feminism makes women hate men!” Most of us just ignored him since he showed no interest in actually talking with anyone. He might actually want to check his sources. 🙂 Science is good.

Many groups came: Moms Demand Action – for sane gun laws; http://www.KeepYour Power.org – because of carcinogen components involved, this group is against 5G cell antennas and “Smart Meters”; Pro-Choice – for a woman’s rights over her body; LGBT groups for human rights; immigrants – for just treatment; people concerned about the U.S. Navy plans to have training missions in our beautiful waters and near shores; environmental groups – for protection of our marine life and shores. . . .

Other signs said, “Build Houses, Not Walls,” “Compassion for All”. . .

This was on my T-shirt – getting new voters to sign up is what I like to do.

I carried this sign. The back declared, “We Stand Against Oppression! Flo, who I know from water testing and the Humpback Whale Sanctuary, made my sign and others. Mahalo 🙂
Helping and supporting one another is what our community does.

Many people came to the march, and we know that many more were with us in spirit.

We have much hope for the future.

There is much for everyone to do. Let’s keep working. Blessings and hope to you wherever you are.

Aloha, Renée

Thoughts for the Day: “Just for Today . . .”

As we are beginning a new year, we often set goals and think about improving ourselves and our lives. The following credo from Al-Anon offers excellent guidelines

“JUST FOR TODAY I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle all my problems at once. I can do something for 12 hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Just for today I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Just for today I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my “luck” as it comes, and fit myself to it.

Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.

Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count. I will do at least two things I don’t want to do—just for exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.

Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, keep my voice, low, be courteous, criticize not one bit. I won’t find fault with anything, nor try to improve or regulate anybody but myself.

Just for today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.

Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself, and relax. During this half hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective of my life.

Just for today I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.”

Let’s work on ourselves first as a way to improve our lives and our world.

Happy 2019! Many blessings to you and your family – and your community.

Aloha, Renée

U.S. Navy Plans for Special Operations Training in Maui County (and beyond)

The U.S. Navy in its practice for war has a history in Maui County. Among other actions, Navy used our eighth largest Hawaiian island, Kaho’olawe, a place sacred to Hawaiians, for target practice. Starting in 1941. Kaho’olawe was transformed into a bombing range with ship-to-shore bombardment and later with American submarines testing torpedoes by firing them at shoreline cliffs.  They even simulated the blast effects of nuclear weapons on shipboard weapon systems.  Although Kaho’olawe is about six miles from Maui, our island windows shook at the bombing impacts.  During the Navy testing and practice, a few of the torpedoes missed  – and landed on Maui!  

Despite decades of protest, the Navy continued the bombings until 1990! The results: a dead island where although over 9 million tons of debris and un-exploded ordinances have been removed, no one can live, no one can even visit without getting special permission because it is still too dangerous to be there.  I can see Kaho’olawe from the deck of my house. The Navy spent millions to clean it up, but there are still un-exploded Navy bombs there; I’m not likely ever to go there.  

The U.S. Navy has a new plan. According to the January 4, 2019 edition of “The Maui News,” the Navy says, “[T]here will be no live-fire or amphibious assault craft and aircraft landings as part of their proposed exercises around Maui County . . .The Navy is proposing nearshore water training in the county, which will include naval special operation personnel diving and swimming and launching and recovering small vehicles designed to operate underwater” (A 1).

Also, the Navy had said they would accept public comment until today (January 7) – but before the deadline, they announced they had decided to go ahead with their proposals!

What the Navy says in its plan to go ahead with training exercises is much more limited than what it puts forth as possibilities in the four huge volumes of its Hawaii-Southern California plan.

A Navy training area site on Maui looks close to the Kihei Canoe Club, Maui Canoe Club, the Pinks, the Kihei Youth Center, many homes, townhouses, vacation condos, and the longest uninterrupted white sand beach in our state.  Also nearby are Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (the only U.S. sanctuary dedicated to the protection of humpback whales and their marine environment); the critically endangered hawksbill turtles nest along these beaches.

Images below are from the Navy’s proposal on display at our Kahului Public Library:



Report and images from <http://go.usa.gov/xUnDC>

Please join me and many others in Hawaii (and beyond); say NO to U.S. Navy practice for war — above, on, and below our beautiful ocean waters, off shore, near shore, and on land! 

Instead, the U.S. Navy could practice peace.  Because of the changing climate and the resulting weather related impacts, the Navy could be sending out forces for training and rescue and rebuilding.  They could do more missions of real search and rescue:  people need help in Indonesia, Saipan . . . California.  Flint, Michigan could have all its corroded water pipes replaced.  The infrastructure needs in the U.S. are endless.  Our military personnel could be learning useful and welcomed skills. 

If you live on Maui, have visited here, or want to come some day, let your voice be heard. If you care about humpback whales, Hawaiian monk seals, endangered marine life, coral, let your voice be heard. Our U.S. military could be instruments of peace.

If it is still January 7, 2019, where you are, please let the U.S. Navy know how you feel by sending an email to <NFPAC-RECEIVE@navy.mil>.

Then, any time, please email Hawaii Governor David Y. Ige at <https://governor.hawaii.gov/>. Whether you live here or not, he needs to know what you think.

We live in a very special place of Hawaiian aloha and beauty. We hope you find it that way when you come to visit.

In Peace & Aloha, Renée

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