Coronavirus season check in

8 04 2020

Aloha studio fans and friends,

Self isolation has been the status quo during the COVID19 pandemic. On the wall calendar here in Kaaawa, I wrote DAY 1 on March 11, 2020. I have stayed inside, literally, since then except for a couple of car trips to the nearby post office dropbox and into the garden to rake leaves from the avocado and mango trees. It’s been rather peaceful.

I want to share what I’ve been doing during this odd time to add to the basket of ideas. No doubt you are finding things to do at home as well. I feel that as a community we should help each other if we can. Here goes, in no particular order:

—Early on, I sewed washable face masks for hospital emergency room nurses who I know personally. Those are my cousins in the top photo. I used online instructions from three different websites. Luckily I have a sewing machine and materials. I turned cloth napkins and designer tea towels into cheerful PPEs.

Cloth napkins repurposed into face masks

—I play piano music every day. I saw that in Italy people were opening their windows and sharing their singing. Piano arrangements by Mark Hayes are my current favorites. So why not? I hope my neighbors don’t mind.

Mark Hayes with me and Rev. Danette Kong in the pink lei

—As long as there was flour in the house I baked pizza, bread, and double-crusted dessert pies—apple and banana. And, as we have time, I cooked soup. Any leftovers could be frozen for later, I thought, but there weren’t any leftovers!

Warm, fragrant banana pie with flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, lime, and butter. Mmmm…

—From stretchy t-shirts with cute messages, I sewed washable surgical caps requested by my nurse pal Lei. After a little experimenting, I drafted my own pattern.

—I cut flowers and brought them inside.

Red ginger, pink ginger, lime puff, lauaʻe fern 

—I sent money to people who ordinarily bank on my payment for income, for example, my vocal coach and the neighborhood diner. The designated grocery shopper for our household did a couple of big shoppings before the market chain announced some of its stores were shutting down. Luckily, our branch remains open so far.

Jazz guitarist and bass player Robert, who is the proprietor of Uncle Bobo’s BBQ restaurant in Kaaawa

—In the beginning I did some discretionary online shopping, but I quickly realized how dangerous that is. I nipped that one in the bud.

—I made voice phone calls to family and friends. In this day of texting and Facebook, we forget that we can dial to hear the voices of our loved ones.

—I limit the time watching television news and my time on Facebook. I prefer the programs on PBS.

—I am trying to declutter stuff. Why do we have so much stuff?

—On my Facebook page I am posting “Fine-art posting #, coronavirus season,“ one each every day, of one of my paintings. I have a lot of inventory!

—If there is one thing I have a good supply of, it is hand soap. For Easter, in lieu of the traditional egg hunt, I plan to put out at the end of our driveway a basket of—wait for it—soap!

Not soap

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you all. Stay safe. Wash your hands. With love,

Rebekah





A pause to enjoy the fruits of my labor

24 03 2020

Many weeks ago I was interviewed by a Japanese magazine about my art. The editor, local translator, photographer, and I met at Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden, a scenic and photogenic spot in windward Oahu.

Impression Gold was planning an issue entitled “Hawai’i the Door to the Art Resort” for American Express card members. For me, it was a unique experience. Usually I am the one writing the stories and making the images.

Today I went to the post office to fetch mail. (Everyone is being careful to avoid the coronavirus.) What a surprise to receive a complimentary copy of the magazine with a two-page spread about me, my hand-dyed tissue paper collages, and my oil paintings. How exciting! I only wish I could read Japanese. Can you?

 

Many thanks to editor Mr. Yoshiaki Nimura and team.

~ Rebekah





I’m still here

16 03 2020

Aloha to everyone. I’m still here at the studio in Kaaawa, isolating myself from the current COVID19 corona virus pandemic. As I fall into the elderly age category, I thought early on that it would be best to stay inside.

I canceled all my appointments right away, and I sent money to the services I normally patronize to ease their stress of losing income. I bought gift certificates from restaurants.So far, so good, and I am not sick. I wrote to my friends in Italy, and they replied they are well but vigilant.

DH went out for groceries and reported all was calm at the market. I wiped down each item with vinegar solution before putting it away.

I watch TV and check Facebook, keeping in mind that I can think for myself. As always, one has to discern fact from fiction and opinion.

I came across an article that I share below, via my friend Naomi’s feed—giving credit to the original author.

Naomi, who lives in Germany, wrote: Saw this and had to steal it!

“Lockdown
Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.”
Brother Richard Hendrick (Ireland)
March 13th 2020

Friends, please keep the faith, be well, sing, and know that you are loved.

~ Rebekah





From icky to humorous; a Hawaiian language lesson

3 03 2020

In papa ʻŌlelo (Hawaiian language class) we are learning about possessives as well as how to build sentences, being mindful of verb tenses. I offered a descriptive sentence from a real-life experience that kumu Keoua Nelsen had fun with:

There was a dead rat in the glove compartment of my car.

Ahahaha!

Translation: There are some dead rats in our car! How many dead rats are in your car? 7 dead rats! Oh, really?! Best that you swap for a new car!

Don’t worry. We cleaned it out!

~ Rebekah

P.S. The Hawaiian for glove compartment is “ka pahu mikilima,” literally “the mittens box.”





My choral (and) conducting gurus

28 01 2020

Mark Hayes with me and Rev. Danette Kong in the pink lei

This past weekend I attended a three-day choral music workshop by well-known pianist-composer Mark Hayes. Keawalaʻi Congregational Church at Mākena, Maui, founded in 1832, was the venue.

My takeaway, literally, was a folio of sacred and secular music and a series of published articles on how to improvise at the piano. I later found all of the “Improv Notes” on the www.markhayes.com website. One can download them for free.

I am reminded of other times in Honolulu and at Cannon Beach, OR, when I was fortunate as a chorister to sing under the baton of Rodney Eichenberger who is associated with Florida State University. He has coined the motto “what they see is what they get.” I found a Facebook page named “The Rodney Eichenberger Cult.” Indeed, he has a following!

I mined the internet and found “The Life and Philosophy of Choral Conductor Rodney Eichenberger, Including a Detailed Analysis and Application of His Conductor-Singer Gestures” by Adam Jonathan Con. The preview of the book at books.google.com is a fine description.

I’m now inspired to sing in a spring concert with my group, the Windward Choral Society, this February 9, at 4 pm, at St. John Vianney Parish in Kailua, Oahu. We will be singing African-American, spiritual, and gospel numbers. Susan McCreary Duprey directs.

The best part of the weekend on Maui was meeting up with my cousins Rev. Danette Kong, who is the music director at Keawalaʻi Congregational Church, and Steven Lum and Prince Steven who came from Oahu and joined us at this beautiful spot.

Looking toward East Maui from Mākena

Keawalaʻi Congregational Church

L to r: cousins Steven, Prince, Rebekah, and Danette

~ Rebekah





Give and take

17 01 2020

Hibiscus

Rocky of Ohana Tree Service and his crew of six gave the yard a haircut that should last for two years, he said. Except for the vegetable and flower boxes that I’m now encouraged to renew myself, the place looks very tidy. The kou, Maʻafala breadfruit, and avocado tree on the ma uka side are pruned back. The kou lost a huge limb in the recent wind storm.

Kou

Avocado

While they were at it, the crew shortened the height of the panax hedge and red hibiscus bushes, and they raked up all the debris. I took the opportunity to cut many tall ti leaf stalks for others to decorate Iolani Palace today, the 127th anniversary of the overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani. The property is more airy and I can see and hear the surf on the reef as a result. The neighbors are happy!

Panax

From the original bid, Rocky negotiated a higher price that we were happy to pay. We sweetened the experience with gratuities—two Maʻafala breadfruit saplings that they had been eyeing and subsequently freed from the bigger root (a prized variety) and an avocado seedling growing in a hanging basket. Avocados abound here, and although the gentlemen already had lots, one accepted, saying, “If they give, you have to take.”

~ Rebekah

P.S. — The calamansi is bearing again. More marmalade soon! RL





The twelfth day of Christmas

6 01 2020

Mister Snowman and Rudolph

We let these two stay up until the twelfth day of Christmas. Rudolph has turned off his shiny nose until next year. I mua! Onward!








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