Cherry Rhubarb Hand Pies

“John Fogarty: (singing) Rhubarb pie, rhubarb pie, it might rain tomorrow, better get some before I die…”

When I was kid, I didn’t know what to think of Rhubarb. It was one of those things you either liked or hated; like Brussels Sprouts or Sweet Yams covered in Marshmallows or even the horrendous, Frog Eye Salad.

My keiki likes rhubarb. But even more interesting, I think she likes it because her dad likes it. Everytime we are at the market and it’s available she will ask to get it so she can make him some.

In her Kid Chef cookbook, she won at last year’s Poudre District Elementary Cooking Competition, is a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Tarts and she has been asking to make them for about as long as she’s had the book. Why the hesitation? Making your own pie dough. Folks make it sound really difficult, time consuming and safer to just go with a premade dough. But here’s the thing: 1. We like food challenges, 2. We have plenty of time, 3. In slow living is also the joy of working on something and accepting that it might not work out. It’s the experience that matters.

These worked out so well. I was nervous about taking the flavor in a different direction with the Cherries, but I actually think cherries and rhubarb belong together more than strawberries and rhubarb, just sayin’. They were just what was needed after a long hot day and my cupkeiki beamed with pride. And bonus, I got to spend a few hours with my girl doing something new, something that we both like and watch her take the reigns and call the shots on things with confidence.



Yesterday I took my cupkeiki to the 4th of July Parade here in Fort Collins. We sat for an hour in a shady spot surrounded by excited kids, my cupkeiki occasionally stood for candy and I mostly wondered if she thought it was as cool as I thought the parades were when I was a kid. I felt like she was being robbed of a real good time- like when the firetrucks actually sprayed water from their engines and candy could be thrown without worrying about whether some kid was “hurt”. There was Jazzercise, Golden Girl Batons, cheerleaders, builders, City of Fort Collins Public Services and Recreation, classic cars, youth athletics, go-karts, baseball players dressed in uniforms similar to those of the ’20’s or earlier, Veterans , Veterans for Peace … Shockingly, not many veterans marched this year…even more shocking- hardly anyone stood for the few that did pass by (at least in my general area).

Parades are supposed to be filled with enthusiasm. The floats are meant to excite the watchers…maybe it was just me, but it wasn’t very exciting. And so I wondered how she felt sitting there with a lackluster face, half interested in obtaining candy while the children across from us and next to us jumped up and down, waved and hollered and scored all the candy and freebies. I tried to get her excited, saying “oh look, here comes some candy!!” and “here they come, here they come!!” It didn’t go the way I thought it would. Maybe next year will be different.

One thing that truly made me irritated and irrationally cautious were the police dressed in their bullet proof vests walking amongst the crowd. One group had a dog with them and the dog was, for lack of a better phrase- kind of on edge. It was making every attempt to pull its human partner near a particular person, who just seemed to be walking to their group near the parade. This dog pulled and refused to move away and I was disappointed that the interaction was even occurring in this “family friendly” environment. I told my cupkeiki when I first noticed all these vested officers that, no matter what we stick together and if we were to be separated here’s how to get home and to go without stopping for anyone. And that sounds like a ridiculous thing to be telling a child, but anymore it seems necessary.

I didn’t think any more of it after we left. We went to work for the rest of the afternoon and then waited out the rain to go to the park…where there were again, several vested officers. This time my SO pointed out the officers. Last year they seemed to just be cruising in uniform, this year they looked ready for something more violent. What can one say? I guess I’m glad they are ready for the potential but also disappointed.

On a side note, I was glad to see people still lighting little fireworks, sparklers and throwing pop-its in their neighborhoods. Our city council has restricted fireworks, encouraged neighbors to “tell” on others and heavily fined those that do light them, taking away what I think is a true American summer past time. I salute those that went for it despite the hefty fine ($2,000).

Lei for my Cupkeiki

This morning, super last minute, I decided to try my hand at making a fresh flora and fauna lei for my cupkeiki. Wiliwili style-which means wrapped. I’ve watched a particular YouTube video over and over for several weeks now hoping to get it right. Something I have never done, but since she is done with first grade this afternoon, congratulations were in order! Not having all the wonderful tropical flowers of Hawaii, I worked with what was available in my back yard. Fox tail grass and a pretty delicate white flower.

I ran out of time, but my cupkeiki still appreciated it. The manimal said it reminded him of something a Wiccan would make…he would say that though.

There is a phrase:

“pu’upu’u lei pali i ka ‘ai”

“An imperfect lei stands majestic like a cliff on the neck

Mother’s Day

Thank you, my kolohe girl for giving me the opportunity to love you, teach you, support and encourage you. To guide you, and motivate you.

Thank you for letting me pick you up when you fall down. Thank you for letting me say “be careful”. Thank you for listening when I say “go for it”. Thank you for questioning everything and arguing when you disagree.

Thank you for letting me give you my heart. Thank you for trusting me. Thank you for showing me what I’m capable of. Thank you for pushing me to the limits of what I think I can handle and allowing me to see beyond what I already knew.

Our adventure together has only just begun, but if only you knew how long I waited to love and be loved by someone like you. To witness innocence, to partake in silliness, to overcome sadness and to become resilient. To open my heart to pain and happiness in new ways, to find a reason to fight for all the things I couldn’t fight for when I was young. To fight for you, and show you how beautiful the world can be when we work hard, help one another, love, and act humble.

Thank you my kolohe girl, for making me a mama. I love you beyond words.


So far, as far as we know, our house still stands. 31 homes have been destroyed, or reclaimed- depending on your view of the situation. Living in a Lava Zone One comes with the understanding that someday it could happen. The lava could return. And it has, for who knows how long.

It’s humbling, it’s incredible, it’s sad, it’s nature. It’s Pele doing work. It’s the earth doing it’s thing.

These videos are reposted from Hawaii News Now.