Marlo at dawn

Sunday morning. A few clouds. A brisk wind whipped up the surface of the ocean. The sun was just making its appearance from behind Koko Head and Koko Crater. I had fallen behind the rest of our small morning group to take a couple of pictures.

And Marlo was sticking close to me, hoping that a snack-size dog biscuit might suddenly appear out of my pocket.

His person was already quite a ways up the beach, but Marlo was focused on me. I did eventually offer him a treat, but not till later in the walk.

By the way, he is a very cute dog, and an effective beggar.

Tomorrow is the Kuhio Day holiday in Hawaii. Tuesday is the memorial service for my sister. The following week, I’ll be tagging along while Meda attends the Pacific Sociological Association annual conference in Portland, Oregon.

And so it goes.

March 26, 2017

Applying for a Certificate of Hawaiian Birth

When my Hawaiian grandmother and her sister were born, in the last years of the Hawaiian kingdom, they did not receive birth certificates. At that time, there were many births at home, or at the homes of family friends serving as midwives, where the formalities such as birth certificates were not part of the process.

So some 60 years later, in mid-1948, the two women each submitted an application for a Certificate of Hawaiian Birth. This involved providing testimony about their parents and siblings, with supporting testimony by family friends who could verify they had been born in Hawaii.

My grandmother, Heleualani Eva Cathcart Yonge, was the older sister. Helen Mary Kahooilimoku Cathcart McPherson was two years younger. Their father, Robert William Cathcart, was Irish. Their mother, Kina, was Hawaiian.

The records show their applications were supported by Jennie Wilson, who was married to then-Honolulu mayor and one of the founders of Hawaii’s Democratic Party, John H. Wilson.

Wilson testified she was a “schoolmate” of the girls’ mother, Kina.

Further support also came from Harriett Baker, who I know little about. Baker testified that Helen was born at her family home, near the corner of Punchbowl and Vineyard, with her mother assisting in the birth.

In any case, I found portions of their applications, with some of the supporting testimony, in my sister’s papers. These were duplicated from copies made in 1979 and filed in the Mormon’s genealogical library.

–> View portions of the Applications for Certificate of Hawaiian Birth filed by my grandmother and her sister in 1948.

Feline Friday is here again!

Toby welcomes you to this week’s Feline Friday!

Mr. Toby

It’s been a relatively uneventful week in our feline household. No vet visits. Little squabbling. Lots of afternoon sun.

We are trying to break up the boredom of being inside cats by bringing out the cat toys at least a couple of times a week, and offering catnip now and then. I think kittens have an easier time indoors because they’re always playing. Our geriatric cats don’t go into play mode on their own very often. Annie will turn on her afterburners every now and then for a run from one end of the house to another, and Romeo regularly makes a pest of himself to get me to either feed him or play with him. Beyond that, it’s mostly eat and nap. Hence the number of photos of cats curled up or splayed out in various parts of the house.

–> See all of this week’s Friday Felines!

Worth waiting for: Helen’s mango chutney

“I use mature green and turning-yellow mangoes. Peel and cut into chunks. I add 1 or 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice, cover and simmer over low heat for a few minutes. Do not cook until soft.”

So begins my mother’s mango chutney recipe. She made chutney as long as I can remember, at least as long as the trees planted in our back yard when my sister and I were born produced fruit.

My mother had studied and later taught Home Economics and food and nutrition at the University of Hawaii before WWII, and applied everything she had learned to the production of the perfect chutney.

I thought the recipe was somewhere in a box in storage along with her old recipe book. I can visualize packing that box with the intention of someday returning to copy and post her recipes.

But it seems my sister pulled the chutney recipe out and set it aside, and it never made it into storage. Luckily, yesterday I found it in a stack of wholly unrelated papers in Bonnie’s apartment. It’s one of those reasons it has taken me so long to go through all of our family’s accumulated papers, still an ongoing task.

In any case, here’s the recipe, along with notes about changed proportions my mother made over the years.

Click here to see Helen’s Mango Chutney recipe.