The Warriors

Okay Lord of the Rings nerds, you know the scene in The Two Towers where the Ents marched on Isengard? As a refresher, the Ents are the tree people. The Ents are known for being patient and deliberate. As the elder Ent named Treebeard says, we Ents do not like being roused; and we never are roused unless it is clear to us that our trees and our lives are in danger. 

I haven’t been to Hawai’i since January, so I decided to post this more recent photo instead, because I’m sitting in front of a mountain, even though it’s not Mauna Kea!

I haven’t been to Hawai’i since January, so I decided to post this more recent photo instead, because I’m sitting in front of a mountain, even though it’s not Mauna Kea!

This scene always reminds me of the Native Hawaiian side of my family. Like the Ents, Native Hawaiians are an ancient indigenous people, thought of by many as being large and harmless. Part of the scenery. Beautiful but non-threatening. Until our environment is threatened. And even then, we don’t move quickly.

Now, finally, Hawaiians all over the country, including two of my favorite celebs, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jason Momoa, have been demonstrating to stop the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project on Mauna Kea.

Like the Ents, it is our elders who are leading this fight to protect our culture and our future. This article describes how our kūpuna are our bravest warriors. They have insisted on remaining on the front line and being the first arrested, asking the younger protectors to stand down while they are taken into custody. My mom just arrived yesterday. Go mom! My youngest daughter is going over in a few weeks. Maybe they’ll be cell mates if they both get put in jail!

Our problem is not with the TMT, but with the location. Mauna Kea is a sacred place. No one would dare put a telescope on the Vatican, even if it were in an excellent location. They would simply find another spot. Same for us. Find another spot to put the telescope. This New York Times article does a good job of summarizing the issue.

This article talks about my youngest daughter’s Kumu (teacher) leading protests in Palo Alto. She is a warrior. Our local Kumu is leading our protest today. He is a warrior. Our small group of Native Hawaiians and allies plan to gather, dance, chant, and raise awareness about the TMT later this morning. Join us if you can! Time and place can be found on our group’s facebook page.

I doubt our efforts will be successful, but like Treebeard said, of course, it is likely enough, my friends, likely enough that we are going to our doom: the last march of the Ents. But if we stayed home and did nothing, doom would find us anyway, sooner or later. That thought has long been growing in our hearts; and that is why we are marching now. It was not a hasty resolve. Now at least the last march of the Ents may be worth a song.

Like the TMT scientists, we too are interested in peering into the universe and learning what is out there. But not from the vantage point of Mauna Kea. We wouldn’t put a bunch of huge telescopes on your church, synagogue, mosque, or temple, so please show some respect and don’t put another one on ours.

Mahalo,

Empty Nest Obsessed 🐾

Disclaimer: I love to try new products. I’m particularly interested in eco-friendly household cleaning products and I’m obsessed with anti-aging skin and hair care products. If I find something that works for me, I’ll let you know! Please note that I am not being paid (yet!) for any of my product recommendations. It that changes, I’ll certainly let you know.

Comments Policy: Empty Nest Obsessed is a lifestyle blog meant to encourage, inspire, and support you as you navigate your own empty nest. In order to keep the tone positive, I reserve the right to moderate, edit, or delete any comments on Empty Nest Obsessed’s website or social media accounts that are negative, abusive, off-topic, or for any other reason. If you want to Comment as a Guest, your name is the only required field. Type in your name and your comment, and then click “Comment as Guest” and thank you for engaging!

The Sicilian

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The other day I ran into a friend who I hadn’t seen in a long time. He asked “are you still married to the Sicilian?” Why yes, yes I am! In fact, we just celebrated our 26th anniversary the other day.

The older I get, the more I appreciate my relationships. I’m so grateful for the Sicilian, our kids, my parents, and my dogs. I’ve got great in-laws (more Sicilians). And, I appreciate my friends, new and old.

I love meeting new people, especially my kids’ friends. I think everyone has an age that they like best. Some people, like my husband and my dad, are great with babies.

Everyone loves toddlers. Because toddlers are adorable.

Not sure who likes middle schoolers.

Me, I like teenagers. Not sure why, other than that they are great. Actually I do know why. Teenagers are so cool but still so sweet. Teenagers are always welcome in my home.

Now that my daughters are both in college, I’m meeting some amazing young adults. Computer scientists, future teachers, artists, and environmentalists. Interesting, smart, young people who are going to save our planet. I can’t wait to see the beautiful future that they build.

I also madly cherish my old friends. My oldest friend and his gorgeous daughter are here this weekend to celebrate his mom’s 80th birthday. He has known me since I was born, so I can truly say I have loved him my whole life. Almost half of a century.

We don’t have that much in common. He’s a 6’2” tall man with a PhD in economics. I’m a 5’0” woman with a JD and a dog blog. His kids are tall, blond Scandinavians. Mine are Sicilian lovelies, who look like marzipan tastes and orange blossoms smell.

Our differences don’t matter though. My friend and I both love stupid 80s music (we are big Bryan Adams and John Cougar Mellencamp fans). We like Oreo cookies with milk. We’ve travelled the world together. When we travel, he has to pay for everything and make all of the plans, and in return, I let him.

Friends are important. Old and new. Even if you only get to see them on social media or every so often in person. I hope you treasure your friends and that you tell them so. It’s important.

Warmly,

Empty Nest Obsessed 🐾

Disclaimer: I love to try new products. I’m particularly interested in eco-friendly household cleaning products and I’m obsessed with anti-aging skin and hair care products. If I find something that works for me, I’ll let you know! Please note that I am not being paid (yet!) for any of my product recommendations. It that changes, I’ll certainly let you know.

Comments Policy: Empty Nest Obsessed is a lifestyle blog meant to encourage, inspire, and support you as you navigate your own empty nest. In order to keep the tone positive, I reserve the right to moderate, edit, or delete any comments on Empty Nest Obsessed’s website or social media accounts that are negative, abusive, off-topic, or for any other reason. If you want to Comment as a Guest, your name is the only required field. Type in your name and your comment, and then click “Comment as Guest” and thank you for engaging!

My Dog Blog

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If you’ve been following my blog, Empty Nest Obsessed, you’ve already met Coconut, my English Bulldog. I wanted to introduce you to my other dog, Stella. She’s a lovely old black lab. We got her from animal control (the “dog pound”) about 9 years ago, and she is perfect. She is low maintenance and great with kids, but she smelled really terrible. We tried everything. We got her groomed professionally, we changed her diet, and we tried fancy dog sprays. Then, we got Coconut, and everything changed. Stella started acting younger and more playful, and she started smelling better. Not sure why, but having a little buddy really cheered her up and miraculously resolved her odor issues. Turns out that friendship (canine or otherwise) really is the fountain of youth and the antidote to body odor!

Warmly,

Empty Nest Obsessed 🐾

Disclaimer: I love to try new products. I’m particularly interested in eco-friendly household cleaning products and I’m obsessed with anti-aging skin and hair care products. If I find something that works for me, I’ll let you know! Please note that I am not being paid (yet!) for any of my product recommendations. It that changes, I’ll certainly let you know.

Comments Policy: Empty Nest Obsessed is a lifestyle blog meant to encourage, inspire, and support you as you navigate your own empty nest. In order to keep the tone positive, I reserve the right to moderate, edit, or delete any comments on Empty Nest Obsessed’s website or social media accounts that are negative, abusive, off-topic, or for any other reason.

IKEA cult classic, improved!

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Probably the most well known hack for parents of college-age kids is the blue IKEA FRAKTA bag. They are cheap, durable, and you can pack an entire dorm room worth of stuff in 6-8 bags. They zip and you can carry them as a backpack or a front pack. IKEA just announced that for Pride Month in June, the iconic FRAKTA shopping bag will be available in a multicolored rainbow version called the KVANTING. I haven’t seen these in person, but from the picture, it looks like the KVANTING doesn’t zip, so you still might want to get some FRAKTAs too. One hundred percent of the profits from the KVANTING will go to support the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's (HRCF) children, youth and families programs. HRCF is the educational branch of the nation’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people (LGBT+). The limited-edition bag will be sold in IKEA stores for $3.99, starting June 1, until supplies last. They are available in-stores only, so if you go, please pick up a few for me!

Warmly,

Empty Nest Obsessed

Disclaimer: I love to try new products. I’m particularly interested in eco-friendly household cleaning products and I’m obsessed with anti-aging skin and hair care products. If I find something that works for me, I’ll let you know! Please note that I am not being paid (yet!) for any of my product recommendations. It that changes, I’ll certainly let you know.

Comments Policy: Empty Nest Obsessed is a lifestyle blog meant to encourage, inspire, and support you as you navigate your own empty nest. In order to keep the tone positive, I reserve the right to moderate, edit, or delete any comments on Empty Nest Obsessed’s website or social media accounts that are negative, abusive, off-topic, or for any other reason.

Happy Mother's Day! To breed or not to breed, that is the question.

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After my youngest child left for college, I realized how quiet my days had become. Without the kids at home, my days felt long and lonely.

I grew up with black labs. When I was growing up, our black labs were duck-hunting dogs that lived most of their lives outside. So, getting a snow-white English Bulldog puppy named Coconut from my husband for Christmas was quite a treat for me. Obviously, there are many animals that need rescuing (we got our last black lab from our local animal shelter) but in this situation, getting Coconut was just what I needed. It might not work for you, but getting a puppy was an effective salve for empty nest syndrome for me.

Now, Coconut is my constant companion. Taking care of her keeps me busy and happy. She sleeps under my desk while I work, and when I need a break, she is always up for a walk.

Our vet recommended that we spay Coconut when she is one year old. However, I can’t stop thinking about breeding her because I’m completely obsessed with English Bulldog puppies. They are so cute. I’ve talked with several people about the pros and cons of breeding. They say that breeding an English Bulldog is risky, expensive, and a ton of work, but the idea of having a house full of puppies is irresistible. Given the risks involved, it is unlikely that I’ll actually do it, but I’ll keep you posted! Perhaps in a few months I’ll be posting pictures of my adorable English Bulldog puppies.

Warmly,

Empty Nest Obsessed 

Welcome to Empty Nest Obsessed!

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Hi, my name is Lili. Welcome to my lifestyle blog, Empty Nest Obsessed. When my youngest child left for college, empty nest syndrome hit me hard. Through a lot of trial and error, I am learning to love the empty nest. Empty Nest Obsessed is a blog meant to encourage, inspire, and support you as you learn to love your own empty nest. Some of the topics I cover at Empty Nest Obsessed include Food, Fitness, Bulldogs, & more!

I love to try new products. I’m particularly interested in eco-friendly cleaning products and I’m obsessed with anti-aging skin care products. If I find something that works for me, I’ll let you know! Please note that I am not being paid (yet!) for any of my product recommendations. It that changes, I’ll certainly let you know.

Comments Policy: Empty Nest Obsessed is a lifestyle blog meant to encourage, inspire, and support you as you navigate your own empty nest. In order to keep the tone positive, I reserve the right to moderate, edit, or delete any comments on Empty Nest Obsessed’s website or social media accounts that are negative, abusive, off-topic, or for any other reason.

Warmly,

Empty Nest Obsessed