December 10th, 2019 / posted by paularath

My beloved “Last Cat,” Eleele

Three years ago, Jerry and I had three cats: Scrimshaw (“Scrimmy”), a lovely, loving, mellow gray cat Duncan and I found at the Humane Society, who lived happily with us until he died at the age of 21; LT, a feral cat who was born in our back yard and lived on our deck and in our yard for 16 years,; and Eleele, a gorgeous but temperamental cat we adopted from Maleakahana Park who lived with us for six years before she died. (We’ll never know how old she was.)

Since we travel so much, we decided that when our “Last Cat” died, we would not have any more pets. Well…..

I have stuck with that. It’s been difficult, as I’ve always been a cat person, but I was true to my word. The litter boxes, food, cat toys – everything left the house after Eleele died. And none of it has been replaced.

Enter the geckos.

Cointreau up close.


Cointreau plays “Suck ‘Em Up” on a martini plate that’s just the right size for an alcoholic gecko.

Geckos as pets? Oh yeah. I’m THAT hard up for a tiny breathing creature to talk to around the house.

It started by accident. One evening Jerry found a gecko clinging to the side of his Cointreau bottle. It was clearly drunk on the Cointreau he licked off the bottle cap. So Cointreau the Gecko became a drinking buddy for Jerry. Soon he had his own little plate where Jerry would pour a tiny bit of Cointreau or Fireball or Vodka – whatever the big guy was drinking, the little guy got some too.

Cointreau leaves “The Pub” after getting quite inebriated.

Then a little green gecko discovered the kitchen. I met him when he was thoroughly enjoying the crumbs left on the counter under the cookie rack. Thus, he became my kitchen gecko, named Cookie.

Cookie had a baby (I think) and he became ‘Cado, as he loved the green fruit we grow in our backyard. Then there was ‘Nana for the bananas we also grow.

Cointreau takes a deep dive into alcohol.

Now the geckos (the latest is Cookie III) are my cooking companions. I talk to them while slicing carrots or prepping mahimahi.

Gecko in a coma

Recently, we had a weird – mystifying – gecko experience. The gecko in the photo above seemed to be in a coma. He hung like that, on the living room wall, for a week. He didn’t blink or move or respond to being lightly touched. Then one day he reappeared on the other side of the big picture windows. He hung there, in the same manner, for another few days.

Then we found him on the floor, unresponsive. His little life, to which clung so long, was finally over.

How on earth did he get from the wall to the floor?

I know, many people hate geckos. But they have actually become my only pets, and I seem to need a little living, breathing “pet”in my life.

Perhaps it’s time for us to bite the bullet and get down to the Humane Society for a couple of kittens?

Paula Rath


December 6th, 2019 / posted by paularath

Woodwork by Ken Smith                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Photos courtesy CJ Smith

For more than 15 years, since 1998, I started shopping for Christmas in August, at the Made in Hawaii Festival. That’s because I compiled a special gift list and wrote a Black Friday centerpiece story for The Honolulu Advertiser, with a focus on buying only made in Hawaii gifts for friends and family.

While it was always a lot of work to search and shop and photograph and describe every item, I loved working on that story. It gave a voice to the outstanding Hawaii artists and craftspeople who work all year long to make unique gifts for the local market.

My holiday Made in Hawaii gift story from 1999

I definitely don’t shop like that any longer, but occasionally a holiday art and craft fair comes to my attention that I would like to share with readers. This weekend there are two.


This holiday sale offers a plethora of gifts, from swim goggles to ukuleles, created by friends and family of the hosts.

I discovered Enso bags last year through a friend and bought several for gifts. They were really well received and now the offerings, and the prints, have expanded so I can buy more and give more.

The 2019 bag collection of Enso


Enso’s pillow cases

And there’s more….

Photo by CJ Smith


Perfect gift for the swimmer on your list


Handmade wood boxes


Handmade ukuleles

Sometimes a holiday sale serves a special cause. When the charity is Africa-based, I am always drawn to it. I lived on that continent for two years – a year in Botswana (heaven) and a year in Nigeria (hell). But those are long stories!

A friend just told me about this sale, which helps organizations in Africa, and I thought you might want to know about it too.

Date: December 7, 2019 (Saturday)
Place: 252 Kahako Street, Kailua (the Bluffs)
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

*Jewelry -extensive collection from local, national and international crafters
* Ceramic Bowls & mugs *Gourmet Homemade Treats: Fresh baked bread, scones,
cookies, breads, bugle snacks, seasoned salts, mini rum cakes, prune mui, mango-papaya-ginger jam, berry jam, homemade vanilla extract & vanilla sugar; *Duck Soup (soup, dessert mixes) and other yummy treats! *jeweled pens; * custom
wood bar stools, hall tables, business card holders *serving boards *Macramé plant
hangers *Handmade Ornaments * Hand crafted cards *Essential oil-scented body
powder * Artisan Soaps ; * Customized Journals *badge holders; Christmas baskets;
*baby quilts/blankets, *Bags *Boutique Baby Bibs, diaper shirts, burp cloths,
aprons (adult/kid) *Japanese scrolls *paracord key chain & lanyard, survival
bracelets *crystal angels & sun catchers *Obis, *microwave bowl carriers,
microwave potato bags’ *jeweled Serving Spoons * tooth fairy pillows *16-ribbed
Umbrellas * Keepsake Tabletop Christmas Trees * Artwork *Wine bottle lights
*plants; *gift baskets, *air-plants *Tea cup and assorted soy candles; *Imari and
antique Japanese pottery; *Caterpillar farm kit (live) –with instructions to raise 3
into endangered monarch butterflies; bird houses; stuffed animals+ ….and More!
Please join us for unique items and…Invite your friends too!

*This Fair offers support to the following non-profits: * MADE IN HOPE (empowering women
& girls rescued from the sex trade, breaking the cycle of exploitation ) This year we will have a
silent auction for Made in Hope.*Advocates for Africa’s Children; *Heart for Africa &
H.O.W. (Helping caregivers & orphans in Africa)

Directions: from Pali Hwy: turn at Castle Hospital onto KALANIANAOLE hwy.
Go past the stoplight at Keolu drive, turn at the next Left –KANAPUU St.
Second right- KAHAKO St.; 4th house on right.
Info: 497 3277 (Maile or Kara) 252 Kahako Street, Kailua


December 5th, 2019 / posted by paularath

One wall of Jerry’s show. The top painting in the middle, an oil, is Jerry’s self portrait and is not for sale, as it’s my treasure; he gave it to me one Valentine’s Day!

It feels as though First Friday is coming alive again, with a focus on art rather than partying. So let’s celebrate the arts!

Come and join us on First Friday, December 6, when Jerry Mayfield celebrates his retrospective. It’s at the Louis Pohl Gallery, 1142  Bethel Street from 5 to 8 p.m.

Jerry with happy buyer Jean Yokoyama

I must inform you that two of his paintings have already sold. However, there are lots more on the walls.

Jean Yokayama was the first person in the door when the show first opened, and she bought one of my favorites, “Walk About, Talk About,” a charming watercolor with a lively group of figures sashaying along the painting. You can see it one last time on Friday before it goes to Jean’s home.

Three views of Antarctica

Jerry’s most recent work speaks to the issue of global warming in Antarctica. (Sorry about the glare – we forgot to photograph them before framing.)

On our Antarctica cruise, we expected a scene of white on white, but what we experienced were fascinating shades of blue and gray. The scenes were so appropriate for watercolors, and the views continue to inspire our work.

Please come and celebrate Jerry and his artistic talents. And while you’re in Chinatown, don’t miss the new glass show at the ARTS at Marks, sponsored by Hawaii Craftsmen. It’s spectacular!

Paula Rath

November 16th, 2019 / posted by paularath

Jerry’s singing bowl.                                                                          Photo by Jerry Mayfield

Sometimes life offers a gift that is completely unexpected and surprisingly enriching.

One such gift came to my husband, Jerry Mayfield, in the form of a Tibetan singing bowl. He found it at one of our favorite shops, Indige, in Kaimuki. Sadly, it was found during a closing sale for the shop we have come to love, and to miss.

When Jerry first saw this bowl, it was love at first sight…and sound. Indige owner, the late Ron Irwin, always generous with his knowledge and time, helped Jerry learn to make lovely lilting music with the bowl. It provides a wonderful way to relax and de-stress.

This unique bowl will be especially treasured as a remembrance of Ron, a gentle spirit who was beloved by all who knew him. Ron’s selflessness, kindness, integrity, and tremendous depth of character were recognized and appreciated by the wide community of people who were fortunate to have known him.

These belong to Zeny Ogrisseg, a yogi who is also a Shakti Sound Healer.                      Photos courtesy Zeny Ogrisseg

When we heard about the Shakti Sound Healing Concert to be held at the Still and Moving Center, featuring Tibetan singing bowls, we had to see what it was all about.

Yogi and sound healer Zeny Ogrisseg of Yoga Loft Hawaii conducts these concerts with Tibetan singing bowls, a harp, harmonium and her lovely voice singing “Goddess mantras.”

In order to fully appreciate the experience, we laid down on a mat, swaddled ourselves in a blanket, closed our eyes and allowed the soothing sounds to carry us away.

Zeny Ogrisseg in her Yoga Loft Hawaii space.

Jerry and I both felt as though we were transported to a gentler world as we lay on the Still and Moving Center’s magnificent mango wood floor and enjoyed the healing vibrations as they calmed us. It was a truly liberating experience, and we both felt as though we had been on a little vacation. Yes, we will attend another one next time the Still and Moving Center offers it. So relaxing, and far less complicated than a vacation.

Zeny is holding a Shakti Vibronics  event on November 23 at Yoga Loft, 94-547 Uke’e Street, #205, Waipahu.

-Paula Rath




October 24th, 2019 / posted by paularath

Six little tropical fishes in exquisitely detailed enamel comprise the mystery bracelet.

This is the story of a mysterious bracelet that entered my life shortly after Mother died in 2013.

My sister, Roberta Rath Cullen, and I were going through Mother’s dressing table and discovered the bracelet, which neither of us had ever seen before. This seemed odd because Mother made a point of giving her treasured things away to her three kids and four grandkids throughout her later years. (She had a great give-away system, which I will share in a future blog.)

Three of the fish up closer.

I always wondered what the story of this bracelet might be. It must have been highly significant, or surely Mother would have given it away.

Recently, I was polishing some silver and decided to polish these fish, which are made of silver and had totally blackened over the years.

Aha! There, neatly etched on the back of the orange fish, was the following: RHR – JLJ, 9-10-37.

That would be my father, Robert Helsher Rath, inscribing a gift to my mother, Jacqueline Lee Jacobs, on September 10, 1937.

RHR-JLJ 9-10-37

My parents’ love was somewhat legendary. They met at a U.H.-Manoa beach party when mother was 16, a freshman at U.H. , and Daddy was 22, working as an office boy at Alexander & Baldwin. (Ahem, Daddy had no idea she was only 16, as she was 5′ 8″ and very mature.)

Daddy was known around the Jacobs household as “the barefoot boy who wouldn’t go away.” Sure enough, he stuck around for 66 years, until he passed away in 2006.

I remembered that my mother often spoke about her graduation trip with her father, Col. James Paul Jacobs, when they spent four or so months going around the world from Hawaii until he left her at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland.

In the 1930s, parents and their children shared passports.

I dug around for a passport and proof of her departure date. And guess what? It was September 10, 1937.

This wonderful bracelet, featuring Daddy’s beloved Hawaiian fish (he was the rare fisherman who could throw net off a reef or set a lobster trap beyond the reef, or put a pole in the sand at Yokohama Bay and provide dinner for the family), was his parting gift to the love of his life as she went off to college 5,000 miles away.

It was a remarkable romance. Daddy had never been to the Mainland before, but he and his eldest brother drove across the country at some point during those three years and he was able to visit Mother for a few days.

Meanwhile, they had agreed to date other people, but return to one another in Honolulu after she graduated.

Date other people? Oh yeah. At least she did! Mother once said with a secretive smile “I dated every Phi Beta Kappa at Johns Hopkins,” the brother school of Goucher College. I’m pretty sure Daddy was dating too, but neither of them ever forgot each other, not for a moment.

And I’m guessing she wore this fish bracelet every day she was away in remembrance of “the barefoot boy who wouldn’t go away.”

Mother returned to Hawaii in the summer of 1940, and I recall they told me that Daddy took a friend’s boat out to meet Mother’s ship as it came into Honolulu Harbor. They were married on August 28, 1940.

Jacky and Bobby Rath on their wedding day.

Now I wear this treasured bracelet often and it’s a reminder of the great love from which I came, a love that survived many years and great distances, only to grow stronger.

-Paula Rath