I'm Not on Vacation Any More!

OK, so Rick left early Monday morning and my job as tour guide is done. Now I'm in slave mode. Or dutiful daughter mode. And it's exhausting...

While Rick was here I was requested to go get some yellow ginger from a spot where I saw it growing in the forest. So we did that one day and ever since, whenever I said "What'll I do?" Mom would say "plant ginger". I had already planted some but had another big chunk to put in the ground somewhere. But let me remind you - the soil around here is not soil, its clay. And when it's dry it has to be chiseled. So I had to be prepared to swing a pick to make a hole to plant that stuff in. I ended up digging up and preparing a large area, planted the ginger and some hibiscus she had waiting in pots.

The sun was finally too hot to work in so I found work in the shade. I decided to start doing some trimming in the garden in the front of the house, but the little chainsaw-on-a-stick they had wasn't cutting. After doing a lot of trial and error I discovered first, that the chain was on backward, and then that there was a missing washer that allowed the chain to go loose. Then, if not tightened, the back end of the chain get ridges and would bind up in the bar. Once I discovered that I went to town. So yesterday I spent most of the day (since it was supposed to be 85 degrees) in their "forest" chopping all the lower growth so they can walk around in there, I made 2 huge (the size of a VW bug?) piles of cuttings.

While I'm working Dad occasionally comes to me to ask something about Craigslist and he's been working on composing more ads. It paid off! Last night he got his first call on one of his CL ads, to "recycle" a computer. He's not sure exactly what he'll do with them but he'll apparently be getting them. He also has ads for Noni juice and computer training.

With the chickens running wild here there is the problem of disease being easily spread between the birds. Here it's botulism that kills them and it happens in big waves. I've lost track of how many have been buried since I've been here (8?) and before that there was another 11. On our last day to run around Rick and I found the Del's feed store in Lihue and bought a chicken waterer and some broad-spectrum antibiotic to try to quell the disease.

Somehow in the middle of all that work yesterday Mom and I managed to run to the thrift store so I could pick up a top to work in and stop in at Safeway and Aliomanu Beach (to pick up coral) along the way.

So for the next week this is pretty much what will be going on. Digging, chopping, painting, etc. I won't continue to bore you with all the details but if something interesting happens I'll be sure to send it along.


What? More Hawaii?

Yes, more Hawaii. And there will still be even more to come, because, even though Rick's time is nearly up, I still have about 11 more days. But that last 10 days will not be spent sight seeing. Mom and I have created quite a long list of chores around here for me to do.

But - for now - the vacation continues.

Thursday was spent working around here. Rick caulked the storage shed and I'll paint it after he's gone. While he did that I ended up working in the garden. There are lots of palm fronds that needed to be removed and I had to plant the yellow ginger I picked up for her the other day. By the end of the day we were both completely exhausted and went out to a local burger joint to eat, Bubba's Burgers.

While we were working we discovered one of Mom's chickens sitting in her box to lay an egg. Rick went to take pictures, then I copied him, she was being so trusting, not jumping out of the box when we came near. A while later we heard some of the bottles around her box falling and when I looked up to see what had happened I saw her laying among them and she didn't look good. They apparently have a problem here with the wild chickens contracting botulism. It paralyzes their legs and neck, then eventually the rest of them til they die, usually within a day. We actually found one dead by the car one of the first nights we were here and since then about 8 more have gotten sick. Dad has burial duty and buried 3 yesterday and 4 today. We're gonna see about creating a better watering setup so their water stays fresher, maybe that'll help.

Oh, yeah. While Rick was busy caulking Dad asked for him to stop to help him cut off the bunch of bananas that was finally ripe. That was quite a treat! They cut it down (Dad used a chain saw on a stick) and hung it outside to finish ripening. We get to start eating them tomorrow.

Moving on to Friday. We wanted to get up early one morning to see if we could get a nice sunrise-at-the-Kilauea-lighthouse photo session. We got there early enough but found the road to the lighthouse gated up and inaccessible. So we were forced to stay at the parking area that overlooks the inlet next to the peninsula that the lighthouse sits atop. While it didn't afford us a good shot of the lighthouse in the sunrise, or even a good shot of the sunrise, period, it did have an interesting feature we didn't realize we'd get to experience. The area is a bird sanctuary also and is home to red-footed boobies, wedge-tailed shearwaters, tropicbirds, albatross and others. When we got out of the car we were surrounded by swooping shearwaters that were nearly hitting us! The babies that we'd seen in the burrows during our trip to the lighthouse previously would occasionally get loud and sound like human babies! The trees were full of noisy boobies. The shearwaters swooping around resembled large bats. Twice we saw them run into the fence and one time the bird was having enough trouble getting away that I decided to go give it a hand. I delicately put my hand against one side and then gently folded up his other wing, pulled him from the fence and threw him up in the air! The second one turned away from the fence and flew in the opposite direction when I approached him. So, while I think we both decided to delete just about everything we took that AM it was a delightful event after all...

We have been doing so much sightseeing that we haven't had any time to souvenir shop, the other tourist pastime. I know of a few good spots to look but I started feeling a little puny so I pooped out and started getting grumpy. Rick puts up with me so well. He wanted to get some shots of other things that are unique to Hawaii, Kauai in particular so I thought it over and took him to peruse the beach and gardens at the Marriott in Lihue.

Once we were ready to go home we remembered that we'd wanted to try to find this hula show that was to be held at some hotel in Lihue but we couldn't remember the name, Kauai something. On the way I spotted one that looked like it just may be it and shure nuff, it was! We caught most of it. The musicians and singers were at least partly Hawaiian and were great, but the dancers were probably from a hula school and were mostly non-Hawaiians, aka haoles. Not too authentic. But it was fun nonetheless.

This morning Rick had to finish up caulking the shed while I fixed a lamp and cleaned and rearranged some kitchen cabinets. Then mom and I took a jaunt to the dump and then to the store for some food items. Around 2 PM we were free to go play again and guess what we did? Picture taking, of course!

Rick had a few spots in his sights that he wanted to get and so did I. Most of them were in the Kilauea and Hanalei areas so that's the direction we headed. We got most of the stuff we wanted and found the Hanalei Bay beach and pier. I had never been there. I've been missing one of the best places on the island! The atmosphere was very laid back and family oriented. There were couples walking hand in hand, older couples sitting in matching beach chairs, dad's surfing with their preschoolers, adolescents and teens jumping off the pier, paddle-boarders, surfers, etc. So much activity and a beautiful sky and sparkling water. We loved it there, in spite of the dragon!

Well, tomorrow is Rick's last day. I keep feeling like I'm leaving. I'm not, I'm just not sightseeing any more. From here on out it's all work, well mostly. Runs to the dump, picking up coral for mom to use in her garden, weeding, raking, painting, etc.

It's probably gonna feel good to go home. But not yet.

Takin' a Break

Again, we've run ourselves ragged and will stay here and "take it easy" today. We'll paint. Or caulk.

We're going to paint the storage shed on the carport and the new decking around the side of the house by the carport. I guess we have to do some caulking too. Sounds like rest, huh?

So let's see, where did I leave off?

After our last day off we spent Tuesday back on the road. We headed north again and I took Rick back to a couple places I'd only been to once before but wanted to return to. The first was "Secret beach". The hike was easier than I remember and there are now houses at the trailhead. The beach was just as beautiful as I remembered, as well as the "lava pools". We saw opihi (limpets) and these black blobs (opihis without shells?) on the rocks and a sandpiper bird running after crabs.

We did some lunch in Hanalei again and hunted around for a SD card so I could continue to take mini-videos for a project I want to do. Then we headed to Princeville for a walk down to Queen's bath, a big pool on the shore in the lava rock.

On the way out we saw a honu (green sea turtle) and the crowds said there had been as many as 20! But not when we were there, of course. The pool was murkier than the last time and the little fish would nip us if we stopped moving. I think the water had not been refreshed for a while.

These places involved walking so we only had a little time left before we had to return home to have dinner with Kalani and Dee. So we opted to check out the Blue room and forego Kee for another day (or another year). It was interesting but nothing to write home about. Up a hill to a large cave filled with water and water still dripping into it from various places in the ceiling. I think if it were earlier in the day and the light was coming into it it would have been better. But now I can say that I've been there.

Our dinner with Kalani and Dee was nice, salad, pork roast and, of course, rice. But we were a little wiped out and got to bed earlyish.

We hit the road early yesterday, we were actually out before 9 because we had a long day ahead. It worked out really nice because we made good time and squeezed a lot in. Rick spotted the Kipu area so we went ahead an saw the Kipu falls. In the 10 minutes we were there I got probably 10 mosquito bites. Rick liked the look of the rope swing so we might go back so he can give it a go. I'll just take pictures and swat bugs.

We cut across the south end of the island and stopped in Port Allen to see Glass Beach and the rock outcropping past it. The waves were putting on a great show, lots of flying, crashing water. I know of a large blow hole out there that has a small one right next to it that makes a big breathing sound just before the big one erupts. We also saw the "melted metal" (rusty car parts strewn on the rocky shore) and the Japanese cemetery.

Next we swung through Old Hanapepe Town and visited the swinging bridge. Sorry, not really picture worthy, neither was the water that it spanned.

From there we went straight to Waimea. We visited the Waimea Plantation Cottages and got some interesting shots of hammocks, Adirondack chairs, outrigger canoe, etc. The large banyan trees had all the hanging tendrils trimmed off. They looked nice but lost something without all the tendrils that normally hang all around.

We also visited the Lucy Wright Pier there in Waimea for some awesome photo opps. The day was moving nicely and the weather couldn't have been more perfect.

After eating our Subway sandwich lunch we headed up the hill to see the "Grand canyon of the Pacific", as Mark Twain called it. It's actually called the Waimea Canyon. From there we went up to see the Kalalau Valley and it was beautifully clear. The water sparkled, the hills looked like velvet and, when it started to sprinkle, Rick even managed to get a small rainbow in the picture! He was quite impressed, it's very large and extremely pretty.

We got back down the hill after following in a bunch of cars behind a Ford Flex that was doing between 15 - 25 mph the entire 20 miles, even with the guy behind him honking and having a long line of cars! He, of course, would speed up at the few passing areas that were on the road.

The drive out to Polihale was fairly uneventful. We stopped before reaching the end of the road, we started to hit some deep sand and decided not to try to drive through. But where we stopped was perfect, a bathroom with real flush toilets and trash cans up on the hill and then lots of sand and surf. The prelude to the sunset was awesome, the best sun rays I've ever seen, like a first-grader's picture of the sun. The sunset was lop-sided and colorful.

Finally, on the way home, I got a call from Mom. She wanted cake.

Who Rests on Vacation?

Well, here it is the beginning of our fourth day here and we're already finding a need to have a "takin' it easy" day.

Saturday, before the big shindig the folks had here in their carport, we headed out to see some sights. Being the tour guide I opted to start in Kilauea at the lighthouse and head north from there.

Having already been to the lighthouse area a few times myself it wasn't as amazing as it was to Rick. He totally loved it, and rightly so, it's a pretty interesting spot, a must-do for anyone visiting the island. Well worth the admission.

A new feature at the lighthouse that I've never seen before were the baby "Wedge-tailed Shearwaters" (Puffinus pacificus - serious!), that, of course is a timing thing, I've never been here in September before. These birds actually nest in burrows about 2 feet into the side of a hill. They're large birds with a 38”- 41” wingspan, so the babies that we caught snoozing in the opening of the burrows were gray fluff balls of about 6 - 8".

From Kilauea we headed toward Hanalei Valley, another of my favorite spots on Kauai.  There's this one road that goes out beside a canal and next to the taro fields that I particularly like, because, besides the interesting taro patches, it's a wildlife preserve so there are numerous types of birds to watch. We drove out past the taro so I could show Rick something I'd seen a few years back.  There's this garage right on the road that obviously belongs to a hunter, there are numerous jawbones hanging above.  I had him drive up next to it so he could see what they were and he guessed right - they're wild boar jawbones with tusks intact!

(BTW - be sure to click on these pictures to see them bigger, I kept them small intentionally to cram them all in)

We got into Hanalei town and grabbed some subway sandwiches after opting not to buy the $10 tacos from Tropical Taco and found a shaded picnic table to eat at.  It was in front of a small group of shops that were nicely landscaped and decorated so we strolled through that.  At one point Rick spotted a "gecko" on a leaf that was posing for a camera but he didn't have his so I was forced to take them.  Mom said it was a chameleon.  I looked it up and they were both wrong - it's an anole.

We continued driving past all the beaches and turned around when we hit the end of the road at Ke'e.  But we saw a road that looked interesting on the way in that was called Powerhouse Rd by the locals apparently, there was a hand made sign with that name on it.  We drove up to the end of that as well and saw the powerhouse.  It wasn't impressive at all but the gate at the end of the road sure was.  I wonder what they do back there to necessitate so much barbed wire...

After all that we got home and the folks were readying the house for the get-together.  There were about 50 attendees and they had such a good time playing their ukuleles and guitars that we had to start dropping hints that it was time to leave around 9.  I was zoning out around 8, I don't know what wore us out so much, we're guessing it was the heat.

I had a full day planned for yesterday so we got out fairly early.  We started out just hopping across the highway to see what sights the other end of Hokualele had to offer.  Then we headed toward Opaekaa Falls.  I was not impressed with them this time, they were a little puny.  We visited the Hawaiian village that was across the street from the falls and down by the river - again, not impressive.  That was not the best use of $10.  

Next we headed up Kuamoo Road to see the park at the end of the road and dig up some yellow ginger for mom.  I attempted to get some on a previous trip but ended up getting something else instead.  I got her a solid 4 feet of ginger root this time.  I found out about a neat hike up there that I might go visit later.  We discovered a nice grove of Rainbow Bark Eucalyptus and another one with white trunks just over the stream at the end of the pavement.

As we neared Lihue Rick mentioned that he was getting hungry and said we needed more beer so I suggested we hit Walmart for the beer and I could grab some cheap eats in the McD's thats inside.  We decided to head for our next destination and eat there - Ahukini Pier.

It was a nice day to wander, cooler than it has been.  We enjoyed the pier and adjacent rock outcropping and moved on toward the other lighthouse on Kauai, one I've seen from Nawiliwili many times.  I wanted to find it, it looks like an Atlantic style, different from the one at Kilauea.  That was easier said than done.  After going to the wrong spot, a little mini-lighthouse with fishermen lounging below, asking directions from them and driving around and around we finally found a parking spot that was close enough to walk to it.  But it was a good half a mile and it was HOT!  And when we were almost there I heard car wheels - you can drive to the stupid thing!  So we got a bunch of neat shots and determined to find that stupid road!  

Our last stop before heading home was Wailua Falls.  They were much prettier than Opaekaa.  And we found a pretty ranch on the way where there were cows with cattle egret sitting on their backs.  Rick got better shots of that than I did, he had the right lens.

Today we're taking it easy.  We're only going to remove a sliding glass door and water heater, then go to some beach to splash and roast.


Yep, we're in Kauai! (on Kauai?) It's early Saturday morning and the folks are still in bed. I don't find the desire to blog while the folks are up, I guess I feel like I need to spend the time visiting with them.

As I try to do when here I'm up much earlier than at home. That's for 2 reasons, 1 - I don't want to get too accustomed to this time zone, if I wake up at 6 it's already 9 at home, and 2 - it gets late here much earlier than home, I want to utilize all the daylight I can. The sunrises are always worth getting up for!

Well, we missed the sunrise this AM. We did get up and head to the beach when we got up, though. Last night we ran down to the closest beach as daylight was dwindling as we haven't touched the sand or water yet. When we got back Mom said that the monk seals like to rest at night on a part of that beacht. But they take off early so we hit the beach as early as we could - no luck. Oh, well. We'll just try again tomorrow!

The chickens were particularly amusing this morning. On our way down the road I saw something running. A small dog? It was yellow and had what looked like a red head. No, it was a great big fat rooster, just bookin' across some grass! Then when we were headed back from the beach we were coming up to a woman that was walking down the road and on the other side was a chicken, they looked as though they were walking together. Just a few yards up the road there was a rooster with his wings held out from his body chasing a hen across the street, she finally just flew up into the trees. So now I know why the chicken crossed the road - to get away for the rooster that was chasing her!

So, to go back to the beginning, our flight was late, long, full and somewhat uncomfortable. Fortunately it was only as long as it was, it would end, just keep your eyes on the prize - Hawaii! We went to Walmart from the airport in our Impala LT that we got for a song, thanks to hotwire.com. We had planned to hit some place for burgers and a beer but the flight was so arduous that we were pretty wiped out, so I just grabbed some McChicken sammiches from McD's in Walmart and we headed for the folks'.

As we're entering the Kapaa area Mom calls and tells me to get cake - she wants cake. "Safeway's open" she says. OK, we'll get cake. Mom wants cake.

We get here and start yacking, then Dad gets here from meeting and puts eyebrows up when Mom tells him we brought cake! We were dog tired but still, in the excitement, stayed up till midnight, that's 3 AM to our Washington bodies!

So yesterday was our first morning and day here and, as usual, it was spent just kinda catching up from our tiredness and excitement. We went out to a late breakfast at their favorite breakfast spot, Kountry Kitchen, then on to Costco and Walmart. In the parking lot at Costco we ran into some of their friends and found out they were headed for Polihale beach to camp - something I'd like to do. So while chatting with them she, Liz, mentioned that they spent 2 years in Minnesota. That reminded me of something funny that our circuit overseer, Bro Hricziscse, said. When I mentioned his name Liz said "oh! so-and-so Hricziscse (pronounced ra-chis-cha)?" "No" "OK, his brother Rashan and his wife Esther?" "Yeah!" They knew them! That was so funny! I also asked about camping at Polihale, since I've been wanting to do that and the condition of the road, since it's been bad and in recent years gotten worse. She ended up calling from out there to let us know that the road is fine. Nice little turn of events in that Costco parking lot!

A while after we got back to the house dad invited us to go to the Kanehe's house at the end of the street to watch them set up an imu for kalua pork. I was helping mom with some chores around here and really just wanted Dad and Rick to get to spend some time together so I stayed. I figured it would only be like a half hour or so. Well, it was more like 2 or 3 hours!

Rick took lots of pictures, they got to witness the whole process, it was really neat but all men. Kalua pork, authentic Hawaiian kalua pork, cooked in an imu, is man's cooking, even moreso than regular BBQ (haole imu, they called it). It even involved heavy machinery.

Oh, one more funny story.  When we went down to Aliomanu beach last night I grabbed a flashlight since we were rapidly losing daylight.  We started walking down the beach and I started to notice the holes and piles in the sand and remembered the crabs that make them.  I started shining the light on one when I spotted it and it just took off!  They run impressively fast.  So we continued to walk and finally stopped and stood in the waves for like 20 minutes, then started to walk back.  I was using the flashlight since it was now totally dark and shined it down the beach - the crabs were everywhere!  Running in and out of their holes and to the water, they looked like rats!  Some were smaller than an inch in width all the way up to about 4 or 5 inches, from leg tip to leg tip (do they have feet?).  So I hung on to Rick and we walked delicately by the light of the flashlight.  At one point there was a big one that waited til we were quite close and then started running toward the water but right by where we were walking, we both jumped around like the lady in the cartoon jumping from the mouse!  it was hilarious!

Well, I think we should eat breakfast and then head out for maybe the lighthouse at Kilauea, that sounds nice, eh?

Last Wknd of Summer

Why does the last week of summer always feel so rushed?  School is starting and it's our last 3 day weekend to go out and do any camping or other summer affairs.  Here in Seattle we have our annual "Bumbershoot" weekend which is a music and arts festival held at the Seattle Center, a park area at the base of the Space Needle.  Ironically Bumbershoot means "umbrella" and it usually rains.  This year was actually not too bad, some sprinkles on Saturday, Sunday was beautiful and today it finally rained.  And the rain is to continue through Wednesday at least.  Fine with us cuz Thursday we get to LEAVE FOR HAWAII!!!

Yeah, you could say I'm excited.  

But this weekend was anything but uneventful around here.  Things were going on in all our neighboring family households, all but mine that is!  Well, one event was held here but didn't really involve us, we were merely observers.  That would be Kevin and Shirley's repeating their wedding vows.  Their "re-I do".

That was small and went off well.  There was no officiant, we all dressed up with a 50's theme and played oldies, motown, etc.  Then Kevin and Shirley read vows to each other, gave each other rings and kissed!  It was actually kinda cute, and after everything they've been through in the few years since Phil's demise it looks like things are finally taking a turn for the better.  They went out that night and got hammered, then Kevin took Shirley white water rafting, I guess that wasn't too pleasant with her hangover.  I haven't gotten the whole story yet but I guess there was some kind of mishap that involved her falling out of the raft!  She's OK it looks like, so all's well.

In the meantime Denny took out the sliding glass door that was in the front of his house where the garage door once was and replaced it with a large (4' x 8') window.  Not a small job.  And while that was going on Rach and Tony removed a fence that split their back yard into 2 yards and put it back up between them and their neighbor, where the previous fence had fallen down years ago.  Busy homeowners!

After the K & S event that was held in our back yard I kinda collapsed Sunday.  I finally got up and took down the remaining decorations since it was supposed to start raining.  It was such a beautiful day it was pleasant to be doing anything out of doors.

Today while Rick and I were just vegging after having gone out and done some shopping at the "stupid" mall (aka Supermall), gorging on a Papa Murphy stuffed pizza I got a text from Mark that he was on his way to the hospital with Rachel to have her appendix removed.  So I flew down to the hospital to relieve him of some children, he had taken all 3 with them.  I knew that they would be there for hours and it's just not necessary (or fun) to have all the kids there.  Once Rachel was going into the O.R. I brought Markie and Bekah home.  I attempted to figure something out for dinner and it wasn't easy.  Then Tony called to see if I would like him to throw a few extra dogs or burgers on the BBQ - my savior!  The kids ate and then we came back and they found electronics to keep themselves occupied.  Markie ended up playing "Need for Speed" on the PS2 with Rick and Bekah was playing on my Ipod.  Rachel came through the laporoscopic surgery fine and was spending the night so Mark came and got the kids just at Rick's bedtime.

Whew!  Like I said, that last wknd of summer can be hectic!

Picture of the Week

I'm afraid I have to have Shayne as my picture of the week again. It's not an exceptionally beautiful shot but it tells such a story. Most of you saw me post it on facebook with a thought bubble and a request to fill in that bubble with your ideas. A few that I got are "What, NO CHERRY?", "They said this was orange drink... It's CARROT!", "What's that bug doing there?" and "I don't yike it". The last being the most likely to be what was actually running through his adorable little haid...

About Me

My photo
After 2 unsuccessful marriages I spent 12 years as a divorcee, only to fall prey to another man's wiles. We had a fun 5 years together and then he decided he wanted more freedom so once again I'm single.

So I'm freshly divorced at 57 and have 5 great kids and now 7 grandkids. My kids are still a major part of my life but I'm busy helping my aging parents on Kauai.

I've lived in California, Hawaii and Oklahoma before finally settling here in Washington. I love Washington and come back to visit family, friends and take care of my garden often but will be temporarily a resident of Kauai.

I've moved 30 times in my life (no, my parents weren't in the service, at least not since I was about 2) and finally planted roots when I got my little house that I've owned since '91.

My family are Jehovah's Witnesses, I've been one since '72.