Well, I started to try to map this whole thing out, day by day but, in the end, it was all just a huge work-fest so I'll just cover some of the work I did.

The day I got there I decided to try to cut back some of the huge buffalo grass that likes to take over the WHOLE FREAKIN' ISLAND and ended up covered with it's little spines, very similar to fiberglass, so I quit and never looked back.  Well, not until I couldn't avoid it any more.  I eventually learned the correct way do deal with it.  You use a hedge trimmer and cut it down slowly, the top 18", then rake it up so you're not walking in it, then the next 18", rake, etc.  When you get to the very bottom you kinda whack the trimmer right into the lowest, thickest part of the clump - Buzz, whack! Buzz, whack! until you get through the whole thing.  The killer?  In a week it'll be 12 - 18" tall again!  Don't forget to throw poison on that clump once you get it down to the ground!

The day after I got there I was up early enough and the clouds and a light mist kept it cool enough to do some raking in the driveway and create, pop and tear a big blister at the base of my thumb!  But I did manage to get a large share of the gravel back into the holes in the driveway so it's a little smoother to drive up and down.

Next I was fixed on getting the garden that I put so much work into last year back in shape.  It was actually pretty good, mom kept plucking the little invasive things that threatened to reestablish themselves EVERYWHERE so I mainly had to trim out excess palm trees and rake, rake, rake.  

During a break I went down to where mom and Vilma were working in the new "screenhouse" that they're gonna use to grow veggies.  I got down there and noticed that their banana garden was looking lousy, actually, it always did look lousy!  I started to trim and rake and got it all cleaned up too!  Unfortunately I put the fronds where people walked and mom slipped on them and fell, oops!  It was soft ground so she was fine but I got busy making the steps she needed to get up and down that hill pronto.  They came out right nice, if I do say so myself...

They've been living with bare studs for 7 years now and are looking forward to having drywall - less geckos, ants and heat, cleaner, hey, it could even begin to look like a real house!  But first they have to pass the framing inspection.  To hang the ceiling drywall first they needed to make vent holes to prevent dry rot and install hurricane straps (which should have been installed before the roof went on).  I tried to use the drill to make the vent holes but it was a man's job - it just ripped out of my hands.  In the process I learned the prep work so Dad and I worked out a system:  I did the prep and cleanup and he drilled the holes.  My job took an hour and a half and his took about 5 minutes.  That's fine, so long as it gets done, and it did.  At one point dad touched the insulation on the underside of the roof and the drill pulled him backward off the ladder but he landed on the futon I was using as a bed - whew!  He was OK.  Then I worked my arm into a frenzy, my elbow hurt so bad it woke me up and I couldn't back to sleep,  Then I got distracted and a wire got damaged and had to be replaced, $42 and 3.5 hours work.  Dad finished up the outside hurricane straps that had to be done.  Hopefully the inspector will come out and give them the green light so they can start hanging drywall.
One day I was about to shake out a sheet from our drilling project and spotted my 74 year old mother perched on top of a ladder in her "work muumuu" stitching that screenhouse together - MOM!  So what did I do?  I ran for my camera, what else?!?

I took the time to clean up a bottle mess under the house which made it look much nicer, trimmed all the hibiscus and weeded that whole side and eventually ended up hanging the green screen that mom has been wanting up for years on the hot side of the house, to shade and cool it.

One of my last projects that I thought would be easy and fun ended up easy enough but not so much fun.  I attempted to make Ma an arbor from sticks.  I mistakenly used green sticks which were flexible instead of old, aged, rock-hard sticks that would have been stiff.  So my finished product was flimsy and unusable.  That's OK, I'm sure Ma will beef it up and make it what she wants.

I guess I was getting a little worn out by the end.  I requested that we go to Hanalei and finally said I wanted it to be my last night there because sunset and moonrise (a full moon) were to be almost simultaneous.  I pictured them both visible at Hanalei.  Well, they were but not facing the same direction.  We watched the sun set and enjoyed watching the people, a very laid-back, family oriented beach but still comfortable enough that a couple to our right were eating pizza and drinking wine from wine glasses!  The sun was pretty much gone and the bonfires were starting when, as we were driving out, I spotted the moon - directly behind us!

My last day there I squeezed in one last chore - I attached a dried up orchid to a palm tree with moss and wire.

A couple quick notes about my flights to and fro.  I sat in seat 9F both ways and both ways seat 9E was, as far as I know, the only empty seat on the plane!  Woo hoo!

On the opposite end of the spectrum I'll briefly mention that on the westbound flight I had a very scary health episode.  Nausea, super hot flashes, extreme sweats, not even enough energy to fan myself, barely staying conscious and was worried about possibly losing control of other "bodily functions".  It lasted about 15 minutes.  There was no heart pounding, no pain.  But it was very scary, I hope it's the last time that happens.  Kids, just keep that in your hat in case you find me unconscious some day!

Boy!  I can't wait for next year's "vacation"?

3 cats hacked up hairballs:

Maggie September 18, 2011 at 1:28 PM  

HAHAHAHA...That was funny! I love that sunrise pic, it's a beaut. I wonder what people think when they read that stuff. Garden still looks happy. I'm still going my weeding out duplicate pics slow but i'm finding some i haven't seen in a long time. Big mystery. Someone chopped down trees by the road front of house and left them there in the street???

Casey V September 18, 2011 at 8:43 PM  

You should ask your newly acquired nephew (with construction experience), and son (who is also quite handy I hear) to go with you on one these trips to help out :-)

Rachyl September 18, 2011 at 8:43 PM  

oh yeah, plus i'm sure they could use some electrical work done...and maybe a driveway or walkway or something!

About Me

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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.