It is ALIVE!!!!!

In case you're not hearing it in your head as I intend it to be heard, you have to think back to the very old, black and white version of the Frankenstein movie, here, watch this...

OK, so now you're hearing it right.  So what am I talking about?  Well, what could I be happy to see springing to life?  

Think back to January and our awful ice storm.  There were lots of trees completely torn apart, some were nearly shorn of all their limbs, some were damaged to a point that they just had to be removed.  I had one that had splayed open but when the ice melted was standing fairly well.  The redbud tree near my arbor in my back yard.

A couple years ago it had a pretty good twist and split going on in the trunk so Rick made a figure "8" out of wire to support the drooping half and keep it from falling.  When it was covered with an inch of ice that wire held the 2 halves together so the whole thing was unable to just split apart.  

When the storm cleanup began I lopped the branches on that redbud and studied up on how to save a tree with broken limbs or other major damage.  I found out that boring straight through and bolting it together is a safe method of tree repair.  The most important thing is to keep the bark intact, that's what'll kill a tree for sure, to remove too much bark.

So Rick and I used ratcheting tie-downs and 2x4 leverage to pull the two halves back to a fairly solid trunk again.  Then I bored holes through the 9 inch trunk and inserted threaded rod all the way through.  I put large washers and 2 nuts on each end and CRANKED hard.  I did 3 rods and it looked pretty good.  But will it sprout?

Seeing that I cut off the branches that would normally sprout the leaves I had to wait longer than normal to see if I had, indeed, saved my tree.

When I got back from Hawaii in late May this is what I saw:


A New Pet

No - not mine, my MOM's!

Try as she may, she just can't not have a pet.  I suppose if her neighbors, who actually, supposedly own this cat, were better pet owners Mom wouldn't have a new pet.  But they're not, so she does.  It was their dog, Teddy, for a while, but that issue got resolved so now it's the cat.  They could care less about the cat so Mom picked up the slack.

Meet "Notmycat".  I think that's an extremely odd name for a cat but it's what Mom insists the cat's name is.  She points to the cat and says adamantly "That's Notmycat!"  OK! OK! That's Notmycat!  I get it!

Notmycat is a very lovable, neutered, male, tabby-and-white with a voracious appetite, thanks to his little intestinal friends.  Mom feeds him dog food, since he was raised with a dog and only knows dog food (lousy owners, remember?) and he eats nearly a full, large can every day!

While Rick and I were there we gave him lots of attention and he just ate it up!  Such a cute brat.  Turns out he's learned that catching birds will also get him attention so sometimes he does it just for that reason.  Mom actually saw him carrying a bird and stop to let her catch him and then release the bird.  He can't possibly actually need the food so it's more an issue of getting the attention.

And like so many cats, or maybe it's more of a tabby trait, he loves to pose for pictures...

Here he's hanging with Mom in the carport...

And inspecting his territory...  

And sleeping anywhere he finds interesting...

I think it's a good thing for my Mom to have a pet.  She should stop trying not to.

Our Ocean Weekend 2012

As a family, for some strange reason, my kids and I enjoy renting a big house and all living under one roof for a weekend every year, usually in some exotic place like Ocean Shores or Leavenworth. This hasn't occurred for a couple years but this weekend it did - in Ocean City, just north of Ocean Shores. 

The house we ended up renting is an old, converted, 2 story store, which worked perfect for this mob. It now has 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms and a huge open living space downstairs. It's tastefully decorated in vintage garage-sale furnishings and addressed nearly every need. 

We arrived different times Friday, Rach, Tony and Hunter got there midday but had to endure downpours and fog on the trip. Rick, Keith and I arrived around 7ish but had to endure traffic. Then the rest (Kev's whole family and the newlyweds) arrived about 9:30.

So this house went from nearly dead silent to WILD CHAOS! when the 2 boys got out of the long car ride and joined their cousin and all ran around this big house, enjoying their freedom! 

Saturday was our big day for fun and, while the weather was forecast to be cool and showery, it was quite a bit nicer once the morning past.Originally the plan was to make this our "Family Day" weekend where we would be doing a gift exchange (to some degree), that fell through once Denny and Heather informed us they could not join us. But we still wanted to do something for the boys, I had bought them kites and this is the place where you use them. So Shirley came up with a brainstorm and we made a collection of identical, cheap toys (mostly), put them in boxes and buried them on the beach, then made up a map and had the boys collect pirate garb before they got to the actual "buried treasure"! Joe was designated Captain (since he can read) and it was quite entertaining to watch the hunt unfold. 

After allowing the boys some time to play with their new stuff the gang decided to go check out the go-carts in Ocean Shores. We finally found some in town and everyone took 2 spins, one on the regular track, then one on the "slick" track where the cars were faster, the track was smoother and they sprayed water on it so drivers could drift around the corners. I was the only one not driving so I got to take lots of pictures! 

After going home and snacking for lunch we went to the beach to fly some kites and the boys ended up wading in the water. The weather had improved so much that it was possible to enjoy at least getting your feet wet (our beaches and water are always COLD!)We went home, had dinner, the kids played with silly string (which I bought them so I instituted the silly string fight and they ended up chasing after ME!) and bubbles, then we headed back to the beach, which was now considerably colder than it had been a mere 3 hours earlier, for a special family photo. 

As a school project for Joe we did a big JUMP picture 2 years ago and needed an update. I thought one that would be mostly just our silhouettes in front of the sunset would be cool. I ended up adding a special filter to the picture and then Chelsea made a comment that Tony looked like he should be holding an umbrella and voila! a new family photo! We rounded out the day with a friendly (ha!) men vs women game of pictionary while the kids went upstairs to watch a movie and fell asleep. So WE were the loud ones (women beat the men, as though you didn't already figure that out).

The last day, Sunday, was eating, cleaning, vacating, then a quick check at the shops right at the beach entrance in Ocean Shores.  Dane and Chelsea wanted some more pictures of themselves to put in some picture frames they got as wedding gifts so we did a short trip to the beach one last time to get a few shots.  The weather again was very nice and the beach was swamped!  Unbelievably it was about 1:30 when the short picture session was done and we headed home.  

If we go back in another couple years I think it's safe to say we'll be staying in "the Summerhome" again!

More Fun on Kauai

OK, so let’s jot down some moreof the highlights of the FUN part of my visit this year…

Rico and I had another couple full days of fun to have, since the ceiling was up already!  We did spend a day doing more around the house, those fun filled days are exhausting.  On one of those days I asked Rick to build a corral for the folks’ trash cans.  He couldn’t quite figure out what exactly it was he was building but he did a great job!  Just something to keep them all in one spot and standing up.  I think I did yardwork while he did that…

So the fun Thursday was spent on the other side of the island.  But first we had to shoot the little shack at Waipouli beach, right where all the drug deals go down.  That’s my opinion anyway, there’s always some dude hanging around and usually on his phone.

Then we blasted over to shoot the tree tunnel on the way to Poipu.  Just outside Poipu was the National Botanical Garden that I’ve been wanting to visit.  That was about a 2 hour visit.  It began and ended with a short tram ride which, of course, was Rick’s favorite part.  We got to see the plants that provide us with chocolate, vanilla and black pepper.  It was pleasant and relaxing.  I don’t think Rick totally hated it…

But, at last it was over and we could go veg in the sun at one of my fav beaches on the island, Salt Pond.  Rick stripped down to his little bikini skivvies and toasted in the midday sun.  I took the opportunity to take mom’s glass float ball for another visit back to the ocean that he spent so much time in,  He always enjoys my visits because I take him to the beach.  This time he got to visit a waterfall, wade, and ride some small waves in a tide pool.

I wanted to catch the sunset at Waimea so we headed in that direction and looked for someplace for dinner.  We found exactly 2 places in Waimea.  A “Steakhouse” and the other I think was a burger joint café that was a real dive.  Steakhouse it is.

So, the Wrangler Steakhouse in Waimea.  Hmm.  A little pricey.  Can we just have the salad bar?  Not too impressive.  Itty bitty salad bar.   What’s this?  Pickled onions?  Something orange.  Lettuce.  Ooh!  Snow peas.! Nope, they’re wooly and woody.  Well, we managed to eat enough to not be hungry any more, and we had drinks.  

So we headed to the beach after that barely adequate meal and pulled right up onto the sand.  We were parked right next to someone’s imu, getting ready for the luau.  The sunset was not where I expected it but we got some nice shots nonetheless.  I spotted a sandpiper running down the beach and caught him in the sunset light on the wet sand, pretty nice shot!

Our next full day out was, I think, our favorite.  We headed down the street to the local beach to grab some coral for mom’s garden and found the whole beach where the coral can be found roped off for a mama and baby monk seal.  We got some shots of the pair and did a little beachcombing.  There were TONS of man-of-war on the beach but we both managed to avoid stepping on any and getting stung.
It’s getting harder to find new places to explore on Kauai but I found one and near Anahola.  The book calls it “the Pools of Mokolea”.  It’s just a rock outcropping full of tidepools and backed by a cliff teeming with tropicbirds, shearwaters and even an occasional albatross!  We thoroughly enjoyed meandering on the black rock.  Rick dared to swim in a large tidepool right on the ocean’s edge.  We made our way to the end of the trail where we were looking across a bay to the Kilauea lighthouse.  

To get to the trail we had to ford a freshwater outlet on a beach called Kahili.  It was an interesting beach and the fresh water was warm so we decided to scare up some lunch in Kilauea and come back to lay in the sun, swim and grab some color for Rick to take home with him.  As it turns out we already had plenty of color from our trek on the rocks. . . oops.

It was one of the nicest spots, I really enjoyed laying in the sun and when I got warm enough to want to get wet (even my HAIR!) I wandered over to a rope swing Rick had already tried out.  I can’t recall if I’ve ever done one before but this time it sure felt good!  Not the coughing fit I had as soon as I got my head out of water, but the cool, but not too cool, water.

So we decided we’d gotten enough sun and then drove to the end of the road, Ke’e beach.  I really don’t care for that beach, I’ve been there a number of times, stay a few minutes and leave, disappointed.  Maybe it would be better with high surf or during a storm.  I think it’s just always too crowded with tourists.

Rick still had some gifts to pick up for his mother and daughter so we went to Hanalei next to look at some of the shops there.  He found a cute bag for Sarah and I coerced him into buying me a really nice dress that I won’t wear nearly enough to warrant what he spent on it!

The plan was another sunset next to a pier, this time Hanalei.  The sun was much better situated!  We were hovering near a couple with a Canon on a tripod.  I finally noticed it was a 7D (my dream camera) so struck up a conversation with the woman handling it.  We had a nice visit with the couple from New Zealand.  Turns out she’d just bought the camera, her step up from the same camera I just moved up from and for the same reasons I moved up.  But her camera was a much bigger leap financially.

Rick’s last day we decided to attempt a hike.  The soil there is very clay-like so if it’s wet it’s downright treacherous.  It had been dry for a few days so we figured it was our best opportunity.  

The trail I was eyeballing was up one of my favorite roads, Kuamo’o, the Kuilau trail.  Apparently there was a trailhead that had been abandoned but was still marked as though it’s the trailhead.  We got to it and I stopped dead, I couldn’t even begin!  It was steep and slippery!  But then we found that there was a better, smoother, drier trail.  We ended up hiking in probably a mile and a half.  There was some light rain and slick spots but overall it was nice.  We enjoyed seeing the natural Kauai, and discovered that the chickens are out there in the woods, away from the city as well!

Since it was Rick’s last night it was dinner at Duke’s.  Maybe that’ll be the last time.  Prices are going up and personally, I would rather do a plate lunch at Hanalei and watch the sun set…

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.