Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The rest of the story . . .

When they posted the eviction notice (for lack of a better term), it mentioned that there was a cash incentive for vacating the premisis quickly, and that we should not pay our rent to the landlords because they no longer owned the house, the bank did. That makes sense to me. Thankfully, we had totally forgotten about our rent because we were very busy at the Maui County Fair. We knew this was coming anyways. We could tell the landlord was in trouble financially. Unfortunately, we found that out AFTER moving in! We still lived in the house a full year so no great loss.

So with this financial incentive clouding our minds we set out to find a new home to rent ASAP. We wanted to make sure we moved as quickly as possible because the sooner you moved out, the higher the incentive . . . up to $3500! What did we have to lose, right?

We found a place only a mile down the road in Waikapu. It didn't have any other people living on the property! (a big plus considering we've had another person residing in the houses we've rented, although seperate living quarters and entrances, since moving here!) And there is space for gardening!! YAY! The downside is it costs a little more, and the electricity was not included. This could be a problem considering that Maui Electric Company takes the highest ever month of service at that residence and doubles it as your deposit amount! Ummm, yeah. The first house we checked into getting the power in our name the deposit was going to be $1000! The second time we checked, which was at the last house we were renting, it would have been . . . are you ready for this? $1600!!! Yup, you're reading that right. Thankfully, our electricity was included in that last rental. But you can see how we might be a little worried about hooking up electricity at this new place, right? Thankfully, because this was a fairly new house and it was only a 2nd home to the owners, and they were hardly ever there, the deposit for the electric was only $175! Woohoo!

Unfortunately, at the time we were searching and found our new house to rent, the foreclosure market went into a freeze. And we were in such a dither about getting moved, packing, organizing people to help and all that, that we signed the lease on the new place BEFORE getting a contact signed promising us the incentive! (cue the "wah-wah-wah" loser noises). That's right - no incentive. DRATS!

It's a good thing we didn't pay our last month's rent at the old place. BUT, because we didn't, they didn't give our deposit back either! REALLY? *sigh* (taking deep breaths to calm down) Our only alternative was to "occupy" the premisis to the last possible moment through the rest of the month. We used that time to move the smaller stuff slowly and to clean at our leisure. They probably spent our deposit money long ago and didn't even have it. This would make the second time that has happened to us here!

At the same time this was going on, Scott was due to get his bonus for completing 2 full years at the hospital. However, when they finally got around to paying it, they lumped it with his regular check which threw him into a different tax bracket altogether and ate up practically HALF the bonus. SERIOUSLY? You would think that people in the financial/human resources would know not to lump a bonus with a regular check! *SIGH*

After all is said and done, we will be ok! I feel that our little "roller coaster ride" has come to a stop and we're back to normal life. We pulled through just fine.

Now let's all tip-toe very quietly away from "Murphy" and his "law"!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

DON'T SAY IT . . .

(photo taken from Media Convergence Matters Blog)

Scott should know better! He really should, but some things slip out of his mouth and then it's too late!!

The downward spiral began on a beautiful Sunday afternoon when we discovered that our beloved kitty had been brutally murdered. That was followed by our favored gubanatorial candidate losing in the primaries and something about the Yankees not doing well . . . oh yeah, then a notice being posted on the house we're renting that it is foreclosing! (It's not a personal blow since we're just renting, but we still need to vacate the premesis!).

So Scott opens his mouth and out pops "the curse words". No, not swear words! The words that bring more bad things your way . . . you know, a CURSE! He says, as he nervously laughs - that laugh he does when he just can't believe the string of events that seem to be unfolding - he says, "WHAT ELSE COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?"

WHAT? I said, "WHY DID YOU JUST SAY THAT???" He immediately tried the knocking on wood trick. That never helps. Once those words have been spoken, you might as well put on your life vest because it's gonna be bumpy ride in a small life raft! All you can do is hold on for dear life and pray for calm seas.

I will have to fill in the rest of this story once I feel that the roller coaster ride has come to a complete stop and we can safely exit the vehicle! (sorry for the switch of metaphors.)

I felt the above photo was so perfect for this post. Yet when I started reading the blog that the photo came from, it got even better. Here's what it said:

Any devotee of Murphy's Law (If anything can go wrong, it will) knows it has numerous collieries (e.g. If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong; If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which something can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop). New Murphy's Laws have developed for just about any aspect of life, including selective gravitation (e.g. The chance of the buttered side of the bread falling face down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet; The greater the value of the rug, the greater the probability that the cat will throw up on it!). Posted by Tom Johnson, Nov. 7, 2009

I'll stop there. You get the idea!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Goodbye little buddy!

I never wanted any cats! I made myself very clear . . . I thought. On Camille's 3rd birthday we got a little black cat - the runt of the litter. Fine, I gave in. I was out-numbered! Then on her 7th birthday she fell in love with this cream colored fluff ball (pictured above). Though I protested and said how I really didn't want anymore cats, I was out-numbered once again. Camille couldn't live without the little fluff ball and Scott, the ol' softy, couldn't either! All I could do was grumble my protests which fell on deaf ears.

I'm not a totally stone-hearted meany. I think kittens are adorable. However, I can keep in perspective the fact that they grow into cats which then claw your furniture to shreds!!

Well, for those unfamiliar with the ways of cats, THEY tend to choose who they like most, and who they will sleep next to at night! Wouldn't you know it, the little fur ball plopped himself right between Scott and I on the very first night and that was that!! No matter how many times I threw him off in the middle of the night . . . he just came back. He was a momma's boy!

When we were naming him, manly names didn't fit because he was so "pretty" and always mistaken for a girl. I'm not sure how we settled on 'Branford' but it had just enough sissyness to it. . . not that it really mattered, we had so many nicknames for him, he was probably confused.

Much to my surprise, when we found out our little buddy had been killed (by a horrid pitbull . . . don't even get me started!), I was quite heart-broken. Usually when a pet dies (referring to when we said goodbye to hamsters), it's a sad moment but not heartbreaking . . . at least not to me. Camille's another story - she really loves animals.

However, when Scott made the discovery my heart sank. We were all so shocked and completely heart-broken. We had Branford for 12 years!! He was referred to as Camille's little brother since she had no siblings. He was constant entertainment and always had something to say.

In the picture above, he is in a suitcase. He always hopped in our suitcases when we were packing to go somewhere, hoping we wouldn't leave him behind. Not that he enjoyed traveling . . . he absolutely hated it! When we moved from Vermont to Utah - I don't think he stopped complaining from Essex to Palmyra, New York. At that point we stopped to see Scott's parents who were on a mission at the time. When Branford came into the house he was so frustrated he didn't know whether to hiss or purr. It was really funny to watch!

We teased Branford about being a Boston Red Sox fan because he always seemed to complain when the Yankees won.

Most of his days were spent sleeping in the funniest positions. Lying completely on his back like an otter . . . draped over the arm of the sofa with all for legs hanging down, or inside a cubby hole or a drawer that was left open. Apparently he needed lots of energy for his nightly capers. Once he knew everyone was in bed, he would call out Astoria and they would run races and tackle and get into mischief. Then when the romping around was done, he'd jump into bed with us and talk very loudly telling us all about it. Either that or he would purr so loudly it sounded like his purr box needed to be oiled!!

**sigh**

I can tell you this much, I will NOT miss fur everywhere, his cat food all over the floor, being woken up by his loud purr or having to block out all the lower level windows at night so that he doesn't fight the neighborhood prowling cat through the window.

I WILL miss his cuddly soft fur, his very lengthy conversations and finding him sleeping in the oddest places and positions. You are truly missed!

(We did tell you that curiosity kills the cat but you didn't listen!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

1 less organ - 4 new scars!

About a year ago I was awakened from sleep with a terrible pain right through my core. It felt like that sharp pain you might feel when you have food poisoning, but before the nasea sets in. It lasted for several hours. Then it was gone for several days or weeks . . . I don't really know.

It returned again a few times throughout the year. Each time during the middle of the night for the most part. Painful and frightening. My mind couldn't help but go to the worst case scenario . . . cancer! The other thought was maybe an ulcer. I googled ulcers and my symptoms were spot on. I thought for sure that's what it was.

I finally gathered my courage and went to the doctor. She immediately had me scheduled for an abdominal ultrasound. A day or so later she called me with the results . . . "you have a gall stone! We're going to take it out."

I didn't expect that answer, however . . . it made sense. My mom had her gall bladder removed, my sister had hers removed. But I couldn't help but feel guilty about eating all the wrong things that caused the problem in the first place!

Anyhoo . . . I had my surgery on August 6th. Everthing went well. I was somewhat surprised that I had to stay overnight in the hospital though. I was under the impression that it was an out-patient surgery. In fact, I had heard that term a few times. Then when they called to schedule the time of the surgery I was informed that I would be staying over night.

I guess it's a good thing. If anything were to go wrong post-op, then you're in the right place.

I think I was an exemplary patient. I was up and walking around that night - though it wasn't very fun to do so. I just had a fear of blood clots and didn't want that to happen. I actually walked around for nearly a half hour . . . at a snail's pace. I did the same the following morning.

Did you know that they fill you full of air when they do laporoscopic surgeries? They need to in order to have room to work. Because of that, you end up with air inside your body that needs to escape . . . that translates into 'gas'. EWW! It's pretty painful after that kind of surgery too. That's another reason I kept walking . . . it's supposed to help move things along if you get my drift.

My right shoulder was a little sore afterwards too. Scott says they probably had my arm strapped above my head to keep it out of the way. And my throat was quite sore and dry the next day. Who knows how many things were shoved down my throat! In fact, to this day, 10 days later I have a sore spot that hasn't improved yet. I'm not sure what the deal is. I hope it gets better soon.

Upon checking out of the hospital I learned that I would get an automatic 10 day vacation! Yee haw! Still, it was unknown to me before hand. I was still thinking 'out-patient surgery' recover over weekend, back to work on Monday! BAH HA HA . . . yeah, right! I was very glad to be at home. I was loopy on pain killers all week.

There was a point during my recovery that I was certain they had left a very sharp instrument inside me when this very sharp pain stabbed me from inside my right-lower rib cage. I was really worried. It happened on a day that I was being brave, or stupid, and didn't take my pain killers on their regular schedule. Silly me! Apparently it was normal and I wasn't dying and there were no instruments sown up inside me. It was just the effects of my insides getting back to normal after the trauma they endured.

Now I'm back to the daily grind of my office work. I'm still a little sore around the incisions, but I'm healing quickly. I'm eagerly looking forward to the 3 week mark when I can return to exercise. I'll be starting from square 1 once again!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Laparouse Bay Hike from a bad phone camera!

Saturday we were wondering what we wanted to do for the day.
On the one hand, we need to do laundry, clean house and possibly pull some weeds.
The car could use a good vacuuming . . .

Or there's the beach!

Well? What would you choose?
That's what I thought, the beach it was!

I had a friend post on Facebook that she would be at La Perouse Bay. Even though I didn't know the name of this place, it was a spot I had been wanting to check out.

On the south side of Maui, if you head East, you will pass Kihei, Wailea and Makena. You'll pass Big Beach, and keep going . . . drive until you literally cannot drive any further. Drive until you reach a big field of rocks, otherwise known as a lava flow. It's here that you will find a small parking lot. Careful not to puncture a tire!

We saw our friend's car in the parking lot. We thought we might be in luck. Hopefully we could find her. The plan was to find a small little hidden beach to relax and possibly get a little snorkeling in.

From the parking lot it's kind of difficult to even see that there is a trail that leads anywhere. In fact, the first few times we drove out there, we didn't know there was a trail. We just thought it was a bunch of lava rocks as far as the eye could see in that direction.
But recently, we went out there with some visitors and noticed the trail. We followed for a short ways, but our visitors weren't up for a good hike. So we didn't go very far.

That's why we decided to check it out this time around. We knew there was more to see.

So . . . in anticipation of actually finding a beach down this trail, we each had our beach towels, Scott had the one set of snorkel gear he strapped to his back. Camille was carrying her towel and a big bottle of water. And I was the lucky one that got to carry the beach bag with my towel, big bottle of water and a few snacks, bottles of sunscreen, sand, etc.

The three of us, decked out with our local style slippahs (flip-flops for you main landers) headed out. My slippahs were kinda thin compared to theirs. At the very beginning of our hike I had stepped on a pointed rock and bruised my foot pretty good. In my head I'm thinking "I hope it's not a small fracture" that's how much it hurt at first. But I could still walk on it.

Before long we came to the point where we had been to previously. There is a nice little cave carved out by the waves where the water likes to splash up when the waves crash. Unfortunately, we had forgotten our actual camera, so the very few pictures in this post were taken with my phone. Not the best quality.
Shortly after that is an area where you can actually get into the water to snorkel, but it's still rocky. We didn't see our friend anywhere so we kept walking.
Scott had looked online (Google Earth or something) and had thought there was a pretty big beach past the second big outcropping of lava. So I got it into my head that there would be this beautiful sandy beach hidden just around the next bend.

We hiked through some nice shade of Keawe trees where we saw
some black goats roaming around.
I know, weird right? (see bottom photo below)


We eventually passed the nice shade trees and was left with just rocks. (see above photo!) We actually passed a few locals that had driven there trucks out here. You would definitely need to have a high clearance and probably 4-wheel drive to make it on this trail/road.

The only thing I could think of these locals was what they must be thinking of these stupid "haoles" trying to hike this trail in "slippahs"! In fact one of them (whom we passed at least 3 times because he stopped and chatted with the other locals that had driven 2 or 3 times), once he finally stopped and parked his truck said, "You need tennis shoes, these rocks are gnarly!"
I just agreed and kept on going.
I hate looking like a dumb tourist, but I really fit the bill this time around!
I bet they had a good chuckle about me later!

By now my feet are seriously bruised and sore from having too little cushion and support to traverse such harsh conditions. Not to mention, I'm really tired of carrying this beach bag. I was lagging behind because I had to be very careful where I stepped. Just look at this picture below of my "hiking shoes"! You can get an idea of the harsh rocks we were walking on for what I think is close to 3 miles!
We actually hiked all the way to the light beacon at the end of the trail (well Scott and Camille went all the way, I stayed back about a hundred yards because my feet were hurting so much). Now we had to hike ALL THE WAY BACK! OI!

Thankfully, the hike back didn't seem as long. Once we got back to the only sandy entrance to the water, gladly stripped down to our swimming suits and got in.
This little spot of beach was about as big as a small bedroom. We couldn't go too far in the water because of more rocks and coral in the way. Not to mention the water had become rough and there was quite an undertow because of the way the rocks were.
We were happy to at least get wet up to our waste. It felt really good on the feet!
Scott played a little in the waves, but like I said, not much room to do anything exciting.

By this time it had been at least an hour of walking on extreme rocky roughness in inadequate shoes and we were very hungry for lunch!

We headed back to the car and out to lunch. We drove straight to Cheeseburger Island Style!
(nom, nom,nom,nom)
Can you see the goat in the picture above, right next to the water? We saw quite a few goats wandering around. They were all black goats.

We never did find our friend. She said they had left around 11 am. She got in some good snorkeling. We didn't!

Even though I thoroughly bruised my feet, was totally embarrassed at what the locals were thinking of us, and didn't really get the relaxing beach time I was hoping for nor any snorkeling, I'm still very happy we did this hike. We had a good time.
Serious nap time was needed when we got home!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I'm a quilter . . . of the Hawaiian variety!

(image from Google, no I did not do this quilt~I wish!)
I consider myself an avid quilter. I've completed a handful of pieced-block quilts and even hand quilted a few of them. I have several quilting projects in the works at this very moment. However, when we moved here to Hawaii, I vowed that I would never attempt a Hawaiian Quilt. Are you kidding me? Have you seen the rows upon rows of quilting that fill the entire quilt? Not to mention that they are very intricate patterns that are 'appliqued'. I'm capable of applique, I just choose to not do it (more hand stitching!).



Well . . .



At church we have interest groups that get together for various things . . . cooking, baking, book groups and of course quilting. When I heard that they were going to teach traditional Hawaiian quilting . . . I JUMPED AT THE CHANCE! What? Why would I pass up the opportunity to learn from actual Hawaiian quilters? I'd be crazy to pass it up.



I know I said I'd NEVER do a Hawaiian Quilt . . . what do I know?



This is my block below. It's the "coconut" pattern. I'd never seen the "coconut" pattern before, and I LOVE me some coconuts! I bought my kit at the Polynesian Cultural Center on one of our visits to Oahu just before our quilting get-together. I'm pretty sure I'm the teacher's pet! ;-)




(my block is about 18x18 inches)

The woman that is teaching us is "Auntie Kuhiki". She's missing most of her teeth, but I adore her. She's a sweet heart and a crack up! And she's been working on her Hawaiian quilt for about 35 YEARS! Ummm . . . yeah~



Last night as we were quilting on her big quilt (the one that's been needing to be finished for 35 YEARS), she and her son (who is always sweet enough to help his mama set up her quilt and then sit there while we gab and quilt), were talking about their awesome family reunions. They sounded like so much fun that I decided to adopt myself into their family! I wonder if they'd take me in?


(this image is from Google, this is not Auntie Kuhiki)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

If this is heaven, count me in!

We had the most wonderful weekend. First of all, I had Friday off - hurray for vacation days! It was nice to sleep in a little, workout when I felt like it and not because the alarm went off at 5:15!
We went to the airport around 11 am, went to the Go/Mokulele counter to check in and were told that we had to go to the Commuter terminal. I had no idea where that was. Luckily Scott did. Unfortunately, it was a long walk in brand new dress shoes - - - BLISTERS!! Ouchiewawa. I totally thought these shoes would be way more comfy for walking around in since they had a lot of room in the toe area. However, when you wear dress shoes with no nylons, then walk all over the airport, well - you get the picture.
But I digress, this is not what this blog post is all about. It's about having the priviledge of being present in the temple and sharing in experiences with dear friends that have become like family to us.
This is the Watson family!I adore them!
I first saw the Watsons sitting in front of us at church in the Pukalani Ward. I was mesmorized by their beauty, I thought each one of them was stunning/handsome. But that is not why I adore them.
Each week as I saw them in church, I was in awe of their closeness. There are 8 in their family. They fill up a bench . . . tightly. But rather than spread out, take up part of another bench, they CHOOSE to sit close to each other. They have no problem with being squished together. They didn't push and shove and complain. They were happy and smiling and affectionate. Such a wonderful example of how a family should treat each other.
The boy on the right in the white shirt (below). . . I call him my Continental brother! Yup, he was a flight attendant for Continental Airlines. Once I learned that, I had to share that I, too, had worked for Continental and how much I missed the perks!
We were instant friends.
On Friday, he went through the temple for the first time. I am so honored that I was able to be there for that joyous occasion. But it gets even better! Their parents had their youngest 4 children sealed to them following that temple session.
Words cannot express the love that was felt in that room! And that's not all!
See these two below? They, too, went through for the first time and were sealed in that same sealing session. They, too, had their 2 children sealed to them.
They are also part of our Pukalani Ward Ohana! Here they are with their adorable boys.

This gives you an idea of the true personalities of the 2 cute boys! They are quite active!The Watson children: Jayron and Jesse, (the two older boys), Amber, Ashley, Angie and Jevin.
The picture below is all of us hanging out in the parking lot of the temple, basking in our love of one another, not wanting the moments to end.

Afterwards we were treated to a potluck dinner at the Stake Center by friends and family of people that weren't even there. Unbelievably onolicious food! What an amazing weekend!
If this is what heaven is like . . . Count me in!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Weird Day!

Yesterday was a weird day. Not the entire day really, just maybe a few hours of it.

First, around midday, I noticed that when I typed on my computer, the words were typing in backwards! I went to Google something, and as I typed the word it was happening in backwards order. For example: Maui Acedamy of Performing Arts had to be typed in this order - stra gnimrofrep fo ymadeca iuam! And then it would be in the right order! Or, typing like I normally do would produce that backwards phrase there. I realized it was only online that this was happening because I could type normally on my email for work. I tried closing the internet and reopening it. That didn't work. I had to totally log off the computer and back on. That did the trick . . . so weird, right?

Then I inhaled a gnat! Right here in my office as I took a breath . . . I was on the phone with someone at the time. Thankfully I didn't choke to horribly. But still I SWALLOWED A BUG!!

This whole gnat or tiny black flies or whatever the <bleep> they are, is driving me bonkers! Here's the deal, for the past few weeks I've had these annoying little flies. They're about the size of a gnat and look like them too, but it's not a swarm of them like you might walk into during the summer outside. They only come one or two at a time - but CONSTANTLY! I'm not kidding! When I kill one, another is instantly there. Then I kill that one and another is instantly there. Sometimes I can see 2, but usually just one. But the instant I kill one - there's another one. I can't figure out where they're coming from. They aren't in my garbage - besides I've taken that out already. They must be coming through the wonderful louvred windows I have in my office. Not much I can do about that. But seriously? GO AWAY!!

Shortly after swallowing a bug I went to put hand sanitizer on my hands and the junk squirted straight out and landed on my boob! LOVELY! Thank goodness I'm the only person in my office and that it didn't leave a mark. At least I couldn't really tell if it left a mark - it was kinda out of my line of sight if you get my drift! ;)

Anywho - I'm hungry now, time for lunch!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sirens at 6 AM!

I had big plans for Saturday! I've been working on a Girl Scout event for weeks! Not to mention all the drama (that I won't go into) that surrounded putting on this event. It's a traditional Girl Scout "holiday" if you will, that not only celebrates the birthdays of Lord Baden Powell, founder of the Boy Scout Movement, and his wife Olave, who served as Cheif World Guide (the beginning of the Girl Scout Movement), but also is a day that Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the globe can think of their 'sisterhood'. I'm referring to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) that is presently in 145 countries. Way back at the 4th International meeting of WAGGGS they decided it would be good to have a day set aside for this occasion and they chose February 22nd since it's the birthday of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell. Our event was the 27th since that was the following Saturday. For the event, each troop chooses a country and creates a display, prepares a food to share, and has a craft or song or dance to share as well.

I was pretty nervous since I'm not fond of being "in charge" of anything really. I'm more of a worker bee - a drone if you will. Tell me what to do and I do it. Putting me in charge of something is a different story altogether. It's definitely out of my comfort zone! Nonetheless - I've risen to the occasion and thought I did a pretty good job. I did help that a lot of the planning was done already, I was just stepping in and continuing where they'd left off (hint at the drama). So by Friday night, after I'd packed my car with the programs, fake passports, paper goods, etc., gone to Costco and picked up the 2 LARGE cakes (they feed 48 people each), 2 veggie platters, boxes of crackers and dips to dip them in, I was feeling pretty good about things and ready to jump up and go on Saturday morning.

Thinking I had everything prepared, I tried to relax Friday night. Around 10pm just before going to bed, we flipped to the news (we don't always do this) and saw the horrible news about the devastating earthquake in Chile. Then they mentioned a tsunami 'advisory'. Just so you can have the right visual in your head, the Community Center we were going to hold this event at is in Paia, a coastal town (note the map below). And the Community Center itself is right on Hana Highway - facing the beautiful ocean!


So you can imagine what's going through my head right after hearing "tsunami advisory"! I'm thinking, "I don't want to be anywhere near that place." Then of course the thoughts inside my head were all jumbled up, worried thoughts like "should I cancel?", "what will Council want me to do", (visions of a huge wave killing us all) (yikes, get that thought outta there . . .) Well, you get the idea.

I didn't sleep too well that night. I was pretty much awake when our alarm started going off at 5:30 am. But it wasn't the usual cheerful Alakai (that's the radio announcer's name). She had another guy with her and they were talking about the tsunami WARNING! That's right people, the advisory was upgraded to a warning! Holy kamoli . . . oh boy. I am definitely cancelling! Thankfully, my Girl Scout guru (that's what I call her), Tricia, from Kauai called me and TOLD me to cancel it. WHEW . . . that took the pressure of 'choosing' to do so off my shoulders. Now all I needed to do was call everyone else. You know, when you're up and awake and the adrenaline is pumping you kinda forget that it's 6 am on a Saturday morning. The first troop leader I called sounded like a man . . . I thought it was her husband (oops, my bad!). Most other people were up already. Apparently some stores opened super early for people, and Costco let the general public in during the early hours that are usually for just business owners. Everyone was trying to stalk up on food, water and toilet paper. You know what? We were PREPARED! Yup, that's right, we didn't have to do anything but glue ourselves to the t.v. We did fill our guest bathtub up with water as a precaution, in case we needed water for flushing toilets or something. But other than that - we could sit back and 'enjoy' if you will, the madness of everyone else running around getting stuck in lines for hours. I don't know about you, but when a wall of impending doom is headed your way, would you want to be stuck in a line somewhere? Me neither!

I was told to get a video of the water when it came, but actually, we are too far away to get a good view. We can SEE the ocean, but we couldn't see any difference from our viewpoint. What Scott and I watched for about 6 hours straight was the news that had a camera posted over Hilo Bay, where the first of it would hit. Click the link below to watch what we watched.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI4NwahF5wI

Saturday, February 20, 2010

THAR SHE BLOWS!

No, I don't mean a whale! Though I could have . . . it is that time of year and all.


But this isn't about the largest mammals.


This is about a "blow hole".


What is a blow hole you ask?


Well, its a big tube in the rock that the waves crash up through looking like steam blowing out a smoke stack, finishing with a big splash and sweet little rainbow.


It's so amazing.




I remember when my older brothers went to Maui to pick pineapples during the summers in their high school years. I remember a story about the blow hole. As the story goes, a boy got too close to it and got sucked down and out to sea. Somehow, very miraculously he survived.


Whether this story is true or not is not known. I believed it when I was a kid.




For Valentine's weekend we stayed out in Kahana. It is between Ka`anapali and Napili. It was the only thing available! Anyhoo, since we were on that side of the island, we decided to check out this blow hole we'd heard about. According to the "Maui Revealed" book you drive until mile marker 38 and park there. Then hike passed the lighthouse marker (not really a lighthouse, more of a light on a pole, but I don't know what it's really called), and keep going until you find it. It's not that long of a hike really - maybe a mile . . . round trip.




So we find mile marker 38, park the car and set out. There's really no trail marked. You just see people coming and going and figure, that's what they're there for and go that direction. We had to dodge the dirt bikes that were running around . . .




Of course we had our best hiking shoes on . . . slippahs!


Emphasis on SLIP . . . at times.




Once along the shore, the view was incredible.


See for yourself!


Looking down in reality was a little unnerving . . . the drop was a long, long way down to crashing waves on ROCKS!


To get perspective on how far the drop is, look at the cliff wall behind me.



SHAKA!


This is the path going along the VERY EDGE of that cliff! YIKES!



Breathtaking!


Hike passed what looks like the surface of the moon . . .


WAIT . . . is that it?
Nope.
Funny thing though - this is a blow hole, just not the one we're looking for.
This little one scared me. It made this rumble sound that startled me!
a puka (hole)


WHOA!


THAR SHE BLOWS!!


video
It's difficult to capture the BIG splashes with the camera.




There's no way of knowing whether it will be big or small.



Sometimes, the splash will be as high as the spray seen in this photo below.


The hike we took to get here was maybe a quarter to half mile. When we got there, we noticed that a lot of people were coming straight down from a different place that seemed like a shorter hike. So Scott says, "Should we hike back this way or go back the way we came?"
I reply, "Well, if we go back the way we came, we're certain we go back to where we parked the car. We don't know where this shorter route will take us."
We decided to take the shorter hike out . . .
Needless to say - we didn't end up where our car was.
We ended up having to walk along the road for quite a ways before we got back to where we had parked. All the while Scott's grumbling because it's hot, we're sweaty, we look like TOURISTS! Oh the horror!
I say, "Just admit that I was right! If we had gone back the way we came, we wouldn't be doing this right now."
He says, "You didn't say you wanted to go back that way, you were just making a statement."

Whatever!
We finally made it back to our car, tired, hot and thirsty! Not to mention, our gas light came on on the way out there . . . it was at least 10 miles back to the nearst gas station!
Don't worry - we made it back without running out of petro.
Later that night . . .
We decided to watch a friend of our's at the Luau he works for. He let us in for free!
(not to eat though - bummer)
He works at the Royal Lahaina Luau as the drummer.
Don't you love the entrance?
It's like walking into a native jungle where you don't know if you ARE the meal or not!

At the very end of the video you can get a glimpse of our friend, Kimo.
video

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Pacific Cafe (remember them?)

Back in my home town of Joseph City, AZ, when I was growing up, there used to be this restaurant called The Pacific Cafe. There have been a lot of good memories from there. Memories of great friends with great food. I wanted to add a photo of the cafe, but even google images didn't bring up anything . . . I guess it was gone before anyone could have posted any photos online (it was back in the day I guess you could say!) One of my favorite memories from there is when my dad worked overtime he would get a "meal ticket" which he always used to get a 'Navajo Taco'. There has never been a better tasting Navajo Taco anywhere! We actually made the Pacific Cafe recipe of Navajo Tacos the other night - pure heaven . . . but I didn't get any photos of that.

Anyhoo . . . the other day when I wanted to bake something, I dragged out the recipe from the Pacific Cafe for their donuts/cinnamon rolls. It's a pretty big recipe, so I cut it in half and still had plenty of dough for both donuts AND cinnamon rolls.

They were so delicious! However, the donuts were NOT good the next day . . . only good when fresh!

I use dental floss to cut my cinnamon rolls - I think it's really the best way to cut them without squishing them. You can use regular thread if you don't have dental floss.



Don't worry . . . I didn't eat all of these. I always dump my baking left-overs on the Boy Scouts office next door.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The "High Hat"

Yesterday I had a little fun in the kitchen!




You may not know it, but I have this little dream of having my own bakery in partnership with my adorable niece, Jen! We'd have a big focus on cupcakes because our bakery would be called the . . . (maybe I shouldn't post the name in case someone likes it and steals it from me before I make this dream a reality!!!)




Whew . . . that was a close call!




ANYWAYS . . .




I've been trying a few things here and there. My facebook friends know that I made "Chantilly Frosting" recently with great success! It was divine! But the cupcake I made wasn't all that great.




There's another cupcake I've had my eye on, and wanted to try. It's called the "High Hat"! It gets that name because the frosting on it is about 2 inches high! Now before you think, "That's way too much frosting even for the serious frosting lovers!" It's not 2 inches of buttercream. It's way lighter than that . . .




And oh so lovely!!!




So . . . like any great baker or chef would do . . . I got "mise en place" (pronouced 'meez ah plahs')! It's french, and it means to get everything in place. The ingredients as you can see are butter, flour, sugar, unsweetened baking chocolate, eggs, sour cream, baking powder, baking soda and salt.




First I had to melt the chocolate over a simmering pot of water.


Then creamed the butter and sugar . . .


added the melted chocolate . . .


combined the dry ingredients, then added it to the mix.


After beating it until it became a little lighter in color,


I added the eggs one at a time,


the sour cream,


and vanilla!


The batter alone tasted so light and creamy!


I know these were going to be some delicious treats!




I lined my cupcakes pans with the paper liners and used my trusty ice cream scoop to put just the right amount in each little cup. I love that ice cream scoop!


And they baked!




While they were baking I started working on the frosting.


I don't know how many of you have made the frostings that are mostly whipped up egg whites.


I personally didn't realize this was a frosting option!


But I love it! It's so light and lovely!




But I digress . . . let me back up a bit.




So the recipe for the frosting called for egg whites, sugar, water and cream of tartar.


This has to be whipped while in a bowl over simmering water as well.


Now . . .




Here's where I veered away from the instructions.


Call me crazy, but in the back of my mind I'm thinking, "this is never going to whip up over HEAT! At least I didn't think so . . .




So I decided to pull it off the heat and transfer it to my trusty KitchenAid!


I love my KitchenAid!




I let the machine do the whipping, that's my trick!




It whipped up so fluffy and smooth and heavenly!!!




I was oh so pleased with myself!




It took every ounce of patience I had to wait for the cupcakes to cool off before piping on the frosting. Seriously . . . every ounce! I couldn't wait to pipe on the 2 inches of heavenly clouds!




But I did wait . . .




And voila!


Aren't they divine!!!



BUT WAIT!!!



That's



not



all!



Now comes the fun part!



I have to melt more chocolate (semi-sweet this time) for. . .



DIPPING!



While I was melting chocolate, the cupcakes waited patiently in the fridge.




Once I got the chocolate melted, I had to put it into a smaller bowl so that the chocolate would be 'deep enough' to dip the cupcakes into.




The first one . . .




DISASTROUS!




My chocolate was too thick and my frosting too soft and fragile.




Now I've seen the video of the infamous Ms. Stewart doing this making it look like it's a cinch! So I know it's possible!




I obviously have to thin my chocolate somehow . . .




(google: how to thin dipping chocolate!)


It looks like you add oil!
So I add and stir . . .


add some more,


and more,


and even more . . .


until I feel like it just might work!




So victim #2!




Better . . . but still a flop!




At least I could dip it without crushing the frosting.


But as I pulled them out, they were too 'heavy' and couldn't hold up and inevitably slid off into my dipping chocolate.




So then I'd have to scoop out the frosting and try again.




Third try . . . same thing!




AAAAUUUURRRGGGHHHH!




WHAT THE HECK!!!




There had to be a way to get this blasted chocolate on these cupcakes!




Sooooo . . .




In my cleverness, I decided to put the melted chocolate into my frosting bag and just drizzle it over the cupcakes!




AHA!




Take that!


They really are as tasty as they look!




Here's one of the casualties. :(



Although mine look delectible and mouth watering . . .





They were supposed to look like. . .





THIS!





Sunday, January 3, 2010

The New "Digs"

OK . . . OK . . . OK! Stop pestering me already! Here's a peek at the new place. . . (gosh!) Won't you please come in? . . . .


Don't trip over the hose . . . Scott's been watering his tropical plants again! (sorry about the blurriness in the above photo, the camera focused on the newel post!)
The Master Suite (above) Hallway (below)

This view is from the front of the house. That's the West Maui Mountains . . . where the Iao Valley is located.

From the back yard (or from the guest bedroom windows) you have a great view of Kahului Harbor where the cruise ships dock.
For the actual floor plan and to get a feel for the layout of the house, go to www.stanfordcarr.com/maunaleo.htm. It's floor plan #5. It's the reverse of that plan, without the optional "Granny Suite" upstairs, and the doorway off the kitchen to the bathroom and Bedroom #4 has been walled off.
Once I do the dishes and straighten the kitchen, I'll post photos of it!