Saturday, March 31, 2007


Wow, here it is Saturday already. We have had quite the busy and satisfying week. Here is a shot of the plumeria I gather while the coffee is brewing. Keep in mind I do this around 6:30 or 7:00 AM. Like I would have ever been out of bed that early in New York. I know, some of you are thinking I have simply lost my mind. Hey, this is what I came here to do. Take time to stop and smell the flowers.

On Thursday we dropped the car off to get rust proofed, and had a special coating put on the exterior to protect it from the salt air and dirt as well as a scotch guard finish on the interior upholstery. While that was being done we were dropped off at the QUEEN KA'AHUMANU CENTER where we thought we would spend a few hours at the shops. It is a beautiful open air mall with full views of the West Maui Mountains. When we arrived at Honda they told us it would take 5 hours to complete the treatment. YIKES! The mall is really just an hour or two's worth of entertainment so 5 hours was a real stretch.
After having a late breakfast, we walked about 10 minutes from the mall to the MACC - MAUI ARTS & CULTURAL CENTER to see the ART MAUI exhibit... a juried show of all Maui artists. It was really quite good. We made our way back to the mall to and thought about seing a movie but the line-up was really grim. And the Easter Bunny was nowhere to be seen. Does anyone else find it strange that children sit on the Easter Bunny's lap? What do they talk about or ask for? Eggs?

Yesterday (Friday) we accomplished tons!
I propagated some panax trees, ti plants, dracaena and hibiscus in the morning.


John and I opened joint checking account at Bank of Hawaii.
Stopped in the Maui Baseyard in Makawao and paid for 3 months of trash pick up.
We got plates and registration for the car.
We picked up chain saw and rake at Sears.
Picked up mail at post office.
Stopped at Walmart and K-Mart for odds and ends.
Stopped along the road and watched the whales on the way home.
Picked lemons, guava and papaya from garden.

Today we stayed home all day and unpacked and organized.
I also made some guava pulp by scooping out the flesh and seeds into a strainer and pressing it through. The seeds of the guava might as well be stones, so it is best to press through a stainer or sieve. I used 4 guavas and got about 1/2 cup of pulp which took about 10 minutes. This will be used as a marinade or in a cocktail.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Walking around the garden today we spotted this healthy caterpillar munching away on our Giant Milkweed and we didn't mind at all because that's really what it's there for. In fact, there were quite a few babies feeding. It provides us with a steading stream of colorfully fluttering residents. I did some research and found out that milkweeds are poisonous and are considered, well, a weed! But this is a tree-sized weed that looks as if it's had a long life. And today was really all about weeding. I broke out the weedwhacker to tackle some pesky edge trimming and sweeping. I got a bit to into it though and started clearing out the fallow garden beds. We lost an onion. Poor onion. But we plan on planting the Maui kind in it's place. So then we decided to just start making sense out of these garden beds by, what else, weeding! ugh. We managed to make some good progress thanks to the loose soil.

Weeding as the sun was going down.

Sorry for the blurry shot. It was getting dark.


Several of you were so inspired by the grilled eggplant salad and have asked for more recipes. Here is a menu idea and not so much a recipe. Back on September 18th, 2006 I remembered reading on Bev Smiths (bafflesblog) a post on ODE TO RICE. I had commented that I would like to try and find FORBIDDEN BLACK RICE. I loved having the Black Thai rice from RICE in NYC. While in NYC I looked and looked for this rice without luck. So here I am in Maui and I run into MANA FOODS in Paia where I find the long sought after rice. I boiled up a batch for dinner the other night and threw in some shaved coconut and dried cranberries. The coconut can be added while the rice is boiling, but add the cranberries at the end. This rice is treat! Unlike white rice, it retains a certain amount of crunch and firmness which adds to the sweet nutty flavor. When cooked, forbidden rice has the smell of freshly popped popcorn (not the microwave kind) and turns the water that it is boiling in a brilliant purple color. It was served with the remaining roasted eggplant salad from the night before and grilled orange beef. I would have prefered a slightly better presentaion, but I was lucky to get this far after unpacking all day. John and I deemed it one of the best meals we have had in quite some time. (pat on the back).

Monday, March 26, 2007


Well Lauren, here it is at long last! The picture you have been waiting for.Yesterday was our first day we stayed at home all day and tended to the yard. We broke out the lawnmower and did a good amount of weeding as well as organizing the work shed. Mowing the lawn took almost 3 hours which was fine, but I might want to put a sun shade on the mower - that is if it is not too windy. We are never without a good "breeze" or should I say "gale".

We have / had a few rows of hedges here called Wiliwili that were infected by a Gall Wasp and were destroyed. It was an island wide epidemic that has nearly wiped out the endemic Hawaiian tree. John just knocked some down and began making a "fence" to disguise a brush pile.

We will plant something in front of this to disguise it even further.

And remember those ornamental pods from the palms I said i would find a use for? Well... I worked them into a row of dead Wiliwili's to create a more rail like fence. Eventually we will get rid of all the Wiliwili stumps, but for now this is a good fix.

Halfway through the day John made another batch of fresh lemonade.

Our basket of plenty.
A beautiful and tart pink guava.
The eggplant bush. There must be 40 eggplant on this thing. We better get to eatin'.

With all the abundance of treats from the garden, we incorporated a few into our dinner. Guava, eggplant, tomatoes, oranges, lemons, limes and papaya. I am not all that into eggplant, but on the advice of Parnell I whipped up a grilled vegetable salad that was amazing. For the chicken I marinated it in fresh guava, crushed garlic, grated ginger salt and pepper.

Recipe for grilled vegetable salad as follows.

Brush eggplant, red, yellow and orange peppers, tomatoes and pineapple on both sides with olive oil and grill.
(use any combo of veggies that you like... Parnell suggests asparagus and okra as well)

juice of 1 fresh lime
lemon zest
1 clove finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 chopped scallion
1 teaspoon chopped mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
dash or 2 of ground coriander
pinch of chili flakes
1 tablespoon Raw Brown Sugar dissolved in 1.5 teaspoons hot water
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon shoyu sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

After veggies are grilled, dice and place in large bowl. Pour dressing over, toss and serve.
Good the next day as a cold dish as well.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


So this is it! We bought this cute Atomic Blue Honda Element on Friday night. We had been looking at cars since we arrived and we were getting overwhelmed. Car shopping sucks. Fist we said we were going to get a Toyota pick-up but that did not suit us. We thought about the FJ Cruiser but the MPG on that is rotten. Then we moved on to the Nissan Xterra in bright yellow. That was a cute ride, but a pretty big one and not so good on the MPG either, not to mention the sticker shock. We looked at a few used lots and nothing. Feeling run over from the sleazy salesmen, we made one last stop into the shared Jeep and Honda lot to look at the Jeeps. We parked near the Element and took a look... never making it to the Jeep side. John took it for a spin and it was nice. It was the last they had and the salesman said what if we make you an incredible offer? We said ok make us an offer. So we go in and sit down and fill out some forms and the guy says, Now, what would you feel comfortable paying for this car?" to which I said.... OH NO - YOU WERE GOING TO MAKE US AN INCREDIBLE OFFER, SO MAKE US THE OFFER. He was a little shocked and said "well I need to take a number to my boss". I said no... the deal was YOU MAKE US THE OFFER AND WE SEE IF WE LIKE IT. So off he went and came back with a pretty good offer... the best we had all week, but we just had to get him down a bit more and we did. YAY! 4 hours later we left the Honda lot with our new ride!

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Yesterday we spent the day with my sister (Heather) and her boyfriend (Jeff) driving the road to Hana. We went hiking Pipiwai Trail in the Kipahulu area of Haleakala National Park to Waimoku Falls. They loved it and the falls were really flowing. We had dinner at Paia Flatbread Co. - a new pizza eatery in Paia.

Two views of the Road to Hana. the first image was shot around 11:30 Am and the second about 7:00 PM.

Heather and Jeff are the 2 specks at the bottom of the 400 foot Waimoku Falls.

Today John and I left the house in hopes of doing a good deal of car shopping but we were hindered with news that our riding mower was arriving today instead of next Monday. We made it home 10 minutes before it arrived and we were thrilled to be getting it early only to find out after the delivery comapny left that it would not start! Sorry, no pics of me riding it today. We think they sent it to us with a dead battery since the headlights won't turn on. John called Sears and they told us to bring the battery in to test it and if it is bad they will give us a new one. UGH! So we did some palm trimming instead of unpacking and we were treated to an amazing double rainbow. Since I could not fit the entire rainbow into frame, I have included a short video clip of it here.

John trimming the palms.

The left behind ornamental pods and seed branches.I plan on finding a use for these.

A spectacular shot of the rainbow beyound the palms.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Thanks to all of you for your recent comments! Some of you have been asking to see pics of the house and we will post some soon. Right now the house is full of boxes and as soon as we have something more settled into to show we will post something.

Monday we spent the day with my sister and gave her a driving tour all of our part of the island... Kula, Makawao, Paia & Haiku. She was in awe of the views, especially from Kula. It was an impossibly gorgeous day as you can tell from these 2 images. We stopped back at the house so she could see our new digs and John made a pitcher of lemonade with fresh lemons from the garden... Delicious.

John and Heather whale watching.

Wind surfers at Ho'okipa Beach.

We stopped at the scenic lookout near Ma'alaea to see if we could spot any humpback whales on our way home from dropping my sister off at her hotel and we hit the jackpot!!! There were several pods and although the sun was setting and it was hard to get them on film we managed to film this pod of 4 whales.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Today we spent most of the day shopping. We bought a riding lawn tractor with canopy attachment and pull behind cart/wheel barrel, a self propelled push mower, a gas powered weedeater, chain saw and hedger, a gas grill with cover and cooking utensils, and a stop at costco for the month's groceries. That's right, just spending money like we have it!

Here is a beautiful shot near Ho'okipa Beach Park on the North Shore where they do a lot of wind surfing and surfing. It's about 15 minutes back towards the airport from the house. We stood along here the other day and spotted several pods of Humpback Whales. They were tiny from the shore, but just imagine how big they really are if you can see them breechig and spouting water from their blowhole at that distance. It was pretty exciting.

This was the view as we left Costo looking up the slopes of Haleakala. The clouds today were insanely heavy and this one was so low that you were literally able to touch the sky in the towns of Makawao and Pukalani, which I am told means Little Hole as there is always a hole in the clouds above Pukalani where the sun shines through. You can see it just to the right of center where there is a clearing in the clouds.

Friday, March 16, 2007


This afternoon while I was standing in our conatainer, I was being serenaded by the most impossibly red cardinal I have ever seen. He sat atop a 50 foot Cook Island Pine singing his heart out.

Click the images to see larger.

Also, here is a shot of the baby blue plastic adirondack chairs we bought. I just love them and the only thing better would be if they were orange.

A view of one of the banana patches near sunset.

Self Portrait. And no... I have not combed my hair ALL DAY!

A tangerine tree.

John with his prize tangerine.

And finally, this HATEFUL looking spider was hanging out in the rafters of the deck this afternoon and when I saw it I almost died. Notice the top part of that beam is 4" wide so that means the spider was at least 4" across. So I turned my back on it and when I turned back around it lowered itself eye level with me and I swear it licked it's chops! It was me or the spider... guess who lost! I mean you had to be there. The way it lowered itself was so surreal and sinister like right out of a cartoon.

That's all for today.

E UA ANA PAHA (perhaps it will rain)

Well we made it. After leaving New York a few weeks ago John and I did a small amount of visiting folks before we arrived on Maui. John went to Upstate New York and I went to Indiana and San Francisco. John had never been to California before so we met up in Los Angeles and stayed there 2 days. In all it took us 18 days to get to our new home.
THE WEST MAUI MOUTAINS. This is the first time we have seen the entire mountain like this without being covered in clouds.

We arrived on Tuesday the 13th and and it rained most of the day. We went shopping right away to get an inflatable mattress, plates, cups, food and cleaning supplies. We got 2 great baby blue plastic Adirondack chairs at K-mart... Very Philippe Starck. Got to the house and walked the grounds to discover we had papaya ready to eat as well as several baby pineapple that will be ready by the end of summer I hope. Cherry tomato's and lots of eggplant. Too bad I don't like eggplant. We can't wait to plant the garden and have fresh food!

Wednesday we woke up and made coffee and sat outside. Our neighbors came over with flowers and fresh bananas. They are really cool folks with 3 kids, 2 dogs and 3 cats. The 4 leggers come to say hi quite a bit which is cute. We went shopping again and it rained a lot. Stopped to wqatch a few whales breech in the waters on the north shore. It had stopped raing late in the afternoon and we had a beautiful sunset.
A VIEW TO WAIPIO BAY AT THE DRIVEWAY ENTRANCE. Our neighbors told us that whale and dolphin can be seen frolicking in the bay.

Thursday the container with all of our stuff arrived right on schedule. It was amazing that it was all strapped in and in place just as we had left it in New York. A few boxes shifted and we cannot tell if there is any real damgage to things in the boxes yet, but all in all it looks good. We also got our internet service up and running today which was shockingly easy. We picked up this wireless modem that you plug into the wall and that's it. It gets it's signal from a satellite. YAY!!! We decided not to put up a mailbox, so we stopped into the post office and got a PO Box. TaDah! Done!
AND THE UNPACKING BEGINS. It's nice to have our things with us.

What else can I tell you? The sound of the rain here is rather soothing and the smell of the air is so clean. At night it is so dark out you cannot even see your hand in front of your face, but you can see every single star in the sky... I mean every one! The sky looks like black velvet with silver glitter. At times we can here the surf in Waipio Bay just behind the house. The bird sounds are a constant symphony. The garden and grounds are beautiful and the house is really cute. We do have some work to do on the house, but are going to make changes later.

Ok. I think that is all I can tell you for now. Besides that's too much reading anyway.