Sunday, April 29, 2007


Yesterday we drove upcountry to Kula in search of garage sales and ended up at Saint John's Church for a rummage sale and bake sale. We ended up with an oil burner for 25 cents and a bag of toffee and chocolate covered mac nuts. The drive up to Kula is always a stuuner, but yesterday was just amazing. Here are a few shots from about 3000" up the mountain.

A view of KAHO‘OLAWE.

A view of LANA'I in the distance past MA'ALAEA BAY on Maui.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


The Maui News / AMANDA COWAN photo

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

On Wednesday John and I volunteered at the public talk by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama here on Maui. John was assigned as an usher inside the stadium while I was assigned a post at the VIP security tent. We met some interesting folks throughout the day who were full of good stories about Maui. After the talk had finished we were to walk around the stadium and clean up the plastic bottles left by the crowd which was well over 10,000 people. There were a few people who were having hissy fits about not being allowed to bring their bags into the event, which I found odd on a day that was suppossed to be all about peace and compassion. As the Dalai Lama said "Greeting problems with anger only produces more anger". Wise man.

We did get to see and hear the Dalai Lama speak off and on (we were working) as he offered a commentary on the teaching "Eight Verses for Training the Mind". The teaching comes from the collection of Mahayana literature known as lojong - Mind Training. He spoke of compassion, happiness and the tricks the mind plays when perceiving reality itself.

Here are 2 links that can describe the event much better than I can.
DALAI LAMA: Compassion at the center
DALAI LAMA: Meeting of minds, culture

Sunday, April 22, 2007


I bought some new upholstery weight Hawaiian print barkcloth last week to recover the dinning room chairs. Barkcloth is is a heavy textured cotton fabric that resembles traditional KAPA - a fabric found in ancient Hawai`i made of beaten mulberry bark, or "wauke". I love the 13 colored dots that run along the SELVEDGE. These dots are numbered and represent each color used in the print - a color key if you will. That means this fabric has been SCREENPRINTED with 13 separate screens. That's a whole lotta screens considering this fabric was only $8.95 a yard. Barganza! Stay tuned to see how the finished product turns out.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Today we are off to the MAUI NUI BOTANICAL GARDENS for their Earth Day Celebration and plant sale. By buying plants - hopefully a tree or two - we will help lower our carbon emissions. To find out what your cabon emissions are, please visit COUNT DOWN YOUR CARBON. There you will find out how to lowers your emissions for a healthier planet. We discovered that the total pounds of carbon (CO2) emissions we have avoided is 398,454. It's as easy as changing your lightbulbs and turning off your electronics when not in use. We scored high because of living with solar power.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Yesterday I popped into town to get a few groceries and a dessert treat. I came across this cute package and had to buy it. What is it you ask? Well...IT'S IT and it is 2 oatmeal cookies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and the whole thing is dipped in dark, YES DARK chocolate. When I was checking out, the lady at the register said" Oh we have these again? Everyone has been asking for these." I told her I had never had them before and she said " you are in for a treat". They are good, but I have to say the packaging is better. And the name just kills me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Well it's finally happend. Our first bunch of BANANAS has become ripe and we are chowing down. We were told that as soon as 1 banana turns yellow to cut it from the tree and hang it up somewhere near the house. This way the birds and bugs will not devour it on the tree. I cut this bunch down yesterday and just the bottom "hand" was yellow. I hung it from a hook off the lanai to ripen and today 2 of the 3 "hands" are yellow. They were quite tasty this morning with coffee. Each one measures about 4" in length and 1.5" in diameter and are packed full of sweet flavor. I need to find out exactly what variety this is... could it be apple banana, or vanilla banana? I do know that banana's grow on plants and not trees. This particular bunch has/had 62 bananas on it. We have about 8 more bunches ready to turn in the next few weeks. I see banana bread, banana splits, banana smoothies and more in our future.

The ripening station on the lanai yesterday.
More yellow as of this morning.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Ka Leo O Laka I Ka Hikina O Ka La (Kane) Kahiko 2005

Halau Hula 'O Kahikilaulani Kahiko

We seemed to have gotten our DISH set up just in time. For the past 2 nights we have been glued to the TV watching the MERRIE MONARCH FESTIVAL. I tried a few weeks ago to get tickets, but the event is so popular that hotels and tickets were sold out. Here are 2 clips from previous years performances.

The Merrie Monarch Festival is held every year the week of easter in Hilo on the Bid Island. The festival is dedicated to the memory of King David Kalakaua, known as the Merrie Monarch. King Kalakaua came to the throne of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1874 and reigned until his death in 1891. He was a patron of the arts, especially music and dance.Kalakaua almost single-handedly restored many of the nearly extinct cultural traditions of the Hawaiian people. These included myths and legends, and the hula, which had been forbidden by the missionaries for over 70 years. The term hula refers to movement and gestures. Hula, however, cannot be performed without mele (poetry), the most important component. Mele are records of cultural information ranging from sacred mele pule (prayers) and mele inoa (name chants, many for chiefs) to topical mele ho'oipoipo (love songs) and mele 'aina (songs praising the land); the type of mele used is one way of classifying the dances. Allusion is greatly valued in the poetry, and hula gestures are a secondary level of abstraction; they do not tell the entire story but rather interpret key aspects of the mele. The concept of hula therefore involves mele and its recited realization in performance (there was no concept of "music" in Hawaiian culture). The chants, songs and dance tell stories of the Hawaiians' relationship with nature-the birds and fish, trees and flowers, mountains, oceans, rivers, wind, rain and Hawaii's active volcanoes.

American Protestant missionaries who arrived in 1820 introduced Christianity and prevailing Western values. With the support of converted high-ranking chiefs, they denounced and banned the hula as heathen. Declining numbers of hula practitioners therefore taught and performed clandestinely through the mid-nineteenth century. The art of ancient hula was nearly wiped out. The reign of King David Kalakaua (1874-1891) was a transitional phase for Hawaiian performing arts. Over the objections of christianized Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians, known experts were gathered at his court and encouraged to practice the traditional arts. In this favorable era, hula practitioners merged Hawaiian elements of poetry, chanted vocal performance, dance movements, and costumes to create a new form, the hula ku'i (ku'i means "to combine old and new").

Exceprts taken from International Encyclopedia of Dance.


Our friend Charity, who lives in DUBAI, sent us these adorable pics of her little boy Bond on his Easter Egg hunt. She informs us that she forgot to buy white eggs so she just used the brown ones she had. I think they look so much better than the white eggs. Very sophisticated - no? Anyway I thought that was a good tip to pass around that resulted from a mistake.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Ok that's it... were selling the house! I've been bamboozeled!!! John was out tilling the garden yesterday when he came across this BRAHMINY BLIND SNAKE. I was curious about it so I picked it up... yes picked it up, thinking it was some kind of worm. I wanted to put it in a jar until we could research it. So as I am savouring my coffee this morning I look it up on-line and discoverd that it is indeed a snake. I figured it was as it had scales rather than rings like a worm. Oh yeah, they are all female... no males needed to reproduce. But it is the good kind of snake that is harmless and eats ant and termite larvae so we let it go. Besides... up close, it's kinda' cute not to mention so shiny..almost metallic.
The close up of the face.
The tail end.
And away she goes.


Yesterday we received our first delivery via UPS without a problem. When the driver arrived, I asked him if this was his usual route and delivery time and he said yes. I then asked him his name and he replied "Guy". Come on... you gotta love we have a "UPS GUY"! I had ordered a slew of gardening books from Amazon and am eager to start planning out the vegetable garden and propagate more plants. I poured over so many pages of this book last night and so far it comes highly recommended. It details how to propagate anything. We have a LARGE white fence along the north side of the house that really needs to be disguised therefore the need to propagate all our wonderful plants we already have. It should not be too hard. They say if you want anythig to grow in Haiku, just stick it in the ground.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Last Saturday night we were invited to a hula performance by Barb, the previous owner of our house. The event was held at MACC and believe it or not, this was our first time to ever see a HULA show. The program consited of 18 hulas, each one telling a different story. The first 7 hulas were called HULA KAHIKO, which is the ancient form of hula and performed in more authentic hula outfits (Male dancers wore the everyday malo, or loincloth. Again, they might wear bulky malo made of many yards of tapa. Female dancers wore pā`ū, a sort of strapless wrap dress. They also wore necklaces, bracelets, anklets, and lei.) and to chant with traditional instruments. The rest were called HULA 'AUANA and are more modern and performed in present day outfits - shirts and pants with cumberbunds for men and hawaiian print dresses for the women - with a live band. The live music was also a big treat. ʻUkulele, Slack key guitars and men with falsetto voices! What's not to like?
After the performance we wre treated to PU PU's and dinner in the garden at the MACC. Here are 3 short clips. (sorry for the shakey camera work)

Our new friend Barb (front row far left) was in this group called Na Haumana Hula O Ualani performed a Hula Kahiko called I Aloha 'Ia 'O Kilauea (Kilauea is loved). The use of the bamboo sticks produced a wonderful sound. Also in this group is Sheila (back row far right) who is one of our neighbors. She is in her 70's and was awesome workin' those bamboo sticks. Gotta give it up for Sheila!

This group was called Na 'Opio and the four girls on each corner were about 13 years old while the one in the middle was only 8 years old. They are doing a Hula Kahiko called 'Oaka Kalani (The Heaven's Flash).

This was the final hula of the night performed by the men and women of I Kona Mau Lima. This was a Hula 'Auana whch was quite fast called Beauty Hula. The Hula 'Auana's were real crowd pleasers as you will hear in this clip.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


This amazingly beautiful spider known as "banana spider," "writing spider," "black and yellow garden spider", scientific name Argiope aurantia, can be found in numerous webs around the house and we just leave them alone as they are great for keeping the bugs at bay. It just hangs out in the center of it's web and we NEVER see them move. We had a much larger one near the entrance to the shed that had been there since we arrived almost 4 weeks ago which just up and left on Thursday. This is a rather small one with a total width of about 1".

While I was trimming the spent leaves from the banana trees a few days ago, I came across this odd looking walking stick. it would take a few steps then make itself completely straight by extending it's front legs forward and its side and back legs in close to it's body. According to this LINK, it is a rare sight.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


I keep running across this image in my photo library and it makes me laugh everytime I see it. I saw this note taped to this paper towel dispenser in a bathroom of a studio we were working at while in North Carolina. So I ran and got my camera to document the moment. You just can't make this stuff up or explain it without the actual visual. It reminded me to check out the blog THIS IS BROKEN which has some amazingly funny images on it. Spend some time pouring throught the archives... it's worth it.

Friday, April 06, 2007


Ok kids, make sure you have A LOT of time on your hands before visiting this site. It's organized by publisher. I only made it to the B's. There are some gems like the ones I featured here. If I had the great honor to design a book cover with a Ben Shahn illustration I would probably do something like the striped overlay treatment on The Funhouse. The Playtime cover reminds me of my friend Magda's senior project in college--it was all about the psychology of childhood play. I love the black & white silhouette's on the colorful background. All hail The Book Scans Database. Thanks to FG'er Kirsten for sending me the link.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


You gotta wake up pretty early to catch the papaya theives around here. Unless you go out and check the papaya trees EVERYDAY this is what you get. Empty, hollowed out papaya's. This one was still green yesterday and when I went out to collect it this morning I got quite a surprise. I suspect it is the Japanese White Eye - a lovely little green bird with a white circle around it's eye. Now I am all happy that the birds are having their fill and hanging out in our yard, but really. I guess the payoff is that they will carry the seeds off and create a new papaya tree somewhere else... that somewhere hopefully being our yard.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Well it started off as a beautiful day. We went to a new beach that ended up being quite lovely and calm. Baby Beach (which is part of Baldwin Beach) has a natural tide break that makes for easy dipping.

I really wanted to go up to the summit of Haleakala to see the sunset. It is such a spectacular sight, I thought that would be a good way to end the day. But, as is always the case on my Birthday, it was raining! I thought for sure, being 10,000 feet up would put us above the clouds. So no pretty sunset, but we got some evocative shots regardless.

Here's Conn braving the cold, wet, and windy conditions at the summit Vistor's Center parking lot.

A small patch of blue and a cinder cone.
The observation deck at the 10,023 foot summit.

Coming down the mountain we did get some interesting sunset action. Lots of crazy clouds. That's Ma'alaea coastline in the distance.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Mr. Coconut (who we found keeping a watchful eye in our garden) would like to wish John (aka April Fool) a very Happy Birthday today. I think we are going to celebrate by going to the beach for the first time since we have been here and maybe drive up to HALEAKALA for sunset. No work today.