Sunday, October 28, 2007


I thought it might be interesting to post a bunch of disparate shots from the cell phone as a recap of the past few months.

Waianapanapa State Park, Hana The linear arrangement of smooth rocks is not a coincidence. It's a small segment of a path that at one time circled the entire island and was traversed only by the ali'i (royalty), everyone else had to walk on the dirt or sharp a'a (jagged lava rock).

On the road Me either fighting sleep or nausea on another backseat ride from Hana. Whoo-hoo...pass the dramamine!

Waihee, West Maui Mountains We stopped here at the Waihee Ridge trailhead with Mom and Dad to treat them to some stunning views of cane fields on the slopes of Haleakala.

Kmart, Kahului It was the only pink one in the entire display...what's up with that. And I didn't turn it so it would face me. We just turned the corner and there it was..."hi, i'm pink!"

Baldwin Beach, Paia An unusually calm day at a primarily windy beach

Puunene, Maui My search for Maui Friends of the Library bookstore took me through the ghost town that was once a thriving community centered around the still functioning sugar mill. I had to snap a pic of the desolate surroundings which are best summed up in this one of the old church...It's VERY windy here. I expected to see tumbleweeds. Got red dust instead. Truly beautiful.

Claremont, New Jersey My dear friends Chrystine and Eddie brought a new life into the world named Stephen this past June. Thanks to pic messaging, I get to feel like I'm there after Chrystine fills me in 0n all the baby happenings. She snapped this pic of herself and the bean.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


As much as I don't really like having a roll of paper towels sitting on the counter, I dislike one hanging from under it even more. Truth is, we really can't function in the kitchen without one.
So I set out on a search last week and thought I would return home empty handed. I bought a regular old standing model with a wooden base that I knew I would not be happy with but it was all I could find (it is being returned). Then I ran into ROSS where I found THE PERFECT paper towel holder. It's made by Kamenstein and can be found anywhere from Linens N' Things, Amazon, Target Pfaltzgraph or a slew of other places. The great thing about this one is that it has a special ratchet-action design with 4 wire holders, much like a paint roller which allows you to pull off paper towels with one hand. Best of all, the ratchet action prevents the holder from falling over, spinning wildly and the towels from unraveling. If you are going to have a paper towel holder, THIS IS THE ONE! They even sell a version that you mount under the cabinet, but I like this free standing one that you can move to wherever you need it... or better yet, store it away.

Friday, October 26, 2007


After taking a few days off to focus on the yard, we are in the final stage of the kitchen. We started installing the the back splash on Wednesday afternoon. John went to town and rented a wet saw after we realized we had way too many small cuts to use the table top cutter we used for the floor. Today we will do the last small section and should grouting on Sunday or Monday. We pics soon. Until then, here are a few shots of the window ledge that I had to build up with an extra thickness of sheet rock.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Today as I walked past the kitchen window I noticed this little guy/gal on the screen. It is called a Green Anole and is sometimes referred to as the American chameleon due to its color-changing abilities from green to brown; however, it is not a true chameleon. It is in fact a relative to the Iguana.

Of course I had to do my research on my new friend and found that, the typical coloration for a green anole ranges from the richest and brightest of greens to the darkest of browns, with little variation in between. There are a few exceptions, however, which are caused when a lack in one of the pigment genes occurs. There are 3 layers of pigment that make up the green anole color spectrum: the Xanthophores, responsible for the yellow pigmentation; Cyanophores, responsible for the blue pigmentation, and Melanophores, responsible for the brown and black pigmentation. The combination of the Xanthophores and Cyanophores are what make up the different arrays of green seen in the green anole, whereas the Melanophores are responsible for its change to brown when the anole is cold, stressed, or just needs to warm up for the day. When there is a lack of one of these pigments, color mutations, or also called "phases," can occur. In particular, this can lead to the incidence of the rare and beautiful blue-phased green anole, which lacks Xanthophores, or the yellow pigment that makes up the green hues of the green anole's color spectrum. What results is a blue, often baby or pastel blue, anole. Colonies of these rare color-phased anoles have been reported, but anoles with these color mutations rarely live for long, since the green anole relies on its green and brown camouflage to hunt down prey as well as hide from predators.

I have been wanting to try and catch one for some time and finally went for it. It was very timid and I took my time so as not to scare it to death. Once I coaxed it onto my finger it just chilled and was very relaxed. I was able to rub it's back and side belly which it seemed to enjoy, because when I went to put it back on the screen, it did not want to go. In fact in crawled off then turned around and came back on my hand. I hope I can get it to come back to me again soon.
When I first caught this little beauty it was brown. Within a few minutes it had turned to green. I guess that means it was relaxed and warm.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


(sneak peek)
Sorry we have not posted in a week, but we have been hard at work on finishing the final details in the kitchen. Adding the cabinet handles, attaching base boards and kick plate, sealing the grout and making the open wall shelves. It's these little things that take so long. All is coming along and we will post finished pics soon. We still have to put up the tile back splash which will be another few days. The new appliances are amazing, but have only been able to use the top burners on the new stove, because we cannot adjust the oven burner ourselves. Sears is scheduled to come out and make the adjustment in 2 weeks. YES 2 WEEKS! I'm starving!!!
(not really... we us the gas grill most of the time, but i sure would love to make some banana bread or french fries)

Since we have neglected the yard work for the last 3 weeks, we are going to spend the weekend attacking the weeds that have begun to take over with all the rain we have had.
The above image is of a grass that is grows like a monster. You can't just pull it and leave a small piece in the ground... you have to get every single piece of it or it will take over everything. Although this looks nice on the brush pile, we have to keep it under control so that it does not choke out the other plants. We have not found anything that kills it yet. So this is our task today... there are 3 areas where we need to extract this from. This pile was not here a month and a half ago. Why don't the nice plants, the plants we want grow this fast?

(the sprawling lawn after 3 mowings)
The rain has also prevented me from mowing the lawn, so yesterday I took advantage of a full sun filled day and had to mow the lawn 3 times because it was so tall and thick... once on level 6, once on level 4 (my usual level) and once on level 5 to mulch it and blow it all around... no raking this time. I would not have it any other way, but owning 2 acres is a lot of work! Ok... of to slather ourselves up in sunscreen and get to pullin'.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Today we played tour guide with John's folks instead of working on or in the house. We made our way to the West side and puttered around Lahaina then took a scenic drive up to Honokohau then into Wailuku for dinner at Saeng's Thai Cuisine for dinner. It was an award winning day with clear skies and unrivaled views of all the mountains and neighbor islands. Heck we even saw Ohau from Lahaina... a first for us. It was great to put down the tools and to be outside reconnecting with nature. By the way... the major work on the kitchen is done. All we have to do is attach base boards, back splash, cabinet pulls and hang 3 shelves. Pics soon.
Oahu as seen from Lahaina. (center of pic behind the sunken boat)

Chains in the Lahaina Harbor

The coastal cliffs around Honokohau.

South Maui, Molokini Crater and Kaho'olawe.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


The kitchen re-model is moving along quite nicely and we are hoping to be done by Thursday with the major renovations. John and I installed the tile flooring yesterday and it is GORGEOUS! We had hoped it would go in on Tuesday, but due to a few small unexpected issues we were delayed. We found that there was a good deal of glue used on the floors to hold the plywood in place that had to be chiseled off and even stripped in one section. Upon taking out the lower cabinets, we discovered that they had been glued along the back to the wall, which destroyed a few sections of drywall that needed to be replaced. We also moved (with the help of John's dad) 1 electric outlet so that it is now on the outside of the house (good for the pressure washer), re-located another inside, replaced and re-wired the phone outlet and added a new outlet and circuit breaker dedicated to the fridge. Tomorrow we add the grout to the flooring and pick up the counter tops. Hopefully we can get the wall cabinets in on Tuesday and the base cabinets and counters in on Wednesday with final touches Thursday. The new appliances are due on Thursday as well. Here are a some images of the process. We will post before and afters soon!

Out with the old...

And in with the new. The patched sections behind the old base cabinets.

Patched and filled. Ready for the tile back splash and new cabinets.

The tools of the trade and the selecting of the tile placement.

Mixing of the thinset mortar for the floor tiles.

Laying of the tiles. We opted for a brick pattern to match the back splash mosaic tiles.

Scoring and snapping the tiles.

We took the molding trim off from around the pass through and replaced it with a bullnose edge.

After the walls were patched, we had to add a "Knockdown" texture to match the existing texture. It hides a multitude of flaws.


Well, in between tearing out our kitchen and dealing with unexpected setbacks which Mom and Dad have been sympathetically patient with, we have been taking them farther afield than they might normally be doing on their own.

Birthday dinner at Mama's Fish House

Mom and Dad at the site of the last lava flow on the island.

The whole gang surveys nature's immense spectacle-Haleakala. While there, Dad asked if it is the largest volcanic crater in the world. Some digging found that Mount Tambora in Indonesia holds that title.

High on Haleakala. After days of scrutinizing the cloud covered summit for signs of clearing, we gave Mom and Dad a forewarning that as soon as it cleared up, we'd drop everything and head up there. Today we were treated to a long-awaited reprieve.

Friday, October 05, 2007


Congrats to our dear friends Lauren & Derek in San Fransisco who have just opened the four walled version of their on-line shoppe... THE CURIOSITY SHOPPE. We wish we could have been with them for the opening this week and to see all the cuteness they are offering, but we were there in spirit. You might remember that the Curiosity Shoppe is where we sold some of our wares this past year. If you are in the S.F. Bay area... please stop in and see them at:
The Curiosity Shoppe
855 Valencia Street, at 20th Street

Here is a link to read the article in DAILY CANDY.