Monday, December 14, 2009


Some of you might recall when we posted about the avocado tree finally bearing fruit back in April. The time has finally come and the avocados are ripe for the picking. Wellllll... they are picked a bit on the nhard side and the they soften up here in the house. We figure that if we pick them a little early then the rats won't eat them when they ripen on the tree. Those rats are opportunists and will not think twice about ruining our day. There

The perfect color, flavor and the texture is like BUTTAH!

Cumin lime turkey burgers with salsa and sour cream, garlic/chili mash potatoes, and carrots.

Friday, December 11, 2009


We had a small area on the south side of the new office that we wanted to plant something in that would not get too tall or busy... and preferably LOW MAINTENANCE. So we chose succulents. I began by building a small retaining wall out of rocks from the excavation. Then I placed the potted succulents in the enclosed space to get an idea for how and where I wanted them planted. It was looking rather flat and horribly boring, so I started piling up small rocks, covering those with dirt and placing some of the succulents atop the mounds. PERFECT!

The final touch was cover the dirt with a combo of black and red cinders which I had planned of simply mixing together. Not really the look I was going for so I decided the low parts would be the red cinders, which were larger and the higher parts would be the smaller black cinders. The effect and final outcome was not at all what I had in mind. It was BETTER! It just all happened so naturally. We love how the black cinders look as if they were pushed up through cracks in the red cinders.

Rock wall in place.

Place plants in for spacing and layout.

The end result.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


(the little retaining wall there is the home of the new succulent garden. stay tuned for that project tomorrow.)

A few weeks ago, OK… back in October, we started cleaning up and landscaping around the new office. Today's post is about the gravel and stone walkway around the lanai and stairs.

We first started by digging a 6" deep by 10" wide trench around the perimeter of the concrete to act as a drain. We filled that with small pea gravel rather than dirt so the water would flow quicker. It was then diverted down and around the plants by the water tanks and into the back yard. after letting the hose run in it for 30 minutes i was happy that I could see it was doing it's job. The next step was to place the large stepping stones that lead from the back yard around to the front of the office lanai. We then filled in the entire area with gravel... keeping it low maintenance.Now that the final touches are being done inside and out, we can see a tiny light at the end of the walkway. So glad the dirt piles are gone.

The beginning of the trench around the lanai and stairs.

Running of the water to check flow of the trench.


As I sat to write this, I don't think we mentioned that we got our final permit a few weeks ago. WOO-WHO! We have been busy doing the finishing details, with not a whole lot of time to write about it. Painting base boards, building cabinets, planting etc.

Back in early November we went to the Arbor Day Celebration at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens.
Arbor Day is celebrated here in Hawaii in the Fall/Winter to take advantage of planting in the wetter months. At the event, 1000 native Hawaiian plants and trees are given away and we always make the trip to town… anywhere for that matter, for a free tree. Previous years we have picked up a Koa and a Moa or Hawaiian Cotton. This year we picked up a Mountain Apple and a Manono.

The pots of free plants are marked with a heart.

One of the great things about the tree and plant give away is that all of the plants are divided by zone. there are 5 climate zones here for growing and you don't want to take a native plant that is on the endangered species list and plant it in an area that it will not survive. Some plants prefer the wet and cool side of the island where as others depend on the arid and hot side.

Our Koa tree is doing well from 2 years ago and has doubled in size, The Mao, or Hawaiian cotton in still in a large pot and doing well... it can get quite big and we have not had quite the right place for it yet. I think it's going in the ground soon though.

The Mountain Apple and Manono are still quite small, so we are leaving them potted for now in a part of the yard that is protected from the wind. We will gradually move them to windier parts of the yard in order to build up their tolerance.

We also picked up a coffee plant from the Maui Garden Club and many succulents from Rainbow Acres up in Olinda.

Stay tuned for the planting of the succulent garden.

The mountain apple to the left and the manono on the right.

Ma'o Or Hawaiian Cotton from 2008.

Our Koa tree we planted in 2007. It was about 2 feet tall back then and now proudly stands 5 feet tall.

The coffee plant and a selection of succulents.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


After waking up to a flat tire today, I was a bit worried I would not make it back to see the waves today. After I got the spare put on, I talked to our friend Liz who was wanting to go over, so off we went. Today was an absolutely perfect day… blue skies, waves, light winds and lots of sun. There were not as many guys in the water today, but I imagine a few took off to attend the Eddie Aikau Surf Contest on Oahu. I pretty sure the waves we saw today were much bigger and cleaner than yesterday. I'd say 35-40 feet at times. Liz and I just hung out with about 25 other onlookers and talked story while we watched the show.

Read more on Eddie Aikau.

Below are some shots I put together... a full shot with a zoom detail. They could be better, but not bad. See I need to stop talking about getting that telephoto lens and just buy it.

Monday, December 07, 2009


The day finally arrived. Monday, November 7th. The day that has been hyped for the last week. Monster surf and giant swells were being predicted as high as 30+ feet here on Maui's North Shore and up to 50+ on Oahu. I guess the last time they were this big was around 1969.

We were eager to see what the hub bub was all about. Calls and e-mails were being exchanged with friends... who was going, at what time, and where to get the best viewing.

We set out just after 9:00Am and were in for a wild ride. You could feel the buzz and energy in the air as we hoofed it a mile down through pineapple fields that were being harvested and dotted with school buses used to the transport the workers. We had a front row seat on the cliffs at JAWS here on Maui's North Shore to some of the best names in surfing. Then we left and headed to town and encountered bumper to bumper traffic heading into Paia. Baldwin, Paia and Ho'okipa Beaches were all closed and rubber neckers were out in full force. WHAT? It was like a snow day or as John said, trying to get a good spot to watch the fireworks on the East River in NY.

I have seen some big waves in my day, but nothing like this... as witnessed by some of my exclamations on a video clip or two.

It's really hard to explain the size of the waves, without having actually been there in person. Just imagine if the surfer you see was 5 or 6 people high... that would make most of these waves 25-35 feet... about as big as a 2 story home.

Some of these shots and vids are so zoomed in because I took our little Canon and put the camera lens right up on the lens of the binoculars (the ones with the dark ring around them).

Anyway, here are a few shots and vids from today. We are pretty sure some of these had 30-40 foot faces on them and even bigger are scheduled for later tonight and tomorrow. I believe it, because we can hear waves crashing in the bay behind us... loud crashing... not the gentle sound of surf we normally hear. I hope I can make it back out to witness some more of natures SWELL and entertaining beauty Tuesday.

(please make sure to click on each photo to see the full size version. They are cray-yay-zee.)

Our first look at JAWS.
Helicopters, boats, jet-ski's and surfers.

This helicopter flew by filming the crowd and really pumped everyone up.

These next 5 images are of two surfers catching and ripping two different sides of a wave.
I love the spray coming off the top, and the way the surfer on the right side carved a trail trough the tube.

this vid will have to do for now. the others were taking forever to upload. Maybe tomorrow.