Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Back to Lihue and Dick

Happy Halloween! Ade drove me to the airport in the afternoon.

My taxi driver ... for the suitcase only.  The Lihue airport is only a 2-mile walk from Nawiliwili Harbor, and it's all downhill!

I didn't plan to include this picture.  Dick never likes pictures of himself.  Here, he's so happy and healthy.  He told me he hadn't felt well all week, ever since dealing with the tsunami, and had been resting a lot and not working on the boat much.  Two days from now, our world would be turned upside down.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Big Island: day 3

Lunch at Village Burger in Wailua also known as Kamuela. If you're ever near this town, eat here.

All ingredients are fresh and from local vendors.

6 1/2 ounces of pasture-raised Hawaiian beef on a brioche bun. Fries with "parmesan goop" - sort of like pesto.

Waipio Valley, a sacred place and permanent residence of many early Hawaiian kings.

The road into the valley is super-steep.  Drivers must have 4-wheel drive and use it.

Hawi - cute touristy town

with a pretty good ice cream shop.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Big Island: day 2

Lunch at Sam Choy's.

L-R: Tropical Itch for Arlete complete with complimentary back scratcher, Blue Hawaii for Ade.
At the end of our meal, our server brought us a treat. We were instructed to scrape the flesh off the little red Miracle Fruit, then bite into the lemon.  The lemon was incredibly sweet.  There's something in the Miracle Fruit that affects your taste buds and makes sour or bitter food very sweet.  The effect can last from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

In the evening, we went to

to watch a hula performance by a local halau (hula school).

Uh-oh, audience participation time and Ade and I were invited onto the stage.  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

To Kailua-Kona, Big Island

Thank you Justin and Jennifer for driving me to Oakland to catch my flight.

Adrienne picked me up at the airport. Ade and I talk together for years.  She and her husband have been vacationing in Hawaii, however Mike had to return home due to some health issues.  Ade invited me to join her for a few days.

We stayed with Mary: Ade’s friend from high school, maid-of-honor at her wedding, and a special education teacher - still working, not retired like Ade and me.  After watching game 3 of the World Series, we went out for dinner.

The biggest most lush bougainvillea at the entrance to Mary’s driveway.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dick and the tsunami

8:30 pm HST (Hawaiian time): Dick was asleep in the cockpit when a kayaker came by to tell him a tsunami was coming toward Hawaii and to turn on the VHF radio. 10:30 was the estimated arrival time. That’s when Dick called me (11:30 pm PST) to let me know and to discuss what he should do. I thought he should row to shore, get to higher ground and we’d hope for the best for our boat at anchor in the harbor.

Boat after boat, about 20 in all, were making their way from the marina docks headed for the Kauai Channel. One of them told Dick you only needed to be about one mile off-shore to be safe. Dick thought he could do this on his own. Usually, I’m at the helm motoring as needed to get over the anchor so Dick can pull it up and onto the deck. On his own this time, he motored forward, put the engine in neutral, ran up to the bow and pulled up the slack … repeat … repeat.* He got the anchor up but couldn’t undo the bridle so loose ends and line were piled haphazardly on the deck and somewhat secured to one of the shrouds. Nevertheless, he was on his way.

Outside the break wall, the engine died. The anchor rode had fallen back into the water and was wound around the prop. He managed to use the mast winch to pull it up about 10 feet at a time. He wasn’t far enough away from shore yet and the wind was pushing him toward land. He got on the radio to see if anyone could help him with a tow. Kevin in a catamaran came over and towed him for about 30 minutes.* His boat didn’t have much power so Dick was cut loose, but now able to put up a sail.

He sailed all night. At dawn he began making his way back to Nawiliwili Harbor and sailed to anchor in almost the same spot we were in before.

Side note: one boat owner put his power boat on a trailer. Unfortunately, as he was driving away, he hit a power pole and knocked out all the electricity in the harbor area.

*The two times he had to pull up the anchor would turn out to be the beginning of a health crisis to occur Fri 2 November.

Gathering walnuts

The last few days kept me busy finishing the binding on Mom's quilt and taking her to the doctor.

In between those times, I gathered walnuts and shelled quite a few.  Justin planted the first trees in 2006. By 2010, there were 38 walnuts trees.

Harvesting is a stoop-and-bend exercise.  I gathered 4.5 pounds that way last Wednesday.

8 pounds on Friday with less stooping and more reaching up into the tree and plucking the walnut from the hull.

In a craft magazine I found these cute owls which called for "ground walnuts, available in pet stores" to use as stuffing in the bottom 2/3 of the owl. 

I put some shells in a paper sack and starting hammering.  When the bag broke, I scooped out the usable more-ground-up walnuts, and put the remaining shells in another paper bag for the next pounding session.

All of a sudden, the flock had grown to 4:

The next walnut project, Pumpkin Balls, rolled in toasted walnuts.  So good!

I figured out how to print labels:

My walnut projects for this trip have now ended.  The Giants are up in the World Series 3-0!  Life is good.  Time to pack up my stuff into one carry-on bag and have one last fantastic meal - baby back ribs.

The grill master:
Tomorrow I fly back to Hawaii.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Doug's family

Odin is 2 years old, Kellen is 5 and in kindergarten at Orchard School.

He loves Grandma's iPad and playing Angry Birds.

Kellen said the photographer at school told him to smile like this:

Tying knots and ...

The bed cover on Mom's bed needed some TLC: a few hundred quilt knots to hold the batting in place.

The sod couldn't be laid down yesterday because of heavy rain. This afternoon was the perfect break in the weather.

In just 1 1/2 hours, the sod was down, the walkways hosed down, the empty pallets and plastic loaded up, The crew ready to leave.

Time for Justin to check all the sprinklers.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Nicolaus in the fall

At Justin's house:

Adjusting sprinkler heights. Sod comes in two days.

New installation in the front yard:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Poof! Back in California

8am HST/11am PST: phone call from Thais, Mom was in the hospital. Row to shore, get online, check out the flights from Lihue to Sacramento.

My choices were limited. Flights all day long ranging in price one-way $468-$2000. All of them would take about 20 hours, I'd arrive around 6 pm the NEXT day. Example: one flight went from Lihue HI-San Jose CA-Portland OR-Boise ID-Sacramento CA. I checked the price of just the first leg to San Jose. $148, departing in a bit less than 2 hours. Big thanks to Katie, latest "trail angel" from my hularobics class at KAC for getting me to the airport on short notice.

1:45pm/4:45:  Just a 10-minute wait before boarding.
1 am PST:  After renting a car a the San Jose Airport, I drove to Sacramento and spent the night at Thais' house.  Sophia demonstrated how she climbs up the couch,
and crawls over the wall, to drop onto Carter's pillow on the other side.
Meanwhile Avery carefully considered a putt.

 11:30 am:  After being admitted for dizziness, low blood pressure and some bleeding, Mom rebounded quickly.  Blood tests came back looking good.  However the hospital staff was unable to give her several tests to exactly determine what was wrong.
Does her face ever light up when she sees Justin!