Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Saturday, November 30, 2013

In search of the wily Christmas tree

When I was a kid, Dad would load me and my three brothers into the jeep and go up to our cabin to find a Christmas tree.  This usually involved getting the jeep stuck in the snow at least once and having to use the winch to pull it out.  And I remember one time when the cable broke and we all hiked 7 miles through the snow to the fish hatchery to get help.  I have never been a fan of snow since that time.  Usually our tree was lopsided or had a hole in one side or was too skinny or too fat.  Mom should have come along so she could pick a good tree, but she had learned to hate snow just as much as I did.  I am now a great fan of neatly groomed tree farms in lower elevations where the snow does not go.  This is where Kyle and I went yesterday.  There's still the search for the "Right" tree - be it noble fir or douglas fir or spruce.  Be it short or tall or thin or fat.  The size is often dictated by the space we can create for it.

After we (I) have selected the perfect tree, Kyle cuts it down and we transport it to the  shed where they put it on a machine that shakes much of the debris and most of the small animals free from the branches.
 Then it goes through the baler to make it easier to transport.  Trees in bondage - for the kinky among you.  The trees sold commercially were cut, shaken and baled in Early November to be shipped all over the US and the world.  When baled, they are easier to stack in the big metal containers for trucking and train transport.
We then tie the tree onto the top of the car and bear it gleefully home.  The day after Thanksgiving is our traditional day for decking the house for Christmas.  Kyle sets up the tree, and I drag out the boxes and go mad with joy.   This year, we needed to get a small tree because the only place we can squeeze it in is next to the front window, behind the sofa.

I developed my decorating technique when I was in college.  The technique involves putting on the lights first, then hanging every ornament you own on the branches, going out and buying two more boxes of colored glass globes, then fabricating more ornaments from aluminum foil, colored paper and glue, popcorn, and finally hanging spare bits of jewelry up because they were shiny!  Our tree is much more sedate now.

Sedate little tree squeezed between sofa and treadmill.

You may notice cement blocks down by the floor.  We boosted the tree up on a table top to show better through the window.  Ben adores hiding under the table.

I don't think the cats know that Christmas trees can be climbed.  They sniff the branches suspiciously, then run through the house like a two cat posse.  What is it about that fresh pitch aroma?
Another tradition I have is my little creche.  I keep adding to it.  The animals now include a felted sheep, a plastic sheep and cow that "poop" tiny brown jelly beans, a rubber duckie with a stocking hat, two porcelain kitties, and a wooden kitty.  Also, Jolly St. Nick and a Geisha have joined the party.  In my house, EVERYONE gets to celebrate!

What traditions do you follow?

Monday, November 25, 2013

lazy weekend

This weekend was clear, bright and sunny.   It was also colder than a tin toilet on the shady side of a glacier.  Kyle and I admired the sunshine's it made beautiful sculptural shapes and shadows on the bare tree limbs being thrashed by the bitter East wind, and stayed safely ensconced in our side-by-side lazy boys.  I plugged into a Terry Pratchett audible book, and knitted a mitten.  Kyle plugged in his laptop and researched homes in tropical climes.  When a home is reasonably priced, we are learning to ask, "What's wrong with it?"  I think sellers often ask for the moon when they would be willing to settle for the International Space Station.  And of course, we won't buy anything sight unseen.  I still like the big island of Hawaiii, but Puerto Rico is a possibility and there's something to be said for the American Virgin Islands.  It's years in the future though.  We just like to get a good idea of the market.  Something tropical, low maintenance, ocean view with at least one guest room so you can all come and visit.  Florida doesn't have any topography.  The ocean is rising, and just a few feet of storm surge will submerge most of the state.

After a Sunday of sloth and snacking, I'm headed off to Weight Watchers today.  I'll wear layers of clothes so I can shed the weatherproofing before I weigh in.

Mercy on the folks  in the midwest, Oklahoma and Texas.  Stay home, stay safe.  Celebrate thanksgiving with the extended family in some other month.  Share your turkey with the next-door neighbors this year.

On Black Friday, we are planning on shunning the shopping frenzy.  and instead, we will hunt down and bring home a Christmas tree.  Photos to follow.  News at eleven.

Friday, November 22, 2013


I like to get a running start on Christmas so I can miss the crowds.  I went shopping at the mall today and found it not at all oppressive.  In fact, since they already have all the lights and decorations up already, it sort of got me into the spirit.  After shopping hard, I settled down in view of the Santa corral, and pulled out my sack lunch.  The Santa corral - you know - the quaintly fenced in area where Santa and the photographers hang out?  It was fun to watch the process.  They weren't rushed, so they could take time with each kid or set of kids.  All the little ones left smiling.  There were even pauses in the stream of customers, when Santa had time to wave to the passing kids.  There were a set of twin girls, maybe 4 years old, who were trailing along after mom, (who was burdened with infant, and piles of packages in the stroller.)  The little girls were holding hands and being very good about sticking close to mom until they saw Santa.  They stopped in open-mouth wonder.  And then, -- then -- oh then, Santa waved at them!  Right at them!!  They were gobsmacked.  They were stricken with the glory!  They were all furschummulled!  Mom had to go back and gently herd them away, and they went with heads on shoulders, staring at Santa as long as they could.  It was magic!

I was perched on the second floor, looking down into the photo corral.  During another pause, Santa was looking around, and then like some soldier who has been under fire, he felt my eyes on him and he flashed a look up at me.  I smiled, waved and blew him a kiss.  He "caught" the kiss and tucked it under his mustache.  Blessings on you Santa, whoever you may be.  This will be a long six weeks.  May you hold fast to the love and wonder.

Monday, November 18, 2013

We're home

The flight was wonderfully uneventful.  We had a serious tailwind so what we usually think of as a five and a half hour flight took only four and a half hours.  Woohoo!  Kyle got us emergency exit row seats so there was lots of leg room, and we had books on our laptops to listen to.

And now we are safely home. Portland is cold and gray.  The kitties are glad to see us. Kyle is researching property in Hawaii.  If we move, will you come to visit us?

I'm doing laundry, petting kitties, unpacking the suitcase, petting kitties.  We went to the grocery store and picked up fresh stuff - boring old apples (after fresh ripe papayas and pineapple guavas.)  Nice tender  salad greens, (most salads we had in Hawaii were kale which is more heat-tolerant than iceberg lettuce and travels better, too.) And treats for the kitties.

Rose took care of the kitties, and as usual, went far above and beyond anything we expected.  She cleaned our kitchen!  I feel like king Aegus after Hercules has cleaned the stables.  I had no idea it could look so nice!  Thank you, Rose!

Other thank you-s are in order for niece Lisa and her wonder-husband Drew who made our stay in Honolulu a treat!  You guys really know how to show folks a good time.  Thank you!

Hanging up the tropical clothes in the out-of-season closet is sort of sad.  I felt so CUTE in those shorts and flowered dresses.  Now it's back to heavy slacks and sweaters.  Sigh.  A move to Hawaii is so appealing.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

last day in Paradise

On Friday, niece Lisa took us to the Bishop Museum.  I could spend DAYS there!  one of their temporary displays is a collection of shell leis made with the teensiest shells in innovative, creative patterns.  They're called Niihau Leis.  I realized I had been mesmerized by one for about ten minutes, trying to figure how the creator had put it together, while Lisa and Kyle had moved on to a different room.  And then I got captured by the feather cloaks.  Then, the baskets caught my attention.  I lagged behind all the way through the Hawaiian culture exhibit.

Lisa took us over to the physical sciences building to see the volcano show.  They do a great talk about the formation of volcanoes and the different kinds of lava the Hawaiian volcanoes produce, while over in the corner, a furnace is melting actual rock (cinders that they get from Home Depot) until it becomes lava.  The docent then dons protective gear opens the furnace, and pours the lava.  It is SO neat!   It pours out on a steel plate and starts cooling and cracking, and all through the end of the talk, you can hear the cracks and pops as it shatters in the cold.

We never made it to the planetarium though I could spend a few hours there.  And there was also a display on the life of the Japanese immigrants to Hawaii.  Fascinating.  Could have stayed in there a lot longer, too.  All in all, it was a great way to spend a day.

Then, on Friday, we rented a car and drove around the island.  Away from Waikiki, this is still such a paradise.  The main highway is a twisty little two lane road.  There are freeways built across the middle of the island to connect the Marine base with downtown, and to connect the North Shore with the city, but in between - pineapple fields or wild forest.  On the windward side, there is maybe a mile of land between the sheer cliffs of the Pali, and the waves of the ocean.  Lots of farms through there and lots of people keeping horses.  And we passed the Polo Club, too.  I keep harkening back to episodes of Magnum PI where Higgins was playing polo.  How - civilized!

Then, Saturday night, to celebrate his birthday, Kyle took Lisa and Drew(our niece and her husband), Bud and Betty(my uncle and his wife) and the two of us to dinner at Sargento's restaurant at the top of our hotel.  Soooo good!  We ate until we were replete, and then they brought desert!  After we had eaten ourselves into a stupor, Kyle and I just had a short elevator ride back to our room.

So it is 6:30 in the morning, and check out time is eleven.  I find it VERY hard to start packing.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Lightly scheduled day

On Thursday we got sucked into a time-share session.  It started with a free buffet breakfast which was actually quite tasty.  Then two hours with a salesman who finally  accepted that we really were there only for the bribes and had no interest in buying a one fifty-second share in a condo in Hawaii.  They gave us American Express cards loaded with 125 dollars to compensate us for our time.  How much profit do they make on these things if they can spend that much on advertising?

So then, we had the rest of the day free.  What to do, what to do?

We went to the zoo!

White-handed gibbon playing on his jungle gym.

Galapagos tortoise racing across the enclosure.  Carrots and  cabbage have just been dumped at the far end.
Girraps.  I love girraps!
And, because I have missed so many ass-watch Wednesdays, . . . an insolent zebra.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I slept in this morning

We've bee on the go a lot lately, so I'm going to post some photos with captions and if you want more details, just ask.

Sunset off our lanai.
Santa Claus is coming to town at the Ala Moana Center.
There's a neat Japanese sweet shop in the Ala Moana Center that sells the most interesting confections.  This is a chestnut paste center surrounded by sweet red bean paste, all covered in a thin layer of Japanese cake.  I wasn't quite ready to pay five dollars for something the size of a doughnut hole.
A flower we saw just hanging out in the park.  Wild colors and forms!
Tuesday night we watched the Hilton Hawaiian Luau show from our lanai.  It was great!
Wednesday, Drew the super nephew picked up up on his day off and took us to the flea market at the Aloha Bowl.  We like to go because there are lots of folks selling 7 t-shirts for $20 so we can afford souvenirs for all our friends.  Poor Drew has been there so often, he is just sick of the place.  But he sucked it up and walked around the whole thing with us!  He deserves medals and kisses and the right to be married to our niece, Lisa.

Here's a lady who sells home-made fruit butters and preserves. Isn't that a pretty display?

I bought more fabric.  I am such a sucker for those pre-cut squares of tropical prints.  We bought t-shirts and shave-ice and another suitcase to ship all our purchases home.  Sometimes I'm smart enough to pack a small suitcase  inside the big suitcase.  Missed it this time.
Then Drew took us on the most expensive stretch of highway in the us.  The H93 was under construction when it turned out that the only place it could go was across some Hawaiian holy ground.  So they built a multi-mile bridge to lift the freeway above the holy ground.  It's a beautiful stretch of road across the center of the Island connecting the Marine base with Pearl Harbor.

From H93, we went up onto the Pali - a stretch of cliffs where King Kamehameha's army drove their opponents to their death and consolidated all the islands under one king.
When I was first in Hawaii I was around five years old and weighed maybe 45 pounds - tall, skinny kid.  Our guide warned my folks not to let me get too near the edge, because the winds were so strong on the Pali that they could pick me up and blow me away.  The wind does get pretty strong up there, but probably not THAT strong.
Here's my fabric stash.  Tropical and Asian print fat quarters, strips, squares and yardage.  I'm having wayyy too much fun!
Because it was ass-watch Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Good morning my darlings!

Just a few photos from our afternoon walk yesterday.  First, some of our fellow diners at Duke's Canoe Club.  There is no wall on the ocean side of the restaurant, so the pigeons have chased away all the little brown beggar birds and taken over.  See the piebald pigeon up at the top? There are five more behind him, squabbling over the detritus under a toddler's chair.  They must have someone who goes around and cleans the carpet constantly because I saw no pigeon poops anywhere.
There is a lovely pond and a big tree in the center of the International Market Place.  The koi in the pond are about two feet long.  They live like KINGS!

The first time I was here, back in the 50s, there was a restaurant at the foot of the tree, with a cozy little room way high in the branches for very, very intimate dinners.  The food was delivered by dumb waiter, so the diners were uninterrupted from the time they mounted to their perch until they were done with the meal. ALWAYS thought it would be awesome to eat up there, even before I was old enough to appreciate the possibilities.

The Royal Hawaiian is one of the oldest, most recognizable hotels on the beach.  I like to think what the island must have been like when it was built.  We saw a wedding party posing for photographs on the lawn as we passed.  Kyle asked why bridesmaids choose such - fluffy dresses.  I explained that the bride chooses them and the bridesmaids have to pay for them.  He was outraged.  The bride should have to pay!  Yep, but it doesn't work that way.  And if it's a destination wedding, the bridesmaids have to pay for their own transportation, lodging, food and entertainment, too. Groomsmen do as well, and so do all the guests.  Weddings must be BIG business here.
Waikiki beach and Diamond Head.  Iconic.  It amazes me what people will wear on the beach. We saw everything from butt-floss thongs to mommas in muumuus.  Asian and European guys in banana hammocks, and American Dudes in saggy, baggy below the knee board shorts.  And one young lady in what appeared to be a very stretchy bikini bottom with the sides pulled up over her shoulders, no coverage what-so-ever on the sides, and the puppies struggling to poke their noses out for a look.  I stared.  Kyle had class enough to just walk by as if he didn't see it.  He is a PRINCE!

So it is now seven A.M.  I have been lounging on the lanai for an hour, watching the city wake up.  Tomorrow, dear Drew will take us to the Aloha Bowl Flea Market where we will pick up another suitcase, and a load of cheap t-shirts!!  I may also get some tropical print quilt squares.  And maybe a pound or two of macadamia nuts will sneak in to the knapsacks as well.  Thursday morning we are going to a time-share sponsored free breakfast where they will pay us $100 to listen to their spiel.  I wonder how much profit they must be making that they can afford to pay us that much.  They must be rolling in dough!

The Hilton Hawaiian has a luau on the roof that we can watch from our lanai.  Free hula show with fire dancers.  Wayyy cool!  I tried to get photos but it's just far enough away the all you could see were colored blobs.  But tonight, they also have fireworks!

Monday, November 11, 2013

First day in Oahu

The flight from Kauai to Oahu was blessedly uneventful, in spite of the buckets of rain washing over us.  We bid adieu to Lydia and Harry, and found our way to the Ilikai hotel and our condo.  Our niece, Lisa and her wonderful husband Drew live in Honolulu.  My Uncle Bud and his wife Betty also Live in Honolulu, and his daughter, my cousin Julie and her husband Dave were arriving on a cruise for a one day stay on Oahu.  We got the family together at the Ilikai Hotel and had drinks, then snacks, then, as the evening progressed and the conversation became more relaxed, we ordered dinner and enjoyed the sunset. It was a wonderful, wonderful time.  It's been 30 years since I last saw Julie.
Sunrise on November 11 from our lanai.  I sat out there at 6:30, barefoot in my nightshirt, and I was Comfortable!  I do love life in the tropics.
Our room faces west.  Here's the view over the ocean.  Kyle really scored us some awesome places to stay!  He researches stuff for days till he finds just the right place.  This studio condo is beautifully appointed and up on the 11th floor so the view is awesome, and we should be safe from tsunamis.
We stopped at Goofy's for breakfast and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Kyle had cinnamon french toast with grilled pineapple.  I had an omelet with basil, corn, feta cheese and spinach.  It made me STRONG!  After breakfast, we walked from our Hotel to the Walmart behind the Ala Moana shopping center.  We passed this pretty bridge in the Ala Moana park  on our way. We bought bottled water and tomato juice, and some laundry detergent. Then we loaded it into our backpacks and hiked the 1.5 miles back tot he hotel.  What a good workout!  After about an hour of rest, I got to craving a salad for lunch, so we walked another 1.5 miles in the other direction to Duke's Canoe Club and feasted on salads.  After a brief tour through the International Marketplace, we hiked back.  I've done over seven miles today.  Yay for me!!  Now I'm going to rub some more lineament on my knees.  Happy days!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

finishing off on Kauai

 Kyle had photos of the zip lining  Here we are, harnessed up and ready to go.  Look at that awesome scenery!
 That little white dot in the middle of the picture is Roxie, shrieking with joy.
Kyle even snapped a photo of the rest of the gang as he took off.  There was one other guy, and 9 women,  The oldest gal was 83!
Here's our little picnic shelter at the end of the trip.  It was surprisingly tiring.  The guides do two runs a day!

Yesterday we did the finishing up stuff.  We cruised out to the coffee plantation and picked up Kauai coffee, then we stopped at the Kauai cookie outlet and bought Kauai cookies (lavender is my favorite, but the passionfruit is a CLOSE second!)

We stopped by the ocean and sort of said goodbye.  Lydia does not want to leave.  Kyle and I are talking about moving here in five years or so.

See those dark clouds behind Lydia?  They moved in and it began to POUR rain!  We put up the tops on the cars.  We got back to Poipu shortly before the flash flood warnings went out.  The rest of the day was windy and rainy and crazy wild.  There were still lots of kids playing on the beach though.  Wet with rain, wet with salt water - at 81 degrees, what difference does it make?

So Harry and Lydia are headed back to reality today, but Kyle and I have another week we will spend On Oahu.  Going from the garden to the city.  Gosh this has been Fun!!

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Sealed with a kiss

We went for a walk on Friday morning, and on the beach near us we saw - something. A big, silvery, blubbery something that had been fenced off with stakes and ropes and caution signs.

Monk Seals are PROTECTED. There were a number of volunteers at the site to keep the idiots, illiterates, and little kids from running up and pestering the poor critter.

This is as close as we could get.  It certainly seemed to be enjoying the sunny snooze on the sand.

Poipu is truly a magical place.  We also saw at least 8 sea turtles feasting on the rocks.  I have lots of photos of water where a sea-turtle had just stuck up his head, and water where, if you look really carefully and know what you're looking for, you can sort of see a kind of shape that almost looks like a turtle.

I scored about zero for the rest of the day when it comes to photos.  We went zip lining, and I got so excited that I forgot to be a do bee and share with my friends.  Maybe Kyle has some pictures.  I was just being mad with joy and with flying through the gorgeous scenery and screaming like a gleeful banshee.  I do apologize.

Friday, November 08, 2013

"Drive" he said

 When a day starts out as glorious as this, anything wonderful can happen.  Kyle and I jumped into the car to drive to Waiamea Canyon. We left the top down and laughed and talked and savored the views the whole way.
This is the bottom end of the canyon.  That red volcanic soil is so striking.  But by the time we had driven to the top of the canyon, the clouds had set in, and we were muffled in cold clammy fog.  No view what-so-ever.  We put the top up and turned the heater on.
So we decided to try the other side of the island.  We drove over to the Kiluea lighthouse.  It is also a sea bird sanctuary and a monk seal sanctuary. (Oh, I forgot to tell you - a monk seal has been pulling himself out onto the rocks in front of the condos and taking long naps.  He's silvery and blubbery and about 8 feet long.  Way cool!)
This is the endangered Hawaiian state bird, the nene goose.  Knowing they are protected has given them a bit of an attitude.  We watched as one took up a space in the parking lot and defied any car that wanted to park there.  A glare from a haughty goose carries a lot of wattage.  She could have fried the tires on a Morris Mini.
This is a young wedge tail shearwater.  They dig holes in the ground for their nests and feed the chicks until they are grown.  Then the parents quit feeding the chicks.  At that point, the chicks have to get out of the nest, figure out how to fly and how to feed themselves before the flocks migrate to Costa Rica for the winter.  This youngster is doing some wing exercises and trying to figure out which way the wind is blowing.
 This is the ocean at the foot of the point where the lighthouse sits.  That's a long, long drop to the rocks!

After enjoying the birds and the lighthouse, we drove further North to Princeville, had lunch at CJ's Steakhouse (Kyle had Prime Rib Sandwich au Jus and I had caesar salad with grilled ono.  We enjoyed both.)  The we turned around and headed for home.  We stopped at Coconut Experience (I should have gotten photos) - a ramshackle little fruit stand.  The guy running it was a very tanned middle-aged Haole wearing a sarong around his waist.  He had the most gorgeous fruit and veg!  We bought two ripe papayas, a star fruit, a couple of local tomatoes and a Kauai onion (not as sweet as a Maui onion, but still delicious) He also had mangoes, guavas, japanese cucumbers, coconuts, eggs, and a thing that looked like fuzzy green grapes and was supposed to taste like lychees. If you get up to Princeville, stop at the Coconut Experience.
On the way back to the condo we stopped at a little grocery store and bought a bit of tenderloin steak. When we got back to the condo, we had a marvelous salad and Kyle and Harry barbecued some kebabs and some chicken.  What a delicious end to a delightful day!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Tubin da ditch

Rose, how's this for a photo of Harry?  Do I win your double dog dare?  He's pretty fit for a guy of 65, isn't he?  Now don't tell that I got his photo or he'll want to get even, and he's really devious at getting even!
Sunset over Poipu Beach park.    this place is so freaking beautiful!
While we were at the beach on Tuesday, I slathered on the sunblock and managed just a light toasting,  Kyle went for the full burn.  In the shower, he noticed a peculiar white patch on his shoulder.  Looks like the sunblock on my hands transferred when I caressed him.

So, on to tubin'da ditch: History.  In 1861, the American civil war started and the south blockaded all sugar from reaching the north.  So, alternate resources were needed.  Hawaii had ideal sugar cane growing climate and conditions, and the sugar boom began.

Sugar cane needs water. Here is a photo of the wettest place on earth. 450 inches of rain a year. But the dry side of the mountain would also be good for sugar cane if you could just get the water over there.  So this canny plantation owner decided to dig irrigation canals  through the shoulder of the mountain to bring the water around.  This was all done by hand.  the channels are about 10 feet wide and stone lined.  And the tunnels, dug with pickaxes, are a good 8 feet in cross-section.  The water is about three feet deep, so there's lots of head room.  And in one of the longest tunnels, there's a little room carved out where the diggers camped overnight because it took too long to hike in and out every day.

Here is Ricky, our guide.  He was adorable!  Full of energy and information and good cheer.  He took excellent care of us as we floated merrily down the river.  I didn't get photos though, since my camera isn't waterproof.  But let me paint you a picture.  Imagine 78 degree temperature air, with sunshine filtering through the greenery, and happy birds all around.  Imagine brilliant tropical flowers.  We were set up with sturdy gloves and aqua socks, and helmets with lights attached.  There were 17 tourists and 4 guides.  One guide stayed with the van to drive our clothes and personal belongings around to the take-out point. One guide took the lead, one guide took the end, and Ricky paddled up and down the line to make sure we were all happy. We were ensconced in great big STURDY colorful inner tubes, and off we went, drifting down the ditch.  It was like the most marvelous lazy river you can imagine, with splendid scenery drifting by, and excited people laughing and bumping into one another.  Then we got to the first tunnel.  "Lights on!"  It was really neat!  Echoes up and down, a string of lights ahead and behind, squeals and squawks as the tubes bumped the walls and the other tubes.  No bats, no cobwebs, no scary stuff.  Then back out into the light.  I wound up at the end of the pack (the more bum in the water, the slower the current drives you.) and had a great time shuckin' and jivin' with Nathan, our following guide.  On one long stretch between tunnels, Ricky knelt on his tube, balanced, and grabbed a branch to hold himself in place so he could pick the low-hanging guavas.  Heaven!  Bites of bliss!  After five tunnels, we finally got to the take-out point.  The guides have it down to an art, decanting tourists from their tubes.  I never got wet above my knees.  And THEN, they drove us to a glorious little glade where they had a picnic ready for us.  And there were port-a-potties and changing rooms as well.  As we sat around in the sunshine, enjoying our sandwiches and bottled water, over by the far fence, a couple of baby piglets emerged from the tall grass to play in the sunshine.  One of the group wanted to get closer to get pictures of them, and tried to sneak up on them even though the rest of us warned him that those were suckling babes, and the mother was likely to be near and aggressive.  The piggies were wary though, and fled at the sight of the photographer.  Then one of the guides showed us a big scar on his leg he said was from hunting pigs, and some of the other guides told pig-hunting stories and the next time the babies emerged, the photographer was content to be cautious.  There are lots and lots of feral pigs on the island, and thousands of feral chickens.  If you knew how, you could probably survive rather comfortably here.

After we got back to the headquarters, we signed up for zip lines on Friday.  Then, on the way back to the condo, we passed my favorite fabric store in the whole world, and Lydia and Kyle very patiently sat outside in the sun while I went nuts over the Asian prints.  Yes, I have more fabric than I can sew up in a year.  And still I bought 60 dollars more.  I am helpless in the presence of these gorgeous asian prints. And the bundles of fat quarters - 8 for $20 - how could I resist?

Ricky had recommended Puka Dog in Poipu for our lunch.  I was pleased.  The have a heated rod which they shove into the bun to toast the inside.  Then they fill it with your choice of sauces (I had sweet garlic with mango relish) and then, when the hot dog is grilled to perfection, they poke it down into the saucy cavity and hand it over.  YUM! We sat at a picnic table in the middle of a garden patch in the shopping center to eat our dogs.  The local chickens came over to beg, and we gave them bits of our hot-dog buns.  Some of them even ate from our hands.

Ooops, it time to get dressed and go for a drive to Waiamea Canyon.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

My body is still working on West Coast Time so I rolled out at 5AM and toddled out onto the lanai.  Oh My God!  Stars!  They have stars like we used to have when I was a kid!  Thousands and thousands of big bright shiny stars all over the sky.  Took my breath away!  So I stood out on the lanai in the balmy November morning, gazing in awe at the magnificent stars, and listening to the early roosters.  Then the garbage truck rolled up, and the husky young men leapt off, snatched the bins, heaved the trash, flung the bins back sort of where they got them, and leapt back onto the running boards of the truck.  Varoom. the truck roared away.  Boy, after that, ALL the birds were awake.  Doves and pigeons and chickens - everyone had something to say.

So I popped inside, had a cup of tea and a bowl of fruit salad, and the sun came up, just in time for our morning rainbow.  This place is Paradise!
After everyone else woke up, we decided to spend the day at a beach.  The condo is equipped with beach chirs, fins and snorkels, big towels, beach umbrellas and a cooler. so we loaded the cars and drove toLihue for breakfast at Danni's restaurant.  Wonderful food and good prices.  We were the only tourists there, and the place was packed.  I had the kalua pork omelet.Kyle had the Loco Moco - hamburger steak and rice with gravy.  After breakfast we headed for Kanapali beach, unloaded and got ourselves set up.  I trotted down to the ocean and hopped right in.  We had not bothered to check out local conditions first.  The waves were breaking right at the shore's edge. ( Now, in Oregon, if you wade in the ocean for five minutes, you lose contact with your feet because the water is so cold.  No one swims in the ocean in Oregon, so I didn't know anything about "Dangerous breaks.")  I had a marvelous time bobbing around in the water, then, when I tried to get out, the waves knocked me ass over teakettle. I had the key to the condo on a stretchy bracelet.  The water sucked it right off my arm, stole my hat, and knocked my boob  out of the top of my swimsuit.  I retrieved the boob and the hat, but the damn key was gone - freaking GONE!  I managed to fight my way up onto the shore and told Kyle what happened.  He put on a mask and snorkel and went searching for the key.  I got a mask and snorkel and joined him.  We searched and searched.  I prayed for help.  Kyle gave up and headed for shore, but I made one more sweep.  Then, with my ears under water, I thought I heard a ruckus.  Lifting my head, I looked toward shore and there stood Kyle with the key and stretchy bracelet in his hand.  Hoorah!

So here is Kyle and Harry on the beach.  Harry, being a retired policeman, is allergic to photographs.

We hung around for about five hours until breakfast wore off, then walked across the street to a tasty Mexican restaurant for lunch. Afterwards, I wanted to poke around the nearby shops.  Hey, hey, I found the Twisted Turtle's Yarn Shop. ( and even though I have more yarn than I can possibly knit up in my entire lifetime, I succumbed to the lure of the 50% off table.  Oh well.  Blame it on the margarita.

Back to the condo, a quick shower.  I had enough sand in my swimsuit to build a small castle.  It was in places - well, if I were an oyster, I could have given birth to pearls.  (TMI, Roxie)  Anyhow, I was immensely grateful for clean fresh water and soap.  Then we went for a walk along the beach and watched the sunset.  Life is good, life is good, and time spent with Kyle is always an investment in joy!

Tomorrow, we are going tubing the ditch.  I'll all you allll about it.