What follows here are just my thoughts and words. No fact checking, no spell checking, no promises of great insight or good grammar. Just me dumping the words in my head to words on the screen. Bear with me... sometimes it's a bumpy ride.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


At last.... THE FINAL REVEAL !!

Can I get a drum roll, please....
Once upon a time... 
... Happily ever after!


What used to be... 
... Transformed!

Now you see it... 
... Now you don't.  But you see more!!

An island oasis... 

.... with its fabulous lighting
Okay...  you get the idea.  We LOVE it!  Come & see for yourself!!  Kitchen-warming party is October 17th.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

And the Results of the Kitchen ....

... will be coming to you right after this commercial break.

Sorry folks, we are not 100% done yet.  What is done is fabulous!  We are so happy.  But I want to wait for the whole enchilada before sharing pics of the Final Reveal.   Consider this Tantric Remodeling.

Meanwhile, we do have  sneak peek at a couple of way cool features.

We now have a couple of great, deep drawers.  So my plates & bowls are now knee level, so easy to get to!

Because cabinet space is now at a premium (remember, we lost an entire wall), I had to do some avant garde thinking.  This came to me at 3:00 in the morning after struggling with how best to address spices.  So here is my not yet entirely anal retentive spice drawer solution.
Picture is upside down, the spices are not.
I'm thinking of alphabetizing them.  That will be full blown OCD / Anal Retentive.

And the super cool "blind corner pullout".

Open the cabinet door & you can see 1/2 of the shelf unit.  Simply pull it out and over, then pull out 2nd shelf unit (super, easy glide hardware)  And voila!

You can easily see & reach everything that is otherwise tucked way back & away in the deep dark corner cabinet!

Finally - in the true spirit of a commercial break - here is a picture of someone's pet pot-bellied pig at the beach park.

Meanwhile stay tuned for the Series Grand Finale.  Now back to our regularly scheduled programming....

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Things You Don't Want to Hear your Contractors Say ....

Presented in no particular order (and not that we necessarily overheard our contractors say any of these things... or did we?) :

- "NO! NO! NO! NO!!  Don't cut that!!"

- "Oh, shit."

- "I stopped smoking today."

- "Every time we measure, it's 1" short...."

- "I can't find the stud."

- "Damn, I just missed the stud."

- "Is that an extra cabinet we have left over?"

- "We're just lucky that didn't start a fire."

and my very most favorite one of all....

 - "The next time you do new cabinets..."

HA HA HA HA HA ha ha ha ha haaaa .....

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Hip Bone's Connected to the... Thigh Bone....

And on it goes, step by step....  measure, site down, remeasure, shim, measure again, laser level, level to recheck, measure, cut, nail, place, measure....

And then there's the electric work...

Living in chaos is such fun.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Dexter would be proud...

mwah ha ha ha haaa...

Where did the kitchen go?

Well, it's pretty much spread all around the house right now.  There's a little in the bathroom (the closest alternate water source).  There's quite a lot in my office/the guest room ...

There's a stash of several boxes of fragile dish & glassware carefully stacked behind the couch in the living room.  The new appliances are biding their time out on the lanai.  And there's a makeshift "cooking" station in the dining room.

It's a bit like staying in a hotel - with an ill-placed microwave, no utensils, and a coffee maker that you have to fill from the bathroom sink.

So does that mean we're actually on vacation ?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Now you see it...

.... Now you don't!!

After just 8 man-hours, we no longer have a kitchen.

Phase one in the long awaited kitchen renovation is DONE!  We now eat off paper plates, rinse our cups in the bathtub and are reduced to eating only that which can be microwaved.

Cabinets are being delivered in 3 days.  Meanwhile, plumbing and electrics get reconnoitered and plans finalized.

Staaaaay tuned!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Hurricane Day is Here....

... but no hurricane in Kihei.

Thanks to all of you for your messages and aloha.  It is 4 AM  Friday - right about when we were anticipating a downpour and strong winds here on Maui from Hurricane Iselle.   We understand the Big Island is getting hit on the windward side - lot of rain, wind, huge surf.  Still no rain reported on Kona side.

Local news reports that there is lots of rain happening on the eastern edge of Maui, and some power outages upcountry.  Here in South Maui so far - there's not a breeze blowing, not a drop of rain.

Just another Aloha Friday.

So far anyway.  Still watching, still waiting.   And then there's Julio coming right behind.  Being told to expect impacts from that storm around Sunday.  We know its more "prepare for the worst, hope for the best"... and then just wait and see!

9:00 AM UPDATE....

Rain!  Real rain!!  Yippee!  Still no wind.

10:30 AM UPDATE....

Watching news, they are still saying we've not seen the end of the impacts from this storm.  Anticipating lots of rain, maybe up in the mountain (which make for tremendous runoff down to the  ocean).  Rivers are high, streams are swollen.  We are under a flash flood warning. Right now, all sea ports are closed (except on Kauai).  That means no supplies getting in until they are re-opened.  All flights are cancelled for now.  No one is going anywhere (and, again, no supplies coming in).

Schools are closed.  Shopping malls are closed.  Certainly not yet business-as-usual.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Kitchen Progresses Sloooooowly . . . .

The build-up of planning, the excitement of choosing styles and materials, the struggle with deciding among appliance brands, makes and models.... all that is now just a blip in our memories.

We have a plan:

Current Kitchen Layout - Gecko-eye view from ceiling down.

Coming soon to a kitchen in Kihei.

Appliances have arrived.  Cabinets are being shipped.  There are granite slabs with our names on them. Flooring is at the warehouse.  And help is lined up.  Now we just need it all to fall neatly into place at the same time with a minimum of snafus.  How likely is that?  

So far, we have a new, larger kitchen window (so the new, larger sink which is being moved over to accommodate a full size dishwasher) will still be centered under the window.

And we have our new fridge.  It does not fit in the space where the old one was, so it is temporarily parked in the dinning room.  The the still-boxed-up new dishwasher & microwave are stacked in the space previous occupied by the old fridge.  To wit:

Currently, we are looking at beginning the real transformation work end of August.  We are not deluding ourselves.  We know this has so far been easy.  We've watched enough HGTV to know there are challenges and surprises and headaches ahead.  

We are thinking we need to have a "safe word"... so that when there is no place to cook or make food, no sink to wash anything in, a fine layer of white dust on every surface and in every crevice, a living room full of kitchen, and nailing and sawing and sanding and swearing going on, and tempers will be a bit frayed and patience shorter than ideal... we need to be able to say to each other, without recrimination,  "Whoa.  Don't bite my head off.  Dial it back a notch there, bunky."

I was thinking "Armadillo".  Oh, but if I were to say "I'd like you to be an armadillo right now"... that conjures an image of steaming, flattened road kill somewhere on a lonely stretch of Texas highway. Granted, that may accurately reflect the sentiment of the moment,  but I think misses the whole intent of a safe word.  

Maybe we'll go with "Giraffe".

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

4th of July Sunset ....

.... we don't need no stinkin' fireworks!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Visting Chef...

Man, I knew I should've brought my own knives....

Friday, May 2, 2014

Whaddaya Know ...

They're back!!  Yippeeeee

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Fevered Bit of Moaning & Complaining....


Oh, I remember sleep.

There was a time, not so very long ago, that I could climb into bed at a reasonable hour, snuggle under the blankets, read my book for 5 or 10 minutes and then fall fast asleep until morning.  Alas, no longer.

Now I find, after fighting to keep my eyes open while sitting on the couch watching TV at some ridiculously early hour, I finally take myself off to bed.  I plop down, more on top of the covers than under, and read for a few minutes.  So far, so good.  Drowsing, I put my book away and plump my pillow just so, and drift slowly off.

Just before that lovely plunk into dreamy oblivion, I am suddenly aware of a rising heat.  The covers are unceremoniously thrown to the side, a leg flails out to be thrown on top of the covers and  away from touch of any other potentially warm thing (far from the blissfully sleeping dogs and husband taking up valuable real estate - damn them, on so many levels).  I have to pull my hair off my neck, spreading it across the pillow and away from touching any portion of my face.  I reach for the flamenco-style fan I keep close and begin fanning.  My brain, just seconds ago so quiet and sleepy and drifty, is now in sharp focus, wide awake and all too aware that I'm hot and wide f----g awake.

Sometimes I'm lucky, and the heat passes fairly quickly.  But I'm left slapped awake by the onslaught just the same.  If I read now, I will read for an hour or more without a single droop of the eyelid.  (Where were these hot flashes when I was in school and trying to stay awake to read homework assignments?)  If I don't surrender to the written page, I will toss and turn, flopping around like a fish out of water, trying to get comfortable, find a cool spot, turn my mind off, regain that floaty, feathery, drifty sensation of imminent sleep.

Finally, it comes again.  An hour or three later (I know, because against my better judgment, I keep checking the clock.  I want to have accurate, quantifiable facts when I do my complaining the next day.  Poor me, I was awake for hhhoooouuurrrss), I drop off once again.

This time, I awaken more slowly.   Swimming gradually up into conscious thought, "Do I get up to pee, or can I make it until morning?"  Shifting to glance at the clock, I realize I am an oil slick of wet, sweaty, sticky skin and sheets.  Oh, ugh.  I actually slept through the hot flash (oh, hot flash is a woefully inadequate term to describe what happens; more like seared and basted), and have now awoken in the post-perspiration state, like a sponge that's being wrung out.  If I move, I will have to contend with the body shaped wet imprint in the bed.  If I'm lucky, I can stay perfectly still (except for once again freeing my leg from the covers to get some cool air relief) and simply fall back into a soggy sleep.  All will be dry again by morning (disgusting? don't judge it until you've woken, exhausted, in a stew of your own sweat.).  If the water I drank the night before proves to much for my now conscious bladder, I have to come back to the bed with a towel to lay on, because my side of the bed is now swampish.

If you are a woman, and of a certain age, you may read this and say "Yeah, been there, done that." Amen, sister.  Testify.  For that whatever percentage of you who instead shake your heads and say "Oh, how awful.  So glad I never had to deal with that", I am envious and pettily jealous and hateful.  If you are a younger woman, not yet anywhere near the joys of this stage of female physiology, I say, fear not, it apparently doesn't happen to everyone.  (Altho, to my daughter, apologies in advance.  My sisters are doing it, I am doing it.  I fear it is in your genes to also succumb when it's your time.  Unless they finally come up with safe & effective drugs by then.)

You'd think there could at least be a silver lining here, like with all that sweating and interrupted sleep, there would be some commensurate weight loss.  But, nooooooo.

I have to say, this is pretty compelling support for the concept that God is a man.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

And the Wind Cried... KONA

There are monsters outside of my window.

They roar and loom, shaking their shaggy arms at me, throwing menacing shadows and gusting blasts of their breath through the windows.  Sometimes they are still and quiet as if frozen or asleep.  But lately, they have been awakened and they claw at the window, trying to get in.

Sometimes I can close my eyes and sleep without a care.  But sometimes, it's too much for me.  And I run to my Mom, pawing her and trying to get as close to her as I can.  The monsters don't scare her. Nothing scares her.  I feel better when she calms me, and when I can lie near her and keep an eye on her.

My sister is afraid of the monsters too.  I know she is.  She gets all quiet and small, and sometimes goes and hides in the bathroom.  I only go in there when I'm really really scared, and even then, only if Mom goes in there first.  It's better when all three of us are in that small little space.  Sometimes it makes Mom laugh, sometimes she just sighs.

It's worse at night.  The monsters multiply and their numbers make them strong and more frightening. It's hard for me to breathe.  I feel anxious and panicky.  I don't know what to do, so I circle and pant and climb as high as I can, close to something warm and safe, like Mom or Dad.

Luckily, I have my buddy to help me through.  I go & find it and keep it close by to calm me down.  It's good to have a buddy to help me feel better, to focus on, instead of the noisy monsters outside.  Everyone should have a buddy like this.  But this is my buddy. You've gotta go find your own.

- A Guest Posting from Kona

Sunday, April 13, 2014

From the Land of There and then Not There...

The longer we are here, the more it is revealed to me that this is the Land of There and Then Not There.  Perhaps a bit like this blog...

Trade winds are here one day, blowing like a gale, showering our lanai with abundant and somewhat bothersome Monkeypod leaves.  Then the sun sets and the winds calm to but a breath of movement.  And the beaches shift and change with the tides and storm surges.  One day there's a wide swathe of delicious sand on which to romp and play.  Next time, it's reduced to a tiny ribbon while the surf pounds higher than you've ever seen it before.

There are a gaggle of tourists strolling the sidewalks in their not-nearly-enough-clothing for civilized society.  Yes, this is a beach town, but come on.  Fellas - put your shirts back on.  And ladies, barely clad bodies are for the beach, not the streets.  Oh well, what's to be done?  But then comes a time when there's no more line at the restaurants, and its easier to get a table at the bar for happy hour.  And suddenly the beach isn't teeming, Coney Island style, with rim to rock umbrellas and towels and bodies just begging for more sunscreen.

Friends and acquaintances come and go, with surprising regularity.  Snowbirds arrive in late fall, early winter, stay through their season only to depart again come spring.  See you in six months.  It is sometimes hard to keep track of who you can count on to be here from week to month.  The question is often not so much "Do you live here?" but "Do you live here full time?"

Harder still are the newly connected friends who have decided after so many years, it's time to move back to the mainland.  Really?  But wait - we just got here!!   And the happenstance folks you run into here and there, sharing stories of new arrival and what was left behind. Then the questions becomes "How long have you been here?" and "How long do you think you'll stay?"  We recently met some folks (and their dogs) just two months off the boat from Montana.  Michael and I share a small look of surprise and, dare I say, superiority, when the answer to the first question is "About two and half years" (already??).  And we stick steadfastly to our party line in answer to the second:  We are here until we're not.

Oh, and there was our favorite, most delicious, best treat ever - the Mango Sorbet stand that used to set up just outside our favorite beach.  He made the most refreshing, deleriously tasty chocolate sorbet with peanut butter chips, coconut sorbet, and of course, mango.  A trip to the beach was made all the better with the quick stop after to say hi and partake of the treasured sorbet.  Then one day, gone.  Just like that.  Pau.  Where oh where did he go?

And its not just the people and the places that ebb and flow like the tide.  It's even "things."  There is a rule here on the island, if you are shopping and you see something you want - buy it.  It may well not be there tomorrow.  Great deals on the box of popsicles at Costco that could treat an army battalion.  There for several trips, now mysteriously gone forever from the freezer case (so sad, those same popsicles are prohibitively expensive at Safeway).  Or some necessary tool or interesting gadget at a store.  Here today, gone tomorrow.  Christmas wreaths - poof.  Gone by Thanksgiving.

Well, I'm hoping to carry on the theme, and bring back the blog, at least for a while.  You know, until it mysteriously disappears again.  Like that damned mango sorbet.  Sigh......