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My Wide Blue Seas

Its All About The Journey


Name~ Hokule'a Kealoha

Short Bio~Hokule'a Kealoha is the Nom De Plume of a writer that formerly lived in Hawaii and is now living a life of adventure on the highways and byways of the American South . I am a Born Again follower of Jesus, as well as a wife, mother of cats and dogs,jeweler, entreprenuer, photographer and pilgrim...

Age~ Old enough to know better

Status~ Newly Single after 13 years of marriage,fur mom to the loving and devoted mini ShihTzu doggie Annabelle, born 6-11-2007 RIP 2-25-09, and the beautiful Abigail born 2-14-09

Hair Color~ natural brown/grey

Mood~ I ALWAYS have a mood, try me...

Loving~ Jesus, Hawaii, my furry friend, Abigail, my Pen Pals, Jewelry ,Blogging ,Writing anything,my Ipod,and being outdoors surrounded by my wonderful natural surroundings

Hating~ Boom Box Cars, Earspray, Abuse of Power,

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  • August 31, 2004

    The High Road To Mauna Loa

    The High Road to Mauna Loa. Mauna Kea looms beyond the fantastic landscape of a Mauna Loa lava flow. It looks like fast-moving pahoehoe rolled hunks of a'a in front of it, coating the boulders with more and more lava, like a snowball rolling downhill. The lava balls ended up looking like black pearls in a volcanic oyster shell. ALAN D. McNARIE/Tribune-Herald

    Taking the high road

    Monday, August 30, 2004 11:21 AM HST

    The route up Mauna Loa is an adventure

    Tribune-Herald correspondent

    The one-lane strip of crumbling asphalt that branches off the Saddle Road at Pu'u Huluhulu doesn't look impressive. But Mauna Loa Observatory Road goes to impressive heights -- to 1l,141 feet, to be exact -- making it the second highest continuously paved passenger vehicle road in the state, after the road up Haleakala on Maui. Along the way, the road passes through some of the wildest, most desolate landscape this side of Antarctica.

    The observatory road -- named for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Mauna Loa Observatory at its end -- may also be one of the easiest 11,000-foot ascents on the planet. It isn't a typical mountain road. There are no hairpin turns, no zig-zags, no sheer precipices with 1,000-foot drop-offs. That's because of the nature of the mountain that the road is ascending.

    Mauna Loa isn't the highest volcano on earth, but at over 70 miles long and 13,677 feet tall, it is the largest in sheer volume. Most of that rock has flowed outward on the broad volcanic shield that surrounds the volcano's gigantic summit rift -- its famous "curtain of fire" -- making a relatively gentle slope. In general, Mauna Loa Observatory Road is perhaps a little less steep and curvy than some sections of Saddle Road.

    But drivers must be cautious. Jagged a'a lava extends to within inches of the pavement. High winds and yes, snowstorms, can arise suddenly on the road's upper reaches. And the altitude makes this no place for a person with heart or lung problems (or a car with cooling system problems). Some people develop altitude sickness, with symptoms ranging from headaches and dizziness to gut-wrenching nausea. It's a good idea to take along water and snack food. Oddly enough, one way to reduce the chance of altitude-induced nausea is to keep a little food in one's stomach.

    The first three or four miles, crossing the lava plain, are actually the roughest. The pavement is well on its way to becoming a Jeep trail. Some of the potholes extend more than halfway across the road--though all are fairly shallow, since the pavement itself is thin and there's nothing but lava underneath.

    The damage on this stretch is probably because of the heavy traffic -- heavy not so much in terms of numbers, but of weight. Several unpaved or gravel roads take off on the right, leading to the U.S. Army's Pohakuloa Training Area. (Those roads are tempting, but you could end up dodging artillery shells or confronting MPs.) The road also crosses a scraggly kipuka (an area of older lava and trees surrounded by newer lava) that draws occasional hunters, and you may encounter a telephone service truck headed to the relay towers eight miles up the road.

    This is a genuine one-lane road, despite the little squiggly line of paint that some waggish person dribbled along the road's center. Meeting a Humvee full of National Guardsmen or a pickup full of dogs is an instant exercise in geometric calculation and unspoken diplomacy. The general rule is that the uphill vehicle has the right of way, but as a practical matter, the first vehicle that reaches a spot wide enough to pull over is the one that yields.

    As a matter of courtesy, the driver who gets to proceed past usually waves or shakas the driver who stops, even if he/she is a perfect stranger, and the waiting driver then waves or shakas back. One-lane roads foster this sort of camaraderie.

    There are some points where the road passes over a hummock or curves between high walls of a'a that block the view ahead. Some drivers honk when they reach such points, just in case someone 's approaching from the other side. Some slow down to give themselves more time to react. Others just take their chances.

    Fortunately, chances are excellent there isn't anyone headed your way. After the first four or five miles, the last tree disappears, and not even the hunters have a reason to come up here. On a weekday, a driver may meet only three or four vehicles during the entire trip.

    The road's condition up here also improves greatly. The topmost few miles even have a fresh coat of asphalt.

    At the road's end are three things: the meteorological observatory, the Mauna Loa Summit Trailhead, and one stupendous view.

    The observatory has no fences or "No Trespassing" signs, but it's not a tourist attraction. There is no visitors' center, no interpretive signs, and no tours -- though, according to the observatory's Web site, http://www.mlo.noaa.gov, "special arrangements can be made to visit the observatory by contacting station chief John Barnes at 933-6965 or by e-mailing John.E.Barnes@noaa.gov." The Web site, however, is a great place to learn about the observatory and its cutting-edge experiments.

    The telescopes on Mauna Loa are puny compared to the monsters on Mauna Kea. That simply reflects the observatory's different purpose. Many of the Mauna Kea scopes are designed to peer to the farthest ends of the universe. But the Mauna Loa Observatory studies not the stars but earth's atmosphere. It has been recording climactic changes for half a century. The observatory's telescopes are used mostly to observe the sun, whose sunspots and solar flares have a direct impact on Earth's weather.

    There are also instruments to measure atmospheric gases, from ozone to hydrogen sulfide to gaseous mercury. There are anemometers to measure wind speed, and nephelometers to measure the rate at which light is scattered by aerosols (tiny particles of liquid suspended in the atmosphere, such as the water droplets that make up clouds). There is even an experiment that collects the cosmic dust that drifts down through the thin atmosphere to the mountain.

    The only "public" area at the observatory itself, however, is a the public parking lot which holds about four or five vehicles. The observatory's five small telescope domes and platforms full of meteorological instruments are easily visible, uphill from the parking lot, which is probably about as close as the scientists would care for you to come.

    The real view, though, is in the opposite direction. This is one of the few spots on the island where, on a clear day, you can get out of a car and see both the east and west sides of the island at the same time. You often can see the top of Maui's Haleakala as well. Yet what really dominates the scene is Mauna Kea, whose summit is about 20 miles away as the crow flies (though no bird would deliberately fly that high). From here, the giant telescopes atop Mauna Loa's sister mountain are simply white dots.

    The public parking lot also provides parking for sturdy souls who come to challenge the Mauna Loa Summit Trail, which climbs six more miles and 2,536 in altitude to the mountaintop. The distance to the summit from this side of the mountain is less than half that from the trailhead on the Mauna Loa Strip Road in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. But it's also much more strenuous. Don't attempt it unless you're physically fit, hiking with a companion, and well equipped. It's possible -- but not advisable -- to hike to the summit and back in a day. It would be much better to spend the night at the Summit Cabin.

    But there's another hiking route that's possible from this point, and is much easier: the road itself.

    Na Ala Hele, the program that maps and manages the state's trail management system, lists the Mauna Loa Observatory Road as a multiple-use trail: suitable for not just for motor vehicles, but also for bicycles and pedestrians. One of the best ways to experience the full impact of this alien landscape is to take two vehicles up the Saddle Road, park one at Pu'u Huluhulu, and take the other to the road's top, then bicycle or walk down. Seventeen miles seems like a long hike -- but if you start fairly early and go at a steady pace, you can be back down at Pu'u Huluhulu by 4:30 p.m. For the less adventurous, the hike can be as short as a few hundred yards or as long as half a day -- just remember that it will be much harder climbing back up.

    This barren mountain is the place to discover both the vastness and the diversity of lava. Mauna Loa erupts much less frequently than Kilauea does, but when it does, the volume of melted stone that pours out is exponentially larger. There are flows up here that dwarf the mighty river of frozen lava from Mauna Ulu in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. And a'a flows -- the jagged, clinkery type of lava -- seem to be much more common on Mauna Loa; some of these flows stretch for miles. The road runs into the heart of a vast, stark wonderland of improbable shapes and colors.

    Lava isn't just black. For that matter, it turns out almost never to be black, if you look closely enough. Its blackness is composed of every color of the rainbow. Especially around the throats of old vents, the lava takes on a fantastic palette of reds, yellows, browns and ochres -- even hues very akin to purple, or at least red-purple. Bits of foamy scoria roll in the wind, winking and sparkling with the multi-hued iridescence of an oil slick. Massive veins of dense, charcoal-gray basalt -- the weapons-grade material of the Stone Age -- jut up through lighter, browner rock, inches from pockets of red-orange cinder.

    Even more fantastic than the colors are the forms. Lava is chaos theory in action. Even a simple bit of a'a is such a jagged, intricate complex of curves and angles that it's impossible to describe its shape -- yet it's instantly recognizable. On the other hand, the smoother, shinier pahoehoe readily suggests other forms -- rope, pillows, brownie mix.

    Sometimes the fluid chaos of pahoehoe collides with the crackly chaos of a'a to create weird forms. At one spot along the road, a fast-moving pahoehoe flow apparently rolled huge hunks of a'a in front of it, coating the boulders with more and more lava, much like a snowball rolling downhill. When the lava balls finally stopped, the lava flowed on past, leaving them shining, giant black pearls half-embedded in a volcanic oyster shell.

    But perhaps the most fantastic aspect of this vast landscape is the silence. Sometimes there is the distant grinding of a vehicle laboring up the road, or the thrumming of a helicopter below -- yes, this is a place where you can literally look down on helicopters -- or the faint crump of artillery at Pohakuloa. But more often, there's nothing but the soughing of wind across the lava. There are no birdsongs this high. There is seldom even the buzzing of a flying insect.

    But there is life here. If you walk long enough, you'll probably see a wolf spider scamper across the road. Wolf spiders are top predators of the insect world. They have to be eating something. Maybe it's stray insects, blown up here by the relentless trade wind. Or maybe there's a whole subterranean mini-ecosystem, clinging in the sun-warmed zone of cracks and mazes and pockets just under the surface of the a'a.

    What does a wolf spider eat at 11,000 feet? Mauna Loa may be one of the most intensively studied mountains in the world. Its surface is laced with seismometer stations that listen to the movements of lava and fault lines miles underground. Tilt detectors dot its skin to measure the inflation and deflation of its crust. Mauna Loa Observatory's instruments detect the gases emitted as it breathes. Biologists capture new species of fruit flies at isolated kipukas. But there are always more surprises, more questions to be asked.

    I have been up there when we had a pick up and were a bit more adventurous. I am still recovering from mu little adventure and my feet are so bruised they look like I have been stomping grapes. Uggh. More tomorrow

    August 29, 2004

    Psalm 65

    Photo To the Sea Wailuku Stream

    Psalm 65

    Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion;
    And to You the vow shall be performed.
    O You who hear prayer,
    To You all flesh will come.
    Iniquities prevail against me;
    As for our transgressions,
    You will provide atonement for them.

    Blessed is the man You choose,
    And cause to approach You,
    That he may dwell in Your courts.
    We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,
    Of Your holy temple.

    By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us,
    O God of our salvation,
    You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth,
    And of the far-off seas;
    Who established the mountains by His strength,
    Being clothed with power;
    You who still the noise of the seas,
    The noise of their waves,
    And the tumult of the peoples.
    They also who dwell in the farthest parts are afraid of Your signs;
    You make the outgoings of the morning and evening rejoice.

    You visit the earth and water it,
    You greatly enrich it;
    The river of God is full of water;
    You provide their grain,
    For so You have prepared it.
    You water its ridges abundantly,
    You settle its furrows;
    You make it soft with showers,
    You bless its growth.

    You crown the year with Your goodness,
    And Your paths drip with abundance.
    They drop on the pastures of the wilderness,
    And the little hills rejoice on every side.
    The pastures are clothed with flocks;
    The valleys also are covered with grain;
    They shout for joy, they also sing.

    August 28, 2004

    This Week's Saturday Slant Week 24 Year 2

    The City that Never Sleeps NYC at night

    This is a good one. We have all been there I think at least once if you have done any flying at all.

    Layover Luck
    Today's Slant is Inspired by my recent and unexpected 3-hour layover in Atlanta. Instead of boarding your connecting flight in a never before visited airport, the airline announces that the flight has been cancelled. You will, however, have a seat on the next flight to that destination--tomorrow. To help make up for the inconvenience, the airline has given you a hotel room for the night and $100 USD. You have 24-hours to yourself in a new city. Where are you? What do you do?

    Well, it would depend on the city. In general I would would check into the hotel and make sure that everytime I passed that desk that I would check to see if the airline had called and made a new flight arrangement. I missed a flight out of Reagan on a bump like this because they called to tell me Id been moved to a different flight than the previous one originally planned. Then its off to see the city, have a great dinner which might mean different things in different cities, I would want to go to a public place where I could soak up the local scene, or see a great view of the sunset or conversely see a great sunrise. Find a cabbie that knows this stuff and tip him or her well for such intel.

    I would think that the queen of layover fun spots would be New York City. You can see and do a lot in 24 hours and I would have a blast going from place to place, food, show and scene. If someone knows other great spots they have been stuck in, post in my comments. A friend got stuck for 24 hours in Cleveland and LOVED it. He loved the city and would go back for a vacation. Tour companies ought to put a ten city in ten day package together and you could sample a bit of here and there. Sort of like crusing by airplane. I would love it.

    Worst place I ever got stuck? Gotta be April 15, 1993, stranded in the St Louis airport in route to New York City. 12 hour horrendous weather delay and because they didnt know what they were going to do, or what flight we were going to be on, we couldnt leave. We got on then got off planes twice and never left the tarmack. I ate the worst food anywhere and this includes all third world countries I have ever visited... the place smelled like a windowless unventalated locker room with a smoking lounge within... Gross. The only saving grace was that in the time we were there, I met a woman that would change my life and that my first visit to NYC was at the end of this horror... I think ole St. Louie gilded my first views of the Manhattan Skyline with a splendour that was mostly my wild eyed wonder at the beauty of the city, as clouds filled with lightning flashed across the sky...

    Kona Naturals

    John Powell of Kona Naturals on pahoehoe lava at Kilauea Volcano

    Its Aloha Friday and in honor of Pau Hana time...(end of work week)I want to introduce Mr. John Powell and his new blog Kona Naturals A look at the "other side" of the island... On the mainland they have the Left Coast and the Right Coast and the East Coast and the West Coast, ...well here on the Big Island we have the Wet Coast (Hilo Side) and the Dry Coast (Kona Side)...Some times I think that the wet and dry thing applies to humor and that while the Kona side has a sort of dry humor, the Hilo side is just all wet... just kidding...

    There is a lot of talk about the two sides separating into two different political entities, I hope not, as I think we have a lot to offer each other and we need to work out our differences. Dialouge, and blogging is a dialouge, is the answer. I think that a lot of long time residents have strong opinions about what "those people on the other side are like" but the more we communicate and learn the hows and the whys of things, we will get along better on this beautiful island that we all share.

    Aloha John, and welcome We look forward to reading more about you and your adventures and your life on this island in the midst of My Wide Blue Seas...

    August 26, 2004

    The Desires of My Heart

    Photo the back 40 Hale Pu'u Honua

    Another great thought by Elisabeth Elliot Gren, on a subject that we have all struggled with, wanting something that wasnt ment to be. I have a number of such things that rattle about in my life and learning to give them over to God is a constant task but ultimately a rewarding one.

    "The Desires of My Heart"
    "Do you honestly want to know Me?" He asks. I answer yes. "Then do what I say," He replies. "Do it when you understand it; do it when you don't understand it. Take what I give you; be willing not to have what I do not give you. The very relinquishment of this thing that you so urgently desire is a true demonstration of the sincerity of your lifelong prayer: Thy will be done.

    So instead of hammering on heaven's door for something which it is now quite clear God does not want me to have, I make my desire an offering. The longed-for thing is material for sacrifice. Here, Lord, it's yours.

    He will, I believe, accept the offering. He will transform it into something redemptive. He may perhaps give it back as He did Isaac to Abraham, but He will know that I fully intend to obey Him.

    cc Elisabeth Elliot Gren

    An Update

    The Green Machine pulled off for a photo op on Old Mamalaloa Hwy, Ahualoa, near the Studio (at an undisclosed location) The trees in the background are a part of a erosion control planting of fast growing eucalyptus that has spread into a huge forest over the north slopes of Mauna Loa, Greenies want them left alone, Hunters and land developers want them cut, and the Hawaiians are still screaming that they were planted at all. I love them... it smells like cough drop heaven!

    You can see my Modus Operendi, how I have to pull the car off to the side if I stop. This is a very typical side road, wide enough for one and one half cars, and pray that a big truck isnt comming. People frown when they pass me for my big car...or my bad mainland driving I dont know.

    Well I am sore but walking and actually very surprised at how well things went today. I have some swelling, but the sting is very tiny and I could even get my store shoes on and walk. ( Dressy ones) Yes my knees, and elbows havent looked like this since I was eight and learning how to skate. The bruises seem to be on the inside of me, fortunate that for Woody's sake so if a cop comes into the shop (and they do, often, )He wont have to explaine why I look like he's beaten the living day lights out of me. I think that the red dirt has ruined that outfit but never mind I will continue to wear it to the shop, if I get polishing compound on it so what.

    I am so thankful, car is running fine and Woody said we might need to barter jewelry off to get it fixed if it needs something. I will keep my fingers crossed that all will be well for now. There has to be a break in the financial drought some time. The repair thing is a long way off as I am such a klutz and so slow. I am a perfectionist thats what!

    Off to bed, Thanks for the prayers and kind thoughts.

    August 25, 2004

    The Most Blessed Woman Alive

    My Wide Blue Seas, Views from Kalopa State Park Road, over looking Paniolo (Cowboy) Country on the north slopes of Mauna Kea, near Honoka'a

    The title is no exageration, nor is it the least bit overstated. I sit before you via the World Wide Web a living miracle. I cant hardly believe it. I have no one to tell so I will tell you now and Woody once he gets home.

    I had a lovely serene stay at home day with the cats and a nearly silent neighborhood but for the birds and a occasional dog. Windy and full of majestic cloud scapes (have you noticed that I have clouds in nearly every picture I post?) I laid in my lounger and just soaked it up. I needed that.

    This morning was the same. I was headed up to the Studio to learn some more repair stuff and everything was lovely. Stopped by the side of the road, snapped pics, just wonderful.

    Had a great day at the studio, Now it was hard and I am pitifully slow (took me all day) but I managed to size then unsize a ring and it was in better shape than when I got it which is a halmark of this mans work and my personal goal when repairing someones jewelry. Next week more of the same.

    I left early, 4:30 so I could drive in the light and do a bit of exploring on my way home. All along the highway there are side roads that lead up in to the foot hills of Mauna Kea. Many are to small neighborhoods, like the one that Doug lives in, But I notices signs to a state park, so I thought that I might try it and see if the park was nice...The drive was wonderful and something that Woody and I need to do sometime soon as he will love it. But I wanted to get home before dark so I started down the hill...I stopped a few times to take a snapshot or two.

    Right after I took the photo above, I stopped again. I try to pull the car off the pavement as far as I can as it is so big and blocks the little narrow roads at times. I usually leave it running as I am right there and nobody car jacks here.. So I crossed the road to take the pic, and as I am standing there sizing up my photo op, I feel the ground sink then give way and I tumbled 10 to 15 feet down into a ditch. The vegetation there was tall and gave me the feeling that the land was stable but like I told one of my readers a week or so ago, Hawaii is a land full of hazzards, most unseen at first.

    I felt a stiging stab at the ankle and thought " oh great a centepede gets me at last". But then I realzed that they dont buzz, I scrambled up that sloppy revine like hell itself was after me and sure enough, either I had fallen into a hornet nest or just disturbed it. I was across the road and into car before the swarm massed. (as I think about it, I didnt look for cars on the road thank God its so rural) I got the heck out of there.

    I am highly allergic to everything, and should have gone into anaphlactyc shock, but did not. The stress alone should have triggered it, but did not...

    I got back to the highway and started home. My knee and ankle hurt pretty bad. I realize that I might have one of the wasp bastards still on me so I think "well Il stop at the next populated area." Then the car starts acting up. Shimmying like its going to shake apart at 50 mph, I slow down and start praying...Oh God, I am 70 miles from home with no money no medical and no help, Doug has left to go to their church and I know no one else on this side of the island. Help me...

    I stop at a Minute Stop Mini Mart and shake my clothes out, no varmits in the car or on me, but I am a grassy muddy mess. I get some gas so I can get home.

    It was an incredibly beautiful drive home...I see rainbows all along the way out over the ocean, until night falls. My car, the most dependable car bar none I have ever owned, is running like a champ again, No shock, in fact I am quite clear minded. An I roll into my drive way safe and sound for all practical purposes.

    I am badly banged up, knee is so wrenched that likely I wont be able to walk in the morning. The ankle is wrenched and swollen around the bite. Where my head hit a rock...(why am I not dead, Lord!) no bump, pain, nothing. My elbow is scraped on the opposing side of my body from the wrenched joints and is the only open wound. My glasses are bent but fixable

    My camera works and I am trusting that my Green machine will start the next time I need it to.

    Jesus, son of David , have mercy upon my soul... I chanted this for the whole way from Laupahoehoe to home... I think it saved my life.

    Some of you will ask if this is the end of my adventuring. Yes until I can have my car checked out, and it may be the end of me driving to Honokaa for a bit but will this check my curiosity and my desire to embrace as my of this incredible palce where I live? No hardly. War wounds, nothing more and I have lived to tell the tale...

    I would appreciate your prayers. This is really going to hurt by morning.

    August 22, 2004

    Isaiah 12

    Hawaii Botanical Tropical Gardens, near Hilo Posted by Hello

    Then you will say on that day, "I will give thanks to You, O LORD; For although You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, And You comfort me.

    "Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the LORD GOD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation."

    Therefore you will joyously draw water From the springs of salvation.

    And in that day you will say, "Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; Make {them} remember that His name is exalted."

    Praise the LORD in song, for He has done excellent things; Let this be known throughout the earth.

    Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

    Isaiah 12 (NASB)

    August 21, 2004

    Typo Generation, or what else can we do with Google?

    typogenerator image MWBS2 Posted by Hello

    I saw this on Mela's blog diaphaneity.com where she had posted an unusual photo, its a computer generated piece of art, made on the typo Generator I played with this thing for an hour, made some great cards with some of the images...( you dont know how it makes me feel to be able to make something with my given name on it, even a card like this that is unique, after having spent much of my life looking in vain for my name on those personalized things kids always want.) Ive not out grown this little pain in my heart of feeling left out.

    This program uses Google to create the images. I plugged in My Wide Blue Seas, and got some wacky stuff then it pulled up the background, that is a maritime map of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, I said "Ah...little program, now we are getting somewhere and see where we are going!..." and you thought that Google was for site mongering and making a few quid on the stock market. Now you can make art too. Original art at that! It made a lovely thank you card for Kathy Hammes in her favorite colors too, just like it knew what to do.

    I didnt keep this one but I though that it was interesting. I put in the word "Friendship" and for the background it came up with a series of maps of tornado shelters in Nebraska. How odd, yet that is true friendship, opening the door of your storm cellar as the big one is hitting you, to let in the stranger.

    Well the week seems to be ending on a dismal note at the store. We have had the lowest sales this week than we have ever had since we opened. The town is deserted. Scary scary scary and yet I know that things will get better. I did take in my first repair for the store and that will start to flow in more and more, bringing us much needed revenue.

    Woody is at home hopefully doing the lawns as they are so overgrown that our house looks like it has been abandoned, which is very unsafe for me being alone. Squatters often take over a untenanted house in our neck of the woods, and I dont need house guests of that sort to greet me when I come home at night. Our neighbors accross the street have allowed their side yard to overgrow and the Kahili Ginger there is blooming like crazy. I am allergic to it but want to plant it in the lot next to us for its incredible frgrance. This is an invasive species and we are asked not to plant it. But at least it only smells and doesnt croak or eat things like other invaders!

    I am working on a writing project and have a ton of stuff pending on my desk that I have little desire to get to. I was thinking that I would like to sew up some new things as I brought over 1000 lbs of fabrics with me and there is little reason for me to buy anything. When I think of the amount of stuff that I bought and all the shopping I did on the mainland prior to moving here I cant believe it. I can say that I must have been a spendaholic for now I buy nothing and a trip to the market is a treat and I cannot remember for the life of me the last time I went casually shopping. I think when Monica was here in November... I am glad of this change though, and Woody said the same thing. He said he can see how much money that he wasted and its a sin...

    Makoa has fully repented of his bad manners a few days ago and went to smell my wrist last night, where he had bitten me, and cringed, poor thing... I think his little soul was more wounded than my wrist which is healing nicely.

    Thanks again to all of you that read MWBS and send me emails. you have really encouraged me to keep fighting and not to give up. Especially about yesterday and the singular challenge that was. I live in a most unique circumstance, and that was an attack at a very weak place in my life. Would to God that wasnt so, but it is.

    Lost In Translation

    Maori Warrior Posted by Hello

    The above photo is of a Maori man in full ceremonial dress. They do a dance of victory and challenge known as the "Haka" when in this costume...Its quite ferocious and is meant to strike fear in the heart of the enemy warriors...I post him here in tribute to a man of similar race and origin that came into the store today... a long story and a bit strange but I think I will tell it.

    As you know we here in Hilo have been the host for the Olympics of Canoe Paddling, The International Va'a(canoe paddling in Tahitian)Sprints. For eight full days teams form all over the world have been participating and during that time there was no time for anything other than the canoes. Well, some of those folks stayed for an extra week and we are seeing some of them in the shop. One of them that stopped in today was a man named Francis.

    Francis is a Maori from Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. He considers himself a Kiwi a New Zealander, to which the Cook Islands are bound by a mutual assistance treaty. He came in with a big smile, and full of interest in our Tahitian pearls which is the prime export of his native island... I deduced from his large build (He looked like a weight lifter with huge arms) that he was a paddler, and we talked about the races and how things went for his team..."Not so good with the winning, but it is pretty amazing that we are even here so that is the best thing."

    He quickly turned the conversation off himself to Hawaii and how wonderful he found the island with its great diversity ecologically and culturally. I agreed and we found ourselves talking about what we like the best and least about it all... At this point we were seated at the table we have in the store for the customers. Woody who was in the store today had gone to run his errands and pick up his check, so we were alone.

    Francis got up and went to my desk and with all of the forthrightness of his people picked up the photograph frame with my pictures in it and said. "You are married, have a Mother and cats, but where are the children? How come no children? You should have a dozen!" Lest the reader be offended for me, in Polynesia this is a compliment as a large family is a norm and girls start having children early. I told him that we had not been blessed. He put the frame down and pulled out his wallet and showed me a handsome family of six teenagers...with the center figure cut out... their mother.

    "Divorced." Francis said...Like Gods judgment had been pronounced. "Yes she found someone else, I think. Its been three years now." Wallet snaps shut. I told him that I had been there and that I know that it must still be hard as I could hear that it still hurt him. He agreed and we sat again.

    He told me of his family brothers and sisters, a brother working in Iraq, a sister that is a midwife in Saudi..."Hate that they are there, hate the Middle East hate India. I have been there and they look down upon us. But its a job, a living, and there are few jobs on my island."

    He then said that his brother had moved to Brisbane (Australia) and was working and he thought that he could get a visa and work there, he has a degree in soil engineering from the university in New Zealand. He also thought he might try to come to Hawaii as he saw how specialized agriculture is taking off and he'd have use for his trade...then there was Hilo bay, a canoe paddlers dream come true...

    I had said little really up to that point, but I did say that I thought that hed be welcomed and I think more readily accepted than he was in those other places, for his people are the descendents of the Kanaka O'li, the first Hawaiians that left when the Tahitians came and the settled New Zealand and the surrounding islands. He would be seen as Kamaaina, but for that Kiwi accent... and we laughed.

    Francis then said something that surprised me. He said "Your husband is stupid to leave you alone..." I looked into the face of temptation and said, "Yes, he is...too trusting in my commitment to him and to my God, too foolish to be jealous when I tell him what you have said to me..."

    Francis threw his head back and laughed " You are young and he is old, you are wiser than my grandmother,(another big time compliment) and I say you should be a mother, you would be a great one. Would you like to go to dinner with me?"

    I shook my head. "I am a recovering home wrecker, you have told me of your life, and you have had enough pain. I wont add to it by letting you wreck what is left of my marriage, such as it is. Now it is time for you, Francis dear, to get up, and leave my shop before I change my mind." and with that I pulled him to his feet,him,laughing all the way to the door.

    I have a "asylum" door that must be unlocked on both sides, I pulled the key lanyard from around my neck, and stuffed the key in the door, turning the lock so it popped open. As I turned the knob, Francis laid his giant paw on my hand and said, "You are very beautiful, are you sure that I cannot change your mind? Im going to be in town for another few days..." I looked up into his finely chiseled features and those dark eyes that have seen 10,000 sunsets in places I have only dreamed of...and said, " No" and heaved the heavy door open. He crossed the threshold of the doorway, not letting go of my hand. I looked again into his face and he bent down and kissed me on the cheek and said "Kia Oragna, Aloha No Ka Oi" or " until we meet again.." in both languages. He let go of my hand and walked away, only to turn around quickly to look when the door locked shut behind him...I looked through the glass and followed him, as he crossed the street and joined up with his mates at the ice cream place across the street.

    Woody was back in a half hour, and I did tell him about it. He chuckled and said that he was surprised that I didnt go to dinner with him considering everything that has gone on between us recently...

    Too foolish to be jealous... as I lifted my hand to my face and could smell the faint whisper of lemon scented aftershave and sweat. God in Heaven above. I shared with Woody the details of what happened and he is choosing to stay home tomorrow and mow the lawn...yes it is needed, greatly needed. Our house looks like it has been abandoned... is not lived in...

    Sort of like my heart. Today, I had a volunteer to mow the lawn of my heart and chase away a few of the weeds of loneliness. I chose to wait for the owner of the place to do what is needed. Hes not going to do it... I ran to our little washroom in the back of the store and scrubbed my hands and face...while in my mind I could see Francis doing the Haka in front of Woody and Woody cowering in fear. Thank you God for giving me the strength to stand up to it and stand it down...

    However, the Devil may be back, I may not let him in...

    August 19, 2004

    Afraid So...

    Hale Pu'uhonua The Garden Gate Posted by Hello

    I remembered hearing this poem last week as i was driving home from the shop and thought that it was so appropriate. Once I pulled it up I read it and laughed out loud...

    I must be feeling better...

    Afraid So

    Is it starting to rain?
    Did the check bounce?
    Are we out of coffee?
    Is this going to hurt?
    Could you lose your job?
    Did the glass break?
    Was the baggage misrouted?
    Will this go on my record?
    Are you missing much money?
    Was anyone injured?
    Is the traffic heavy?
    Do I have to remove my clothes?
    Will it leave a scar?
    Must you go?
    Will this be in the papers?
    Is my time up already?
    Are we seeing the understudy?
    Will it affect my eyesight?
    Did all the books burn?
    Are you still smoking?
    Is the bone broken?
    Will I have to put him to sleep?
    Was the car totaled?
    Am I responsible for these charges?
    Are you contagious?
    Will we have to wait long?
    Is the runway icy?
    Was the gun loaded?
    Could this cause side effects?
    Do you know who betrayed you?
    Is the wound infected?
    Are we lost?
    Can it get any worse?

    Poem: "Afraid So" by Jeanne Marie Beaumont from "Curious Conduct" BOA Editions, Ltd., 2004

    We can never know what is beyond the next curve...the closed gate...Had I known how hard things would be would I have crossed that gate and into this new life...yes for this is my life's Great Adventure and Id have done it no matter what. This poem reminded my of this scripture..

    25 "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
    28 "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
    31 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

    Matthew 6:25-34

    I particularlly like the line "Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Boy if that wasnt ever the truth. I am really trying to not be like the poor soul that is the model for the poem, if I was all of what is left of my rapidly turning grey hair would just fall out.

    I think that the worst time is the three hours from the time that Woody leaves the house to go to Kona till I have to get up. The Accuser has a grand old time with me, as I find it nearly impossible to go back to sleep. I think about way too many things, and should likely just get up and not try to sleep at all

    Nothing at the store today. The guy that has the ATT store next to me said it was dead dead dead yesterday and if this wasnt a good time to take off he didnt know what was. I already have people clammering to bring me stuff towork on. Like Doug said, I might get rich just doing the ring sizing that needs to be done...

    I may get more solicitous handling from Woody when he gets back tomorrow night. I bent down to pet the Makster and I startled him. Hes fixed but this time of year both cats get a little crazy, I think its wiring...anyway he jumped and lunged at me leaving bite marks and two deep gouges on my right wrist that have bled furiously. An expert would see that they are going in the wrong direction for doing myself in but they are going to be pretty darn ugly in a day or so, and Im not telling. Makoa is very contrite about it, He hates the taste of human blood, thankfully. I think this is one of the few times hes ever bitten or scratched me, Nani is the worst offender in that area.

    Well off to bed and another day at the store. I feel quite a bit better. Maybe it was the change of pace or perhaps a bit of hope that I can really do this. Hope, that is a lovely thing to behold.

    Into the Wine Dark Seas

    Into the Wine Dark Seas Ocean Views above Honoka'a  Posted by Hello

    This was shot at 5:45pm yesterday on the Old Mamalaloa Rd in Ahualoa, above Honoka'a town. The sky and the seas were the same majestic purple color. the dark contrasting folliage is wild Sugar Cane, the last vestages of the once thriving sugar industry here on the Hamakua Coast... Its moments like this that remind me why I moved to Hawaii, the sheer glory of the day and all of the color in it was amazing...it gives me hope.

    I spent my first day learning jewelry repair yesterday and started right away channel setting diamonds, along with Sara a daughter of a cousin and another student way futher along than myself. I did well and watched as pearls were drilled and strung, chains was soldered back together and general repair things were done. Next week, I will have a set up of my own to repair things taken in at the store and to do projects set for me. I want to sink down on my knees in gratitude for the opportunity to do this. I felt like I was doing something that I have always know that I could do well.

    John failed in the second part of his TSA exams, the medicals... Blood pressure was high and his hearing is just below what they desire. He has got to go to the doctor now... I doubt he will get a chance to go on the waiting list for the jobs at the airport. I feel badly but what can I do or say... I think I am in worse shape than he and its a bit scary to think about...He isnt dizzy or has headaches but I do, He doesnt have chest pains but I do. No doctor in town will see me without insurance unless I am dying in emergency so I am just waiting it out. Hopefully I can manage to control my stress levels better.

    I want to thank all of you that emailed me your support in this really difficult time. I appreciate all of your intrest in my life and doing and I pray a blessing on each and every one of you!

    August 18, 2004

    Quiz Time

    Which flower are you?

    Red Rose

    You are well loved by those close to you, and are usually the life of any party.

    Personality Test Results

    Click Here to Take This Quiz
    Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.

    How did it know my favorite? Am I so obvious?

    August 17, 2004

    Path of the Ancient Ones

    lava flow tiles Posted by Hello

    I pulled this off the Trib as it is a great article about HVNP. Enjoy!

    Ancient footprints lead to a beginning

    Sunday, August 15, 2004 8:59 AM HST

    Mauna Iki Trail ventures into the backcountry of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

    Tribune-Herald correspondent

    The Footprints Trail in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park isn't what it used to be. But there are still some good reasons to walk down the trail, which starts at the Ka'u Desert Trailhead near the 48-mile marker on the Hawaii Belt Road (Highway 11) a few minutes south of Namakani Paio Campground.

    Most of the reasons for hiking this trail lie in the country beyond. Short, tame, well-known Footprints Trail provides a shortcut to some of the wildest, least-known, least-traveled areas in the park.

    The Footprints Trail leads to one of the park's more unusual features: footprints preserved in wet volcanic ash that set like plaster. The park erected a little shelter house over them with interpretive signs linking them to a famous historic event: the death of a large party of warriors who supported Keoua, the Ka'u chieftain who once challenged Kamehameha the Great's rule over the Island of Hawaii.

    While returning home from a battle near Hilo, the party was marching south of Kilauea Crater when a cloud of poisonous volcanic gas decended and wiped out the war party -- an event that seemed to signal Madame Pele's disapproval of Keoua's cause. The chieftain later became a human sacrifice at the dedication of Kamehameha's war temple in Kawaihae.

    The park's small shelter has proved ineffective at protecting the fragile footprints, now badly damaged by vandalism, erosion and neglect. (The guidebook "Hawaii: The Big Island Revealed" claims that the damage was done by water condensation from glass installed to protect the imprints. But the footprints have deteriorated even more since the glass disappeared -- and have been joined by the fresh prints of an oafish tourist or two.)

    And the footprints, it turns out, may not date from the time of the eruption that killed Keoua's warriors. For that matter, Hawaiians have been traveling to Kilauea Crater for centuries to pay their obeisance to Madame Pele, and probably have left footprints in the ash on more than one occasion. Another set of prints, which the shifting sands recently revealed near the trail a short distance beyond the shelter, point not to Ka'u, but directly toward the crater.

    Note: those thin, plaster-like layers of volcanic mud surfacing among the sand strata are extremely fragile, and you don't know what imprints may still lie just under the sand. That's why, especially here, it's imperative to STAY ON THE TRAIL!

    Past the footprints shelter, the trail continues another mile where it runs into the Ka'u Desert Trail, one of the park's longest, which leads into the heart of its namesake desert.

    Visitors venturing beyond this point should have at least a couple of liters of water, as well as sturdy shoes, hat, sun block, and, for overnight trips, a backcountry permit from the park.

    The first prominent landmark on this trail is Mauna Iki ("Little Mountain"), a Mauna Ulu-like lava dome that looms to the east, perching like an enormous black limpet on the shoulder of Kilauea. Mauna Iki is only "little" in relation to its parent volcano; for a puny human walking up its side to its 3,032-foot summit, it's immense enough. The mini-mountain's volcanic shield is long and low-slung, composed almost entirely of relatively smooth pahoehoe lava. A single, jagged a'a flow wells from its side like crusted black blood from a geologic wound. The trail stays well to the left of that flow, and the relatively gradual slopes ensure that the climb isn't that strenuous.

    Mauna Iki one of those mountains that disappears as you get closer; you don't realize you're on it until you suddenly notice that you can't see it anymore, but that the panorama around you is getting wider and wider.

    That panorama is one of best reasons for making this hike. By the time you reach the Mauna Iki-Ka'u Desert Trail junction near the lava dome's summit, you can see all the way from South Point to the cliffs around Kilauea Crater, where the Jaggar Volcano Observatory perches, almost too small to see without binoculars.

    A more spectacular view, however, is to the west, where the largest single volcanic landmass on earth stretches out in all its massive glory. Mauna Iki is one of the few places on the island where you can see most of Mauna Loa's 70-mile-long bulk at once.

    The skyscape of this place is almost as spectacular as the landscape. You can actually see the mountains shape the atmosphere. To the north, on a typical afternoon, are the crowded tops of puffy cumulous clouds pushed up against the side of Kilauea by the trade winds. Too heavy with moisture to rise, they amass until they dump their rain on the forests. Higher clouds and silvery vog wreath the summit of Mauna Loa. Overhead, the updraft from the mountain splits high stratus clouds into radiating white streamers.

    That atmospheric sorting is one reason why this is called the Ka'u Desert. Most of the rain simply doesn't make it here. The other reason is the volcanic landscape itself. While Ka'u gets more rain than a typical desert, the cracked lava and porous dunes of volcanic sand simply don't encourage surface water to stay around. It either runs off, seeps down, or sizzles away. The a'a flows around the Footprints Trail retain enough water to allow some stunted ohia trees, but on the pahoehoe slopes of Mauna Iki, life has shrunk to a few sword ferns and an occasional 6-inch 'ohelo or pukiawe bush, clinging tenaciously to a sheltering lava crack.

    From the trail junction on the Mauna Iki summit, several choices present themselves. You can turn north, where the Mauna Iki and Ka'u Desert Trails run together for about .7 mile before diverging again. From that junction, the Ka'u Desert Trail heads a little over six miles back to Kilauea Caldera and the Crater Rim Trail. The Mauna Iki Trail turns more easterly, toward the Pit Craters, then heads on to a trailhead on Hilina Pali Road.

    But the most unlimited possibilities lie south, where the Ka'u Desert Trail plunges deeper into its namesake desert, toward the Kamakaia Hills. This is truly the park's backcountry.

    Like better-known Mauna Ulu on the Crater Rim Road, Mauna Iki is surrounded by an gigantic plain of black pahoehoe. Most of it was part of a massive 1971 flow, and is starting to show its age. As the pahoehoe pillows shrink and weather, they crack in patterns that often resemble overlapping scales. But if you look closely at each individual scale, it undergoes an odd transformation. Close-up, it looks almost like sodden brown fur. The surface is full of dark golden fibers reminiscent of Pele's hair, the spun glass created when a volcanic explosion stretches a bit of molten rock into a hair-like golden strands. But here the strands seem to run in the same direction on a given lava pillow --usually, but not always, uphill to downhill.

    Most of the Mauna Iki flows are of this fiberglass lizard-scale variety. But a half-hour to 45-minutes south on the Ka'u Desert Trail, a very different pahoehoe appears: hard as ceramic, smooth and shiny as a salamander's skin, glazed with yellow, orange and white minerals in delicate, snowflake-like dendritic patterns. This painted pahoehoe is laced with vertical cracks; for some reason, the mineral patterns stop about a quarter- to half-inch from the edge of each crack. The result is like walking over an uneven floor of natural, highly decorative ceramic tiles.

    What causes the differences between lizard-scale pahoehoe and painted tile pahoehoe? A subject perhaps, for a vulcanologist to address in some future Volcano Watch column.

    Dominating the landscape on the Ka'u Desert Trail south of Mauna Iki is the string of cinder cones known as the Kamakaia Hills -- as motley a string of cinder cones as could be imagined. They range from brownish-black to tawny gold, and their colors change with the lighting, turning on and off with the passage clouds.

    Eventually, the Ka'u Desert Trail winds around the Kamakaia Hills to Kipuka Pepeiao Cabin. From the cabin, backpackers can follow the Desert Trail back along the top of Hilina Pali, with its spectacular coastal views, to a trailhead at the end of Hilina Pali Road. Or they can take the Kalu'e Trail down to the coast. But those are overnight treks, at least, not day trips.

    The glory of the backcountry beyond Mauna Iki is that you can go as far as you want, carrying everything you need on your back, and eventually you'll have to walk out again.

    August 16, 2004

    A Survivor's Tale

    A Hualalai Silver Sword Plant Posted by Hello

    I love this man's weekly column in the Trib. Gives me a reason to buy the paper. He always has the skinny on a unusual building or fact related to my Island Home

    The silversword's struggle to survive
    Sunday, August 15, 2004 8:59 AM HST

    Riddle of the Relic

    by Kent Warshauer

    Editor's note: Those who travel around the Big Island can find the remnants of a bygone era nearly everywhere. This column attempts to explain the history behind some of them.

    Biologist Rick Warshauer (yes, this writer's brother) asks the

    Sugar Mill Spy what he knows about the rare silversword plant on the Island of Hawaii.

    This information was gleaned from old newspaper accounts, and may or may not be known by our plant-loving community in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and elsewhere.

    The silversword plant was known to the early Hawaiians as ahinahina (slate-colored), and it thrived at elevations of 7,000 to 12,000 feet on the Island of Hawaii. This included the summit of Hualalai and the upper regions of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.

    Silverswords began to disappear after the British ship HMS Blonde, under the command of Lord George Anson Byron, visited Hilo during June 1825. The Scotch botanist, James Macrae, ascended Mauna Kea and obtained specimens of the plant which he forwarded to the renowned British botanist W.J. Hooker.

    Hooker named the plant Argyroxiphium sandwicense, Greek for "Silversword of the Sandwich Islands," a common name now used to describe most plants of this totally Hawaiian species, including the related but different silverswords growing on Maui.

    By the 20th century, the silverswords on Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Hualalai were becoming rare due to the grazing of feral sheep and goats. Each plant would grow for five to 15 years, depending on moisture, and flower once before it died. These animals would eat the flowering tops of the plants, thus destroying its lifecycle. As silverswords contain moisture, goats would also eat the plants during times of drought.

    Thus the once plentiful colonies slowly dwindled to more inaccessible areas in which sheep and goats -- and man -- could not easily reach.

    Despite the depredation of man and beast, large specimens still grew on the remote mountain as late as July 18, 1926, when a silversword over a foot and a half was displayed at the Hilo Drug Company.

    Equal in size and beauty as the Haleakala variety, this plant was brought to Hilo by Kaumana farmer T. Hiroshi. Shortly after, no silverswords were reported on either Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, and government officials considered them extinct.

    Lamenting over the loss of Big Island silverswords, Hawaii National Park ranger Joseph Christ brought several silversword seeds [argyroxiphium Sandwicese, subspecies Macrocephalum] and flowers from Haleakala Crater on Maui. Giving the seeds and flowers to fellow ranger Everet Brumaghim, who took them to the Hilo Board of Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station in September 1931. By Dec. 17, healthy plants were flourishing. They were later taken to the Kilauea section of the park.

    On Aug. 25, 1934, assistant forester L.W. Bryan reported at least two dozen Mauna Kea silverswords growing on the top of a steep pali in a branch of the Wailuku River in Humuula. These plants apparently survived due to their inaccessible location.

    Another attempt to grow Haleakala silversword seeds at the Hilo experiment station during the winter of 1935 was successful, and on Jan. 19, 1936, several hundred plants were made available to anyone living at a higher altitude.

    The Kilauea section of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was planted these seedlings, as a prior attempt by ranger Brumaghim had failed. Unfortunately, national park naturalist Samuel Lamb reported on Nov. 28, 1937, that these silverswords failed to grow due to excessive moisture and the lack of altitude.

    Also planted was a small patch at the 3,000 foot level at Puu Kihe above Kukaiau Ranch on Mauna Kea, protected from foraging animals by a barbed wire fence.

    On Nov. 8, 1938, forester Bryan reported the discovery of silversword plants growing abundantly around the 6,000-foot level of Mauna Loa. Spots several acres in size had hundreds and hundreds of plants.

    "I think the Civil Conservation Corps (CCC) boys drove all the goats from that region, leaving the plants a chance to grow," Bryan said. "Formerly the goats were eating up all the young flowers, thus preventing the plants from seeding. This is all very interesting to us since we thought that the silversword had become extinct on the island."

    During 1947, sometime between June and September, one of the six Haleakala silverswords in the arbetorium at Puu Kihe bloomed, and forester Bryan managed to raise six seedlings from the seeds this plant produced. In August of 1948, a second plant flowered there, producing dark rich red blossoms, and a third flower was produced in December, 1951.

    The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park also began a seed propagation program of its own during 1953, using seeds collected at Haleakala.

    Out of 72 plants set out on Mauna Loa between the 5,500 and 8,500 foot levels on Oct. 9, 1954, some 44 plants survived, according to Nash Castro, acting park superintendent.

    On Sept. 2, 1957, Bryan announced there was a new type of silversword on the southern slope of Mauna Loa above Ka'u. First collected by Charles N. Forbes in August 1911 and reported again by William H. Meinecke in August 1922, both sightings lacked the flower essential for a proper description.

    First located by James Buchan, this plant, identified as Argyroxiphium sandwicese variety kauese, was in full bloom.

    On March 28, 1962, another colony of Mauna Kea silverswords was found in Waipahoehoe Gulch on Mauna Kea at a elevation of 10,000 feet by Fish and Game personnel. There were 26 plants in a colony there.

    The Ka'u silversword also made a comeback on Mauna Loa. In August 1990, several colonies were discovered between the 5,300- and 7,600-foot level. One colony of 1,000 plants located off the Powerline Road in the Upper Waiakea Forest Reserve was reduced to 20 immature shrubs by feral pigs.

    The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park tried to establish several colonies of Ka'u silversword when seeds were collected from Kahuku Ranch in 1975 and planted off the Mauna Loa trail. During 1993, two plants out of 15 original seedlings flowered. Seeds from these two plants yielded 200 seedlings that were planted on park land on Mauna Loa. At last report, they'd been attacked by goats that jumped over protective fences.

    As Bryan said on Nov. 28, 1937: "Some authorities have maintained in the past that the silversword is well nigh extinct because of insect attack -- I'm of the opinion that the goats are the offending insect."

    Now Is The Summer of Our Discontent

    the Canoe Launch at Hilo Bay Posted by Hello


    This title is from Shakespeare, slightly abridged and I am sad to have it on my blog but I do as this week has been that way for me and I wish that I could just whisk my mind like sweeping my walkway in front of the shop but to no avail...the grinding just keeps on and keeps on...no rest for the weary I guess.

    I am morbidly depressed. Like need to go to the doctor sort of depressed. I am hoping this is a phase and will let up, considering that the alternatives are not really available. I have physical things going on that would try the patience of a saint. The trouble is the whole set up. Woody being gone so much...Me trying to hold the fort with out enough cash to do it...Sort of like defending the Alamo without bullets.

    We are fighting about the money. Not hard to do when you have 1650.00 in needs(not counting the mortgage which I pay out of the store) and the bring home is 1200.00, and 25% of that must go to getting Woody to his job. Woody takes what he needs pretty much with out regards to what is in the account or not in the account. I have chosen to stop trying to manage the household checkbook as he is impossible. Things deteriorated with the hotel double charging him last week and the phone bill day of reckoning coming up. Stuff is bouncing all over the place. The store is slow and after more wrangling I gave in and gave him cash out of the drawer cursing him with every breath. This is the Godly wife in action... He needs to get to Kona, so he can keep his job. I need the cash so I can pay my rent and keep my job. The impasse has me to the place where I have chest pains on a regular basis.

    I am so embarrassed at the goveling I have to do on a daily basis with bill collectors, utility companies and my vendors at the store. I wonder where the rent will come from, and next months house payment so I can keep the place out of foreclosure. The stress has cased my skin problems to flare up, the tissues around the eyes are so bad that it looks like Woody hits me...

    I have a plan to deal with all of this but I am not sure how to implement it. I am praying and trusting God, but I still feel like chunks are being pecked out of me and I dont know what to do about it in the mean time.

    Woody passed the first level of the TSA exams, but will have to take a day off work and finish the last part. Also they want you to have good credit which we dont have and no one can tell us how the credit score affects your chances of getting the job. I know that his medicals will be fine and the physical aptitude will be fine (hey we have lifted many a bag onto a screening belt...)but the credit thing is very worrisome...Must be to him as well. The forms that he needs to have filled out with all of the info correct were not done today, and they must be ready Tuesday morning 8 am he works in Kona leaving her at 2am and arriving home at 9pm. I guess I am supposed to do this for him too, and to know this by osmosis. My bet is that he gives up and does nothing. If he does that he will find the SF-286 forms shoved up his right nostril.

    I have never met a person so uncaring about their career. I challenged him today to stop bitching about the Kona thing and look for a new job and shut the heck up. Im so tired of this. I am doing the work that he should do and its making me sick.

    I am like the mother of a little child being told to make that child earn its keep and for Gods sake dont leave it but you have to earn your own keep too, and give me some while you are at it. I am made to feel guilty for every mouthful of food and gas for the car and God help me should something break or need fixing. Then there is the "when the repair business gets going I can stay at the store..." blah blah blah... that makes me feel like a welfare mom being told the have another baby so "you can get more welfare and I can quit my job and live off you..." Just another "child" that will require nurture before it can produce...and in this case I literally am the "child" as well, as it will be my learning curve that will drive the repair side of the store.

    This how people go crazy and commit crimes they later regret.

    My Mother informed me she is in a financial bind. I have not told her how bad this is here. Lets face it, you are losing your ability to speak and cant walk what is a money problem? So I just lie and say I will try to help.

    I think that the worst thing is when I try to tell Woody how I feel there is absolutely no affection no warmth from him. He says that he loves me...and that is why he stays in this relationship, but I dont know if that is true, or if it matters. I made my covenant with God in marriage, I guess I can blame God for this disaster, He knows how hard I am trying!

    If only he'd hug me...I find myself thinking...I try to hug him and he pushes me away...Like he doesn't want me to love him afterall...

    This has all got to sound like a huge pity party but I have no one to talk to about it at this point, at this time of day. It is deep night in all of the rest of the earth. I am as far from the rest of humanity as you can get out here in Puna, on the Fire Island of Hawaii. It is not the location, this is where I want to be, its just I didn't think I would be a castaway, alone here, dealing with things I haven't had to deal with in the same way before.

    August 13, 2004

    Sailing Away into the Hamakua Sunset

    Sailing into the Hamakua Sunset Posted by Hello

    I shot this yesterday as the NCL "Norweigen Wind" was pulling out of Hilo Bay. It was a pretty sunset, and I was very glad to get the photos. Today has been a dismal day of rain. Perfect for the the gold medal round of the paddling championships... Well this is Hilo, land of the rainy day. The odd thing is how cold and ugly it is, sort of like it is when it rains on the mainland. Sloppy and messy

    You would think that with all of the extra people here we'd have more sales, but it has been deader than dead in here. I have a few things to do but Ive not done them I am guilty of the sin of sloth. We have so many things that are going wrong or just to the dogs and I cant cope.

    WE have had a lot of trouble with banks and banking this week. My 401k check was put on a long hold by the bank and I was notified by letter so I didnt know that I was writing bad checks to everyone...I think I got it all fixed and people are graciously waving fees and stuff. Hopefully the phone wont get turned off.

    Then Woody came home from Kona, a bit surly, and I wasnt sure why. Well it turns out that his ATM card was rejected and so he came home on fumes in the gas tank, and the card for the business account is showing expired, and he thought that I played games with him by not giving him a new card...which I hadnt. I just havent gotten new cards as we changed PO Boxes and notified the bank too late to stop the cards from going to the old box which they didnt forward, so they are in limbo land. Woody's account card was rejected cause the hotel took out his room charges twice. We are overdrawn at present again. Its a never ending night mare with the finances so tight.

    Banks are a breed apart and here in Hawaii they have taken things like the holds on checks to a fine ripoff art. They use the same system at the Federal REserve that we did in California so a check can be run through on out of state funds in a day or two. Its all automated. Well they stick to the thrity year old custom of placing extended holds on the funds ostensible to find out if the check is "good" or not. They get the float or the intrest they earn on this money and I cant use it. Its a rip off and this was eliminated in California a number of years ago. This will take a lawsuit to fix Im sure.

    Woodys situation will be fixed, The bank (different from mine)is working on it. We are catching up, but the deep rift and mistrust between us is evident as we struggle to communicate. Words get said that really shouldnt be said and we both know that we are trying to get through all of this one day at a time. I want things to be different but they are not and I think cannot be for it was never ment to be this way. There is so little glue sticking us together, we hold together out of sheer force of will and sometimes I wonder about it.

    We are very fortunate. Woody has his job, I have the store and its doing fine all in all. We have a beautiful home and plenty of food to eat and a phone and lights... kitties to purr at us when were blue and Hawaii to surround us with green beauty. We are the most fortunate of beings.

    My friend Kathy took me out to lunch today and we had a great time. I really needed that!

    I found myself longing to be aboard the Wind last night heading out to sea and to new places. I am longing for a change and perhaps it will come

    August 12, 2004

    The Outlaw

    There he is...the outlaw of Mc Cully street!

    I saw this on MSN. It gave me a pang of homesickness as the people down the block form us in Bellflower had peacocks and you know it was spring when they would start their crowing, sort of a cross between a rooster and a banshee! But while they are lovely to behold, peacocks are mean and nasty, living a huge mess behind them like a heard of elephants! Arcadia and other cities in So Cal have delt with this and as they breed handlily in the wild , we could shortly have another invader species on our hands!

    HONOLULU - A neighborhood in McCully is dealing with a particularly fowl problem. A wild peacock has moved in uninvited, and residents have found little help in getting rid of it.

    The bird, named Charlie by one of the area residents, was a novelty when he first showed up on Citron Street four weeks ago. However, his presence has become a nuisance.

    "It goes on top the car and it scratches the paint and it makes a big mess and it really just hangs out wherever it can hang out," Citron Street resident Tory Kono said.

    The problem is no one seems able to help. Residents have contacted the Audubon Society, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Honolulu Zoo and even the police.

    The Humane Society provided a kennel to hold Charlie once he's captured and is looking for a home for him, but it is not able to take in birds.

    No one in the neighborhood knows how the peacock got there, but they do know that he is not wanted.

    Residents in other neighborhoods like Mililani and Kahaluu are dealing with a similar situation.

    Unfortunately for Charlie, he has no laws protecting him. Under a city ordinance, peacocks fall into the category of "unregulated poultry." So, there is no permit needed to remove them.

    It looks like Charlie's days of roaming free as a bird may be numbered, as residents get more desperate and creative.

    "Oh, I'm hoping to catch it today. We do have a throw net, fish net, my husband got. So, we're going to make plans to catch it today," area resident Julie O'Claray said.

    I hope they do, before a child gets hurt

    August 11, 2004

    Eyes of the World

    paddlers from Austrailia at the IVF canoe paddling championships

    The Paddling World that is. This is one of the biggest sporting events to ever come to Hilo, We have about 10000 people here visiting for this week. We dont have enough room in our few hotels, so people are sleeping at the Natl. Guard Armory, and bedding down at school gyms and even on Hilo bay in the canoe hale (houses)where their canoes are stored. The weather is flawless and so far I have met some of the people and they are very nice and terribly excited to be here. For some of the young people this is the first time they have been off their small islands and this is the "Big City"... makes me smile!

    here is todays report from the Trib

    Slicing the waves

    Wednesday, August 11, 2004 9:18 AM HST

    Weather is just right for canoe practice runs

    Tribune-Herald staff writer

    Visitors to Hilo often find many things to appreciate, but cloudy weather is rarely one of them -- until now.

    Tuesday morning's overcast skies and occasional passing shower were very much welcomed by the 1,800 paddlers in town for the weeklong International Va'a Federation Hilo World Sprints.

    "The conditions are great," said Toby Medeiros, a competitor from Lanikai, Oahu. "It's great for a six-man and a one-man race because the wind is down and the current is even so that will make for an even race for everybody."

    The clouds help to keep the racers cool, said Medeiros, whose familiarity with Lanikai, ranked as Hawaii's best beach, didn't temper his appreciation for Hilo Bayfront Park.

    "You have a beautiful beach here," he said after exiting the water with his solo outrigger canoe.

    Afternoon conditions changed, however, as the sun came out and the mercury rose.

    Still, that didn't seem to bother the athletes that much, some of whom jogged up and down the beach.

    "When we left, it was 14 degrees - (about 57 degrees Fahrenheit)," said Allen Rasmussen, one of three coaches for the team from Mooloolaba, Australia.

    "Come on, guys. You got 15 minutes (to practice)," he shouted at the 34-member junior team of paddlers whose ages range from 14 to 19.

    Things appeared to go smoothly as the 20 nations and territories participating in the outrigger canoe races took their final practices in Hilo Bay before today's start of competition.

    "The paddlers have been very cooperative," said Randy Botti, event beach coordinator.

    All teams have received practice time, even those that arrived late due to missed flights or other travel complications, he said.

    "They're not going to get mad if you're happy," Botti said of his approach to coordinating the shared use of the outrigger canoes. "They understand what a smile is."

    The activities attracted the attention of Luz Willrodt, a recent transplant from South Dakota.

    "I saw people walking by the (Suisan) bridge, and I just followed them," she said.

    Willrodt noted it's still cold and breezy back in South Dakota.

    "Not here," she added, while holding an umbrella and a pair of binoculars. "It's very refreshing -- the water."

    Canopy tents lined the beach, while loudspeakers bellowed Hawaiian music as the paddlers took turns with the brightly colored canoes made especially for this event.

    "It's a beautiful place," said Juan Soler, who is helping to promote the 15-member Rapa Nui team.

    He called the conditions "fantastic."

    "(It's) something we don't have in Rapa Nui. We don't have good conditions for this sport. Only open ocean," Soler said.

    Amid the laid-back atmosphere are several food vendors on hand to help nourish the athletes.

    That can be a difficult task given the variety of cultures and languages that are represented, noted Steve Pavao, chief professional officer for the Boys and Girls Club of the Big Island.

    Pavao, who is helping run the club's food booth, said he found the best approach is to display the items.

    "We had to put out samples," he said. "I think people have a hard time with the language barrier. Sometimes it's easier to just point."

    Other residents have been sharing their aloha as well, even doing what they could to mend strained relations with France.

    After discovering cool sleeping conditions at the National Guard Armory, the French team received donated blankets and has enjoyed free rides while hitchhiking around Hilo, team captain Olivier Petilleon said through an interpreter.

    Unable to obtain rental cars, the members hitch rides simply by wearing their teal shirts with the word "France" written on the back and carrying their canoe paddles, he said.

    Like many teams, the paddlers from Rapa Nui are here not to win, but to learn.

    "For us, it's very important to participate because the sport is alive," Soler said.

    August 10, 2004

    What is Love?

    that spontaneous moment is usually 2AM with a loud vocal announcement attached. Thank God they eat the protien based "gifts" and only bring their toys into our bed as a offering!

    I love my little fuzz balls

    August 09, 2004

    Ah, Its Stay At Home Day

    Ah, its stay at home day-KaNani in a serious sleeping position

    The cats seem to defy the conventional wisdom that cats dont know what day it is. Mine do. Most every work day morning Nani will be out on the Lanai, in one of her sleeping boxes or on the back of my lounger...She knows its a work day. Mak waits for me to pick him up and take him or will go out for Woody when hes here, as he follows Woody around like a puppy mostly. But on Sunday and Monday this ceases...

    Really? is it stay at home day? Makoa in SLOW motion or rather snore motion...

    I think that they do know and understand. A kitty on its back is showing love and trust, I think its adorable. They are clearly joyful once they realze that I am not putting them out and Im moving onto the lanai for 48 hours,and soon settle down to some serious sleeping with me close at hand all day as I try to spend as much time as I can answering mail, catching up on reading and my devotional life. This quiet time is rejuvenating for me. I am used to have a lot of time to myself as it had been nearly 7 years since I worked full time before opening the store. The other thing I do is pet and play with the kitties as much as I can when they are awake as I feel that I am away from home and them far too much.

    the Dancing Rain Girs says Ah, its stay at home day!

    I love being out here. I feel Surrounded by my Hawaii and this old growth Ohia forest. Its lovely on a bright sunny day like this, and smells like a forest should all green and growing... Its as close to being outside as I can be. One of the things that we didnt know about here in Puna was how bad the bugs are out here, and I am eaten alive in a very short period of time when I visit the back 40. Here I can see the outside and not get eaten up and for the occasional creature that gets in I have my furry bodyguards who will often eat the thing before I can get up to get rid of it. Nani's motto is "waste not want not" and Makoa's motto is "I never met anything that creeps, crawls or flies that I didnt like, after all I gotta show Aloha." He is Mr. Aloha for sure...

    Its been a Quiet Week in East Hawaii, Woody is doing a near back to back on this weeks shifts on his job. He worked Wed-Sat then home Sun then Mon-Thur this week. This is great as he was called by TSA to test to become a baggage screener and one of those security guys you love to hate at the airport...Hilo airport. I applied for this job for him online and he got very high marks. Woody thinks this may be the only time he will be thankful that he went to Vietnam and had the high security clearence. So he has a three hour test on Sat morning. Pray that he gets this job 20.00 per hour 30 hours a week 10 min from the store. It doesnt get better than that. hes really excited and the lady head of the TSA people here is too. She thinks its a good fit. Woody is level headed and easy going and people like him on the spot. That helps when you are asked to be strip searched. Having traveled a lot we are more sensitive to all of this and a bit of that will help a lot on this job.

    Things are slow at the store. I am doing a project that involves research and some Bible study which I am loving. You all will see the fruits of this next month. My Polishing unit is at the harbor, my bench and other equipment is in route. My first day of work as a goldsmith is Aug 17. I can hardly wait.

    I am having a bit of trouble with malaise, depression in a word, but I may also be a bit under the weather too as a nasty cold is going around. Woody had it last week while in Kona, and I just feel yucky.

    I want to thank all of you that read My Wide Blue Seas. I appreciate every one of you. You give me hope and encouragement. If you have topics you are interested in regarding Hawaii, or anything else that youd like me to write about or not write about... please feel free to email me at mywideblueseas@gmail.com

    Well its late and I want to go out to the lanai and lounge a bit before bed. Its pouring down rain, the noisy frogs are singing and my kitties are rubbing my leg. Its been a lovely stay at home day. But the store awaits and another week beckons...

    August 08, 2004

    This Week's Saturday Slant Week 22 Year 2

    Encircled by Lava: Home in Kalapana, Puna, Hawaii April 1990 USGS photo

    Evicted From Your Town
    Your current home town has just been declared inhabitable; everyone must move out of the town. Where would you move? Why there? If you have a significant other, roommate, or other co-habitants, how would the necessity to move affect your relationship with him or her? Would s/he move with you?

    This is great... a real live senario that is a clear and present possiblity daily here on the Big Island. This actually happened almost 15 years ago in two towns less than 10 miles from my house in Puna. The photo graphically shows pahoehoe lava encircling the house. In a minute or so from when this pic was taken the wooden house will explode into flames from the incredible heat. Our insurance policies on our homes will cover the structures as they burn pretty much to the ground prior to the lava inudating them.

    Fortunatly, you get a lot of warning most of the time and this house was vacant. Many homes were lifted off foundations and moved to new lots. The Catholic church is Kalapana was moved to a safe location. But if you go to this web site you will see the incredible reshaping of the land as Kilauea Volcano' lava overlays existing land and creates new land on our island.

    What would we do. First we would waste no time on false hopes. We would move out and put most of our things in storage, and our cats in boarding in Keaau or bring them with us and likely move into the back of the store. I think if the situation was really bad we'd move back to the mainland on the insurance money, for there is no rebuilding for years after an erruption. I must say thought, that there are people building right now on that 1990 flow, on land that they have owned since then. You have full,unobstructed, startling veiws of the ocean, but it is like living in the desert and its very hot and bleak on the black pahoehoe (smooth lava)

    Because the volcanoes here are so well monitored (notice the plural we have two of the worlds most active (Kilauea and Mauna Loa) one that is sleeping but highly dangerous and has caused more deaths in recorded history than the others,(Hualalai) Another that is "sleeping" but could awaken (Mauna Kea) and a true dormant (Kohalla), I dont think that lava is what will do us in. Earthquakes (some of the worst in the hemisphere in the last two centuries were here; an estimated 8.6 on the south rift of Mauna Loa and a 7.6 epicentered 12 miles from us in Kalapana)) and Tsunami (we had two major ones in the last century, one in 1946 and the other in 1960 that killed 100s, and wiped out Hilo. )A hurricane has never hit the Big Island in recorded history, but these are strange times weather wise...These are likely culprits.

    I also think that we are a open target for the terrorists. Jamal Islamya, and the Phillipine branch of Al-Queda have scoped out targets here. The more radical Sovergnty groups are based here, all of which make the idea of 9-11 Hawaiian style a possiblity.

    Paradise without risk would be a sappy thing not worth the trouble of striving for. After all, God allowed the Devil to enter Eden. The risks test our resolve, and demand that we hold this gem of creation dearly. When all is said and done, anything thats not worth struggling for its not worth having...

    August 07, 2004

    If Pearl Harbor Was Bombed Today

    Yesterday being Aloha Friday and the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, (there was actually a parade in Hilo this evening I think to commemorate this, more, as intel comes in...)I stumbled onto a great site for your perusal. My friend Jeff at Alphecca and his companion blog Tarazet has written and compiled a stunning look at what the politically correct idiots would make of the bombing of Pearl Harbor at his new site D-Day Today I think this is great. I have often though that FDR would not have been able to do what he did with regards to the war in our day and current political climate.

    I love the what ifs of history, makes for my favorite Sci-Fi read.

    August 06, 2004

    Affordable Housing 1

    I took these photo of actual inhabited dwellings here in Hilo. This is awful, yet there doesnt seem to be a lot that can be done as market forces and cultural forces seem to be going against the tide of affordable housing in Hawaii.
    In South Hilo, Puna and Ka'u districts (East or Windward Hawaii) Unemployment is 11% versus the 4% on the rest of the island. (as you know this is a huge hinderance to Woody getting full time work) The average none government wage in this area is 10.00 per hour. The median price for a single family home is 175,000. Rent for a 2/2 unit is 800.00 per month and vacancy rate is 1%, or zero. I understand that these plantation era single wall shacks rent for 700.00 per month.

    The high rents and lack of availability lead to unpermitted and unsafe dwellings like the one in the back here, being put up. We see a lot of this in Puna where land is really cheap so you buy a lot then put a tent on it then build a hut like this one. I think this was once a carport.
    The next three photos were taken today at Richardson Beach Park. There dozens of multi generational families, many native Hawaiian, live under blue tarps. this squatters camp has been in existance for a long time, someone told me 15 years not long ago. A generation was raised there and another is growing up with a porta potty for a bathroom and a life style that will lead to another generation in poverty. I saw the other day I was by there, new SUV's pulled up next to the tents. Either they are owned by the residents or people are buying drugs or something...
    Our mayor tried to prepare this group for removal, and he was run off, and police were called. They feel that this is a good way to live and we do gooders should stay away form the public beach they are squatting on.

    I am posting an article that was published last week about the need for affordable housing. Im sure that this is a problem everywhere, and thank you God for our warm climate or all of these houseless people would be in worse trouble.

    Affordable Housing
    Focus on the Economy
    Friday, July 30, 2004 7:57 AM HST

    Open nearly any newspaper or business publication in Hawaii recently and chances are you will find an article about jobs and employment alongside articles about the soaring cost of real estate. When these issues are combined, a clear picture emerges of the crisis facing Hawaii Island.

    Every hotel in West Hawaii is in need of workers, cooks, maintenance workers, experienced sales or housekeeping managers. Regardless of qualifications, without affordable housing in West Hawaii, the 9.9 percent unemployed in Ka'u and the 10.3 percent unemployed in Puna can ill afford to give up their homes or relatively low-rent apartments for better paying hospitality industry jobs that offer good benefits.

    Some developments in the resort areas of Hualalai, Waikoloa, Mauna Kea and South Kona have provided affordable housing. However, the increased valuation of these units, particularly those constructed over the past decade, now makes them 'unaffordable' for many. While the overall median home price on Hawaii Island is now estimated at $288,500 this figure hides a huge disparity between home prices in East and West Hawaii. From Ka'u and Puna through North and South Hilo to Hamakua, the median home price is $187,300. From South Kona to North Kohala, the median home price is $458,750.

    Hokule'a at mywideblueseas@gmail.com

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  • Jack's Random Thoughts

  • Me-Ander

  • Solomonia

  • Shiloh Musings

  • Jewish in a Gentile World


    Abigail Valentine, my little darling ~

    Fave Dog Blogs ~

  • Chihuahua Craziness

  • Miss Sadie Shih-Tzu

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    Annabelle my Beloved ~

    May She Rest In Peace 2-25-2009 ~

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