February 27, 2005
Volcano Watch Feb 17 2005
Flow Fly Over- Tour Helecopter flying over the lava fields of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. HVO Photo
This peice has been on the back burner for a bit. I think its important to keep in mind that Hawaii is not Disneyland and that we have some unique issues here such as the VOG. We have natually occuring acid rain and acid fog like you who live in the north east, but there is little to be done about it. I suffer terribly when the trades are not blowing and keeping Hilos air clear... a bit scary as we continue to consider places to settle... Aloha e Na Makani `Olu`Olu; (we welcome the return of the tradewinds) Residents of east Hawai`i are finally getting some relief from nearly two months of intermittently poor air quality caused by sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas and acidic particles released from Kilauea- and the southerly winds that kept these emissions in east Hawai`i. The spate of kona winds that brought the vog "home for the holidays" in December abated early last week. Undoubtedly, residents of the Hilo and Puna districts and parts of Ka`u on the Big Island had lighter hearts due to the clean air, just in time for Valentine's Day.
Those of us who work at the observatory were relieved, too, partly because we could all breathe a bit easier, since fume from Halemaumau and Pu`u `O`o was no longer blowing into the observatory or our homes. HVO's scientists were also glad to be able to measure sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas emissions from the vents again. This is a task that is important for monitoring the eruption but is difficult or impossible when trade winds are absent.
We measure these emissions by driving underneath Kilauea's volcanic plumes with a vertically directed spectrometer strapped to the side of a field vehicle. When trade winds blow, plumes from the summit and rift emission sources are opportunely blown across Crater Rim Drive and Chain of Craters Road, respectively, where they are easily quantified. When sluggish southerly or multi-directional winds take the place of the trades, the summit and rift emissions form a smeared plume that can not be accurately measured, but which often creates a pollution problem for nearby areas.
During December and January, we heard numerous complaints from residents and visitors who reported such symptoms as headache, itchy eyes, and breathing discomfort. During this period, due to the lack of trades, we could not measure the SO2 emission rate. This measure describes the amount of gas released over time and is often expressed in tonnes of SO2 emitted per day. However, other types of instruments did record high concentrations of this noxious gas, commonly reported in parts per million (ppm). As an example, the "recipe" for 10 ppm SO2 is 10 parts of SO2 mixed with 999,990 parts of air.
To further understand the difference between emission rate and concentration, we can look back to a time when bars in Hawai`i were full of smokers. We can consider the emission rate of the bar to be the amount of smoke produced in the bar over a business day. The concentration is the amount of smoke in the room at a particular time that bar patrons will experience during their visit.
Similarly, high concentrations of irritating SO2 gas are experienced at, and near, Kilauea when slow southerly winds blow the stagnant fume into populated areas. This can, and does, affect our respiratory comfort, but the true gauge of production from the volcano is expressed by the emission rate. At the summit of Kilauea, about 100 tonnes of SO2 are emitted per day. Much more SO2 comes from the Pu`u `O`o vent, which has averaged about 1,500 tonnes per day for the past several years. This emission rate increases commensurately with activity of the volcano.
The return of the trade winds last week was welcomed by those who live and work in east Hawai'i. On February 7, the first day we were able to measure SO2 emission rates again, we found that they had nearly doubled since our last measurements in December. During the next three days, they climbed to over 3,000 tonnes per day, a level we haven't seen since 2002.
This period of high SO2 emission rate corresponded to an increase in activity at the eruption site. The spatter from several cones within Pu`u `O`o crater increased, and the East Pond Vent produced a small lava flow for the first time in more than 6 months. Activity at vents outside the crater increased, as well. Dome fountains were photographed by a time-lapse camera located on the south flank of Pu`u `O`o, and the vigor of spattering from one of these vents was sufficient to destroy a seismic monitoring station located nearby.
In keeping with the ups and downs of living and working on an active volcano, we regret the loss of the monitoring equipment. However, we celebrate the return of the trade winds as we breathe more easily and measure Kilauea's gas emission rates.
Eruptive activity at Pu`u `O`o continues. At least five of the vents inside Pu`u `O`o crater have been spattering frequently since February 1, producing bright glow from the crater on clear nights. On the night of February 10, spattering activity inside the crater escalated, and one vent, on the eastern end of the crater, produced a small fan of pahoehoe on the crater floor. The same night, the MLK vent, at the southwest base of the cone, erupted a flow that extended 500 m from the vent. The heightened activity diminished by the morning of February 11.
The PKK flow continues to host substantial breakouts from the 2,300-ft elevation to the coastal plain. Lava is entering the ocean at both West Highcastle and at Ka`ili`ili. The closest activity to the end of Chain of Craters Road, in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, is at West Highcastle, 2.6 km (1.6 mi) from the ranger shed. Expect a 1-to-1.5-hour walk each way and remember to bring lots of water. Stay well back from the sea cliff, regardless of whether there is an active ocean entry or not. Heed the National Park warning signs.
During the week ending February 17, four earthquakes were felt on Hawai`i Island. The first earthquake, at 3:28 a.m. on February 10, was a magnitude-3.1 located at a depth of 30 km (19 miles) about 9 km (5 miles) north of Honaunau that was felt in Captain Cook. A pair of earthquakes occurred 68 seconds apart just before 5 p.m. on Valentine's Day, February 14. They had magnitudes of 2.4 and 3.1, and occurred at depths of a little more than 1 km (0.6 miles), and were located between Kilauea summit and Volcano. A magnitude-3.0 earthquake occurred at 8:05 a.m. on February 17 and was located at a depth of only a few hundred meters (feet) in the same area as the previous pair. These three earthquakes were felt within the National Park housing and Volcano.
These felt Kilauea earthquakes are part of a swarm beneath Kilauea summit that started in mid-January. The swarm accompanies accelerated inflation of Kilauea summit, increasing from 8 cm/yr (3 inches/yr) to over 40 cm/yr (15 inches/yr).
Mauna Loa is not erupting. The summit region continues to inflate. Since July 2004, the rate of inflation and number of deep earthquakes has increased. Mauna Loa caldera is widening at an average rate of 6 cm/yr (2 inches/yr) while the flanks are widening at a faster rate of 20 cm/yr (8 inches/yr). Weekly earthquake counts have varied from 5 to over 150 in the last half of 2004 but have been less than 10 since the beginning of 2005. During the week ending February 16, six earthquakes were recorded beneath the summit area. Nearly all are 30 km (18 mi) or more deep, and most are the long-period type, with magnitudes less than 3.
Visit our web site (hvo.wr.usgs.gov) for daily volcano updates and nearly real-time Hawai`i earthquake information.
the Secret Cove -along the Red Road to Pohiki
We spent the hours before midnight last night cleaning and preparing for the dismantiling today. We are tired and sad... We were working and I had stepped out and came back a bit later to find Woody and our new friend L.E. who is an electrician, were taking down my WAC halogen lights this morning. These are pendant lights, with beautiful hand painted trupet shaped glass globes that I sent away to Italy for back in 2002. I built the color sceme of the first store around them and put them up in the new store even when they didnt go with anything for the sheer fun of them. I was so looking forward to having them where ever we moved to.......Its ok I dont need to take this apart. They are hard to get off. No you dont need to wrap them up, I will be careful...Woody you worry too much if I just pull the pan off and you get under them...
The screw came loose and the pan fell off into L.E.s hands allowing the globes to swing wildly, and crash into the ladder and into themselves, smashing to bits. I gasped and nearly fainted. I kid you not. I staggered out into the back parking lot and lay over the hood of my car gasping for air and dry sobbing... All I could see was those precious beautiful delicate glass trumpets smashing the bits falling to the floor...repeated again and again...
I feel like those smashed bits, broken and good for nothing, and the pain of these feelings is not comming out easy, with crying and such... To see that incedent, which I know what just a super amout of male stupidity...(sorry guys, but I dont think women are so careless of these things) and to have to keep it in and not start yelling or dealing with it, possibly could have been life threatening. My chest still hurts inside from when my heart lurched, and those dry heaves...
I came back in and found them doing similar stupid with the other one, Woody trying to wrap them while LE is unscrewing... I wigged and ordered them to stop. Woody said they werent stoping, but LE did long enough for Woody to get the other one wrapped and they nearly dropped it, but it resides safe and sound in my trunk tonight ready for the trip back to wherever...
LE responded that he was buying the fixture and why was I so upset... nobody died? What I havent mentioned is that he is a gay man and has a partner Rodney that would have had a hysterical fit over this. So its not about his having a "wife" or not...he has one... so to speak...I wanted to scream that the money isnt the issue (why is it that cash solves everything with men?) None of the players understands what happened to me. Woody said I was dumb... I said nothing...
I have... I dont know anymore why I feel anything?... LE was right...nobody died... just me... and a light fixture. A hope and a dream, crushed by indifference. An expensive object of art ruined by carelessness... No big deal. A few dollars in exchange for that which made the dream possible... a few dollars for the light fixture and new globes, different ones will be bought, he got a 900.00 fixture for 300.00 he and Woody thought that fair...
What is fair?...I am so afraid inside. What if all that I love is to be taken away? I am plauged with irrational fears like the container that my things are loaded in is lost at sea, or my kitties die or are lost in the air transit...I know that I SHOULD be a big strong believer and that God will fix it... but the continuing hurts and the seeming indifference of all those that surround me is more than I can bear at times.It feeds the fear like wood on a fire...There is absolutly no human in my circle right here with me that will say "I understand", or will hug me and say "I know how you feel"... I am fragmented and as broken as those globes and no one cares enough to glue the peices back together again...
Fragments... those blue and green lights are dust....
February 26, 2005
I Stand Amazed
Flaming entry Kamoamoa Bench HVO Photo
I stand amazed... at 8pm Woody and I closed the shop door for the last time, on the last customer, a lady who has bought a number of things from us for her high end consignment shop here in Hilo. She had been in earlier in the week and placed about 30 items on hold to buy, then came again and said "What do you have left?" I had a mans wedding band, and peridot ring, one tahitian pearl that was so lovely but mounted in a setting with diamonds that made it very expensive. Some itallian gold earrings, 3 neckchains of varying lengths and a platnum engagement ring... a few other odds and ends for a total of 13 items. She bought it all leaving only one last thing.
In my inventory is a superb strand of graduated 12-16 mm Tahitian black pearls They were the highest priced item in the store and also a bit large for the taste of some. I have had both women and men lust after them but not come up with the 7 big ones to pay for them (the would retail for as much as 20,000 in most stores)
In these final days we spotlighted them placing them in their rosewood display box for a come hither look in the front window... Many looks... one lady got a 11th hour unbelieveable offer from me to sell them to her at 1725.00... she said she'd think about it which was the dumbest answer as it was 4:30 and we close at 5...
Woody took them out and presented them to me and said he was glad that I didnt sacrifice them to her...We have had to make some disagreeable deals and that was just too much. I have earned them and intend to wear them once they are restrung and made into a longer strand by having "rondelles" placed in between the 5 center pearls. These large gold "bead" spacers are often highly decorated and have gems mounted in them> How does white gold and tanzanite sound? Where will I wear it? EVERYWERE!
The Japanese say that the pearl is the "soul" of the oyster. It is born of suffering like we all are and lives close to the heart of its "mother" and later man. Tahitians beleive that the black pearl is the symbol of joy of life... In Europe, a bride is said to shed a tear for every pearl worn or sewn to her gown... (I had hundreds of fake ones,)These huge round gems were the first peice that I handled when I made my initial buy from Steven Lee and I suppose it was ment to be.
A photo below. These are the "upper" strand in this display. The lower one was smaller, less round and also sold this week.
So technically... its all gone. I know it was prayer. Thank you one and all.
Black Beauties... Tahitian Pearls by Steven Lee Designs... do you see a reddish"dot" in the center? That is me taking the picture... my refection in the mirror-like luster of these beautiful pearls
February 24, 2005
T minus 48 hours and counting...
Paradise Hamakua Laupahoehoe point
My baby has two more days of life left... thats really how I feel about the business and there is this growing sick emptiness inside of me. I think "next week, I wont even be able to come here again. I wont have a key, it wont be mine and this part of my life is over, and there is nothing here for me... It will be gone, dismantled and no longer exist..."
To look at the store, you'd not think it possible. Most of the inventory is sold, and people are comming to get things that they wanted to buy, and placed on hold... the full size refigerator, the table I bought on a lark from a boutique in Orange County that had a wrought iron chair. One lady keeps comming in with a list..."do you still have a microwave? Bookshelves are in big demand here. We have sold all of the ones we own...woody may have sold his car today, that would be a huge blessing and we need to sell mine too soon.
People want strange things, the small set up peices and the drapes, the silk flowers and the small shelf that held a tray below the mirrior used to try things on. The tiny ceramic tray, purchased in Williamsburg VA a momento of a lovely vacation there has come home tonight as will a number of other things. The things we dont want to sell. There is little that people dont want, for a song at least.
What is left of the inventory is large peices, Two tahitian pearl strands and a slide, my most expensive items. Gemstone link braceltes and some odds and ends. We believe that there is a home for each item we just need to find it.
On the home front...Today was likely the most trying time of the home selling process. I stayed home to meet the buyer and help her if she needed technical questions answered regarding the phone lines which she wanted to "test". Not knowing what this test is, I had her sign a contract stating that she would be responsible for any charges she would incure and let her have the phone. For two hours she worked on translating depostions for a insurance company spanish to english. Because there are privicy concerns, the agent and myself had to go outside the house so we sat in her SUV for two hours. She worked and was paid for her time on my phone... the gall of it. There was nothing special about it. She had no special equipment, she used my cheap 10.00 Walmart phone and did what ever...
They also had a home inspector come out today and he was very professional, complimentary on the house, knowing the builder. He went and tested all the appliances and looked in the attic. Went on the roof and found it sound. Was very complimentary in fact... Ms Buyer wanted a Mold test done. I tried not to laugh. MOLD TEST? This is Hawaii land of fungi... Mold is everywhere. But Mr inspector laughed and said "Lady, that attic is so clean it looks like someone went up and vacumned it.There is no mold up there". She proceeded to start to turn on every appliance and light on in the house "wanting to see if she could pop a circut breaker..." I ran around turning things off and told her that her inspector that she just paid 500.00 bucks to said "impossible" to that idea I heard him. She then wanted to measure the house every room and every wall. This little "one hour interview" had lasted 4 hours, with two of them on the frigging phone. She did this. I sit here and still cant believe it.
I dont know how long this would have gone on, but both her agent and myself were steaming. She was constantly turning things on and leaving them run, taps, lights and appliances..."I want to see if they work." The thing came to a head when I saw her pick up one of my rosewood chairs and lug it out to the Lanai to "stand on so she could see if she could ajust the speed of the fans." She never took her shoes off in my house somewhat of an insult here in Hawaiian culture...She was going to stand on my cairs in pointy high heels, not even thinking of the damage she could do... I had released the cats from the carriers and they were loose. She propped the door open to the outside
to the backyard and was dragging the chair like it was plastic onto the patio. I screamed at her to let go of that chair and shut that damned door and that if my cats got out I was not responsible for the outcome of this situation. She then had a fit, screaming that she was leaving for California that day, and she had to know if everything worked in the house. The agent by then had a plactic chair and was standing on it in the lanai, outer door shut, and saying "the fans work fine"."We have to go this lady has a job she needs to get to and we have run WAY over time..."
The buyer came up to me and said "You dont like me, and you have taken the curtains down that I liked and you swore at me." I straighted up and looked her straight in the eye and I said "Yes I did. Those curtains were the last gift my mother was able to give me and you threatened the safety of my animals. You have acted like a spoilt brat in all of our dealings...making a sight unseen offer which we accepted in good faith. But then youcame over and have continued to shop houses and refused to deposit the ernest money so we dont have a real escrow and now we have had the place off the market. That wasn't very fair. Frankly if you should decide to pull the deal thats fine, there is a LINE of people waiting to see this place, and we will sell it... after all it was only on the market two weeks..."
Both the agent and the woman looked horsewhipped. But darn it. My world is being shredded and NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE ONE BIT on this blessed island. All they want is a cheap peice of it before we go and I am sick of it. Sometimes I get to be Queen too, and it can get scary, because I dont care what blows up once I blow up...
Our agent who had two walk throughs today and couldnt be there was horrified, and really upset at what happened but was totally on my side and said the same thing " Dont worry its going to be ok ... You drew the line in the sand "Just take it or leave it and SHUT UP!" thank you we all needed that, and we will sell the place dont worry."
I am a mess. I got to the store and found Woody a jngled mess too and of course I started screaming at him which was wrong. I threw the phone. I have no outlet for the rage inside, the phsycal tension, and the tears. All of the physical pain of it all and I dont know what to do about it. He thinks I am a phsyco and wants to get a divorce, then says no that my passion frightens him. All I want is to be loved and told its ok and not have to sholder all of this so alone. I do know hes having a hard time of things too, but I do feel that in 48 hours my identity is really lost for a while. Im not sure what I am....or where I am going and feel very odd about it....
....At T-Minus 48 hours the crew of the space launches were loaded into the vehicle for the fantastic voyage. Then there is the long countdown to t minus 10 seconds... and a hold always a hold. for after that the vent valves on the fuel tanks lock and there is no turning back. The bomb like rockets are active and going to go forward wheither we are ready or not... I feel like that ready or k=not I am about to be launched into a new reality and I dread and fear it and anticipate it too. I am trying to find hope again. before my whole world flames and burns to a crisp.
Job 28:28 a poem
Pele's Glory. A magnificent view of the lava fields near West Highcastle delta, Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island...
with fear of the Lord,
the power that made the seas,
the shimmering dawn,
and the Pleiades.
Which also know
Who comes to judge
little failing lives,
knowing full well,
we need not fear
the one who kills the body,
but only He
who condemns the soul to hell.
Which also knows
it magnifies the Lord,
defying the demon,
being the only release,
being its own reward,
which is also wise,
is tender mercy,
over and over again,
Poem: "Job" by William Baer, from Borges and Other Sonnets. © Truman State University Press.
February 22, 2005
The Ohia Lehua our official flower here on the Big Island... You know that spring has arrived when these are starting to pop open!
The Ohia are blooming. This endemic tree is the first large plant to spring up on a cooling lava flow that is native to Hawaii. Breadfruit and coconut palms do well also, but the Ohia (o-hee-ah) is a brave sight often just a tiny thing for many years... I veiw them as the living example for the maxim " Bloom where you are planted..."
There are four seasons here in Hawaii but its subtle and you have to know what to look for . The Hawaiians called it Wet Time,summer Dry Time,winter, Flower Time spring and Fruit Time fall. As you might imagine, there is a bit of all of this all year around and the seasons don't coincide with the mainland ones completely but there is this change that just says... Spring...
For the secret is not the rain or anything ...hopefully for us, it rains some nearly everyday, but its the gradual growing warmth of the nights. The night time temperature falls to the lower 60's to 50's in places in deepest winter. Last night we had supper at the Kilauea Military Camp in Volcanoes National park. With the 4500 elevation it was a chilly 46 when we walked out and drizzling. In my shorts and thin t shirt, I felt like I was in an ice storm... I dashed for the car and drove home with the heater on. Here in Puna, if you avarage the evening temperature its around 70 or so all year long. so things grow like crazy.
As I said we went out the the KMC last night. this is a joint service recreational center, and campground and being a holiday weekend it was packed. Often called the best kept cullinary secret on the Big Island you can get a very good all you can eat meal there for 9-12 bucks. Sunday its steaks, as well as a succulent fried chicken and teriyaki style chicken as well as the sides , rice mashed and fried potatoes and a delicious home made macaroni and cheese which they run out of quick. We ate hearty, and felt better for it.
Prior to that we drove down Chain of Craters road the 45 minutes or so to the parking area which is about 1 1/2 mile from the lava flow, which you must hike to to see...usually. In the twilight gloom the multiple rivers of lava flowing from the vent could be seen from the road looking like a bumper to bumper traffic jam on a hilly freeway, or as I mentioned to Woody, the many brushfires that I have seen as a native of So. California, racing up hillsides. It was beautiful and a bite scary to behold and I was glad to not have a home in harms way of it... This was a rare event last night and I was glad to see it before we left. The photo of the lava on Sunday is the end of the journey for the rivers of lava as they flow to the sea creating new land...
The rest of the week end was spent at home sorting through the various boxes and things. Woody is still going through his mother's things, and finds that he can toss a lot of it . Time has healed many wounds of loss. Me? I am chucking tons of old clothes and things that I know in my heart I will never use. We laugh about this and know that this is a good thing and a chance to start over...
Woody and I also have had a bit of a chance ot kiss and make up. We are almost ready to go to the new place where ever it is...together. We talked a lot about not fighting and how while this is hugely stressfull we have got to remember that we are on the same team....
I am still haunted by the loss of this place. As we drove through the moonscape of Chain of Craters I told Woody that to live in this the begining and end of the world has been such an amazing thing for me. This is such a unique place. He sees it as just another place. But to me it is a place of endless wonder, it facinates me, its diversity and how God can do so many things in such a small place...I felt special for having lived here. Even with the struggles this is a special place and I have loved it so...
Tonight I did something that Ive not done in a long time. My home in California had a large rose garden, that was my pride and joy. I gave it up to come here. I plated roses here in the front yard but they havent done well. Until this very dry year. They are blooming like mad this week... Its flower time. I went out and cut away a huge amout of dead wood, pruning off two years of accumulated dead wood...Sort of like our lives right now, all of this dead wood. Even the business and the house is like dead wood. Not fruitful not productive....cut it away so that the new may grow. I pruned and pruned. With the warmer nights the new shoots will come forth almost immediatly. I felt a sense of rightness. An old habit.An old activity that placed itsself before me... it was good very good.
"Repeat That Again Please?"
My Wide Blue Seas above Honoka'a
These seem to be my favorite words these days along with..."I'm Sorry" "I no longer have that is stock." "This IS the sale price, you are getting a GREAT deal." "Im doing the best that I can." "Im really tired and I dont know if I will have time but I will try." These last two to Woody, and to my kitties... "I love you and we are going to be OK."
Its pathetic. I feel like I am about to colapse.
I probably have 35-50 items left of an inventory of several thousand. My goal is to sell everything that I had by the end of this week. Woody is having a cow as he thinks I am giving our inventory away. Stupid, as its really worth only what money you have in your pocket and not in a box... He was mad that I wasnt selling it now he is mad that I am. I personally think it is jelousy as I have gotten my closing rate back up to 80 percent. I can sell anything if the price is right. So could anyone if they smile and talk it up. He cant seem to close a door these days let alone a sale and Im sure its frustrating to him.Woody is angry and gets agressive when people want to bargan and has been getting that way with me too. I guess we all deal with stress differently. The wonder to me is that not just the jewelry is going but all of the fixtures, cabinets, stuff. You wouldnt believe what people want to buy. I find myself selling things that well. Id give away. I sold a car load of newer things to a second hand store and she said shed take another. All of the stuff I was going to sell on ebay... sold in the shop this week what a answer to prayer!
But its overwelming. I am so far behind on the paperwork that I shall never catch up. I cant tell where we are, I just look at the Credit card reports daily and go "Mercy Sakes Alive!, I cant believe it..." Too many transactions!
As I dismantle my world, Woody doesnt understand that this is not a "relief", but rather a very pain filled process that hurts beyond imagining. I cannot invision this "new" life, or going back to what ever it was that I was before. I have few hopes that things will be better. Because you are "home" where ever it is that you are. If problems are not resolved they just follow you. He doesnt get this. I know this fact far too well. As I said before, I have a lot of identity issues and I am wrapped up in all of this and while I know its good to lay it down, its hard to do.
As things are falling into place, I know that my God is with me and is keeping me in the "upright and locked position" Without Him I would have colapsed long before now and likely will when this is over. Whenever that is for at this point it could be a long time maybe months before we are settled again.
The wife of the couple that offered on the house was here friday and really likes the house, but wants a bunch of inspections and its her agent that is pushing for a lot of things to be changed, fixed, painted ect... Woody was here for the walk through and heard it all . He isnt happy and as we dont have the money to put much more into the place I dont invision anything getting done and they will buy the place anyway as it will pass inspection no worries. There isnt going to be time for us to do much of anything and I will offer to carry back a second for funds that they can use to do it should they not have the money. Woody said he hadnt thought of it and gave me an atta girl. The people have not a clue how life is here and we are saying nothing. I just hope they dont need to work...
Its not all gloom and doom here I am learning to use the new phone
It realy is like having a little computer in your pocket. I hope to be able to up date this blog while I am on the road and the camera is not too bad. But it isnt as easy as a regular cel phone and will take some practice to use it. I make a point to play with it twice a day, and wonder of wonders I am reading the manual.
Thank you all for the prayers and support. It is wonderful.
February 20, 2005
Lava Flows at Ka'ili'ili HVNP/HVO Photo
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side And ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall not approach you.
You will only look on with your eyes And see the recompense of the wicked.
For you have made the LORD, my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent.
For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways.
They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and cobra, The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.
Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him. I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
He will call upon Me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble. I will rescue him and honor him.
With a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation.
February 19, 2005
All Through the Storm
Surf on the Stones Punalu'u Beach Park
You're my Rock of Peace
Lord of All
I depend on You
I call out to You
Again and again
I call out to You
Again and again
You are My Rock
In Times of Trouble
You lift me up
When I fall down
All Through the storm...
Your love is
My hope is in You alone...
February 18, 2005
The Queen's Bath and a little local bather! Punalu'u Beach Park Kau
I have blurrred vision...
I am so weary that I cannot see anymore. I have been going into the store at 7:30 am and leaving at 9PM... I have sold over 1000 items in the last week, many of which are things I have created out of left over stuff...bits and peices like the give away charms and all of the extra silver chain I had in back stock (I have not one left). I got all of my stuff that Mya was putting on Ebay, yesterday and most of it sold today We are in slasher mode and I predict that I will not have enough stock to stay open another full week. I know that people are praying...thank you...
I feel like the rock has been struck in the wilderness and life giving water is pouring forth... in this case the resources to sustain us untill we get the house sold.
The people that want to buy our home are here for the walk through. Its clean but not spotless, and the yards look nice. Woody and I have our fingers crossed and we are hopeful.
I am so weary that I can hardly type. One million little things are going on, from selling this and that in the home, to my Ebay mis adventure with the PDA I bought. The results are that I bought a PalmOne Treo 650 Smart Phone that is a lovely little toy and I am learning to use it and people will be able to keep in touch with me and I will be able to Blog I think while on the road. It takes lovely photos so I can show you all the places that we go to along the way I will have time to figure this all out in the next month as pack here at the house.
I need to go to bed I am flat out flat... I feel like road kill
February 17, 2005
Ferns at Rainbow Falls
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.
Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all,—
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.
Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
For there is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850—1919).
February 15, 2005
The Joyful Traveler
Riding High near Mazatlain, Mexico 1992
When I travel I tended to save all of the little brochures and things so that when I would develop my photos, I could put little books together that I could look at later. Well how many of these did I make? The one for our honeymoon, that one I did, but I never did any of the others and so there are at least 15 boxes of stuff out in the garage that is likely the casualty of Madamn Mildew and Mr Humidity. so when I opened the oldest of these cartons I was pleasantly surprised to find that for the most part things were intact. It was folder filled with the mementos from the cruise that I took with my Mom to Mexico. The photos that we took were mush but the three ship photos that were there are in wonderful shape so I scanned them and here is one.
This was the first serious trip that I took with my Mother after my Fathers death in April 1992. We decided that we would take a cruise to Mexico on Thanksgiving week. We avoided the emotional crap of family holiday stuff, or in our case the angst of NOT having family holiday stuff. I have always had a tacit agreement with my longer term employers that I get Thanksgiving week for my vacations, the rest of the people can have the heavy duty family time of the Christmas holidays with the ensuing childcare dilemmas to themselves (I was, after all, single and only going to multiple music rehearsals and leading worship for a two day five service stint on Christmas Eve and Day... I ran whole departments during this slow time in the freight trade and loved the freedom to call my own shots. A future business owner for sure...)
We had a fabulous time and my Mom still talks of it. She was treated like a queen and no desire went unfofilled. Cruises are not like this now, having succumbed to the budget cuts and the other indignities that have befallen the travel biz
I saved a letter to a penpal that I started then didint finish and checked my journal from the period and this is the synopsis... I slept a total of 21 hours in 7 days, and was a perpetual motion machine. Go to bed at 2-3 am Up at 5 or so to watch the sun come up, have devotions and meet the day, Id eat then escort Mom to breakfast and eat again. Take the days shore excursion, eat then get her back to the ship, eat, swim, eat, dress up (I had a different dress up outfit for every night, no casual cruising for me and since we didn't have to fly I had multiple bags like traveling royalty) go to dinner, go to the show, take Mom back to the room and get her settled...Did I mention the different date every night and the shipboard romance that ran aground when I failed to show up for the tryst at his cabin, broke his heart....I forgot, I ate two more times in the interim. Then dancing and hanging out at the Piano Bar a few nights, did some singing in there. Was approched by the Cruise Director to go to work for Royal Carribean...wish I had... Ate the Midnight buffet every night and sneeked a plate out (against the rules, they want you to go the the Buffet or order room service uggh!) to my Mom. The Dining Room Captian, Rene... I can still remember his name, was crazy for my Mom and would have a hand selected plate ready for me to pick up at 11:30 pm. Id sneek it out the back door and down a flight of staris to the promanade deck, and go the back way to our cabin...I was exposed on the last night at the cruise snap shot show where one of the phtographers followed me out and shot a great picture of me running down the deck to avoid wave spray getting on the food from the rollers as we were returning to LA in heavy seas....Danced my heart out and have not partied like that since... Secretly fell in love with the gay cruise director (in addition to the other guy, I didnt love him he was just fun)
To answer the question I know you are dying to ask. I LOST weight that week to the tune of 7 pounds, My Mom, who walked a lot more than normal, lost 5 pounds. Considering the average cruiser gains a pound a day, which you will with 13 separate eating opportunities a day plus room service, its no wonder...
I was at the top of my game, so to speak, with my job, the ministry I was a part of was flowering and I had had few bumps in the road spiritually. I had finished a rigorus period of phsycological counseling and if one could graduate, I did, and was summarily kicked out into the world...
I was so in love with life, that I look back on that period with awe and a sense of wonder. How could I have been that way and been so blind to the oncomming train of life? I remember standing on the rail on the prow of the vessel running at 23 knots my long hair whiped into a rat and thinking "Lord, is there nothing more?".....
Oh foolish me to ask God a question like that?
The next 12 years have been a rollercoaster of a life and that innocent faith filled "nothing can come that will shake me girl" is a lot wiser. Things do come and you do get shaken. What I have learned is that you can remain a joyful traveler when the joy seems to run out. I am doing that now seeking to enjoy this transition even as I fear it and wish it wasnt happening. Its all about the journey really...and what a journey it has been too.
Love Among the Ruins
the adorable little fuzzballs...
The lovers in our household are pictured here. There is nothing more adorable to me than watching Mak and Nani in mutual grooming and snuggling action. They put up with each others faults, Mak is always trying to do the boy thing with Nani (he's fixed but hasnt a clue)or lay on her, using her for a pillow, do the kneeding thing on her,and play roughly,none of which she likes. (he's also a lot like Woody and has no notion of proper behavior with the litterbox... flinging sand everywhere, the cat equivilant of leaving the seat up, and sometimes missing...ugh) Nani is a show off, a mooch at the dinner table, and steals any bug or critter that Mak catches and prompty eats it. She jumps on the counters and on the (horrors!)stove top, and onto your lap only of journalling or writing a letter. She screams like a tortured being if Mak even makes a move towards her and she grooms him incessantly. I think that is the feline equivant of nagging...she learned this from her mom...me the consumate nag.
But on the whole they are cheerful with each other and contentedly cuddle on our bed or half in their carriers half out,noses touching. Once in a while Nani will try to join Makoa in his carrier as he is sleeping for a bit of grooming but this is like 27 teenagers piling into a Neon, marginally sucessful and hard on everything
involved. Mutual hissing and a swat or two and Ms offender goes to her own little den, gets in, and sleeps on the strategically placed, flattened paper bag...she loves them.
Love being the theme of the day I thought that I would comment on our moving and the packing up. As I posted yesterday, we have the offer and we did accept and the people are comming to see the place on Friday. What is astounding to me is this idea that somehow I am going to have the place pristine, freshly painted, and spotless by then. Well, no, its not going to happen unless the paint faries come and do it... I am not Martha Stewart, and my home is actually very simple, to the point of plain, unless you lift the cover off the inlaid table lol. The previous owner had the place done country and it looked like a doll house, but the minute I moved in all of that country crap went O-U-T...Yuck. What is in its place is a more European type look that fits the beach and outdoor culture of the place. I think the place has been sold as a doll house and its a people house insted...or a cat house!
These agents think I do nothing all day but sit in the store, and could easily paint or move all of my furniture to the garage or hang new drapes as I am taking some of these with me, the lace are family things...its in the disclosure, and "gee wont you paint the bathrooms?" ect. "No I dont think so, I am working at closing the store." The sad thing is that both of the agents have been in and seen the frenzied melee of shopping that is Azure Seas from opening at 9 supposed to be 10 but I let them in once the "good stuff" is locked down, then closing at 5 but its been 7pm and the tear down...Gads! I am leaving the 30th of March FOREVER, so I have just about enough time to do my business wrap up and pack my crap that I havent sold... They know but could care less, as its not about me but about the house and their deal...
Yes I hate the process as I love my house and dont want to lose it...We always love what we cant posess any longer...
You learn about what you really love as you prepare to move particularly cross country, or trans oceanic. My books, CDs and momentos gathered and even a few of those now are in the Good Will box, and best forgotten. Photos. I found some goodies that I will share in the comming days that I quickly scanned into the computer before they were lost like most of my wedding snaps have gone. Become mush in the damp air here. Do any of you have old clothing that you cant bear to toss out for the sentimentality of it all? Then come to Hawaii and let Madam Mildew have her way with it. You will toss it out as fast as possible. Woody was particularlly ruthless yesterday partially cause of mildew and a fed-up-ed-ness with the whole thing.
Today I am cleaning up my office and taking a break to blog while Woody is getting a nap prior to going to the 4-12 guarding shift. I make a lot of noise as I clean and toss and box up I also need to spend a good bit of time at my desk tonight to start to clean up at least 6 months of paperwork off the store. I have not had the heart for it since I knew it was all over with in November. Its going to be a pain.
Then the day. Today is one of those heartbreakingly beautiful Hawaii days that thrill me.Warm and sunny big white clouds drifting by and a sprinkle of rain her and there. A Tradewind blowing the vog south... Our Agent's husband, who built this place with the thought of living here for the rest of his life has been helping us with some maintainace stuff. I told him that this sort of day is what I shall miss, it is what I love about this place and I will miss this house, its a good house, and I have enjoyed living here. I also said that if it hurt him to see his dream home trashed by bad handling, I was sorry, we just didint know how to take care of it. Ron gripped my arm and with his New England accent said that "he knew we'd been through a lot and good times are just around the corner and not to worry." I know that is true...
Im am still in love with Hawaii and will be keeping my eye on here even from a distance. Some times a relationship isnt ment to be, yet you still love. Thats how I am. I believe that sometimes the love among the ruins can be the sweetest and the most forgiving of loves. You see the whole and love just the same, it is Agape the Divine love that binds, no matter what the circumstances.
Happy Valentine's Day
The Big Kahuna Woody at Punalu'u Beach Park
I dont have the energy
to write a poem
or go shopping
as we need nothing
but each other...
maybe that is the gift
that keeps on giving
Woody you drive me crazy, perhaps that is how God wants it...There are many things that I do not understand, about and about us... the biggest thing is how we came to be together...Yet, as we are entering this 12th season of "together" I thank you and tell you that I love you. Your actions speak louder than words at times...
You are the Iron that sharpens my Iron...
Faithful are the wounds of a friend...
February 13, 2005
Bits and Peices
The koi pond by the pool at the Villas at Sea Mountain Colony... Kau
I really want to buy a week of timeshare here. It borders on Punalu'u State beach so I could come back here and be here for a time. I would really like that, even knowing that it is possible would help me.
I dont know where to start. sort of like today's packing up a bit here a bit there bits and peices of life everywhere... First we have had a good, but not full price offer from some people from the LA area. We accepted. They hope to be through escrow by April 12 which coincidentally is the day we intend to return from Oahu to Hilo from our farewell tour of Hawaii. I feel ok about it but it was hard to sign those papers last night. Had I not been so overwelmingly exausted from the busiest day ever at the store it would have hurt more.
2/3rd of the inventory has been sold at the store. We still have some larger peices and two more weeks to sell them. I am going to slasher mode at this point. I smell the sucess of having 90 percent of it gone comming and that would be grand. Woody asked me how much money we have made. I cant tell him as we have not done a balancing of the accounts in so long that I just dont know. A lot... and that will make up for not getting full price on the house.
We have offers on a lot of other things as well. My head spins with all I have to do and unfortunatly Woody has the mind set that its my stuff that is in the house. He either threw it or gave it away, as far as his things go Its amazing. Hes the original haolie, a man with out a past or connections. He has sold some of the furniture in my office and the buyers what it. But I have collectible glasswear on some of the shelves and a huge amount of paperwork to do on the table and in the dresser that has been a storage unit for stationey and office supplies...I have to buy boxes, you cant just get them some place. and the packing stuff and figure out how to pack it then get it repacked by the movers...I gave up and concentrated on my extra closet and cleared it. I was disgusted by the mildew issues...threw a lot of stuff away...
Its very likely that we will close the store up to a week early as the inventory keeps going down and down. Woody will work his last week at the guard company this week as well. We will need all the time we can get to sort out things
Galveston came back up on the radar this week and we are looking at houses there. I may get to stay near the ocean after all. That is truly my desire if we can do it.
Psalm 63... A Poem
The Newest Earth Glowing lava about to explode as the cold wave hits it HVO photoPsalm 63...A Poem sung to music
You are my God
And early I will seek You
Thrists for You
Like a dry and weary land
Where there is no water...
Because Your love
Is better than life
My lips will glorify You
And I will praise You
As long as I live
February 12, 2005
Ho'ili'ili (To Gather Up)
Cloud Scape over Orchidland Subdivision
There are many Hawaiian words for "gathering"...I couldnt decide which one to "ho'ahu" (pick) to I selected the word that means to selectively gather or collect for the title of the post. I find that these different words could apply to my feelings and actions over these past few weeks as I am starting to really solidify the plans for our departure from Hawaii...and suffer through the long good-bye...
"HuiHui a Kolea" to assemble the group and leave out nothing
I dont want to shirk anything that is needful for the closing of the business and the departure from the island. A few of the good byes will be very hard, as it is likely that I will not see some of these people again.
"Kui o'lao" to pick opi'i
, a limpet that is collected for eating here in Hawaii. This activity involves an opi'i picker climbing rocky cliffs to scrape the crusteations off of rocks at the tide line. A very dangerous occupation, and a number of them die every year here on the Big Island. This word eludes to the hard choices one might have to make in life...
"Hukihuki" To pick taro
Taro is a plant whose roots are used by Polynesians to make a starchy paste called "Poi" Poi is the staff of life, the mainstay of the Polynesian diet. The panting and harvesting of taro is done by hand. The plant is pulled up out of watery mud that is its prime growing place and the farmer picks off the sprouts or "keiki" (which is also the word for child) and plants them for new taro plants in the future. The nurturing as well as the picking of Taro occured at the same time
I feel like we are doing this same sort of thing with moving. We are gathering up and moving, selling everything, but placing the bulk of the money in savings and being frugal while here. The cash is like the keiki, new opportunity can be afforded once we find out where we want to settle.
"Ko'i" to pick fruits
Fruit picking is a gentle business. Many of the fruits of Hawaii requite gentle handling when they are as ripe as needed for good eating. Papaya, Rambutan, bananas (many different types are grown here.)Avocado and a host of others need precision to maintain quaility. so it is with life right now. I am forced to make choices with the mindset of "What is best for the future?" " How will this be 10 years from now? Woody will be 65 then..." We are making choices slowly...
"Aulau" to pick leaves
Leaves, like Ti and Taro are used for decoration thaching of roofs and for cooking. The leaves must be cleaned and intact. For thaching they are dried and bundled, for cooking the taro leaf is used like a corn husk when you make the Tamale, The Hawaiian tamale is called a "Lau Lau" much the same thing. You have to think about what you are doing and keep the leaves in order. the Ti leaves and Maile leaves are used for hula and for thaching sacred spaces and must be picked while not speaking, out of respect.
We respect this process. Woody and I have spent many hours talking about this and I know that I have prayed over every aspect of the situation. Much of the time at the store when I am alone and it is quiet I pray. I pray for mercy and strength. I pray for a home for every peice of jewelry and for the future owners of our house. I pray for Mak and Nani and how they will be fearful, and we wont be able to be with them much for a number of weeks during the transition. God cares about them, and I know that He will take care of them better than I.
"Ho'akoakoa pu" To unfurl and put away sails from the canoe
As the Hawaiian Sailor pulls into port, and takes down the sail there is a prayer of thanksgiving to the god that he reveres for the safe journey. Then the sails are folded in a special way as to preserve them and to maintain them. Woody and I want our closing days to be good and right here. No bad taste left in someones mouth over our departure. As I close the shop for the last time in two weeks I want to remember the job well done the voyage well taken and how much I have learned. I want to fold the sails so that those that come behind me can unfurl and keep right on going....
"Ho alualu" to sew to peice together a quilt
Quilt making came to Hawaii by way of the missionary, and was whole heartedly embraced. The collecting the peices of cloth from old worn clothing was an important task, and one done often. Out of the scraps of cloth came masterpeices of design.
Lord it all seems so strange but you know how to lay the peices of the quilt of my life. I give you total control of the results. Help us to be grateful, for everything that comes our way and give us wisdom to know what is best...
February 10, 2005
The Golden Plover or the "Kolea" in Hawaiian. This remarkable bird flies to Hawaii from Alaska and back every year. There are many Hawaiian chants and stories about this territorial creature. For me, they are signs of comming winter and their departure means that summer is not far behind.They have a long migratory trail that scientist are only now learning about. I enjoy their antics as they protect their own territories... chasing off other birds that come onto their yards and walkways...
They are also called "Haolie Birds". In popular Hawaiian culture, a haolie is a white person, but that is not the true meaning of the word. It means stranger, person with no past, or one that comes out of no where, like a ghost. They called the first white man this and it is not a title of disrespect but a way to describe a person that has just appered and now inhabits the island. I also think that the name is very appropreate as the Kolea stakes out a territory likly a front or back lawn as his or her own and will allow no other birds to feed or rest on the grass, Selfish? To the Hawaiians yes but really its self preservation the Kolea needs every bug it can eat to get it ready for breeding then nesting in the artic where scientists believe it eats little...
We haolies also stake out territories and build fences to keep others out. This has been a source of major problems as there are those that have had access to certain route to get to fishing sites or Opi'i picking areas (a shellfish like a limpet) now no longer have this right of way as it cuts right into someones back yard... We are having major fights here in our subdivision over how the"end of the road area" is used and its comming to blows. As a haolie I no longer go there alone even though I have found the sun shining on the wide blue seas of the Puna Clifts a comfort on many a bad day. A woman was murdered there recently in broad daylight and "no one saw anything..."
WE haolies are likened to the Kolea as the locals think we area just here to speculate and hurry on home, with our arms full of real estate loot. So they dont reach out to help, or get to know us. I feel badly that this is how we come off but I dont know that we had a choice in this.
'Ai no ke kolea a momona ho'i i Kahiki!
The kolea eats until he is fat, then returns to the land from which he came!
O ka hua o ke kolea aia i Kahiki
The egg of the kolea is laid in a foreign land
February 09, 2005
Lesser Bird of Paradise
I have a new toy, my PDA came from the lady in Canada that had it on eBay
And so far all seems working and I was able to get it hooked up on ATT (no choice on the carrier thats how the thing is programmed, but should work fine in Texas...) Perhaps I shall learn it well enough to post on the blog from where ever I can find a hot WiFi spot. We shall see...
February 08, 2005
Hilo Town bathed in pure white light
In the desert, they wear veiling and white clothing to reflect the rays of the sun and to protect the eyes from the burning glare of the sand. No one goes out at mid day...
A world away, the people of the artic wear a form of gogles with tiny horzontal slits, as the rays of the sun bounce off the boundries of their white world and can snow blind you in an instant.
Here in Hawaii I have encountered the phenomina of "Cloud Blindness" It is, of couse, not so severe as can be experienced by pilots as they fly through the clouds, but we experience it as a pure white glare that softens colors and filters horizons...today was such a day that you could see this, at least in Puna.
We had, for the most part, a "stay at home day" but had an appointment with our vet Dr. Grune very early this morning, for Mak and Nani to get their first rabies shot and got microchipped. Here, there is no threat of rabies, so often pets that are not outdoors don't need a rabies shot, but with our departure to the mainland we will need to keep them up to date. The micro chipping is a precaution in case we lose them and we have needed to do this for a long time. I just dreaded it as it is a long square needle and must hurt like the devil. Nani was a little stoic but Mak groweled and tried to bite the doctor, who took it all in stride and said that this is a normal reaction. Both kitties slept all day and Nani even allowed a visitor to pet her a new thing as she is very shy.
the chinese dining room
The visitor was the owner of a high end consignment and second hand store called "Dis, Dat, and Da Kine..." She has all kinds of lovely things and frankly I was going to call her but people called her for me and she was very encouraging. She bought a bunch of things and will pick them up at the end of the month and she placed a deposit on the dining room, and is thinking about buying the big fountain in the lanai and our bedroom. Should this happen that will mean that nearly all of the large peices of furniture have been sold and we will be able to start anew where ever we land.
detail of the inlay on the table
As you can see from this photo... the detail of the workmanship is striking. This is Indonesian rosewood, Mother of Pearl Inlay work done in Singapore. Open carvings of Birds in Cherry blossomed trees and Dragons and Phoenix, symbolic of Man and Woman living in harmony are carved as a border around the bottom edge of the table and the buffet cabinet. The Bird of Paradise in the tree of life is the theme of the table top inlay. The curio is plain Rosewood but goes well with it...
We are selling the suite for 3500.00 a bargan since it cost us 7000.00 and retailed for twice that. I am selling it for fear that it is too delicate to survive another trans pacific crossing and the louts that pack moving containers here are not nearly as careful as the guys that did our load comming over. Plus much of our stuff was still in factory packaging and that protected it... We bought it and much of the other furniture (including the gold leaf desk, and table at the store) from a Pakistani Importer in Downey that was run out of business after 9-11. Made a pariah for his Islamic faith, he sold us the furniture to make his rent for the months of September and October of 2001. Woody and I would go to see him often before we moved... I took his wife shopping in those early days so she would not be insulted and abused by people. They had been persecuted for their tribal origins in their homeland, now this. They sold their shop inventory for a song and fled to family in Sacramento....
I understand now more than ever how they must have felt. The loss of dreams and hopes...Woody and "Joe" would have long discussions over the Koran and the Old Testament and the Place of "Issa", Jesus, in the eternal scheme of things was nearly always the focal point...
I pray for them every time I lift the protective cover and touch the inlaid birds and flowers...
I was never able to afford to pay for the protective glass that I wanted to cover the table so I could leave it uncovered to the world. Like so many things I kept this for "good"...there never was a "good". I have only had two guests at my table in the 3 1/2 years I have lived here. I had visions of church ladies functions in this big living area, and have no friends or associations. Three sets of china, seating for twelve and its just Woody and I and the cats.
I have never been able to enjoy it. How sad really...
Woody and I have discussed this many times and we have made a pact between us. Nothing for show, ostentation or "good". Not clothes not funiture not anything... We havent discussed the bedroom furniture but it is as grand as the dining room. A bed so romantically lovely that it belongs in a fine bed and breakfast, and may end up there. People are looking at it too and thinking about it. I predict that it will stay here as well. I bought all of this thinking that this might be the last time I do such a thing. This writer, who was raised on Social Security, then has lived in small homes and sparingly went crazy when handed more money than she ever had in all of her life... Wiser now, I know that I shouldnt think so far ahead. I have no one to leave anything to and dont need to show off. Buy what you love and what you can live with is my mantra and Woody's too.
We are looking at homes in the same mindset. So many of them are way too big for us but we dont want to live in a trailer or a condo...yet...but we can see that downsizing as a good thing one day. Maybe we need to do it now. Pray for us to make a wise decision about where we live and what we choose. I dont know about you but the whole Social Security debate has brought the retirement thing back as a focal point for us. We want to pay cash for our next home and keep it paid off. Credit Score be damned (did you know that not having a mortgage reduces your credit score... go figure...) No charge cards and no loans...We...I need to start to save again and this will mean a full time paying job, which I have not held since early 1996...I have nothing but the house and Woody has a small amount set aside well invested. My saving grace is that I will be able to draw his SS one day. If I had to draw mine I would be a street person it is so dismally low...
We will always have to work, there is no way around it. But I want to enjoy life too and bask in the pure white light of a life well lived. I accept the risks but will savor the rewards as well. I dont know how God will do this, will work all of this out but I trust Him to do it. He hasnt failed me yet.
February 07, 2005
Raidiant Cloud over the Hamakua Coast
February 06, 2005
Ocean Entries from the air... See the huge "bench" or shelf that has formed, along the dark crak and the dark spots off the coast. When this breaks off, we run the risk of tsunami here in Puna... HVO Photos
I am having a time out... you know a moment to huddle and talk over the stategy of the next play... Today being SuperBowl... the biggest holiday after Christmas and Halloween, Woody is out partying at Charlies bar in Keaau, and the street is dead quiet so I suppose that either the cable is out or that everyone else went to Charlies too as they have free food (or Puu puus for us local kine folks). Free is good. The only souls left are the stupid people that burn their trash illegally and they suppose that the rest of the neighbors are at Charlies... the last time I was home and they did this Dad Bandperson (the clown next door)went down and screamed the f-word 47 times at them and threatened to burn the rest of their trash to the ground ie their house. There are those that are concerned that we wont be able to handle red necky-ness in rural Texas... Rural Hawaii has its own brand and we are coping with it sort of... At leaset they wont burn you "Bush for President" signs as trash along with all of their trash...
Its so still I can hear myself breathe that is marvelous.
I sit here a thankful heart. Not just for the quiet but that things are going as well as they are. People are looking at the house and today its the first hot and sunny day we have had so people may just come over and look at it some more. The comments we are getting are "wow" and "can the price go lower?". Our agent is saying no we are sticking to our price. This is a hard area to comp as nothing has sold in a long time. People stay here a while and that make for stablity which normally is a good thing. Well get our price never fear...
We have totalled up the tickets at the store and its phenominal. In the last 10 selling days we have racked up as much business as we had gotten the previous 5 months combined, and late yesterday a man and his wife came in and want to buy the improvements and have us somehow get the landlord to honor the lease we have with the new people... I think its do able and we are hopeful that all can be worked out. Its not a sale of the business but rather a conversion to a related business and I am sure that the landlord will be pleased that we can promise him new good tenants to fill this space...The money isnt a lot but it helps...
noluck selling any of the household stuff but that is ok and we will end up having a yardsale I think after all. My eBay adventure is not working out as the young man in charge is not really doing what he said that he would do and my goods are not selling. I will be putting the jewelry back into the inventory and selling it on my own as my own shop is getting a bit bare... Thank God.
Eagles or Patriots... I root for the underdog mostly, but the Pats have been there and the savour of winning is not easily let go of... We shall see how things go. Same is true of the game of life I am constantly asked about this or that situation and its always a wait and see, for I am experienced, yet know little, I have been there before but I am new to this... Its all in the fearless execution of the game...
Striking the Shore Waves Crashing on the lava flows at Punalu'u Beach Park
I will extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.
O LORD, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.
Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones, And give thanks to His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, "I will never be moved." O LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong; You hid Your face, I was dismayed.
To You, O LORD, I called, And to the Lord I made supplication:
"What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness?
"Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me; O LORD, be my helper."
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
February 05, 2005
Breaking out of the cooling pahoe hoe flow and creating a new finger of lava on the West HighCastle flow HVO Photo
"don't you think your prices are very high? I can get this type of thing at so and so's for... Yes, I know its from Hong Kong, but what is the difference between there and Italy? Steven Lee, he's only a local boy... You can get his things at... much cheaper..."
" Im very sorry that I haven't been in your shop before... I must have this. How much was it? Is that all, and on sale 20% off? I'll take it. I know its Italian, that is the very best. And it nice that you have local artists like Steven Lee, his black pearls are the best you know and this quality you you don't see everyday..."
These words came from the same woman...Woody and I agree on this and she epitomizes something that we are learning in this time of change. Kathy Hammes, my mentor and friend, used the marketing term "perceived value" and we discussed it over lunch yesterday. There seems to be a greater perceived value on our store and its contents now that we are leaving... We are seeing this in all levels of life in these final days of our time here in Hawaii as residents. Even ourselves, we have gained stature and value as we embark on this "reckless, bold and adventurous plan" as one man said to us today... Even in our personal lives. Woody was offered a permanent schedule on this side with the guard company, and a local jewelry store is calling to see if we have people to place, "oh, the manager? Yeah sure great, come and fill out an app"... Ugh... I sort of knew this would happen...
We have sold more goods in four days than we have sold in the past four months combined,which included Christmas.. But get this, the markdown is minimal. Twenty Five percent on most of the stuff,and I can go thirty five, if needed and I have a 50% off case. Im still way in the black on each sale and the sales just keep happening. I am so thankful to God and to those that are praying. Yet I have come to realize that its not the numbers that are driving this it is the perception that somehow since we are going out of business that we are having this slasher sale and its all a give away. I keep coaching Woody to not give it away and he saw today that we don't have to, and was blown away... And he is a professional salesman. And the people just keep coming in...
Like our inventory, our house is the same way. We are building a persona around this house that we are leaving sorrowfully, no negotiation, this is our price and it says to buyers... See look at this... this is the best house around and you can have it for only (if I list the price the sticker shock would kill some of you so that shall be a secret...) Its working. I told five people about the house and the agent was leaving messages on the phone that these visitors all want to go and see our house...I may just sell that too...
When we value something, we can add value to it... That is the bottom line. My loving look at each piece of jewelry I think gives value and meaning to each piece. I dont have one piece of jewelry that is ugly I feel a little twinge everytime a piece leaves the store... So you can imagines how it is when 100 leave... I think that the customers pick up on that and its a good thing...
Maybe I am prey to this too. I find myself bristling as something about the island is knocked. Like a protective mother hen I am defensive over my Hawaii faults and all. She is Punahele, my Beloved with all of her faults departing has endeared her to me like nothing else could...
February 04, 2005
Dawn At Creation
Dawn at Creation.... The January 2005 West Highcastle flow Kilauea Volcano Big Island Hawaii. HVO Photo
This Photo was taken this morning by an Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory photographer. We have been experiencing a huge increase in the size and visibility of the lava flow and the lava watchers are starting to flock to the island to catch a glimpse of this event. Three large ocean venting entries are flowing, and one is very close to the road where you can drive into the park so hordes of folks are coming into Hilo...
Makes all that VOG worth while...
Just as the eruption continues unabated, the eruption of customers at my shop continues thanks for your prayers and support. We are selling off nearly everything right down to the bear walls. Almost all of the fixtures and equipment is sold and we see a steady sale of the inventory. Its all God's doing as we have done more business in three days than in the past 4 months combined... Over 200 people have been in the store since the liquidation began...Feb 1
And Im doing it alone...I am about wiped out...Gads, its only Thursday?
Woody told his boss he was not available for the next few days and will be in to help me. Thank God... I am at the screaming stage.
Its so hard to see it all go... the little things that made the place special. Like the set ups and the lighting. Im not giving the inventory away yet, but it feels like it.
It hurts a lot. Im dismantling a dream... I want to scream sometimes at the callousness of some people... for the dirty little secret of this town is that they wait for this, haolies going broke and leaving, so they can get the "good stuff" cheap. Cars houses and furniture and stuff from business. Its like its a cottage industry. The phone calls that I have received regarding my furniture in the house are crazy. Ill ship it before I donate it to some household that wont appreciate it.
It gives me a perverse pleasure to deny some of my things to this greedy mass of humanity. People get mad when I say that I am not selling my golden lacquered pieces in the store. I have had 20+ offers all so foolishly low...I have been told by dealers not to sell the stuff as it is going up in value and the gold leafing is super good on my pieces... One Bi*ch, who has been in probably 50 times in the last year and has spent 20.00 with me, has often come and rubbed her hands on the desk or table and said in so many words "I covet this and must have it". She is a physical Therapist and has a good practice and a well off Local boyfriend... She has offered ridiculously paltry amounts for it...So typical of the mindset of greedy but well off locals that everything can be had for nothing when a haolie gives up and goes back where they belong... she came in yesterday with her daughter "to buy her a gift... pick something out, dear..." the daughter did well selecting a pair of gold hoop earrings that I had in 50% off...She was trying them on again and I gave her the price. They were less than 100.00. The Mom said 'no they were too expensive' and ended up buying HERSELF a pair of pearl dangles that were, like, the cheapest things in the store... came to 12.00 ( she moved up from her last purchase though, where I offered her a deal on a necklace and a pair of matching earrings, jadite in silver. Total deal was 50.00 The necklace was 42.00 and the earrings 25.00 originally. Her response was to pull 8.00 out and put in on the table, no tax, and try to walk out with the earrings, saying that "Well, if they are 8.00 in the deal that is all they are worth, why don't you give them to me for that price? We told her no. But she made such a stink and we were new in the building that we let it go. God honored that by showing us to mark up the necklace to 69.00 and a visitor lady bought it that week...) This time, she made me mad. She embarrassed the daughter, and the only reason she brought the daughter in was to see the furniture... She finally came and said "OK, you are going to the mainland, give me a price and I will pay you for the desk and the table and you wont have to move it. I didn't respond but went to the door and unlocked it...And thanked them for coming in. She got up and said "WELL?" I responded. " You don't have enough money to buy a gift for your daughter, therefore it is unlikely you have enough to pay for the furniture. This is the last time we will have this discussion, have a good afternoon and I closed the door. People clapped in the store...
Such drama makes for frayed nerves.
Most people are good hearted. We have had several visitors that came to us last year return to find the "going out of business sign" and bewail it with me. We have met some new friends during this time, Rodney Brewster and his partner L.E.Zerbe who have Pahoa's newest shop, which takes high end consignment. They have purchased my safe and front window case as well as setup pieces. And most importantly been encouraging which we sorely need. As they sat in the store for two hours they saw all sorts of little dramas and learned that jewelry was different than art or furniture and will be picking my brains a few more times for more info. I will be picking theirs too, as they have lived in different areas of the country and we can learn a lot from them.
I have had questions about our destination. The container with our belongings will final either in Houston or Bentonville. We still have time to decide but I think Houston is winning. I joked with the boys yesterday that we will end up on David Letterman with a huge map and a dart...Throw and see where you have to live.... the ultimate reality show...
This is not far off from the truth...
February 03, 2005
Ground Hog Day
While you were waiting for the groundhog, we were waiting for the hornito and we got one which means that the erruption will continue for a while longer...
This is a Hornito. It rises up out of the lava fields when a hole is formed in a cooling lava formation and hot gasses spew out with great force. The gas carries fragments of lava and glass particles, which cool into weird statue like shapes. Hornitos can grow quite large, as the lava fragments pile up sort of like a dripping candle forms a pile this is in reverse! Many hornitos are recognizable geological strutures and are named. This one formed over the past week and has been named Carlito the Hornito.
Read more about the incredible volcanic wonder that is in my backyard here
, and the current spectacular increase in the erruption
February 02, 2005
It's a Blue Light Special
Lesser Bird of Paradise Pink variety
True to my predictions... Liquidation Madness reigns supreme in Hilo. I had over 100 people in the store today (by far, a record) and like last friday, had a huge sales day. Kills me to let some of this go for nothing, but it beats us hauling it to where ever. If I can sell my Tahitian Pearl Strands, I will thank God fasting, and promise to never yell at Woody...oh... better not make vows I cant keep...
Everytime a herd of people comes in I can hear the old blues tune " Midnight Special" in my head....
"Its a Blue Light Special...
Come and See...
Get the Blue Light Special...
Its nearly free...
with regrets to the family of the original composer who I think died recently and I cannot for the life of me remember his name...
Same with our furniture. Woody sold a bunch of stuff at the house today and there are more people coming. The house went on MLS and the agent called and said that the switchboard was backed up... Showing tomorrow, ready or not. Its not all cutsey fixed up and there is stuff everywhere and two bawling cats in the small room...(they are mewing now? wait till you see what fun we have planned for you in the comming months... we will never have kitty love again after the plane flight and two months of boarding...sigh...)
Woody predicts a full price offer in two weeks. I have ordered the sea-van/ocean container for the last tuesday in March...Destination... (drumroll please...) Rail head, Port of Houston or... catch the WalMart Special (train) out of LA for Bentonville, Arkansas... We are really thinking about that a lot... Right now I am not focusing on anything but the store... Its all I can handle...alone... (Woody is working graveyard shifts guarding at the Power Plant so we pass each other like two ships in the night...)
Will write about Punalu'u tonight..it was awesome...broke my heart again as it always does.Its sort of like a good looking guy that never quite looks at YOU, so sure he is of his beauty... that he is beyond you...
February 01, 2005
The Place where My Heart Lies....
The Place Where my Heart Lies... Punalu'u Black Sand Beach near Pahala, Kau
Will write about my adventure tomorrow I am beat!