Monday, December 26, 2016

More Maui

After our cruise we headed back to Maui. Our son had done the research and found a home large enough to accommodate family and friends. It was lovely. It was perfect!
The house had 5 6 bedrooms. We discovered a hidden bedroom that opened onto a lanai, which was also accessed through the great room. Darn, we could have invited more folks! The lanai opened onto a yard fully enclosed by a tall block wall, which made this grammy relax a bit, not having to worry that Alexis could slip out unnoticed, and end up in the street.

The central feature of the home was a large great room that easily accommodated 9 of us. We could all relax on a sofa our lounge chairs, or pull up chairs around a large dining table to enjoy meals prepared by several folks. The kitchen was large enough that it permitted 3-4 cooks to work together without killing each other. I was thrilled that Rita and Paul (on the right) love cooking. Rita and Paul, friends of our DIL and son (on the left) live on Oahu. They stopped at Costco to stock the larder, and what a magnificent job they did in estimating what 9 folks might eat in a week in Lahaina! There were not that many items left in the fridge when we pulled the door closed at the end of our magical time together. 

Ta da! Thanksgiving feast is ready!
Alexis loved the drumstick!

The beach was a short walk from the house.
There was a breakwater just off shore, so waves were at a minimum.

Our son rented two paddle boards and the house had a number of floats
and lots of beach toys. The little one really enjoyed the beach.

I tried my hand at paddle boarding. I experienced success until I became a bit cocky and got caught by a small wave. I still sport a bruise on my derriere where I hit the board on the way down!

After a morning at the beach,
Alexis couldn't even make it through her lunch!

We had planned to go see hula dancers,
hoping she would feel happier about wearing 
the silly hula outfit her Grammie had made for her!

Another day we stopped by the Maui Ocean Center in Maalaea.
The center has numerous aquaria showing indigenous sea animals.

The jellyfish are mesmerizing.
I enjoyed watching the octopus.
But my favorite was this funky fish, a frogfish.

We decided to go fishing with a charter company.
This was our haul. 

I can't recall the name of the orange fish,
but I caught the largest one!

It was tasty - being quite mild in flavor.
The yellow fish are invasive. They aren't good eating
and are used for bait.
The grey/blue fish are Nabeta, a parrotfish.
We were told these guys are serious fighters and biters!

The Nabeta are rarely found in markets or on the menu at restaurants.
They are so tasty that fishermen keep them and share them with friends. 
We were told to coat them in flour and pan fry them.
The skin tastes just like fried chicken skin, only lighter.
The flesh was creamy in texture and taste. Yum!
(And this is from someone who is not much of a fish eater!)

Other scenes from Maui:

Dragon's Teeth

The crater of Haleakala

Sunset from Haleakala,
elevation: 10,000 feet.

Nakalele blowhole

Our sweet granddaughter trying to fill her Uncle's shoes.

And sadly, our week came to an end and we all went our different ways.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Views on the Move in Hawaii

Our son suggested that we go somewhere, as a family, for Thanksgiving. He chose Maui.... a great choice! We Dreamers have never visited the islands, so planned to go a bit early to get a feel for the place. First we planned visits to Oahu and Hawaii for a few days each. Then, we realized we could do a cruise around the islands and see even more, and not have to lug suitcases. So off we flew....

Molokai from the air, on our way to the Honolulu airport.
A welcome sight after a long flight.

Honolulu from the air

Pretty pool from the 16th floor.
It reminds me of the turtle bowl I had as a kid!

Sunrise in Waikiki

Waving goodbye to Honolulu from the deck of the cruise ship.

Carmen made sure our cabin was clean,
and created critters to greet us each evening.

Life on deck was dreamy! 
I even took some time to relax! This is my view from the deck in Maui.

The "super" moon as viewed from the deck

Lava flowing into the sea from Kilauea

We had to use tenders in Kona. The waters around the islands are a rich, deep blue!

The breakwater as we come into Hilo

A drizzly view of the Na Pali coast on Kauai

A rainbow shines on our last morning on the cruise ship

I caught a view of our ship from the air and felt a hint of melancholy.
Good-bye. It was fun.
Now.... onto the next adventure!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Checking On the Cats

Bob has been hanging around. I see him from a distance almost daily. He likes to rub against Malachi while Malachi tries to eat his hay. He stretches out in the sun along the fence line, ready to dash into the barn if he feels threatened. Occasionally he will peek out of a niche while I am in the barn.

I was curious if Dodger had returned so I set up my spy camera one more time. And, here are a few shots showing what I caught:

Here's Bob:

Bob is all black. 

Here's Freddie(the Freeloader):

I was thrilled to see that our visiting cat is still visiting.
I don't see him around the barn, so maybe he only comes by for food.
Recently when we had some snow I saw kitty prints heading across 
the street. Perhaps this is Freddie(the Freeloader)'s home. 

And look who also came for dinner!
It must be Dodger, our missing gray tabby:

He's back!!!

Well, maybe not!
It seems we have another freeloader!

Meet Rocky, the latest member of our barn clan!

Monday, December 5, 2016


Our granddaughter lives in San Francisco. We live in Colorado. It isn't always easy to hop on over to Frisco for a visit. So, our son does the next best thing by taking advantage of today's technologies to FaceTime with us. We get to see Alexis, and she gets to see us.

I have been amazed at how interactive the FaceTime sessions can be. Alexis truly connects with me through the screen. One time when she was about 15 months old, she had something in her hand. I asked about it and my son explained that it was her doll's hat. I told Alexis to get her doll and put the hat on it. She wandered off and came back into screen range with her doll and tried to do just that - Dad had to complete the task for her!

Another time my son tuned in while Alexis was finishing her dinner. I mentioned that I was hungry, too. Alexis held out some food and I moved toward the camera as if I was going to take a bite. The next thing we knew, Alexis placed an apple near the screen for me to eat! My daughter-in-law took a picture to show me what was happening off camera!

Recently we all got together for Thanksgiving. It appears that the FaceTime experience transfers to real life. Alexis, now 17 months old, showed no hesitation in coming right up to me. I am so thankful that the technology gives me a window on her daily life!

Alexis at Thanksgiving.... RealTime.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Punkin' Chunkin'

We Dreamers knew that a Punkin Chunkin' competition was held nearby. However, one year it was really hot. Another year it snowed and then last year they did not have the competition. So, when we saw that the competition was on this year, and the weather was nice, we went on over for an afternoon to watch pumpkins being heaved as far as 4000 feet by amazing contraptions.

The contraptions used to toss the pumpkins came in many different shapes and sizes. The smallest were some trebuchets. One built by students and one built by a dad with the help of his two young girls. They reminded me of our son's trebuchet

There were several machines that were not traditional trebuchets or catapults. One of my favorite machines was powered by multiple garage door springs. It was called, "Not in my Driveway". Apparently the builder's wife was not as enamored with the project as the builder was!

We learned that the pumpkins used are grown by the competitors. They grow a few unusual varieties of pumpkins. They are known for their round shapes and their thick skins. The pumpkins have a weight range, around 8 pounds, and will begin to lose weight immediately after picking. The pumpkins must exit the chucker in one piece. 

The air cannons shot pumpkins the furthest. Each cannon has some sort of tank that is pressurized. The more pressure... the greater the distance (assuming the pumpkin comes out of the end of the cannon in one piece.) For the final shot one of the cannons pressurized to 200 lbs/sq inch. Their pumpkin shot well over 4000 feet!

The National competition was halted and was not aired recently when a woman was hit by a piece of metal from an air cannon. From more recent reports it appears that the woman, a journalist, will be OK and she is sad that the competition was stopped.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Happy as a Pig in.....

It was time. The manure pile had spread east and west, and now it was gravitating to the north. It's a massive collection from a number of years of on again (mostly) and off again horses on the property. We Dreamers inflated the tires on the manure spreader, filled the lawn mower on steroids (LMOS) with diesel, and topped off the riding lawn mower with gas. Let the fun begin!

Manure pile part way into the process. 

Filling the manure spreader:
The view from the LMOS,
with a curious Zoe looking on.

The view from afar

Dreaming looking very happy, indeed!
That is, until the wind picked up and blew composted manure
all over her!

 The pile is gone!
In addition to being spread over about 1/3rd of the pasture,
it was used to fill a few holes around the homestead.

We Dreamers found that digging into a hillside promotes the composting of manure. It helps retain the moisture needed for the manure to "cook".  When we moved to our current home, the ground was so dry and hard, Mr. Dreamy's little tractor, the LMOS, couldn't dig a pit. However, after years of manure being piled on the slope, it now had enough moisture to enable Mr. Dreamy to dig out an area to make future deposits. 

I added the first wheelbarrow full of poop this morning.
I put the stakes and fencing up to keep the horses from 
walking too close to the edge and caving the dirt in.
Malachi was certain the little flags were going to eat him!

My next challenge....
filling the pit. 
Any guesses as to how long that will take?!

What is Four?

Have you ever thought of the meaning of "four"?  Four is the number of: seasons in a year. corners and sides to a square. virtues....