Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hit the jackpot!

So, the country is in lottery mania. Over five hundred million in the pot. After taxes it would "only" be something in the three hundred million range.....Still a HUGE amount of money.

On the news they reported that of all multi million lottery winners 70% have blown it all. Makes you wonder how much is foolishness and how much is because they are trying to help all the people (Hey, can you help me out, I'm your cousins, cousins cousin) coming out of the wood work to ask for a hand out and they couldn't say no.

No lottery in Hawaii, so no tickets for us...but one can dream....what would I do if I won the jackpot?

Well, it would be sooo, sooo much money, it would be easy to share. So here's my list:

1) I would give some to my daughter and her partner so they could go back to school, get the jobs they want. Enough so they could build and afford the house they need and my daughter could open the business she is dreaming of.

2) I would give some to my son, so he could become independent, have his own place.

3) I would give some to my parents. They already have all they want, just would ensure that they are taken care of and don't have to worry how the $ is doing (They live in Europe) and how it will effect their retirement.

4) I would give some to my sister and brother in law so they could retire a bit earlier.

5) I would give some to my husbands siblings and their families. Make it easier for the kids to go to college. Pay off their mortgages so they would have one less worry.

6) I would give some to my parents in law. Like my parents, they have all they need/want, but it would be for security for what ever lays ahead.

7) I would give some to the non profit I work for. I would have some of the things replaced that have been patched over the years - just because they didn't have enough to replace it.

8) some would go to my favorite charities and causes.

9) Lastly we would move NOW. I would build the lodge that we are dreaming of for our Ranch, a couple of cabins to rent out and have the land taken care of - have good soil brought house, hen house,  Animal barn etc.....

The rest I would invest and save for the future so I don't become one of the 70%.

Your turn! What would you do if you won the jackpot?

Looking forward to your comments!

Aloha a Hui Hou!

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Missing Piece

Today they put in the shower surround!

Hope to get pics that show the whole thing using a wide angle lens on our next visit!

Another thing that can be checked off the to do list! Lovin' it!

Aloha a Hui Hou!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Time to pick out tile...again...

So, If you remember, I wanted stainless steel detail tile for the kitchen. I fudged this picture together....just to have an idea.

Something I photoshopped together because I couldn't find a tile I really like.....then I found this one

and sent it to Lisa to see if they could find it locally. Today I found out, she couldn't. I could order from them online, but they have 21 days delivery time....kind of long...So I kept looking and came across these:

These tiles can be found at Eden Mosaic Tiles
and like them even BETTER! I like that they aren't cookie cutter, that they will add a little sumthin sumthin to catch your eye and it also plays perfectly with my love of straight lines, but are mixed up enough to not be boring.

The next step will be figuring out how much we will need and then deciding which will fit our pocket book.

Aloha a Hui Hou!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Heard it Through the Grapevine

I wrote Lisa, Lisa called Atkinson's  and they told her to tell me that they will be coming over on Thursday to put in the shower surround!

Can you gimme a W00t W00t! ?

Aloha a Hui Hou!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Photo Art for the light bedroom

I want to get one of my photos printed on canvas - really large,  for over our bed. Kind of torn what direction I should go. originally I was thinking that I'd like this photo:

Using photoshop I made it that the photo graduates from black and white to color.
I might even consider taking the pick again, with more bamboo stalks.....

I took this pic last Saturday and there is just something about it that grabs my attention.

Or should I go for something from our scuba days?


or maybe a we don't get too home sick of forget the beauty we were able to enjoy every day...

Oh there are thousands more where these came from..

The walls will be gray, the wood, roman shades and windows will be white and we have the tarnished brass bed. ...pretty neutral pallet, so we can go crazy with art...

The choice is going to be so hard that I might wind up making a few prints and change them out with the season....change them as the mood takes me...

What do you think?

Aloha a Hui Hou!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Unique Time Piece

Ok, something totally different today. This is not about the house, our progress, our life in Hawaii. Today it is about a clock, not just an ordinary, everyday clock but a clock that you can read the time off of. Literally, you can read the words...kind of hard to explaine. Watch this and you'll know what I mean.

This is just amazing! I love it and if the price tag wasn't $1100 - I'd buy it, even if it isn't my style, I'd buy it just because it is an amazing concept! (I know, I'm a clock nerd)

This fall they are planning to bring it out as a wristwatch...wondering if it is in my comfort zone of what I would be willing to pay for a watch...

If you click the watch, it will take you to their page
Oh! and the reason I am most likely drawn to this watch is because am first profession had to do with jewelry and watches and i can REALLY appreciate the workmanship and the ingenuity it required to create this time piece.

Aloha a Hui Hou!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

All aboard!

Looks like the Bun baker is on its way! Interesting fact about our Vermont Bun Baker - The main part of the Bun Baker is from Australia. The company in Vermont adds the Soap Stone surround and the Bun Baker company allowed them to name this version of it "Vermont Bun Baker".

Guess we are getting an international Bun Baker!

Aloha a Hui Hou!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Template Time

Decided on a surface  ✔
Select type of granite ✔

Time for them to template the granite. Here is the explanation of the term template the granite:

A template is a pattern of your future countertop surface. Typically, this step is the fabrication process and is done by the granite fabricator. When a natural stone fabricator sends a technician out to measure and template countertops, they are basically making patterns of what your new countertops will look like. A wide range of materials can be used for templating countertops. Some fabricators will use wood, others will use cardboard or plastic and some will even use a laser to create a digital file. 
Meaning from this website

Here is a cool video on how they do it:

Wish I was there to watch!

Aloha a Hui Hou!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tough Call...

Our Sink
So, they are getting ready to put the sink in and it's time for me to pick out a faucet. As you see, it is a four hole sink.

There are soooo many choices! I'm liking different styles and am having a hard time making up my mind.
I don't know what it is, but there is something about the swans neck faucet that just catches my eye....

this one has a pull out sprayer and a soap dispenser
This one has a separate sprayer and a similar design to the one we have in the bathroom.
Very modern, but due to the fluted edge it would match well with the vintage feel of the kitchen. Would need to either add a soap dispenser or just plug up the 4th hole,
Like the others, the brushed/satin finish will go along well with the appliances and I LOVE the hot cold knobs!
All so very different, but I like them all! Maybe a trip to the store and looking at them up close will help me decide.

If you have anything like one of the above, would you mind sharing your pros and cons? Looking forward to some feedback!

Aloha a Hui Hou!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Fate of the Grey Heron part II

So I thought I'd follow up and give you the rest of the story on our grey Heron.

I left a few messages for the humane society, but they never got back to me. I tried on more time and I finally reached a person and they told me if I caught it, they would come and get it.

How am I supposed to catch it? He has a long pointy beak and crazy long talons. I don't want to stress the bird and I don't want to get hurt because I don't know what the heck I'm doing.

My next thought was call 911. Maybe they could tell me who would be the right person to contact. They gave me another phone number of the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Called there and you guessed it - no one there. So I left a message. 

In the mean time I posted it on our local news channels Facebook page and asked if anyone had a suggestion. One lady suggested I contact a place called Bird Haven. I called there and it is a volunteer organization and no one was there. So I left another message.

Getting kind of frustrated I went out side to check on the bird and was surprised that he wasn't there anymore. So I walked around to the back and found him in the corner, looking thru the fence at the stream. Looked like the wanted to go thru the fence and just couldn't figure out how. 

I waited till he came out of the corner and then herded him to a spot in fence where the ground underneath has eroded away and hoped he would figure out that he has to go UNDER the fence. And that he did. He made it under the fence and made a bee line to the stream. 

I watched him a bit, as he was walking around, hoping that he would stand a better chance at surviving if he could be in the water where he could eat and drink and be safe from the cat.

Later in the afternoon a woman by the name of Pat called me from the Bird Haven. She told me that the Grey Herons are protected birds. By my description the bird is not terribly injured and that it might heal with time since he is back in his habitat. 

I went back to check on him and he's no where to be seen. So for now all I can do is keep watching and hope that he is ok.

End of story....for now...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Fate of the Grey Heron

So last night I hear animal screams. Not totally unusual, because we have all these feral cats running around that like to fight in front of our bedroom window...
This time the screams were a bit different and much, much LOUDER! I go out to see a young orange cat and something in the shadows. When my eyes adjusted I discovered it was a Grey Heron! We always have a few around since we live right on the stream/marsh. Interesting to watch them fish.
Anyway, I chased the cat away ( a couple of times) and the bird just sat there. it was like he was looking for a way off the property - kept stretching his wing, not flying away.
I stayed with him/her for a while, to make sure the cat would leave him/her alone. I opened the gate, but he/she wouldn't leave.
I called the humane society - voice mail and no call back.
I got tired and headed for bed.
This morning guess who was outside our door! 

Still here!

Called the Humane Society Hot line one there....left another message....hope someone responds soon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hey! Who are you calling shrimp?

Going thru the other blogs I follow, one of them shared this blog about raising shrimp in colder climates. I think this is something we could also add to our Aquaponics system and the benefit would be that would would have two different kinds of food (meat) coming out of it. Wonder if there is a book on raising shrimp?

Stop by and take a look:

Clicking on the pic will take you to the other blog.

Who can say no to the roaches of the sea?

Aloha a Hui Hou!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Some more things to think about

Amy from Homestead Revival posted some interesting facts about the different types of bees.

With no further ado, Amy's blog on bees (photo from: UC Davis Department of Entomology)
Click the photo to take you to Amy's blog
Pretty solid information and lots to think about. I guess I will have to find a local bee keeper to see what type of bees are good in our area.

Aloha a Hui Hou!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Just got the word that the electrician will start working on the house next week. WOO HOO!

He has quite a bit to do in the kitchen like adding sockets, wire for pendant lights, add some switches and put in under cab lighting.

If I got it right, the lights we will be getting are something like this

They are very low profile since we won't have much space under the cab for a wide trim to cover it up. The lights are bright LED lights and I think there are about 6  or 8 per foot. Doesn't use much energy and the bulbs last forever. Good deal!

We are also going to get all the ungrounded sockets rewired so we have grounded ones.

Busy, busy guy!

Aloha Hui Hou!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Something I thought I'd never see...

This was on the news this morning. Seems a boat that was out for some kind of tour came across a wild pig swimming in the ocean, about a mile from shore off the Big Island. They were able to pull him on board where here instantly passed out from exersion. Poor fella, lucky poor fella...

Aloha a Hui Hou!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Garlic Mandolin

I love kitchen schnick schnack - Ok, there, I said it - I love kitchen schnick schnack!

I'm always looking for that unique kitchen tool that will rock my world. The other day on Rachel Ray I saw her use a tiny mandolin to slice garlic in even, thin slices. I made myself a mental note, that if I get to a kitchen schinck schack store, I'll look for one of those fancy mandolins. 

Looked a bit like this one.

Now I'm going to tell you a secret about me - I'm totally afraid of mandolin slicers. Deathly, might cut my finger off with it, afraid. As I watched her flash back and forth with the garlic I was bracing myself for the terrible moment that she cuts herself. But she didn't, she's Rachel Ray, not scaredy pants me.

Even with this fear I still wanted to at least look at one. Today we had the opportunity to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond I and hunted down a garlic mandolin and they actually had 2 different styles. The one was all metal and had a slicer on one side and a grater on the other. A double threat! I opted for this one and tried it out right away when I got home and it works great!

Garlic Mandolin from Zyliss
You can fit about 3 cloves of garlic in the slider top at once and it is sliced in nothing flat. As long as you apply consistent pressure, the slices will be even. It's easy to take apart and clean. Just be sure when you are putting it back together that the slider on top is put in the right way (one end has straight edges, the other is rounded) so the slider slides over the blade all the way.

Price was $10.95 and is about as long as the palm of your hand. When the time comes to move it will go in a shipping box, not in a yard sale box :o)

I give it  ✮✮✮✮✮ out of 5

Aloha a Hui Hou!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I have some good news and some bad news...

Good news for Roger is that I won't be taking his barn apart, piece by piece, to use for different purposes in the house.

Bad news, just like when we wanted to use if for our table, the barn wood is too warped and we won't be able to use it for the mantel.

Good news is we have David and Lisa. They heard of someone with an old farmhouse that was getting rid of their fireplace and they want to sell it. 

They went to take a look and it is a 4x12 (will be narrowed)...nice and chunky and wide so we can put something on it

The price isn't bad either $60....SOLD!

We now have a repurposed mantle! Yay!

Aloha a Hui Hou!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Out of left field

I came across this picture the other day

and you know what? I like it! It feels warmer, more homey than the yellow does.

I'm almost leaning towards the green....wonder where that came from!

Aloha a Hui Hou!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Banana Bread

We love bananas, we just can't eat them fast enough. We buy them about as green as they can get. We bring them home from the controlled temps of the store and a daw or two later they are yellow and on the third day they already have brown spots. By day four I have to start thinking of things to do with them.

We have tried those green food bags that are supposed to extend the shelf life of your fruits and veggies - if you haven't tried them - DON'T!  They made the bananas taste horrible, totally artificial.

We have frozen them too and Roger will enjoy them as a cold treat, but his favorite thing to do with them is for me to bake Banana Bread.

So today, since it's cold and rainy I thought i'd bake and share our favorite, easy banana bread recipe with you.

This is what you will need:

3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed (or more, I'll explain that later)
1/3 c melted butter
1 c sugar (can easily be reduced to 3/4 cup)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 c flour

if you like you can also add 1/2 c of chopped nuts -walnuts or macadamia nuts and/or 1/2 or raisins or dried cranberries .

Preheat your oven to 350℉ (175℃)
First mash your bananas in a large mixing bowl, add butter. Mix in the sugar, egg and vanilla. Next sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix them in. Last but not least, add the flour. If you want to add nuts and/or dried fruit fold in now.

Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Sometimes I have 5 bananas (or 6 - Hey, we're in the tropics! We have lots of bananas!) and I'll just use them all. The more bananas, the more moist the bread will be. Roger loves it moist. For every extra banana you can add an extra tablespoon of flour. This might also change the baking time so check with a toothpick before you take your bread out of the oven.

Enjoy! and Aloha a Hui Hou!

Monday, March 12, 2012

What to eat?

A few weeks ago this information popped up on the internet, telling us that this is what Chicken McNuggets is before they get battered and fried/baked

When I first saw it, just like the reporter, I thought it was soft serve ice cream. Now we know better, we know that it is not. Personally I never ate Chicken McNuggets, and now I know I never will.

BUT, just when you thought it was safe to eat everything else we find out that they put this stuff in our ground beef. Yes, you read right, in our ground beef that you buy at the counter at your local store.

Not only is it food you buy that is already prepared - which you can avoid - they are putting it in the stuff that you use to cook with!  I also have to keep in mind, this is what I know about. What don't I know about? Scary thought, isn't it?  Kind of reminds me of Soylent Green.....

It is no wonder we, as a nation,  are fat and sick since the food that is available is of such low grade and soooo manipulated - it's the only way for us to be!

In our current situation we have no real choice, other than to buy from the store. We can't plant and most of the stuff we can buy is imported.

One thing, that I can assure you of is that when we are on our Ranch we will be growing/raising as much of our own food as we possibly can. I do not want to let money hungry food dictators have control over what I eat.

[/rant] (Dad, this means end of rant)

I'd love to hear your thoughts? What are you doing to ensure that your health and that of your family will not be effected by greed?

Aloha a Hui Hou!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fill'er Up!

It's that time again! I've just been informed that there are about 11" of oil left in the tank in the basement. Time to start thinking about refilling the tank.

That was either a miracle tune up or we didn't get nearly as much oil in the tank as they had promised at closing.

I think we turned the furnace on in November and had to refill in the first week of December. At Christmas we were at about 29". They turned the heat up while they were tiling and now we have the 2nd week in March and are at 11" Much better performance, don't'cha think?

There is no way to compare how much better it is because the tune up  or how much a difference the new windows make.

We'll be looking forward to getting it WAY down by the time we're done with everything.

Now a question for you. It's March, prices are higher now than in the Summer, but right now the prices are going up by 10¢ or so a week. Should we just fill it half way, like we did last time (because we did know how much it would hold, and fill it up in the Summer when prices are/might be cheaper? Or just go ahead and fill it up now?

So you folks with oil furnaces, based on your experience, what would you do? Just fill up with enough for now? or fill it up all the way?

Looking forward to your responses!

Aloha a Hui Hou!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Whale Experience

So, yesterday I showed you our anniversary I will explain to you why I'm going to miss the whales so much.

Back in our Waikiki days Roger used to dive 5-7 days a week and I would dive 4 days a week. I  was always excited when the whale season came around. 

There you are, floating weightlessly and you hear it, the whale song. It sounds nothing like the taped whale song you hear, but none the less you know it's them. For the rest of the year the ocean is pretty much quiet. Maybe the occasional sonar beep, tank banger or the grinding sound of the fish eating the coral - other wise...silence. Hearing them always put a smile on my lips and joy in my heart. 

In all my dives (1000 plus) I never saw a whale underwater, never saw them breach or have them come close to the boat. Roger had that luck, I hadn't.

One day Roger and I were getting ready to lead a group at Kewalo Pipe. He was already in the water and told us that you could hear the dolphins chattering. 

Now dolphins don't like the sound of us breathing underwater, the bubbles and the sound we make when we inhale...they just don't like it - they tend to stay away from us. But to hear them is special too.

The Captain and I get all the people in the water. I finish up, jump in and Roger and the group were gone, no where to be seen. Visibility was low, I couldn't see them anywhere so I start making my way, trying to find the group. I could hear the dolphins clicking away, endless chatter.

All of a sudden I hear the low moaning sound of whale song. No, let me rephrase that. I hear and FEEL the low moan of whale song. The sound was sooo strong that I felt it vibrating in my chest. 

For those of you that don't dive, sound travels 10x's faster underwater and it is impossible for the human ear to determine which direction it comes from. The call I was hearing was so loud, so close, that I was sure if I turned around the whale would be right behind me...but he wasn't. 

I say he because, as I have been told, only the male whales sing. 

Anyway, I continued hearing the whale singing  and I kept turning around and nothing was there. 

Then when I turned around for the last time the school of Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins I had been hearing the whole time swam right past me, maybe 8-10 yards away. I stopped in my tracks, just floating there...halfway between the surface and the sandy bottom....feeling the song in my chest and watching the dolphins frolic and chatter as they make their way across the pipe. Vanishing into nothingness.

Shortly after the group appeared and we surfaced together. They didn't see the dolphins and didn't experience the whale song like I did....It was a special, magical, just for me moment that I will always remember and always feel vibrating in my chest when I think about it....

And now you know...why I'll miss the whales - once you've experienced that, you'll always want more.

Aloha a Hui Hou!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Whale Watching

I saw an add in the paper and suggested to Roger that, for our anniversary, we should go on a whale watching cruise.

From November thru the end of April is Whale season in Hawaii. The whales migrate to our warm waters to mate and to have their babies. The water around the island is not to deep, comfortable temperature and no real predators.

The Star of Honolulu leaves from Aloha Tower Market Place. It is the harbor where all the cruise ships pull in.

In the boat briefing we were told that if they sight a whale they will let us know where it is based on the clock.. If there it a whale off the bow it's 12 o'clock, starboard 3, stern 6 and aft 9. So if they see a whale on the front starboard side it might be 1 or 2 O'clock and so on. 

boat diagram from this website.

 We head out and make our way past downtown Honolulu and Waikiki.
Honolulu and Waikiki

Diamond Head with Diamond Head Light House to the right from the Hawaii Kai side.
  We hung around Diamond Head and waited. We saw the first whale before the bridge did, they didn't even announce the one we saw.

There is a law that protects the whales and prohibits boats/ships from getting closer than 100 yards. If that was the case the engine would be put in idle and we would just float and watch. Should the whales get closer to us, while we were there floating, that would be ok.

When you are out on the ocean on a sunny day you will see little to nothing on the screen of your digital camera. So my tip for you - if you should ever be in this or in a similar situation, set your focus to infinity (∞) and set your shooting mode to continuous and hold that shutter release button down! You are bound to get a picture of something!


Diamond Head  from the Ewa side
 All to soon it was over and we headed back to the harbor.

After a quick lunch at Gorden Biersch, where Roger enjoyed their home brewed Root Beer - Since I was a bit sluggish because of the motion sickness pills, Roger was our designated driver.

As we headed back home over the Pali we were once again caught in the rain and the entire mountainside was covered in waterfalls...

Today was a wonderful day, something I will always remember and I know it is also something I'm going to miss....

Aloha a Hui Hou!