Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Dreamy Little Cottage

The last cottage is built and set on its foundation. Not for goats. Not for chickens. This dreamy little play house is for Maria and all her guests. Alex and Max finished putting it together, then Maria and I joined them in the yard, searching for the right spot. We settled on the old goat yard, beside the barn, beneath the jacaranda tree. It required a lot of shifting, lifting, and innovating. We repurposed everything, then added some new pavers, too. Now there is a cottage and an outdoor patio... perfect seating for summer evenings, and afternoon teas.

For a spot destined to be named The Flower Gardens, we were careful not to disturb the watermelon. All of our excavating, leveling, and foundation choices were designed with the watermelon in mind. We found some garden fencing, and added the bells and a string of flags... do not tread on our melons, please. Maybe next year we can add a vegetable and flower bed in this spot.

This is the first official incarnation of Maria's dream of having her very own restaurant. She's been telling us her plans for more than four years, in great detail. She thinks about menus, she writes recipes, and designs her kitchen. She notices curtains, or chairs, and confides, "Those would be perfect for The Flower Gardens." She discusses business details, like whether to buy a property, or rent, and recently she's admitted that starting a business isn't always as easy as we dream, so she accepts that her restaurant may begin humbly, maybe a stand, or a food truck. The Flower Gardens is wishful and practical, a constant aspiration.

For two movie nights, Maria has opened her doors as a concessions stand... offering popcorn, juice, water, cookies, tomatoes! Izzy and Amira were over and the three of them were positively giddy with their business ambitions and enthusiasm. It really is a dreamy little space, inviting, and fun. It feels cozy and safe, nestled beside our barn. Maria enjoys every guest and visitor. She waters the flowers she planted, and she sweeps her floor and entry, every day. Her dearest guest? Benjamin Franklin Thundercat. Maria is delighted to note that he visits her patio every day and is very loving and affectionate, too.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Chicken Portraits


Some days nothing works, and I cannot get one decent chicken picture. They move, they blink, they turn their backs on me. For some reason, on this morning, I was having success. Cooperative, still chicas. Pretty chicas.


These are the Juniors! I cannot believe how much they've grown. And they have grown a bit tamer than we expected. They come to me, and sit on my legs. They can be held, without any fuss. It's really quite sweet. And, unless I am in total denial, it looks as though all three are hens!

Shebot, she's three years old.

If only the old timers would behave themselves. I guess they are only doing what chcikens chickens do... peck and harass... they will not leave the Juniors in peace. Little Debbie has gotten really bad. I guess Kamen needed a break from being the biggest bully in the yard.


Maybe this is why the Juniors welcome my visits, because they can enjoy a break from being hen pecked. I sit down and they rush to my side, and eat as though they have been cut off from the buffet. And they have! Little Debbie darts in and chases everyone else from water and food, even the bunnies. Little Debbie and her gang better look out... the Juniors are destined to be big fat hens. I don't think they are going to be at the bottom of the pecking order for long.


Our other Ameraucana hen... have you noticed, I keep changing the spelling? Sometimes spellcheck changes it, and now I realize "Ameraucana" has more than one spelling.

Koa's feathers keep getting prettier and prettier. She's developed white tips on her wing feathers.

Okay, I realize Koa's tail is drooping, cresting down, like a rooster, but the feathers are blunt tipped, like a hen's. Oh dear. Please, please let Koa be a hen!

Even the Chiquitas let me take their portraits! Here are Thompson and Thomson.

And here are Thomson and Thompson. I can tell them apart. They are Cuckoo Marans. I am pretty sure Thompson is a rooster.

Here comes Totoro! I am pretty sure Totoro is a rooster, too.


Oh! Well, guess my time is up... no more chicken pictures. Thompson perched on my arm, then Mako came in for a turn. I am pretty sure Mako is a rooster.


How about a nice, quiet bunny picture?

Hello, Malcolm.

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

:: Inspired by Soule Mama ::

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments, for all to find and see.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Aloha Kona~

Some days, I am still in Hawaii, still enjoying the sounds of doves and myna birds, still reveling in our family vacation. And as many posts as I've written, I've only just touched on our first three days! I think the days spent in an adventure are a pleasure, for sure, but it's the memories and recalling all those great moments that gives it lasting value. Sure we were only there for two weeks, but I know I will be enjoying the trip for years to come. It was our first time flying into Hilo, and I think it's my favorite landing spot now. And another first was spending more than one night at Volcanoes National Park, which gave us plenty of time to feel relaxed and engaged. We did so much! And even the short drive from Puna to Kona was full of wonderful sights, and experiences.

So. Day three. We've done and seen a lot, and now we arrive in Kona... Keauhou, where we are spending a week in an oceanfront condo, with a pool! and tennis courts! and snorkel gear! and this view! (Have I mentioned Airbnb? They are not paying me a dime to say nice things, I just happen to think they are pretty great.) Our place was genuinely ideal. Pretty, convenient, and look at this view! How close were we to the ocean? I could have flung a coconut into the Pacific, from the lanai.

Another idea of our great location... Maria at the pool, and behind her is our rental van, and the end unit we stayed in. Sorry... I'm not boasting or bragging, or even implying that we were in a luxury resort, either... I am just saying: Airbnb makes travel affordable, exciting, and can bring fun and new experiences into your adventure.

The Kona side is the dry side, the sunny side, the let's snorkel at Kahalu'u, then get shave ice, then kayak from the King Kamehameha, then have lunch at the Kona Inn, then swim in the pool side. In other words: There is plenty to do when you are visiting Kona.


Shave ice~

Sorry about that.

One more plug for Scandinavian Shave Ice: They really are the best. This is not a snow cone. The ice is shaved, and at the perfect temperature to be like soft and fluffy snow. We diligently avoid artificial dyes, even making our own syrups at home, but this time we indulged and enjoyed all the wild flavors and colors... pineapple, li hing mui, lilikoi, strawberry, raspberry, lime, and Alex added mochi. Ono!

Kayaking~ Kailua-Kona and the King Kamehameha Beach

This was as close as Maria got to a luau! The King Kam puts on a big show, and we could see plenty from the water. The sun was setting, we were still wading around, bobbing up and down, eyes wide open, like frogs in a pond. We watched the hotel's luau, from the bay, and Maria was pining, yearning, longing to be at the luau for real. Next time?

And, on Aloha Friday, lunch at the Kona Inn~