Our triangle palm

Our triangle palm

You tower above everything…standing tall in the far corner of our lot in Kaneohe. Your trunk is now thick and rough from years of growing in the sun.
I remember when you arrived. We bought you at Star Garden Shop in Mo’ili’ili – it’s now a Walgreen’s. Triangle palm, you were a hot item on the landscaping circuit and the store manager recommended that we take you home. Your whispy silvery leaves fanned out of the plastic pot you came in and there wasn’t even a hint of a trunk. At twenty-five dollars, you were a high ticket item for us. We got married that year – it was twenty-two years ago.
Slowly your truck grew a bit and the triangle base of your fronds showed themselves for that is how you and your kind were named. We never put you in a fancy pot…your light colored fronds were fancy enough. You stood on a plate on Kris’ ice blue carpet…the carpet that I spilled a jug of oil on sometime before we sold the place.
Two years after you arrived, we purchased a home in Kaneohe. Kris nurtures plants – he truly is a plant whisperer – lucky you. You came along with the other plants he had, some before meeting me. The variegated ficus, a fishtail palm and some other plants came with us as well…I didn’t know their names.
In Kaneohe, you lived indoors at first. You had grown to over five feet in height. For the first year you stayed in the living room on our white Berber carpet. There was a lot of light streaming in from the jalousie windows. The fact that I never purchased any drapes helped let the light in.
Then we brought Latte home. She was my first dog ever, a buff and white Cocker spaniel, and I adored her. She taught me everything I know about unconditional love. And she was the cutest terror ever…racing around the house biting and chewing everything in sight, including us. We had to find a place for you outside to save your life.
In the covered patio we found you a place with the ficus, bird’s nest fern, and mother-in-law’s tongue and you continued to thrive. We added a water garden with white water lilies and lavender water hyacinths to the area.
When you outgrew that patio, Kris found a place for you in a corner garden – you were the focal point. It must have been a good move because lots of little palms sprouted from the seeds that came from the giant pods you produced. You tower at over forty feet. Now many generations of palms from your seeds are all over the island in new homes.
In a year or two we plan to sell the house and move. Sadly, you won’t be able to come with us. Until then, I’ll appreciate seeing the beauty in you and be grateful that I’ve been able to enjoy you for as long as I have.

Maddy and Murphy have enjoyed running around in a grassy park with trails and a fabulous view of Mount Olomana. While we were in Volcano the first part of the year, rain flooded the area and it’s been unusable until a week ago.
The area is not really a park. We’ve heard different stories about it, but I think the land is owned by the nearby golf course and it’s a flood control area. They can’t use it and don’t maintain it.
A few volunteer dog people have worked on cutting and maintaining trails. Lots of people who use the park don’t know this…these kind people do what they do selflessly.
Kris worked on a small part of the trail we’ve called Maddy Lane. She is happiest running crazy in this park. We’re so happy to be able to return to it!


This day started badly for me…disappointment with the way a meeting went with a group I cherish. Apprehension about facing a much loved family member with fear. With the help of friends and space, things can turn around. I found this poem by Thomas Merton on the On Being blog .

“There are days when I am convinced that Heaven starts already, now, in this ordinary life, just as it is, in all its incompleteness, yet, this is where Heaven starts. See within yourself, if you can find it.
I walked through the field in front of the house, lots of swallows flying, everywhere! Some very near me. It was magical.
We are already one, yet we know it not.”

~Thomas Merton (via crashinglybeautiful)

Photo from above Hilo. I love flying above Hilo.

One of the best things about making corned beef and cabbage for Saint Patrick’s Day is having the leftovers to make red flannel hash.

Sauté chopped onions, celery and fennel. Then add blanched, cubed potatoes, cooked cubed beets and cut up corned beef. Add herbs to taste.

It’s fantastic served topped with an over easy egg!


IMG_9687Ryan Peters taught a fabulous workshop in Volcano on fermentation. It was a fabulous learning experience and FUN! He took your fear of fermentation away by demonstrating the art with ease. It was interesting to see the variety of kraut chi (sauerkraut/kim chi hybrid) that everyone created from the same selection of vegetables. We selected from head cabbage, carrots, won bok, round onions, green onions, jalapenos, beets, turmeric, ginger, green onions, radishes, turnips…yes, you can use them all…and more!

We all used salt for the initial breakdown of the vegetables. Mashing them with our hands or other available tools (such as a handy carrot).


We packed our mixtures into canning jars. Ryan said that the type with a narrow mouth is better as it will help keep the veggies below the water line.


He talked about all the good things the fermented veggies do for your gut…and they are super delicious. The first photo in this post shows the variety of colors, textures and tastes that our small group created.


For more information from Ryan, check out his blog: Ferment to Be:


He’s got some classes coming up:


I wanted to learn more so I purchased the Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz, one of the books that Ryan shared.

IMG_0162 I’m teaching iPhone camera workshops and loving every minute. I promised the most recent class that I would give them a list of apps that we talked about in class as well as apps that we didn’t have time to cover. This is a short list of the apps I use most often. Please feel free to add any that you’ve discovered in the comments. With so many apps out there, there is much to explore. It’s so exciting!

Camera+ (be sure to get the one made by Tap Tap) – This is the best camera app that I’ve found. It’s good for processing (cropping, straightening, correcting exposure and color), has pretty good effects with good controls. I use this app in place of the camera app that comes with the iPhone because it has so much more functionality.
Pro HDR – Best app I’ve found for HDR (high dynamic range). When the scene has a dark foreground and bright background, this app takes two photos and combines them. You can use this for some cool double exposure effects.
Snapseed – Does a pretty good job of an HDR treatment even if you don’t use the app to take the shot. Has some great filters for a distressed look.
Waterlogue – A favorite of a famous football coach who took the class. Turns your photos into a watercolor painting. If you have an image you love that’s not technically perfect, try Waterlogue to give it a different look and forgive the imperfections.
AristaOil – This is good one for an oil painting look.  Maintains more detail than Waterlogue.
Blender – Easy to use to combine two images. Just import the two images to combine and adjust the opacity to your liking.
Photogene2 – For processing – has cool collages and effects. It also will watermark your photos (that makes it harder for thieves to steal your masterpieces).
Book-making apps for the iPhone or iPad:
SimplePrints ($29.99 for 20 pages) or Mosaic ($20 for 20 pages – shipping is $10). Mosaic makes a cool-looking mosaic cover. SimplePrints will give you more control – you can put multiple images on a page.
Lenslight – This app has great flares and colored filters, bokeh lights and the effects are editable.
Instaeffect – Layers rainbows, colors over the photo and you can adjust the opacity. Very fun!
Shapely – Put an image in a heart or teardrop, add texture and color.
Flipagram – make mini video clips from your photos, choose your music and share.
PixlrExpress+ – Free app that has a fun interface. Periodically, it has seasonal graphics packs that are also free – like Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year. Use it when you want to add text to your photo.
Tangent – Adds geometric shapes.
Slow Shutter Cam – Use this for slow shutter effects – long exposures and light trail effects.

I also promised a link to the iPhone case with the strap that I adore. It’s http://www.bandolierstyle.com. I wish I had thought of this.

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