We had to clear a lot of the forest to build our home. Now that our house is complete, we plan to plant a garden to fill the area and make it healthy again. Here are two views of the area in front of our house.

IMG_3474IMG_3469Pretty barren except for the citrus trees Kris planted a few weeks ago. There’s a navel orange, Meyer lemon, yuzu,, and makrut (better known as kaffir lime). The yuzu came with fruit and I’ve harvested about a dozen. It’s the most fragrant citrus and I don’t think there is a substitute for it. Here is the last of the fruit that was on the tree…you can see new growth and we’re hoping it will be a healthy, happy tree.

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The Meyer lemon has tiny buds and I can’t wait for juicy fruit. Meyer lemons are the best.

IMG_3476I just love finding subtle and not so subtle changes. Plants offer that endlessly. Here is the beginning of a fern frond. It will unfurl and become a huge feathery leaf. And this hau tree poked its branches out of the forest and started blooming…its blossoms are brilliant yellow.

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And this lichen…so beautiful.

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This day…Friday…on the Kona Coast. Observing kiawe (mesquite) beans that have fallen onto black sand. Shadows join.

What is this about? An online workshop called Contemplative Creatives Journey. The class is run by Bo Mackison whose ideas and art are aligned with what I would like to present to the world.

This is the first practice: Friday phenology.Definition found

The definition for phenology found online: the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life.

Because I travel so much, my Friday phenology when on the road will involve returning to a place. If it’s a place that I will not be frequenting, I’ll find something water-related in the area…ocean, lake, river.

This blog is where I’ll be “storing” these observations.

It’s been so long since I posted to my blog that I wasn’t sure if my account was still active. It is. Thank you, WordPress.com!

It’s been so distressful to watch the news on Facebook. I thought I’d try a return to actually writing stuff instead of 140 character or less posts on Twitter and Facebook. I do love Instagram…just photos, no text. 

We moved up to Volcano full time and love being on the Big Island. Murphy has adapted to the rain and will actually go out in it to do his business. Maddy loves running in the rain and all over our lot. It’s been a challenge living and working in our 900 square foot cottage with most of our stuff in storage. The back bedroom that is designated my office is so cold and damp that we can’t really work back there. It’s so humid that we can’t store envelopes there. Kris’ temporary file cabinet (the cardboard kind) has collapsed from the humidity. 

The good far outweighs the challenges. We’re in rural Volcano Village, just five minutes from the entrance to Volcanoes National Park. Everyone on the East side of the island outside of Hilo is on a water catchment system. We rely on rain for our water supply. Because we have no mail delivery or trash pickup, we go to the post office daily and drop trash weekly. It’s quiet here…birds, crickets and an occasional vehicle down our street. We live in a rainforest with hapu’u (native tree ferns) and ohia. Kris has taken out most of the invasive ginger and he’s planted a few anthuriums and cymbidium. I’m able to pick orchids, camelia and anthuriums for the house. Alstroemerias and calla lilies grown in Volcano are always available at the Farmer’s Market on Sunday. 

Hopefully, the house we’re building will be ready soon and we’ll have a nice big office. My kitchen is looking amazing and I’m looking forward to trying out the new stove. More to come.

We’re still traveling a lot for work. Yesterday we returned from a trip to Cabo San Lucas where we worked to support the photography team for a large software company. It was a little strange for us to just be processing photos and not shooting. I enjoyed it, but I think Kris missed the shooting part.

It feels good to write my first post. I missed having this to return to. If you haven’t given up on me and still follow this blog, please comment. I need all the encourgement I can get!

Ohia lehua…beautiful native.

Alstroemeria…one of my favorite flowers and I can get them in Volcano.

Murphy looking out at the rainforest.

I’m publishing this on my blog so that I can provide a link to this on Twitter. I feel powerless to do anything against the largest airline in the world. They simply don’t give a shit about their customers.

From American Airlines after they destroyed our printer. We were charged for additional bags on the second leg when we had to overnight because their flight schedule could not accommodate us on the same day. What do you think?

“Thank you for contacting us. We appreciate hearing your perspective about our checked baggage policy.

When a customer has an overnight stopover, the baggage fee will be charged at the originating point of the trip, as well as at the stopover point. Assessing charges for checked baggage was a difficult decision but reflects the reality of our business. The cost to the airline to transport baggage is substantial and the checked bag charge helps to offset that expense. We have “unbundled” (created separate pricing for) many of our services in order to keep our fares competitive. This also allows our customers to only pay for those services which they are utilizing. At this time, we have no plans to eliminate the baggage charges.

In addition, we are sorry to hear that your equipment was damaged when you traveled with us. Certain items in checked luggage are not covered under our Conditions of Carriage. We do not accept responsibility for computers and other electronic equipment. For additional details visitAA.com.

Ms. Scanlon, we hope to have our customers’ understanding as we work to remain competitive.”

When I used to walk around with my aging parents, I was always grateful for “small kindnesses” like these. They are actually huge.

Like the café worker who waved enthusiastically
to my father as he walked in the door of the coffee shop
like she was expecting him,
like he was a regular in this hipster enclave
instead of a septuagenarian
in khaki shorts and white tennis shoes.

He met me here on my workday
so I could help him format a document —
something he couldn’t figure out how to do at home
no matter how many buttons he tried,
something my mother always did for him
in the decades after he gave up his trusty typewriter.
So he arrived at the coffee shop
vulnerable and exasperated in that way
that only technology can make us feel:
like slow, dependent children — and
sorely missing my mother.

Like the barista who didn’t blink
when he ordered his coffee the wrong way,
when he said la-TAY instead of LAH-tey,
who took his order from our table
as if we were in a sit-down restaurant
and she was our waiter,
who smiled the whole time like a halo of warm light,
softening the space everywhere,
who made him feel like he belonged.

You cannot know how those small gestures matter,
unless you are him,
unless you are me, watching,
unless you see his shoulders relax,
in that way that we can do only
when we feel safe and seen enough to let go,
and his eyes dampen, the tiny liquid pools held in at the rims,
barely noticeable, as he smiles and says,
She always knew how to do this for me. For years she did this.
She would have been 69 today. How I miss her.

Siri Live Myhrom

From the blog: On Being.