Last week, Scott and Dillen helped us to chip coffee branches, we are officially finish our coffee season, feel very happy about it.
Terry had to work on our building project, so I took my time pruning the whole farm by myself. If I made sandwiches for Terry to take in the morning, I could work until two o’clock before lunch break. Some days I quit working early and cooked lunch for them around noon, at 4 or 5 o’clock I went back to work for another hour or two. Our friend Jerry prefers small lunch, so he can back to work easily without too full stomach, but I only can last a few days without rice. Usually We have rice with a meat dish and vegetable dish for lunch, it’s our main meal of a day, we don’t eat supper, only have snacks on your own. If several days without my regular lunch, I feel hungry and eat more food at the end of the day, it messed up our meal routine.
We had Scott to help dragging coffee brunches one day after I finished pruning, it was Saturday, Sonny helped too. Sonny is getting stronger, he dragged six big brunches at a time, then ran back to get some more. I told him not to run, he would get tired quickly. But he was full of energy and kept his own way of work, I guessed he had imagination games going on in his mind. I gave him complements and told Terry that evening. To further prove my words and how strong he is, he asked me to get on his back. So I stood on a chair and get on his back, he carried me and walked around in living room, say “ dad, look at me, look at me.” He was so happy about it, but I was happier underneath my heart secretly.
We just had a big round of coffee blossoms, I always have iPod with me when I’m working, so I had chances to capture these images below.
They are gorgeous, never get tired to look at them.
In 2018, I wish we’ll continue our small farming life and enjoy every day together.
We had a very easy summer time this year, didn’t go anywhere for vacation, Terry and I enjoyed our time a lot, but Sonny wished we took a plane and went some where.
Since no school, we can get up late, and take our time to cook and eat our breakfast, life with luxurious time is wonderful. Terry and I still worked around the house or in the farm for a couple of hours in the morning, after lunch, we can enjoy our time with reading, web surfing, napping, or watching a movie. Later afternoon, I took Sonny to his swimming practice, the only activity we signed up for him in this summer break.
This summer, I also took swimming lessons from coach Jessi, who is Sonny’s coach.
Kids practiced swimming from 3pm to 4pm, next one hour was free time, I got into the pool and refreshed the lesson which Jessi just taught me. The first two day, I just held a board and practiced kicking next to the wall of pool. I couldn’t put my face under the water when I reached the deep side of pool, I was afraid I would panic if I did. Slowly I got used to look at the the deep water as long as I held the board.
At my second lesson, Jessi set a goal for me, she wanted me to swim cross the pool without board at the end of that week. That Tuesday, I asked Sonny to swim with a board beside me, in case, if I need help, he could hand the board to me. With my dog paddle (forgot the proper strokes which Jessi taught me), we swam cross the pool twice, I was so pleased with myself. Sonny only swam beside me the first two days, later I swam cross the pool myself as long as I swam next to the wall.
Practice is the only way to learn a new thing, I played in the pool an full hour, four days a week. Slowly I could swam cross the pool in any lane, first I felt very awkward with my free style stroke, the more comfortable I felt in the water, better I got with my stroke. I’m not fast, but I can swim, the joy of my small achievements filled my heart every time.
I watched the kids jumping into the pool from diving board, it looks so fun, I wanted to do it too. First I need to learn diving into the pool from the side of pool, I asked Sonny to demonstrate it. When I stood at the edge of the pool, couldn’t help to think about the deep water and scared. I walked to the edge, the fear grew bigger inside of me, I kept patting my chest, tried to push down the fear. It’s no use, I couldn’t do it and backed away from the edge. Back and forth, a few attempting diving failed. I’ve never recognized the fear inside of me as strong as that moment before. My heart beat so fast, feared if I diving into the pool, my heart would jumping out from my chest. Five minutes later, I decided just step into the pool, not diving in. My right hand held my nose, a low scream escaped from my throat before I entered the pool. The feeling of falling was a kind of scary, because I had no experience, it’s my first time. But the buoyancy brought my body up a few seconds later, it was not too bad. I practiced it over 20 times that day, the fear in my chest became thinner and thinner as I stepped into the pool again and again. Now I know the feeling of conquering my fear, it’s a joy of fearless, I embraced and tasted the joy with full hearted greed.
Next day, I stepped into the pool from diving board. First time the same fear found its way back and sat in my chest, waited to see my action. I knew it better then, and I wanted to taste the joy of conquering my fear so bad, I threw myself toward the fear, popped the fear like a bubble. I repeated it many times until my heart contented.
I learned to swim, getting better every time when I spend some time in the pool. Learning swam is not a big deal, but it made me so happy and proud of myself. Learning a new thing could be so much fun, I’ll remember this and keep my mind and heart open for other new things, give it a try when opportunity come to me.
Our mountain apple tree was load up with fruit again this summer, some branches broke with heavy load, wild pigs were happy with the fruits on the ground.
Our friend John has a mango tree, it loaded with beautiful yellow mango, he tried to give away, since it’s mango season, he had hard time to give it away. when he found out that I like mango a lot, he told me to pick his mango anytime, even when he’s not home. John has well grown thick lawn, mango fell on soft cushioned ground, hardly had any bruise, except some had hole which damaged by birds or rats. I was so greedy, few times, I got 20 to 30 pounds of mango, I felt embarrassing. But John said to me:” if you don’t take, I have to pick it up and throw into compose pile anyway. Please take as much as you can.”
These mango had very good flavor, one of the best mango I’ve ever had. With so many mango, often I just ate 4, 5 mango as my supper, yum, yum.
There was another wonderful thing happened in this Summer. Jeanne Kapela, Terry’s god daughter was crowned as Miss Hawaii. I took this picture when she visited us on 4th July, later that day she needed to be presented in Kailua Kona parade. Terry is always happy to see her, we don’t see her often since she attends Kapiolani Community College in Oahu. Right now she is in Atlantic City, to compete for the title of Miss America. We are so proud of her, wish her walking on the big stage with families and friends’ blessing and doing very well. We’ll watch the 2016 Miss America Competition on Sept. 13 at 8:00pm on KITV, witness this very special moment of her journey.
It has been a while since I got back from the trip to China, our farm life continued and easier during the off season.
When I just got back from my trip, Terry was pulling suckers, Cal and I worked with him a couple of days to finish the job. Last month we threw a round of fertilizer, Cal spread a round of Botanic Guard, this week Terry and I just finished another round of pulling suckers.
If we don’t have any farm works to do, I had to find something else to do around the house, which is not very hard if I’m in the mood.
One afternoon, I had Cal to help me pick Surinam cherry to make jam. We made some before, it tasted very good. This time there weren’t a lot, I washed the cherry and cut them open to take the seed out one by one. It took some time, but I enjoyed the processing moment. Terry told me, I need use 50% fruit and 50% sugar to make jam. So I weight the cherry, it was about 6 pounds. When I weight the sugar, the amount of sugar scared me, I changed the recipe, just used about 5 pounds. It didn’t take very long time to cook, Terry helped to stir the cooking pot 40 minutes, I had a break. The jam came out very good, with less sugar, it kept the peppery flavor and a little sour taste. We kept two jars and gave the rest away.
Another morning, I didn’t have any plan for the day, but when I saw the ripe bananas in our garage, I decided to dry some banana. Terry bought a fruit dehydrator for my birthday last year, we only used once to dry some macadamia nut. Two days later we had a gallon jar of dried banana, very sweet.
With more time in my hand, I had my morning walk on Sonny’s school day. When Terry drove Sonny to school, I ride with them and got off at the bottom of our road, then walked up the hill. It usually takes half hour, sometimes it takes longer if I had camera with me.
One the road side, there is a house with a Jack-fruit tree in the yard, it loaded with fruits, ripe fruit smells so good. We have Jack-fruit in my home town too, I remember the taste, it has been many years since I had some last time. But it seems nobody care about the fruit, ripe ones fell on the ground and just rot there. So one morning I talked to Dylan who is living there, asked him, could I have one Jack-fruit. He told me he only eat one a year, he was very happy to give me some. He gave Terry two the first time, but they turn out not ripe enough. Second time it was a huge one, at least weighed 30 pounds, just fell from tree and had sweet ripe smell.
I was happy to taste this fruit again, and Cal had a chance to try new fruit. Later on, Dylan told me to get some more when there was a ripe one. I thanked him and told him that one Jack-fruit a year was enough to me too. We are so lucky and so rich with abundant food here, often we see fruit ripe on the tree, rot on the ground. Right now it’s mango season, so many mango on the ground, nobody cares. On my morning walk, I picked up some mango from road side, I love mango.
Jack fruit tree
Banana trees on our road
Labor Day was on Monday, no school, no work. Sonny finished his homework, freed to spend his time watch video or play game on his computer; Terry enjoyed his time reading, napping, smoking, watch TV; I spent my time to make dumplings.
After our breakfast, I decided to make some dumplings, Sonny asked for home make dumpling several times since I got back from my trip, and I was in the mood at that moment. I mixed the dough, then went to my garden to cut garlic chives. After I picked through the chives, got about 4 pounds, washed and cut, mixed with 2 pounds of ground pork and other seasonings as dumpling filling. I like to make my own dumpling skin, it seems stronger than the one from supermarket, but takes much longer time.
I downloaded a lot of Chinese songs when I was in China. I had the music player by my side when I was making dumpling, I let my mind following the music into the world which was described by the lyric, sometimes the song brought back some old memories and old friends into my mind. Making dumpling with relaxation.
At 1:00pm, I hadn’t finished the job. I stopped and made a quick lunch, some fresh made dumplings. Sonny had ten dumplings, they were pretty big size, he loves it and told me I was a good cook. I hope my dumpling will become a special dish in his life, a dish with mom’s special flavor, only can get from me. After lunch, I spent another hour to finish the job, made about 120 dumplings, then frozen and bagged them up. I used them for breakfast most times, it’s easy and quick.
I’m a person, very easy to get content and be happy. But that day, I was very very very happy, not excited happiness, but peaceful happiness, so content and comfortable. I have everything I want in my life, a happy family with a loving husband and a child. At that moment, my happiness just like wine, kept over flowing from its glass, it was one of the happiest moment in my life. I expressed my feeling to Terry, thanked him to choose this wonderful life style and build this place for me and Sonny to join him. A simple life is a good life to someone like us.
We’ve had most days of sunny weather since Thanksgiving, it’s getting too dry for coffee trees, they are not looking very good. Last night, we had good rain with lighting and thunder, that’s what the coffee trees need most now.
In the morning and night, it’s getting chilly, Christmas is right at the corner; but it seems we just had our Thanksgiving meal not that long ago.
Jason and Kollette hosted Thanksgiving party at their place, there was so much food, at the end there were lots of left over . After dessert, Terry was ready to go home, but the whole group just started Frisbee Golf course on the farm. We left Sonny and Callum behind, our friend Morgan brought them back later.
Next day our picking crew came to pick coffee, and we picked too, since most pickers went back to mainland.
I took a video when Terry was pulping coffee, Morgan was there too, in this video they look like busy working bees. Sonny is practicing Maple Leaf Rag, it inspired me to use this piece of music for the video.
We had our coffee milled last week, now we have our new crop. It’s a very small crop, but the beans look very nice, shiny green jade color. I remember read on a magazine,” Kona coffee are the most beautiful coffee bean on the world”.
We have 4 tangerine trees in the farm, two of them load up with fruit right now, and they are pretty good this year. We can’t use it all ourselves, but we love to share with our friends or people we know. Every week we need to get out there, climb trees, pick a few buckets. Yesterday afternoon we picked 2 buckets, Terry climbed the tree, picked and threw to me. Between catching those tangerines, I took some pictures.
Several days ago, I went to check my garden which is near these trees, I picked a basket by myself. I climbed the tree with basket, set it down on where 4 or 5 branches grew out. I really had fun moving between the branches (they are very sturdy), tried to pick ripest ones, tossed into the basket near me. It only took very short time to fill up the basket, but it didn’t fill up the basket of my enjoyment, so I picked couple more and ate them in the tree. Right at that moment, I remembered someone told me before. People of my tribe believe that, if a girl or woman who climb a fruit tree, they will spoil the fruit tree, the tree won’t produce good fruit anymore. At that time, I thought it was just another superstition, but I had never climbed a fruit tree before I moved here. Now I think it’s just a rule made by man, tried to keep the fun to themselves. In last ten years, I climbed our fruit trees many times whenever I had to, I didn’t spoil any of our fruit trees.
These are cilantro flowers in my garden, I took the pictures this morning.
Christmas was great for Sonny, he got 18 presents, two more arrived in the afternoon, one from uncle Jim and another from aunt Jeanette.
New year is coming up. Terry and I are both terrible with holiday greeting cards, even we don’t send holiday cards, but we always keep good thoughts and wishes for our families and friends. We’ve been married for 10 years, these 10 years seem very short, time fly so fast when our life is full and content.
I hit 40 this year. I did not know, for a woman, you could feel so good at this age. I’ve never felt like this in my 20’s or 30’s.
In my 20’s, I just step out from school, from home into the world, worked through different jobs, followed some sparking lights came to me, wished it would lead me to a good future. I tried as good as I could, I was living in the future.
When I was 30, married to Terry who I love. It was a big transition to me. I left everything and everybody I’ve known behind, moved to a new place, tried to adapt the things surrounding me. We were trying to understand and communicate with each other in better ways, learning to live together, like any other newly married couples. I was happy, but not hundred percent sure that this was the life I was looking for.
Today, I’m living in the life I could never have imagined before, a life meant to be mine. I believe a person has many sides of him or her; some sides of them hid away, some find it, some never do. Most people are not aware what kind of person they are in other people’s eyes, they can’t see themselves as other people see them. I’m not exception either on this. From time to time, through many things happened to our life, Terry saw the person inside of me, and told me his point of view. It definitely help me to see inner side of me, accept who I am, make me a even better and stronger person. Even with more white hairs I found on my head, I wouldn’t trade 10 years younger life with the life I’ve got right now. I’m living in the present, in peace, enjoying the happiness.
For all the above reasons, I decided to make a picture slideshow, to share with everyone. My original plan was using this year’s photos, then I found I don’t have enough good photos. So I decided to use some old pictures, and some of our friends and families’ pictures too. We don’t have everyone’s photo, who we know and love; besides, it’s impossible to include everyone in this 3 minutes slideshow.
Some of Terry’s friends on the slideshow pasted away several years ago, our friend Jack and brother Ken just pasted away this year. I included their photos, because they were sparking lights of our life, their lights will always shine in our hearts.
To be good friends, it’s not necessary to see each other every week, or talk to each other every day. Some friends you haven’t seen or talked for many years, but whenever or wherever you meet again, you definitely delight to see each other. Picking up the conversation right away, exchange news of each others life. Time of together is wonderful, when the time come, to go separate way, you both will move on. The friendship between you two will stay with you, go wherever you go, until you meet again. The true friendship can not be separate by distance, the pure friendship will never fade away in time, it’s timeless thing.
Last 10 years, Terry helped me to look at things in different point of view, opened my mind to embrace new things and new ideas. The biggest change in me and I recognize, is my ability to love. To people around me, less judgement, more love. I always can find good sides of people who around us, love their passion to different things, love the way of their living, love their unique personality, love their difference from other, love them just to be themselves.
We all like music, Terry prefer jazz, Sonny like piano music, I like different kind of music. There are so many great music artists out there, and I don’t know many of them. But when I find a good song or music, it can make my heart sing; it make me so happy, I have to give Terry a hug or kiss to express my happy mood. We are so lucky, living in a time, have access to so many music.
James Blunts has been a successful song writer and singer for many years. I just discovered his music this year, and fall in love with it; Sonny and I listen to his music a lot. Before his new album “Moon Landing” came out this November, his team had sent emails to people like his music, had shared some of his new songs. Sonny and I watched his video of “Bonfire Heart” and “Satellites” many many times, I pr-ordered this album and love it. I used his “Bonfire Heart” for the slideshow, the lyric could be for anyone.
To me, the person you love is the spark light of your bonfire heart, not the only one. There are so many spark lights around us, white clouds in blue sky, twinkle stars over our head, ocean, mountain, giant tree, tiny wild flower, even your cuddling cat, or a beautiful song, can be spark light of our daily life. See the beauty of everything around us, love what we have in front of us, it will lead us onto a good road, toward the happiness of life.
Sheila has a flower farm in the neighborhood, she invited 9 girlfriends for flower arrangement party on last Saturday.
Last Friday was flower harvesting day, I had to take Sonny to dental appointment in the morning, Terry went to help picking flower. Later I came back and took his place. There were only 4 people picking flower, other ladies couldn’t come.
By noon, we took a break from picking, started washing these flowers. There were two big wood rectangle box, one filled with soaping water, another with fresh water. Soaping water is not only for cleaning flowers, but also for getting rid of bugs. It really took some time to wash these flowers, after I done some washing, I will be much pickier next time when I harvest flower.
It was around 5pm, we thought we don’t have enough flower, so Jessi and I went out with her car again, loaded up the trunk as fast as we could. It was getting dark when I walked home, the air was cool and I had a long day.
Next day, every one brought some food to share, and enough flowers for every one to make 4, 5 arrangements. It was so fun to play with beautiful flowers, plus food, music and friends. Check out some of our arrangements.
Last weekend we camped at Ho’okena beach with friends. Ipo and Kollete organized and reserved the whole camping ground for Friday and Saturday nights. This beach allow 22 tents and 44 people a night, we were a big camping group.
Sonny and I joined them on Saturday morning, as soon as we set up our tent, we took a walk with few friends on the trail along the coast which lead to City of Refuge.
Most parts of the trail are lava rock, you have to be more careful, not to step on any loose rock. It won’t be fun tripped and fall on lava rock. We stopped and looked at many interesting formations of lava rock, especially the ones right by the water.
It was getting hot, we found a spot for swimming, jumped in and cooled down.
We started with two boys and seven adults, Sonny and a lady left us and went back to camping ground, right after the swimming spot.
We saw these triple urchin shaped rock, three ladies posed for our cameras, fun, fun, fun.
It was around 9:30 when we started, took us 3 hours to reach City of Refuge. We ran out of drinking water, hot and thirsty, glad to see Ipo who came to pick us up.
Back to camp, first thing I did, was jump into water. I saw some dolphins not too far away from shore, and few people around there. I had my fins and floating noodle tied on my wrist, wanted to see those amazing animal again.
First time I saw dolphins closely was a year ago, I went out with Joni; swam close to 5,6 dolphins for few minutes. I was awed by their graceful movement, beautiful feature, shine through their gentle and friendly nature. I think they are the most beautiful creatures on earth, “Angle” is the exact name made for them. Their appearance make them seems smiling all the time. Swimming with them and seeing them, it make the sunshine light in your heart, make you want to smile back to them, only the wonderful thoughts and feeling around them. I’ll remember this first time forever.
A week ago, I swam close to them for second time, I went out with Kollete, Lucia. I counted, there were over 20 of them, swam in a big circle; we hang around them for 20 minutes. They seems like to swim in a small group, 3 or 4, always touching each other. Some one swam up side down right below another one, very playful; young ones like to leap out of water, very active.
On this third time, I heard lots of their chirping sound, there were quite bit communication going on between them. Seeing them made this day very special to me. I swam out farther this time, I’m getting braver.
Friends get together, food always is a good part of it. It was barbecue night, so there were meat, veggi, fish on the grill; I made noodle salad and curry chicken. Sid fried a big tray of fish, it was good; I forgot taking a picture since I was busy eating it.
At night, all of the kids had a great time, ran around with flashlight. Sonny wanted to stay awake all night long, but he came into our tent before 10pm, took a little while for him to calm down from the excitement, fell sleep.
Sonny got up early next morning, found other early rise kids and played together. After breakfast, back to ocean for some more fun time.
We live close to the forest, wild pigs often come down from mountain at night, dig every where to look for food, they became a problem to us. Especially in winter time, it’s drier and less food up on the mountain, they always make big mess then.
Jerry lent his pig trap to us and helped Terry to set it up under one of our Avocado tree. About a week later, one pig was caught but escaped, pigs are quite smart and strong. Terry called, Jerry came to fix the trap. They put a lock on the gate, if a pig get into the trap, it has very little chance to escape. It was only 3, 4 days, we got the first pig, it was Friday, August 30th.
Ama who is Jerry’s younger son came, shot the pig and took it home, butchered it alone. On Saturday, we both went to their house to help cutting up the meat. Jerry is a very good cook, he made pork adobo for that day. Next day, he and Ama made some sausage, cooked on the grill and other marinated pork.
The sausage were the best, better than any kind sausages from store. I said to Jerry, ” Your sausage recipe is great, if we catch more pig, you can make some sausage for sell. Friends and neighbors will love it.” He said:” No, you don’t sell the meat if you get it free. The more free meat you get from nature, the more you give away to share with other people, the more you will get. It’s a karma, a cycle.”
I like this idea, he put it into words, made me understand local Hawaiian’ sharing custom; it make me more respect and love these native people, who seems always have big love heart.
Last weekend, we went to Hilo for Sonny’s swimming match, spent Friday night at a friend’s house, came home on Saturday afternoon. Next morning Terry went to check the trap, he said we got one pig in the trap. I thought he was joking and didn’t believe him first, cause we just caught one pig a week ago.
He called Jerry, Jerry and his two sons came half hour later. Jerry shot the pig inside the trap, they butcher it at their house, Terry lent a hand.
Jerry cooked some meat for supper the same day, he is going to make some smoke meat and sausage, and we are going to make some Laulau together on Wednesday. He asked me to take some to home, cook any way I want.
This is the smoked meat I made yesterday, and cooked this morning, we had it for lunch. It’s one of my mom’s recipes, simple ingredients but takes some time to make it.
We have a friend, young man who likes to hunt, gave us a half frozen pig to make more room in his freezer. It took me whole day to smoke the meat, and my cooking pot was not big enough, I had to use the same pot three time, to cook all the meat. We invited this young man and one of his friend for lunch that day, and sent them home with half of cooked meat. This young man’s father who I never met, liked it; he told one of our neighbor who is vegetarian, he had never tasted any pork like that. I took it as a complement, I was glad they liked it.
A week later, this friend brought up another half frozen pig. I cooked it, made everyone happy; it was a big job, I wished not to do it again in short time. Our freezer was full, I turned down our friend’s request a couple of times after that.
I remember Jerry told me, that you’ll never go starving live in Hawaii, if you know how to fishing and hunting. And you can grow all kind of food or fruit on the land too.
When we were in Hilo, I just realized how bright the colors of nature are. I couldn’t get enough of the blue sky, white clouds and green plants; I took lots of pictures.