Sunday, August 28, 2016

Miss Maizy

I have a new project.

A project that is blog worthy even.  So it has it's own, new, blog:

Restoring Miss Maizy

See You there!

Friday, September 18, 2015


The good news, my finger has healed nicely and we made our flight!

The bad news, Hawaii was experiencing record temperatures and humidity, the tail-end of a hurricane AND the day we left, a tsunami warning because of Chili's earthquakes.  The  heat kept us driving around a lot - as the car had air conditioning and our condo did not.

I COULD give you details - but as I was reading through my notes - I decided they were quite entertaining and left enough unsaid to add mystery and intrigue. I have added photos.

Met lovely couple who lived in Makaha but had vacation property in Stevens, WA.
Helped young girls get unstuck from sand, Peter hurt his back being macho
Got rolled in surf fully clothed - flashed life guards and some now traumatized children

Saw sea turtle basking on our beach
Went west of Makaha
Walked/jogged along road
Went to north shore - stopped at dole pineapple plantation
Ate lunch in Hale'Iwa
Cruised the beach
Toured the coffee farm

Our Turtle and her little friend were back on the beach in the am
Went to Honolulu and dropped in on Dale.
Went to Islands restaurant in the mall and had lunch, (including mai tai's)
Lost car in parking garage
Went to the punch bowl and war memorial
Drove east - saw the blow hole and two turtles playing in the surf
Came home through a long tunnel through the mountains
Took a sunset swim in Makaha. Fell asleep by 9:00


Rain!  Thunder, lightening!
Headed into Honolulu
Took a turn down Luauluaulei rd on a whim and ended up on a military base with very nice MP's who let us turn around without arresting us.
Went to the Hawaiian Plantation Village.  Peter played with a poisonous cane toad while I panicked and frantically googled cane toads to see if he was going to die.
Ate hot malasadas from a hot malasada truck
Pearl Harbor with realistic thunder and lightening sound effects and a plentiful mongoose population
Following Siri's directions went looking for a mai tai ended up on another military base (Fort Shaftner) and fortunately, again, didn't get shot.
Found somewhere else to enjoy a mai tai (or two)


Headed north
Went to Wai'mea valley and waterfall. Beautiful place filled with horrific blood-sucking, pleasure depleting mosquitoes. Could not get back to the car fast enough.
Lā'ie state wayside with natural bridge
Spied two island pigs strapped to the hood of a Honda CRV.  Can you say Luau??
After failed attempt to find Kona brewing ended up with happy hour dinner at the MonkeyPod on Ko'Olina (yummy lilikoi foam & macadamia nut mai tai and then a lilikoi martini)
Sunset swim in the ocean followed by a dip in the pool

Started the day with rain and laundry.
Peter went for a swim by himself
Then we headed west and explored the coastline
Stumbled upon a movie set for a web series.
Stopped by the Maunalahilahi botanical garden. Peter explored.  I stayed in the relative mosquito-free safety of the car.
Again, following Siri's directions, dined at Cisco's Cove - on a military base guarded by the same fellow who didn't shoot us in Fort Shaftner.
Went for a sunset swim on Makaha beach - a turtle swam right past us. I startled and screamed like a little girl!

Surfing at 8:00 am. Got stuck in traffic and arrived 15 minutes late.
After an awesome lesson took a long walk on Waikiki beach.  Not impressed - too crowded!
Sneaker wave, shoes got wet. Had no shoes to wear. Bought a pair of flip flops for $3.49 at Longs drugs - which saved my life as my toes had been rubbed raw by the surf board
Drove east past blow hole and along the beach then home again (after Peter went the wrong way on H-1)

Up at 5:00. Coffee and breakfast
Visited the NW corner of the island so lovely in it's emptiness. Saw turtles in the water. Finally and luckily Experienced Mackey's Shrimp Truck.  Fed little sparrows and chickens our leftovers.
Dinner at Roy's in Ko'olina with Dale and Cathy.

Wednesday - our last day
Drove west of Makaha again. Poked around on the rocks.
Peter rescued three little fishies stranded in a tide pool. Headed back toward our condo and stopped so peter could show me the 'dead sea lion' he had spotted days before.  It had moved to a different location and was wiggling.  Not dead at all!!
Got home, went swimming in the ocean, then the pool.
Peter chatted up a man with a Dutch accent by the name of Hank Zandberg who, freakishly, turns out to be related to Dini of the Holland Cafe in the Windmill in Lynden.
Got permission to check out later so we went back to the ocean.  As we were bobbing about in the water a sea lion swam by within about 10 feet of us!!
Got sunburned.
Made lunch of all the food we had left: Salad, banana, coke, popcorn, cheese, celery, juice, peanut butter, milk. A fine, but bizarre meal. Then we napped and finally left about 4:00
Enjoyed a farewell beverage and pupu's.
Now - sitting at the airport waiting for our flight.

Peter, being Peter
A dog on a surfboard

Lilikoi Martini


I have recently come to terms with the fact that I can work.  Working is good.  The money one makes from working is better and allows special little treats like new shoes and vacations.

This summer I have been working like crazy.  Rarely turning down an offer of additional hours.  Some time in July I had a well deserved day off and the phone rang.  It was the boss inquiring if I could cover a shift because someone was sick.  I smiled and said sure, hung up the phone and said:  "That does it!  We are going to Hawaii!!"  And just like that a lovely Hawaiian holiday was planned for mid-September.  Tucked right between my birthday (the 4th) and Peter's birthday (the 19th).

The rest of the summer proceeded to be unusually hot and sweltering.  A week before our much anticipated vacation, and entire month before expected, our grapes became ripe.  Not instantly, but it became apparent they would not last until our return. The fruit flies, the birds, nature would destroy them if we waited. We HAD to make wine, and we HAD to do it immediately!  Unfortunately, I was still putting in the hours at the Post Office so most of the picking, de-stemming, crushing, pressing, & barreling fell to Peter.  I helped when I could.  I helped frantically, passionately, and carelessly.  I was snipping and clipping grapes off the vine when I snipped and clipped right into my left ring finger.  Blood.  Everywhere.  I cursed.  I grabbed my finger, Peter looked up and declared it was time for first aid!  Then he asked me if I was going to pass out.  I guffawed and said emphatically, "NO!"  As we were traipsing back to the house and applying pressure the world started to close in.  Things started going black and I started to dwell on that "are you going to pass-out?" question.  I changed my mind regarding my original answer and, yes, I believe I was.

I sat down.  Peter checked on me and then trotted to the house for bandages and water.  By the time he got back I was completely horizontal.  You know I am in trouble if I lay down on the ground where there are spiders and ants and earwigs and squished grapes and other disgusting things.  Peter returned and bandaged and disinfected and forced me to drink water.  Then, bless his heart, he took my picture.

In my defense to this very overly dramatic pose - my right hand was on my forehead because I didn't want to rest it on the ground where all the nasties reside.

After 15 minutes of self-pity and wallowing in my injury I headed back out to the vineyard and continued, CAREFULLY, snipping grapes clusters.

We had to be in Portland by Monday night as we were flying out Tuesday morning.  Monday we were still pressing grapes.  But when all was said and done, we got it done. Hundreds of pounds of grapes processed in record time.

We have a pinot, cabernet, a white wine, some blended red and some concord.  Oh - and six gallons of beer. Because man (and woman) can't live on wine alone.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Congratulations! It's a bouncing baby girl!

It might be 50(mumble mumble mumble) years past due - but I would like to issue the following announcement.

I would like to announce the birth of Carla.
Younger sibling to Jerry and Sharon Hotho.

Those of you who know me, probably know I am adopted.  It's never been a secret to me, or to my brother (who is also adopted).  I have never felt like it was something that needed to be hidden.  I haven't, however, generally shared that I had other siblings.

The short version is:

  • A woman named JoeAnn got married and in about 1951 had a child she named Gary.
  • JoeAnn got divorced shortly after Gary was born.
  • In 1955 she had a child and gave this child to the childless Hotho couple who cherished this boy (that looked like a monkey - according to my mom) and named him Jerry.
  • In 1959 she had another child and gave this child, as well, to the now not-childless Hotho couple who gladly welcomed a non-monkey looking baby.  They named her Sharon.
  • JoeAnn got re-married and in 1961 had another child and named her Carla.

Really - that is about the shortest version of this story that is even remotely possible.

JoeAnn has since passed away.  Gary has as well.

Through the wonder of FaceBook Sharon, Jerry and Carla have found each other.  An amazing feat seeing as how Carla lives in Nebraska, Sharon in Washington and Jerry in Florida.  We span the US.

This past weekend Carla was in Oregon fishing for Salmon at the mouth of the Columbia River.  That was way to close for me to not go see her.

So after 53 years - I finally met my baby sister.

Peter and I picked her up and we went sightseeing in the Columbia gorge.  While we shared life stories Peter acted as chauffeur and was (not so) stealthily in the background taking photos.  We compared shoe sizes, hair color and blood pressure.  We talked about our kids - she has two and our animals - she has horses and chickens and dogs.  We talked hobbies and passions and skills.  She loves horses and can't cook.  I love food and can manage to feed myself quite nicely.  And we talked about her mother.  I learned a lot.  I was never overly curious about "my roots" while growing up.  I had loyalty for my parents and loved them very much.  Part of me felt that pursuing that information would some how have been disloyal to my parents.  I think mom would be more than pleased with this turn of events.

Carla's life was not easy.  JoeAnn's life was not easy.  Gary's life was not easy.  I don't feel their stories are mine to tell but Carla says Jerry and I were the lucky ones.  I believe her.

What I can share is that JoeAnn's mother was 1/2 Cherokee Indian.  JoeAnn was 6 feet tall and wore a size 10-1/2 shoe.  Information I found utterly fascinating!  It helps explain why my son has hit 6' 3".

As Jerry and I were growing up my mother never stopped being grateful to JoeAnn for giving her the gift of children.  She sent JoeAnn letters and updates and photos.  JoeAnn saved all these things.  Carla brought them all to share with me.  How cool is that??  She also brought me several photos of  her mother.

At our initial meeting Carla and I both expressed a desire to eventually be able to call each other sister.  I think we have made major strides to this end.  It's not an easy thing to take a virtual stranger and call her family.  It takes time.   It's a work in progress.  In the mean time we need to pull Jerry into this  and are trying to plan a family "union" - as we can't call it a reunion - next winter.  Jerry and his family, Carla and her family and, of course, my tribe.

There you have it.