Thursday, December 30, 2010

Two MAJOR events!

Finished. Finally! finally. whew! I am so glad to have finished this sweater. And it is actually really beautiful. It is so warm and soft and I have even already sewn the ends in! This is the part I usually neglect for quite a few wearings before sewing them down. But I wanted to put this project behind me - so that I could start a new sweater, guilt free. But now, I have to assess my yarn situation because I have so much sitting around I don't know what to make of it all! Wish me luck!

And now I need some more well wishes and luck.
I have a new kitty.
I stopped at the Morris animal shelter yesterday and came home with this little guy. he doesn't have a name yet because we have to see how things go. So far, not good. Jacques. is. not. happy. He was so shocked last night that he crawled under the papazan chair in the corner and growled and hissed all night - and even went after me. He finally gave up on the living room and went into the bathroom to claim territory. Then he slept with me and the little kitty decided to claim the bottom of his standing basket.
This morning didn't go much better Jacques couldn't believe it wasn't all a bad dream and just wanted out of the apartment. So I let him out. Now I'm blogging and Jacques is trying to reclaim his territory. The little one is holding his own. But I'm worried. Jacques is still. very. unhappy. I fed them and Jacques was growling the whole time he was chewing. It sounded like he was saying, yumyumyumyum, over and over. Now he's stalking around growling at this little thing. The little one just wants to meet him. I really want them to be friends. Jacques needs one.
I got the new kitty because Jacques was SO lonely while I was gone in Hawaii. I've always known that he misses me and I've always wanted to get him a buddy. I really hope I did the right thing. This new little guy is so sweet. He just wants to be loved, is about 1 year old, and doesn't jump up on things (yet). He does, however, scratch everything. So we are going to have to nip that in the bud. He has the longest tail I've ever seen and when Jacques growls at him, it poofs out like a bottle brush. I've decided to give them until next weekend, 10 days. If things don't get better, the little one will have to go back. Too bad, he is so sweet.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Aloha, Aloha

Hello and Goodbye to the beautiful Island of Kaua'i. Today was the last day. Tomorrow I fly to California to spend Christmas with my dad and Ann.
But today... I saw the moon set over Hanalei Bay:
and the sun set over Kekaha Beach.

It doesn't really matter what happened in between.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Aloha!

Ah - yes, I am on the beautiful island of Kaua'i with my friend Mary - a fellow book artist. It is about 9:30 in the evening, we had Island Sangria, (Gew├╝rztraminer, little gin, soda water, sugar, pineapple, rambutans, bananas - yum), and now I'm sitting on the balcony - it's about 80 degrees and I'm blogging. This is part one.
What is a Rambutan? - it is very similar to a lychee fruit. Except that it comes in this very funny outer covering.
Pretty yummy.

We start everyday with the alarm clock of the island:
I wish I were kidding. These birds are all over the place - there must be at least five that live in the bushes under my window. They start about 5:30 am. As of today I don't hear them so much. But it takes a night or two to get used to them. What I really want is a handful of those feathers.
Everybody seems to get along. There are a few cats and they pretty much leave the big fowl alone. I would too.

Its the rainy season at the moment, and so there are flowers everywhere. The beautiful yellow one (at the top of the blog) grows on giant trees 20 feet high and they are covered with them. They are everywhere on the island. When the yellow flowers fall off, they turn this beautiful red color.
The trees grow next to several of the rivers and so you see the flowers floating along.
We did a hike of the Na Pali Coast today. There were tiny purple orchids everywhere - guavas were ripe and falling off the trees and then there was this little passion flower.
Doesn't it look like it should come from outer space?

It has rained for two days straight. Pouring rain all day, well, it comes and goes but the sun doesn't shine and you don't get dry. So yesterday we did a tour of a chocolate farm. It was fascinating. Not only to they grow cocoa trees, but they have vanilla (which is an orchid!) they grow and harvest bamboo and several other things. It's a completely organic farm.
Here we have two cocoa pods.
and here are the vanilla pods (still green).
The tour of the farm ended with a talk about the history of chocolate, and how it is produced. Then we had a blind chocolate tasting of 10 different chocolates. It was very interesting to compare them. I now know what my favorite american made chocolate is (they didn't include any swiss or german chocolate. Hmmm - maybe because they can't compete with them?). And I can get it at Whole Foods. Speaking of whole foods:
our haul at the farmers market. We got green beans, bananas, papayas and rambutans. Plus I found a plumeria at the Kaua'i Coffee plantation. We also manage to put away two pineapples since we got here.
And believe it or not - it is even Christmas on the Island. We have seen some amazing decorations to say the least. From a tree decorated with lays, to one with soda cans, to this bougainvillea that was decked out with silver and gold balls.
Quite beautiful! And then last night we were hoping for a reprieve from the clouds and rain and such - and our wish was granted. We got to see the end of the lunar eclipse! We left the apartment and ran out to the golf course and just watched the stars and the eclipse. It was amazing! This morning we discovered we'd been eaten alive by the mosquitoes, but it was worth it.
If you double click on the image, the little white dot in the middle of this black photo will turn into the moon at the end of the eclipse.

We've spent some time at Hanalei Bay.


And the other day we ran into the man himself at Safeway.

He said he was resting up for the big night and graciously took a picture with us. That is - a friend of his (wearing a baseball hat that said, "I believe in Santa") took the picture. There is more to come, more to blog about, but we did the hike on the Na Pali Coast today to the waterfalls. I am pooped, but I will post more soon.