Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hawaiian Plumeria

Hawaiian Plumeria
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.
Also known as the Pua Melia. At Hilo Hattie I bought two cuttings of

these to grow my own back home. They have been planted for a few weeks

now, and I just noticed them beginning to grow tonight. These were in

the front yard of the home we rented in Waimanalo, Oahu.

Sprinklers and Smirnoff

I just came in from mowing our yard. Granted, with a rain garden there is less to mow, which is really great. It took like 3 minutes to mow the rain garden side, compared to about 10 or so to mow the other side. This summer in the interest of eco-friendliness we have made some yard-related changes. We created and planted our rain garden, and we bought a manual lawn mower. The second change was mostly due to DH's poor luck with our new and rarely used mower. We bought it new when we moved here about four years ago. For the first year it worked ok, but shortly it developed a revving type sound, that was most annoying and ineffective for lawn mowing. At this point we hired local help in the form of our neighbor boy, and paid him to mow the yard. We figured this was a nice way to keep the neighborhood busy, give him a chance to earn some money (he's 12 or 13 I think), and build some relationships with our neighbors. But this spring DH took the plunge and overnight we acquired a manual mower. I used it for the first time last Friday, and found it to be a very good stress reliever. It was relaxing to be physically active while completing a chore, plus I liked the tangiblity of effecting visual change in our yard. I was inspired by the challenge these mowers present- you must keep up with the lawn- because it won't wait for you to mow it. It'll keep on growing.
So tonight I took the challenge, to mow the yard. This time I mowed all of it- not just half like last time. And after that I watered all my plants, herbs, peppers, flowers, lilies, plumeria, hibiscus, etc. And then I watered myself and that was the best. I hung our sprayer for our hose from an old clothesline pole that is in our backyard creating a fun little sprinkler. Then Genevieve and I ran through it, over and over again. After that childish pursuit I came in and drank some Smirnoff Pomegranate Fusion- and was and adult again. It was delightful, and one of those special things that only summer can afford.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Oahu sunset

Oahu sunset
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.

Weasel got floured while I made biscotti


Mario Batali's chocolate biscotti

I made this one Friday night. I had this insatiable desire to bake

something I had never baked before, and settled on this recipe from

Food Network. It was a big sticky mess to roll out the dough so I used

two layers of parchment paper to sandwich the dough, while I rolled

over it with a rolling pin. I had to keep asking DH to flour my hands

every time I touched the dough, but it all turned out really well and

very yummy. I brought a bunch to a supervision meeting I have twice

monthly, one such time is from 8-noon on Saturday mornings. It was

popular and a good way to snack through a meeting.

Yummy thai chocolate River Chocolate

From the Farmer's Market. It had ginger, coconut, lime, and chili in

it, all under a thick outside coating.

I got a new sewing machine!

I got a new sewing machine!
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.
On the left is my new Singer machine, on the right is my Aunt's old

Singer machine. Mine is all electronic, and it is wonderful. The fabric

samples demo what all it can do. The coolest things it does are thread

the needle automatically, and it measures buttonhole sizes

automatically to create the perfect fit buttonhole. Oh, it sews on

buttons too. Now I can do some mending and altering that has been

waiting for 1-3 years since my other two sewing machines refused to

work for me.

I did open pant surgery on some coffee print flannel pj pants that I

made a few years ago. Their elastic had worn out elastic. I opened up

the casing and reinstalled new elastic. I also found about four holes

that I was able to mend with the multi-stitch zigzag on my machine.

Getting it all laid out

Getting it all laid out
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.
The biggest part of the project was removing the grass. That part was

really hard work. It took us a few days of work to get that part done.

Then we had to dig a few inches down, I think 4-5 inches, to allow for

three inches of mulch of wood chips. For the plants we went down to the

Farmer's Market and found two different places that sold native plants,

and we cross-checked their suitability on our two lists of rain garden

plants. Two main type of plants are required, super hardy drought and

wet resistant plants that go near the top of the rain source (gutter)

and at the lower point marshy type plants are required.

I was trying to attain a natural kidney-bean shaped planting, and it

turned out to look more like a koala head, or Stitch's head from Lilo

and Stitch. This week I added three coneflower plants along the upper

back to create a little backdrop for the garden. It's been fun to watch

the rain collect and absorb, and the little plants are growing a little

bigger day by day.

All done!

All done!
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.


Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.
The left side shows the hail that went down the gutter, and the big

back-up it is causing. To the right is our newly planted Rain garden.

It acts as a reservoir to contain excess rain water instead of taking

it down the yard to the sewer system, thus preventing run-off of lawn

chemicals and fertilizers and such, from polluting our streams further.

It's an eco-friendly yard solution you can do at home in your own yard.

deck in hail storm

deck in hail storm
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.

hail storm #2

hail storm #2
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.
A few Saturdays ago, I think it was the first Sat. of the month, there

were two hail storms within a few hours' span. The second storm had

slightly more hail. I was talking to my Aunt on the phone about sewing

machines and virtually shopping for them with her when the storm came.

These are my basils, 2 sweet basil, and one thai basil, they looked

salted with really big Kosher salt, or water softener salt but it's

actually hail.

because I just hadn't posted this yet...

It's been done for awhile now. It is warm and wearable, and mostly

fitted and shaped, though I over-flared the bottom part. I

overestimated my hips. oops. The neckline is doing something a little

strange that I haven't figured out yet. I am trying to think of it as a

design feature, rather than a flaw. Maybe more blocking could help it


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Candy shop with koalas, and palm tree reflection

This is at the Aloha Towers shopping area in Honolulu, the first place

we went after we landed. There was a cute candy store there with

chocolate, and koalas.

boredom- problem solved

boredom- problem solved
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.
I knit this uber stylish bracelet (thanks Shelly for the yarn) while

waiting for a delayed plane trip to the Big Island. I had all my other

knitting in my checked luggage- for fear they'd be taken away, so all I

had to knit with was this mechanical pencil (thanks Elzbieta for these

cool pencils- they were a party favor at my grad party for my MA

degree) and this sparkle pen. I thought it turned out pretty well,

though it wasn't very easy to knit due to the dull points and the

plastic ridges.

Will's foot post sea-urchin

Will's foot post sea-urchin
Originally uploaded by CorgiMom.
Way back in April, of 2007, I know, not so long ago, we were in Hawaii

with Will and CarrieAnn. DH got to know Will at college, Michigan Tech,

and they've been friends ever since. Will married CarrieAnn, and DH

married me, so now all of us know each other. We went to Hawaii with

them for about 10 days. Will's main goal was to go surfing. He both

learned to surf, and stepped on his first sea urchin in Waikiki Beach.

What a souvenir! He had to have the big spine removed via microsurgery

in a small clinic in Waimanalo, and most of the other spikes have been

working their way out on their own. CarrieAnn also went surfing, but

fortunately didn't step on a spiny beast.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I've been tagged

Connie tagged me, once upon a time, so here we go.


1. Each player starts with 8 random facts about themselves.

2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their 8 random things and post the rules.

3. At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and post their names.

4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Eight Random Things about Me:

1. While my husband and I were dating I journaled on each day I spent time with him. I gave him all those journals on our wedding day.

2. I learned pretty much all I know about gardening with a retired police officer, Larry McDonald, who taught Rebecca Kohls about how to maintain her rooftop garden. Remember that piece on the news when she'd give the weather report from the top of the roof? Oh, and I ran into her at the Yarnery in St. Paul, buying yarn for her next knitting project.

3. I have swung from a vine, eaten "lemon ants" and swam in a pool at the base of a waterfall in the Amazon Rainforest, in Ecuador near the Napo River.

4. I have seen Blue-footed Boobies, and the elusive Red-footed boobies while studying ecology and biology in the Galapagos Islands.

5. When I was a kid I got the back of my earring stuck in my earlobe, and my Mom and I had to go to urgent care to get it fished out on a weekday night. And my Mom couldn't believe the back of my earring was stuck in there!

6. I have walked on crumbly lava, warm with underground activity. I also steamed my leg by accident while I was there in Hawaii on the Big Island. This was one of the most exciting things I have ever done, and I plan to do it again sometime.

7. I have pretty good intuition. I dreamt my friend had her baby and woke up mad that she hadn't told me. I got to work that day and got a call from her around 10am saying that she'd gone into labor in the middle of that night *while I was dreaming in my bed.* Another time I sensed another friend was going to have her baby, and she declared she was fine, and comfortable that evening when asked. About an hour later she went to the hospital and the nurse checked her and found that she was in labor already.

8. On 9-11 I woke up and for some reason felt like I should wear black. I usually wear more than 2 or 3 colors at a time, and seldom wear black. I dressed in black and felt like I was dragging through the early morning. Then I heard the sobering news.

9. That was such a downer I had to add a ninth post to the eight post meme. Hmmm. DH and I used to exchange e-mails with large vocabulary words as their subject. Often the words we selected were totally unrelated to the e-mail.