Second Trip To Maui With Harper - Summer Fun Part 2!

Kurt had to come back to LA early so Harper and Gamma and I had a lovely time, just us girls.

One of the main reasons I was there was to attend the 50th anniversary of Seabury Hall. There was a gala event Friday, July 4th. There were old friends to see and catch up with and new friends to make. All of us part of that amazing place, Seabury Hall. Charlotte Melrose was there, one of the most important women in my life! Of course I burst into tears seeing her, that's how I roll. Harper got to see Seabury too though I wasn't able to introduce her to Charlotte.


Sitting in the same spot I spent many a study hall, out on the bench, under the jacarandas, waiting for the next bell to ring. Harper got to spend the gala evening with the childcare gang in Cooper House (the building behind her). She had a GOOD time! "Had Pizza!" That's my girl.

The next day, Sandi asked us to come pick apples at her place in Kula. Perfect weather for picking! Harper picked away like a pro.



Then I baked them all into a crisp for dessert! And yes, even though I forgot to take them out of the oven, half an hour after the timer went off, it was still yummy!


Sandi also had dahlias to pick. We love dahlias.


One morning we met a friend for brunch in Makawao. On the way home we stopped at the Hui to see mom's photo in the Paniolo Country Exhibition. There is a stick house/art piece outside by entry that Harper had a good time exploring.



Mostly it was just low key stuff. A lunch trip to Zippy's (OMG the Korean fried chicken is my fave!)


Morning chit chats on the lanai.


Some backyard "pool" time.


Indoctrination into the world of crackseed. "Harper try this (shredded mango)." [she takes one bite] "Not good." Hmmmmm. I wonder if that's how my first try went all those years ago...


It was a nice visit. Harper LOVES the beach! She talks about it a lot. I guess we have beaches here in LA. I've heard stories.

The rest of summer is full of potty training and music class and looking forward to the wonders that will be nursery school in September!


Sad Passing Of A Wonderful Auntie

Dear Auntie Martha died a few weeks ago. She was my grandmother's sister and the last of her siblings (and siblings-in-law). She had a wonderful life and I'm so happy I got to be a small part of it, especially in these last fifteen years or so. She was a gracious and warm hostess, always, at her beautiful ranch house (a house I would emulate if ever I got the chance to build my own). I loved her sharing of family history with me when I was full of questions. And so much more. I'm so sad and will miss her dearly. But she will always be near, especially at Christmas, when I put her ornaments on our tree.

Aloha Auntie Martha!



Second Trip To Maui With Harper - Summer Fun Part 1!

Here's an awesome (read: "goofy") picture from the flight over. We both have similar expressions and it just makes me laugh!


(I should add a big "DERP!" to it...)

At the airport, Harper helped Kurt with the luggage.


After the luggage was opened and shorts applied to our sharkbait white bodies, we headed down to Baby Beach and Harper was SO excited about the ocean she would have just stayed there all night. She was really peeved that we had to leave without going in all the way.


But the next morning, we packed our beach bag and headed down. The tides were perfect and Harper was fearless! She really loved being in the water and we kinda had to keep a close eye on her as her swimming skills are not as strong as her enthusiasm.


But sand castles were also a lot of fun. We'd make towers and she would Godzilla right through each and every one.




Ultimately, swimming with Big Papi (no, not David Ortiz) was the most fun.

SwimmingwithPapi1 SwimmingwithPapi3

After the beach, we got to go to Star Noodle in Lahaina! I was so excited about this after hearing only great things and also cheering for Sheldon Simeon on Top Chef. The place did NOT disappoint. The best was the Ahi Avo - chunks of raw ahi and avocado in a chile-spiked dressing. DAMN. Okay the noodles were awesome as well. I wish I could order in from there every day! If you go to Maui, go to Star Noodle and get there early!

Starnoodle Starnoodle2









Gamma kindly bought some toys for Harper, a golf set and a bowling set. We created a new game called "Bolfing" and got a few good rounds in.


Later in the trip, Harper created an alternate version I like to call "Water Bolfing." She excels at it.


Soon Papi had to return to LA LA land and Harper, Gamma and I had our own adventures. More to come...

It's Pure, Look At The Label

Aji-msg-in-shaker-100gSo I was making green beans for dinner last night and while tossing the hot beans with butter I suddenly flashed on dinner at my GrandmaJane's house when I was a kid. She and Grandpa O lived in Makawao and I always loved going to the big ranch house for dinner. I especially loved her green beans. Her secret?


(For a certain few of you out there, you are now singing the tv jingle and will have it stuck in your head all day. Sorry!)

Look at that label: "Pure Monosodium Glutamate" MMMMmmmmm good!

Seriously, you just used to shake it on food like salt. Awesome.




I have so much to catch up on, blog-wise, but had to get this out first.


Envelopes and Stationery and Paper, Oh My!

HawaiiLetterThere is a blog I read by my friend and Seabury carpooler, Melissa, called "Julia's Bookbag." (Different Julia!) Every Friday she does a "Cool Stuff I Like" post and this week included a link to a post about amazing envelope inspiration. It is a collection of envelopes created by various artists. It brought me back to the days of intense letter writing I had growing up. Well, I say "intense" only because in this digital age, it seemed intense that I wrote so many letters back then. I still write my fair share now, actually. I love sending notes and thank yous and birthday cards in the mail. I love shopping for paper and cards and stamps and stickers.

Dc9stampMy parents got divorced when I was five and not too long after that my dad got remarried and they all (Dad, stepmom, two oldest sisters and Lucy, the best dog in the world) moved to the Big Island. My mom and my next oldest sister and I still lived on Oahu, then later Maui. I only got to see that side of my family two or three times a year (usually summers and New Year's Eve). So Dad and I wrote letters. Lots and lots of letters. I think my mom indulged me with colored pens and all kinds of stationery*. (Just as she indulged me in books!) I loved getting letters and I loved writing and sending letters.

Upss17jun90In high school I acquired about twenty West (at the time) German pen pals and seemed to constantly be writing letters, which I loved. (I still write to 3 of them!) Going to the post office in Paia to get mail was also so exciting. To see what might be in the box addressed to me was a thrill. That post office is no longer a post office but Box F will always be a strong memory in my mind. It was my grandmother's address, once upon a time, then it became ours.

CoconutIn college, during the summers, I wrote to all my dear friends, missing them all so painfully while I tanned and worked, counting the days before I came back to Los Angeles. The funnest part was sending coconuts to them all. You can mail just about anything as is via the Post Office, as long as it has the right amount of postage. (I sent coconuts similar to this one which I found on this instruction site for sending your own coconuts!)



Now there is a friend in Northern Ireland who has a daughter not much older than Harper. We promised we would have the girls be pen pals. We've written a few letters to each other in the last two years, but man it's challenging! So I am going to write a letter and mail it today. I PROMISE!


*Trying to remember where we might have bought the stationery from on Maui. Libertyhousebag
Liberty House? Hopaco? Shirokiya? God I loved shopping at Shirokiya! Hot Manapua and Hello Kitty pencil boxes and paper and stickers!! 200px-ShirokiyaUSA_logo

Two Year Celebrations!

We had a great birthday weekend with Harper. Friday saw the arrival of her new old-school Red Flyer Tricycle (thanks Uncle Glenn and Aunt Joanie!). She has not quite gotten the hang of pedals, but Dad pushing is a good thing.


Just for genetic comparison, here is me at 2 with my awesome three-wheeler!




And Captain Obvious dressed her for her big day. (I would be Captain Obvious.)


On Saturday we had a small group over for cupcakes and play time. Luckily it stopped raining though it was COLD! (Hey, for LA 55 degrees at 4pm is COLD!)


One of our new friends is Harper! No really, there is a Harper living two blocks away from us and she's only about a month younger than our Harper. Funny small world...

Harper and Harper enjoy last year's Red Flyer Wagon.


Speaking of the red wagon: Here was Harper last year on her birthday and this year:



What a difference a year makes! (And yes I do plan to do this every year...)

Catching Up On The Summer Fun

August has been busy and mostly good fun. Swimming continues and I'm amazed at how after five weeks of lessons (one lesson and one practice each week) Harper is more and more comfortable in the water and doesn't grab for me hardly at all. She still wears floaties and fins, and is getting better and better with the kicking and paddling. Plus just seeing her in that cap kills me every time!


Every time I put her sunsuit on I call it her Elvis suit.


I love this picture that Kurt took as the girl next to us was so funny and chatty. I'm making a Jen face for sure.


Harper also helps us fold laundry, yet she was stalled in her folding one day to put my undies on her head.(Yes, they were clean!)


But with that face, it is hard to complain. That FACE!


And just a thought -- these toys should probably not be sold or given to households with those that suffer from combat related PTSD...just sayin.


We got an old chair recovered. I've never done that before and the guy we were referred to was awesome. Cheap, cheerful and FAST! With pick up and delivery.

Here is Before:
ChairBefore1 Chairbefore2

And now After:

ChairAfter1 ChairAfter2

We were going to get a brighter, bolder pattern, but then Kurt brilliantly remembered that we have an almost 2-Year-Old...so we opted for darker for now.

We've tried some kite flying, though it's been challenging due to lack of wind. Most times this is how we look:


But last weekend we got lucky with a few stronger gusts:

(Harper also loves her sunscreen bottle.)

I was trying to figure out why in the world I remember kite flying being so easy as a kid. Then it dawned on me that, um duh, I grew up where the weather report said "Tradewinds 10-15 mph" EVERY DAY. Much more helpful for kite flying than LA where you barely get 6mph.

Speaking of Hawai'i:


And the sunflowers are starting to bloom and that always makes me happy.


And finally, the fork. A new tool in Harper's eating arsinal. (Note the right hand in ballast position.)


She hasn't fully decided if she's a lefty or a righty, but it is leaning righty...

Aloha 'Oe Spreckelsville

On December 21, 1975, Mom, Jen and I moved to Maui from Oahu. I was 8, just about to turn 9 and Jen had just turned 13. That was 37 years ago. It was a whole new start for us three, a start to a wonderful life on Maui.

Sunrise on Christmas Day, 2012

That era is over now as Mom is moving on. She sold the house and is moving this week to a smaller place Upcountry. (Still Maui, just a different neighborhood.) It's a good move, filled with new beginnings and possibilities and opporunities. But it's also a big huge sad good-bye to an amazing home and so many memories. It's a hard good-bye too because there is so much Jen in that house and Jack and GrandmaJane too. I cried every day I was home over Christmas. Every day. I missed Jen so much because of course she would have come to have a last Christmas there too.

I have to keep reminding msyelf that mom is not leaving Maui, just Spreckelsville. But it will be different from now on, especially with new owners because who knows how different the house will become. 

I wrote down a bunch of memories of the house. One specific sound got me going on making a list. The sound of the squeak of the latch on the cabinet under the sink in mom's bathroom. It's made that same distinctive squeak for 37 years.

The ocean is a big part of mom's house. The house is not on the beach, but right near it (last house before the beach). You can be lulled by the sound of the waves, though it's not too loud. When the surf is big, then you can hear it really well.

Spreckelsville is under the departure path of the Kahului Airport (OGG) and I grew up listening to planes departing. There is the first plane out every morning around 5:45am, then clusters of departures throughout the day. The planes used to be so loud you could not talk on the phone when they went over. You would have to wait, then continue. Modern jets are much quieter, believe me!

We got to Maui when I was halfway through 3rd grade. I started the new school year at Lihikai Elementary in January of 1976. Starting a new school is always intimidating, especially halfway through a year. On top of that, I was the only haole in my class, in my whole grade! I took the bus every morning with about eight other kids from Spreckelsville. We would stop at the old housing near the airport (long gone now) where other kids would get on the bus. They were the "Kahului Kids" to us because they went to Kahului Elementary and would get dropped off before us. I rode the school bus for three and a half years, then switched schools in seventh grade to Seabury Hall and carpooled from then on.

The drive from Spreckelsville to Seabury takes you along Hana Highway to Baldwin Ave. in Paia, straight up to Makawao, then it becomes Olinda Road to Seabury. I was a passenger for three years, then driver for three years on that road, every school day, and then some. I know that road so well I feel like I could drive it with my eyes closed. Not much of the actual road has changed. But I knew things were different when they put a stoplight in at Paia, lo those 20 years or so ago!

Spreckelsville was a big sugar town, once upon a time, and all that is left is our neighborhood along the beach. (And that has actually grown grown since we moved in '75.) It used to be just the small sleepy roads from the Club (the Maui Country Club) to the end of Stable Road. (And there were horses and stables on Stable road when we moved there!)

My Small Kid Time Memories are many, but here are the highlights:

-Roller skating in the garage. It was the smoothest surface in the neighborhood.

-Slip and slide in the front yard down the hill.

-Eating ripe mangoes right off the (neighbor's) tree.

-Going from the beach to the pool at the Club and back, and back again.

-My good childhood friend Patty who lived down the block.

-Flossie and her dog Uku across the street! ('Uku means "flea" in Hawaiian and Uku was black lab.)

-Our cat Peach, who was a feral kitten when we found and adopted her, and Daisy, the beagle mix Jen found at the pound.

-Cane spiders in the house after the sugar cane was burned off before harvest. Maybe it's not a highlight, but more like a hard to forget memory that is so specific to that place!

When we moved there in '75 our address was PO Box F, Paia. Then it became 204 Kealakai Place, which it remains. It will be really hard to now have to look up my mom's new address! But THANK GOD she is keeping her phone number. Man, that would have really knocked me for a loop. To this day whenever I pick up a new phone to test, I always dial that Maui number.

One of my last best memories is that Harper took her very first steps in the house! How wonderful to have a big first for her there to treasure along with all the other memories.


It was so tough to say good-bye. I walked through the house about 3 times, crying every time, before actually leaving for the airport. I touched the walls and said "thank you" to all it has given me, to my family. I am very sentimental so this goes deep for me, almost like a death in the family. (Of which there have been too many already.) But in the end, it's just a house and my mom moves forward to new things and I can't wait to see where she goes!

As Lili'uokalani said so well:

Aloha ʻoe, aloha ʻoe Farewell to thee, farewell to thee
E ke onaona noho i ka lipo The charming one who dwells in the shaded bowers
One fond embrace, One fond embrace,
A hoʻi aʻe au 'Ere I depart
Until we meet again Until we meet again
ʻO ka haliʻa aloha i hiki mai Sweet memories come back to me
Ke hone aʻe nei i Bringing fresh remembrances
Kuʻu manawa Of the past
ʻO ʻoe nō kaʻu ipo aloha Dearest one, yes, you are mine own
A loko e hana nei From you, true love shall never depart