Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Beginning

I woke up early today, about 5am, bursting with energy. I'm so excited that our new lives are finally on their way! I let the trepidation (ok you asked for it, now its here) wash over me and laid in bed thinking about working for someone who owns a boat and takes tourists out. There I was on deck, sun shining, clear, blue, blue water, wind whipping through my hair, hanging out with the happy tourists of the day, knowing they wished they were me. I decided I needed to balance my energy out so I got up and went downstairs to do yoga. It felt so good, my body instinctively knowing the poses, my eyes closed, it felt good to stretch and build up a sweat, my heart pumping, my muscles flexing, my mind relaxing. When I finished, I did my normal prayer "May I be free from fear and harm, may I be happy as I am, may I be at peace with whatever comes". Extending that out to someone I love I repeated it to Dan. "Dan, may you be free from fear and harm, may you be happy as you are, may you be at peace with whatever comes." And finally, extending the love out to someone I have a difficult time with, today it was my mom. "Mom may you be free from fear and harm (fighting the inner critic that says yeah right), MOM may you be happy as you are (let it go), mom, may you be at peace with whatever comes". I have all this great energy flowing through me so I ask for all the things I want Kauai to bring us. Health, joy, beauty, financial security doing something we love, doing something outside every day, bringing us closer, making us stronger, the dogs happy and safe from fleas, ticks and all manner of inconvenience, friends, connection, love for our new home, whales, sea turtles, dolphins, monk seals, birds, trees, flowers, waterfalls. I'm just so happy that we are on our way!

Today our plan is to chill. Read, take naps. We're going to celebrate New Years with Brian and Tiffany, head over to their house around 5. I think I'll have shakes fro breakfast and lunch in preparation for the big dinner and lots of drinking!!

I wish everyone a happy and safe New Year's eve and a fantastic New Year!! 2010 here we come!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Last Day

Today was our last day at work. Not much to say about it. I felt fantastic all day, a long awaited day had finally come. Dan felt weird, had butterflies in his tummy as we walked out. It's been a long time, now for the next chapter!

Starz Ohana

What a fantastic day today turned out to be. Vince, the director of our department, had a going away party for us. Being that it is New Years week not a lot of people are at work but, about 30 people were there, cookies and coffee laid out and Suzanne started the party with a speech she made:

To the priests, experts in a field - kahunas
and beloved friends - hoalohas

Congratulations - Ho'omaika'i 'Ana
Congratulations on your new house - Ho'omaika'i 'Ana Ma Kou Hale Hou

A gift for you - He makana an

Farewell to you - Aloha 'ow

Good Luck - Pomaika'i

Thank you - Mahalo

15 - 'Umi kumalima

years - konohi

Happy New Year - Hau'oli Makahiki Hou

With love -  Me Ke Aloha

Your family at Starz - ko ohana Starz

She read it really funny, which was great because I got to laugh really hard and release a lot of the anxiety I was feeling, being the center of attention and all. The gift was a $330.00 gift certificate to Outfitters Kauai, for our choice of adventure. So for $356.00, we are going to do the full day adventure Kipu Zipline Safari consisting of kayaking 2 miles on the Hule 'ia River, hiking private foot paths in a lush rainforest valley and through hand carved 100 year old tunnels, a ride on a one of a kind farm wagon with spectacular views of Kipu Ranch made famous in films like Jurassic Park, enjoy a picnic lunch, an 800' zip line though a forest canopy, go on a tandem 1800' zipline, cool off at the beautiful, secluded wet and wild Blue Pool, try the t- bar water zipline and splash into the water, and finally hike back thought the rainforest, kick back and relax as a Hawaiian style canoe motors us back. Wow, what a gift! Our hearts are filled with joy from the love, support and encouragement our friends - ohana - are leaving us with. Suzanne and Elizabeth put a lot of time and effort to pull it off. Elizabeth is out of town so I went to thank Suzanne, her kindness overflowing as we talked of our plans. Later, I went into thank Vince. He may have a job lead for us, he knows some guys who work with National Geographic, they're out of Boulder but do a lot of work in Hawaii. As he was walking away he says "you guys are gonna be fine, you're gonna be better than fine". I think he's right!

Thank you for the gift:
Suzanne Heintz
Elizabeth Daly
Vince Hostack
Lisa Charchenko
Chris Paul
Jessica Creasey
Scott Waknin
Ted Intorcio
Brian Sternkopf
Vern Hunt
Debbie Taylor
Sean Richardson
Jen Houlihan
Dale Peak
Rich Tramazzo
Shannon Hall
Cynthia Wickencamp
Linda Holloway
Wes Bane
John Freeman
Mark Sweeney
Eric Benner
Jonathan Hall
Kris Brothers
Che Che Mata
Kandy Berry
Mark Dissette
Tiffany Habberkorn
Brian Kintz
Shane Aranda
Lisa Jascott
Tamara Smith Roldan
Stacy Libbrecht
Dave Cary
Penny Theobold
and 3 signatures I couldn't read

Sunday, December 27, 2009


The house is almost empty. Today Susan came with the kids and got the china cabinet. We also gave them some coats, make up, and exercise stuff. Deb and Travis were here too. They ended up taking a lot of stuff with them which is funny cuz I don't know where they are going to put it all! Trav helped Dan take a lot of stuff to Goodwill while Deb helped me pack the china. Great friend to have when packing, she LOVES to pack! She was singing and dancing and traipsing all over the house to find little things to put into the nooks and crannies of the boxes, can't have any waisted space. At one point she got scolded by Dan, he saw her slip something in the box and Dan goes "What is that"? Trav: "Reisling" Dan: "We don't need to be taking that" Deb: "I thought it would be nice when you unpacked" Dan: "No, take it home".  We are plum tuckered out! Now that the chores are done and everyone went home, it's pizza and wine for us tonight!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I gotta say, going into this day I was shut down, not knowing what to expect I wasn't prepared to feel anything, plus we are still a little sick. We headed out to my brothers house at 11am. The jeep was silent as we drove in the 19 degree weather down streets lined with brown snow. The sky was whitish grey and the Christmas decorations on Main Street, stood sentinel, alone. The day seemed a perfect metaphor for how I felt. On a childish impulse, I put on Green Day's American Idiot/Jesus of Surburbia, the music turned down, we kinda jammed to ourselves. At one point I leaned over and cranked it, the band was singing "I don't care if you don't, I don't care if you don't, I don't care if you don't care... oo oo oo I don't care!" when they got to this lyric, we were really getting into it:
Everyone is so full of shit
Born and raised by hypocrites
Hearts recycled but never saved
From the cradle to the grave
We are the kids of war and peace
From Anaheim to the middle east
We are the stories and disciples
Of the Jesus of suburbia
Land of make believe
That don't believe in me
Land of make believe
And I don't believe
And I don't care!
I don't care!"

We were really getting into it, and at one point we just looked at each other and started cracking up! 

Everyone was already there as we pulled in front of Greg's house and my stomach began to lurch. At the door, the kids greeted us with squeals of delight. Walking in, we said hello and Merry Christmas to everyone, we didn't say anything to Barb bad Greg, they didn't say anything to us. Having greeted (almost) everyone, I went into the kitchen to put out the food we brought; salted peanut bars (my personal new favorite, a hopelessly addicting confection that Beth brought to our going away party), spicy sausage dip (another keeper from the going away party that Nichole brought) and "deviled eggs". They are technically stuffed eggs since there is no spice in them to make them deviled. Barb breaks the ice. She put a salted peanut bar in her mouth as she asks me what it is, loves it and we talk about how I made them, she wants the recipe. She moves over to the spicy sausage dip and slathers some onto a piece of toast I brought to accompany the dip, I warn her that it's hot, she takes a little off, and loves it. She wants the recipe for that too. The ice is mostly melted now. I get some sangria to help loosen me up and sit down with Dan who is playing pick up sticks with the kids. We fall into a comfortable rhythm, everyone is cheerful, in the holiday mood. Setting up for the family portrait was hilarious, trying to get everyone in the right place and the kids to smile all at once. 

At one point, over dinner, Greg includes me in his conversation and at that moment I know everything is ok and mom and dad will get their birthday party. We left Greg's house at 5 and headed out into the dark, cold, snowy night with our bellies full and our spirits lightened. On the 45 minute ride home, Dan's sister Susan texted me and wanted to know if we wanted to stop by for some pie and coffee. We headed home to feed the dogs and let them out and then went over to Sue's house. Welcoming as always, the family was really happy to see us, as we were them. We caught up, I played with Savannah's Wii yoga, Dan helped Jonathon with his computer problem, the boys played some kind of DJ video game, Dan schooled Sue in Farmville while I went upstairs to Savannah's room to listen to her play piano. We played Pit, our traditional game. It's a stock market game and get's really loud and is a lot of fun. Finally, at midnight we headed home, even more uplifted, such a great family! 

Recipe for Salted Peanut Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/3 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1 pkg. (10oz) peanut butter chips
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
2/3 cup white corn syrup
1/4 cup softened butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups Rice Krispies
10oz pkg. salted peanuts

Mix yellow cake mix, 1 egg and 1/3 cup softened butter until crumbly and then press into a 9x13 pan (no need to grease this) and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Next, cover with the 1 1/2 cups marshmallows and put back in the oven until the marshmallows puff up.

Meanwhile, melt the peanut butter chips and then combine with 2 Tbsp. peanut butter, corn syrup, 1/4 cup softened butter and the vanilla. Then add the Rice Krispies and salted peanuts to that mix. Once everything is combined, dump this mixture over the marshmallows to cover.

this needs to sit for a while to set up. you can put it in the fridge for a couple hours if you are in a hurry. Enjoy!

Recipe for Spicy Sausage Dip

1 lb. of your favorite sausage ( we used Spicy Italian)
1 can Rotel tomatoes with habeneros 
1 block of cream cheese, room temperature

Remove sausage from casing and brown in skillet, add tomatoes and cream cheese, mix. Serve with toasts.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


The more I know, the more I know I don't know that much. I think I understand. I thought I understood. Time is so fluid, bending to each moment, showing me a new angle, something I hadn't noticed before. It reminds me of my favorite Grateful Dead song lyric "Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right". My friends Brian and Deb have shown me that no matter how (dis)functional your family is, they are your family. That doesn't mean you buy into abusive, insensitive or mean behaviours. But maybe you can tolerate it a little easier if you put yourself in their shoes, something I can extend to friends and colleagues easier than I could family. In the process of leaving, I have noticed that people either share in our joy or repel from it. I, being me, took it personal and found fault with it. Deb has helped me understand that it's just hard to say goodbye, and some folks would rather not do it. Maybe they decide to circumnavigate the goodbye by avoiding the person, maybe they create distance through strife to make it easier. I have learned not to take it personally. Some people understand it is life, people have to go their own way, down their own lumpy path, to find their home. Back in the day there were heartfelt letters and occasional visits to keep in touch. Today, with technology, it's easier to stay connected. Facebook, email, Skype, cell phones, we can stay connected. It isn't as intimate as being there but it is better than nothing. Dan and I got hit by the dreaded and much feared H1N1, and are living to tell about it! We have spent the last 5 days recovering. We are doing pretty good today, I'm still pretty woozy. I think tomorrow I can go into my brothers house with peace in my heart, goodwill towards my family, hope for an apology and expect nothing. I got the talkin part done, wish me luck! I do think we'll all be closer for it. Already, I feel closer to my folks. I see now, they have been walking a tightrope. One side is staying connected with Dan and I. The other, the opposite. They are going to miss us, the things we do for them, the easy companionship we provide. They fear for our safety, maybe even our marriage. They do the best they can, sometimes falling on the side of disconnection sometimes, bringing us closer. I too walk a tightrope, one side old grievances easily triggered by something as small as a tone in their voice, the other side is connection.  I can not control how our friends and family decide to react to our departure. I can understand, that for some, it is a hard thing to support. Life is for the living. Dan and I need to do this for ourselves, for our marriage. I can already see Dan easing into this new life. Being sick has forced him to relax. Yesterday, we decided to go into work. The closer we got, the grumpier he got. We didn't last long, wore out by the effort once we got there. The further away we got the happier he got. We decided that since we were out, we may as well pick up some staples, mail the certified check for rent and deposit, and change the title on the jeep over to our names. Usually, when he is sick and having to run errands he is not his best self. Yesterday though, I saw the Dan I fell in love with. I like to call him Danny. Patient, kind, playful, thoughtful. We used to go to the mountains a lot. Once he got up there, a big smile would spread across his face and his eyes would be the color of the Colorado sky. He would be so happy, content, easy, adventurous, bold. Dan and his friend Damon, in these moments would say "aaahhh, look at them blue jays". So, I call them his blue jay eyes. Recapturing those blue jay eyes is part of what this move is about. Why stay in a place when you are not challenged or inspired or have a place to grow towards? I understand if you have a family to support, perfectly reasonable thing to do. We have no kids, we have each other. This is what we have to do.

On a lighter note, we got our HD camera today. He is very excited about it. We'll shoot the family tomorrow and maybe I'll learn how to post video!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

I am amazed at the power and strength my inner voice has given me, that using my voice has given me. When it came to defending myself, always, in my family, I have kept silent. By speaking out to Greg in what I believe was a firm way, with the idea of standing up for myself, I have received yet another lesson. I feel like I can stand up straighter, a little taller. I'm stronger for it.

Later that evening...

And the lessons keep pouring in. Deb, my steadfast, compassionate, supportive friend read my recent posts and sent me this email. God, I  love her, wise woman that she is! But, with her honest opinion, which rings true in my ears, comes more confusion. Was is not my higher voice shouting out but my baby girl voice?

Even later that evening...

To set the lesson, we watched Ice Age 2. Basically, I watched what I am going through right now in a cartoon!

On Dec 23, 2009, at 5:09 PM, Deb wrote:

Hey baby, a little story:

So, when I was in Korea, I had a really tight relationship with a few British people - one guy in particular, Chris.  I had quite a crush on him and he did on me too.  But, there was another woman who also had a  crush on Chris, was very possessive and was my roommate.  She did everything she could to keep Chris and I apart.  Chris asked me to go to Thailand and China with him when he left.  I still had 6 months on my contract, so said I couldn't at that time. 

The story is, about 2 months before he left and after I told him I wouldn't go with him for now he started acting weird; he really started pulling away from not just me (but it was particularly with me) the whole close knit group. See, Chris was the first to leave the group.  The closer time came for him to leave, the more he wouldn't have anything to do with any of us and, in fact, started hanging out exclusively with the people he always hated and put down constantly.  Suddenly it was like he was in love with these guys and in deep hate with us. 

We all got together (his old group and his new group and students of his) and had a big surprise going away party for him; and he didn't show up.  Thinking that perhaps wires got crossed and maybe he didn't know he was suppose to drop in at the friend's that night, we called him and actually begged him to come and told him about the party, but he refused - and later he wouldn't even answer his phone.  He didn't come home until the next morning just to make sure that no one was waiting for him (his roommate and a few of his new friends were.) 

He only said goodbye to his new friends, never said goodbye to me or my roommate (we 3 were the closest) or even his own roommate and some of the other older group.  I was heartbroken, and just couldn't understand what had happened.  He sent postcards while he traveled only to the school, never to any of us; and only emailed members of the the new group. 

I had been back in the States for at least a year before he finally emailed me.  He was in Bangkok and wanted to know if I wanted to meet him there and then go to Japan to teach for a while.  I was already in Colorado by then and my life was set for the time.  I tried to get him to come here, but he wouldn't.  We emailed for at least a year back and forth, but it finally ended when I lost a job and my email address and didn't remember his.  

This is what I realized later...saying goodbye to people you really care about affects people differently.  Chris was the first to go, but in the next 6 months I saw people change in various ways before they left too.  Most withdrew from the people closest to them.

That was my M.O. too.  Because I was always the one who left, I didn't know the affects.  I always sort of sneaked out of town without saying goodbye too - esp. when I knew it was somewhere I wouldn't return too.  I had myself convinced that no one really cared anyway, or would even notice my absence.  (I would often find out later that some really did miss me, and would ask what the heck had happened.  My answer was always that it was just too hard for me to say goodbye.)  Since I was the person (up until Korea) that was always leaving, I didn't really notice how people (myself included) acted.

I think the people closest to you are the ones who act the worse --- and ---  are the ones you react to the most.  They are also the ones who hurt you the most --- but--- are also hurt by you the most.  And, because deep emotions are involved, no one can really see what is going on.

Also consider that the money he owes you may not be the real issue, but that you want to use it and your parents not applauding your move to help you separate from them.  Remember this is your first time moving away and it is really hard when you have had a close family - dysfunctional or not.  This is normal, don't worry about it.  And remember too that Dan has already gone through this process before, so leaving - even though you soo soo want it and are going to paradise - is much more traumatic to you and your parents. 

Also, about you brother....  Can you consider the fact that a man with 5 children and a wife he clearly doesn't respect or probably even love  and is struggling in building a business is pretty damned jealous of you guys getting to "run away from it all" - (I imagine that is probably the way he feels about it.)  He is probably feeding the shit to your parents as well because of his jealousy.  He is acting out.  So, the point is that you don't have to be kind to him or give him a break or anything, it is that you don't have to let it affect you because it is created from a very negative feeling.

Love you both and try to feel better - both physically and emotionally. 


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Along time ago, about 17 years ago, my fiancee Mike told me I was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I never understood what he meant until years later. Now I see it in my family. My parents, and even by brother, can be very kind, thoughtful and loving. I haven't spoken about that part, but here is an example. My dad called, brokenhearted, after speaking with my brother. Greg called him and told him what happened. He told me what he knew and I listened. I told him how I felt and he listened. He said the biggest disappointment in his life was that my brother and I didn't get along. I told him I understood. I wish I had a brother that I could feel safe around, laugh with, share with. But, it is what it is and that isn't us. He said, through tears,  he really wanted to get a family portrait on Christmas day. As frustrated as I am, I can't take that away from him. He has been a good father, doing the best he knows how. I understand that I am shattering his version of the American Dream. I understand that mom and dad are worried for us, if we stay, we are close and safe. It's hard for him to express his love when he feels so scared about what is happening. Another benefit of this debacle with my brother is that I can see this clearly now. Somehow, it made me closer to dad. Reminded me that he is a good, kind, thoughtful, loving person. He and I aren't sure if Dan and I are welcome in Greg's house, but, I told him we would go for an hour so he could get his picture and we could see the kids one last time. Dan is reluctant, worried that another fight will break out and that he will not be able to stay silent or calm. Dad understands this and knows if Greg starts up, we will leave. I am sad because the whole reason we stayed so long is because we (I) wanted to spend the holidays and mom and dads birthday with my family. Dad says forget about their birthday, and that is sad too. We'll see what happens.

So, Dan and I called in today. My stomach isn't sending out what I put in anymore but it sure doesn't want any food. For the last 2 days I have been living on water, tea, meal shakes and some soup. I didn't really eat this morning, tried to drink a shake but only got a couple drinks down. It's 11am and I told Dan I was going to have to eat something because I'm getting really dizzy. We're going to order from our favorite chinese place, they have the best broth and they deliver, plus, we have have the leftovers for dinner.

I just got a text from Gracie. "hey I am so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so sorry for that one day I was so mean and I am sorry for saying that to you" Now, it just breaks my heart that Gracie is feeling any guilt for this and is being drug into this nastiness. I wrote her back "Honey I told you it was ok, I know it's not coming from you, you heard someone else say something and it hurt your feelings so you acted out, it's ok, you're 8 that's what 8 year olds do. I so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so love you, please, please, please don't feel bad about it, it's ok". So Gracie says back " K I just really want you to come for Christmas". Dilemma. What to say to this precious 8 year old child? I ask Dan and we decide to say "We would like to also but you're gonna have to ask your dad about that". Ugh!

Dad just called after speaking with Greg. In tears, he explained that he told Greg this may be our last Christmas together and he thought we should be together. He said Greg agreed. So, my plan is to get better so I don't get anyone sick, and so I can be in tip top shape mentally, I'm going to need it!

The Gift

I have been trying to let my inner voice guide me. That is why I listened to it in regards to my brother. I went to bed last night wondering why it was so strong, with the outcome, I couldn't understand why. I woke up at 3am thinking about it again. I noticed that I had a fuck you feeling towards everyone. It has been hard for me to connect with people on an intimate level my whole life. Leaving Colorado, I wonder why I don't have very many close friends. Dan and I work hard at making our marriage work, and I am very thankful that the one deep connection I have is this one. So, laying in bed I got into a tailspin of nobody cares. I started feeling really aggressive. Then it hit me. If your family gives you the message that you don't really matter then what makes you think anyone else will care. The building block of all my self destruction as a teenager seeping into my adult life. Now I see, I needed to see. I can go forward into my new life with this awareness and make meaningful connections. One of the reasons I want to move to Hawaii is because the people there make it easier. They believe in connection.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Digital Media

Emo posted a very interesting article on Facebook yesterday. It was called How to Live Happily on 75 Percent Less. Since we will be living on considerably less than that soon, I had to read it. One video RE:Invention took my breath away. This is a 10 minute story about people who have been affected by the economy through layoffs or swindled by Bernie Madoff. Their lives are richer for their losses. Another video about how to profit from your passion interviews Gary Vaynerchuk, author of Crush it! He is all about digital media and its presence today. He is sure that like the corporate newspaper downfall, cable television subscriptions are next. He talks, passionately, about creating content for the web. Writing, videos, or audio. It doesn't matter, just create content and a lot of it. So this got my little brain churning. I have two ideas that I am really excited about. One, either continue this blog or create a new one called Island Life. Dan and I are buying a HD camera (the guy in the interview says quality doesn't matter but, come on, we're talking about Hawaii here) and with that we will travel around Kauai/Hawaii and shoot snorkel trips, events, concerts, surf competitions, hikes, bike rides, places to go and post them on the blog. We get to travel around, do cool stuff, meet cool people and write it off, possibly (hopefully) making a living. The second idea is another blog. This one would be about organic, sustainable food. Dan and I could go to restaurants, farmers markets, farms, fisherman, stores and do interviews/reviews for the blog. Brenda is going to put us in touch with her friend Nancy, she has an idea for a mini doc for the web, based on her life. Which would be interesting and fun. While shooting we could blog about her farm on the food blog. Or, we could go to the place we stayed at in Poipu, shoot the condos, orchid garden and restaurant. We could post on the Island Life blog as well as the food blog, all while writing it off! So that's my idea, today...

Ah Family!

I really don't want to contaminate this blog with hatred but I need to remember this.

I don't even know where to begin in this crazy mess. I guess I can start at the beginning. In September, Greg, my brother wanted to come over and buy some of the stuff we are selling. I told him I didn't feel comfortable dealing with family, we need to charge fair prices because everything we make is going to support our new lives. He said he understood that and came over in early October. Of course we gave  them and the kids a lot of free stuff, but the total still came to $123.00. After adding it all up, Barb says they forgot the check book. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal. Ok, so you are coming over for the sole purpose of buying stuff and you forget your check book. Whatever. But, my brother is a taker. So I was immediately incensed. I decide to give them the benefit of the doubt. We see them 2 days before Thanksgiving and Barb says oh yea, I owe you some money don't I? (Really?) Yes, I say. She asks me how much (Really?) I say $123.00 and she says ok and just sits there. Three days later we are there for Thanksgiving, still no money. Needless to say we are still empty handed. Now, it isn't even about the money anymore. It's the principal of the thing. I feel like they are stealing from me, and why is it that your are a jerk for asking for your own money back? Last night I got sick, running to the bathroom four times to vomit. Dan feels sick too. At any rate, I was laying curled up in a ball, stomach cramping, skin hurting when a voice loud and clear tells me to deal with this. Dan and Deb think I should say something, I don't want to. I know it will be futile, it's a lose/lose situation whenever I try to tell my family something they don't want to hear. They get mad, turn it around on me and I just end up feeling worse. One day I vented to dad, he said he understood and wanted to fix it. He would give us the money. I told him that wasn't the point, I didn't feel like he needed to pay Greg's debts, it's the entitlement, the fact that he is basically stealing. So, this morning I sent him this text (yes, text, the older I get the less I want to argue) I warn you, it gets graphic, it escalated really quick.

From Marta to Greg and Barb: I want my money this Friday. I don't want to have to ask for it, I don't want it to be a big deal, just walk up to me and give me my money. Otherwise I will consider it stealing. What kind of people steal from family? No one with any honor, no one in my family.

Greg: I have no fucking idea what you are talking about and you better get off the crack you are smoking. You should learn what family is because you sure have no idea how to treat them. If this is over that 100 plus dollars that I thought Barb gave you no problem you can have but don't ever worry about seeing us again. Your text is nothing but pure rude. Have a nice life.

Marta: (trust me, I know this is childish and it only gets worse) How convenient that you don't know if you bills are paid or not. What is rude is stealing from your own family. I have not seen any of the money or heard anything about paying it. It isn't even about the money anymore, it's about family stealing from family. I guess we'll put the kids cards in the mail (we always give them money) , have anise life.

Greg: Man you got some balls for a woman. The kids need nothing from you anymore. Stealing is when someone does something on purpose. We did not. Barb was intending on giving you the money last time you were here but you left without giving anyone a chance to react or say goodbye. I do not pay my bills Barb does. I travel providing a living for my family not worrying about the bills. You're so simple minded. I sure hope you won't need any help if you fail in Hawaii because we will not be available.

Dan: This is Dan. Ok you sexist ass, insulting a woman is so mature. Grow up and get some therapy you angry clueless idiot. Marta tried to say goodbye but Barb was more worried about watching Tv to even respond. And ask for help from you? What would ever be the point? According to you and your bitching, you're broke and have no money. Oh wait, your business is doing swell. Get over yourself. And you should think about stopping taking from your parents and consider paying them back. You seem to take from your family really well, but paying for what you got, doesn't happen. Pathetic. And Marta reminded Barb about the money you owe us. She said oh yea, how much? Marta told her $123.00 Then Barb says ok and just sat there. Nothing about going and getting it or anything. That was when we were there with AK. We saw you again 3 days later. Nothing. I don't need the money. It's the fact that you came into my house and took things with out paying for them. That's called theft. You have had ample opportunity to make this right, but instead you are going to be the angry child and end the relationship with your sister. Your parents know all about this and have offered to pay your bills yet again. We said no because we assumed that Greg is a big boy, and can pay his own way, guess not.

Greg: man you two are perfect for each other. Who is the idiot ruining a relationship over $120.00 (you) Ally you had to say was maybe you forgot or something but could you have the money when we come over Friday? You would have got the check that has been sitting here for three fucking weeks. But I guess your extremely smart way of threatening and insulting people is much easier for you two. I have been on the road almost everyday since Thanksgiving. I assumed that my wife had sent the check but she did not. easy solution ask a question but don't threaten but I guess in your life treating people like shit gets your point across and makes you feel better. And as for mom and dad i am not the one running away, yes he helped mw while I took a risk and started a company. And yes I am repaying him by building an extra wing on my new house so they don't have to go to a nursing home, what are you doing? Oh yea, breaking his heart be ruining a brother relationship and moving to Hawaii.

Marta: You are right, you are such a straight up and noble person. I am just the asshole who has to consistently ask for her money back. I thought you didn't know it didn't get paid, now you know it has been sitting around for three weeks? And believe me you have taken a lot from dad, he has paid your bills. Gee what a great supportive family everyone else matters but me! My dreams? My money? only your petty guilt trips and anger hum, thanks for making it easy to leave!

Greg: Women who throw rocks in a glass house. All the things mom and dad did for you when you were struggling (I moved back in for 1 year after a bad relationship to pay off the debt I let him get me into) and then have an opinion on them helping others? Wow! Yes they helped me when we were struggling. parents tend to do that something you have no clue about. Don't judge me with your pathetic, small minded views on life. I owe a great deal to my parents and when I make more than my bills they will be paid. Just because my company is doing good does not mean more money for me. It takes a lo to run a company and the owners are not the ones making the money while it grows. If you ever get your own going you will find that out. I have a debt with my dad that will be paid back with interest. I need not explain myself to you or anyone. Your pissy ass views on life show how you treat people. I'm glad we made it easy but we are not the ones who care. Have you hugged your dad at all while he is crying from a broken heart about you leaving? I bet no since its all about you and your perfect judging everyone world. Keep living your perfect dream and just maybe the rest of the world can grow up and be as perfect as you two.

Barb: Wow. it's in the mail.

I admit my initial text was inflammatory. I have only excuses, I was tired of asking for my money, there is a lot of history with them taking, I'm sick and stressed. I think Greg's reaction is extremely over the top and exemplifies why I didn't want to do it in the first place. The thing is, it doesn't hurt anymore. I don't care anymore.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


It's only noon and today is already a fantastic day! Dan is giddy right now because two huge pressures have been alleviated. The paper work and money ($290.00) for the dogs is on it's way to the Department of Agriculture in Hawaii. It needs to be in the mail 30 days before we get to Kauai. Yesterday, he went off to the bank to get a certified check and then to the post office to mail the 1/4" thick worth of paper work they require.

Just now, he got a call from the realtor Jimmy Johnson in Kauai. Jimmy, a surfer, has all the information he needs so the place is ours! All that's left to do is sign the lease and wire him the money. If he has the information for us, we'll be doing that tomorrow. After my dentist appointment (for the implant), seeing Avatar (on the IMAX screen), buying a new HD camera, and having our name (not the banks) put on the title for the jeep.

We met Brenda (former Sr. Manager of Marketing at work) at Crowfoot Coffee, a local coffee joint, this morning. The Christmas lights and decorations created a magical setting as we sat down to breakfast burritos and coffee. Me, I can't resist the calorie laden egg nog lattes this time of year. It was energizing to be with her. She is running her own business ("As broadly experienced writers, Bloomery Forge crafts the hand-forged tools – concepts, copy and content – that will make your project sing. Because we know the language of developers, agencies, art directors, photographers, and designers as well as the words that move consumers, we think you'll also find the process as easy as it is successful. Living and working abroad – in Berlin, London, Oxford, Oslo, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Auckland, NZ – as well as the major cities of these fine United States, has been the perfect preparation for our feature articles. Our lifestyle stories have covered everything from the fine fit and finish of a luxurious residence to eco-adventures in St. Lucia") and loving it. She says she doesn't make as much as she used to but the trade off is more life. She is happier, doing things she loves, spending more time doing what she is passionate about. She is working on a project for an old colleague writing about luxury resort homes in the Caribbean. Her eyes light up as she tells us she had to go to the Caribbean to do research! She is singing my tune! More Life, Less stuff! Passion and magic infiltrate the day. Turns out, early on in her career she was doing a documentary on a couple (the first in modern times to build a traditional Polynesian log canoe and sail it across an ocean), Bob and Nancy Griffith (mentioned here) who owned a sail boat and were circumnavigating the globe. As payment they took her on a journey sailing from California to Oahu, over to Kauai and finishing on the Big Island. She brought a book with her that the couple wrote, Blue Water: A Guide to Self-Reliant Sailboat Cruising. Animatedly, she tells of her adventure, joyful, like the young woman she once was, I can see her, going back in time, to life on the ocean. It changed her. Her friend Nancy, now nearing 76, owns an organic Kona coffee farm on the Big Island called A'ama Farms. I leave feeling like I wish I had spent more time with her. I had no idea I had such a treasure of a friend. Her experience, wisdom and joy are inspiring, uplifting. She left some of her joy with me, for which I am truly grateful.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Conversations With Strangers

I'm feeling the aloha spirit all the way down here in chilly Colorado! Hadley, Shane's girlfriend, happens to know some folks in Kauai! So, she talked to them for us and here is the conversation, via email that we've had

Date: Thu, 17 Dec 2009 11:42:37 -0700
Subject: Hadley's friend
From: Marta
To: Summer

I am Hadley's friend who is moving to Kauai. Hadley says you are moving back to Hawaii on Saturday and that you grew up there. How cool! My husband and I are moving in January, we will be there on the 22nd. If you have time I would love to talk story with you. We can use any tips, tricks, suggestions and friends that we can get!


P.S. Good luck on your finals

Aloha Marta :)

Wow, how exciting, moving out here to Kauai! I'm moving from here to Ohio...tomorrow, lol -- to my husband's hometown. I am definitely going to freeze! I wish I could be here when you guys got here to help you get situated and all, but I can put you in touch with my family (if you'd like) so that you have someone here on island that you can call if you'd like to meet people and check out the island scene local style. Out of curiosity, why the move to Kauai? And what part of the island are you planning on living in? That will help me give you some more info.

I'm from the east side, a town called Anahola. It's past Kapa'a town on the way to the north shore. Oh and feel free to check out this site, and take a look at the "Samples" section for some great pictures. My mom just wrote a book about our town and she's a great resource to have when you move...she knows a lot of people and can give you some good island-living advice while you're here. I'd love to give you a call but probably won't be able to sit down and have a good conversation until after this weekend...hope that's okay! Maybe you'll get Hadley to come out and visit you guys sometime :) The last time I saw her was in 1999, I think, we ran into each other at the Women's World Cup in's crazy, that was 10 years ago, time flies! I will definitely be in touch. If you ever have questions, feel free to ask anytime!

Take care,


I thought I'd start a conversation with Sonja's friend I met on face book at it goes like this

Marta Lane December 19 at 6:52am
I maybe be crossing a boundary and if I am, completely disregard the fact that I ever asked you this question. I need a favor. If you are anywhere near Kapa'a, we'd love it if you could check out a house for us. We are kind of in a bind. We will be renting something sight unseen which we are ok with as long as we have a contingency that if we don't like it we can move out at the end of the month. We get there January 22nd, so it would make it kind of tight if we had to do that. They guy renting to us doesn't know us from Adam so he's nervous that we'll leave him in a lurch, even though we are willing to pay for a full years rent. If you have the time, inclination and are in the area it would be great if you could check it out for us. When we get there we could give you $25.00 for your time and gas or better, take you out to dinner and or drinks, we'd love to meet you anyway. Let me know either way, what ever you decide is perfectly fine, no hard feelings, I know I am asking a lot!
Roddy Tabatabai December 19 at 10:05am
ya no worries... I have a pretty tight schedule for the next couple of weeks... But I have a question and I hope Im not overstepping my boundary... But why are you moving to Kapaa???? You want to be on the North side which is the best side hands down.... There are a lot of great places that are pretty cheap in both Hanalei and Kilauea.... probably even Princeville...
After this week is up I can go check that out for you... just send me the adress and I should be able to find it... Take care
Marta Lane December 19 at 10:36am
Thanks man!! You goof! We chose Kapaa because we found a place on craigslist 1 bedroom 1 bath, utilities, yard service for $808 a month. It's a "cottage" on 1.5 acres, 2 miles from the beach, with 2 other small cottages on it, and they take dogs! Seems like a pretty excellent deal. We only look on craigslist. The north shore would be great but we haven't seen anything in our budget, which is max $1200.00 a month. If you know of any place up on the north shore we'd love to hear about it. It's us and our 2 dogs. The address is

5911 Kaapuni Road, unit 3
Kapaa 96746-8201

Dan (my hubby) isn't how right now but I can send you the number for Jimmy Johnson, he's the realtor. You can call for lock box number.

Thanks again! happy holidays!

I only hope I can pay it forward! How cool are these guys? Willing to help out someone that they've never met! What luck!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Well, it's getting more real everyday. We have 6 days of work left, maybe 7 if they don't give us the half days for Christmas and New Years off. The plan is to rent a U-Haul on the 14th of January, fill it up with everything we don't want and take it to the Goodwill. We'll go back home and load up everything we are taking, say goodbye to the house and stay over at mom and dads. We will drive out to LA on the 15th, we plan on pulling into Hollywood the 16th. On the 18th we load up the cargo and jeep and head down to Winchester to stay with my friend for a couple of days. On the 22nd, at 1:30 in the afternoon, we leave for Kauai. We found a really cute place and are waiting for the background check to clear, as soon as we are cleared we will wire him the rent and deposit, once they get the money ($1600.00) it'll be ours! I'm really excited. It is so cute and perfect for us. We won't get to Kauai until 6:30 or so and we'll have to deal with the dogs getting checked out, luggage and car rental, so we may be sleeping on the floor the first night! Here is the ad

One bedroom / one bath “cottage in the sky” with full kitchen. A free standing one bedroom with full kitchen cottage in the sky on shared one acre. If you are looking for a quiet location, fruit trees, in upper Kapahi then this might be it. Modern, clean and good to go! The neighbors value the privacy that this property offers, so please do not drive by without calling first. Yard service, electric, water and aloha included. Only $808 / month

They replaced the mini fridge with a full size one.

Here is a rundown of the costs so far.

Airline tickets for Dan and I from California to Kauai $1000.00, we are flying direct so the dogs don't have to deal with layovers.

Dogs, $400.00 in vet bills getting them ready so they don't have to be quarantined. The Department of Agriculture wants $145.00 per dog for processing fees. The Humane Society of Kauai wants $200.00 per dog to come to the airport and clear them. $250.00 each for air fare. $100.00 for crates we will probably never use again.

2 Hotel nights while in California $107.00. Car rental for 4 days $573.00.

400 cubic foot (imagine a jeep wrangler squared off) cargo container $2800.00, $1055.00 to ship the jeep.

About $200.00 for the U-Haul.

Whew! Not including rent and 2 weeks of car rental in Kauai (until our stuff gets there) the grand total is $7,425.00!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou

  • Mele Kalikimaka - Merry Christmas. The words "Mele Kalikimaka" are a phonetic translation. When the missionaries and other Westerners first brought the custom of Christmas to the islands the Hawaiians had difficulty pronouncing Merry Christmas and turned it into words that rolled more easily off their tongues.

  • Hau'oli Makahiki Hou - Happy New Year. The western Christmas and New Year fell during this same time of the year that the Hawaiians traditionally honored the earth for giving them plenty to eat. This period of resting and feasting was called Makahiki (mah-kah-HEE- kee). It lasted for 4 months, and no wars or conflicts were allowed during this time. Because makahiki also means "year", the Hawaiian phrase for "Happy New Year" became "Hau'oli (happy) Makahiki (year) Hou (new)"(how-OH-lee mah-kah-hee-kee ho).
  • Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
  • From Go Hawaii
How to Celebrate Christmas in Hawaii

Things You'll Need:

  • Kalua Pigs
  • Steel Guitars
  • Hawaiian Cookbooks
  • Leis
  • Christmas Tapes Or CDs
  1. Step1

    Purchase gifts for just about everyone you know. Hawaiians seem to be more generous than most people at Christmastime. It's a tradition to make sure that everyone is included.

  2. Step2

    Attend church on Christmas morning, if that's an important part of your religious tradition.

  3. Step3

    Plan a luau, which is an outdoor meal that consists of a kalua pig roasted in an "imu," or underground oven.

  4. Step4

    Make Christmas leis for family and friends to wear.

  5. Step5

    Enjoy the sounds of the Christmas bells, which are played on a steel guitar.

  6. Step6

    Expect Menehune Santa to arrive with presents in his Christmas tree boat, or red canoe, dressed for the weather in shorts and Hawaiian shirt. His elves are said to paddle the boat to shore.

  7. Step7

    Bake traditional Christmas treats, such as sweet potato cheesecake with "haupia," or coconut, frosting.

  8. Step8

    Listen to Hawaiian Christmas songs like "Po La'i E" or "Silent Night."

    From how

    We'll be going Hawaiian style next year!! For now, we are riding the cold storm out!