Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Endless Love

How do you like my new blog layout? I think it’s pretty cool, it has a nice Hawaiian theme now.
This post is my way of running to the top of the highest mountain and shouting; telling the world about the love I have for my husband. At the moment I am overwhelmed with my love for him. It is welling up inside me, infusing me, seeping out as moist droplets from my eyes. I get emotional thinking about it. 
When we decided to move, one of the scariest ideas was knowing that this decision had the potential to make or break us. I am happy to say it has made us, cemented what was already a wonderful relationship into a unshakeable foundation. I feel we can weather any storm. We are getting to know each other better in this small space we lovingly call the treehouse. In tune with each others moods, we notice that the snappy attitude is because we are tired from too much work. Instead of an argument, our hearts expand and allow for snappy. I wake in the middle of the night, scared. He holds me, soothes me, “talks me down” as he likes to say. He doesn’t get enough sleep for his busy work day but he is ok with that, wanting to make sure I am ok. I learn how to talk myself down so he can get much needed sleep. We are growing; as individuals and as a couple. 
Dan, having become an indispensable manager, is working close to 40 hours a week at Papayas. His natural inclination to make things the best they can be has made the patrons of Papayas grateful for the generous selection and affordable prices. His managers are pleased that he is selling things for less while increasing profits and minimizing waste. In his free time he is working hard to create a computer business that includes teaching, repairs and web design. In between those times he loves me. His love was especially poignant this weekend. 
He is tired and I know it, he hasn’t had a day off in about 3 weeks. He’s crunchy and I feel responsible. Somehow, I decided we needed more. We are fine, all of our needs are being met. We have a cozy shelter to rest in and plenty of food. I work at a farm and a bakery and he works at a grocery store - we get free food all the time. Plus, he gets a 20% discount (he knows I miss cherries and peaches from the mainland and has to order them under explicit instruction from his boss, so he brings some home - I’m loving the red, sweet, and juicy, bings he brought home Friday.) We have enough money to pay our bills, we have our health, we have each other. But, I told him I needed more space and therefore more money. Soon, his hours increased at Papayas and the computer business was filling in the extra space. I negotiated with the bakery and will be working 45 to 55 hours a week; including the farm and writing jobs. I am lucky because I do a lot of my work from home allowing for yoga and walking the dogs on the beach. He doesn’t get any play time. 
He says he wants to do the farmers market with me this weekend. It’s hard work and I always love having him around but I tell him he needs to stay home and rest. He says he’ll think about it. By Friday night, he’s decided - he’s coming. He is doing it for free on top of it. We wake at 4:30 am, having to be at the kitchen by 5:30. Shelsea has been up all night baking. We walk into the brightly lit kitchen smelling of fresh baked goods (our tummies growl in resentment of not being fed) and into chaotic energy. Rush, rush, rush! Last minute scones are being made, scooped and popped into the oven. Pomberry; pomegranate, blueberry, raspberry, cherry and almonds with a maple glaze and rose petal sugar sprinkled on top. Chocoberry; buleberries and chocolate chips with a maple glaze and cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top, gluten-free blueberry and blueberry round out the scones. In the frenzy I learn how to properly scoop, shape and bake the 180 scones following short instruction by our exhausted but determined leader. Dan is making sure the displays are assembled, Randi packs the baked goods that are going to the Hanalei market and Amy helps me scoop, shape and bake. 
It’s 2 pm when we leave the bakery and head home hungry and tired. Earlier in the week we had decided that we’d live in the treehouse for at least another 6 months; save money, get the work stuff established. With that in mind, Dan suggests we stop at Home Depot to get a gazebo I’ve had my eye on since February. I want it for my yoga room and to have a place where I can read, write and be outside. For our more adventurous friends wanting to save some money, it would provide a place to sleep. I tell him he needs to go home and rest; he’s really cranky now. He figures we are here, we have the jeep, may as well. 
On the way home Dan tells me Shelsea wants him and I to take over the KCC (Kauai Community College) market, that she wants him to think about it. He will get paid but it will only give him one day off. I am listening to my sweet, smart husband and gazing at the beauty around us; the clear blue ocean in the distance, towering mountains and brightly colored flowers when Dean calls. Dan is scheduled to go to his home in Kilauea tomorrow and give him a computer lesson covering organization, the internet (Dean just got it) and to install a virus scanner. Dan happily says that rescheduling would be just fine with him. Now that he has Sunday off, he wants to set up the gazebo when we get home, at least a 2 hour job. 
I tell him I appreciate all of his hard work but I am worried about him, he says “well you gotta do what you gotta do to get where you want to be, is it what it is.” I thank him for his hustle and hard work and for helping me at the market. I say that I feel like part of why he is doing the market is because he wants to check the situation out, to make sure I’m ok. A sly smile slowly spreads across his face, and he says “well yea, that’s part of it.”

Dan loves the geckos that run around our house chirping as the sun sets, he gets the camera out every time. This little guy didn't live long, Dan found him dead in the morning. I'm amazed by his eyes.

Eggplants were tucked into CSA boxes

and tomatoes. Believe it or not you can't grow tomatoes outside here. The fruit flies "sting" them. What may look like a beautiful tomato on the outside is rotten on the inside. Farmer John, part of our co-op, grew the eggplant and these yummy tomatoes.

A pimento like pepper from the farm; sweet with a mild spice.

I brought home about 4 pounds of extra basil from the farm and made enough pesto to fill a gallon sized zip lock bag!

This tree at the farm has beautiful flowers cascading down it's branches.

Jillian planted some Peruvian purple corn seeds a friend gave her. One ear sprouted; this is the root from one kernel or seed.

Dan displays the flyer and poster I made for the farm at Papayas.

A potential avo (they call avocados avo here) supplier gives Dan samples of 4 different types of avo.

Julie bought me a subscription to Food and Wine magazine as a house warming present. This months issue had a recipe for baked donuts, they were pretty good! The dogs really liked them too (they went stale pretty quick).

We share the commercial kitchen with Doug who owns Pueo Breads. This is his multi grain dough.

Doug punching the dough down to make loaves.

Shelsea shows me how to make her gluten-free chocolate chip cookies.

Uncle AK and Aunt Shirley (back row second and fourth from the left) visit mom and dad and Greg's family. He texted me this picture. It really makes me miss them, the kids are getting so big and it's only been 6 months! Lots of love, hugs and kisses to you all!!

Baxter cleaning out the honey jar.

The dogs and I catch the sunrise.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It’s Amazing to Me

I am truly blessed by the colorful people with wide smiles and generous spirit. The colossal, emerald green craggy peaks shrouded in misty clouds and graced with double rainbows, briny turquoise waters lined with over fifty miles of pristine white sand beaches, trade winds playing with Coconut Palms, lush gardens and the ever present sunshine. 

These are my words that will appear in the travel blog I now write for. I really can’t believe how fortunate we are and how things continue to line up effortlessly. I don’t mean to say we aren’t working hard, I mean we aren’t looking hard for work. The time flies as Dan and I are doing work that is fun for us. Free to be and express ourselves mostly on our time. I can see that soon we will be struggling to find a balance between work and enjoying this beautiful and charming isle. I’ll deal with that when the time comes but I fully realize that you can’t start over and not work hard, at least we can’t. 
I’ve been leading with my heart and occasionally tripping myself up with fear, forgetting to live in the present, forgetting what I do have. Forgetting that I am supported by my husband, god, my spirit, my ancestor's spirits and the energy of this island. We are staying true to why we came here, to start over and follow our passion. Dan is still at Papaya's and happily giving computer classes and designing websites. He is in the process of redesigning mine as well as creating two others with the possibility of three more.

I just got another job. While maintaing my job at the farm, I will be creating flyers, catering, working the farmers market and being a bakers apprentice! I get to learn how to cook and bake on a professional level, for free! I am so excited I can barley contain myself, you’ll see why after you look at the pictures. The hours are flexible and the job varies which is excellent for me. Island SOL Bakery is owned by Shelsea who has been baking “for a very long time”. She had a bakery in Honolulu with 50 employees and one here for 12 years, leaving Kauai for 18 years when hurricane Iniki took it out. She is back and seriously rockin it. Her company is only 6 weeks old and she is creating mini muffins to go into every Westin hotel room along with a card I will design. She got into the Hanalei farmers market which is notoriously hard to get into because it’s extremely profitable. Her delicious and sometimes gluten-free baked goods are in local stores from Piopu to Princeville. She is serious, this is her retirement plan. She hopes to generate a large enough bakery to sell in 5 years and then kick it full time on the beach. And...she’s really into yoga. She alluded to a trip to Joshua Tree, California for a yoga festival and changed the subject when tears of joy spilled down my cheeks. SOL (which is sun in Spanish but stands for Seasonal, Organic, Local) will be providing baked goods for this major yoga retreat and it looks like she may take me to work it! 
Our big dreams are coming true in ways I could never imagine! Doing what we love and creating financial success on this remote island with time to play in it’s abundant beauty! I feel like we’ll be getting a two bedroom in a month or two! The private home will have a second bedroom for a guest room, office and yoga studio. Of course it will have a well made wrap around lanai with a stunning view where I can do yoga and entertain friends. It will also have a beautiful kitchen with a bay window overlooking a small kitchen garden, a gas stove and full size oven and refrigerator, plenty of counter space and ample storage space via crafted cabinets. Tile will be throughout the clean, well maintained home which is open and airy. There is a roomy bathroom (attached to the bedroom but separate from the guest bathroom) and an outside shower to wash the dogs. We’ll get really lucky and have neighbors that are almost as great as Phil and Simone. This will be a place where the dogs are welcome and have space to explore, near the beach and hiking trails, and we will be able to easily afford a king size bed to put in our beautiful bedroom, with a view of course. It’s comin, I can feel it!

I met Shelsea for the first time today at the Kauai Community College Farmers Market. Simone emailed me a job posting on craigslist and Shelsea and I had been emailing and conversing on the phone sporadically over the past 3 weeks.

This time I wasn't after veggies.

It was Shelsea's stand I was looking for.

She is very generous with her samples!

Chocolate volcano and blueberry scones

Cinnamon and macadamia nut rolls

enticing selection of savories

basil, macadamia nut pesto roll and Greek rolls with spinach, feta and tomatoes.

Turkey sausage and mango rolls

Chicken sausage, apple and smoked gouda rolls

Smoked salmon, goat cheese, tomato and caper roll.

She had the most people at her stand 

trying to decide what to pick!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Good Talkin To

5:30am, just enough light, I’ll go for a walk. Trouble is getting the dogs out without rousing Dan and our neighbors. Baxter gets pretty vocal when he knows he is going for a walk, he even knows exactly where we turn to get there. His excited yelps bounce around the jeep, piercing my head and getting louder as we near our destination. He knows when I put on certain clothes that a fun time is in the near future. He starts getting crazy, barking, telling me to hurry up. Pretty soon Lucy joins in. This morning I try a different tactic. 

I get up and fumble to the front door letting them out to relieve themselves. Then I stealthily and quickly get dressed and grab their collars and leashes and out the door I went. He didn’t have time to realize what was going on, a big yawn escapes him as I walk to the jeep. Inside the jeep he is calm and quiet. As we near the “dog park” he starts to tremble and once I park he can’t contain himself. Collars on, I open the jeep door and he shoots out like a rocket.
There is a double rainbow arching in front of Mount Wai’ale’ale and a light mist starts to fall. I feel like I’m living in technicolor, the lush hillsides are over saturated in shades of green. Alone with my thoughts I notice I am doing exactly the opposite of why we came here. I have been driving myself crazy trying to recapture the financial security we had in Colorado. So, every thing is fear based. This brings out the worst in me. I become insecure, defensive, negative. I remind myself that we came here to start over, to get out of the rut we were stuck in. To be inspired, learn, grow, make connections. When I live in fear, I am just recreating what I left behind. Armed with a fresh perspective, I head home and start my day, grateful for what I have. A loving and supportive husband, great dogs, a roof over my head, jobs, full bellies, health, my folks are coming for a visit, new friends and new opportunities! Oh, and paradise!!