Sunday, August 22, 2010


Kauai's beauty greets me warmly again and I feel good because it's harvest day. As I drive to the north shore, stealing glances at the early morning sunlight playing off the ocean, I reflect on how well things are going. Money is coming in pretty good, Dan spoils me with his thoughtful love, my writing seems to be moving forward. I think maybe the personal chef thing isn't going to go anywhere after all. I'm ok with that. I have no attachments with how my work takes shape as long as I enjoy what I am doing and get paid well for it.

I'm a good 2 hours into harvest and I'm hot, dirty and sweaty. I love it; it's like orchestrating a live show; there are things you know for sure and things that you don't. I know we will harvest an average of 200 pounds of produce. I don't know exactly what that produce will be. This week we had 20 pounds of meyer lemons and 12 pounds of green beans that weren't planned for. The CSA boxes were loaded and our wholesale outlets had already placed their orders. So in between the activity I made a call to Dan to see if he wants some lemons or beans.

There is a message from Simone, our neighbor, and am immediately concerned. I listen to her excited voice tell me that she has a job lead for me. Phillip's sister Deborah works at a pretty fancy restaurant and some of her patrons were asking about a personal chef. Simone says Deborah came over this morning and tacked a note on my door with the information. At our house she reads me the note and lets the dogs out. We decide that although I don't need to call them right now I should sometime today.

I am relaxed for todays harvest because I am no longer making the deliveries. It was always the most stressful part of the day. Trying to get everything into the jeep, invoices printed out and on the way to Kapa'a by 1:30 for the 2 o'clock delivery. Jillian is a little stressed out so I offer to take her to lunch.

As we sit in the open air dining room of the Lighthouse Bistro, waiting for our shared order of a bacon cheeseburger and fries, we toast to another successful harvest. We immediately fall into an animated conversation about where we want the farm to go. How big? Do we only want to sell to restaurants and grocery stores? How can we get folks to understand what a CSA is? The summer season is almost over what can we do to generate new members? A doctor in town wants to prescribe our CSA to his clients with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. This, I think we should focus on. Next week I will make flyers to put in his office. We fall into a well established natural rhythm of dreaming, planning and stretching ourselves.

By the time I get home I am buzzing with joy. I feel so good about harvest, not doing deliveries and my lunch with Jillian that I bombard Dan with the latest update. Jillian wants me to do more work for the farm, Gary (her husband) wants me to do work for his business creating a marketing campaign. He wants Dan to do the website and think about heading up a new division of his business. My excitement is contagious and by the end of our conversation he is excited about all the possibilities too.

I get out of the shower still humming and I sit on the side of my bed. I am about to call the folks who want a personal chef. I close my eyes and feel what is going on inside, it feels electric. I ask my spirit if this job will happen and I get a happy, easy yes. I let go of expectations and say ok, lets see how this unfolds. My needs are taken care of, I am busy, may as well throw it all out there. I'll ask for my full rate. It feels freeing to surrender to what life has in store for me. No expectations, no control, just ride the wave. It's fun too, it puts me right in the moment, the outcome a mystery.

Scott's ebullient voice soars across the air waves. He and his wife Julie are having a dinner party for 8. Can I do it tomorrow night? What do I specialize in? What do I charge? I immediately like him and Julie as they pass the phone between themselves to ask me questions, ecstatic because they are on vacation in Hawaii! I tell them I will send them an email for meal options and ask them to reply by 8am tomorrow morning.

I'll let the pictures tell the story of the evening. It went fantastically well. Yes, there is room for improvement. Despite the few bumpy spots they really enjoyed the evening as did Dan and I. I like this new way of living my life. Trying all kinds of things that I enjoy for work. The farm, the bakery, making flyers, writing and personal cheffing. I am following momentum in whatever area that occurs in. Happy to let other areas that are not working drop off. I work hard at each job because that is who I am. People recognize that and appreciate it. I am happy because I am getting paid to be me, time flies, at the end of the day I feel tired in a good way. I feel satisfied in surrendering.

The entrance to Scott and Julie's vacation rental.

A view of Nawiliwili Bay from their deck

The beach in front of the Kauai Marriott Resort.

The neighbors.

They all enjoyed appetizers on the deck while we prepared the next course.

Scott at the head of the table and his wife Julie in the white dress start dinner with a "Hawaiian prayer" preceding a real prayer.

Scott loves him some dance music, loud! He cranked the tunes, they all drank wine (except the kids) and we danced, cooked and washed dishes. At this point they were enjoying a desert of grilled fresh pineapple and vanilla ice cream drizzled with a carmel rum sauce and chocolate sauce on the side when he cranked Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and broke out his video camera. Everyone sang, even the kids and us! After dinner everyone danced and Scott pulled me out for a couple of spins and photo ops.

Since we have downsized in all things including income we shave the dogs instead of taking them to the groomer. My role is to provide a safe place for the dogs to be still, their head resting on my lap as Dan shaves them.
It took us a total of 4 hours and 2 days but we did it, I think they look pretty good for first timers. We did have help from our old groomer in Colorado. She told us what type of sheers and blades to get and how to do it.
I had a meeting at Shelsea's on the way to the farm so she made me this fantastic lunch. Scrambled eggs with leftover fried rice, cheddar cheese, fresh garlic and greens.
A beautiful lettuce mix from harvest this week.

It has been raining all week but I decided to take the dogs out anyway. It was dumping as we made our way down the rutted, muddy dirt road. I thought about going home but remembered I had a rain coat in the car. As soon as I parked the jeep, the rain let up and the sun came out.

Baxter was not intimidated by the 3 foot shore breaks.

He just launched over the waves to get his toy.


Meanwhile, Lucy plays with these black nuts that wash up on shore. You can kinda see it there at the tip of her nose.

She digs like crazy just in front of the nut and it slowly goes further into the ever increasing hole. She loves it, spending the entire time consumed in this little game! 

Right as I got in the jeep it started to rain again!


  1. go for it, marta! and ALWAYS ask for your full rate! then people know you are serious and worth it!

  2. Mahalo Lee! That was another lesson I learned. You get more respect when you know your worth!