Sunday, April 17, 2011

We finally got to go on the photo tour. Spending four hours last Sunday with an Australian mom and her two daughters, we learned about secret shooting locations from the east side up to the north shore. While eating a quick lunch in Hanalei, we peppered our guide Levi with questions. If you are a photography geek, then this is an excellent tour to take. I guess even professional photographers take it. 
Our guide Levi, born and raised on Kauai.

From left front: Vanilla beans, tea used to add tannins and balance flavors, ginger, mountain apple, cacao beans and Jamaican lilikoi. All from Kauai except for the tea. 
This week we got to do a review for Nani Moon Mead. The meadery in Kapaa uses fruit and honey from Kauai and I am now a mead lover, as long as it’s hers. I had some at the Renaissance Festival in Colorado but it was way to sweet. These are dry and refreshing. The owner sent Dan an email from a writer on the Big Island who wants pictures for Wine Enthusiast magazine, we’ll see what happens!
Dan has a wonderful affinity towards young children, they just open up to him and he gets some great shots as a result. This is Hunter. His mom is Stephanie, the owner of Nani Moon Mead. Nani means beautiful.

I had taken the past week off from the Freedom From Smoking (FFS) website. I was sick and just didn’t make it on there. A lady who has been quit for three years, and who posts stuff everyday on the message boards, sent me an email wondering if I was OK. I told her that since I had not been on the site, I was weakening. I’m afraid I can’t do it. She said that was the addiction talking and sent me some really helpful information. Another person suggested the websites Why Quit and Quit Smoking. I didn’t want to go to them, but I did and I am glad. Powerful stuff.
My blog has introduced me to Debi, and she introduced me to FFS. Becoming friends with her and learning about FFS encourages me as I feel it was divine intervention. I had given up. The message boards give me courage by offering support and encouragement. The lessons arm me with knowledge and a plan. I feel like this is going to be it and one thing I am going to do for sure (besides read all the tragic stories on the other two websites) is frequent those message boards when I get weak! Dan and I are giving it another go on April 30th, so send us some healing vibes to fortify us!
Our pizza before the oven

We won’t have to pay for our favorite pizza for probably a year! Yes, right now we accept delicious pizza as payment. Several weeks ago Dan went down the hill to pick up pizza a and talked to them about doing a story. Turns out they want pictures for their website instead. We spent three hours there and Dan got about 350 shots, I think will they have something to work with! We went home with a 3 pound medium pizza. It was loaded with a fresh pork sausage we watched them make; pure pork, trimmed of all the fat and mixed with 3 spices. It’s the best pork sausage I’ve ever had. I don’t really like sausage so that’s saying something! They also want some family portraits done in September when mom comes out for her anniversary.
The pizza folks' daughter Lilly didn't want "that man" taking her pictures, but she caved later in the evening. 

I decided that since I’m a fledgeling writer, I should be reading the Kauai and state newspapers everyday. So, I did what my dad has done for as long as I can remember and walked to the Menehune Mart—similar to a 7-11—to retrieve the papers. It was a balmy morning and the 55 minute round trip walk fostered an intimate connection to my neighborhood. I had hopes of doing this everyday but, I haven’t done it since. Some of the things I learned from reading the papers are: 
Gas prices on Hawaii average $4.30 regular.
The Japanese Red Cross has about 2 million volunteers and about 125,000 blankets, 183,000 items of clothing, 26,000 relief kits and 11,000 sleeping kits have been donated. More than 188,000 folks are still displaced and staying in 2,200 evacuation centers. The Japanese Red Cross will begin distributing $800 million dollars to local governments. The level of radiation was raised from a 5 to a 7 and officials fear that it could exceed Chernoybl. The first 36 of 70,000 temporary homes were given to residents. Hawaii related Red Cross donations total 1.6 million. Our hearts go out to the suffering families of Japan.
Trace levels of radiation have been found in milk from the Big Island. Cause for concern is 33,000 picocuries and 43 were found, so I guess the milk is OK. Folks are buying Geiger counters to measure radiation in their food but specialists say that is pointless. 
Friday Dan came home from work shaking his head in disbelief. The store is a magnet for hippies and children of the universe. I guess a “professional” crystal reader set up shop to determine via the crystal vibration, how much radiation from Japan an individual had absorbed into their body. The healing process went on all day, her crystals constantly vibrating the prescription for her eager patients. Some folks were indeed running Japan’s radiation through their veins and were prescribed the use of other crystals, a function she happily performed. Others were directed to the supplement section. Some folks were relived to hear they had no radiation and anxiously applied the preventive measures. She spent about 10 attentive minutes with each of her patients and charged 25 bucks a pop. She was still there when Dan left for the day, he guesses she made about $1000 by the time he left. Boy, we need to get into crystals!

Dan and I took the dogs to my new favorite beach. It’s one of the secret ones we found on the photo tour. It's also the one above with the shot of Levi. So, if you wanna know where it is you have to come for a visit! Walking down a short jungle trail, the beach reveals itself through a veil of trees. 25 foot high black rocks enclose the bay and contrast the clear blue water. 

The water was flat but occasionally a four foot wave would crash onto the shore. I was in the water, after throwing the floatie for Baxter to retrieve, when a wave slammed Baxter into me. As I was getting my footing, I looked back and saw Lucy riding the crest high above me, her eyes bulged with uncertainty. She rode it in, and it didn’t stop her from playing in the ocean!

Aloha Nui Loa