I think I may be the worst blogger ever…

Well jeez guise, it sure has been a minute and a half since I have utilized this platform to create anything!

I apologize for my absence.

The good news is, I haven’t just been laying around doing nothing. (Only sometimes)

We have been getting an incredible amount of work done on the homestead. So many projects, big and small, moving forward. One step closer to fruition.

I have been a terrible blog writer, but I have recently been doing more videos on YouTube! So be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel to get virtual tours of our work.

Here is a link to one of the recent videos: https://youtu.be/dbv4kNiPJq8

Hopefully, I will follow through with this more. Thank you for sticking with me and having interest.

Aloha.

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Today we ate a lot of mangoes. Who wants to hear about it?

On Sunday, at Maku’u market, we bought one of each variety of mango available at the Mango Mana booth. I took my sharpie and wrote on each piece of fruit its variety name.

Today, most of the fruit were ripe. So we devoured them. There are a few left that weren’t quite ready yet, that we will eat in the next day or two. When we are done, we will try to get my varieties we missed this next Sunday, and compile all the info into an awesome post! We also did a silly video of our overall experience today.

So if you are interested to hear about the amazing mangoes being grown and sold here on the big island of Hawaii, like, comment to show your interest and subscribe to be sure you see the upcoming post!

Fruity fathers day fun, planting a gift that keeps giving

We aren’t super huge on most holidays around here. They always seems to come and go before we realize and they just seems to get away from us. Lately, time seems to go by even faster. Before I realized, fathers day was upon us.

So we did the thing we like to do most. We planted trees.

Every Sunday since the lava flow began, and we have no longer been able to vend our own market, we have gone to Maku’u market to enjoy a weekly dose of normalcy. So we started our day with a morning at the market with both of my parents as well. We stocked up on all the local goods we needed for the week, socialized with many of our wonderful friends that were out enjoying the market, and got ourselves 20 pounds of beautiful, organic mangos from the amazing folks that do the mango mana booth (a must try if you are here during mango season). To be sure, there was fruit tree shopping as well.

Last year, we planted a star fruit tree in Leilani. It grew much, and we were so looking forward to those fruits. We had planned to replace it with a new one to plant in orchidland, but there were no star fruit trees available this time. Which only meant that we would have to buy three new trees instead. After much hmm and haa-ing, we decided on a longan, a rambutan and a ruby supreme guava.

During our evacuation endeavors, Alva hurt his back, and in the days before fathers day he had started to experience some serious pain and discomfort. I put it out there to my Facebook friend that he could use a little body work, to which an amazing friend responded and came right over to lend him a couple hands. When she finished, she told us to be sure he actually rest, because he had some damage that needed time to heal. That meant all the hard manual labor, that Alva usually takes lead on, was now my responsibility.

So for fathers day, Alva picked out some trees, and I used a pick to “dig” holes to plant our new fruit trees while he watched (usually the opposite is true, LOL). It was hard (back aching!) work, but it was my pleasure to be able to do that when he was unable.

Planting trees is a great way to celebrate special occasions. Everytime you look at that tree, you will remember the day you first planted it into the earth, all of the wonderful intentions you held as you gave that tree a home, and the time spent with loved ones. Every year, when that date passes, you will be reminded of how long that tree has been growing in this one place, and how much it has grown since that first day. That tree will be a gift that keeps giving as it grows and begins to flower and/or fruit. Consider when the tree in question will produce, you can choose something that will bloom/fruit during the time of year you plan to plant it as an added bonus. It’s a beautiful thing to do with your family and a wonderful legacy to leave behind.

Have you planted a tree for a special occasion before, or are you considering it? Please feel free to share in the comment section about your experience or ideas if you feel called to πŸ’“

One if he many charming things about life here is the fact that we live in a cultural melding pot

Rambutan tree

Longan tree

Silliness πŸ’“

Lava flows make for abrupt endings and fresh beginings

Aloha.

I created this blog a couple months ago. It’s been a dream of mine for a long while now. A blog about my life in Hawaii, creating a permaculture homestead and being a mom. For some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to write a post. I didn’t know where to begin, or what would be interesting enough for some else to read my ramblings.

Then life got really interesting.

Six weeks ago, on may 1st, we started to experience earthquakes. A lot of earthquakes, numbering in the hundreds. Sometimes multiple per minute. We were warned that it was likely caused my magma intrusion in the lower East rift zone. As our homestead is in the LERZ we were advised to prepare for potential evacuations. I packed some important papers and some clothes I could fit in a tote. On may 3rd, we awoke to the news of cracks in the streets of our subdivision! When we went out to our street, we were shocked to find cracks in front of our neighbors driveways and even in their driveways.

We decided not to go pick fruit, at Kumu’aina, as we did every Thursday, and missed a great opportunity to hang with our dear friend Coconut Chris. Instead, we chose to start moving some things, starting with our plants in the nursery. Our dear friend, Samuel, came over and helped us load things on his way to the airport. He left us with his vehicle and hitch hiked to the airport. None of us had any idea what was about to happen next.

Just as we were finishing unloading all of our plants and fertilizers and discussing going home sooner than later, my phone rang. It was my mom calling, she was home with our son ‘Iolani (ee-oo-lah-nee). It was a phone call of nightmares. “It’s erupting on our street!” She yelled. My heart stopped, I looked at my fiancΓ©, Alva, and the color drained from our faces. We hoped into our friends car and raced home.

As we approached Leilani estates, we shared a moment of utter terror, not knowing what we would see when we got there, or what would even still be there. Did my mom get the animals and the boy out? Thoughts were racing. We were met with road blocks that we went around and were escorted through some. Nothing could stop us from getting home to our family to be sure they were out. When we finally made the turn onto our street, Mohala st., we couldn’t believe our eyes. There it was, fissure 1, erupting hot magma into the sky, at the very place we stood just that morning observing the cracks with our son.

We found my parents and my son and drove away from our home in shock. We went to orchidland, where Alva’s family has 3 acres. For the last year, we had been planting things and occasionally camping out in the shed on the back acre. Now, we are living in the shed and spending most waking hours outside replanting our homestead dreams, trying not to dwell on the reality of the active volcano.

For the first week, I spent every moment on my phone trying to keep updated on the lava flow. For the next two weeks, I spent a little less time trying to stay updated. During the first week, the officials began letting residents back into the community to gather belongings, despite the number of fissures growing to more than 20 in the following couple weeks.

We went in a couple of times the first week we were allowed back in. It was such a surreal experience. The sound of the eruptions in the distance, the empty feeling,the anxiety, the secure feeling of home. Such an odd jumble of feelings. So I didn’t want to go back. I didn’t think it would flow our way, so I didn’t want to move things I didn’t have places to store. I would be going home. Everything would be fine. We got the cat, who had not been home during the initial evacuation, and the hives of honey bees. We got beds to sleep on and toys for our son to keep busy while we waited to go home.

On may 24th, I decided we should go in, I had a list of somethings I wanted and I just felt a need to go home. We walked through our yard, our beautify yard, and soaked it all in. somethings were sick from the SO2, but overall it looked pretty green. My oasis. We even harvested a rack of ice cream bananas that we had been watching for such a long time.

Observing the crack on our street.

Neighbors driveway

We fit 84 potted plants in Samuels trailblazer and several more on our flatbed

Alice, happy to be rescued. It took 3 attempts, as cats don’t understand rescues.

This photo shows what the So2 will do to the environment. Where the two streets meet was my bus stop, throughout middle and high school and then public transport after graduation that was the place I would stand and wait. It is now complete covered and gone.

Flow going for the ocean. A river of lava.

Fe’i karat

Orchidland project. Building trellises to keep busy.

Tiny cabin

Calendula. New beginnings

After we loaded another impressive load of things in Samuels trusty SUV, we took a walk about a half a block to the house the officials had been using to view the most vigorous fissures just past the bottom of our subdivision. Huge. The fissures were so impressive and down right frightening. On our way out, we checked on a friend’s house one street up. A flow front had quickly moved and was only one house away from our friends home. I sent them a picture and left when the acid rain started to pour down on us and the kid who thought roasting a marshmallow would be cool.(very uncool)

That night I knew. Our friends house was consumed not long after dark. When I woke in the morning, it was all the way up that street to the driveway of the house right behind ours. My dad was there keeping me informed. The magma started to encroach on the boarders, but it stopped. So he went to help some neighbors get a car out. From their yard he could see the black smoke start to billow up. He rushed over. But there is nothing you can do but observe when it comes to lava. It was over. The house was on fire and the yard being filled. On the way out, he harvested our rack of rare fe’i karat bananas and drove away before it passed our yard and crossed the only rd out. That would have left him blocked in.

There would be no going home. No resuming our homesteading work we had poured our hears into for the last 7 years. Hundreds of fruit trees in the ground, some just starting to fruit, others never getting to see the day of their first fruits. A home full of tools and keepsakes. The only home our son has ever known. All gone. In what felt like a slow-motion-instant.

Although we are completely devastated, we are doing our best to look forward and stay humble and grateful. Many, many people from our community are camping out in crowded shelters, with no clear direction for the future. My heart hurts so much for my community. We have a place to be. A place to create a homestead. Somewhere we can grow some new roots. So that’s where we are now. Like a Phoenix, we are rising from the ashes.

Below is the link for our fundraiser for anyone who feels called to contribute to our new beginning. Sharing helps a lot too.

https://www.gofundme.com/new-start-for-homestead-after-lava

Mahalo nui for reading my first post πŸ’•