Archive for March, 2014

March White Lamb Madness

March 30, 2014

In southeast Idaho, March came in like a lion, with howling winds, snows, temperatures hovering in the 20s and 30’s. And it was good. You know, because “In like a lion, out like a lamb,” right? Looking forward to that!

Yeah, fast-forward to this morning, Sunday, March 30. Just as daylight was worming its way through the cracks in my eyelids I heard David mutter, “Snowing out there.” Huh? I raised myself up in a slant toward the bedroom window and squinted at the sky exploding in white.

Down to the kitchen now – I let the dog out, and back in, wiped him down with a towel. Turned on the coffee. Hey, it is gorgeous out there! I snapped a couple photos of the back yard.

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Spring snow clings to even the tiniest of branches, painting the lines of the landscape with white-out.

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Out front now to grab the newspaper. Oh my goodness! Here’s the view looking west out our front door.

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Back in the kitchen now. Standing at the kitchen sink looking through the window. What the heck – I’ll snap a photo of our knarly old flowering plum tree here, a rather ‘long-in-tooth’ tree that’s not long for this world.

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Zoom in a bit – for a different shot.

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It’s Christmas!! ( No? ) It’s amusing (no it’s slothful). Our Christmas lights are still on the plum tree. I should just turn them back on! The clumps of snow accumulating on the web of tiny plum branches block out the solidness of the pine tree in the background. So the pine tree looks like a wreath perched in the middle of the plum tree. A wreath pleading for bulbous shiny ornaments and a red bow.

(And if you look carefully again you will see what looks like an upside-down human skull hanging from a limb above the wreath. Uh … not sure what that means – the ‘Hallow’s Eve’ Christmas or something.)

I need groceries. I should zip myself into a one-piece snow suit with a massive fur-trimmed hood, put on my sheepskin boots, scarf, and thick woolen mittens, hop on a reindeer and slosh on into Albertson’s. Look for hot apple cider. Track up their aisles.

The snow gets bigger and bigger.

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Soon whirring sounds penetrate the air from all directions like armies of raging bees. Neighbors with snow blowers. Dang! So we will have to shovel! It’s March 30th. Why can’t we just expect this snowstorm to blow over us and melt away all in the same day?

It did stop snowing by early afternoon.

Yeah, well, I’m blogging.

David is the one shoveling.

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One of these days I’ll run out of my ‘cuz it’s winter in Idaho’ excuses and get out there and get those Christmas lights off the plum tree. You know, maybe before it flowers.

‘Aloha’ Idaho’a

March 8, 2014

“Aloha …WHAT?” – “Are you kidding? I thought you were done with these endless Kauai blogs!”

Well, actually, not. As you might recall, I left off with Steph searching for her sandals as we were leaving Larsen Beach.

Which, that’s a problem with a nude beach. You wear clothes getting there, shed them on the beach – and preferably not in a trail, because you have to gather them all up again when you leave the beach. (And hopefully, you also put them back on to avoid getting arrested.)

In any case, another 24 hours passed between the time we left Larsen Beach to when we pulled into our driveway in Idaho Falls. (Does this frighten you?) My main focus on our last leg of this trip was to ’embrace the journey’ if you will. How to carry the ‘Aloha’ home to Idaho?

‘Aloha’ is the most Hawaiian word. It can mean ‘Hello’ or ‘Goodbye’. It also means ‘love’ and ‘affection’. The literal meaning of ‘Aloha’ is the ‘presence of breath.’

‘Aloha’ is sending and receiving positive energy, living in harmony –

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for example, the harmony you see in nature.

‘Aloha’ was the working philosophy of Native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawaii.

“Aloha means to hear what is not said, see what cannot be seen, and to know the unknowable.” Easy-peasy.

Well, all I know now is, the sun is setting on Kauai…

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“Steph – take one last photo of us!”

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Awwwwww. Too late for photos now. It’s time to head to the airport anyway…

Aloha Kauai! For real this time.

Fourteen hours later we are nearing the descent into Salt Lake City where David’s truck is parked.

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The landscape seems surreal.

We land safely and have just climbed into David’s truck – Now we have to make the 3-hour drive home to Idaho Falls.

Eric’s riding shot-gun.

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Out of no-where that fur-lined, Mad Bomber hat or whatever that thing is called, appears on his head. He travels prepared.

“BRRRRRR!!!” Is all I care to contribute to the conversation from the back seat, wincing from the sting of the frozen lining of my down jacket against my arms …

The whole Salt Lake Valley is blanketed in a thick smog. I had taken a few photos of the smog, but inadvertently deleted them, maybe a Freudian thing, especially in the spirit of carrying the ‘Aloha’ home to Idaho. The smog around Salt Lake and further north into Ogden was thick, ugly and toxic. A stark contrast to Paradise.

We were glad to drive out of the smog into Idaho.

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We’re starving now, and I think it’s Malad where we decide to pull off the freeway into Burger King for a quick gut-bomb to hold us over. I capture a photo of this sign as we exit the parking lot:

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Yep, we’re in Idaho, all right. Not your most ‘progressive’ state.

There sure is a dearth of snow for this time of year.

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We’re not complaining. It’s just an observation. Not going to let fear or worry worm their way into our minds about potential drought or anything, either. In the spirit of ‘Aloha’ – we’re all about sending and receiving positive energy.

Within 40 miles of home we notice an abundance of frost.

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‘Whore-frost.’ David explains. At least that’s what I heard from where I was in the back seat.

“WHORE-Frost? Are you serious?” (in the spirit of Aloha, you know, being conscious of the ‘presence of breath’ and all, I’m seeing the presence of whore’s breath all over the trees.)

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“Yes. Whore-frost. You know, (now he spells it) “H-O-A-R-frost”

“You mean there are two spellings in the English Language of the word, “whore?” (That’s the English language for you. Unnecessarily complicated and redundant.) Looking at the landscape “whore-frost” makes complete sense to me. Why is it necessary to invent a different word for this frost, a word that sounds just like ‘whore’ but is spelled differently? Wow! Bravo!! – Look at me using the spirit of Aloha within me – hearing what is not said, seeing what cannot be seen, and knowing the unknowable. (that it’s really whorefrost.)

But, okay, in the spirit of Aloha, and maybe, too, in the spirit of American patriotism

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I’ll go with ‘hoarfrost.’ (We are blowing past Blackfoot now)

I capture a video next, I guess because I knew all those trees sailing toward us at 82 mph were not going to fit in a photo:

The hoarfrost leads us all the way into Idaho Falls.

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It was nice to be home. Eric is so prepared he had even left his boxed wine in David’s truck so it was chilled and ready to imbibe as soon as he got home with it.

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The next week turned colder than a witch’s tit. And we were pounded by snow. We must have shoveled at least six times.

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Good thing we were in such good physical shape with all those hikes we took in Kauai.

How to keep the spirit of Aloha alive? Well, I’ve just been telling myself that this:

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is just the Idaho version of this:

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I’m incorporating that positive energy thing, and … how does that go again? “Hearing what is not said, seeing what cannot be seen and knowing the unknowable.” Yeah. Something akin to that.

Is it spring yet?

‘Aloha’ Kauai!

March 2, 2014

Saturday, January 25, 2014 – our last day in Paradise. This evening we will catch the Red-eye from Lihue – land in L.A. tomorrow morning and then travel back home to Idaho.

We’ve washed up our tennies and have to be light-weights today – no vigorous muddy hikes!

David, Eric, and I start the morning in Princeville with one last hike down to Anini beach –

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Trying to stave off melancholy….

We huff our way back up again

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and take one last stroll along the Princeville golf course.

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Oh, how we’ll miss Kauai!

The beaches…

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The exploding surf

The birds of paradise – the Albatross and Nene geese…

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the ‘bird of paradise’ and last, but not least (in numbers, anyway), the mighty foul, uh, fowl.

We’ll miss all those goofy, nearly indecipherable warning signs to tourists:

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(Yes, we’re very afraid.) Snow boards?

We’ll miss the police station on the road to Hanalei

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with that sign out front. It imparts such a feeling of … comfort?

We’ll miss the NO-GMO movement gaining momentum in Kauai –

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These GMO FREE signs pop up everywhere. No Genetically Modified Organisms! Have you heard of ‘Roundup ready’ crops? GMO corn, soy, sugar beets, cotton, alfalfa, and canola are designed to withstand huge applications of roundup. The same company (Monsanto) that makes the seeds also sells the herbicide (surprise, surprise). Except the weeds have adapted into super weeds which, in turn, has caused a steady increase in the use of roundup on the crops. There was a huge “March Against Monsanto” in Kauai on March 9th of this year – (check it out here). Because of the experiments taking place with pesticides and genetically engineered seeds on the west side of the island, Kauai is considered ‘ground zero’ internationally in the fight to stop these bio tech companies.

Here is a link to a you-tube video posted by a member of GMO Free Idaho(!!) entitled “Is Glyphosate Killing our Gut Flora?” You might want to watch it, especially if you or someone you care about suffers from a digestive illness or disorder. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is not harmless to humans, contrary to what Monsanto would have you believe.

While we’re on the subject, here’s another link to an article just published, “5 Reasons Monsanto’s Science Doesn’t Add Up” including the toxic effects of glyphosate, specifically in relation to kidney disease and failure.

I’m on a roll here!

Anyway, oh my goodness, we’ll miss the tropical hikes

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Albeit, some of them kicked our butts. Bug-wise, we really only worried about close encounters with Kauai’s ferocious-looking garden spiders.

We’ll miss Eric ‘pouring on the charm’ – you know, like, when we’re out to dinner:

Okay Eric, so what’s on the agenda for this afternoon, our grand finale adventure on our last day in Kauai? How about a beach walk or something where we don’t injure ourselves or get our feet all muddy?

“Larsen’s Beach.”

“Huh?” My ears were expecting something a little more, you know, ‘Hawaiian’ sounding, like, Pu’u Poa Beach, or Po’ipu, Waipouli, Kaweonui, Kaluapuhi, Waiakalua, Kekaha, Nawiliwili … this being Kauai and all.

“You’re kidding. Larsen’s Beach?”

“Yep. At Larsen’s Beach there’s a nice walking trail that runs parallel to the beach.”

It’s early afternoon by now. We all pile into the car: David, Eric, Steph, Vic, and I. David is driving, Eric is navigating. After several wrong turns, Victor and I are scoping out the route to Larsen Beach on our i-Phones. Mostly out of a process of elimination we hang a left on this dirt road (this has to be it!) and drive till it ends – at this sign:

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Yeah, we know, we know. Deadly unseen currents, the whole nine yards. We’ve found Larsen’s Beach.

It extends along the shoreline below.

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We spot the trailhead and hike the trail through the grassy area to the end of the beach.

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Wow! There’s even a picnic table. We pile around…

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Surely Eric has beer in his back pack. We’ll know to bring a picnic next time. Hey, too bad we didn’t wear our bathing suits – we could’ve waded in the ocean one last time.

You know, like that guy.

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Huh? … Hey, wait a minute, he’s naked!

I zoom my camera in a little, you know, to make sure my eyes aren’t playing tricks on me…

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Well, he’s not completely naked. Did you notice his cap? See any tan lines? His vitamin D level must be sky-high. Yeah, like I’m going to go up and ask him…

“Eric, you rascal, you led us to a nude beach!”

“Yeah, and have you noticed that young nude couple over there near those bushes?”

“No, Eric, not particularly. Not until you pointed them out…”

Walking back out, Steph couldn’t remember where she had shed her sandals. That’s the extent of the clothing that came off of us.

Well, all I can say is, while vacationing in Kauai, you can learn a lot. And you will likely check some things off your bucket list.

You might even check some things off that weren’t on your bucket list.

Especially with Eric along.