Monday, May 29, 2017


Looking back to remember what's important. I found an article I wrote for Hawaii Island Journal in 2000. "Like Raising Fish" was written while Pete and I lived in my old family home in Kuli'ou'ou on the island of O'ahu. I reprinted the article on my old blog Makua o'o as a way to remember the journey is ongoing; becoming an elder is like raising fish. I love the 'little artists' artwork included to enhance the original writing, and the heart of the teacher who relishing the work she does with them.

Read the retro version of "Like Raising Fish." 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

With the birds

We're under the cool, cool New Moon morning sky. New Moon is in Gemini. "Be creative (in the 5th house for me) at home as a philosophy (in the 9th house for Pete). and ask for help if needed." Ordered Violet leaf tincture and Linden flowers (for help) to be part of our Wise Woman Ways for including People's Medicine into our home over time. Instinctively I am drawn to violets because one of my earliest memories is that of hunting and finding the tiny purple flowers in the shady garden of my next door neighbor's. Aunty Lily taught me to notice and love clouds, and was my first herbalist teacher, mentor, all-around favorite Aunty of Aunties. I'm hoping to plant some violets somewhere this year, maybe in the orchard or in some partly shady spot at the Tilth.  Linden flowers are going to be the newest nourishing infusion. Here's Susun Weed and her grandmother Monica Jean making the infusion.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Good bye, Quonset

Life is a journey made by walking it, plans are nice, but timing? That doesn't always work as we plan. The Quonset Hut that has sheltered us and been our multi-purpose place had to be cleared out and soon Pete will disassemble it, reuse parts of it, and bit it a very grateful aloha. Mice had taken over the denim insulation and it was a gross and unhealthy reality.

We have relocated to mostly outdoors thanks to the unset of 70 degree daytime temperatures. Our kitchen and cooking is done under the eave of the Hale, and I'm seated under the big sun umbrella to work at the computer. While turkey and a root medley stew bubbles next to me, the birds are more so part of our moment to moment woods life, and soon I'll be enjoying that meal.

Grateful for our resourceful genes that have had lots of practice in nearly 70 years, I put this post here to document life, mice had a part in it. But there is so much more than mice in this fairy tale.
Hover over the photos for a little narrative and prose. "Good bye, Quonset. We will remember all the goodness you have given."

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


The first (of three) po 'ole moon phases finds the Pacific Northwest doused with big rain. The 'ole phases of the Kaulana Mahina the Hawaiian Moon Calendar* are days for rest, reconsidering, weeding, and making adjustments to projects underway. The forecast says it's the rain's last hurray for a few days. We'll see. Wet and cold in the woods makes cooking a challenge, something we both seem to thrive on. Life is always filled with challenges, and I love to cook!

So between the squalls I made oatmeal pancakes for breakfast. For our mid-day meal while the rain held off I baked chicken sprinkled with sesame seeds, generous doses of dried Italian herbs and furikake baked in a shallow lake of rice vinegar and sliced garlic. A pot of brown basmati rice steamed (while the chicken baked) with grated daikon (Japanese radish) and sliced crimini mushrooms and beets.

Outside, our neighbors the Wild Huckleberries, Salal, Hemlock, Pine, Cedar, Fir and Brackens are looking amazing after the hours of heavy rain. The Salmon Berries are unseasonably late with just the start of hard green berries.

Hover on the photos for descriptions.

* Kaulana Mahina The Hawaiian Moon Calendar is a not a one-calendar-fits-all-places kind of time piece; it is specific to the place and the observers. There are many calendars available this link will take you to one online version of the calendar. 

Times of reflection, the 'ole phases. Not a good time to start anything new yet. We are well fed, and the rain has stopped. Maybe a nice walk now. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017


 Sun, clear skies in mid-afternoon
 Shadows around the Quonset
 Brackens makawalu to their fully extended selves
A perfect day for drying clothes and feeling the gentle breeze and smelling the sweet freshness of a La'aukukahi day after early morning rains are pau.

*This link takes you to an exceptionally delightful and informing early days interview with Kalei Nu'uhiwa (Tsuha) the woman most respected for her work in re-invigorating the study and practice of Kaulana Mahina the Hawaiian Moon Calendar. I recommend reading the entire article written by Paul Wood. 

Becoming Mauliauhonua (a family intimate with their place)

O ka hua o ke kolea aia i Kahiki
The egg of the kolea is laid in a foreign land
— from Mary Kawena Pukui, ‘0lelo No’eau: Hawai‘ian Proverbs and Poetical Sayings, Bishop Museum Press 1983

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Spring on Whibey Island in the Salish Sea

We celebrate a new spring from our home in the woods of Whidbey Island with an orchard of blossoms, visits from family, and appreciation for the former greenhouse turned Quonset Hut/kitchen/writing room which also houses a couch for Pete.