Wednesday, December 24, 2008


All of the Hawaii babies want to wish you a cuddly kitty Christmas and a furry, purry new year!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Get your goat

We had a scare with our Hoppsy last night.  She was in obvious pain, so sore she could not lie down.  She would try, move her feet an inch in that direction, then stand back up.  She even yelped when I lightly rubbed her tummy.  Not good.  This seemed to be something more than just arthritis flaring up, so I called the emergency number for the vet.  He listened to my description of her symptoms.  I had already given her some doggy pain medicine, which he said was good.  He advised adding a sedative to relax her muscles even more.  I didn't have any prescription stuff left, so I gave her the herbal ones.  It's a product called Mellow-Out by Oxyfresh and is the only herbal calmer I've used that works.  It's not as effective as Valium of course, but combined with the Metacam it did the trick for the night and got her to stop shaking and lie down.  I was worried that it was something internal.  I think the vet was confident that she was not suffering from abdominal torsion, which is very serious.  I will still take her in to have her checked out, but I am relieved that she's feeling so much better this morning.  I got up to check on her in the middle of the night.  Couldn't sleep worried about her. Poor Hoppsy

The kittens are officially tweens.  They are growing tall and lanky but still have their kitten faces and playfulness.  Ron gets upset when they, as he says, "Go after Lucy."  They don't go after her.  They just want to give her a little sniff and play.  She is not interested in getting to know them and just wants to be left alone.  So we do our best to keep the youngsters out of Lucy's personal space.  Meanwhile, Mr. Sox seems to dig the tykes.  They are his groupies, hanging around the big guy like he's a rock star.  Abby has warmed to them too, in much the way an icicle warms to a tepid ray of sun.

Yesterday afternoon, Ron spotted shadowy figures from the lanai.  
"Hey!  Goats!  They're eating my coffee trees!"
We ran out to shew them away.  They live at the neighbors, but jumped one sagging fence and found a big hole in another.  So we patched up the hole and the neighbor tethered them.  
"Shoot da fuckas," the neighbor told Ron when he went to tell the guy about the goats.  "Deya not mine."  They belong to Anthony, the man who used to live there and who recently moved to Hilo. This guy is Anthony's son-in-law (Ron thinks) so I guess he's caring for them.  But he really isn't.  As it turned out, the goats preferred the pineapples Ron had planted in between several keiki trees.  There was no fruit on them.  Just tough, sinewy fronds splaying out from the stalks.  They toppled three and nibbled the tips.  Hey, there's no accounting for taste. 

Good news at the winery.  We will be closed for Christmas Day.  YAY!  As much as I would like to earn time-and-a-half for standing around, I'd rather be home.  I'd rather be in Colorado, but here will do.

I mustered up the gumption to enter a short story contest this week.  You can't win if you don't enter, right? 

Not much else is new.  I'm reading James Joyce.  He's a genius. His stories are classics.  So far though, I'm not feelin' it.  

A hui hou.  Aloha!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Which end (of this island) is up?

Today was slow at the winery.  Really slow.  Monday was slower.  In fact, while Monday was not the slowest day ever, it was the slowest recently.  So we find ourselves comparing all others to it.  
"Pretty slow today," I say as we closed up shop this afternoon.
"Not as slow as Monday," says Kathie.  
"True dat," I say.

Yesterday, we had a couple in from Oklahoma who had no idea where they were.
"Where are you two staying here on the island?" I ask.
"Hokowaila? Wokahola?..." husband tries.  "It's way at the south end of the island."
I pause to think.
"Waikaloa?" I ask.
"That's it!" he says.
"Um, that's the north end of the island."
"OK," he says.
Later, wife is ready to check out.  She has purchased a few souvenirs.  
"Would you like a map?" I ask.
"I'm not so good at reading maps," she says.
What I surprise, I think.
"It's free, " I say. "I like this one.  It's really easy to read."
"OK, thanks."
"How far is it back to our hotel?" husband asks.  You'd think he would know that, since he drove here from there.
"Two and a half hours if you drive straight through," I say.
"That far?"
"It's a pretty drive.  You'll enjoy it.  Thanks for coming to see us!"
How they found us, I'll never know.  They were probably shooting for Hawi and landed at the winery.  Hawi is about as far away as you can get from here without getting wet.

I like Hawi.  They have no vog.  We have vog.  I hate vog.  Hawi or Kapa'au. That's where I want to live, but I can't. We want land.  We need land.  Land is out of our price range in Hawi and Kapa'au.  Bummer.  We can only afford land in the vog.  Or maybe in Nebraska.  Actually, where I want to live is Colorado.

I put the finishing touches on my Christmas card/letter tonight and will print it this weekend.  It's always a project.  Last year I cheated by purchasing cards and slipping the letter in.  I do that about every other year.  This year I made the card.  I used iPages on my new Mac, which is a quirky little graphic design program I'm not sure I like.  Maybe it will grow on me if I tinker with it some more.

The babies are tucked into their cave for the evening.  I have a giant pen all decked out with cushy fleeces, a snuggle safe warmer, food, water and a litter box.  It's covered with towels and a wool army blanket under the shelter of the lanai.  They actually seem to like it in there.  The cat house keeps them safe at night.  Ron is watching "How it's Made" and I'm going to crawl under the covers with a good book.  Are we exciting, or what? 

A hui hou.  Aloha! 


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another day at the zoo

My neighbor John delivers my paper almost every morning.  He usually walks, but occasionally he drives his riding lawnmower.  Now that gas prices have gone down, he's driving more.  John's been known to drive the little Deere all over the neighborhood.  He suffered a stroke many years ago and walks with a metal brace on his right leg.  His right arm is out of commission and there's a decided droop to his smile.  Still, he gets around pretty well. It's nice that he brings the paper and we usually chat for a moment or two about the rain or his new fan belt or whatever.  Two days ago, he puttered up the driveway and presented me with both the Tribune-Herald and one of those enormous cans of Almond Roca.  Now, for most people, this would be a month's supply.  Maybe several months.  My grandmother could make such a large quantity last an entire year.  She savored one piece in several days, saving them to share with company.  I'm thinking this one will be empty by week's end.  I LOVE Almond Roca and while I admire my grandmother, I did not inherit her will power. Thanks John.  No really, thanks!

Now that I'm officially laid off from the winery, I'm working way more hours than I'd like and more than I did before the layoff.  They're desperate, though not enough to offer me a raise, never mind all the money they're saving now that two employees are gone.  It's a skeleton crew, for sure.  Good thing we're not busy.

The trade winds have died out lately, leaving us with bouts of thick and not-so-tasty vog.  I went to the gym today anyway.  It wasn't so bad indoors.

Pippy the pip squeak decided to climb me not once, but three times today, from ankle shoulder. I was not wearing long pants.  At first, I though he just needed some love.  So I cuddled him, scratched his head, rubbed his tummy, listened to him purr and put him down.  The second time, he seemed to confuse me for a tree.  Down he went, a little faster this time and with a cry of pain that scared Hopps, the dog.  The poor little fella (Pip, that is) looked bewildered.  By the third ascent, I realized he was interested in the open can of cat food there on the counter.  I had just fed the big kitties.  So I gave him a little morsel and he was happy.  It's hard to be mad at such a little guy, but man, did that ever hurt!  Each puncture caused a welt.  Blood oozed out and hardened into coagulated blobs atop each hive, like tiny, active volcanoes.  Pippy is an excellent climber.

We've decided to forgo the Christmas tree this year.  The babies are a bit too active and would be uncontrollable around dangling ornaments.  We'll keep the decorations to a minimum and bring 'em all out next year, when we're all grown up.  Well, when they're grown up.  I don't plan to do that.  Nope.  Not ever.

A hui hou.  Aloha!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Bye bye sweet Crawford, so loyal and brave, always keeping a watchful eye on mommy.  Bossy, cheerful, following along, no need for a leash, bringing us all home.  May heaven be filled with all the treats you could want, prairie dogs to chase, cows to round up and petties from grandpa.  He'll take you for rides in his truck.  Here on earth, my heart is broken.  I love and miss you.  You'll always be my girl.