Love & Light and everything bright...

23 Jan 2011

Updated Oct 13, 2010, adds God's Sculpture in Gulch: Heavenly "Bon Voyage?"

Elizabeth: Double Winner at Maui Fair

Elizabeth's quilts win two first prizes


Elizabeth: Double Winner at Maui Fair

Both Elizabeth's quilts win first prizes

HAIKU, Maui, Oct 2 -  It was meant to be.  There was no doubt in my mind that Elizabeth's Texas quilt would win a prize in the big quilt competition.  Even if it was not thematically "politically correct" (a Texas theme in the heart of Hawaii), it was just too good to be ignored (see right, and "From Elizabeth to Elisabeth, with Love," Aug 2010).  But two first prizes?  That would be a dream come true.

"I just hope that there is someone from Texas on the jury," I joked as we were driving to the Maui Fair last night to see what the jury verdict was.  "Just in case politics interferes with art."

Right after I had said that, I looked up ahead and saw something stunning, at least here in Maui.  There was a car with a Texas license plate.  We have never seen one on the island before.  Considering how expensive it is to move cars even from California, our closest neighbor 3,000 miles away, one almost never sees "foreign" cars in the islands.

"That's a good omen," I told Elizabeth after both of us recovered from the initial shock.

Another good omen was a (Texas-sryle) longhorn cow with a calf that I spotted right after we had entered the fairgrounds. 

"It's a Pinto Longhorn," I joked, as the cow had brown and white spots.  "That's also a good omen," I added, "our second one just a few minutes."

And it certainly was.  Once we got to the Maui Fair arts and crafts exhibition hall, we discovered that not only did Elizabeth's Texas quilt win the first price in the big quilt competition; so did her Musical Quilt of Love (left) in the small quilt competition.

So congratulations to the double winner!  I then understood why we received two good omens on our way to the Maui Fair.

As we walked around the large exhibition hall, admiring other people's artwork, we kept running into a number of friends.  "What a difference a year makes," I said.  "When we were here last year, we did not know anybody.  And look at it now..."

Here are some other interesting items we saw in God's art gallery...

... the huge lemons and Jackfruit (middle left), along with giant onions (center).  There were also many beautiful flowers, including some that we also have on our property.  But my first prize for the show would go to that gorgeous, dainty blue/purple orchid on the right.

As we walked out of the bustling fairgrounds, we passed by the tent in which the Hawaiian music helped fit in the ambience.  Or was it the other way around?

Homemade Grandchildren's Clothing Gift

At about the same time as we were taking the quilts to the Fair, we also received a delivery of the three homemade outfits that I ordered for my three small grandchildren in London.

The outfits were designed by our neighbor Maggie and made by her elder daughter Briana to fit the ages and sizes of the grandchildren.  Maggie's products are also being sold in several fashion boutique stores around the island.  If you're interested in ordering some, let me know and I'll connect you to her.

Rainbow Shower Coffee Production

HAIKU, Maui, Oct 4 -  During the last 18 months, you may have heard me refer to coffee trees that grow wild around the Rainbow Shower.  Well, they have multiplied manifold since we cleared the jungle a year ago.  So this year, for the first time, we are going to try our hand at harvesting and making our own coffee.  Think of it as the Rainbow Shower brand.

A few days ago, we picked our first little batch of coffee beans (left).  Elizabeth split them by hand.  Painstaking work.  It  took forever.  You can see them drying now on a slat that I made for just that purpose. 

This weekend, we got smarter.  After picking a five gallon bucket-full of coffee beans yesterday, we went to a friend's place who has a coffee pulping machine.  That's where we did in about 10 minutes what would have taken countless hours to do by hand (two right shots).  This friend, an experienced coffee-maker, also taught us what to do.  Now this second batch is fermenting in water for 48 hours before we lay it out to dry for a couple of weeks.  Then it will be ready for storage in a burlap bag.  After we accumulate 20 pounds of more, we'll take our bag to a commercial roasting place.  And voila... we will have produced the first of hopefully many Rainbow Shower Coffee brand products.

Rainbow Shower Coffee Production, Part 2

HAIKU, Maui, Oct 7 -  Since so many of you have expressed interest in our little coffee production, here's an update for you...


First, we'll have to back up to the picking part.  Since it took two of us to pick the coffee from our big trees - myself, to bend the tree, and Elizabeth to pick it - there was no one left to take the picture.  So here's a coffee picker in El Salvador doing the same job on some obviously smaller trees (left).

Back to the present time and place, after de-pulping the coffee on Monday, you can see in the remaining middle photos the filtering of coffee beans after two days of fermentation that separates them from the mucus-like slime in which they had soaked.  One of my local doctor-friends has asked us to bring him some of that liquid.  He intends to try to use it to make homeopathic medication.  You can also see the same process on a much bigger scale being done at a Panama coffee plantation.

After a thorough rinsing out, the coffee beans are laid out to try on slats that I made from 2x4 wood planks and window screens.  (Since I am not a "handyman," this is a major achievement, you know).  You can also see in the rightmost picture (the close-up) the difference between the first small batch of coffee which has been drying for nine days, versus the beans which we only laid out to dry yesterday.

Now we just have to wait and see what we will find when we return at the end of the month from our trip to Europe.  And then, the coffee roasting fun will begin, along with the wonderful fragrances that come with it.

As you can see, coffee-making is a slow and laborious process.  Some of you have wished us good luck with it.  We can always use luck.  But I am learning that the most important ingredient that goes into coffee-making is - patience!  For someone like myself, who never took up fishing or golf, for example, because he did not have enough patience for such slow activities, coffee-making is also therapeutic.  And a joyful process.  It will be fun to see the final results of our labor of love in harvesting the gifts of the land.

Speaking of the gifts of the land, check out that weed that I brought up from the gulch yesterday (right).

Special Sunday (10-10-10) Rainbow Show

HAIKU, Maui, Oct 10 - A friend of mine who is in the wedding arranging business in Sedona, Arizona, told me that last year, September 9 was in big demand (09-09-09).  This year, today's the day many couples are hoping will bring them lifelong happiness (10-10-10).  She said she had three weddings scheduled for today.  Which is highly fitting for another #3 Sunday (10-10-10 is No. 3 numerologically; also see Rainbows Return on "333" Master of Love"-Day, Mar 3).

Sure enough, after more than a week of zero precipitation, rainbows showed up in force this morning to give this special Sunday a heavenly dressing.  Here's a selection, along with one composite shot...

The rainbows kept changing and shifting, so I took another series of photos and made another composite picture...

In the afternoon, the western sun was lighting up the Rainbow Shower like a torch...

... just as Elizabeth was walking down the Orchard Rd to join me.  When we met, I handed her a five-foot "flower" I had cut for her as today's gift from the gulch.  It was a giant White Bird of Paradise leaf which she is holding in front of our only horizontal coffee tree (right). 

God's Sculpture in Gulch: Heavenly "Bon Voyage?"

HAIKU, Maui, Oct 13 -  Guess what I found in the gulch this today doing my morning rounds?  A "God's sculpture."  Raw.  Unpolished.  Beautiful.  Check it out... (right).

I must have passed by this patch of the Tulip Road just west of the Huaca a thousand times.  This is also where Elizabeth and I picked our first batch of coffee beans.  But this piece of wood, buried under the debris of leaves and shrubs, did not choose to reveal itself until this morning.  As I picked it up and threw it into my future wood-burning pile, I was struck by its unusual shape.  I snapped a picture of it using my cell phone, and then blurred out the background to bring out the sculpture itself.

At first, it looked like a calf's head to me.  Then I began to see other interpretations.  What do you make of it?

Okay, off to Europe now.  Guess that work of art was a part of the heavenly "bon voyage" for us.

And that's all for now from the Rainbow Shower so far in October.

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