All posts by Lucy Lee Jones

Palamanui Update as of December 2014

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In November of fall semester 2014, I visited our new Palamanui campus. You can look at the slideshow from that trip and read a bit of the school’s history here.

Then in December, with all classes and exams complete, our faculty and staff gathered for our annual “end of fall semester” celebration with a potluck. This year, we gathered under a large tent at a location just above the new campus so we could look at it as we ate.

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Through our gathering, we felt like we were staking our claim for the new school. We have been told we can start teaching there in fall semester 2015. In our minds, we visualized walking into the new classrooms to join with eager students in their educational process.

The pictures from the November post were of the inside of buildings primarily and I wasn’t able to post pictures of the overall campus. I took more pictures from our vantage point during the December potluck, and thought those of you who have an interest in Palamanui would like to see.

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Most of the work is being done on the inside right now, so the outside doesn’t look finished yet. These pictures show several buildings and the total layout of the new campus.

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I’m sure our community will get a chance to visit this new campus in the near future. We look forward to bringing higher education to the North Kona side of the Big Island of Hawai`i.

A hui hou!

Palamanui – Then and Now

On May 19, 2004, a group of instructors from the University Center at West Hawaii were taken on a trip to see the land where a new campus would be built. We went in a convoy of four-wheel drive vehicles. I took quite a few pictures, but two stand out in my mind.

The first is where the buildings would ultimately be put up.

The second is a shot of us seeing the plans for the first time. It was raining, and as we huddled under the tent to stay semi-dry, the site was pointed out to us. We all became excited!

That was over ten years ago!

This past week, November 14, 2014 I had the wonderful opportunity to be taken on a private tour of the buildings by Dr. Marty Fletcher, Director of our facility. Below is a slideshow of the pictures I took to show the progress, and I was almost in tears as I remembered how long we have all waited for this. We have been assured that we can start teaching in the new buildings for fall semester, 2015!

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The windows go in right away, and then they can start finishing the inside. Walkways will be covered and shaded with solar panels. It is like a dream that is coming true! I’m sure I will be giving an update as soon as we are actually in the new campus, or maybe a few more as we start moving in.

A hui hou!

No Labor Day For All


We love Labor Day for giving us that last bit of summer for cookouts, beach trips, one last vacation day, and more. But not everyone gets to take off on Labor Day. You know who you are:

• medical personnel at the hospitals
• pilots taking you on your trips
• clerks in the grocery store for those few items you forgot
• farmers with animals who need care every day
• workers in any store that stays open today
• police who are always on the job
• radio and TV announcers
• and so many more . . .

It is to you who keep our world going even on holidays that I send a big MAHALO today!

A hui hou!

Iselle on the Leeward Side

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I know some of my readers are interested in knowing what happened here on the Big Island when Hurricane Iselle hit this past week.

Fortunately, I live on the leeward side of the island with two mountains dividing us from the windward side. Iselle’s landfall was in Ka’u District, where Ocean View, Na`alehu and Pahala are located, creating lots of flooding and loss of trees. It seems the biggest damage, however, was in the Puna District. Here is a link to some of the pictures showing the results of Iselle there.

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The morning after Iselle hit, I walked with some friends visiting from California on the beach just below my home to see the surf. The pictures on this post are from that walk.

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We got rain earlier that morning, but it was nothing like what I had expected. A little later in the morning, we got quite a wind – so much that I almost had white caps on my pool! Other than that, we were not hit at all. Many of my friends were not that fortunate, and too many are still without power and phone. It’s a miracle that people lived through it all.

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Mahalo for all the thoughts and prayers that came to our island!
A hui hou,

Sunrise – Sunset

Sunset from my patio

When I lived on Guam, I always thought the sunsets were particularly spectacular, and they were. I haven’t seen anything like them anywhere since then. I will find those slides someday and do a post on them.

In the meantime, the sunsets (and sunrises) on the Big Island of Hawaii and other places are beautiful, too, and in a different way. It’s not easy for me to explain, but here are a few for you to enjoy.

The sunset above is from my patio, looking out toward the ocean.

Each morning, we walked along St. Petersburg Harbor around 6:00.

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This sunrise picture was taken just as the dark was ending on Coffee Pot Bayou in St. Petersburg, Florida, where I spent a few weeks this summer visiting my brother.

Coffee Pot Bayou

Early evening on our cruise, we enjoyed sitting on the top deck. Here I am looking toward the bow of the ship. It was not quite sunset, but getting close.

Sunset just starting-toward bow

I attempted a shot of the sunset on the Gulf of Mexico heading toward Cozumel, Mexico. The reflection on the water was almost too bright to photograph well.

Sunset on cruise

At the end of the cruise, my brother took this picture on our return, with an interesting view of Tampa Bay just before sunrise.

early morning return to St. Pete

A hui hou!

New Home!

1-spring flowers

In 2005 I bought this sweet small house on an acre of land consisting of nothing but a’a lava rock. Then in May of 2008, I started this blog. I began to share photos and write about how that acre of lava was developing (or not developing).

Since late spring of this year, I was given a home that is closer to the college where I teach, closer to town, and has land that will actually grow something. It is still rocky, but the lava has decomposed enough that it manages to provide more of the lush greenery for which Hawai`i is known.

Down side yard toward back1

While I lived in Ocean View, I complained about not being able to grow anything, or at best what did stay alive was growing at a snail’s pace! Now my complaint goes in the opposite direction – everything grows too quickly! This view into the side yard was taken in April.

Down side toward back2

Two months later in June, it was so overgrown that no one could walk through it! There is a lot of work to be done still, but with the help of some friendly landscapers, it is beginning to take shape. I’ll post more pictures as things start to look beautiful again.

I look forward to cleaning out this little area with its raised beds. It is a perfect spot for growing herbs, or starting seeds, or potting seedlings, and more. The purple sweet potatoes growing here were probably from starts the previous owner was tending. I will transplant some of those into a backyard garden.

Raised bed for herbs

Friends have given me lilikoi seedlings and several white pineapple plants. So much to look forward to here!

A hui hou!

More About Lilikoi Butter

Ever since I made my first post about Lilikoi Butter back in early September of 2009, I have had more than 50 comments on that post alone. When I did “Lilikoi Butter Revisited” in that next summer, I received 26 more comments – a record for any of my posts – and they keep coming. Mahalo to everyone who has written about this delicious food!

People still tell me about their tricks in getting out the juice, about how their efforts turned out, and many made recommendations on what to change, or how they changed it. I’ve learned a lot but haven’t been able to make any lilikoi butter in ages.

Recently one of my readers sent an email about her overabundance of lilikoi. I asked if I could get a few for seed. When I put the last ones into the ground, they were stripped right away and never did do anything. She gave me two different kinds and this time I’m going to keep them in pots under a trellis or tree. I’m determined to get them to grow!

This afternoon I’m picking up more from her. I love them just to scoop out with a spoon and eat, but probably will freeze most as juice for use later.

Now I’m looking for anyone in my area that might have Seville Oranges for marmalade. I love the tartness of true Scottish marmalade, so regular sweet oranges don’t work. I’ve made Pink Grapefruit Marmalade but I miss the flavor of the oranges. Also, pink grapefruits aren’t always available.

A hui hou!

White Rain Lily

I planted a few tiny bulbs about five years ago and I always forget they are there. After several nice rains, one little beauty popped its head through for me this morning. It is known for blooming only after rain, and still it is always a surprise when it does bloom. The rest of the year, I don’t even know they are there. Tiny and delicate, the leaves are like narrow blades of grass, and the bloom itself is small. The wind was blowing the blossom a bit, so one is slightly blurry. I thought you might enjoy sharing the surprise with me.

A hui hou!

Hau`oli Makahiki Hou!

This is a repeat of a post I wrote four years ago. Somehow it seemed appropriate to post it again, with an updated year!

Tonight at midnight, it will become 2014. I’ve never believed in making resolutions for the New Year. What I like to do instead is set goals, both long-term and short-term. These are usually in several categories.

My favorite book for this is Your Best Year Yet! by Jinny S. Ditzler. It’s just a little paperback that asks ten questions “for making the next twelve months your most successful ever.” I’ve used it for the past fourteen years or longer, not only for myself but for my students.

This book can be used in any area of your life, from income to relationships to self-esteem. One reason I love this book is that it starts out with looking at what you accomplished over the past year. This acknowledges the positive aspects of your life rather than just those things that didn’t work out.

We may think we know what we want for our life, but until it is written down with a bit of structure and planning, it goes nowhere. We cannot leave our life up to chance.

At the end of just a few hours you end up with a one-page summary of your plan for the next year. They become your own words of wisdom for the year. This kind of exercise can help to change your life from merely “good” to “great!” That’s something we all deserve!

May you create joy and abundance in all things this next year!

I’m off to work on my own 2014 goals!

Hau`oli Makahiki Hou! (Happy New Year!)

An Old Southern Memory

The college I attended right after graduating from high school was Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. I spent the majority of the decade of the fifties in Jackson, a decade of great turmoil in the South. I don’t need to remind you what that decade was all about.

My young husband and I went in to register to vote and pay our poll tax. Somewhere deep in a box I still have mine. If I can find it before I post this, I’ll include a picture of it. In the meantime, I’ve used a picture of me at that age. (It is a picture that brings tears as well as laughter!)

Allow me to describe the scene when we registered for the first time in our lives to have the privilege of voting. In order to vote, not only did you have to pay the poll tax, you had to answer a political/historical question. The one we were asked, as “just turned 21” white kids, was “Who was the first president of the United States?” – a question even most first-graders could answer.

There was a young African-American man at the counter, also wanting to register to vote. His question was something like “Who was Patrick Henry and what did he have to do with the Federalist Papers?”

When Martin Luther King, Jr. helped to bring more freedom to his people, in all actuality, it was for all people. On January 23, 1964, the 24th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. No longer would anyone have to pay a poll tax or answer silly questions in order to vote.

We will honor his birthday tomorrow, January 16, 2012, even though today is his actual date of his birth, January 15. It is with great admiration that we have this day of celebration.

A hui hou!


Many of us have read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert written in 2007. The notion of using three words to define a specific period of her life, some have started to seek out three words that relate to their own life. One blogging author finds three words to symbolize her year, both in how she writes and in how she lives.

Just for fun, I decided to try the same thing, but somehow the idea of having to keep three words in mind all year felt a little overwhelming. I’m not sure if that’s because of my schedule or my aging brain!

I chose to concentrate on one word each month, instead. I think what I’m needing out of these words is a shift in attitude more than doing more of what I do, or doing it better. We’ll see if this concept works out by the end of the year.

Somewhere over the past decade, I’ve given up dreaming of what my life could be, or what I want out of life. This year of 2012 is a time for me to examine my dreams and goals in life once more. So I have chosen “Dream” as my word for January, and I don’t intend for this to be just “daydreaming” (as in wishful thinking).

However I apply the word I choose each month, I believe it is important for our mind and soul to actually pursue something in our lives, whether that is change or expansion – or simply staying open to new possibilities.

Hau`oli Makahiki Hou!
Happy New Year!

Lucy’s Basic Quiche

I was asked to bring quiche to a Christmas brunch with friends, but it’s been years since I made a quiche, even though I love it. This was as good a time as any to rev up my cooking skills. The proof will be in the eating!

There is a lot you can do with a quiche, and it’s hard to go wrong with the ingredients. The basic mixture of eggs, milk and cream of some sort plus seasonings is fairly standard. Some people bake the crust first in a blind-bake, but I’ve always had good luck just putting it in the raw crust. I think it’s the addition of a little flour in the egg mixture that does the trick. Others swear by coating the crust with egg white. Whatever works, right?

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Pour boiling water over ¼ cup of sun-dried tomatoes. Let this soak while you do the rest of the preparation.

Sauté the following in a little extra virgin olive oil, or do what I did and nuke the veggies about 2 minutes to soften them.
2 cups broccoli florets or 2 cups sliced Brussels sprouts
½ medium onion, diced
equivalent of 5 mushrooms, sliced (depends on size of mushrooms)
other veggies could be added, too (like spinach, chard, kale)

Prepare egg mixture:
4 or 5 eggs
¼ cup milk
½ cup commercial sour cream
¼ cup flour
1/8 teaspoon fresh marjoram leaves (chopped)
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Beat until smooth, then add ½ cup grated cheese (variations below).
Drain and chop the soaked sun-dried tomatoes and add to mixture.
Pour over softened veggies and mix so all veggies are well coated.
Pour all into unbaked crust and bake about 50-60 minutes until brown and firm in the middle.

Pie Crust:
1½ cups flour
dash salt
½ cup baking oil (not olive)
2 Tablespoons cold milk
Mix the oil and milk until milky and well combined. Pour over the flour and salt. Mix well with a fork, then press the dough into the pan to make a nice crust. For this recipe, I used a 10-inch 1 ½” high tart pan with straight sides, but could be done in a regular pie pan (large).

To make two quiches, I doubled the recipe and made them different.
1) In one, I put 2 cups broccoli florets, used Swiss cheese, and topped it with freshly grated Pecorino Romano.
2) In the other, I put 2 cups thinly sliced Brussels sprouts, used pepper jack cheese, added 1/8 teaspoon Thai red peppers (crushed) to the egg mixture, and topped it with crumbled feta.

I grow the tiny Thai red peppers in a pot outside my kitchen door. Sometimes I use them fresh, 2 or 3 in a pot of soup or stew. The ones I used for this had been dried and kept in the fridge for whenever I need dry red pepper flakes.

NOTE: Even with all the tasty ingredients, these both seemed a little bland. The one with Brussels sprouts, peppers, Jack cheese and feta seemed a bit tastier, but could have used even more of the peppers.

A hui hou!