Tag Archives: Cats

“Wine and Words”

If you haven’t checked out Kona Stories, give yourself a treat and stop by. There is much more than books to be found as you cruise through, and comfy chairs where you can relax.

Kona Stories was begun five years ago by Brenda Eng and Joy Vogelgesang. They recently moved from Mango Court to the Keauhou Shopping Center. Be sure to check out their web site for the many events going on there.

For me, one of the highlights offered by the shop is the monthly “Wine and Words.” This happens at 6:00 pm the first Tuesday of each month, when various local authors are invited to read excerpts from a book they have written. As you wait to listen, you can visit with friends, browse the shelves and enjoy a glass of wine (or water) along with a few pupus.

Last week I attended with several friends to listen to Nancee Cline, who teaches English at our West Campus of Hawaii Community College. There was standing room only as Nancee read from her book, Queen Emma’s Church in Kealakekua: Crossroads of Culture. She began by saying it was so much more than simply a history of the church. Her book is rich with anecdotes, interviews, and more.

After the reading, people lined up to visit with Nancee and buy an autographed copy.

I didn’t get a chance to cruise through the shop as much as I would like because it was way too crowded. That won’t be the last time I stop by, however. I want to return for a visit with the store’s mascot!

Congratulations, Nancee! We’re proud of your accomplishments.

A hui hou!

Cats!

Katrina Relaxing
Katrina relaxing

As a child, I only had one pet, a dog I named “Sugar.” This was in the days of WW II food rationing, and sugar was hard to get, just as the dog (when he would get under the house) was “hard to get.” After a few days, my parents decided we didn’t need any pets at all – and the dog was sent away.

Since I have became an adult, it seems like I’ve always had a cat, along with miscellaneous dogs. Deep down, I know I’m mostly a “cat person,” although I do love the dogs I’ve had in my life.

My dear friend and colleague has a beautiful Birman who reigns supreme. She is so covered with fluff that I often wonder if there is any actual body underneath the fur.

A close up shot of “Darlin’ Miss.”

Last week, I attended a “Wine and Words” evening at Kona Stories in the Keauhou Shopping Center. Once a month, various local authors read excerpts from their books, visit with those of us there and share in the pupus. Naturally, I was drawn to this beautiful gray, also enjoying the social event. It looks like this beauty had her/his share of crackers, cheese, and wine.

Many of you know my beloved Kaimana who lived with me for many years before he became too ill. He is buried beneath an ohia tree on my property.

Later that same year, I was given Katrina, a feisty little kitten who is finally becoming a lady. I took several pictures of her playing (and hiding) in the garden, but she kept moving around so much that it was difficult to get a clear picture. I probably should have taken a video, but check out this brief slideshow.

Watch for another post on one of the authors (Nancee Cline) and her book from the “Wine and Words” event I attended.

A hui hou!

Another Spring in Boise

As soon as Spring semester was over at the college, I took off for a week to visit my children on the mainland. I’ve posted photos of my daughter Inga’s garden in the past, but for the first time ever, I was there to enjoy it in person!

One morning while she was at work, I walked around her garden with my video camera. Another addition since I was there is the little dry creek and bridge in the photo above. Inga set it up to look like it empties into the pond.

Enjoy this YouTube I created of Inga’s garden in the early days of Spring, even though it was still very cold! You’ll see Quimby the Corgi, Mr. Bill and Spooky Boo her two cats, and a neighboring white cat that wanted to get into the act, too.

A hui hou!

Katrina’s Trick

Not long ago, I promised a video of Katrina playing fetch like a dog. It wasn’t something I had to teach her. She dropped her toy at my feet and sat there waiting for me to do something. I tossed it across the room and said, “Go play with it.” She got it and brought it back. Even now, several months later, she still loves to play fetch and could go on forever.

I was playing around with my little Nikon CoolPix to see if I could take a movie with it. As a result, I was able to get just a couple of minutes of her trick with the help of a friend. I love the way Katrina dives behind the pillows to get her toy.

She had already been playing for several minutes by the time I was able to figure out how to use the camera. At the end, she got tired of playing with my friend and brought the toy to me, then went off to play alone.

Enjoy this little clip until I can make a better one.

A hui hou!

Happy Halloween from Katrina!

When I checked my website this morning, I realized it has been over 2 weeks since I last posted something. Fall semester is my heaviest term, and as a result, school prep has come first. Now that we have passed the middle of the semester, I may be back on a regular basis again.

On September 4 of this year, I brought home a new kitten. As near as the vet could figure, she was born somewhere around the middle of June. This past week she was spayed by the Humane Society, and is doing fine. I took this shot of her with my cell phone about a month ago.

I have taken several pictures of her and like most proud owners of the feline species, I will be posting these periodically. Several of you have known about her from the beginning and are interested to know how she is doing now.

Katrina has several places where she likes to sleep – or survey her world, like the picture at the top of this post.

Her favorite place of all is across the red pillows of my chaise.

It’s not easy to get a shot when she’s asleep. The minute she hears me approach, even in her sound sleep, she is awake and watchful.

Then of course, there’s the big yawn and the question, “How dare you wake me up?”

She has found the ledge on my kitchen window.

What a brave, adventurous girl!

Like most playful kittens, she loves to pretend she is hiding. Can you find her?

Not only is Katrina a mischievous kitten, but she thinks she’s a dog! In a few weeks, I’ll try to post a little video of her playing “fetch” with me!

Happy Halloween!

Living on the Earth

This is an article I posted over two years ago on an old blog before I became “lavalily.com,” but there are some great books discussed here. I thought some of my new gardening friends might spot a book they want to read.

Since I wrote this article, my beloved Kaimana has been put to rest, but I have a delightful Katrina. She started out like a hurricane, but her storm has subsided and now she’s merely playful and mischievous.

I hope you enjoy looking through the books I’ve discussed below!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I can’t remember a time when I was not in love with books. Even before I could read well, my parents made regular trips to the little libraries in whichever town we lived in at the time. I spent many hours looking through the books in my grandfather’s library. They were on a huge revolving stand, and although they were much too deep for me at the time, I would take them out and thumb through the pages.

Kaimana thinks he can read some of my books, too, but I think he just likes the smell of paper.

The first books I actually remember being able to read myself were the Raggedy Ann and Andy books. Then came the Bobbsey Twins, Elsie Dinsmore, Heidi, Nancy Drew – and I was hooked. Whether for personal pleasure or academic reading, my library grew from there. I still have books for math, French, Spanish and literature from my high school years!

But books travel to places unknown, and over the years I’ve lost books because of floods, being stomped on by horses, through two divorces, loaning them to people I’ve forgotten, and numerous moves from state to state.

When I moved from Ali`i Drive to Ocean View, I gave over a thousand books to the Friends Of The Libraries, Kona, plus four grocery bags full of books on gardening to Kona Outdoor Circle. I still have over a thousand books here in my home, plus at least that many in a storage unit in California. This next shot shows part of my attempt to sort out which ones to keep and which to give away.

It was in the early 70s when I read a book that changed the way I lived my life. I was re-structuring my life as a single woman, and although I didn’t embrace everything in the book, it did start me moving toward a more “natural” way of living. It’s one book I’ve kept over the years, and my copy is a bit tattered. I was surprised to find it can still be purchased.

I had three years of Ornamental Horticulture classes at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo under my belt, and I’d always had an interest in gardening. From that point on, I couldn’t get my fill of reading about ways to garden and provide sustenance for myself. If you’ve been reading these posts on a regular basis, you know that I also lived on a 37′ sailboat for 5 years. My gardening slowed considerably during that time, but my interest in gardening never waned. In fact, I grew cherry tomatoes in hanging pots and kept a pot of aloe vera on hand for sunburned passengers.

When I lived in Tucson on the edge of the Sonoran Desert, I found a wonderful book that provided me with ways to use the “Fruits of the Desert.” Many of the author’s recipes and information on those fruits can be extended to some of our own produce. The cover is beautiful, and I’m sorry that Amazon doesn’t have an image of it to show you.

One book I forgot I had until just recently, is Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally, by Robert Kourik. It’s a large and rather detailed book, but full of good information for the gardener who is serious about planning an edible garden.

If you are interested in an adult version of a picture book and dream book, pick up a copy of In a Mexican Garden. I drool over the photos in that book! I would label this book and others like it as “garden porn.”

This should keep you busy for a while, and I will be telling you about more off-the-beaten-track garden books in the future.

In the sidebar of this blog, I have listed books I use on a regular basis for my gardening ideas. If you are interested in buying one of those or ones I mention in this post, please order through this site. It will help support my purchase of more gardening books. Please note that I receive a small commission from Amazon to help support “Lava to Lilikoi.”

Is this an addiction that I want to cure? I think it’s too late!

Miss Katrina

I wonder how many people have named their children or pets “Katrina?” It’s a sweet name, although one we generally associate with a hurricane (and that might be appropriate whether for children or cats)!

After my post on losing my beautiful Kaimana and another post later about my daughter’s cats, several people have called about kittens they thought were meant just for me. I also wrote other posts about a couple of the neighborhood strays.

But when I responded to Donna’s call, I fell in love with little Katrina. I had a hard time getting her to be still enough for me to take these photos, but maybe you can tell something about her from these fuzzy pictures.

I brought her back to my house in the bird cage that had been her home and put her in the bathroom. I had already fixed it up for her with a covered litter box, a nice bed, water and dry food on a placemat, and a dish for canned food.

She stayed in the cage overnight. I left the door open, but each time I got up in the night, she was in the same position as the time before – inside the cage.

By the wee hours of Sunday morning, she had decided to sleep in the litter box. It was probably dark and cozy for her, but I managed to fish her out and hold her for a while. She has a delightfully loud purr and loves being held.

I left her out of the cage all day Sunday, but still in the bathroom with the door closed. Many times during the day, I went in to sit and talk with her – and take pictures.

One time during the day, I carried her around the house and showed her the new home, talking to her the whole time. After leaving her in the bathroom another couple hours, I decided to simply open the door and let her explore.

She disappeared into my bedroom and stayed under the bed the rest of the day. It might have been a big mistake, but I suspect she will eventually find her way back to the food.

I will say that Katrina is a healthy 3 1/2 months old kitten, and will be spayed on September 28, courtesy of the Humane Society. She was brought to Donna by TommyBoy, another local cat. It’s most unusual for a male cat to take that kind of care or interest in a lost kitten.

I’m not sure what to expect tomorrow, but I now have put her back into the safety of the bathroom with fresh food. She will stay in there for part of Monday (Labor Day), then I’ll try her in the house again (maybe).

More will be revealed . . .

A hui hou!

Cat Escapades

 

Friends up the street needed to move but couldn’t take their cat along. “Tommy” was not the sort to be picked up, or taken willingly to a new home, anyway. So we thought I would be able to entice him down to my home, less than ¼ mile away. Gradually, I moved his feeding place toward my home.

Tommy is a beautiful orange and white cat, who had been a stray that took up residence at the home of my friends. He eventually became their pet, but at this point is resistant to getting a new home.

When I got him to about half the distance he needed to go, he stopped coming by. So I moved back toward his old home, and he came back to eat.

At the suggestion of my friends, I decided to use a humane trap that I have to simply take him down to my house. That worked like a charm – or at least seemed to at first. He went into the trap to eat the food I’d put there, but did not like being trapped at all.

I managed to get him to my home, kept him in the cage for about 24 hours, feeding him and making sure he had water. He seemed to settle down and talk with me. At the end of this time, I put more food into his dish, but a little bit away from the trap. I gently opened the cage for him to get out and eat. He took time to smell the food, but dashed off across the lava to his old home.

Because I thought he might remember where the food was, I left it, and in a 30 minute period of time when I wasn’t watching, the food was gone.

The next day, I put out more food, then watched to see if it was Tommy who came to eat. Surprise!

 

Now the gray and white cat has become brazen enough to come up to the back door to eat whatever food I’ve put out. I don’t know if s/he belongs to someone or if s/he is a stray. In Ocean View, many of the cats sort of rotate their feeding place, and if there is food out, they’ll find it.

I don’t know where Tommy is at this point, but I suspect that anyone buying my friends’ house will find themselves the owners of a beautiful orange and white cat, as well! I wonder if I’ve ended up with a gray and white cat?

A hui hou!

Springtime in Boise!

 

My daughter says that seeing everything come to life is what makes it easier to survive the cold, snowy winter months.

No words are needed for this Salute to Spring, although I have to say that I’m envious of her soil. Enjoy and pretend this is the first time you’ve ever seen something like this in your life! Can you imagine how that would feel? A few pictures of her cats ended up being tucked in with the flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A hui hou!

Memorial For A Beloved Friend

 

Over the past couple of years that I have been writing this blog, some of you have gotten a glimpse of my handsome black cat, Kaimana. In Hawai`ian, Kaimana means “diamond.” He was solid black with a little white spot under his chin like a diamond necklace.

He’s been with me for about twelve years. He became mine when he kept pawing at me through the bars of his cage at the Humane Shelter. Only a little older than a kitten, he quickly took up residence in my heart and home.

In my home on Alii Drive, he worked diligently to climb up the railing of the staircase. If he fell off half-way up, he’d jump down and start over. The first time he made it to the top without falling off, he sat at the top proclaiming his victory.

 

Then he spent the same amount of time learning how to go back down the railing without falling off. Once he learned both directions, he went up and down, up and down.

 

Like most cats, he could sleep anywhere and at any time – in a bowl. . .

 

. . . in a bidet . . .

 

. . . on a high shelf . . .

 

. . . in a bookshelf . . .

 

. . . or tucked in among the pottery.

 

Kaimana was the ultimate “techno-cat.” Whenever he heard the ring of the fax machine, he would run upstairs, sit on top of the machine and watch the fax arrive. I think he was trying to get it out to bring to me.

 

A rocky medical history resulted in several major hospitalizations. Even though it meant extending his life by several years, wearing this collar made him quite angry.

 

He loved to wander around the property as I worked . . .

 

. . . or lounge on a fallen log . . .

 

. . . or nestle up to the geraniums.

 

Always content to be wherever I was, he also loved to watch what was going on outside his world.

 

I wonder if he thought he was hiding from me?

 

I found out how sick he was with diabetes while my daughter was visiting, so I made arrangements for him to be put to sleep this past Wednesday. She helped me find the appropriate place for his final resting place and started the digging process.

 

As Inga was digging, Kaimana came out to see what we were doing. After investigating, it seemed as if he approved of where he would finally rest, so he went up to the house to take a nap.

 

I have put together a slideshow of pictures for those who knew him, or who would just like to see a beautiful cat at play and at leisure.

 

If you would like to view a larger slideshow, click here.

A hui hou!

All Hallows’ E’en

 

All Hallows’ E’en was the night before All Saints’ Day, a time when the deceased were honored. It was also a night when the ghosts and spirits of our “dearly departed” roamed the world, looking for a way back to their other world.

This celebration was also known as Samhain (pronounced sow-in) and roughly meant “Summer’s End” in Gaelic, a time for harvesting the summer fruits and vegetables.

 

Not only is it a time of rejoicing over the produce, but it’s also a season for goblins and witches, black cats and trick-or-treaters.

 

It seems that vampires are popular right now. I’m not sure I’d like to meet up with this character on Halloween night, even if he is my brother! Hilton was a guest organist for a Halloween concert a few years ago and performed as Count Dracula. Please visit his Halloween post from a year ago to read more about it, and to hear one of the pieces he wrote to celebrate Samhain.

 

Pumpkins and scarecrows have a place in all of this hullabaloo. Inga’s autumn display is quite appropriate here.

 

No matter where I look, I see these piercing eyes watching me. It would be a little spooky if I didn’t know it was my beloved cat, Kaimana! He fits right into the spirit of this holiday, don’t you think?

 

Then there are those weird creatures that come up from the bottom of the ocean, like Davy Jones (aka Hilton Jones). I can hear him dripping seaweed all the way over here. I hope this sailor didn’t drown off my sailboar.

 

The waxing moon will be almost full tonight, a good time for letting the “old man in the moon” keep watch over us.

 

My word of warning for tonight is not to eat too many treats, watch out for the trickers, and be safe out there! (There’s that darn cat looking at me again!)

A hui hou!

Gallimaufry

 

Before you go scrambling for your dictionary, I’ll save you the trouble. The word “gallimaufry” originally came from the French and it was a hash made out of meat scraps. So that’s what today’s post is going to be – sort of a hash of miscellaneous items that I find interesting.

After my post on watermelons and blueberries, I got a note from my Cuz’n Don, telling me about his own watermelon crop. On a visit to their daughter in Atlanta, they went to a new nature center that had just opened up. I think you’ll enjoy his comment on that.

 

It was was a pretty nice setup. As we were coming out there was a large number of plants that gardeners had planted. I came up on a plant that I had not seen in years. A group of people and one of the volunteers were trying to figure it out what it was. It was the size of lemons and green and growing on a vine. I heard their conversation and told them it was a wild MAYPOP and we used to pick it from fence rows in Mississippi and pop them open and eat the seeds. This is the same fruit as your PURPLE PASSION [Passion Fruit or Lilikoi] or a variety of it. Anyway, I followed the volunteer back to her office and she wanted to find it on the Internet and sure enough there it was. Now I hear I have a cousin in Hawaii that makes jelly out of it. OUTSTANDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (from Cuzn Don’s email)

 

I’ve been thinking about what grows well in my yard, and what doesn’t – and about what is worth the effort and what isn’t. I put out some gladiola bulbs that grew quite well and had beautiful blossoms. The problem? It took a lot of precious soil to get just a few blooms that didn’t last but a few days. If they do something on their own, that will be fine, but I don’t think I’m going to waste a lot of water, soil or energy on them. I’d rather put that into growing something I can eat.

 

My latest project, after pulling out the last of my summer garden, was to sweeten the soil in my raised beds and add some fresh soil. So far, I’ve put out seeds for red leaf mustard, thyme, sweet basil, broadleaf sage, cilantro, string beans, and beets.

 

I never knew there were so many kinds of basil! I’m going to plant Cinnamon Basil, Lime Basil, and Purple Dark Opal Basil, in addition to the Thai Basil and Holy Basil I’ve planted before.

 

Is there such a thing as seed addiction? If so, I’m an addict! I always buy way more seeds than I’ll ever get around to planting, but I think that’s the hazard of gardening. Can you tell what I want to plant next? Pattypan squash, leaf lettuce, collards, and tomatillos. The little clear package in front will be an experiment – ceratonia siliqua, what most of us know as carob. The tomatillos and carob I’ll start in little pots for replanting later.

 

My small lime tree in a big pot is full of deep green limes that look like I could start picking right away. Container gardening seems to be the answer for many things here.

 

Orchids don’t seem to have much trouble growing here, but what did you expect? This is Hawai`i, after all! My plants are full of tall spikes covered with buds. Here are the first two to pop out!

 

My few sprigs of donkey tail are starting to take over my front steps. I need to make some hangers for them so they can gracefully hang over my deck.

 

Here are a couple more plants that should be hanging up instead of sitting on my steps. One of these days I’ll get around to making some macramé hangers.

 

One of my favorite growing things right now is the Thai hot pepper. I carefully pick off a few to toss into slow cooker chili or pulled pork, or anything that needs a bit of heat. They are such a brilliant color in my garden!

 

“There are never enough hours in the day.” How many gardeners have said that? At this time of year when the days are getting shorter I especially wish I had more daylight hours after I get home from teaching. Fortunately, I can grow veggies all winter long here without worrying about snow or frost.

While I wait for my seeds to grow (they’ve already sprouted), I have arugula, spicy mesclun and red leaf lettuce still available for a fresh salad, and plenty of red chard for stir-frying in extra virgin olive oil with lots of garlic.

The opening photo above is my daughter Inga’s two kitties. They are always so cute as kittens, and two make good company for each other. I’ll show you her summer garden in another post. She does so much in such a tiny space! But she has real earth!

A hui hou!