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 “,” 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!

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