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.
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!
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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!
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.