Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mele Kalikimaka


The holidays are snugglin' in closer now.. Families are working their way towards eachother. Bright lights line the roof tops and parties dot the calendar. Our Hawaiian weather has a nice chill in the air, and the north shore winter swell was pumping today. Our seasonal change is subtle, and I love it just the same.
My holiday season starts with day dreaming about the image I will create for my yearly card. This year I decided to holidaze my ducks. I thought it would be fun to carve their images and try to capture their attitudes, dressed up in holiday bling. Each one trying to outdo the other as they often do in the yard.
They are showing their holiday spirit. I am happy to share my woodblock image of my ducks in their finery..
I've named this happy piece" Duckie Kalikimaka."
                                 Wishing one and all Holiday Aloha and a Joyful New Year.
May you be blessed to spend  time this holiday season with those you love. May the world seem just a little bit brighter, and the love we share, stronger, and our memories just that much sweeter. May we give to those who have less than we do, may we be kind to one and all.

Peace and Aloha,

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Friends of Haleakala Christmas Tree Cutting

High up on the mountain, the Haleakala Ranch land borders  the National Park where an experimental pine forest was planted many years ago. Right outside the  park entrance the hillside is full of  beautiful, but invasive trees. Pine forests of Monterrey Pine and Mexican Weeping Pine threaten the nearby native forest.

Every year  the annual Christmas Tree cutting  at Pu'u Nianiau takes place to help stop the spread of invasive species into the park while also offering a wonderful outdoor experience. Yearly, the wonderful folks of Friends of Haleakala organize a Christmas Tree cutting event that is challenging and  rewarding.

The Boy Scouts  helped out by cutting small and medium sized pines,  leaving them along the trail for folks to gather.  I did not know about the trail gifts until making my way back down the mountain with an arms full of pine boughs loaded with cones for the start of my holiday wreaths. Luckily I brought gloves and my handy little folding saw, both necessary for the task at hand. I did manage to cut a tree, but, I knew it  would not fit for my inside decorated tree. It's a bit of an awkward shape. but will look and smell wonderful  on the lanai. For the first time ever, I have no pangs of guilt for a cut holiday tree. In fact, I experienced a  small sense of accomplishment.

 The work of the wonderful folks from the Friends of Haleakala  is an important addition to securing the future of our sacred mountain.  The Friends of Haleakala are a non-profit organization that is dedicated to assisting Haleakala National Park to achieve the purposes and goals for which it was established. " To preserve Haleakala's  unique eco - systems, scenic character and associated native Hawaiian cultural and spiritual resources so as to leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Well, yes, indeed.

I met Mat, a Friends Leader, at the start of the trail when I signed my release forms to go up the mountain. I've been interested in this group and now I have their newsletter and a schedule of their service trips into the crater. Volunteers backpack into the crater to a cabin or campsite to work on maintenance of the cabins , work with native plants or invasive species. If you think you are up to a service trip, check out their web site and see if you can find a good match.  It's challenging work, and ,it will be an experience that you will long remember

My giant Norfolk Pine at Hale Ho'okipa is a living proof how well some introduced species do  in Hawaii. Measuring 18 feet around the base {!) seriously, and approx 160' high it is one of the oldest and largest pine trees on the island of Maui. It's impressive and gives me pause to appreciate it's magnificent presence daily.

The holidays are kicking into gear, and mine have been off to a great start!

With Aloha and Gratitude,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day Gratitude

Aloha All,

Today was a  mellow Thanksgiving Day with high overcast and light winds. Unwinding at my favorite North Shore beach was a real pleasure.
Two wonderful guests and dear friends, Cyn and Peter, have been here for almost a week and we have been able to spend some special time together with an epic forest hike and Thanksgiving dinner.
So many great people stay here at Hale Ho'okipa, and I am blessed daily by their presence in my home.. Each and every person who comes in my door adds something to my life... . This week has been ten fold enrichment with my Eastcoast friends here..
Tonight, I want to express a heart felt Mahalo to all those who read my blog, readers who respond, guests who visit my home, visitors that think about Hawaii with fondness, and  folks who day dream of one day coming to our shores.
I am grateful to to be able to share Aloha with you.
May this season  bring  everyone a sense of purpose, stronger communities, a renewed awareness of stewardship for our planet,  more  shared love with our families and friends,  and a commitment to being  pono, living  in harmony and balance.

Mahalo and Aloha,

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Maui Bird Conservation Center


Not very far from Hale Ho'okipa,, high up Olinda Rd is a hidden gem.  
This morning I had the good fortune to take a tour of the Bird Conservation facility and learn  about our Hawaiian endangered birds.Our guide,  Natalie did a wonderful job sharing the obvious passion for their work. I learned that the  main reasons for loss of species in Hawaii are: Habitat Destruction, Competition for Food and Nesting sites, Disease, and Isolated Populations.
Good news, the Hawaiian Nene Goose is doing so well, that they have recently suspended the Nene propagation program , focusing on more severely impacted native birds. From 1997 to 2011, 750 Nene eggs were laid, 396 goslings hatched with a 95% survival rate. The population has increased from 40-50 birds in the 1950's with no Nene on Maui as recent as the 1970's. Now there are more than 2000 birds in Hawaii Nei..How wonderful!

Sadly, the Alala or Hawaiian Crow is now extinct in the wild. The Alala is considered one of the most threatened birds in the entire world. There were an estimated 20 birds in1994, some 56 birds in 2007, and now that number has nearly doubled. The significance of this beautiful bird is two fold. In Hawaiian culture the Alala is considered an Amakua, a family guardian, and this crow plays a critical role in the regeneration of native forests on the Big Island. In the wild the Alala is a busy forager eating insects, mice and native berries. To keep the captive and curious birds from becoming bored, these folks have created an enrichment program creating food challenges for them. The birds that hatch into captivity are surrounded by photos and audio of their own species so they won't imprint on humans.  They hope to release Alala into the wild on the Big Island in 2014. Birds are reintroduced by first releasing them into remote aviaries to acclimate.  

This program is a partnership with the San Diego Zoo , Forestry and Wildlife, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They can be reached at 808 572-0690.  

This link will get you information, their website is  ( I had issues with their link.)

If you want to learn and help, I encourage you to check these folks out. I am so happy  to have taken the time to drive up to the cool forests of Olinda this morning. I feel much richer for the experience.
Let's please treat our planet and all the endangered creatures and each other with great appreciation and respect.
For volunteer opportunities, please check out my site at
I hope to get these folks on the site soon.
Much Aloha on a glorious Maui day..

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Paia, Maui

'Twas Halloween Night in ol Paia Town
With Pirates, Ghosts and Witches all  running around.

Ballerinas on point were storming the streets
Pounding the pavement demanding their treats.

Butterflies and Bumblebees flitted through shops
Gathering on street corners eating lollipops.

Costumed children and parents a sight to behold
Making me feel young again and not so old.

With a bowl full of goodies my smile was big
Flooded with memories of being a kid.

May this be a time of Blessings and Bounty
Happy Harvest Moon to All!!

( This lovely mother and daughter rocked my world !)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Stand Up Paddle Happiness


Happiness ...A Day Off, time with friends, ocean, nature..good meals..ahh.
It takes  planning for me to take time off..and it is so worth it when it all works out. Even though we live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, most of us  work quite a bit to be able to live on Maui.
  Because of my previous love affair with outrigger canoe paddling, and life spent on some sort of surfing device in the waves, I have been wanting to jump into a new sport that fits my life style now .
This new calling is a combination of  paddling and surfing. Stand Up Paddle ( SUP) takes balance, some effort and a willingness to deal with the learning curve.
My dear friends Stacey and Chet who have stayed with me many times throughout the years, had moved down to Wailea after their upcountry hiking days at Hale Ho'okipa Inn.  Stacey and I had talked about Stand Up Paddle for quite some time and this weekend , we made it happen.

Having the right equipment makes all the difference between enjoyment and struggle. I borrowed a board that turned out to be too small.  However, no worries...Wailea Beach has a concession stand with some really sweet and helpful ocean folks called Maui Ocean Activities. The Beach Boys we met were Shaun and Phillip. We were in good hands,  they run a first class activity. You can find them at
 or 808 357-8989, to arrange your activities.They offer snorkel gear, kayaks, and SUP boards and paddles...What more could anyone want to enjoy a day of ocean fun? Being able to support small locally owned businesses is a great passion of mine. Anyone who reads my blog posts will recognize this.

Contributing to my Happiness Level was one amazing encounter while paddling our way back to shore. We had seen several Honu, turtles, and that is always nice.
However,  when a rare and endangered  Hawaiian Monk graced us with a swim by, my Happiness meter went off the charts...He/She was quite large and just cruised right by us, close and curious. Oh, wow!!!! I managed to stay on the board despite wanting to jump up and down with excitement.

There were some visitors who shared this experience with us and they were a little freaked out. I could not help myself and had to let them know just how blessed they were. I gave them the low down on the rare Monk seal and told them if a seal beaches for a rest, the whole area gets roped off to protect them from being bothered. We are very serious about guarding these magnificent creatures, and I will never forget the sound of that seal breathing as it broke through the water and the curious look in it's eyes.
With Aloha,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Life Affirming Design and Decor

Design has been near and dear to me for most of my life.  Personal taste is subjective, and I am hoping to go beyond the surface here and explore emotional response to design and decor.
 My  first memory of self expression in the world of design was my insistence of choosing a new color palette for my own bedroom. I may have been 9 years old, but I knew without a doubt that a lavender hue was what I wanted to wake up to each morning.  Being an artist, my mom was  enthusiastic in her desire to paint and re-paint our walls, so I knew she'd be game. My sense of self was elevated with this lavender bedroom. Being able to effect change in my surroundings set the stage for a life of spirited decor and design. 
Color anchors a room, and it is the least costly way to transform space. Creamy plantation white walls are the calm  negative space that are so vital in successful art. Crown moldings, plate rails and large baseboards of my heritage home are highlighted with tones that I choose to set a mood .
My Kona Wing guests described the two rooms as a "happy" mood....I laughed when I heard that as Victoria had coined it the "Happy" rooms just the day before.

Recently, I took advantage of a quiet week and tiled the shower in the Hibiscus room. My wonderful brother, who has lent a hand many times throughout the years, spent three days in a shower stall to get the job finished for me.While he was setting tile, I got busy making some changes   to this space. Fortunately I have enough inventory to "shop" in my own home.   The simplicity in this room is complemented by the serenity of nature in the decor.
Light is as essential as water and air to an artist. I like to use mirrors to reflect the  natural light from the antique wavy glass windows .It adds sparkle without going overboard.

Viki and I spin stories as a room is taking shape. The Rose room was next in line for a lift.  It was a true pleasure to develop a scene that spoke of  history, function, and elegance. We combined Plantation era pieces simple in their lines and design, with an ornate carved headboard telling the story of a family treasure surviving a long journey to a remote Hawaiian island. The guest who arrived into the Rose room after this transformation  told me at breakfast that he was very content in the room. He said it conveyed an elevated sense of old Hawaii .I smiled knowing that the honest sincerity of my design and decor offered repose, a  comfortable home away from home. What more could I ask for?

 With Gratitude and Aloha,

Monday, September 17, 2012

Upcountry Farmer's Market


I finally made it to the Saturday Farmer's Market this last weekend. I've been wanting to go for awhile, but am usually busy making breakfast for my wonderful guests at Hale Ho'okipa Inn.. My morning off happened to be Farmer's Market day, so instead of  sleeping in, I decided to head up to the market early.

What a treat it was, lots of fresh flowers, fruit , vegies , baked goods, raw juices, plants, Indian food, and fresh fish.
I had fun visiting with friends and drinking tea in the early morning sunshine. My bags were stuffed with goodies,  lots of fresh greens, and  huge bouquets of flowers for the b&b and chicken curry for lunch .

This is the best Farmer's Market on the island, in my opinion. These are small kine farmers who grow for the markets and probably Mana Foods in Paia. There are several booths, and a very relaxed atmosphere.

Best to get there early, especially if you want fresh fish...this week there was Mahi-Mahi and Aku.

The parking lot market is located in the Upcountry Longs area, on the Kula Highway, near the Cottages at Kulamalu.. Lots of parking is available and the weather is usually perfect in this area above Pukalani. Pukalani means " hole in the heavens" and this spot is usually clear and sunny with a view of the north shore below.

If you find yourself with some free time on a Saturday morning, head up to the Farmer's Market and "Buy Local." It will put a smile on your face.

With Aloha,

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Night Blooming Cereus & Dragon Fruit

Aloha All,

This time of year one of my favorite flowers and fruits are gracing us with their beauty and bounty.
The Night Blooming Cereus is a spineless climbing cactus that produces large white blossoms with lush yellow centers. Their fragrance is quite intoxicating and perfumes the night air between mid- summer to early fall. The exotic flowers are short lived, blooming into the night sky and staying open and vibrant long enough for the busy bees of the early morning to collect their pollen and start the mysterious Dragon Fruit on it's path.
I thought one had to hand pollinate these flowers to produce fruit.
My Oahu guest told he as he was handing me arm fulls of this delicious and expensive fruit, that the bees and bugs do the work for him. I went to go check on mine, and low and behold, three little yellow Dragon fruit were growing!!! I was so excited! I just went back to check on them at sunset and noticed there was only one left. :( Maybe the ducks flew up on top of the orchid house and ate them? I don't know, but my excitement was short lived...I might have to bag them to keep them safe.

The meat is delicious, soft and moist a bit like a melon, but, they almost melt in your mouth.
"Broke da mouth" as we say..ono, yum..I'll keep trying to get fruit, and one of these years, I'll get to pick them off the top of my orchid house.

Thanks, Steve, for bringing the bounty from Oahu!
Lucky guests at breakfast these last couple of days.

Enjoy the garden, where ever it might be!

With Aloha,

Monday, August 20, 2012

East Maui Watershed Wao Akua 2012

Aloha All,

It's been a fun and busy time lately. Last Friday night was Third Friday Makawao Town Party, and the opening of the East Maui Watershed Wao Akua 2012 show.

 I am honored to have had two pieces accepted into the show.

I framed my carved wood block after I ran a couple of prints. The  texture of the woodblock along with the inked colors was rather exciting to me. I love to feel the grooves in the wood  when I carve..I find that it starts telling me a story as I slice and peel the wood from the block.

 As far as the print goes, I had not really liked it as a finished piece. So I  figured there was nothing to loose and ended up tearing it  into a collage. What an liberating experience that was!  I have to say that the finished product is rather fun. It's always great to experiment.

My subject was the 'Ohelo Berry, a native shrub that grows  high up in Haleakala Crater and along the  slopes as well. Nene Goose feed on these tart and colorful berries. The varied hues of pink and red against the stark landscape of the lava fields is a stunning contrast.

The East Maui Watershed folks are some of my Maui heros.. The work they do to protect our native species deserves kudos from all. The turn out at the show was huge. The community is in full support of their important work. Part of the proceeds from all works sold at the show are donated to this deserving group of dedicated stewards of the land..

Mahalo to All and Malama Aina,

Thursday, August 2, 2012

PoliPoli State Park


Some days I just need to head up to the forest for some peace and quiet in nature. It's a bit of a trek up to PoliPoli state park along a very dusty and bouncy road. I know that a slice of heaven is at the end of the road and well worth the effort it takes to get there.
The forest is in a stage of new growth and recovery after a devestating fire some years ago. The pine and fir trees are over head high now, growing next to the charred remains of huge mountainside fire . It was quite dry today, except for down deep into the forest where the fog rolls in.
This forest was planted by the CCC in the 1930's  as an experimental timber forest. There are pines, fir and redwoods all growing together. The Redwoods  seem to thrive here, now strong and tall. Many of the other trees are uprooting as time goes by. Signs to watch out for falling trees are posted here and there, and they mean it.

The old cabins and large Hydrangeas really capture my creative attention as they adapt to the surrounding forest throughout the years.

Sitting and listening to the forest breath while the fog rolls in and drifts back out was soothing and just what I needed today.
May we all make time to be with nature often. Afterall, it is the best balance  for our busy lives.

With Aloha,

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

End O' Summer Annual Sale

Aloha All,

It's that time of year again..perfect weather, quiet north shore beaches, clear days in Haleakala Crater, and the super sale at Hale Ho'okipa Inn Makawao.

I recently posted a $5 off sale, and now because I want to make sure all my guests have the best possible time while on vacation on Maui, I am offering an additional savings for August and Sept.
$10 OFF Per Night!!  Here are a few suggestions of what fun you can have and what ono food you can eat  with that extra money in your pocket.
4 boxes of  delicious Kula strawberries from Pukalani Supperette.
2 pounds of  Hawaii lychee at Mana Foods
2 outrageous  Maui Dragon Fruit at Mana Foods
A tastey salad at Makawao Garden Cafe

Put all your savings together and see what wonderful treasures you can find at Maui Hands or the Sheri Reeves Gallery in Makawao. Both galleries have affordable beautiful island art .
Or, how about an evening of entertainment at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center?...There is always something worthwhile seeing or listening to at the MACC.
You know that you'll need a Haleakala National Park  pass. So,for just $10, a 3 day pass is yours! The pass is good for the summit and the other side of the national park in Hana.

It's endless, all the wonderful food, great events, tours and special gifts that you can enjoy with your savings from staying at the Hale Ho'okipa Inn. It's a win-win for all, and that's what I like!

Hiking up at Haleakala has been fantastic the last few days. I helped my guests get geared up yesterday for their great adventure. They took the 11 mile hike through the crater and said it was an experience of a lifetime . Being from the UK  I don't imagine they get to do alot of volcano hiking.

 This coming weekend is the State Canoe Paddling Races on Oahu. If you get a chance to check it out, don't pass up the opportunity. I miss paddling, but still get to hear all about it from my friends and family. My Big Island family will be working hard and having fun with all the vendors at the races. Look for Moku Nui for some awesome island apparel.

Consider this an offical invitation to come to Maui, enjoy some savings and have a really sweet time.
With lots of Aloha,

Friday, July 27, 2012

Organic Maui Fruit

Yes, indeed, I can say this now after seeing many comments on line about my fruit salad, and fresh fruit.  Praises have been sung around the world. Maybe it's not fruit from Heaven, but it is fruit from Maui. Much of it comes from my yard, depending on the season. My passion fruit, lilikoi is just starting to turn yellow and will be falling from the vines in a couple of weeks. My mangos are starting to blush.

Fruit salads are my speciality. I dress the salad with a fresh lilikoi if I have them in the garden. The flavor is tart and a bit peppery with the seeds. It makes a nice compliment to the sweetness of apple bananas, papaya, guava and mango. Some of my favorite repeat guests have mentioned how much they like the lilikoi topping.
Every now and then I have fresh grated coconut as well. I look forward to my own coconut trees producing nuts, love that coconut water and spoon meat.

Last week I was fortunate enough to find white pineapple in Paia. It was perfect because one of my guests normally has a reaction to the acid in a yellow pineapple and she was so pleased and surprised how gentle the white pineapple was.
This is a little sampling of what  guests say about breakfast.    This may be why  people call to ask if they can come over for breakfast. I have to tell them it's only for guests staying of Hale Ho'okipa.
 "Breakfast fruit choices are fantastic: most breakfasts had lilikoi, cheremoya, avocado, rambutan, orange, apple bananas, strawberries."
“The fresh fruit from Cherie's garden was a delicious treat each day.”
"The breakfasts were fantastic - so much fresh fruit, much of it grown right in the yard. It was definitely "fruit heaven."
"This is the best fruit salad I have ever had."

Today was a bit overcast and I worked in the garden. It was nice to take a break from the computer and get my hands in the dirt again. I hope to get my ground turned and ready for fall. Our soil has a bit of clay so I have to work to prepare it. It should be ready to plant this weekend.

It is a great time to visit Maui, the weather is comfortable, hiking is perfect now. It's not high season, there is lots of parking everywhere, and the ocean is so very inviting.

Hope to see you soon.
With Aloha,

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hawaiian Monk Seal


I am so excited to share these wonderful photos of a Hawaiian Monk Seal resting on the beach. Years ago I remember seeing one way out by a bouy while fishing in the ocean. Up until that time I had seen very few as they were rarely sighted close to or on the populated islands.
Now, we see them a bit more often, and it is really special. Even so, it is estimated that there are fewer than 1,000  Hawaiian Monk Seals living today. They are endangered and offically became the Hawaii State mammal in 2008.

Most seals prefer colder waters, the Hawaiian Monk seal lives in warm waters in the northern most islands of the Hawiian Island chain. They forage on lobsters, fish and octopus...and are very sleek in the water.

They will haul themselves out onto the sand  to rest in the heat of the day. A seal will often spend the afternoon sunning and napping on a beach. Whenever one is spotted, someone will call a ranger to  come  and rope off the area so the seal will not be disturbed. It is a bit clumsy on land, and could easily be bothered by someone coming too close. Most people who live in Hawaii are very protective of the seal and will make sure that people keep their distance.
This particular  Monk Seal was spotted at Kamakahonu Bay in Kona a few weeks ago. My dear Ilana  Maxwell snapped these wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing your photos, Ilana! She said that beachgoers had drawn a line in the sand around the female seal to give her  space while she lounged on the beach. Look at that face,she looks pretty comfortable.

Consider yourself blessed if you are fortunate enough to see one of these beautiful creatures.

Malama ke kai..take care of the oceans..

With Aloha,

Monday, July 9, 2012

Maui Real Estate July


It's that time again, July Hot Picks have been chosen and I want to share them today,
Please click to check out our latest newsletter with a variety of good deals.

My favorite is this lovely quality home on two acres of a park like setting of a highly desireable area of Lower Kula.  Real Estate in Upcountry Maui is some of the finest on the island. This unique property has the possibility to sell the cottage  with a smaller section of the parcel.
The views from this property are very inspiring, and I sure could pass some time in that heated lap pool.

Now, as far as views, check out this one from the Door of Faith Rd. property. It is so dramatic, and in an off the beaten path area, yet close to Paia on the North Shore.
The properties that are considered the best deals this month are not all high end..we have chosen
something from lower and mid range as well.
If you have any questions or interest in Maui Real Estate, please contact me. I'd be happy to help.

With Aloha,

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Summer Sale at Hale Ho'okipa Inn


It's time for a small summer sale at Hale Ho'okipa Inn Makawao   July and August accommodations are on sale , book now for an itty bitty savings  :~)
Every year I like to offer my guests a savings on their stay, and it seems that summer is perfect for a sale.

$5 off  per day may not sound like much..........
So here are some suggestions of what that $5 a day can do to make your vacation even more wonderful:

1 lb of ono delicious lychee from Mana Foods!
1 small red Dragon Fruit from Mana Foods ( the best food store in all of Hawaii, hands down)
1 large bag of organic and fresh greens from Mana Foods ( my list sounds like I eat alot!)
1 gallon and a smidge more of gas for your holo-holo adventures
2 boxes of local and yummy strawberries at Pukalani Superette
2 ahi fish patties and sauce at Rodeo General Store in Makawao
2 nights discount can buy you a beautiful Puakinikini lei at Pukalani Superette
2 nights of discount will satisfy your appetite at the popular Paia Fish Market (best fish burgers around)
2 nights discount will get you into the amazing Haleakala National Park, good for three days!

A jump in the ocean is free, a swim in our Upcountry pool is free, a dip in a mountain stream is free.
A glorious sunset sitting on the beach won't cost you anything. Cooling off in a tradewind breeze is yours for the asking.

It is possible to enjoy Maui without breaking the bank.., and it's a fun adventure seeking out all the great food and experiences waiting for you.

See you soon...

Independence Day Parade Makawao Style


Today was a perfect day for a parade....a fresh morning rain left the street glistening when the first horses started down Makawao Ave. I missed seeing the old cars,  as guests lingered over breakfast this morning not quite ready to brave the drizzle. My friend, Victoria and I, arrived in time for the end of the large trucks blowing their air horns. I sure could have missed that part..

After Miss Rodeo and the Grand Marshall, the bedecked rides and riders owned the street. I love this part of the parade..The horses are
decked in ti leaf leis, and the riders wear their palaka proudly.

There were too many political folks in the parade.
Being an election year, they were out in full force
today. I'd rather see kids and horses any day.

The real showstoppers today was the  keiki hula float with the sweetest young hula dancers wearing their lei and delighting the parade watchers. Lots of clapping encouraged the happy little dancers. This is what I will never tire of....The people of Hawaii are  so beautiful with a special blend of cultures and colors....

 I snapped a shot of a  young cowboy and his elder holding the reins on the walk home from the parade. I think I embarressed the boy by telling them what a handsome pair that they made.I just could not help myself.. I was all smiles and feeling content having enjoyed yet another July 4th parade, and they were some serious cowboys...

Come share in the simple pleasures of Maui's good life. Not everyday is the 4th of July, but everyday there is a chance to see something that will put a smile on your face.

With Aloha,

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday in South Maui


Sunday often finds me looking forward to doing something fun, take the day off, do some art, take a hike... I enjoy the end of the weekend.

Today after breakfast I was on a mission to view property in South Maui before my Real Estate showings tomorrow.
The Maui Banyan and the Grand Champions both fit the criteria for my search. One is in South Kiehi right across the street from the beach, the other is in Wailea on the hill just above the beach.
        I remember when this area of South Maui  before it became a vacation spot for so many, and it was dry forest along the coast. I used to camp and surf along this coastline back in the day.  I did not recognize the area when I  moved back to Maui from the Big Island. What was once lava fields had become emerald green golf courses, and it was a bit unsettling.
       I went to one of my favorite little beaches, and had a swim and was able to try Paddle board, and really enjoyed the experience.. I have to say that I do want to get into it a bit more.  Despite the wind and water chop, I was able to stand up and paddle and turn around to come back in on my second try.
      I decided to drive all the way down to La Perouse Bay. The Old Kings Trail was calling Annie and I for walk down the coast. It's a very special area, with ancient Hawiian ruins, and Old Hawaii feel.
It was peaceful and a stunningly beautiful day.
These are the kinds of days that remind me just how blessed I am. I don't really ever forget it, but,  walking in nature really brings it home.
Come to Maui to experience simple and beautiful nature, and kind weather.
  Living in Hawaii is a daily blessing.
I hear my neighbors strumming their ukuleles, laughing, and singing right now, the moon is large, and today was a great day.

With Aloha,

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Great Adventures on Horseback


My grandson, Aukai, and I just spent a few days of  fun adventures. We started our summer staycatation with an awesome horseback ride at  Triple L Ranch . We rode down to the ocean in the  backcountry of Ka'naio. These slopes of Haleakala are dotted with kiawe trees and the native Wili-Wili tree.
Our horses were great., and Aukai fell in love with his horse.

  He was very happy and sported a huge smile all day. I think  Surprise probably also enjoyed the light and agile rider she had for the day. She responded so well to Aukai. I was relaxed and comfortable knowing it was a great match.

My horse was named Chewy. I did let him get away with snacking on the run ..I imagine the cowboys don't let them eat as they walk, but, he was just so good at it, not missing a step as he snagged mouthfuls of green tips along the trail.

The ocean beckoned and we were looking forward to chilling out in the water and resting in the shade. The peaceful  bay where we lunched was  a welcome stop. As we were rounding the bend, we caught a wiff of  the world famous and, oh so ono, Bully's Burgers. Aukai and I climbed off our horses with our mouths watering, and lunch did not disappoint. Food always taste better outside for some reason, and these burgers, hot off the grill, were delicious.
Our guide, and cooks,  Saundra, Sheri and Braddah took wonderful care of us.  Saundra handled the horses well and  also shared information about the area.  She was a pleasure to spend the day with, and Sheri and Braddah gave us their all at lunch . An afternoon of relaxing  and talking story in the shade of the kiawi tree after a jump in the ocean, was just what I was hoping for.

Paige De Ponte had promised us a memorable day, and it really was. The Triple L Ranch is one of  the last Hawaiian ranches still raising their own free range cattle. Their horses are free range as well, living the good life. The ride was a  an authentic experience for folks who are looking for the real deal without all the fluff  and frills. Triple L has been a  working ranch for many years. Check out their website for their rich and colorful  history.
They have  been offering trail rides for a year now, and like all new businesses, are growing as they go.

I have to say that being able to canter and gallop back up the mountain was a real highlight for Aukai and I . We headed out across the hills searching for the water trough for the horses and I  loved every minute of the "no trail " cross country experience.   I was very happy that this ride let us experience all the horses could give us.

We had a blast!  If you want to spend a day in the wilds of Ka'naio, and  in the company of some downhome, resourceful folks with a healthy respect and deep love for their land and animals, check out the Triple L Ranch Trail Rides.

I am so glad that  Aukai and I were able to share this experience. I know we will always remember it.

 Heartfelt Mahalo to Paige and the Crew!

With  Much Aloha,

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Free Slack Key Guitar Festival

Aloha Folks,

This event is a wonderful time, some real Hawaiian Music..Ki Ho' alu, Slack Key Guitar.
 Kick back on the lawn and enjoy island food, Hawaiian arts & crafts and a full day of Hawaiian slack key music

Ki Ho‘alu Guitar Festival ~
21st Anniversary on Maui

Sunday, June 24 ~ 1 to 7 pm

Yokouchi Pavilion / A&B Amphitheater: Maui Arts and Cultural

Treat yourselves to the music of :

Nathan Aweau • Brother Noland • Ola Hou with Kevin & Ikaika Brown • Hi‘ikua
Stephen Inglis • Dennis Kamakahi • George Kahumoku, Jr. • George Kuo
Pancho Graham • Keale • Maunalua with Bobby Moderow • LT Smooth
Paul Togioka • Kawika Kahiapo • Makana

Wow, what a line up!!!!!!!!!!

FREE Admission ~ a hui hou!

For more information, call the MACC Box Office at (808) 242-SHOW (7469) or go online to

Well, if I was not going to Lanai for the day, this is where I would be...It's been a couple of years since I have been to one of these wonderful concerts, but, I always enjoy them.

Aloha for now,

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hui Printmakers

Aloha Folks,

I had the great fortune to attend a three day wood block print making workshop at the wonderful
 Hui Noeau Visual Arts Center in Makawao that just ended today.
The excitement I felt as this class was drawing near, was off the charts. I was jumping out of my skin because my all time favorite teacher, Casey Newman, was returning to Maui from the mainland for a week of workshops. Casey was my first teacher , and I learned so much from her our first time together. This time was alot of refinement and taking it all a few steps further. My friend, Donette Gene did a beautiful piece.

My usual mode is Japanese water color wood block as I am able to work at home in a small space. This workshop we used oil based ink, and , there is a big challenge in cleaning up with this method.
However, the weather on Maui allows one to take their time in running a print once the block is inked. Water color is a bit of a rush, with no real time to daydream once ink is laid down.
Casey gave me some pointers in improving my carving technique, and I am really happy my lines will be sharper now.  I did a marathon carving session on Monday..11 hours,(!!) with a small break to eat..I have to say, that time really does fly when you are having fun. Any artist will agree, that one of the wonders of total immersion is the ability to loose track of time...Being  so focused without alot of distracting thoughts is a thing of real beauty in my book.
The Printmakers community on Maui is a great bunch of folks. Another very special teacher I had the honor to work with was Claudia Coonon. Claudia is no longer with us, but her art lives on and on. She was very much involved with the Maui Crafts Guild.
If you feel something creative calling you, answer the call, pick up the phone, open the door..even if it takes you from the rest of your life for is so worth it to rejuvenate yourself and honor your creative impulses.

Life is good.

With Aloha and a Happy Heart,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Maui Community Work Day


We all know how great it feels to help put a smile on someone's face, especially a child...
I am happy to work with a company who makes it a point to give back to our community .

The Windermere Foundation was created  to support assistance programs for low-income and homeless families in  communities on the West Coast. In 1989 as a grassroots foundation serving families in need in Washington state, began, and,  has  now grown to ten states, including Hawaii, raising over $23 million for programs and organizations that provide shelter, clothing, children’s programs, emergency assistance and other services .

Here on Maui, our Windermere Valley Isle Properties just finished  Community Work Day. Last year we cleaned and spruced up the Makawao Boys and Girls Club. It was a great day and everyone pitched in to help the good folks in the Boys and Girls Club. This year we worked at the Kihei  Youth Center. It was so satisfying helping them deep clean and organize along with  keiki (kids) from the community .

We are all so busy with our lives, and to take time out to help others is a win/win.   Most of my volunteer efforts have been environmental ,working in tandem with  Somehow, planting trees was always  attractive to me.

I know from my personal experience, that being involved with the children of my community, working to make their lives even just a little bit better is equally rewarding, and I am grateful to Windermere for making it a point to give back.

If you have a chance to volunteer in your community, go for it!  You'll be happy you did.

 With Aloha


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Makawao Town Parties

Aloha Folks,

Last night was our Third Friday Makawao Town Party. The best part of the event was the fact that a part of Baldwin Ave was closed off to make it safe for all to stroll the street, enjoy music and local grinds from the street vendors. Put it on your calendar.
Music entertained all with the Haiku Hillbillies..they really rocked...Talented musicians, a stage full of them, kept alot folks jumping and swaying.  My favorite piece was called Kahakuloa Sunrise, so sweet and  fine..

It was a nice assortment of folks, free spirits to cowboys..a typical mix in Makawao...gotta love it.
Because the streets were full, I imagine the merchants did not see quite as much action as in the past when sidewalks were crowded and people were popping into the stores for some time out....I know this may be a trade off, but, it sure felt nice to stroll the street without watching out for cars..alot safer for all the keiki, and parents with strollers..

In behalf of all the merchants who also chip in for the event, remember to Shop Local and support our small businesses whenever possible.

Makawao is a wonderful town with rich heritage from all the immigrants who settled this area.  I am so happy and proud to call Makawao my hometown.

 I hope we can one day have a muesum in Makwao to keep that spirit alive and share all the wonderful photos from the past.

Have a wonderful weeked, where ever you are!

With Aloha,

Music Lovers..this is for you!

Aloha Jazz and Blues Fans,

True to form, Maui Delivers again..Put these upcoming dates on your calendar.
Iao Theater looks like an all out fest!!
Get out, tap your toes and swing your hips, and enjoy some tunes.
Thats what I like, more and more good music on Maui.

A hui hou..

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Maui Film Festival's that time of year again.
The wonderful Maui Film Festival is in full swing.

Enjoy a lovely evening under the stars with friends and sweethearts..bring your blankets and beach chairs and get ready to be entertained.
As the folks from Maui Film Festival say " The One. The Only. Celestial Cinema"  and a great event it is!!!

Our lovely Maui Arts and Cultural Center also shows films for the four days of the festival, if you don't want the outside experience.

Check out the line up and make plans...It's a perfect time of year to go early and enjoy the sunset and a delicious dinner in Wailea. There is also food available at the cinema., and other events for the festival as well. Support the film makers and participate in their Filmaker's Panel on Sat. June 16th.

See you at the movies!
With Aloha,


Maui Real Estate on Sale now!


With so many *headlines* concerning Real Estate changes  lately,this should clarify the  Maui News reporting a few days ago.  Record low interest rates and the lowest Median price on Maui in 5 years, makes it a great time to hop off the fence and think more seriously about a Maui Real Estate purchase. This year, your Maui ownership dream can become a reality.

*"Housing Indicators are Up!"
On May 24th several housing indicators came out: apps, prices, sales. And all were up! - Reuters

*"The national median home price rose for the third straight month in April" - HG Housingwire

*"Hawaii ranks #1 in House Price Appreciation"
Federal Housing Finance Administration’s Purchase-Only House Price Index

*"Oahu Home prices near 5-year high!"
Honolulu Star Advertiser 6/8/2012

And yet on June 11, 2012 the Maui News wrote…

*"Single-family homes at ‘sale’ prices on Maui"
Median price hits 5-year low in May

The median price of single-family homes in Maui County dropped last month to its lowest level in at least five years. Coupled with record-low interest rates, real estate professionals say the Maui home market is at one of its most affordable levels in nearly
 a decade.
"It sounds cliche, but Maui's on sale right now," says the president of the Realtors Association of Maui.... Maui's May numbers are the reverse of what the Honolulu market experienced last month. Those in the industry say because Maui has a much smaller inventory of properties than Oahu, a handful of low-priced homes can skew Maui's averages downward and vice versa.

Why are prices going up on Oahu but Maui is 'on sale'? Just a few months ago we wrote that Maui’s real estate market was starting to turn. The above headlines make it clear that this is a fact in Honolulu as well as in other parts of the country. While Maui tends to lag behind Oahu and the mainland, sometimes numbers can be deceiving.

The real estate market on Maui is turning, with different parts of the market behaving differently. In May, 36% of the closings on Maui were short sale or bank owned, and 25%  sold for under $299,999. Also, 13 of these lower priced homes  went into escrow more than 4 months ago. So the numbers would indeed be skewed to reflect this brisk activity in the lower end of the market and cause statistics of the overall median price to decline. But, this end of the market is seeing multiple offers and increasing prices, so don't be deceived by the statistics. When inventory is low and multiple buyers vie for the same properties, prices go up.

An important secondary factor in the market picture on Maui is the low inventory. The number of units on the market is down almost 40% from a "normal" market, and this will impact prices.
Conventional wisdom says.... You will not see a market like this again for at least 12 to 15 years. Maui is indeed “on sale”. And it won't be long before Maui's market catches up to Oahu and the rest of the country.

I look forward to helping you with your Real Estate needs.

With Aloha,

Cherie Attix R(S)
Windermere Valley Isle Properties
Paia, Maui

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ag, Animals Fowl and Farm Maui


This is an unoffical start to Summer weekend with the kick off of Upcountry Ag and Farm Fair.
Two days of food, entertainment (of course, food and music!!!) presentations and a  Maui 4H Livestock show and auction gave the community an event to enjoy together .
I had a guest who flew in from the mainland to judge the  kids's animals for the show. We had an interesting conversation while I was making breakfast. I learned about beef, catagories and sub-catagories of beef, natural, grass fed, organic, conventional...etc. I told my guest that the best beef I have ever eaten was in Argentina.  For the last 30 years I have sampled some of the best beef on the planet..and I have to say that Maui Cattle Company is  ono as well.
This year's Upcountry Ag and Farm Fair is dedicated to the legacy of the Maui Paniolo, Hawaii's beloved cowboys. Alot of talk story going on in the tents that are honoring the resourcefulness of the paniolo.

While my guest was here I showed him what my hens have been giving me with this week, itty bitty eggs, and gigantic eggs, (!) the kind that do not fit into the pukas of the egg carton..I can't close the lid they are so big.
 My knowledgable guest explained the ends of laying cycles for hens and what is produced during these times. I think it's time to explore getting a few more chickens, now that everybody is under control again with ducks and hens all where they belong.

For now, welcome to summer!!!!..beautiful blue skies, nice tradewinds..Always a pleasure, hope we can still get some rain for the garden throughout the summer.
Alot of guests from Texas are showing up now..they tell me it's the time of the year to get the heck outa Texas, pretty hot from what I gather.
Come to Maui, cool off in the blue Pacific ocean, hike in the forest and relax at the end of the day on the back lanai of Hale Ho'okipa Inn.

See ya soon.
With Aloha,

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ulupalakua on Sunday

I wanted to share one of the most beautiful drives on Maui with you!, and to top it off..a great day with artists and musicians at the Winery in Ulupalakua as well. I may just see you cruisin out this road..

Sunday Drive June 3 - "Ulupalakua Inspires"

Celebrating the beauty that has captivated artists for generations.

Music at Winery Grounds Stage 11 - 4

Jeff Kashiwa; one of the most diverse, in demand sax players of contemporary jazz

•The Mitch Kepa Banch

•Fulton Tashombe with Kelly Covington

•Baldwin High School Jazz Band

• Artists

•Randy Jay Braun

Timothy Garcia

Monday, May 28, 2012

High Winds in Hawaii


Some typical Spring weather has been visiting the islands. Haleakala National Park had high winds up to 60 miles per hour today. Two sets of guests at Hale Ho'okipa Inn braved the elements up on the mountain. Yesterday morning also brought rain and even though the top of the mountain was above the clouds, they said they could hardly stand up and walk at the top. Today's guests did take a full day hike through the crater despite the high winds at the summit. A mile down the Sliding Sands trail the winds calmed down and they were rewarded with a great 11 mile hike.
I love this hike, but have not done it in awhile. I need to build up to it again..Maybe I'll go for it during the summer months. My first over night stay was during the summer several years ago, and it was truly an unforgettable experience.

Here's to hanging on to your hat....welcome to the windy and rainbow!! season in that fresh air!

A hui hou,