Friday, January 28, 2011


The 3-day-in-the-making Volcano Cake went to school today to show off!
There's Alli with this amazing cake!  Per Richard, "I'll have to say, she's outdone herself this time!"

The traveling road show packed into school in one trip, and after the class, it migrated to the school office for a re-creation!  That cake was HEAVY!  Ben's legs are sprawled atop the dry ice container, and on top of the stroller are such things as paper plates and forks, a trash bag, implements for "igniting" the volcano and wipes for 28 kindergartner mugs and hands.

We're ready!  Sam wanted his mom to do some "teaching" about volcanos, and he picked out the book he wanted her to use.  Note Ben in the back with his special gloves which can "touch" dry ice, if needed.

Sam and his class arrive!  Sam is in striped shirt about 5th back from the front.

Sam's teacher brings him to the front.

Teaching time -  SUBLIMATION! which is when, for example, dry ice, which is frozen carbon dioxide, goes from solid to gas  without a liquid phase like water has.   Also, some teaching about Hawaii's  active Kilauea volcano which we will see tomorrow when we fly to the Big Island.

N-I-C-E  J-O-B !
Blowing out the candle

Can we have more, please?

A class picture!

Ben, you were so good!  He's pictured here with the local Muscovys!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Just wait'll tomorrow when Richard and I get back from Honolulu with dry ice!  Alli will dump some chunks into the half-soda can in the top, and pour in a little hot water, and billows of steam will pour out.  Theoretically.  She'll run a test tomorrow at home, but at 1 p.m., the cake goes to school for 28 members of Sam's class to witness this active volcano!


Speedy hands (check Sam's) were digging in to the frosting in order to fill in some gaps needing lots of "mortar".  Sometimes our fingers tangled in the can!  It was really fun!  That speedy hand managed to sweep past my clean shorts, depositing a glob on them that got us on another round of  laughing.

Here's the right way to scoop out large globs.  We had scrubbed hands first, of course!

Only once, at the start, did Sam suggest "I should probably take just a little taste of the frosting . . . to be sure it is fresh!"  Amazingly, when he was through globbing, he WASHED his hands instead of licking, but when I asked if he'd help clean mine off, he happily got right in there to eat it!

It's mom and Sam's partnership that delicately added the "lava flow".  A great team effort!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011


That's an early sign that not everything's in place for this day!  Richard and I  got the call while at Kalapawai waiting for breakfast,  asking for a jump from "Triple R". 
That's for  "Richard's Ready to Roll".
Apparently, "somebody" left the truck key in "accessory" position overnight, resulting in a nice dead battery surprise for the morning!  Ben, quickly discerning his mom's need for rescue, put the jump cables on his "ATV" and coupled them to the truck.  There wasn't quite enough "oomph", so lucky us, we're in Hawaii in just the right place to rescue the damsel.  Ben was so sweet, having earlier tried to pump up tires and do whatever might make the truck work.

In return for his effort, he was to start the car (pretend).  You should see our little '96 Ford Escort (seen through the far window) jumping the huge Nissan X-terra!  It's hilarious!  This is x-2, since we had this drill about 4 weeks ago.  Practice makes perfect.

Ben's ready to roll with a "b'bye, Gwamma!"

However, this is volcano cake baking day, which entails a trip to the Commissary only 2 miles away.  Not enough of a trip to charge the battery, so "gwamma" gets to go and sit in the idling Nissan while Ben and Alli scramble through the shopping.  Gwamma has no objection - her iPhone 4 keeps her amused!

Arms are flailing around everywhere when Sam gets home from school!  This is no common cake, of course!  It's a volcano cake (we'll be going to the Big Island this weekend to see one up close), which will be spewing hot gasses (dry ice in the center with a little water to make it spout).  It's many layers of cake which will be loaded with frosting and taken to Sam's class at school.  Sam's holding the electric mixer here, Alli containing Ben (somewhat), and that's my hand on the red bowl hoping to keep it from spinning onto the floor!   :)

This is the 2nd batch of layers.  I got off easy . . . Ben has lost a little interest and is being amused by Alli while the first batch is baking.

The very tricky assembling (don't talk to me right now) stage!  It's quite an architectural workup.  
Holding it's shape in the fridge for the night.  Dave was a little less than enthused - he doesn't know yet what we can do cosmetically with a ton of frosting!  You just wait, Davey!  Tomorrow's a whole new day of creativity!  Oh, we also need to source dry ice.  Having a little trouble with that.  Anyone have a CO2 fire extinguisher to donate?  It'll make dry ice!

Sam and I finished the day with a couple of  games of Checkers - he won!  Richard took a weary gwamma out to a nice dinner.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Nice reward for getting up early to do my walk!

We call this the "VW Bug Move" with Ben driving.

I guess this is the "horsie move".

On our way to Dole Plantation, we stopped at our local Kalama Beach Park to take a look at what the sea delivered last night.  Unusual.  An abundance of driftwood met up with some creative users.

Over the H-3 - here's what an O'ahu highway looks like from our Windward side.  Clouds veil the Ko'olau Mountains making for some dramatic views.

Equipment from the early 20th century.  Immigrants were desperately needed during the 19th C. for plantation work, which gave rise to the nice cultural blends we have in Hawaii today.

The "Pineapple Express" train.


The Pineapple Express - a nice overview of the plantation
Collections of hibiscus.  The yellow hibiscus is Hawaii's state flower.

Sugar cane

Beautiful places to hang out.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Tradewinds favorable - kite surfers are out!

Richard introduces Ben to a BEEEEEG truck!

Bonus: it's a LIFT truck!  And it's making deliveries to Kalapawai Beach Market, where we often meet up with Alli and Ben for breakfast.  How handy!

Now for a little laundry, and the singing of  "Laundromat Love" -  ummm, we used to get into little spats over how to do laundry, until we decided to "sing" our spats!   :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011


But first, a morning walk from home to a park which parallels the bay.
Taken from the park.  Can you believe it?  This is a cellphone picture!

We've been here many times, but the diver today was a special thrill.  She spent a long time with the sting rays, motioning them over to her and stuffing their mouths with shrimp.  She'd swim them over to the window so we could see up really close!  That's Alli and Ben on the left, on a "date" while Sam is in school.

She's about to stuff that under-body mouth!

Here's a link to Alli's site and the wonderful video she took of the feeding.

You will be hearing the peaceful Sea Life Park background music and Alli's narration to Ben as we all watched.

This video is of loudly posturing sea lions. 

There weren't many visitors to the park today, which suited us well.  It's a "just the right size" park, meaning you can dig deeply without having to race around to see it all.  And because we're a small island, coming to its sites frequently is no big deal.  Everything is close by; so handy. 

Here's Alli's handiwork - a gathering of "faces" Ben made for us, to show us what fishies' mouths look like.  Shark is top left, I think.  Alli did pretty well, too!  :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Typical morning - Sam bikes to School (Kindergarten) with Alli jogging behind, pushing the stroller and Ben enjoying the ride.

Alli jogs down the beach about 2 miles now, from her home to ours.

Meanwhile, I'm walking (fast) on my route to Lanikai, round trip 1.6 miles (I'm a wimp).

On my return, I'll be excited to see this silhouette of Alli doing yoga, which means we get a bit of girl-chat time before walking up to the beach Kalapawai deli to meet up with Richard for breakfast and planning the day.

Here's the beach Kalapawai, where the Egg Buying episode occured a couple of days ago.   We walk up from the beach at the left, buy our chompies and eat at the tables on the left side of the market.  Our cottage is about 2 houses to the left.