Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chinese New Year's Celebrations at Longs Drugs in Kula

Children giving the lion a red envelope.

Just happened to be in Kula at Longs Pharmacy to pick up a prescription last Thursday, and there was a Chinese New Year's Celebration just starting. What auspicious timing!  I also ran into a friend who had moved back to Maui. Her husband is the chef/owner of Da Puerto Rican Food Truck.  It's a small world.  

I have no idea what is in the red envelopes, good wishes, chocolate coins, or something else? All the school children there gave the lion dancers red envelopes at the end of the performance. 

There were some other performances before the lion dance finale. 

The lions made a big mess too, tearing up the cabbage at the end of the dance - but that's considered good luck. Lucky lions probably don't have to clean up after themselves!  Maybe it's a feline thing - our cat also leaves a trail of bird, rat and lizard pieces on the deck.  

Monday, January 30, 2012

Geckos Like to Drink Beer?

Just another day at a Maui jungalow. 

A curious Maui baby gecko... checking out the beer bottle.
Hmmm... let's take a slurg of this stuff!

Oh, what the heck! Let's dive right in!

Whoa!  That was some mighty brew. 

Ok, can't crawl straight... Need to sober up with some water. 

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Making a Nonprofit Banner for a Fundraiser at Flatbread

Actually, this post is about making a nonprofit banner very inexpensively, as inexpensively and cheaply as possible because if your nonprofit had lots of funds, they wouldn't need to do a fundraiser at Flatbread in Paia.  Flatbread donates a portion of each pizza sold on one special night each week to a particular nonprofit.  

The Hali'imaile Community Garden had scored a big win, as the selected nonprofit for Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - also Valentine's Day!

Procrastination is one of those sneaky demons that I'm good friends with. The garden council asked if I wanted to make the banner, and it sounded fun, so I said yes, and that was back in late October. Flatbread wanted the completed banner, approximately 3 feet by 3 feet, in their hands by January 1st, so they could hang it up right away. A two month time frame. 

I am so glad that Saundra, another volunteer from the garden, wanted to help with the banner project. Starting is half the battle. We met the Saturday before Thanksgiving, at the parking area for Upcountry Fine Art in Hali'imaile. It was close to the garden, and Pamela Neswald okayed our big painting project outside since she was creating a space for Saturday art projects inside. I was concerned about working at the garden, fearing the wind would knock over buckets of paint. 

It would have been nice to buy the canvas, already primed, from Upcountry Fine Art - but we were on a budget.  For the size we needed, it was close to $60.  I had some old fabric at home and thought it would be worth recycling into a banner. 

Start with some canvas fabric. In this case, I had an old futon cover that had shrunk in the wash and  was a bit worn out anyhow. The banner was an excuse to cut it up.

We measured at least 3 x 3 feet, with plenty of extra inches on all sides to fold over to make a nice edge. Saundra was a great partner, and quickly cut the fabric.  Fighting the Maui wind, we then slapped a lot of white primer on the fabric.  Another artist friend said we could have used any light colored house paint, but since we had a can of primer free from Community Work Day's paint recycling, I thought we'd use that.

Frantic brush strokes covering the floral design, using cheap thick brushes.

The surface is uneven, but this is for a fundraiser not an art gallery!  Using cheap brushes meant that there were little brush hairs embedded in the canvas, but it was an acceptable cost. 

I learned that using a watercolor marker to mark the edge was not a good idea. The primer made the marks bleed through the other side, and it took a lot of paint later on to cover up the marks. 

We got a good start on the banner, and after it dried, I folded it up and took it home. Saundra and I also made the mistake of dumping the dirty paint water on the parking lot, which would have stained the asphalt, so we spent a lot of time cleaning the parking lot.

Pamela Neswald was a great help because I could pick her brain about how to do the lettering on the canvas. One way is to use a good brush with nice clean edges and use the brush like a calligraphy pen. That was too risky with my bad penmanship. Another method is to transfer the design to the canvas. Pamela sells nifty transfer paper, which is great for artists.  But the other tip she provided was a more bare bones and really messy method of rubbing the design with pencil onto the canvas, and it was cheap.

With Thanksgiving around the corner, and the impending rush of holiday madness, the banner became one of those projects that just lingered and pouted in the corner because I could not come up with a design!  Saundra and I had talked about stapling seed packets to the banner, and painting gardener's hands as a border.

Perfectionism lurked around the banner project because I didn't want it to look too slapped together, and didn't know what to do. 

One night, hanging out at Ambrosia's in Kihei,  DH's idea, after staring at the lava lamp and a very bad colorless rendition of Avatar on the big screen, I started doodling with a pen and came up with a sketch.

I had this fantasy sketch that there would be a pineapple to represent Haliimaile, and a sunflower, a shovel, a rainbow, seed packets... the whole nine yards. And a bird perched on top looking like a smart aleck.

So.... what happened? Nothing... I had the sketch in my pocket for a while. Work got busy, and I got distracted with other projects and deadlines.  Mid-December crept up and I had not done anything. The main thing was to make a big design so I could transfer it to the canvas. 

Since I didn't have any big drawing paper, I rubber cemented some legal size sheets of paper, and sketched a bigger design. 


Working at home, outside on the deck, was a bit distracting too.  The cat decided to "occupy" the banner. This protest was very effective, since I fed her right away. 
Then I took a charcoal pencil, very soft, like a 6B or maybe a 4B and filled in the letters and outlines of the letters on the BACK side of the drawing. The idea is to flip the paper over, and trace over the letters with a nonworking pen or other pointed tool.  I wasn't sure this technique would work, but it did. It was messy and I had charcoal all over my hands and face, and had to add more charcoal on the back where I had missed sections, and then retrace several times. The transfer paper would have been a lot easier!

The transferred design is very faint, but visible enough.
I felt like painting in the date first. 

Painting outside on the deck of the jungalow, while wandering bugs and spiders flit across the banner. I had a slanted work surface so the painting itself wasn't difficult.

The garden council was still checking up on me... The fundraiser was making us all nervous. After getting a two week extension, it was now January and it was time to give the banner up. Saundra was eager to work on the banner, but scheduling time to meet was difficult. Most of my time painting was late at night with the moths fluttering.  


The tricky part was painting over the  ridges from where the canvas was folded.  Do not fold the canvas and leave it folded up!  Roll it up, so there are no ridges to deal with. 

Added some blue sky and clouds to the background, mixed the green and yellow to get a lighter shade of green. This was free paint from Community Work Day's paint recycling program.  It's awkward to use in big cans, so transfer paint to glass bottles first. 

I tried doing blue lettering for Silent Auction & Fundraiser, but the contrast was terrible. I hadn't painted a bird, pineapple, rainbow or seed packet, and was reluctant to add more things, but at least it was painted, more or less.

On the way to the garden to turn in the banner and do any final touch up, I stopped at Upcountry Fine Art again. Pam Neswald was invaluable again and said the contrast could be stronger by outlining some letters and darkening the color on the existing letters. She cautioned against adding rainbows, pineapples and birds which could make the design look too busy.  This is another reason why I'm so fond of this store, and yes, I did buy some other paint and supplies there, like a spray mister which I used to keep the paint from drying too fast. 

L Maui Gardener was drafted into painting and outlining letters
 for more contrast. 

The finished banner. I broke down and added extra elements, despite Pam's warnings. I didn't add a pineapple or the seed packets, but felt a strong urge to stick a bird on the top and some taro leaves, seedlings and a
mini rainbow.

The fundraising night is this Valentine's Day at Flatbread in Paia.
Bring a date or be prepared to flirt with other garden supporters. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Haiku Farmers Market New Hours

Haiku Farmers Market (as they were closing that day)

Update 2013: This market is now defunct.

I finally found out the new hours for the Haiku Farmers Market, actually more like a farm stand, at least as of a couple of weeks ago. Karen of the farmers market said they started up again a week before Christmas last year, and are being run by the folks of Rainbow Jo clothing company. They feature local and unsprayed produce, as well as veggie starts and potted herbs.  

Current hours are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm. They are located at the same place the original Haiku Farmers Market was - across the street from Colleen's, next to Northshore Cafe, down that long driveway by the electrical station.  There is usually a big sign on the road when they are open. 

I hope to get some more pictures of different kinds of produce. Eventually they plan to offer $20 weekly veggie boxes available for pickup on Mondays. 

Update 12/1/12: Haven't seen this farmers market in a very long time. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Revive Boutique / Thrift Shop in Kahului

Revive opened last fall, near the farmer's market on Puunene
(behind Ah Fook's Market and across from American Savings Bank)

Operated by Women Helping Women, Revive is trendier looking than most nonprofit thrift shops with more of a boutique or consignment shop ambience.

Guidelines for donations

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hawaiian Yams at the Makawao Farmer's Market

Hawaiian Yams at the Makawao Farmer's Market

I don't know if Hawaiian yams are seasonal or not, but I visit different farmer's markets throughout the year, and have only started seeing Hawaiian yams about a month or so ago. The ones in this picture are fairly small compared to some of the huge yams I've seen at the Kahului Farmers Market at the Queen Ka'ahumanu Shopping Center (open Tues, Wed, and Fri from about 7or 8 am to 4 pm).

Mea runs a stand at the Makawao Farmers Market (open Wed and Sat. from 10am to 2 pm) and sells these Hawaiian yams, among some hand carved wooden items. 

UPDATE 3/26/13: The Original Makawao Farmers Market has moved now to Po'okela Church on Olinda Road. It's Wednesdays only, 10 am to 2 pm. 

Carved wood with maile lei and other Hawaiian designs.
Cinnamon leaves next to the Hawaiian yams!

Mea invited me to chew on some fresh cinnamon leaves, which had an amazing flavor. She says her mother adds these leaves to stews and soups. 

I ended up buying one yam just to try it out. It was more fleshy and had a different taste from the orange yams sold around Thanksgiving, and it's also different from the sweet potatoes commonly available here. I guess I would say it's more starchy and slightly fibrous. 
Yam roasted at home. Kind of fibrous inside, and the skin peels off in layers. 

Note: It's been a crazy week with a family emergency off-island and so my blogging will be erratic through the rest of this month. I find the blogging relaxing though, since it takes my mind off from more serious matters. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Goodbye Tribe Cafe, Goodbye Tuk Tuk Thai, Hello Sala Dang

New signs for Tuk Tuk Thai at the former stomping ground of Tribe Cafe. 
Update 02/15 - Tuk Tuk Thai moved to Kokomo Road, across from Colleen's, in the former location of North Shore Cafe (or Spice n Rice). It is NO longer in the schoolbus! It also has a NEW NAME: Sala Dang. Scroll down for the new menu.

Tuk Tuk Thai just opened at the Haiku Cannery (the one at Haiku Road and Kokomo) in the school bus formerly operated by Tribe (which used to be Cafe Prana Nui).

Tuk Tuk means taxi cab in Thai, which is kind of like a school bus. 

Open from 11 am to 7 pm currently, but the days and hours are subject to change as they figure out when to stay open. 

Same seating as at Tribe, with plastic bags filled with water to weigh the umbrellas down.

Pad Thai to go - always a good safe bet when trying a new Thai restaurant. 

Menu at Tuk Tuk Thai - scroll down to see the new menu of Sala Dang, formerly Tuk Tuk Thai.
Update: I stopped by again 9/4/12 and talked with Duang. She said it's just her and her sister, Dang. Remember, these are Thai names. 

Their hours are now firm, but flexible: Mon-Sat 11-7 but sometimes they close at 6 pm or 6:45 pm if the food runs out. They make specials and if they sell out, they don't want to hang out. Just like a food truck. On Sundays they are open 11-4 pm but sometimes longer. They also have a phone number, so you can call them to make sure they are there: 808-463-4166.

Update: 2/10/15: I'm not sure of their new hours at Sala Dang, but this is the new menu. Phone number is still the same. I used to love the food at their schoolbus location, and I'm looking forward to trying their food now that they have moved.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Those Quick Blooming Mock Oranges

The mock oranges surprised me by blooming yet again in early January this year, around January 3rd to the 7th, with the peak on the 5th or 6th. They had bloomed a couple of months ago, and I was so upset that I didn't get better pics of them while they were in full bloom.  It's dubious that I actually did get better pics, but I keep trying!  

Mock orange blossoms bloom quickly - kind of like mayflies. Gotta catch 'em while they're doing something. Usually the fragrant air along the Baldwin Estate in Haiku and the falling blossoms are a dead giveaway.  Trees all over Haiku and Paia were also blooming at the same time.  Maybe they'll bloom again in two months!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Leoda's Pie Shop in Olowalu

A night shot at Leoda's. 

The full name is Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop, but that's a long name. It used to be Chez Paul, but the building was taken over by the same folks who run Old Lahaina Lu'au and a couple of other restaurants on Maui. The restaurant is named after one of the owners' moms, a real person named Leoda. 

Hand pies and hand held pies in the bakery case. 

Leoda's has been getting rave reviews among foodies on Maui.  Hours are daily 10 am to 8 pm.  It's a farm fresh, down home kind of place with meat pies, sweet pies, and several varieties of bread. : )

Fresh baked bread at Leoda's. 

Not just a pie shop, Leoda's offers salads and sandwiches too and comfort foods like mac 'n cheese. 

I did try an ahi sandwich, which was ono (delish) and the fried Brussels sprouts salad which was highly recommended in a review by Maui Time... 

Ahi sandwich on bread baked at Leoda's. 

The salad was amazingly good for the first few bites, but I found it too greasy after that... So, yes, loved it, but I would need 4x as many salad greens and 1/10th the amount of fried Brussels sprouts if I did it again. Later on, I found out that a fried salad is based on a classic French dish, called frisée aux lardons.

Yummy Brussels sprouts salad at Leoda's,
but my tummy was too delicate that night.  

Decor is quaint and homey. I loved the painted boards on the side walls. 

Farmstead chic with weathered boards. 

Leoda's supports local farms which supply produce for their pies, salads, and sandwiches. 

List of local farms near the coffee. 

I'd love to stop by again, this time during the day, when there are more pies available!

(Finally updated 10/12/12.)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Home Gardening Support Network Class Schedule

Carrots in South Maui, courtesy of Lloyd's Naturals.

The Home Gardening Support Network, founded last year by Anne Gachuhi, is starting classes again.   Anne teaches organic and sustainable gardening methods. Her classes are located around the island, in Kahului, Lahaina, Kihei, and Makawao. There's no excuse that classes are too far to attend - unless you live in Hana!

The January 2012 gardening classes will be conducted on the dates below and at  the following locations: 

Sunday,  January 15 -  Container Gardening  -Whole Foods, Kahului (Free!)   -3:00-4:00 p.m

Tuesday,  January 17 – All About Tomatoes– Kihei Community Center at  5:30 p.m-7:30 p.m 

Wednesday,  January 18- Garden Bugs-  Major Pests of Vegetables –Lahaina Civic Center -2.00-4:00 p.m

Monday,  January 23 -  Pests Identification and Control –Sacred Garden, Makawao   -3:30-5:30 p.m

Tuesday,  January 24 – Pruning Made Easy– Kihei Community Center at  5:30 p.m-7:30 p.m 

Wednesday,  January 25- Major Diseases of Vegetables –Lahaina Civic Center -2.00-4:00 p.m

Wednesday,  January 31- Growing Avocadoes, Oranges and Bananas –UH  EdVenture-9.30 a.m -11:30 a.m

 $15 per session. 

Sign up for 3 classes and pay only $40.  Bring someone with you and you pay only $10.

To register, email: Anne Gachuhi at  hgsn2011@gmail.com or  call (808)-446-2361  

Visit Anne's website for more details and for a schedule of all classes: www.homegardeningsupportnetwork.com

More classes through April 2012 are listed in the following brochures:

2012 Gardening Brochure- Sacred Garden

2012 Gardening Classes_at the Lahaina Civic Center

2012 Gardening Classes at Kihei Community Center

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Upcountry Plumeria Trees Losing Leaves

Plumeria tree losing leaves and becoming dormant for the winter.

Some trees in Hawaii do lose their leaves for the winter, just like maple or oak trees in Vermont.  Plumeria trees, whose flowers are used in leis, are like wanna-be maple trees. They don't change color, but if they are somewhere cold (cold being a somewhat relative term on Maui), they can protest the "cold weather" by losing all their leaves and pouting themselves into hibernation. They stop flowering and look like sticks of coral. 

Plumeria blossoms reaching for the last sunshine before "winter."

In the spring, they will awaken, bud new leaves, and start flowering. They are like prima donnas who need perfectly warm weather to perform.

Where is it "cold" on Maui?
Haiku, Makawao, Pukalani, Kula, etc. Anywhere above sea level. 

Even trees in Paia, where it's rainier and cooler than Kihei may lose some leaves. The trees in Kihei, Lahaina and other dry, sea level areas will keep their glossy leaves and fragrant blossoms. This is especially important since tourists arriving at hotels want to be greeted by lush greenery, not skeleton trees.

A gloriously blooming plumeria tree.