Mind, Heart, Body, Soul (June 2017)

Welcome back.

In a break with tradition, this post will be short, both in length and on wit. It was a hectic month, but I must needs document our progress (or regress), if for nothing more than posterity’s sake. So here goes…


Shhh.  Testing.

IMG_0100Here at Camp Crazy, the learning never stops. The Boy and Short Stack’s standardized test scores came in, ranking them among college sophomores in almost every subject area (mind you, they are 17 and 12, respectively). The Bride and I occupied some of our time at a day-long seminar for farmers learning the ins-and-outs of working with

Dude and Flower

restaurants, navigating USDA loans, and overcoming liability issues with WWOOFers. We also dropped in on the island’s big annual orchid show to learn a little about these wonders and make a new acquisition. (The Big Island is oft referred to as “Orchid Isle.”)




IMG_0097All three girls locked into some formal instruction in the art of clay spinning and western-style calligraphy, while the Boy volunteered as an assistant at a summer camp for youth. The two Little Rascals whom we are babysitting through the summer dropped back in for several days of gaming, movies, and other frivolity.


Vampira at work…

IMG_0087One day, we loaded up the whole family for an outing to our local national park, Volcano National Park, where we hiked out to a field of petroglyphs in which ancient Hawaiians buried newborns’ umbilical cords to tie them to the land. Nursery work around our rental property kept us physically engaged otherwise.


Processing chili peppers…
In the news…

This mind, body, soul thing sounded good when I started, but here I am at “soul,” wondering exactly what is appropriate to log in a publicly-available family diary at this juncture. I’ve already committed to the cheap literary device, so…let me give it a try…

Who’s that hippy leaning in?

Soul…  To start with, the wife swears that I don’t have one. Secondly, I’m a huge Sam and Dave fan. Otherwise, rest assured we all inched along (or at least succeeded in not falling off of) the narrow path this month (as far as I can tell). Of late, Sunday school classes have focused on the origins debate, providing ample material for at-home exploration and reflection on a most complex of issues in today’s society. Scripture study, prayer, and serving the community and neighbors where we can continue to stretch us all and keep us engaged. The wife became a member of the church and the remaining kids are moving towards baptism. I’ll stop there.

Other Dimensions

Vinegar Meister

The Boy had a meeting with the head chef of, arguably, the best restaurant in East Hawaii to discuss his handcrafted banana vinegar. Duly impressed, said chef has asked for a minimum of 1-gallon of product per week, and he has sent off samples to an instructor at a local culinary school and a chef on Oahu. Time to scale up. The Boy’s life may be taking a new turn.


See the petroglyph?

The Wife and I had several meetings with solar power suppliers and our builder and we began to edge closer to a decision on the package that will provide our family’s power needs for the years to come. (We are zeroing in on an extremely safe, no maintenance system with a 20-year lifespan and 15-year warranty that uses cutting-edge panels and batteries… Now we just need a way to pay for it…)

Alien embryo… yum…

Finally, you may have heard of the DIY Network’s cable show about yurts in Hawaii. Through a convoluted string of events, we ended up talking to a producer of the show about our situation. (This is the third cable network program that has dropped into our lives in the past three years.) It turns out that we are too far along in our project to fit into their needs, but the exchange was entertaining, nonetheless, and (comically) the company shares our negative impression of the sole yurt distributor here on the Big Island. (With one of the first two shows, we were not far enough along in our project; the other wanted us to pay out of pocket to return all six of our family members to Virginia to film our life story from the point of time when we walked away from conventional housing.)

Portraits of Hawaii (back by popular demand)

Just clippings this month…

Since we already have some of the most expensive gas in the nation, why not?
Adding to our already impressive repertoire of contagions for tourists…












A surprisingly frequent occurrence here…




Life on a live volcano…



“Safe” is such a subjective word…





And that was June 2017 for our band of hearty life adventurers.  Tune in next month, same channel, same general timeframe, for more whacky tales from the Sandwich Isles….


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