My family and I live in Mountain View, Hawaii on Mauna Loa (long mountain) and it is one of the five volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii! We are at an elevation of around 2000 ft. in a rain forest and about 15 minutes away from Volcano National Park. At times, all the weather does is rain and we must where mud boots or we would sink in the mud about 4-5 inches. When it is sunny, we use it to our advantage and love it, making the most out of the day!
It is peaceful around here and very rural. In the morning you hear the birds singing and in the evenings, you hear the coqui frogs! There are beautiful orchids and wild ginger (white, yellow, & kahili) flowers growing all over, just waiting for you to pick them and take them home.
I have lived in the Hawaiian Islands since 1977 and I love this beautiful island. The Big Island of Hawaii is so wonderful with such diverse climates, that you can be on a fresh pack of snow on top of Mauna Loa or Mauna Kea, or swimming with the dolphins at Ho’okena Beach Park.
When I first came to the island, I was asked to fly into the Hilo Airport (east side of island), though my friend lived in Captain Cook (west side of the island). Well I was in for an experience driving around the island that day. We left the Hilo Airport and came into the heart of Hilo, which is a very small quaint town that looks up on the mountains (Mauna Loa & Mauna Kea) and out on the ocean, wow! We continue to drive through lush horseshoes turns that had beautiful waterfalls within them, and miles of green of ever-changing landscapes, while still being able to look out on the wide expanse of ocean!
Halfway around we came to Paniolo Country, Waimea with rolling hills and Parker Ranch with lots of cowboys (paniolo’s) and cattle. From Waimea we began to head down towards the ocean and the green hills started to become very dry and scruffy, hot. Finally, we reached the bottom of the hill there was still the beautiful ocean, and all I can describe was a moonscape, miles of black lava.
Well that day we finally made it home and we didn’t just pull up to the garage and get out, NOPE — our vehicle was a 4×4 jeep, which was needed to get up the jeep road that had been bulldozed to a somewhat drivable state for 4 wheel vehicles. Their beautiful home was in the middle of a macadamia nut orchard and was totally off the grid. Does that mean they had solar,,,,, NO!!! The home had kerosene lanterns, candles, Paloma water heater, gas stove and gas refrigerators, no phones and it was early to rise, and early to bed. Not only were we up in the boonies with no electricity, but the family gave birth to their children at home! Now for me that was a big experience to say the least…… I was hooked and totally out of my element and I loved every moment of it!
So here I was on a farm where there were cows, donkeys, goats, chickens and wild peacocks in the pasture, around the house and on the roads. At times we had to move off the road for the animals. One day I began to be concerned, because I kept hearing someone shrieking HELP and it totally was freaking me out! Well everyone had a good laugh at me, and they explained that it was a call of one of the peacocks that hung out by our house (they sure can make some strange sounds).
I am not sure about you, though one of my characteristics is that I can handle change easier than most. A lot of people would have gotten on the plane the next day – or a week, but I stayed, washed off the city girl attitude and here I am, still loving it with my own home with normal amenities such as electricity, gas, phone – etc! Sounds funny huh, well Hawaii is way behind the times and I am glad of it.
Many years have now come and gone, and I have four children and four grandchildren. During my many years here I have always enjoyed learning new things and challenges that have faced me. I love the outdoors and Hawaii with its normal 82 degrees with ocean breezes that just makes life good.
Living in Hawaii really makes you look at things differently, or at least it did for me. I love working with my hands in the soil and just being outdoors is a pleasure. As I started reading and learning about soaps, plants etc., I recognize I would need to learn a whole lot more then I originally thought I would have to. So, what began with soap making, then went on to growing a garden for ingredients and then learning about how to make salves, perfumes, lotions, hair care products and more about apothecary.
May this blog be a place that I can share my journey with you and answer questions you may have.