New Ulu Tree!


On Thanksgiving, our church member Pansy invited us to come to her house if we would like an ulu tree, asking if we didn’t mind digging it up. We said we’d LOVE to have a breadfruit tree and digging it up would be no problem.

We got to her house about 3 pm yesterday, and she and her husband Jim showed us the trees they were hoping to be freed from. The tree pictured above was growing under it’s parent’s shadow. It took us 3 hours of digging, but we did it! We loaded the tree just before it got really dark. Jim and their son Julien helped with the final digging and loading into our truck. Thank you Pansy, Jim, and Julien for the beautiful tree and the help getting it up and out!

We got home and planted it right away (in the dark) in a compost pile of mac nut shells and pieces* and a little soil. (*We got the mac shells from a business that makes mac nut biodiesel. They couldn’t use the shells and pieces because it had gotten wet and was molding and shared with us for free :)!) Because we got the tree so close to Thanksgiving, we named the tree Gratitulu, Tulu for short :)!

The picture above was taken this morning around 7 am.

Very Tall Bouquet!


Not every girl gets a bouquet taller than her for her special day! Thank you Mark and Marvin, the banana man who gave us the flowers! We are grateful!!

3 acres for sale for $20K


Dear Friends, Family, and Readers,

Directly across the road from us is 3 acres of land for sale! Wouldn’t you like to be our neighbors?!?! 🙂 If you are interested, give them a call! The land is on road 6, in Hawaiian Acres, just down from F towards G.

The Hawaiian name for Road 6 is the same as the rough lava, O`oa`a , pronounced Oh-oh! Ah-ah!, probably because that is what you would sound like if you tried to walk on the rough and very porous lava. Funny enough, Hawaiian Acres has very little O`oa`a lava. We have plenty of Pahoehoe lava. Pahoehoe is MUCH more solid, and sometimes looks very ropy, like a lot of ropes squeezed up together.

Below is a picture of pahoehoe (pronounced pa-hoy-hoy) lava


Unloading is complete!

We finished unloading our container about two hours before our deadline with the help of two friends this morning. We had some truck troubles yesterday and the day before (dead battery AND keys locked in the truck) but both were overcome. We are grateful to our neighbor Andrew for charging our battery this morning and for Andrew and Noel’s help in unloading the second half of the tubs. A couple of days ago (Sunday), Mark and I unloaded the 1st half of tubs and shelves; it took us the better part of a whole day’s work without the help of the truck.

After the empty container was picked up, we went into Hilo to purchase two more white extra heavy duty tarps and do LOTS of laundry (it ended being about 7 loads worth)! I am looking forward to being able to do our own at home!

Quite remarkable was the weather these past 5 days. We had no rain during the day and very little at night the whole week! Such a blessing! It rained when we were framing the floor joists (with Brent’s help!) and putting the plywood on the day before the container arrived, but the plywood had a chance to dry completely by mid morning. It really was a blessing that the lumber was water logged, because our inclination was to make the floor as tight as possible! The first real rain (during the day) after the container came was around noon or 1pm today (5 days later), after all furnishings had found cover! To top it off, the moon has been amazingly beautiful, bright, full, and encouraging as we worked into the night with headlamps on.

I (Rachel) was knowing that no matter what the weather turned out to be and no matter what condition our stuff arrived in, God is in control! A few pieces of furniture need some glue, and some got marked up a little, but in the big picture, none of that matters so much. We are grateful to be here and grateful that our stuff is here too.

Two upcoming projects are to build a roof for our solar panels and to sort and put away all the 18 gallon Rubbermaid “roughneck totes” that were shipped. Peace and blessings to all!!

I am grateful for…
Nov. 15, 2013 11:30 pm
I am grateful for good temper, grace, unconditional love, I got up at 4:45 am today and read the lesson to section four!, a shower this morning, two tents are up!, BEAUTIFUL weather!, amazing cloud patterns, sunrise, beautiful & strong platform for the stuff. I am grateful that I am able to document the process.

I am grateful for good!! And the fact that goodness is substance, not things!

We are so very grateful for Brent Calkins for donating his time and tools for our platform project. We are grateful that we have ring shank nails and 3/4″ tongue & groove plywood.

Lumber ordered!

The lumber, piers, and nails for our platform have been ordered, paid for, and will be delivered today! …

So said delivery is about to arrive momentarily!

We are sitting in the truck eating lunch- cashew butter with “homemade farmer’s market” Starfruit-Ginger jam on sprouted wheat cinnamon raisin bread.

Rambutan for breakfast!

Rambutan is very similar to lychee, longan, and guinep (which Rachel had in Jamaica when she was in the Peace Corps).

Rambutan is sweet. The fruit is stuck to the entire seed instead of at one point like lychee.

The past few days, we have spent cleaning, planting, seeing friends and making new ones, and preparing to build a platform. Our goal is to have a platform 12×48 built by a week from today.

Much love and stay tuned!



We arrived in Hilo!!


We had 3 wonderful flights, and the shortest layover in LAX we remember ever having! After waiting about 15-20? minutes to get our bags we checked at the gate, we emerged from our gate, looked at the monitor screens, and learned that our flight was boarding that minute just two gates down!

In the plane to Honolulu, the person seated behind Mark’s seat remarked to me as I approached my seat how glad she was to see me wearing my Cal Earth sweatshirt or jumper as she called it. Lavinia is from Germany, visiting a friend in Honolulu. She said she is interested in helping us to unload our stuff.

In the Honolulu airport, we met Ilan, a musician from Humboldt County who came for a tour on the Big Island. Ilan was on all 3 flights with us, but we began talking and sharing just before our Hilo flight.

We waited about an hour, but our ride did come and we were so grateful to see them! We drove Kourkie and Bee to their new home (they moved there on Monday) and are approaching ours now! Current time is


Latest news!

How are you? Blessings to you!

We are still in IL. We were in Hawaii from May 20 – July 29. We came back to pack our stuff and take it to Hawaii. Lately, we have been thinking we’ll just bring the packing to a close and build first and then bring our stuff when there is a place to put it.

We had hoped that we would be in Hawaii by now, but we are still here, and have yet to buy the plane tickets. I have done some research on the tickets and expect we will buy them soon.

Also, I think Mark will go straight to Hawaii from here (with a day or two in CA), but I need to share my gift of nursing at a facility somewhere. Facilities always need people for the holidays and we need some income.


ps.  I have just learned that our blog might show ads on various posts unless I pay an extra $30/year.  So, I apologize for the ads, distasteful as they may be.


UP UNTIL YESTERDAY, our hope was for both of us to go to a nursing conference in Lebanon, MO on our way West towards CA and then onto HI after selling both vehicles and loading our stuff into a 20′ shipping container in CA.

YESTERDAY, Aug 15, we decided that it would be easier to ship everything if a 40′ container was loaded here in IL and the vehicles (a 14′ moving truck and a 6’x10′ trailer) were sold here.

This opens up a lot more possibilities, packing and sorting time, and flexibility for when we leave. This could be a good thing, but I have noticed that we do really well with goals in front of us.

We would both still love to attend the conference (Sept. 4-8). We would then come back, finish packing the 40′ container, and send it on its way to Hawaii toward the end of September.