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.

Today, Saturday, Aug 3, is our first full day in IL. Our good friend Bob Easton picked us up from Bradley University in the wee hours of the morning. Mark’s mom Evelyn picked us up from Bob’s place and we went to the Peoria Riverfront Museum to see the Ansel Adams exhibit.

I (Rachel) have never enjoyed an exhibit so much as this one. Mark also says this is one of the best exhibits he has seen. We loved reading all the captions for each photo! We loved how appreciative and supportive Ansel’s dad was. Ansel was bored in school, and his dad allowed him to go to the San Francisco exposition fair daily for a year as a 13 year old boy. Ansel also entertained ideas of being a concert pianist before he latched on to photography. His dad was supportive of both. As a 14 year old, he pleaded with his family to take a family vacation in 1916 to Yosemite. He went back every year of his life.

While at the Museum, we saw the 3D movie “Sea Monsters” about giant prehistoric water creatures. Very interesting!! We also saw 2 planetarium shows: “Perfect Little Planet” and “Night Sky in Peoria”.

Got home to the Singing Woods and greeted the property Mark grew up on. Got to the “Burrow” (the name of our bedroom where we sleep) and uncovered and made the bed. We are in Evelyn’s house now and it is time to make dinner. On TV is black and white big band songs, a fundraiser show. Mark looks asleep in the big mechanical chair. 🙂


Kourkie and Bee dropped us off at the airport 🙂



Here is a good view of the lanai before the visqueen or tarp was put on.



Bee helped stabilize the roof to the North pallet wall.



Michael helped us on his own time to build the roof he is sitting on.  We will help Michael with some of his projects after we get back in October.


We are in CA for a few days, and then on to IL for a month and will post from there.  Our hope is that Kourkie and Bee will keep us updated with what is happening on the property by adding posts on this blog, so we can look forward to their entries!

A few weeks ago, it dawned on us that it would be a good idea to look for a “shed-sitter.” We have been in the process of finding the right fit and yesterday a couple came over and stayed for a couple of hours. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

We have spent the past four days building a rat-proof cupboard/box which conveniently doubles as a countertop!


He will come back in about 90 min with the second load…


Yesterday, we went to the Maku‘u market and filled our food tubs again. Mom, we DID get a dragon fruit, so we look forward to trying it. We didn’t buy everything on the list yesterday (for instance, we bought a couple of soursop fruit last week). Also, we work hard to buy things that are grown as locally as possible and particularly not buy things that came from the mainland.

Fruits On Hand

White Pineapples!!
Dragon fruit!!
“Tree tomatoes”
Honeydew melon
Green bananas

Salad Fixings

Romaine lettuce
Bell peppers
Long beans

Pumpkin seeds
Dried cranberries
Coconuts (young and old)
Cacao pods
Cacao seeds
Sugar cane

The past few weeks, we have been pulling roots and earth out of our driveway, and there is much more work to be done. Today, Jim will deliver 3 loads (30 cu yards each) of rock to smooth some of it out. We are going to have him concentrate on the home pad and the drive closest to it (farthest from the road). We really hope the home pad will be closer to level when he is done!

We have planted approximately 38 planters using small cardboard boxes from our favorite grocery store (Keaa‘u Natural Foods) as well as using some other cardboard and plastic containers.

We now have a pond!! I think I may have referred to a large (300 gallon) water container that we got from Ace. These normally cost $300, but we got ours for $50! It was a returned item–the first owner allowed it to get cracks in the bottom because of misplacement. We used a product (Flex Seal) from Ace to seal the cracks and then recently it started filling with water. I checked it one day and saw the tell tale mosquito larvae! We went into town a few days in a row and Mark fished for mosquito fish and water plants. We also have a 4″ bottom feeder fish! It is fun to look in on the pond and see the fish swimming about. My guess is that we have more than 50 little 1″ fish swimming in our “pond” that is about 5.5 – 6 feet diameter.

Here is the row of “planters”

And this is what our “lanai” (porch) looks like


This past weekend:
Went into Hilo to pick up a permit for collecting tree ferns and take the computer to the Mac store. My 2008 Macbook was having trouble importing CDs; the conclusion-the CDs were a little too old and scratched and the CD drive a little too old to handle such scratches. Their newer computers could import when I couldn’t. We learned that Apple is phasing out having CD drives in its computers at all! That was a surprise to us! We were there for a long time hanging out!

Friday, we helped Mark Hansen for the 3rd week in a row to work on his water catchment tank using Cal Earth building methods. We enjoy helping him, and IF we build a Cal Earth style home, he may help us when we are ready.

Saturday, we collected another load of 10 tree ferns (Hapu‘u) with 3 other people this time. An open air shower around 4:30 pm. Brrr! Wind go away! The best time for a shower is around 3:30, but it is hard to stop work so early!

to Maku‘u to drop off friends, breakfast in the park near church,
met some new friends,
free lunch,
Maku‘u market for shopping
home to pull up some more roots and earth.

So……. We have TWO WEEKS left!!

Below is a list of projects still to be done:

Roots and earth out of driveway
replace earth w/rocks
Paint platform floor w/ water sealer
Finish the composting cube/row
Screen put up around the lanai
Shower room built?
Build long platform for tents
Plant seeds and keikis
Sew Mark’s jacket
Church by laws
Aloha Garden of Peace Vision statement
Gates for our driveway
Strip bark and extra branches
from Ohia trees that were felled for the driveway
Deed change
Explore new paths

Two weeks from today is our plane back to the SF Bay Area for a week and then on to IL to pack our stuff in a month.

Much love and many blessings to all!!!
Aloha and Mahalo for reading!

This afternoon, Mark and I watched “Malama i Ka ‘Aina, Caring for the Land, One Island’s Struggle With Illegal Dumping”, a Public Education Video (PEV). (In the Hawaii library system, when you check out a video, unless it is a PEV, you have to pay $1 per video for 1 week checkout.)

We watched the video and were inspired to pick up trash along the road and take it to the Keaa’u Transfer Center. We filled our truck bed with

a big, heavy rug w/plenty of weeds growing up through it
2 TVs
4 tires
Rotten old palette
1 box spring
and a bunch of small trash.

It is 6 PM and we have arrived at the community center and there is a HACA (Hawaiian Acres Community Association) member’s meeting tonight. We rushed here to learn that it starts at 6:30 :). Great time to wash hands and make our dinner: PB&J sandwiches!

On the agenda for tonight’s meeting is a discussion about starting up a farmer’s market again in our community –it is zoned agricultural after all!! For some reason, it is a contentious issue and some people are filled with fear. So we thank you for your prayers and support tonight (if you are still up :), knowing that LOVE, PRINCIPLE, and divine MIND govern, not fear or anxiety.

Much love to all!!