Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Have you met my friends? { Michael & Susan }

 { The morning I stopped by we had Blueberry + Cream cheese Stuffed French Toast. You might run into a Crab-meat Quiche or a heavenly plate of Gypsy Eggs Benedict. I'm droolin' thinkin'!}

Oh! You haven't met Susan and Michael of the Welch House Inn ?

You mean, I haven't bragged enough about this cool couple? Well let's remedy that right now!

 I'm pretty convinced that people come into your life for a reason...and you may meet them in the most random of places. I met Susan, backstage during a theater production where she offered me a job for my off-tracks during college.

If the reason for me to meet them was to learn more about human decency, real community, the craft of warm hospitality, and how to have more fun working in a 140 year old shipbuilder's home on the coast of Maine, than you ever have before?  Mission accomplished.

 { Can't you picture yourself cuddling by the fire, and flipping through the many interesting art books on the shelves, or sipping a glass of something fine and sparkly while you catch up with my favorite Innkeepers? }

These two are the real deal ; witty, hardworking, creative, driven and so multi-talented. I was very blessed to become a part of their adopted family.

{ Best view in town? No kidding. }

 { The Inn is celebrating it's 90th year in the hospitality industry! Wow, 1922 - 2012}

If you're looking for a place to stay in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, you already know my highest recommendation.

Ooooh and guess what? I think they're having a celebration special! (And no, they didn't pay me to post this--- they're just good people. ) 

{ Summers in Maine! What could be better?}

Friday, February 17, 2012

Have you met my friend? { Amanda }

{" '...books are always good company if you have the right sort. Let me pick some out for you.' 
And Mrs. Jo made a bee-line to the well-laden shelves, which were the joy of her heart, 
and the comfort of her life." -Louisa May Alcott } 

This is my friend Amanda, and you guys should be so lucky to have a friend like her. She is fiercely loyal, terrifically fun, (and may I mention--a chocolate-chip cookie queen), sincerely heartfelt and has the best laugh of.... all... time. 
If you could find Jo March reincarnated, it would be her. She writes stories of wild imaginings. She threatens to throttle the worst of human kind, she goes on adventures to big cities, she quietly observes, dives after her dreams, makes friends with uncertainty & chance, and sings at the top of her lungs. 

But better than any character, she is REAL

And today....twenty-seven years ago she was born.  

Can I get an AMEN?!

Today, if you can spare the time, (like--really, what are you going to do--watch another episode of Downton Abbey?)  you really should grab a cup of tea, and a tasty cookie-- and read all the back pages of her blog-life. She'd be totally embarrassed that I even suggested it---but really--she's a gem.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dear Kauai Museum,

 You know, 50 years is something to be proud of. What a wonderful collection of artifacts, artwork, and history you've acquired! Here's the thing though--being 50 means you're old enough to really work it? Ya know? If you needed someone to say it--here it is: It's time to be great.

I give you permission to really go all out.

The entrance can be a real entrance. It's okay! You don't have to guess about who's Kama'aina, or who is just going to the gift shop. Move your desk. We can line up, sign the guest book, get excited about the exhibits, without accidentally spying them all before we even pay to look. Make it official. It's time.

Give us something to connect to. So many gods and goddesses, and royalty of Hawai'i---we're dying for their stories! Why not put up a poster of a famous story about Pele, next to this compelling portrait. Have a display explaining the reign of kings and queens of the islands, instead of your patrons looking at them, shuffling past wondering how to pronounce that word.

Ohhhhh the quilts! Isn't it time they get their own real exhibit? Instead of being placed up on the stairs? Maybe you just ran out of space, but wouldn't it be great to tell the stories of the quilts? The meaning behind all the patterns? What does a breadfruit represent? What about a anthurium? Can we get pictures of tutus sewing them? How long does it take? Who started this tradition? We could talk story about that for ages!

I commend you on your WWII exhibit, but I'm sad it's so far away, behind the Hawaiian/Victorian era. 

 The lovely case full of artifacts lining the balcony is intriguing, but so mysterious. What ARE these weapons, and medals, and dolls?
 These amazing 40's tourist pictures made me want to cry when I saw them in their case. I wanted to blow each of them up to poster size!

  How about some commentary about the idea of 'pagan' Hawaiian and the tourist trade? More of the  Coco Palms resort story? Why is it a ghostly rundown shack now? What happened to the exploitation of the swishy grass skirts and the twangy ukulele through films and music? What's with the 1950s movie loop of the lei-day parade upstairs?

Happy 50th guys. I mean it. That's awesome.

And if I ask really, really nicely--can I please work for you?

-Aloha from a presumptuous museum freak. 

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Making a ti leaf lei

{I love this Hawaiian motto. It said to have been uttered by King Kamehameha III when sovereignty was again restored to the island nation, after Queen Victoria's troops had occupied it for 5 months. See? I remember some Hawaiian history! You know what else I remembered how to do? Make LEIS!}

{Ti leaf leis are for good luck. Tradition states that you should never wear the lei if you are going to give it to someone else. Oh, and pregnant aunties are always to wear an open lei. 
I remember the smell of my mom making ti leaf leis...and how sometimes they'd be slimy after taking them out of the freezer. It's been at least 18 years since I made one, but it came back to be pretty quick--with the help of my mom --the master lei-maker--on the phone.}

{After gathering your leaves cut the middle rib out.}

 {Then get some water near to boiling, and stick your leaves in there until they're limp and not crunchy---less than a minute. Take them out with tongs, or chopsticks, and place them someplace to cool off--like a colander, or a plate.}

{Take two leaves and tie a knot, and loop it around your big toe! This is how I remember being taught, but I guess you could stick it under a heavy book, or a table leg--trust me, toes are more fun}

{Both leaves get turned to the RIGHT, and you cross them over the LEFT--you're making a rope. Incorporate new leaves by twisting them into the rope, you can even leave the new leaves a little room to poke out before you start twisting away-- and add some dimension to the lei.  When you're done, tie a knot!}

{So, I'm "hapa" now, right guys? Ha ha, I'm kidding! }