Archive for May, 2012

May 23, 2012

Many on Kauai have a grave concern about the radioactive smart meters soon to be installed by the infamous Kauai Island Utility Cooperative-KIUC-which has in mind a dastardly plot to harm all innocent inhabitants-women, children, men, seniors, every living thing-for reasons yet to be disclosed.

Far be it for me to strike fear into the hearts of men, but it does appear, and many Websites and blogs confirm, they mean to do you great disservice. To make matters worse, their tactics are reprehensible. In broad daylight, armed men-in black unmarked uniforms and masks- will appear unexpectedly at your doorstep and demand entrance. If that doesn’t work, in the dead of night they will slither forth.  You- your family, kids and your animals, too-are to be radiated to death 24/7. Every single waking moment, every single sleeping moment,  every single hour of every single day and every single night you are to be murdered in your bed or while you’re up walking around and eating.

That’s why UNDERGROUND KAUAI  INCORPORATED has come to town. Above reproach and working with your best interest at heart, our colorful and informative brochure will arrive soon in the mail. Partnered  with a venerable landed family, we’ve  taken a new approach. An UNDERGROUND SUBURB is planned to perfection. The land located for this venture has a clear, clean, uncontaminated source of water  which, for a yet to be determined  fee,  is available to all. Power, of course, will be free of as much  radioactive contamination as possible.

Smoking and microwaves are allowed in all single family and studio dwellings. (Not allowed in malls or condominiums. Strict rules and regulations will be observed.) These options are yours by special request and yet to be determined fees.

Matson containers can be cozy underground studios to be enjoyed. Buried deep, the descent from above is a charming circular steel stair case. Personalized marble markers, of various size and quality, will aid you in finding the right address.  Prices start as low as $300,000. Larger and more elaborate single family dwellings and  condominiums are available also. Prices for these obtainable on request.

An important feature of this brave new design is that, from the surface, the land will be scaped to resemble a well-tended cemetery, keeping  it vandal free and a  quiet vista to look forward to when you ascend or descend.

There are also plans for an underground mall. Shops, theaters, restaurants, spas, and other amenities are a future projection. Custom built hideaways are also available and friendly planners, contractors, artists, and architects are waiting now to guide you through the process.

Please call us soon. Space is limited.


Colonel Charles Warren Skinner 111

Chairman of The Board, CEO, President of UNDERGROUND KAUAI INCORPORATED.


May 21, 2012

To  iive on Kauai is to be rich.

If we could share what we have with the world, it would be a much better place. At the moment I am looking at a bank of Walking Iris, dappled with sunlight, brimming  with joy and life’s perfume.  I walk though a screen door  into a leaf strewn courtyard and, standing tiptoe on a hollow block,  peer in to see  the babies. This morning the mother Thrush was in the nest and she gave me a look that said, “Can’t you knock?”  Mama and papa work hard feeding these screamers.

Feeding my zoo is hard work, too. It’s a 24/7 operation. Hungry mouths-nine counting my own- must be fed.  it’s interesting that the eight others don’t seem to get it: I also indulge.  I’ve got the feeding end of it down to a science, a routine, but convincing them I’ve got to eat is  the hang up. So, part of the morning routine is sharing. “See, guys,” crunching a mouthful, swallowing  coffee laced with honey and, I’ll admit, in the winter, when a cold wind blows, a wee dollop of Kahlua,  “I eat, too….”

…a major distraction, within arm distance of where I’m working, a brilliant red cardinal is teetering on a leaf and tweeting. I think he wants a cracker.  If so he’s going to have get with the program and show up at the cracker station at cracker feeding time…

My husband, the sailor, taught me to love the early morning hours. We were always up at 4AM, except on weekends, and I would be out in the fields at 6AM-horses have to be fed two hours before riding-and Bill would be behind his desk at five. But that schedule has shifted. No fields. No desk. And the high cost of  electricity has got me up and moving with first light. It’s beautiful then. Early morning light flatters my house. Me, too.

The birds, roosters, too, have been up singing and crowing for hours- I love them- but I’ve often wondered why. Dawn seems to have nothing to do with their early morning chatter.

The first thing I do is get up. Stretch. Healthy animals always stretch when rising and everybody stretches around here. For me, morning ablutions and bed making are a constant. Then I do a set up. All the animals bowls and pails and buckets are lined up where they belong. Spoons, measuring cups, oil and molasses for Ari’s mash-hot in the winter- alfalfa chaff for the grown up kids’ breakfast stare me in he face.

Then it’s boots on tall and Boots and I are off to the races. My jungle jungles-thickly-abundant with cliffs and slides and slippery slopes. I carry a stick and have several steep traverses where I’ve strung a rope to haul me up and ease me down. It’s an obstacle course. The most dangerous obstacle? Dodging Boots as she careens across my path.

If I get back, I’ll feed.  If I fall and break a leg, orders are to shoot me. I want  to die with my boots on.

If to live on Kauai is to be rich,  I am the richest.

May 10, 2012

Did Kat O’Leery’s goats really start the Great Kapa’a fire?

It’s possible. it was the beginning of the ‘bad times’ not only on Kauai but on the mainland and around the world. Some attribute these times to air and water quality. Others insist it had more to do with the economy. When people no longer had the funds to buy tin hats, their brains went numb. Also, of course, as fewer and fewer had enough money to buy power, more and more of them, if they wanted light and heat for cooking,  had to resort to an older source of energy.

Since Kauai-like most of the world-had gone green, a euphemism, unfortunately, for back in time-fallen branches and limbs littered the seldom used roads and highways. Automobiles, which had died a messy death, rusted in parking lots and malls. They were  potential fire hazards and unsafe and unsanitary dwellings.  Suburban peasants gathered  firewood by hand and built their fire pits close to  these shelters.

A few others, like  Kat O’Leary, a rich peasant, had a small house lot, a kukui nut-tree, and a small trip of  goats. Three to be exact, named Hester, Eliza and George. More acceptable to the landed gentry than the junk auto trash, his life style, for the most part, was left undisturbed. Law abiding, sober, single, and a semi-devout Christian-his attendance left something to be desired-he pretty much kept to himself. Milked his pet nannies and shared. And  sometimes made the stinky cheese he walked around smelling like. People left him alone, which suited him. A former journalist he collected scraps of paper on which he could scribble with the charcoal tipped pencil sticks he created. He also generously, but sadly,  offered a sacrificial kid to the thumpers when they came calling.

He’d built a shelter big enough to keep himself and the goats warm and dry during the rainy season. It also harbored the small collection of precious books he stashed in secret under the floor boards. Books and reading and writing had been banned for years. The stinky smell of goat cheese and dung protected his abode from snoops, too.

The Great Fire, of course, occurred during the dry season. An exceptionally long, drawn out and vicious one. Water was scarce. Food was scarce. His beloved family of nannies produced little milk. Kids were born but few survived. In fact in the Year of the Great Fire only one precious little billy lived. His sweet gentle daddy was not long for this world but he had two loving mothers to feed and care for him. Kat called him George Junior and loved him like a son.

Therefor when the thumpers came thumping, coveting his plump little body, Kat, for the first time in years objected.  “Thou shalt not covet,” he said.

“For everything there is a season,” they responded.

Knowing how senseless it was to argue, he promised to deliver.

What happened next no one can be sure of. The fire did indeed begin in his dwelling. It spread. It was the devil’s work, the preachers preached. Nothing was left but charcoal. No sign of bones or books or bottles.  Kat and his family of books and kids and notes had disappeared. Although rumor had it, sometimes he and his family were spotted in greener pasture higher up the mountains they were too weak to climb. Maybe, they bowed their heads,  he’d gone to heaven.

May 5, 2012

…otherwise known as AYN RAND.

She was born in 1905 into a Jewish family in czarist Russia. She survived World War 1 and the Bolshevik Revolution. Very bright, as a little girl she liked to read heroic novels and came to admire those who  dared defy the timid. In his book, AYN RAND, James Baker said  that at age 13 she became an atheist.

“.. in long conversations with her family during this period of confusion and danger she came to the conclusion that the idea of God who dictates his will to man and demands that man humble himself to his presence, is degrading to man and antithetical to the image of man as hero.”

When the communists took over her father’s business and left her family impoverished, she came to hate collectivism. What ‘s interesting here, is that during the Cold War struggle between  ‘godly capitalism and godless communism’  she stood on shaky middle ground.

Baker said, “….She was the oddest bird, ” Somehow she came to believe that religion and communism were ‘brothers under the skin’. In one, man was inferior to god. In the other, inferior to the state.

She graduated from a Russian university. There will be many here what hate this powerful truth: Russia had one of the finest  public school systems in the world. Her family may have been poor but she received the best possible education. Free.

In 1926 she went to Hollywood and worked in the film industry. She wrote the Fountainhead which featured one of my favorite human beings, Frank Lloyd Wright , the architect. I keep a picture of Fallingwater  on a bulletin board above my desk. I like the outside better than the inside.

I could continue with a thumbnail sketch of AYN-her biographers have done an excellent job-but I think the words one leaves behind are often times more important than the ideas other people had about you. And dates are just date. I also think it wise to quote one’s most dedicated critics as well-gives everybody room to wiggle.  When Ayn became a philosopher, an exponent of Objectivism- dedicated to individualism and capitalism- some called her followers members of a cult. Alan Greenspan was a member. Remember him? Psychiatrist  Albert Ellis branded her ideas ‘not a liberation from religion but a substitute’. Aren’t we back for an-up-to-date moment to the disgusting Christian Fellowship clan? The Family? The christian mafia? I wonder what she’d make of these odd birds?

I think I’ll stick to the quotes. Do you know she once called the Christian cross a torture symbol? And sometimes denounced William Buckley for combining capitalism and Christianity.

“That something happened to you is of no importance to anyone, not even to you. The important thing about you is what you choose to make happen-your values and choices. that which happened by acident-what family you were born into, in what country, and where you went to school-is totally unimportant,” she said.

Perhaps. Perhaps. But I think many of our choices came about because of ‘accidents’ that happened in our past. I’d love to have met the lady.

May 3, 2012

We are all the product of our past experience, so,  how did I learn about sex?

I grew up in a happy home. Three of us. More than enough love to go around. We always had animals. My father taught me to love and care for them. One of my earliest experiences was a very sad one. A beloved dog named Lady was hit by a car and killed. Right before my eyes. My father dug her a grave, made rose garlands to wrap around her feet and neck. Such a sad moment. I remember waking up in the middle of the night in tears. I got out of bed and wandered off to my parent’s bedroom and crawled in bed with them. My father’s head was above my mother’s and I slipped under his arm and lay my head alongside hers.  I hadn’t a clue what was going on, but I felt a welling of love like I’d never felt before.

“We can all cry,” I remember saying, “We’ve plenty of sheets to dry our eyes.” My father’s arm moved and his whole body slid in alongside my mothers and the three of us cried. It wasn’t until years later, remembering the scene, that I knew what had happened.

That was my first sexual experience.

I have a theory: a little girl must love her father in order to have a happy life with her husband.

We always had cats. Pairs of cats. Watching them mate was, in the beginning, a bit disturbing. So noisy. Were these guys having fun or what? The best part was always when the Momma cat gave birth. Darling little creatures clawing to live, wrapped in little plastic sacks long before plastic was invented. When they found their mother’s teats and began to suckle, everyone watching cheered.

My father bought me kid’s books. I remember one had a picture of a male dachshund sitting up. The male part of him was there for little eyes to see. I also had a mare who liked girl. She scorned stallions-turned up her nose- but oh what a splendid show when a mare went by. My first riding instructor was gay, Cornelia Van Ness Cress, the best riding instructor I ever had. Her girl friend was a part of the family.

It was all so natural. So human. So much a part of what life was all about. Living things did it and, often, baby’s were the result.  No one taught me about the birds and the bees. No one lied. No one laid a guilt or sin trip on my little head and when I was old enough to participate my mother sent me to a doctor to be fitted for a diaphragm and my father had a long talk with my partner.

As for sex education in the schools today? How about a cage of bunnies? A buck and a doe. A colony of rabbits.  Good books. A great, open, loving teacher.

Sex and the single kid can be a delightful experience.

May 1, 2012

It’s spring.The first of May. Remember the ditty, “Hurray, hurray, the first of May, outdoor loving begins today.” I cleaned it up. It’s a dirty ditty.

The howling winds of April and April showers and thunder storms played havoc with my darling Red Barn. A gaping gap, amputated  branches, squished and squashed everything else hurt my feelings, saddened my heart, made me cry and close my eyes. Can it ever, will it ever, come back together again?

It took forever to find guys to come out and clean the clutter. An enormous branch, fresh and green and frothy fell halfway  into the narrow, winding road. You couldn’t see through it. You couldn’t see around it. Driving through my gates-if you could find them in the collapsed green jungle entrails-was a disaster ready to happen. Something had to give.

The first guys I hired showed up  pickled with a chain saw that sounded as though it needed a transfusion. Resourceful, they pulled out their pocket knives and began slashing wimpy leaves and tendrils and whistled while they worked. They were happy drunks. What they saw was weeks and weeks of whittling. Fortunately, for all of us, the city and county showed up and did the heavy. My happy workers took a fair share of the money I promised them and took off on a spree. Their battered old car sounded worse than the chainsaw. I hoped they’d make it home.

I sat by the side of the road and sniffled and snuffled and bleated like a goat. My nose ran. My hair came unscrewed, my spirits with it. I was all worked up and no place to go. Stinky gray sweats sweated and my rubber boots pinched my toes.  I usually smile and wave at the sky and the cars that go by, but this day I picked up a handful of pebbles and aimed to miss a passing bumper, scratch the blue.

My thoughts turned to heaven. I considered converting. All the old’a’guys- thumpers who cursed and hated my guts- had won. They knew the Guy to pray to. Nasty old critter. Gaea had deserted me. The winds of hell swooped down and,  like Mr. Peabody’s coal train, hauled me away. Warmed by the sight of sun-dimpled meadow, watching the whiteface lumber and graze, listening to the blue birds sing, smelling the scent of this beautiful day, tasting my tears, I felt sorry for myself.

I needed a drink.

I needed a broom.

I straightened my back. Sucked in my gut. Lifted my head and shuffled my feet. Moved them, surprised to find my ancient body followed. Swinging through the  gates I made it to the barn. I found the barn broom-I have house brooms, bath brooms, kitchen brooms, computer brooms, quite an assortment-rode it with youthful exuberance over the red gates and began to sweep. Whatever got in my way I swept. I swept leaves.  I swept dirt. I swept sawdust. I swept the whole goddam street.

I uncovered a red brick pavement I forgot I had.

I whistled while I worked. It’s a metaphor. Mama’s back. There’s work to do.