Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Hunted

"Thump, Thump" the sound of running,
As I duck behind a door.

I can hear my heart a-pumping,
"Boom, Boom" against the floor.

I lie down on the ground,
And listen to it beat.
"Boom, Boom" I hear it pumping,
And I hear the sound of feet.

"Pat, Pat" the distant sound
of footsteps away downstairs.
"Thump, Thump" they get much louder,
And its more than I can bear.

"Pat-Pat" they go away now,
My fear is now drawn taught.
If they come right back now,
I will be surely caught.

I hear my breath quite loudly,
"Whoosh-Whoosh-Whoosh" it goes.
How long will it last now?
No one really knows.

This poem was written in 1996 by Nate Boshears, age 13.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Soap by the Slice: Pandanus with Coconut Milk

Coconut and olive oils combined with lard create a smooth hard soap. Pandanus leaves, collected on Kaua`i, are added to provide skin-healing medicinal qualities, and to give it a nice, natural green tint.

Rosemary essential oil is added and provides clarifying, focusing, inspiring, and invigorating qualities to this soap. Also, a touch of ylang ylang essential oil provides balancing, calming, and anxiety-soothing elements. Added vitamin E helps to restore skin health. You will love bathing with this soap; you will feel as though you are spending time in a spa.

This soap is nicely lathering and will both refresh and soothe your skin, giving you a tropical treat. Bath bars come in large, 4 oz sizes and are $4.00 each. Hand soap and travel sizes are available as well. If you are interested in purchasing this soap and to experience luxury on a budget click here!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Top Ten Useless Limbs

No, I'm not talking about my youngest child. I'm referring to a recent article I read regarding useless remnants in the anatomy of animals and humans in the course of evolution. Things like pelvis and thigh bones in whales and wings on flightless birds are interesting. Even the unnecessary sex organs on dandelions (apparently they reproduce by cloning themselves) are food for thought.

But what is really fascinating are the extra things that humans are carting around: extra molars (wisdom teeth), a tail bone, male breast tissue and nipples, and the appendix!

The human appendix is a small pouch attached to the large intestine where it joins the small intestine and does not directly assist digestion. Biologists believe it is a vestigial organ left behind from a plant-eating ancestor. Interestingly, it has been noted by paleontologist Alfred Sherwood Romer in his text
The Vertebrate Body (1949) that the major importance of the appendix "would appear to be financial support of the surgical profession," referring to, of course, the large number of appendectomies performed annually. In 2000, in fact, there were nearly 300,000 appendectomies performed in the United States!

Well, I still have mine, as well as my tailbone. I put my nipples to the test with my four babies and they seemed to do the job satisfactorily. Lastly, my wisdom teeth burst forth in 1975, screamed for attention, and were dealt with accordingly. Nowhere in the article did I read of the current necessity for pinkie toes or earlobes. The extra pounds are killing me!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rabbit, Black, Donought, and Puka

What do all of these have in common? They are all a type of hole. Those on the left are "Puka" (pooka) shells. Commonly found on the beaches of Hawaii, they are actually the remains of sea snail shells. Ground and tossed by the sand and waves they are polished and smooth; radiating a warm luster. The hole ("puka" in Hawaiian) is a naturally worn area on the top of the shell.

I discovered something important about myself recently. Sitting with this pile of puka shells in front of me, endeavoring to sort shells into incremental sizes, I had embarked on a project that could possibly take more than one day. This was not good. I realized right there and then that although I love a crafty project, I seldom have the patience for it to last beyond a 6 or 8 hour span.

So, replicas of the Sistine Chapel ceiling (7 years to paint. 10 years to restore) as well as an attempt to carve anything bigger than a chop (see July 22 entry) are out of the question. Once started they would end up in the black hole of discarded projects; never to be finished and/or admired. Don't worry, I did assemble all of these wonderful shells into a rustic necklace in under 5 hours. Too bad I'm going to disassemble them due to the fact that they didn't meet my stringent standards of aesthetics (it turned out ugly). Does re-assembling them into a different necklace just add ticks of time on the already-started project clock? I hope not or I will chuck them down the nearest rabbit hole and despondently eat a bucket of donought holes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Puzzling matters

Did you know that five different people have patents to the "Puzzle with Pieces Rotatable in Groups"? Hmmm. It seems that everything can stand for a little improvement.

Did you also know that there are 43,252,003,274, 489,856,000 different ways to position the sides (without taking it apart)? To put this into perspective, if every permutation of a 57 millimeter Rubik's Cube were lined up end to end, it would stretch out approximately 261 light years.

Despite the vast number of positions, all Cubes can be solved in twenty-five or fewer moves! It is said to be the world's best-selling toy, with over 300,000,000 Rubik's Cubes being sold worldwide to date.

Let's see... I paid about $10 for mine. Um, let's say that we average the price, since it was first sold in 1980 by Ideal Toy company, to, say $7, this would equal gross sales of $2,100,000,000. This is over 2 Trillion Dollars!

And I can solve it in 2 minutes. Yes, I'm a genius. And a superhero. I wish I was an inventor too.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What makes us Human

What makes us human? Its not walking on two legs. Birds can do it. Its not being able to figure out complex tasks. Dolphins and monkeys can do that.

What makes us humans is the ability to have our hearts broken. To know a numbing pain that eats away all the joy we used to feel. To have memories and experiences trigger a gut-wrenching pain that we project will last well into the future.

What also makes us human is the ability to take these same experiences and let them mold us. They shape the way we stand; shoulders square with purpose, or bent over and beaten. They affect how we see the world; a lonely desolate island, or a delightful and exciting wonderland. And they also provide us with the opportunity to change; ourselves, our surroundings, our choices and our future.

"The heart is the chief feature of a functioning mind." Frank Lloyd Wright

Monday, October 6, 2008

Been there, done that

It's true. You may "marvel" all you want. I'm a super-hero. Yesterday alone I scooped up my entire neighborhood's collection of dog poo as it handily lay all within the confines of my back yard.

Today I defied all obstacles on the road as I skillfully drove all the way to work within the speed limit. As other maniacal drivers tried to thwart my law obedience by whizzing, cutting, and tail-gaiting, I maintained my calm collective to arrive safely and legally.

Tomorrow I might even attempt to throw caution to the wind and conduct only one transaction at the drive-through bank teller.

You can't stop me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oily Food

Americans consume about 400 gallons of oil a year per citizen for agriculture, a close second to our vehicular use. Getting the crop from seed to harvest takes only one-fifth the total oil used for our food. The lion's share is consumed during the trip from the farm to your plate. Each food item in a typical U.S. meal has traveled an average of 1,500 miles.

A quick way to improve food-related fuel economy would be if every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country's oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week.

This information was extracted from the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Soap by the slice: Lovely Lavender

The calming summer scent of lavender is infused into this smooth and silky soy-based soap. Even bits of dried lavender flowers are added to help you experience the natural botanical goodness of this 100% vegan soap.

Olive oil is also used to leave the skin moisturized and nourished. Coconut oil makes for a creamy and rich lather.

Free of skin-drying detergents and loaded with natural glycerin, this soap is pure enough to use on a baby! Relax in the tub with one of these 4 oz. hand-made bars.

All my soaps are lovingly made on the island of Kaua`i and can be purchased for $4.00 each, plus shipping. For more information email me!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Art imitating Life

She might look familiar to some people. This is just one of the cool images I can do with my new phone! Art segueing into technology or the other way around? I'm not sure which.

Anyway, this is my baby daughter embarking on her journey to college. It reflects her attitude toward life. Which, at the moment, is a bit non-traditional which is okay with me. Wish her well.

So, speaking of learning, did you know that the human brain starts slowing down as early as age 30? If you are past that magical age, luckily, there is something you can do about it. I've included a handy link to help send you on your way! Click here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Judging a book by its cover?

Now this is my type of book! I've always been into self-help books. . .

Flap Art Book Covers are shocking covers that slip on top of your book. If you find yourself bothered by people on the subway or crowded bus, a book cover like this is a good tool to keep people away.

There are over 20 covers to choose from. Some are for the Do-it Yourselfer in the family, we all have one. For that person try Do-it-Yourself Dentistry, At Home Laser Eye Surgery or Do-it-Youself Liposuction.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dance and the whole world dances with you

Matt Harding, 31, has spent the last 14 months creating a new video, called “Where the Hell Is Matt 2008,” a four-and-a-half-minute YouTube clip that, since posting two weeks ago, has had 4,655,756 views. The new video was filmed in 42 countries and features thousands of people who joined Matt in his dance.

The brief background is that Matt documented short clips of himself doing the same goofy dance at different places around the world then sent them to his parents to keep them up to date with where in the world he was. He posted them on YouTube, and they quickly became a viral sensation.

Sometimes he danced alone, other times with locals in that particular region and now, it seems, he is dancing with the world. There’s no talking in the videos, just moving images of a happy guy taking in the sights of the world. This video can't help but make you smile.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Soap by the slice: Goat's Milk and Honey

Honey and goat's milk are the special ingredients that make this soap so delicious for your skin. Goat's milk is wonderful for the skin. It contains naturally occurring alpha-hydroxyl acids (aha), which contribute to a micro-peeling of the skin, gentry scrubbing off dead skin cells. The low ph level is close to that of skin, making it a very gentle exfoliate. Goat's milk also contains high levels of nutrients (including, but not limited to: vitamins A, B-complex and C, and Zinc); elements that nourish and rejuvenate dehydrated skin.

The fat globules of goat's milk are small, allowing for fast and easy absorption into the skin, bringing with it the nutrients, restorative proteins, and moisture. This helps nourish the newly-grown skin and encourages the production of elastin. New skin emerges smooth, healthy and younger looking.

Clove adds anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Honey is primarily known for its humectant and antimicrobial qualities. (A humectant is a compound that attracts moisture to itself and helps retain the moisture.) This soap is silky smooth and nourishing for your skin.

Interested in purchasing this soap? These bars are about 3 oz. and are $3.50 each. If you are interested in purchasing some, please contact me!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sizing Up The Olympics

Even though I don't have a T.V. that gets any stations, I thought I'd chime in regarding the Olympics. I was, in fact, wondering when the word "Olympic" changed from a noun to an adverb (i.e. olympic-sized headache). Delving into this question further I did a little internet-investigation of my own and found out something interesting.

Apparently, the size of the pool is used to describe things of substance or volume to the "layman". Do most people know that an Olympic-sized pool holds 660,000 US gallons? My internal reference scale tells me that's a lot of milk jugs!

This photo is of the Olympic-sized pool in Munich, used in the 1972 games. I stood outside this building in January 2006 and I can confirm that there definitely was an Olympic-sized roof on that building!

Other references that you must absolutely know is that London alone fills an Olympic-size swimming pool with rubbish every half-hour. I'm sure that Bejing, during these very festive Olympics, will also be filling something with Olympic-sized rubbish; they'll just have to wait until a receptacle becomes available.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

No Child Left Behind?

An Israeli couple going on a European vacation remembered to take their duty-free shopping and their 18 suitcases, but forgot their 3-year-old daughter at the airport, police said today.

The couple and their five children were late for a charter flight to Paris Sunday and made a mad dash to the gate. In the confusion, their daughter got lost.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said a policeman found her wandering in the duty-free area at Ben-Gurion airport, Israel's bustling main international air portal. He said the officer alerted airline staff, but the flight had already taken off.

Rosenfeld said the parents were unaware they had boarded the aircraft with only four children instead of five until they were informed by cabin staff after 40 minutes in the air.

The child, accompanied by an airline staffer, took the next flight to Paris where she was safely reunited with her parents.

Hmmm... This sounds very familiar. It was probably one of the little girl's siblings that noticed that she was missing! We all get so busy and focused on what we are doing we sometimes fail to notice what is really important. For those of us that are forgotten, we recuperate. In fact, we probably spend more time being noticed. For those of us that do the forgetting, we spend the rest of our lives taking another look around us. Always take another look around you.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Soap by the slice: Sesame Delight

Oh my gosh, you are going to love this! A combination of sesame, soy, palm and olive oils makes this soap nourishing and leaves the skin soft and supple. Eucalyptus essential oil helps kill bacteria and clears nasal passages. Coconut oil creates a rich lather. This is a 100% Vegan soap.

Research shows that sesame seed oil is a potent antioxidant. In the tissues beneath the skin, this oil will neutralize oxygen radicals. It penetrates into the skin quickly and enters the blood stream through the capillaries. Molecules of sesame seed oil maintain good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL).

The principal active ingredient in eucalyptus oil is "eucalyptol" which has strong germicidal and disinfectant properties. A naturally occurring chemical found in extra-virgin olive oils is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent. This soap lathers well and leaves the skin smooth, soft, and nourished. This soap is excellent for use in shaving legs as it makes a nice and creamy lather and moisturizes the skin.

Interested in purchasing a 4 oz. bath bar? This soap is $4.50 each. Contact me if you would like to order some.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Blood-Pressure-Sensing Underpants

Blood pressure is not hard to measure, but the necessary equipment for clinically accurate measurements (a cuff, a pump, and stethoscope or electronics) is bulky and heavy.

However, researchers have recently found that a person's "pulse wave velocity" is closely linked to blood pressure. This is the rate at which the pulse pressure wave passes through the blood circulatory system.

Sensors sewn into the waistband of a person's underpants can measure the rate of this wave, consumer electronics company Philips has discovered, and could be used to calculate blood pressure for as long as the garment is worn.

Each sensor continually measures the electrical impedance of the tissue beneath it ; a property that changes as the pulse wave passes by. A pair of such sensors can calculate the speed of the pulse wave by timing how long it takes to travel from one sensor to the other.

Once calibrated with a conventional blood-pressure reading, the electrodes can then give accurate blood-pressure readings, while the wearer enjoys the comfort of their own underpants.

I wonder if Philips can tweak it a bit so that I can receive a radio station or perhaps watch video while occupied in the bathroom? Technology never ceases to amaze me.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just what the doctor ordered.

Waiting. Bits of conversation overheard. Travelers plugged into technology. Surrounded by two thousands miles of ocean with swaying coconut palms and fragrant plumeria, these travelers put their electronic blinders on and move from one state to another (physically and metaphorically).

Transported to another space and time. Falling asleep, mouth open, legs splayed unlady-like, I drift into another dimension. Passengers' conversations wend their way into my subconscience. "I wish we could have spent more time here", "what would you have done?", "spent another day at the spa"...

Fresh sunburns and old habits: A prescription for a tropical holiday.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Soap by the slice: Conditioning Bar

Filled with the rich emollients
of palm, coconut, canola, and castor oils, this hard soap leaves your skin smooth and silky. I added Ocean Mist essential oil to complete this refreshing experience. This soap is 100% Vegan. It can also be used as a shampoo bar.

The oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) is native to West Africa, where local populations have used it to make foodstuffs, medicines, woven material and wine. This soap features red palm oil which is a rich source of vitamin A in the form of Cartenoids (a family of natural fat-soluble nutrients important for antioxidant defense). It is also a wonderful natural source of Vitamin E. This soap also is rich in lauric acid which is believed to have antimicrobial properties. Castor oil is also said to be great for dry skin conditions, the lubricant in the castor oil helps ease the roughness of the skin.

Yes, you CAN purchase this soap. I have it in 4 oz. bars ($4.00 each) as well as 1 oz. travel sized versions ($1.00 each). If you are interested in purchasing some email me. This soap is one of my favorites. It has such a nice lather and leaves my skin so soft!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Chop chop

I saw my first chop when I was 21.

I remember it distinctly. It was in Monterey, California, at an antique shop. It was a tiny green frog perched on a tall thin plinth. It almost looked alive, ready to break for freedom out of the glass case it was trapped in. I instantly wished that I was chinese. An old chinese man, carving meticulously in hard, green jade. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I wanted to carve one, I wanted to possess one.

Fast forward 29 years. I finally carved by first chop. Not hard, unforgiving jade, but soft, conforming soapstone. You see the result. I'm pretty happy with it. Not so happy with the smudge of red I just left on the black shirt I was using as a backdrop, but still pretty happy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Another excuse NOT to do laundry

The Associated Press

GORHAM, Maine - Mara Ranger will be a little paranoid doing laundry now. When she was removing clothes from the washing machine at her Maine farmhouse Wednesday, the clothes moved. She told WMTW-TV, "I jumped back" and saw a snake. She quickly shut the lid and called for help.

Maine Animal Damage Control operator Richard Burton reached into the machine and pulled and pulled — all 8 feet of a reticulated python. Burton guesses the snake got into Ranger's washing machine through water pipes. The snake's future home will be York Animal Kingdom in York.

Ranger is going to start looking into every corner of her washing machine. She says, "I'm going to be looking in the tub first — before and after, maybe even during, the rinse cycle."

Yah, well all I have to say is that I'd be checking the toilet first. And I guess this would be better than snakes on a plane. Gosh, I'm glad there are no snakes in Hawaii. . .

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Better than sliced bread?

Do you know about TED? If you don't, you are missing a really great thing. TED Talks is a website where innovative ideas are shared. You might enjoy this video about a new computer desktop system called Bump Top. It might not be better than sliced bread, but you'd have fun using it! (Be careful, if you go to this site, you will be glued to it for hours!)

Soap by the slice: Oatmeal & Honey

Breakfast or soap? Yes, I make soap!

This old-fashioned soap is made with new ingredients. Coconut and olive oils combined with lard are the base for this skin-nourishing soap. Honey from macadamia orchards in Hilo, Hawaii serves as a natural humectant (a humectant is a compound that attracts moisture to itself and helps retain the moisture) with antimicrobial properties. Added cinnamon is strongly stimulating to the skin and warms the body.

Some researchers believe people first discovered the skin-soothing effects of oatmeal nearly 4,000 years ago. In this handmade soap, oatmeal also acts as a gentle exfoliant.

If you are interested in purchasing this 4 oz. bath bar, for $4.00 each, contact me. I also have 1 oz. travel bars available for $1.00 each.

Life bit by bit

What is better by the slice?

(Photo: NaPali coast, Kauai)

Pretty much everything. Even though I want the whole cake, I can really appreciate it better bit by bit. So, this blog is dedicated to taking life one step at a time; slowing down and taking a look around. That is why I live in paradise.

Kauai is not for the party animal, type-A, overachiever. Life here is laid back; a watches-off sort of place. When I first moved here in 2001 I quickly discovered that no one shared my sense of urgency about anything; from needing to move quickly through the grocery line, to accomplishing projects at work in a timely (again, my definition) manner. What I quickly learned was that it usually doesn't really matter if it gets done today or will eventually get done. This has nothing to do with laziness or lack of interest on the part of others. What it does have to do with is taking one thing at a time and keeping your priorities in order.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this blog. Check back for other things offered by the slice.