Vicky Durand’s Adventure Blog #18

June 3, 2023

Welcome to Vicky Durand’s Adventure Blog #18

BLOG #18

June 3, 2023

Another beautiful week here in paradise, but with only minor progress making for little excitement and news. Monday was a holiday and then my builder Chris was out sick Tues. and Wed. And, then the third worker Ire was out all week. The guys seem to get the most done with all three here working as a team especially for the heavy window installation. Apparently all this stomach stuff starts with the kids at the school and just passes around through out the community almost continually. Even I got it a few weeks ago. It just lays you out for a couple of days. UGH!!!

Onward and up word….The septic work will start this next week so yesterday was spent moving all the building materials out of the way to make room for the major ground work. The stainless sink is resuced from the Wilder House. When Bob sold the Wilder House to pay the IRS tax bill and the new owners did not want it some men tried to steal it by telling me they took it to the dump. I called their bluff and managed to recover it and will put it to use here along with other recycled items.

We did do some hau cutting this week. Derek came and I spent some time with my extension chain saw. Every cut brings me joy. It is wicked stuff because a lot of the branches are under tension and will flip back and hit you if care is not taken. Beastly stuff really. Chris then came in with his excavator and moved the piles down to make room for more cutting. I am trying to get a couple of the lo’i cleared by hand and a small coconut planting for filming at the end of August.

Finally, yesterday something happened that I have long awaited. Years ago when Bob and I were here and we heard 10,000 Mexican workers had moved to Maui I tried to talk him into hiring a bunch to clear, but he would have no part of that. So, now twenty years later it is much worse. But the best part is Chase Miller finally showed up to tell me his excavator with a chipper can handle this hau clearing situation. As soon as the ground drys out and he finishes some work he is going to come and give it a day or two so we can see how it works. Since Chase is $300. an hour I am going to write a proposal for a large grant from the US Dept. of Agriculture to have the clearing work done on the invacives. Apparently quite a few farmers here on Maui are getting these grants and I am getting in line. Besides having areas to plant my dream has always been to have a nice walking trail to the pool and waterfall up mauka. Currently it is a miserable twenty minute bush walking hike winding around unnecessarily.

Meanwhile, I am finishing up writing a  Dept of Ag Micro Grant application to start the coconut planting process. These monies are all for 2024 which would be perfect. Keeping fingers crossed.

On Wednesday I took Haumana in for another Xray at the Makawao Vet Clinic a beautiful place situated in the middle of horse pastures and started by a classmate  Ted Cleighorn. She is healing but needs more rest time. We do have a pretty good routine where she has a nice cage with a show of cats passing by to see what is going on. Also the neighboring pasture cows coming to the fence line. And, Ehu dog comes by for some occasional licks and kisses.

I nearly escaped a computer hacking last Saturday when I thought I was on the Cannon site to hook up a new little Cannon printer. This man tried to tell me my fire wall was not up and all these sites had access to my computer, and for only $300. he could fix it. With that I promptly said goodby and backed out holding my breath that he could not do any damage.

Thanks to my new friend Karen I now have access to a local IT man who came yesterday and fixed it all. Clayton does IT work for the Hotel and is a great resource.

I did  second washing in little KumIo washer and it works great.

Better end this now as there is lots of mowing and weed eating to catch up on. The past week’s nightly rains and short daily rains  followed by sun has made the grass go crazy. Even though the neighbor Walt mowes every other week but there are just a lot of other spaces to work on. But the daily rains allow a nice long hot shower at night.

New shower curtin

Closing with a shot of the zinnia garden and the taro patch which is really booming.

I have been thinking about work because a lot of people respond to what I am doing with “Wow, what a lot of work”! Sitting with my mother during her last hours on this earth and reminiscing about her best life memories she said it was the fun of work accomplished. And, as I think about it -nothing can really be accomplished without work. Luckily, I love work and creating dream projects to make it all “happen”.

Thanks for tuning in and I hope to have lots more news next week with some real progress. Don’t let fears and doubts throw rocks at your dreams.

Aloha Nui


Vicky Durand’s Adventure Blog #17

May 25, 2023
Welcome to Blog #17

It has been another lovely week here in paradise with some long awaited and exciting progress.

Most of the bamboo fence is now up. It is gorgeous and I am very happy with the look and will soon plant the cherries in front. Just missing the two end panels as I did not get enough cedar on the last trip to town. I am going back in this Wednesday for Mana’s two week X-ray and will pick up needed materials and that project will be finished.

Besides the wicked hau here there is invading cane grass. The cane was also starting to take over the front lawn before I got here to get it backed off. Luckily I found Chris who comes with his weed hacker metal blade and is cutting it back. A few days ago I helped him hand cut this away from an old rock wall so the grass can be mowed right up to the wall and fence line. He also goes outside the fence to cut it back which has opened some of the views.

The garden continues and the string bean crop has been plentiful with just a few plants. Each week there are two or three dinner harvests. Cilantro is also doing well but something has gotten to the tomatoes. Unfortunately some little nasty bug stings them so they just rot. Hopefully I can find the culprit and do away with it.

There is continued work on the windows and by the end of today I should have four installed. After eight months waiting for arrival, the boxes were finally opened. Slight modifications on the wooden frames had to be made and this has slowed the process down a few days. The wooden framing had to be trimmed then primed and repainted before installation.

Since Mana has been in a cage the cats are having a wonderful time strolling around the property with no dog to chase them. And, speaking of Mana she has been an excellent patient with no barking, whining and seems like there is no pain. I take her out during the day and she is a tad rambunctious but I guess that is expected.

We have had some lovely nightly downpours so there is plenty of water for hot showers under the stars. I am just about to go and try out my mini washing machine to see how that works. The washer works great and I did my first load of wash yesterday. Happy now to not spend valuable town time and spent in the laundromat.

Big news-I now have three windows and they are gorgeous! They are black and will have dark green trim to match the roof. So glad my architect Mireille helped me pick out some high quality and beautiful products. It has been a long wait for delivery, but well worth it. The next two weeks should see completion of the rest of the windows and sliding doors. It was interesting to watch how time consuming each window is to install with the fitting, caulking, etc. Probably lots easier on a wooden building versus metal. Also the windows are super heavy so it takes all three men to install.

I am starting to sell books here and this attractive little store just bought a dozen and are planning a book talk and signing party. The store is located right across from a popular restaurant so there are lots of people coming and going. Several weeks ago I met Carol, the manager, at the beach and we immediately hit it off. Plans are to do book signings in front of the store every first Friday when the Farmer’s market has their concert series and artist booths. Carol is one of the really special, like minded and welcoming people here that I am lucky enough to continue to meet and have as a new friends.

Time to wrap this up and get the pictures on so we can head to Kipahulu for yoga. Wishing you all a beautiful memorial weekend with thoughts and appreciation for loved ones no longer in our lives. I am especially grateful for all of them with so many wonderful memories and what they have given to provide an amazing life for me.

Aloha Nui and thank you for all your comments.


Makaha Birthday: Betty, Daughter Vicky, Grandaughters Marcie and Rennie

Vicky Durand’s Adventure Post #15

May 20,2023

Welcome to Blog #15

At least I think this is #15-it is all getting blurry…..

Starting Sunday it has been a rather trying week. On my way down the driveway heading to the beach for a swim my dog Haumana ran in front of the truck. It is a steep driveway so I could not see that she was so close and I ended up hitting her. She looked OK at the time, but was not herself for the rest of the day. Monday morning I rushed her to the vet clinic and it turns out she has a pelvic fracture.

At first the vet thought she might have to go back to Oahu for surgery, but she suggested cage rest and return in two weeks for another X ray. Keeping miss Mana in a cage is a sad and difficult situation that requires a lot of special attention with frequent short leash outings for her pees and poops. Luckily I have four six foot fence panels that the carpenters put together in the back open part of the shed. She has a great view of the cows and pasture and Ehu along with the cats can come and go to visit her. I set up a cot next to the cage and have been sleeping here with her so she doesn’t feel abandoned. Hopefully the next X-rays show some healing. She does not seem to be in pain so I am keeping a positive thought we will survive this set back. It is just hard when your best girl friend is laid up.

Moving ahead the windows and doors were finally delivered this week and the wooden window framing is painted and party installed. Hopefully this next week will see completion. What a slow process this is with every job dependent on another’s completion. It was a pretty full work week this week with no illness-only two shorter days as Chris’s mother went into the hospital so he had to leave early and then graduation is today so yesterday was a tad shorter. I just realize there are a lot of “hopefully” words in these blogs, but I do remain hopeful.

After some comments from the neighbor on the hill I realize a privacy fence is in order. On Thursday I made another four hour round trip to town to pick up cedar wood and bamboo for the fence. Tomorrow I will paint it with clear coat for rain and weather protection and the bamboo will go on Monday. Then I can plant the Surinam Cherries and the Brazilian Cherries in front for an edible hedge.

When in town I also picked up ten rolls of bamboo for the fence and all the PVC and materials for getting water off the roof into the catchment water tank. That ended up being quite a load and I spent two hours driving back very hesitantly often holding my breath when tourists stopped suddenly in front of me. The most challenging thing about these trips for building materials is the material is usually located in a different place than what Chris tells me and then when I finally get to the right supplier for liability no one wants to tie it on the truck. Since my knowledge about about tying wood, pipes, etc on the truck is limited it becomes an interesting situation. Luckily a man at the last place thought nothing about liability and secured everything and I made it back with out loosing anything.

Loose dirt to walk through

There is a lot of loose dirt outside here and I can’t put pavers down until Chris digs and burries the PVC pipe, so another project on hold. We have been some rain and I am looking forward to pavers and grass asap.

After waiting weeks for Derek to come and do my septic system and with no results, this week I happily found Ryan to come and install the system along with a friend he knows who does septics. I am wanting (and hoping-ha ha) to get the septic in around the same time as I apply for the final on the ag shed. I am dreaming of this all happening in the next two months if my lucky stars aline.

Plans are to have this property blessed in early August when both my daughters Marcie and Rennie visit, along with other friends, who will be here for the blessing event. Part of the blessing hopefully can be filmed. And speaking of film, the next film segment about the niu (coconut) projects will be filmed here in late August. Hopefully you have all watched the YouTube film Kumu Niu so you are familiar with our proposed project here. I am working on getting the next lo’i cleared of hau in-order for space to start the first coconut planting. This hau is difficult stuff to clear particularly with invasive tulip trees interspersed. Bradley came yesterday to cut four tulips so we can proceed on the hau. Plans are to bring a chipper in next month to start the process.

The tomatoes are going wild and I have enough to share. I also made the best beef and tomato ever this week. And, the first squash has appeared.

I think the thoughts for this week are dreams, goals and persistence. As you all can see this is a trying project, but I keep planning and moving along knowing it will happen. Synchronicity is also playing a big role here as once “out there” it brings key people in for help. YEA!!

Well, I think this is enough for this week. I am going to graduation which is a cultural event here in this lovely small community that I am loving it more each day.

Thanks for tuning in and I LOVE your comments. Wishing a wonderful week.
Aloha Vicky

Vicky Durand’s Adventure Blog #14

May 13, 2023
Welcome to Blog #14

This has been a week requiring a lot of patience and I don’t have as much to report as I would like. Stomach flu is going around this little community and I somehow caught it. Three days were spent doing hardly anything and trying to recoup. Chris, my builder also caught it so with a May Day school celebration for him yesterday it was another three day work week. I continue pushing to make this all happen asap.

This week has also been mainly about placement of the water tank which has taken more time than planned. Three whole days were spent wrestling with the 5,000 gallon dark green towering water tank. Some how we had not planned that the tank would be so high. When the tank was set up last week it was actually several feet above the gutters that will feed it with rain water from the roof. In order to make this happen the tank had to be relocated and a hole dug in order to reset it. The tank seems about twenty feet tall with nothing to grab on to so it was a real amazing job getting it level and in place. Afterwards Chris made some steps for me to use out of the old growth cedar planks.

After eight months the windows are finally on the island ready to be trucked out here on Monday. They cannot be installed until the wooden framing is primed, sanded and painted. This will probably be a couple of weeks if I am lucky.

A great weed eater man, Chris, has been working this last week clearing the cane grass away from the fence. This job makes the already great view even better.

The squash plants have flowers now. Seria, on Oahu, gave me a bodi tree and I finally got that planted this week. Also five pakalana along the fence line. More seeds were sewn into a little container to sprout and then put in the ground-lilikoi, cucumbers, green beans, white beans and tomatoes. The one tomato plant is giving beautiful red tomatoes with abundance. I think fireplace ashes are the key.

The ground was leveled behind the shed for a fence and planting of Brazilian cherries and Surinam cherries. These plants make a great edible privacy barrier for the neighbor up on the hill and give a patio an encloser.

Some of you have reached out when they heard the road was closed here. But, that is just the back road (not the curvy one in) which is very bumpy and after my last trip feel it should be closed to tourists. It is very narrow in several places with a steep cliff dropping off to the ocean. And, on my last trip to town I decided that was not a viable road for me.

The cats all seem happy and adventuring out more and more.

I wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all.

The thought of the week is to remember that fear is a choice and it will always keep you “on the couch” doubting rather than helping you reach your dreams. I am lucky enough to have had one of the world’s best mothers who constantly modeled this belief with her own life philosophy and adventures. At this point I shudder to think of myself letting fear stop me from venturing out into this new exciting, wonderful and fulfilling life that I am living. She also taught how important it is to have a strong belief in yourself. And I now realize that is what makes dreams come true.

Have a joyous weekend and thanks for tuning in for my adventures.
Aloha Nui

Vicky Durand’s Adventure Blog 13

BLOG #13

May 6, 2023

Welcome to Blog #13! Time has been flying by and hard to believe this is number 13. This has been an amazing and productive week here in paradise. Other than long drives to town on Tuesday and Wednesday lots of progress was made here. After four weeks of Chris telling me he would bring his machine here it finally and very happily arrived on Thursday. Getting the excavator here lets the big long awaited jobs finally happen.

The windows are all now framed in wood so upon arrival they will hopefully slip right in. The two sliding doors will be framed this week.

Bradley finally showed up to level the gravel pile. The small plastic shed that Bob and I put up for storage got moved to the other side out of site right next to the cat greenhouse. For years it was home for rats so I will power wash and then paint it and use for storage along with my new red Honda lawn mover.

The 5,000 galloon water tank got moved near gutters on ag shed. That was a hairy move as four men were holding it in place after Bradley removed the log hold it up while he got it in place on his tractor forks. The tank would have flattened all four if it had gotten away and there would have been four “Flat Stanley’s.” I was holding my breath as I watched. Then we realized the tank top was above the gutters. So Chris had to dig an alternative place for the tank. This meant removing an avocado tree and carving out a level pad-days work.

After dreaming about finding four ten foot kiawe logs to support the heavy old growth cedar beams on the patio I finally found them thanks to Rich at Whispering Winds. They were delivered on Thursday. These logs have gotten very hard to find, but will add a special rustic touch to the patio.

The driveway matting was laid down with a layer of gravel on top. I am hoping this will reduce the mud during the next big rains in the winter months. Lately we have had just the right amount of rain for filling the tank and planting.

While in town I found tiny river rocks and added them to half of the pathway and in the outdoor shower. This makes a big difference in appearance and stability.

And, speaking of making a big difference I bought a small washing machine on Amazon. It is hooked up and will be fun to see what happens on the spin cycle.

My tomatoes are producing like crazy with the best tomatoes ever. The basil is also flourishing and we have been loving the pairings with mozzarella cheese and balsamic vinegar. Plans are to enlarge my vegetable garden.

My step daughter Sarah is out here for a few days. Yesterday afternoon we went to the Friday farmers market first concert series and then on to the bamboo pizza restaurant for Friday night music. We sat with new friends and it was great music and delicious pizza. I am really loving it here in this small community.

I am starting to investigate grant possibilities for restoring the ancient lo’i on this property. Friday I met with Lipoa the director of the local high school building, gardening and food service programs. The school has amazing programs and we are hoping to eventually collaborate with them for our project. Along with meeting Vili, Lehua and others involved in the program we had a special meeting as her mother is also named Vicky and a surfer.

Time to do some planting and move on with the day.

Thanks for tuning in. Please remember all great projects things start with a dream and it is never too late to have a dream. This was my mother ‘s (Wave Woman) philosophy during her life. With this thought she accomplished a great deal and had a meaningful life. And, I might add a lot of fun.

Aloha Nui


Vicky Durand’s Adventure Blog #12

April 29, 2023

Welcome to Vicky Durand’s Adventure Blog #12

After publishing last week’s blog I realized I jumped ahead a whole month with my date of May rather than April. I think this was due to a wish because the windows and doors for the agriculture shed are scheduled to arrive May 15th. This is a pivotal date for application for the final permit with the building department which is very important for this project to move forward.

The weeks are rolling around pretty swiftly now and it seems before I know it Saturday is approaching and it is time for another blog. It has been an interesting week here in paradise. I woke up early this morning to the pitter patter of rain on the roof and gentle breezes flowing through the wallless camp house. I welcome this rain for filling up the water tank and planting. In the next days I hope to get a bodi tree in the ground as well as five pakalana and the sweet potato plants my neighbors Nick and Sutton gave me last Saturday. I made a zinnia garden this week and the rain nurtures the young plants. I had to rig up some fencing as the cats were getting into the soft ground and digging the seedlings up. I have been trying to grow a red plumeria for years with no success. To my amazement this week a red flower opened up on a potted plumeria brought from Oahu.

I now also realize there is a need for a bigger vegetable garden so that is in the planning stage on where to put it.

After a nineteen year interlude I remet a neighbor Karen Davidson. Karen has been here for thirty years and spent some time as Bob’s brother Eric’s roommate when they were both renting a house. Karen is an artist and does beautiful paper sculpture. We have struck up a new friendship with meetings at her beautiful house and artist studio and here at my garden table.

Karen took me to her yoga class with Crystal on Monday and a delicious fish dinner at her house on Monday night. I had a big scarey surprise coming home in the dark after dinner. I had forgotten to take my flashlight and when I pulled up in front of the camp house the dogs were barking. I could tell that someone or something was here. For a few minutes I just stood by the back of the truck in the dark breathing deeply and hoping to heck it was not a person. Then I used the light on my phone to shine in the general direction and there was a big brown and white cow right at the front entry. Upon a second glance I realized the cow belonged to the neighbors Patty and Walt and it had broken through the neighboring fence in the pasture. Big relief, but it was eating my ti leaves. I called Patty and she came down but we both realized we had to wait till morning to get it back home. I got Mana contained in the house so she wouldn’t get kicked but the cow was outside all night munching on the leaves and the dogs were going crazy barking most of the sleepless night. Patty and Walt came early Tuesday morning and after him running all over the property (also pooing) They got him back through the fence into the pasture.

Patty with bait for cow

And, just as I had guessed after seeing various cow piles laying around, yesterday this bad smell emerged whenever Mana came near. I had to give her a bath as she was rolling in the in the cow dung.

We had a big two night rain and it was a short three day week for building, but the wooden window frames are now mostly all made and will be installed this next week. Then when the windows and doors finally arrive they can be just pop into the frames and voila! Nothing got moved this week, but I have high hopes for this next week with the promise of Bradley coming to move the plastic tool shed and then moving the water tank. Chris will bring his machine to grade the yard and take out a tree stump then the wooden fence can go up and the Brazilian cherry and Suriname cherry trees can be planted for a visual barrier on the ugly metal pasture fence side. It seems every project depends on another so it is a waiting game here. But, slowly but surely it is happening.

After much searching and quite by accident I finally found four kiawe posts to hold up the outer patio cover timbers. I had gone to meet a man named Jacob who is doing all kinds of interesting building (a drive through coffee bar and a food court) along with starting a water buffalo herd for clearing land, milk and the making of mozzarella cheese. Rich from Whispering Winds was there helping to build and after my asking both men about posts, Rich said he had four posts to sell me. I drove to his place to check them out and he tried to put two on top of the truck, but after multiple attempts we decided it was a bad idea. They will deliver this next week. I am finding the world opens up when one puts a need “out there”.

I finally emptied one of the two crates of cut coral pavers. The path from the house to the shower is now made waiting for small river rocks to fill the gaps.

Another “biggie” this week was an interview for the AARP national magazine. Yesterday I had a zoom interview with Marla Cimini, a free lance writer who I met after her writing about Wave Woman several years ago. She asked some interesting questions as the AARP editors want a dramatic narrative with some sort of struggle/tension and a resolution. I think this adventure definitely fits the bill. They might be sending a photographer out for some shots.

Enough for this week as I have a truck load to take to the dump and need to get moving in that direction. While in that area I am picking up four free metal chairs for the garden. Since I now have such a big garden I am collecting furniture for the different areas.

Thank you for tuning in and wishing you all a wonderful coming week.
Aloha Nui

Vicky Durand’s Adventure Blog #11

May 22, 2023
Happy Earth Day and welcome to Blog 11

I am finding that every day is Earth Day here in this heavenly paradise. It has been a pleasant week and thanks to the big rain storm on Wednesday the ground is soft for digging and I have been planting trees. This property has a lot of rocks and digging holes and be challenging. The catchment water tank was getting low, but it is now back up so that makes for a good time for planting. After some weeks of sitting in a pot I finally got the tangerine and orange tree in the ground. Also the jade tree at the base of the trimmed monkey pod root base and a zinnia garden. I have five pakalana plants ready to put on a fence where the cows cannot get them. A twenty year old papaya tree all of a sudden fell across the driveway yesterday and I had to get the chain saw and move it to drive out.

I harvested a few more tomatoes and green beans. I have a garden full of arugula so things are good. My neighbor and new friend Sutton grows squash, eggplant and the best sunrise papayas which she and Nick share with me.

I am learning to live lightly enjoying the time between solitude and company. My friends Chuck and Kathleen came out for a few days and we had some nice times. I also reconnected with Karen a neighbor who is a paper sculpturer and creates some beautiful wall pieces. I will show some of her art next week.

Kathleen and Chuck with some bed mates

This week I met up with my water exercise friends and also spent some time with my friend and step daughter Sarah. We both learned about camping from her parents Clara and John Elwell. I met Sarah and her friend Javier for dinner at one of my new favorites-Colleens in Haiku. We ate at the bar and it is a super fun place with the Maui “vibe”-everyone seeming happy, friendly and in good shape.

Audible is a new favorite as night lights for reading don’t work as they attract too many bugs. Our book club read The Last of The Moon Girls which I loved. It is a strong woman’s story based on herbs, plants, bravery, and love. Yesterday I was sorry to finish a story about Charles Lindbergh’s life. Although he was not on everyone’s favored list he had some interesting thoughts and insights. Charles along with Anne and Amelia were Wave Woman’s inspiration for taking flying lessons and heading to the air.

Wood framing for the shed windows is now made. They can all be put in place upon arrival in a few weeks. I also got my permit for a septic system this week. Boki has already moved into the shed along with a few others. The cats are really starting to explore the place and seem happy with their explorations. They have a lot of space to cover now that they are out of a neighborhood.

I better end this now as Karen kindly offered to do a load of wash for me and I need to go pick it up. The closest laundry mat is hours away and things get pretty dirty here. I ordered a tiny washer on Amazon due to arrive this week. So that should be interesting.

My books just were put in Hasegawa’s General Store, a market with a little bit of everything. They are right up front next to my buddy Stuart Coleman’s Eddie Would Go. Lots of people pass through this store everyday. Pictured is Neal Hasegawa a multi generation congenial store owner.

I am still patiently waiting for the small plastic shed to be moved and the new water tank to be placed among other projects. Hopefully this next week and I will have more news next week. And, my sweet daughter Rennie suggested I use her for an editor so she can correct any spelling, but she is on the East Coast and it doesn’t really work with our schedules. So just ignore if posssible.

Thanks for tuning in.

Aloha Nui,


Vicky Durand’s Adventure Blog #10

April 15, 2023

Welcome to Blog #10

WOW, hard to believe this is the 10th version of my weekly blog. Thank you for tuning in for another week of news.

I just found out that April is native plant month and it has been a very exciting and productive week for gardening as well as building. My friend Indrajit who is a coconut sscholar/practioner came out for a couple of days with a friend Malu. Sunday started with a new enlarged taro garden. He brought a very special and revered variety of taro called Mana Olu. Jit enlarged the taro garden with the new variety up front. I have it fenced off now so the dogs don’t get in the garden and disturb the new plants.

I have been working this week cleaning out garden places that have become overgrown with Hono hono grass, wedelia and cane grass. Often these are coving beautiful rock formations or rock walls. I also planted a lemon tree and harvested my first tomatoes and green beans.

Derek came and we attacked the hau cutting more branches and working upward. I am working on investigating various solutions to get the branches chipped and used as a ground cover for planting the coconut grove.

My solar panels and shed flooring arrived on Wednesday and it won’t be long until those are installed. Plastic shelving also arrived for getting things more organized. I am still living out of plastic boxes and suitcases with little storage space.

The cut coral path is now made to the shower. Next trip to town I will get river rock to place in between the pavers. Yesterday I was lucky to get some help hauling sand and the pavers to the general area. I have been loading them in my Gorilla cart and hauling across the yard so help from the guys was really wonderful. Chris made a wooden stand to hold the sink yesterday so doing dishes is much more comfortable.

This week the middle room of the shed got framed. They will do the window and door framing this next week. The windows and doors are a month late, but now they can just be pooped in on arrival mid May.

Bradley arrived yesterday with his huge truck to trim the branches on the monkey pod tree root. The tree fell down about ten years ago and the root produced a new tree. Besides the new tree shading the solar panels I have a jade plant to put at the base that hopefully the jade will use the branches to climb up and hang down with the jade flowers. My new friend Grant is pictured here at the airport with a beautiful lei he made from their jade plant. Last trip to town I bought a lei needle and thread so I am ready.

After “winter” the plumerias I planted twenty years ago are starting to have leaves and flowers come out. The last weeks have actually been hot in between cloudy days and sprinkles of rain. Feels like summer so Mana and I will be going to the beach more. Something happens everyday here that I must be present to answer questions so we haven’t done much beaching.

I gave a copy of Wave Woman to the owner of the popular local grocery and a little bit of everything store and he is going to carry my book. Lots of tourists go there and it will be on the shelf next to my friend Stuart Colman’s Eddie Would Go.

Coming home from town this last week this guy was on the road. He was drinking water and not looking very happy.

And, speaking of Wave Woman-The Life and Struggles of a Surfing Pioneer a free lance journalist that wrote about the book when it came out in 2020 got in touch a couple of weeks ago wanting to know what I am doing. I told her all the nitty gritty reasons about leaving Oahu and my new Niu Now coconut farming mission. She is pitching the story to a national magazine so that will be interesting. Keeping fingers crossed.

The cats are getting more and more comfortable exploring their new environment. Besides finding great places here in the trees I spotted some sitting up on the large rocks in the neighbors pasture watching the cows graze. And more and more are moving into my camp house.

I think I said how this place is anything but isolated as I meet at least one new person everyday. On the way home from getting drinking water and going to the dump Mana and I stopped at a beautiful beach and went for a swim. I met two delightful and interesting new friends Angie and David. While in the water we had a lot of fun talking and getting to know one another and we are all looking forward to staying in touch via the internet.

Well, this kind of sums up another great week. I leave with one thought– always remember when one door closes we all have the power to open a new one and often a better one. This was my mother’s philosophy and it is working for me in the best of all ways. I feel like the luckiest person alive to be doing what I love in one of the world’s most beautiful places. It is a free life with no one shutting off my water or my power or dictating how life should be lived.

Thanks for tuning in and thank you to those who are leaving comments. Please share this blog with any friends you might think would be interested. This next week will see some big progress in moving forward.
Looking forward to streaming Merrie Monarch tonight.

Aloha Nui

Vicky Durand’s Adventure Blog

April 9, 2023

Welcome to Blog #9
I am starting this on Good Friday in hopes of getting this out a little earlier. I love living this close to the elements-the rain, wind, sun, night skies and watching the beautiful cloud formations. The birds are constantly chirping and life is tranquil watching trees and plants grow rather than television. And, there is also something to be said (besides no electric and water bill) for completely living independently off the grid having to plan your own water and electricity sources and use carefully and thoughtfully.

Patrick showed up Sunday morning with another thirteen ton load of gravel for the driveway. All the materials are now here for the driveway and most other projects. Hopefully the redo of the driveway will prevent a muddy mess like happened in the last big rain storm.I had to make cardboard and log moats to get across the mud to the truck.

My friend (and step-daughter) Sarah came out for the weekend with her dog Charlie. She brings her tent and we always have a lovely time together. On Sunday we took a drive to visit an 18th century church and old grave yard. It was an over cast and rainy day so the beach was not beckoning.

There is a very special botanical garden here with rare tropical native plants. The garden covers twelve acres with the largest breadfruit collection and also the oldest and largest heiau in the Pacific. The board of directors came in from all over the country for a board meeting along with donors who were offered a tour and catered lunch. I was invited and delighted to be included. I learned about ways to plant and plants I want here. There was also an amazing dinner with endless catered food, Hawaiian music and interesting people.

Because of the overcast days it has been great for weed eating and planting. I have been planning land scaping with Suriname Cherries, Brazilian cherries, I am cleaning up gardens and cutting cane grass back out of the mowed yard. I am planning the landscaping with bananas, citrus, miracle fruit, a green jade, Tabern, a Pukinikini, native white hybiscus, gardenias, night blooming jasmine, and of coarse the big crops coconuts, taro and breadfruit.

Little red berries are miracle fruit

Derek came to cut and pile some more hau. Some friends are here for the weekend and I am hoping to chip away a little more tomorrow.

The shed is coming along with the dark green down spouts and trim being put on. The gutters will catch water and go into a 5,000 gallon water tank. The windows and doors are a month late so there is some refiguring to do. I am so thankful for this building team. They often barbecue their lunch and invite me.

The animals all seem happy and seem more relaxed each week. Mana thinks she has human rights.

Chris is bringing his excavator this next week so I am looking forward to some real progress.

Happy Easter and thanks for tuning in.

Aloha Vicky

Vicky Durand’s Adventure Blog

Welcome to Blog #8
April 1, 2023

Happy April Fools Day!

Thanks for tuning in to Blog #8. It has been another amazing week with a lot of accomplishments. The wonderful thing about going to a new place is all the new and interesting people I meet. I meet someone new just about everyday.

Sunday morning I drove Haumana (my doogle) to the beach for a swim, but it was too rough for both of of us so we came back home. On the way in and out the driveway I noticed what a mess of branches were left from Saturday’s tree trimming. The tree trimmer tried to rationalize his leaving a mess is that it would be good for the soil once it decomposed. But is was a big mess right at my driveway entrance-a place that I want to look beautiful, a place where I want to plant native white hibiscus. I got the truck and started loading the branches.

Luckily about that time I got a text from Derek saying he was available for work. After several loads of putting the debrue in the back of the truck and taking to a designated dumping place we got the area cleaned up. Then we started attacking the hau branches on the next lo’i. Derek had the chain saw and we both were stacking branches in piles to chip. The chipped hau material is very rich and will go back into the soil for planting the coconuts, taro and breadfruit.

The hau

Besides four tons of sand being delivered for the pavers to sit on, the inside shed wall was completed this week that separates the tool shed and coconut processing room from the library and cataloging area. We are now waiting for the windows and doors to arrive at the end of April. The gutters will go on next and the water catchment tank installed.

This week I purchased the domaine name for the business which is Koali Niu. Koali is this area which was named for a vine that grew here and Niu is the Hawaiian word for coconut. I think was in next months will see a lot of clearing so we can start planting and get the show on the road.

Squash do very well in this area and I planted about twenty of the squash seedlings shown in an earlier blog. They make a great ground cover to keep weeds down so am looking forward to this plus all the food produced.

Sadly this week I lost one of my old cats found at a Makaha bus stop years ago. Blackie was suffering so I had to do something. Amazingly I found a vet just and hour away. The drive was through gorgeous, wild and scenic ranch country with old 17th century churches, cows along the road, and a goat herd ran across the gravel road. Blackie was in bad shape with a tumor in his mouth and kidney failure. The euthanization was a very peaceful, painless but sad experience. The vet was just the BEST-such a wonderful human being!

One of my favorite places on the property which has a row of huge rocks which might have been some kind of a special place in years past. Bradley pulled a tulip tree stump out last week so the soil is soft for digging. This is where my cat cemetery will be.

I am starting to think of landscaping and several weeks ago I met Julie and Alex who have a nursery. Yesterday they delivered some special trees that I am looking forward to planting. They are rare and interesting trees not found in a regular nursery.

This blog is going to be short as I just got back from a monthly book club meeting and company is coming. This month was the book titled the Last of the Moon Girls. I loved this book as it had some meaningful philosophy about living life. The book club members are a great group. One of the long time book club members is moving to Arizona and brought a box of pottery to rehome. She went around the circle and each woman choose a piece. Very touching!

Thanks for tuning in to Blog #8.
I am thinking there will be a lot of progress this next week….
Aloha Nui,