Tuesday, January 15, 2019


This past year we didn't just slow down, we came to an abrupt and rude STOP! For eight moths, after the "Lava Event," we lived in two temporary situations for which we remain grateful. Our attorneys Lava Attorney won a case against Lloyd's of London and we got a settlement. And, a lot of other home owners got paid too! Luckily we found a lovely furnished lease to own rental Volcano town.More about Volcano Town

Then, on the last day of our move-in the stairs and Lunel's left knee got into a disagreement with the stairs, at the end of which she was unable to walk at all (torn meniscus being the likely result.) The next day neighbors converged with crutches, walker and a wheelchair!!  What an odd way to meet neighbors, but again, we were grateful they ambled up the driveway to meet us.

After such a traumatic 2018, we're excited to begin necessary improvements on our new home:  Phil needs a wood working shop so temporary plans are to enclose the carport where he can continue to make sawdust and keep his three galleries supplied with his popular Hawaiian reef fish made from koa wood. See Phil's ART
Lunel is at home in her hammock
It is all connected!

Lunel is due to begin physical therapy soon but for her this "slow down" runs against the grain -- she's is a hard person to follow that advice when there is a new undeveloped yard begging to be beautified -- flower beds to be created, and a greenhouse to be built!

For a distraction we took a short ride to Volcano National Park. (Despite the stupidity of a government shut down by this president, parts of the park are still open and accessible to visitors.)  Learn more about Volcano National Park

Visiting helped us make the emotional connection between the lava that WAS in Kilauea and the lava chamber below and where that lava actually came out -- down in lower Puna -- with Fissure 8 being across our front yard.

A wise friend sent us a quote last year Lunel incorporated into her art journal. Now we both just have to follow that good advice! (especially at 70 and 77)

"Who goes slowly, goes safely and goes far."

Friday, December 28, 2018

We're In The PINK!!

YES!  we are "in the pink" -- moved in yesterday with help from friends.
Living Coral Is Pantone’s 
2019 Color of the Year
The company announced today that Living Coral, a bright coral shade, is its 2019 Color of the Year. Although it may seem more pink in nature, Pantone describes Living Coral as “an animated, life-affirming shade of orange, with golden undertones.” 

The decision of what will be the next year’s Color of the Year is up to the Pantone Color Institute, Pantone’s consulting division that analyzes each year’s color trends. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures and effects that impact color, relevant social media platforms and even upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.” 

(Of course the Haysmers’ new home in Volcano, Hawaii was central to the final decision. Additional complimentary colors were based largely on Haysmers' choices for their new living room rug, and colors for their landscaping plans.)
Pantone also cited Living Coral as a color of carefree happiness. A press release says it “symbolizes our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits”—a feeling that, perhaps, people might be craving in today’s landscape

Tuesday, December 25, 2018


...yes, 'tis the season...in many traditions, for family, friends, gift giving and celebration. For many years we have had a special place in our home for a statue of Ganesh – beloved elephant deity of many people, but most particularly people of the Hindu faith. And, of course this particular event coincides with other religious and cultural celebrations at this time of year -- dating back centuries and millennia. 

Our (previous) home altar
Are we Hindu?  No, but the teachings of Lord Ganesh go far beyond a spiritual practice and include adaptations and relevant components of philosophy, psychology and thoughtful heart/mind wisdom.  Some people only know of Ganesh as the “remover of obstacles” – but he is also Lord of Word and Light.

Pancha Ganapati is a modern Hindu festival of the Five-Faced version of Ganesh (pancha means “five”.) This festival lasts for five days – from December 21 through 25. Pancha Ganapati is a Hindu season of worship, gift giving and celebration much like many other faiths and traditions: Christian, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and more. 
Another typical altar for this seasonal event

The idea is that family members work together, in forgiveness and good spirit, and bring Lord Ganesh’s blessings of joy and harmony into five realms of their lives, welcoming in a wider circle of their lives each day: family, friends, associations, culture, and religion. The family creates a shrine in the living room, decorated for the occasion.

This BLUE is the color
 of our new sapphire rings
In learning and using Sanskrit chants in meditation practice for many years, perhaps the most important teaching I have learned is that in all actuality “I” am the biggest obstacle I will ever meet.  You don’t have to ascribe to a Hindu belief system to appreciate that “getting out of our own way” is a valuable life teaching.

When we lost our Leilani Estates home in May (fire/lava) several of our friends, knowing our appreciation for this charming deity, gave us Ganesh statues -- all of which will be thoughtfully placed in our new home. Maybe while Ganesh could not move 200' of lava off of our house, he DID (along with the help of our attorneys) manage to "move" Lloyds' of London to pay up!! And here we are, today, bruised but not broken, moving into a house the same color as one of the most famous statues of Ganesh!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Butterflies In Our Tummies!

For about 20 years I have been creating art-journals in addition to my written journals going back 45 years. All of them (except one which a friend had) were lost in the fire and then entombed under 200 feet of cinder and lava.

Many times in the past months I've had the opportunity to wonder about my attachment to my history, and examine the grief I felt at such a loss. One of many things we have both realized through this ordeal is we are not our "stories" and we have a deeper intimacy with "nowness" and living in each eloquent moment.

Of course our retirement to Hawaii prompted many pages, most gone. I would occasionally  photograph a page for inclusion in our blog....and so,.in December of 2012, I made this page -- as we excitedly made the last minute check-list for our departure from Humboldt County and our arrival in Leilani Estates and our new home (hale.)

This month, as we prepare to move into our charming new home in Volcano Hawaii, the feelings are much the same -- "Butterflies In Our Tummies!

What a challenging year this has been -- on every level.  We were delighted to meet the previous owners of our little pink home who have been gracious about helping make our transition a smooth one. What 2019 will bring, we don't know. But being able to move in at the close of this traumatic year seems somehow seems a fitting conclusion!

It is also exciting for us to welcome several visiting Humboldt County friends during the very first month!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

'Apapane -- Good Luck Bird

Healthy trees with blossoms 2013
When we moved to the Puna District on the Big Island of Hawaii, friends had given us a "Birds of Hawaii" book that we used to identify the birds who were living in Leilani Estates subdivision. While still getting acquainted with our new home and property that first week, we found a small dead bird on the ground, which, with the help of our guide book, we identified as an 'Apapane.

Although our property was filled with vibrant beautiful Ohia trees, during only our second year many of our trees began to die from what is known as Rapid Ohia Death ROD. By the end of our second year, 70 % of our trees had died causing many of the native, local bird species to migrate elsewhere. (Nectar from the Ohia trees being the primary food source for them.)

Well-known photographer Jack Jeffery, took the above  photo, and this link will introduce you to Jack and his passion for taking amazing bird photographs.  8-minute video about Jack's passion

While living in Eureka (Humboldt County CA) Lunel developed a special collection of bird wings that she hung from the ceiling or in windows -- including egret, heron, hawk and other smaller ubiquitous species.

Dead Ohia a year later
Marian Berger, Artist
Eventually, she developed a simple taxidermy technique to preserve smaller dead birds she had found by using the "warm" setting on the toaster oven which basically dried out their innards. So, the little 'Apapane bird we found in 2012 floated in our kitchen window, wings spread as if in flight, for over 5 years. Oddly, we always felt it was a good luck symbol.

The other day, after leaving a walk-through of our new rental house in Volcano, we were both amazed to find,another 'Apapane on the ground by our parked car. We didn't have the inclination to attempt a repeat process this time around, but gently moved the little dead bird into the nearby ferns.

To hear one of the 'Apapane's songs follow this link:  Apapane Song

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

12-12 HO HO HO!

What's in the PINK BOX??
In December of 2012, when we bought our one-way tickets to The Big Island, we thought it would be cool to arrive at our new home on 12-12-12! We arrived just as it was getting darK. For some reason, NONE of the keys we were given opened the front or side or back doors!!  Lunel actually had to crawl in the bathroom window to open the house!  We just figured that it might be the first of many tests (we were warned) that Pele might offer to see if we really had what it takes to live here and join the "Punatics' Clan"** We survived Hurricane Iselle and the lava of 2014. Now, after losing literally everything first to fire, and then lava in lower Puna's Leilani Estates, we sure hope we FINALLY past all her tests!!   Welina Tu-Tu Pele!

CK's "Little Pink" --W&J's  Hale Akala 
While the year may be different, this week is a RADICAL12/12 too! We signed our insurance check from Lloyds' AND all the processes involved were completed today on our new fully furnished rental home in Volcano!  If you read our Nov 22 blog entry, we gave you a sort-of hint -- it was in the PINK box in the photo.)
And here's the rest of the story.

Once Upon A Time...
Cozy living room with fireplace

...we had NO IDEA how our lawsuit against Lloyds' of London would turn out when we signed on with our amazing attorneys, but we felt we had nothing to loose, and we couldn't stay in 400 sf studio with three corgi dogs for a year while we waited it out.  So, we began to think about renting a furnished home here in Volcano to see if this is where we'd might eventually like to live. Then, the day before Thanksgiving, imagine our surprise when our attorney called --Lloyds' was honoring our claim IN FULL!!

While it is sufficient to buy a house, we immediately realized that neither of us is ready to do that -- emotionally or psychologically, and we really did fall in love with this very cute, fully furnished two bedroom house. (Even the idea of buying furnishings for a whole empty house right now would be too much.)
In the middle of an Ohia forest
(Mauna Kea in back)

We have enjoyed it here in Volcano at 3500 ft elevation, more than we expected, particularly as there are lots of retirees here and even more artists. When we got here in August and the months that followed, I was delighted to spend hours a day beautifying the already stunning gardens -- even this last week. Yes, it's chilly in the winter, but ta DAH - we have a fireplace!
One of the two bedrooms

So, here's a few of photos of our new place. It is in "Ohia Estates" a very tiny (two street) subdivision on a street named Nahelenani (beautiful forest)...and so it is. Two thirds of an acre surrounded by ohia trees. Even though you can't see it, there's lots of room in the back yard area. Phil is drawing up plans for a wood shop (with the owners OK) and Lunel will have a greenhouse!

We got bananas! and soon a greenhouse.
We have met the sellers who have been very kind and helpful and we already know several neighbors and have even been included in holiday festivities! We could hardly wish for a better closing of this most peculiar year, moving in on 29th and 30th -- Happy New Year to us!
We wish everyone a particularly wonderful holiday season.

(PS Remember that our address book with birthdays and such is gone....it may take a while to reconstruct all that information.)

** We are STILL "Punatics" because the district of PUNA extends all they way up here to Volcano.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Rainbows and Flags Over Leilani

For those of you who have been following our blog, you already know the story. Newcomers to our blog are welcome to browse back weeks or months -- especially to know more about the Kilauea lava flow that went through Puna's Leilani Subdivision in May.

First is a photo that appeared on our local blog forum and with permission, we are including it. The "hill" you see is the cone of Fissure 8. The other day we got an email that someone had placed a Hawaiian flag on top of #8 near our property in Leilani Estates (on Luana.)

We found it interesting that this event coincided with Hawaiian Independence Day, November 28th, about which you can read below. Like many issues, there are multiple points of view, but we found this well written short article instructive -- especially if you didn't know that Hawaii HAD an Independence Day -  or WHY!

Photo taken by Aerial Visions (our friend Clive Cardozo -  Mauna Loa in background).
Everything we owned is under that mountain of lava!! 200 feet high
 Hawaiian Independence Day!!


The flag is there with our respect for the original people of this area who called it Keahialaka.

Aerial Visions LLC VIDEO of FISSURE 8

Phil and Lunel Haysmer (former residents of Luana)