What Are You Dreaming Of?

Aloha!
Do you have a dream? Maybe something small that you harbor in your heart, sure you will find a way to do it one day? Or do you try to remember what it even felt like to dream…as you put one foot in front of the other in your daily grind?

Meredith Novack, 37, just completed her dream of breaking the world record by swimming the Auau Channel between Lanai and Maui, twice. It took her 11 hours, 1 minute to swim the 20 miles, and broke the previous record by 44 minutes. A former US Masters national champion in the open water 3K, Novacks trained for 10 months to prepare.

She said she did it because “Number one, no woman had ever done it, and number two, because I felt I could break the men’s record.” She said she made sure to follow strict rules for the world record attempt: “You can’t grab onto a kayak. You can’t use anything for support and people can’t touch you.”

Novacks wore an electronic device called a shark shield that kept her safe from a 15 ft. Tigershark that her escort team did not tell her about, till after she finished. They did not want to let her know that the Tigershark had shown up with less than two hours to go, for fear she would not finish.

There is resistance in the water with each stroke. Steven Pressfield, author of “The War of Art” met with Oprah Winfrey at her beautiful Maui home for their interview on “Super Soul Sunday.” He says there is always resistance with a goal, no matter how worthy. The form the resistance takes is the thoughts in our heads: “I’m not worthy.” or, “It’s been done 100 times before, what am I going to say that they haven’t heard?”

Pressfield says we have to “Face the Dragon.” And then we will ask why we didn’t do this months ago…

Meredith Novacks faced her dragon and set a new world record.

“Tell me, what is it YOU plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver

A hui hou! If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

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Find Your Island Sweepstakes

Aloha!
Would you like to try to win a free trip to Hawaii? Hawaiian Airlines is running a “Find Your Island” contest on Facebook. You take a four-question quiz naming your favorite activities in Hawaii, and you are entered into a sweepstakes to win 140,000 free miles on Hawaiian Airlines.

Can’t beat that…fast and easy. Good luck!

https://www.facebook.com/HawaiianAirlines?sk=app_113774135479939&app_data=source%3Dfacebook%26medium%3Dpost

Aloha, Jamaica
P.S: My island was Kauai.

Now THAT’S a Papaya

Aloha!
When was the last time you saw a papaya the size of a man’s head? These Tahitian papayas were grown by Mike, from seeds he got from a Tahitian neighbor.

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Here they are in close-up on the tree:

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And here they are in the kitchen. As you can see, they are the size of a butcher knife.
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The taste test? Juicy, and a bit like a cantaloupe. Paradise!
In an upcoming post, I will share a video of Mike stunting a papaya tree, which makes it bear fruit earlier. This was a secret technique he learned from a wizened Japanese gardener on the North Shore, Oahu. Stay tuned…

Hope you have a great weekend! Mahalo for reading along.

A hui hou! If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

Hawaiian Name Woes

Aloha!

When you move to Hawaii, it is interesting to try to get used to the street names with their multiple syllables, and reading the names of people in the newspaper can be a challenge. The trick to Hawaiian words is to sound them out syllable by syllable, and pronounce everything.

Janice Lokelani Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele is in a fight with officials here, to ensure that her full name gets listed on her driver’s license.

The license only has room for 35 characters. Her name has 35 letters, plus a mark used in the Hawaiian alphabet, called an okina.

So Hawaii county issued her license, but with the last letter of her name chopped off. And, omitted her first name. I wonder if the number of letters in her last name holds some kind of record?

And you thought you had a problematic last name. I’ll bet it at least fits on your driver’s license…

A hui hou! If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage. Mahalo for reading along.

Aloha, Jamaica

Positive Outlook?

Aloha!
Tourism is still the driving factor in Maui County’s economy, according to economists at First Hawaiian Bank’s 39th annual Maui Business Outlook Forum. But if you’re thinking of moving to Maui and finding a job, or starting a business, read on.

At its lowest point in the recent deep recession in 2010, the county lost nearly 9,000 jobs. About 5,000 of those jobs have returned, mostly in tourism and other service-related fields, and the unemployment rate is still well above the 3% rate before the recession. In my personal experience, I was working a part-time job on Maui when I was laid off. I found out firsthand that these jobs numbers are not totally accurate: I would never show up as a statistic, because I could not collect unemployment as a part-time employee. So it was as if my job never existed. And I could not collect unemployment, even though I’d been paying into it for years!

In it’s third-quarter “Outlook for the Economy” published last month, the State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism projected state unemployment rates to be 4.8% in 2013 and 4.5% in 2014.

As for construction, activity has been on a slow but steady climb since 2011 and has made about a 25% recovery after plummeting to its low point in 2010. However, the economists noted, the opportunities are coming from infastructure and commercial construction, and less from residential and timeshares. So if you’re a guy planning to swing a hammer, be aware of that.

The retail sector also is expected to grow. The Maui Mall will add a T.J. Maxx store, scheduled to open in summer 2015.(Yay.) And the Queen Kaahumanu Center is planning to add new “name brand” shops. (That will be nice, especially after we lost both JCPenney and the Gap. Because of that, I tend to shop for basics on the mainland.)

As far as real estate, based on January – through – July numbers this year, sales for both single – family and condo units were well on their way to numbers not seen since their peak in 2007: 1,000 single family units and 1,300 condos sold. “The market is getting back to where it was,” said the President of Realtors Association of Maui, P. Denise LaCosta.”When inventory is low like this, it means prices will rise, and inventory will continue to shrink.” Maui’s real estate inventory has declined 11-14% over the last 12 months.

Make of these numbers what you will…A number of readers wrote to tell me they were planning to move to Maui. If you are one of those people, please write and tell me if you found jobs. Shauna?

Other than that, we have drought conditions here on Maui, because it’s been hot, hot,hot with NO rain. I got my haircut today and was talking with my hairstylist, who lives in Haiku. She said that Haiku (rainy, eastern-Maui, jungle) used to only get in the high 70s, and it has consistently been 85 to 87 this past week. She said she is “over summer” and “so tired of being hot!” I concur. As I wrote in a past blog post, statistics now show that Maui is 10° hotter than it was 10 years ago…

A hui hou! Mahalo for reading along. If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button on the homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

Are Hawaiians Happier?

Aloha!
Hawaiians earned the title of “The Happiest State in America” with the highest rate of well-being of any state for the 4th year in a row, according to the annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

The index looks at six categories: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, healthy behaviors, and physical health. According to a Huffington Post blog post entitled “What Hawaii Can Teach the Rest of America About Living Better” by Carolyn Gregoire, Hawaii locals not only live longer, they’re less stressed and happier than any other state. Other states in the top ten were:
10) Massachusetts
09) Iowa
08) New Hampshire
07) Nebraska
06) Montana
05) Vermont
04) Utah
03) Minnesota
02) Colorado
01) HAWAII

Folks in the top 10 states tend to have lower rates of obesity, and fewer medical problems, such as Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, and chronic pain. They also report enjoying their jobs more. They have lower rates of smoking, and exercise more than those who live in the lower -ranked states.

These five states have been in the lowest rankings every year from 2008 through 2012: West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Arkansas and Mississippi.

Almost 60% of those in Hawaii say they are “thriving,” versus about 45% in West Virginia. Hawaiians live longer, according to recent data from the Center for Disease Control.

So what are the secrets to the Aloha state’s longevity and happiness?

A Slowed down lifestyle.

A sense of family and strong community

Sunshine and exercise: more than 60% of Hawaiians exercise, according to Dr. Bradley Willcox, a longevity expert and professor at the John A. Burns school of medicine at the University of Hawaii.

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Courtesy freedigitalphotos.net arztsamui
“You get vitamin D from the sun when you’re out, it’s easier to be physically active here –you’re not dealing with 2 feet of snow for a good chunk of the year.”

Okay, let’s talk about these things. If you live in Hawaii, I’d love to hear from you. Please weigh in on:
What you think your state of happiness is, on a 1-10 scale, ten being the happiest.
Has your family had longevity?
Are you really healthy?
Do you exercise and get outside regularly?
Do you feel stressed?
Do you lead a slowed-down lifestyle?
Do you have strong family/community ties?

I will publish the results from the feedback I receive.

On another note, living in Hawaii is always interesting, and does pose its challenges. Last evening while we were in our Jacuzzi down in the yard, we had a visitor:

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I felt something brush my ear, and thought a mango tree leaf had dropped into the spa. I reached for it and it moved. I flung it, screeching, and Mike said it began swimming fast across the Jacuzzi. Well, you’ve never seen two adults in relaxation mode move so fast (or sound like 6 year-old girls).
It was about the size of the span of my hand when open, from pinky to thumb, say 6-7 inches. This is our second centipede in a week. I was headed down the hall the other evening at bedtime and just happened to glance down and saw one on the floor. I could easily have stepped on it and been stung, being that I’m always barefoot. Our chosen mode of removal is a giant pair of cooking tongs, at which point they get very angry… And then they are tossed in the toilet and flushed. A friend lays a flat box down and waits for them to crawl in. (What was that ad on TV? Cockroaches crawl in, but they don’t crawl out?)

Anyway, never a dull moment. And how was YOUR Saturday evening?

If you live in Hawaii, please take a moment to respond to the above questions, if you would. Many mahalos!

A hui ho!! If you would like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “follow” button on the homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

Maui News Launches All-Digital Access

Aloha!

For those of you who don’t live here, but just can’t get enough of Maui, The Maui News has now launched an all-digital version.
Readers can now enjoy every article of The Maui News, every day, everywhere. You can now stay informed about Maui, anyplace you can grab a Wi-Fi or cellular signal.

The new service gives readers an exact digital copy of the current edition of the newspaper. Readers of The Maui News who do not have a print subscription can call The Maui News office to subscribe for both print and digital access, or sign up for digital access only, through The Maui News website (mauinews.com)

And because it’s Labor Day, that’s all I’m going to labor here. We took a great hike at the top of Olinda road, and saw a group of birds I have never seen, anywhere before! (Where’s that field guide book when you really need it?) Hope you had a great barbecue today…

A hui ho! If you would like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button on the homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica