30 January 2020

This week is all news from home – in words and pictures from my dear daughter-in-law.


Bula Vinaka Mom,

So at the farm this week guests have all checked out, there’s been continuous work on the kiddi pool with Rakesh and the soil he’s dug out we’ve been filling beside the main house to make flower gardens.
2020-01-28 kiddie pool start Cr
There was a very tall pawpaw tree that fell across the swimming pool so we now have green pawpaws to make Maki’s salads.
2020-01-29 green pawpaws for salad R
For animals there was set of geese that our neighbors brought back because the family had to move to Suva (Dad sold the geese to them when they were babies).
The Male one has only one eye and a crooked beak because he fought with the dogs….funny.
2020-01-29 boomerang geese R
One toad  (boto) showed up right to where I was (yikes) with a missing arm.
2020-01-28 Monica's boto Cr
I wonder what happened to it.
Mom hope things are well with you.
We miss you all dearly.
Love you,
Could that be ANY sweeter?   Wow.   Made my week.
And now — a happy week to all of you!

23 January 2020

News from Home (thank you, Monica)

Bees are at work in the starfruit flowers

More busy bees have been cleaning up the pool compound, inside and out.

And one of them was giving toads “flying lessons”

(Does anyone beside me detect the influence of a new Commander at the farm?)

Still on the “work is worship” theme – somebody noticed the guavas were ripe and it is jam time.

Thank you, Harvesters and Pot-Stirrers.

And, finally,  Monica sent me some photos of Dad’s “coffee” – which isn’t coffee, but is his special tea (turmeric, ginger, and assorted extra spices) that got overboiled.

I’m happy to see that all is going so well.


Meanwhile in Canada ….

The lake was still liquid and it was windy.  The temperature dropped to minus 17 C (minus 24 at night) .  In a few days it froze – the WAVES froze.  I was walking without my camera, but planned to take a picture.  Then it SNOWED – Blast!  I ran out with only a jacket and boots to get the photo of the frozen waves – much less pronounced with snow on top of them … but anyhow, here’s what I got.  First is the shot I got from the road – a long snow bank – it is lake where the dock is.  The second is the close up of the frozen waves, beside the dock.

Since then we got a tropical heat wave, with the temps going all the way back up to Plus 4 Celsius.  The lake surface is largely liquid again.


Happy week, everyone.  🙂


16 January 2020

Thanks to Monica – I’ve got photos this week.

Before I left, Akka got folks making chocolate again.


Here is Ray from Vanuatu – roasting beans.   Anticipation!   Chocolate will happen.


Here are the roasting beans.   Wasn’t chocolate yet.  I was busy packing and all –  but I do remember the sound of the dry mill milling.  Oh, and I remember somebody giving me a taste.  Chocolate did happen, but photo-evidence did not.


And then I was gone, and nothing happened at all.  … or did it???



The river.


The fishing ladies (at least 2 of them):  Monica and Lutu.   The feedbags beside Lutu are full of river mussels (kai).

Monica wrote, “Went with Lutu and the Waicoba ladies yesterday to get fresh water mussels (kai) from Nacocolevu and Rupeni (Lutu’s husband) roasted some right there…”



Do you see how they are cooking in the grill from the front of an electric fan?  Ha ha.

Monica continues, “He put in lemon salt and chillies water called the waitomu….


…So good.  Especially when I was dipping in the river digging for about 2 hours.

With kumala and cassava.”  (sweet potatoes and cassava – carried from home)


That’s the way to have a productive picnic!

These are the kai that came home





More from Monica, “Dad brought some baby coconut leaves so Kiki and I did some art n craft.”

Now the fish in the fish tank have something interesting to look at.


New School Year in Fiji

Happy that Kiki is going to school in our neighborhood again.


In uniform, and approved by Winky.


Happy week, everybody.   For the next few months all the news in this blog is going to be sent to me from folks at home.  I’ll probably be more surprised than anyone at what shows up (I need to go kai fishing some time, when I get back.)



9 January 2020

This is the “What the Flip” week.

2020-01-06 egg on gate  R.jpg

On the gate at the bottom of our driveway

An egg.  Certainly a hen did not lay it there.

The bizarre thing is that the egg sat there for 3 days.  Nobody closed the gate!


In my bathroom – some weird object on the ceiling.   (But the picture hanging there is pretty.)

2020-01-08 slug1  Re.jpg

Up close –

2020-01-08 slug 2  Re.jpg

It’s a SLUG?   On the CEILING??


Farm crazy busy.   Trainees from Solomons and Vanuatu getting a crash course in virgin coconut oil/vegan cheese, cocoa making, soap-making – and that’s just the kitchen stuff.  I didn’t get photos.   I’ve been a madwoman getting ready to leave for four months (this afternoon) because “my kids need me.”   Luckily, other kids are covering my responsibilities here … and I expect photos from home so you all and I myself can know what is going on.



Rest in peace, dear Torsett.

10-31-13 Torsett    RIP.jpg

Here is a photo from when he was a young guard dog.

In the last months he was old and sick, and even Winky snarled at him when he showed interest when she was in heat.  There was nothing left to live for.   Isa, isa.

But Torsett is at peace now – and I hope chasing mongooses in Doggy Heaven.


May everyone have a blessed week.


2 January 2020


I was missing in action for two weeks due to total overwhelm.   This morning I finally tackled all the photos in my phone ….  Sheesh.  Too much!

From back in Israel – one sequence I took because I loved it: a snail in the garden from a widening perspective.


Also from Israel – leaving Haifa by train.  The photo isn’t much to look at, but I took ten photos of the same thing over the course of about five minutes.

2019-12-12 Israeli banana fields  R.jpg

Those are BANANAS in there, being grown under white shade-cloth.  Thousands of acres of bananas.   It blew my mind.


A week in freezing England, I hardly took photos there.

2019-12-13 London steamy bldg  Cr.jpg

A skyscraper in London with steam coming out the top:  either it isn’t energy-efficient or else it is thinking too hard.

And my good friend Emma helped me knock an item off my bucket list.

2019-12-15 Guardian's grave Kim bucket list Thx Emma  R.jpg

She helped me find the grave of Shoghi Effendi.   A true symbol of triumph over all adversaries.   It does my heart happy to remember being there.


Home to Fiji and a hurricane.  This time last week the power was out.


And then there was New Year’s

2019-12-31 New Years Eve pavilion & fireworks  Cr.jpg

Granddaddy getting us up to the pavilion to watch the fireworks, and to shout out HAPPY NEW YEAR to all the neighbors.


Wishing everybody a happy week and a glorious year.

As we say in Fiji, “Vakanuinui vinaka na yabakivou.”