One of the things on my to do list while in Hawaii was a hike.  I had originally planned on two hikes, Manoa Falls and Diamond Head.  These are the two main hikes that everyone suggests.  I decided that I shouldn’t hike on my own.  My sister and I had time for one hike together and decided on Manoa Falls.  The guide books call it an easy hike.  I’m not sure if I agree.


The hike is about .8 miles and it’s in the lush, wet, rainforest.  It’s hard to believe that there is rainforest just a short drive from Waikiki.  Everything was very green and very muddy.


It rained most of our hike.  I was super glad that I had packed my hiking poles and boots for the trip.


I loved the scenery.  The photo on the right is bamboo.


Once we reached the end of the trail by the bottom of the falls, we took a few photos.


Then, we headed back down.


I was super glad to do this hike, but I thought it was difficult due to the wet and muddy surfaces.  I’d highly recommend it.


We were happy to head back to the hotel for showers when we were done.

 Posted by at 7:03 PM

It was 45 degrees and raining when we picked up week 21 of our Fresh Fork CSA today.  The tent had blown around so much, that by the time we arrived around 5:30PM, they were just all working from the truck.  I think the winter pick ups have better weather than what we had today.  Robert and his crew are awesome!

Here’s what we were expecting to receive this week:

Small CSA:

  • 1 dz. pasture raised chicken eggs
  • 1 lb. breakfast patties
  • 3 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1.5 lb. bag untoasted organic oats
  • 1 bunch beets with tops
  • 1 lb. fingerling potatoes
  • 3 lbs. turnips
  • Quarter peck Melrose Apples

Here’s a group shot:


The tomatoes are from the missing ones last week.  Nick was glad to see them.  I actually had to buy eggs at the store this week, so I was happy to get them.  I see some pumpkin bread and waffles in our new future.


We were low on apples this week too.  I actually picked some up at the store.  I’m hoping to go picking one more time, but the weather has not been cooperating.  Since at least 2 members of our household eat oats for breakfast everyday, these will be gone in no time.


We have a good stash of potatoes going at the moment since we’ve gotten them in both CSAs and from our garden.  I want to make a couple of new dishes, but I haven’t decided what.  The breakfast patties (part bacon and part sausage) look delicious.  Maybe we’ll have them for dinner with pumpkin waffles soon!


We’ll probably make soup with the turnips.  My first thought was 3 pounds is a large amount of turnips.  But, we can work with it.  It’s not as familiar because we don’t get them often.


We have beets from our other CSA this week also.  We really like Harvard beets and don’t usually make them any other way.


It’s been a great season.  Next week is the last pick up for the summer CSA.


I thought today would be a good day to track the workout progress to date for the week.

The Plan (in black) – Actual (in Green)

Monday – spin

I went to Beth’s spinning class.  This was my second class since my knee injury.  It feels so great to be back!

Tuesday – try out the new higher intensity water aerobics class

This class is new and Sharan is the instructor.  It was an awesome class.  I actually felt like it was challenging.  This is something that I’d like to figure out how to fit into my workout schedule on a regular basis.  It’s a pay class, but seems worth every penny.  I think I will become a regular.

Wednesday – cardio warm up (45 minutes on the elliptical), then weights

We got to the J a bit later than I planned.  I warmed up with 17 min on the elliptical.  I rocked the intensity and strides per minute.

  • Chest press (2 sets with 12 pound dumbbells)
  • Fly (2 sets with 10 pound dumbbells)
  • Shoulder press (2 sets with 5 pound dumbbells)
  • Biceps (2 sets with 12 pound dumbbells)
  • Triceps (1 set of 60, 50, 40, 30, then 20 pounds)
  • Leg curl
  • Leg extension
  • Lunges (1 set of 10 on each side)
  • Push ups (using bench or Smith bar)
  • Plank (tried 3 times, didn’t have a way to time myself)
  • Abs machine (it was busy every time I walked by)
  • Abs floor exercises (did variety of exercises)

I feel very good about this workout.  I didn’t get to all of the exercises due to time constraints (and I forgot my exact list).  I worked hard and felt like I pushed myself.  It’s good to be on track.

We’re started to make some vacation plans for next summer and I am hoping to really get in shape between now and then.  It’s great to have some extra motivation going into the holiday season.

 Posted by at 9:37 PM  Tagged with:

Today, we picked up week 19 of our Geauga Family Farms CSA.  It’s hard to believe that next week is the last week.  This was our worst pick up ever.  It really had nothing to do with the CSA.  Sally decided to run from the café area all the way to the parking lot without any regard to cars or traffic.  There weren’t cars and she’s ok and I’m ok, but it was rough.  Nick tried to grab her hood twice.  It slowed her down enough for me to catch up with her.  There was another adult near her, so I think she would have intervened if necessary.  But, you never know!  Sally’s now in the cart or holding my hand at all times.  Usually, we do that in the parking lot and approaching parking lots, but we never needed to do it leaving the café the other weeks.

Some of the photos are dark this week.  I blame it on the time of year.  It’s so dark early right now that we don’t have natural light.  Anyway, we picked up lots of yummy looking produce, so let’s take a look:


Tomatoes, lettuce


Beets and either beets or radishes.  I don’t think I’ll know about the ones on the right until we taste them or cook them.  I have gotten them mixed up in the past.  I thought they were beets until I dug further in the boxes and found the beets on the left.  Hmmmmmm….


Bell peppers, butternut squash


Bok choy, apples


Onions, garlic


Green beans, spinach


By the end of the season, I really feel like I have the hang of this.  The tomatoes will go into a cabbage dish.  We’re still working on 2 heads that we got from our other CSA last week.  We’ll also use some onion, bell pepper and garlic in that dish.

The green beans have been fantastic lately.  They will be a plain side dish.  I’ve been using the spinach in pasta dishes.  It adds flavor and color.

The lettuce and possibly bok choy will go in salads.  Otherwise, I’ll make a stir fry with the bok choy.  We were actually out of apples, so these will go in my coleslaw and my oatmeal.

Winter squash will get baked and eaten for lunch a couple of days.

That leaves the beets and radishes or beets as the case may be.  My favorite recipe for beets is to make Harvard beets.  I’ve been using radishes in salads or pickling them.  These will probably go in salad.


On our last night in Hawaii, we decided to go to a Luau.  We ended up choosing the one at the Polynesian Cultural Center.


Besides the luau, the center has the cultures of 7 different Polynesian island nations represented.  We didn’t arrive early enough to do too much exploring, but we caught the Samoa show.


He had a comedian like show that was quite entertaining and educational.  Teaching us things like how the Samoan men are the ones who cook!  He started a fire, cleaned a coconut and told lots of bad jokes in the process.


Upon entering the luau, we were greeted with leis.


We were seated at rectangular banquet tables with 2 other parties.  The people across from us were nice enough to take a photo of us.


During the buffet dinner, we had a fun show to watch.



The food was “ok”.  It was certainly banquet style food.  It was not the highlight of the night.  I did get to enjoy a foo foo drink from pineapple.  It was basically a mango smoothie, but it was fun!


After the luau, we headed to their evening show called Breath of Life.  It was really well done and involved lots of fire, drumming and dancing. We enjoyed our night and it was a good way to spend out last night in Hawaii.


I’ve been playing around with the same 10-15 pounds all year.  I’ll be down for a few weeks, up a couple of weeks, up a lot, down a lot, etc.  I’m so tired of it.  While I’ve been still going to the J on a regular basis, I have not been following a consistent plan.  I need to get back on track and workouts are a great place to start.

Here’s my plan for this week:

Monday – spin

Tuesday – try out the new higher intensity water aerobics class

Wednesday – cardio warm up (45 minutes on the elliptical), then weights

  • Chest press
  • Fly
  • Shoulder press
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Leg curl
  • Leg extension
  • Lunges
  • Push ups (using bench or Smith bar)
  • Plank
  • Abs machine
  • Abs floor exercises

Thursday – Pilates mat class

Friday – repeat of Wed with similar exercises

I hope to make this a weekly plan with a short review at the end of each week.

 Posted by at 9:56 PM

I think that fact that I was going to Hawaii actually hit me at LAX (Los Angeles) airport when I saw the flight information for the Honolulu leg.  I flew from CLE to LAX and had a 2 hour layover before heading west.  When I arrived in Honolulu, the view from the airport was amazing.  It was also different to be walking from a terminal to baggage claim and be outside.  Hawaii doesn’t need much in the way of enclosed structures, so they don’t build extra walls.


As I went down the escalator to baggage claim, I got my first Aloha!  Once we got our rental car, we headed to our hotel.  On our way down the main street, we saw this bicyclist.  He was the type who looked like all of his belongings were with him.  He was swerving in and out of traffic and flicking people off every chance that he got.  It was quite hilarious since of course it was the fault of all of the drivers that he was riding like and idiot.


We wanted to remember where we parked in the deck, so I took this shot of my sister.  We were parked in 127, also known as 128 minus 1.  We stayed in the Kalia Tower of the Hilton Hawaiian Village.  It was a nice resort hotel with 6 towers, a few pools, several restaurants and lots of shops.  It was located a few steps to the beach.


By the time we got to our hotel and got situated it was time for dinner and we were exhausted from a long day of travel and the time change.  We headed to CJ”s New York Style Deli inside the hotel complex.  The food was unremarkable, but it was close and easy.  We found an ABC store (cross between a convenient store and a souvenir shop) so I could buy my bus pass.


I think it was about 7:30PM when we get back to out hotel room.  We joked about whether we’d still be awake by 8PM.  It was a long day, but I was thrilled to be in Oahu.

 Posted by at 8:58 PM

I really love plant tours.  It probably stems from being in operations for most of my corporate career.  I really enjoy seeing how things are made and processed.  When I go on vacation, I like to seek out local plant tours whenever possible.  While I was in Hawaii, I was able to go to Lion Coffee, where they conduct tours of their plant on the hour.  I had a little trouble finding the place, so I arrived just after the 2PM tour time and had about an hour to wait for the next tour.  I enjoyed a frozen coffee beverage and their café while I waited.


The receptionist gives the tours.  They are rather low key and she ended up giving me my tour early.  I was the only one on my tour.  I was so surprised that half way through my tour I asked if I could take photos and she said sure.  I wish I had asked sooner!

Lion Coffee brings in beans from Hawaii and other places around the world.  They roast, flavor, package and grind them.

This is the coffee packaging area.


The big one “super sack” in the middle of the left photo is full of coffee.  The photo on the right has test equipment for determining the roast of coffee.  Light, medium and dark roasts have certain scores from the machine and each batch is tested to ensure proper labeling.


The photo on the left is more test equipment including a machine used to test the vacuum seal of bags of coffee.  This is one way they ensure freshness.  The coffee lasts about a year.  The photo on the right is the company cafeteria or break area.  It was a nice set up with a garage door that opened to the street.


They also have tea and I was able to see them bag, label and package tea.

I ended up purchasing some coffee for gifts as well as some tropical tea from their retail store before I headed to the bus stop.  I had never seen the roasting and packaging process and I was glad that I made the trip to check it out.


Today, we picked up week 20 our of Fresh Fork CSA.  Unlike last week, we had a great pick up.  Both kids were in a good mood.  The weather was great and everything was smooth.  To make up for one of our vacation weeks, we did a double up this week.  Basically, we picked up 2 small shares this week.

Here’s what we were expecting to receive this week (times two):

Small CSA:

  • 1 lb. ground veal
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 large head of cabbage
  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 ct. bell peppers
  • 2 ct. eggplant

Here’s a group shot (of one set, you can imagine it double):


Since we have 4 eggplant, I am planning a vegetable lasagna with mostly eggplant and whole wheat noodles.  We haven’t had much cauliflower this year.  We’ll be making a cauliflower au gratin dish that uses parmesan cheese and bread crumbs for a crumbly topping over the steamed cauliflower.


Both heads of cabbage are huge!  We’ll be making stuffed cabbage of some sort.  Usually, I end up making unstuffed cabbage since I’m not that great of actually making the rolls.  We’ll also probably make some cabbage soup and some coleslaw.  Last week, I made collard wraps with our collards.  They turned out pretty good so maybe I’ll make them again and change up the filling.  These collards and cabbage look especially good and fresh.


We put some bell pepper in our cabbage dish and freeze the rest.  We also have 2 packages of ground pork and veal.  I think Stephen is going to make meatloaf and the rest of the meat will go in our cabbage dish.


We also purchased 2 of the yogurts.  We still had $1.50 to use from our week 17 vacation and we were out of yogurt, so I picked up two and paid the $8.50 balance.


I was disappointed that we didn’t get grape tomatoes in either share.  I thought I saw some at the truck, but the weeks are starting to run together.  I’ve emailed Fresh Fork about them.

We did sign up for the winter CSA and also for a Thanksgiving share.  We’ll have plenty of good eats on the horizon after the summer season ends in two weeks.


When we were in Delaware visiting my in-laws, Sally had a little accident.  No one saw it happen, but the result was a bleeding mouth and a lost tooth.  We’re pretty sure the accident involved the stairs, but the details are a guessing game.

She’s still working on getting her set of baby teeth.  Now, she’s one short.  According to the dentist, there’s nothing for us to do.  She’ll just have to be patient until the permanent tooth comes in.  Ironically, this may take longer than if she had her baby tooth.  The dentist also said that the lost tooth will bother the parents much more than it bothers her.

She’s still her normal happy self!


And, she loves her new Hawaii dress.