Historic Restoration and Preservation Makawao

Aloha,

Historic Preservation is not for the faint of heart, or the light of pocketbook. If you are handy, or want to become handy then by all means, tempt fate and buy a 1924 house.  If you have gumption   and a soft spot for the old and forgotten, then roll the dice and look for a heritage home...or let one find you.

I wasn't looking when my house found me.

What originally tugged at my heart was the sadness I felt. It was an overwhelming emptiness, "where was the family, why let the ball drop on this beauty?"

  Reality has a different look now. Top to bottom restoration of a 5 bedroom home covered in vines on the island of Maui for a single mom on a paper thin budget would give me great pause at this point.

When "Under a Tuscan Sun" hit the big screen, I watched with tears rolling and laughing until my face hurt. The scene with the hot water steaming out of the toilet left me gasping for air. I knew that plumbing dilemma only too well as one of the ancient bathroom on the North side of the house was a plumber's mystery challenge. The hot water found a way into places it was not supposed to.  People appreciated that perk on cold mornings, but that is taking luxury  bit too far.

Twenty years later, I  have a pretty good  understanding of what is involved in buying and restoring these forgotten gracious beauties. 

Finding anything older than 1940 in Hawaii is very rare,  especially a home in it's original condition still standing. Termites are healthy here.

The last home I restored was a cute and airy 1939 Plantation home in Makawao.  My son and I worked on it together, sanding ,scraping ,painting and landscaping. We laughed, struggled and sweated, and it was a bonding experience that I will always cherish.

I have always been big on reuse, re-purpose and recycle before it became  popular. Saving antique bed rails to make picture frames ,and rescuing vintage stain glass windows is second nature to me.

The Cypress trees I had to remove  became flooring and trim for my home. Those wooden floors shine with a golden glow, offering a special softness under foot.

One of the most fulfilling experiences of this 20 year odyssey was the return of the original family for their family reunion. I had worked  hard in preparation for the event. Glimpsing  their experiences together, I could see the weekend was filled with love and excitement catching up and sharing memories in the old family home. 

My lofty goals have shifted and changed throughout the years. It started with saving the house from  demolition, then I thought it was about  honoring the history of the original family, then I hung on to building something lasting for my own family. As I sit in the Kona Wing this afternoon experiencing my own staycation in a quiet house,  I see that I have come to a place of simple observation and appreciation. 

With all it's quirks, flaws and unfinished restoration, the artist in me admires the elegant  lines, offset by formidable crown molding,  and plate rails. The 11 foot ceilings give me room to breathe and my dreams space to float. The irregular antique wavey glass windows make beautiful patterns on the walls as the afternoon sun shines. 

My senses are deeply satisfied as I contemplate true craftsmanship.

A 90 year old house is not too pushy in it's demands for preservation and restoration. It's patient  knowing that I do what I can. 

This summer I plan to take on the job of painting the outside of the house again. The shingles look thirsty and dry, it's one story,  so, I think," I can do this"... maybe I will see who wants to join in a painting party.

Any takers?

Aloha for now,

Cherie

Hale Ho'okipa Inn Makawao

Makawao Maui

Aloha,

Today the quirkiness of Makawao made me laugh right out loud. Standing in line at my local post office listening to 4 crowing roosters, being mailed to the Big Island, I was reminded of the saying "Only in Hawaii."  At first, I thought it was somebody's very loud cell phone ring until I saw the "Live Bird" stamped boxes lining the back wall.  A sweet little girl  waiting with her dad, would  throw her head back and crow along with the confused birds. The whole PO was in stitches while the Portuguese Bird Man was nonchalantly filling out his required paper work.

For many years, I have described Makawao as "The New Age Meets Local Paniolo Cowboy Town". I still think this is a good description of my little town.
From the  post office, my next stop was Rodeo General Store for  an afternoon treat. Out on the sidewalk there was a table set up with a Live Food taster tray artfully arranged.   Raw Food Sprouted Seed Burgers topped with locally made raw mustard was being offered to passerby's.
Rodeo General Store remodeled their establishment a few years back, vastly improving the menu, quality, selection and interior of the shop. Their salads are great, and the hot bar boasts delicious pasta take outs. The folks are friendly and they also offer an amazing wine selection in the back room.

On the opposite side of the street is a cream filled doughnut lover's magic Cream Puff heaven. Kamoda's Bakery has been famous for their baked goods for many, many, many years. Early mornings find sleepy locals and excited visitors standing in line waiting for the doughnut doors to open. My guests sometimes grab coffee and go to town to pick up fresh pastries to bring back to the breakfast table to share.

For women who like to shop, Collections is one of my favorites, as well Holiday , Altitudes, Mercantile, and Hurricane really do have wonderful and unique clothes for all, budget conscious and spendy.  

Hale Ho'okipa Inn also reflects the diversity found in town. We have our gluten -free- sprouted- no- wheat bread , tea sipping breakfast folks. While also at the table are guests reveling in gooey sugar puffed pastries from town, guzzling coffee to kick start their day. I like to eat very healthy, so I make sure that I offer and serve food that makes sense to me. But, hey, the whole point is, there is something for everybody.

Rather than judging our differences, I try to remember to Embrace our Differences. Humor goes a long ways in acceptance of all of us. The diversity we find in a 20 mile radius to Makawao is rather remarkable. If you want to live in a humble hale with roosters running through the yard, or a gracious older plantation home, or newer digs appointed with pool, Makawao has it all. 

Whether  you are in town for a yoga class or a rodeo, it's All Good.
See ya in Makawao, our unique and fun little town with "A Sense of Humor and Place", and a whole lot of history.

Aloha for now,
Cherie

Cherimoya

Aloha,

Winter is Cherimoya season in my backyard. About a week before Christmas this remarkable and delicious fruit is ready  to pick . I get my really long  fruit picker and look up into the tree tops  for sagging branches   The normal basket size of a picker is barely large enough for some of the giant delicious fruit from my tree .They blend in well , often covered by a tangle of branches and leaves. If I miss them today, I will find them in the driveway tomorrow. Splat,what a waste !
This  creamy white fruit is sweet with about 15% sugar content . My guests  are in awe and get their fill  during breakfast.
The Cherimoya fruit is native to the Andes in Equador, Colombia and Bolivia. The name is a Quechua word meaning "cold seed" as it tolerates colder temperatures and prefers higher altitudes. Makawao is a perfect place with all the right ingredients . Cherimoya was first introduced to Hawaii by Don Fransico Paulo Marin in the late 1700's. The USDA imported seeds from Maderia Portugal in the late 1800.s The immigrants who built my home, Hale Ho'okipa, were from Maderia.  They brought the Isabel grape stock that still grows here, and likely the  Cherimoya seeds . When I first met this tree, I did not understand why it was all scarred up, and learned it was common to shock the tree into bearing fruit..Not my style..I trim the branches constantly, but that is the only hacking that happens under my care.
The blossom has a heavenly fragrance, a bit like apple and pear..shaped like a little downy covered helicopters. When they float to the ground, the air is perfumed. The blossom does a magical pollination ( wind I think) as the flower is both male and female during it's cycle
With the many different varieties that now grow around the world, I think I have identified mine as the Booth with the Impressa fingertip sized depressions in the skin. The seeds are poisonous if crushed and ingested.
This ice creamy yummy fruit that comes from my  tree is another blessing from this season.

May you be able to enjoy fresh food, and remember to support your local growers wherever you are.

A hui hou,
Cherie

July Chop Suey

Aloha ~

It's the Fourth of July weekend and upcountry is rockin! It's been a great week with some fun guests. The week started with a wonderful family from Shanghai, a sweet Italian couple and a happy mainland couple. It was quite the International House at the breakfast table, with Italian, Chinese and English going back and forth across the delicious fruit salad. I even learned how to say good morning in Chinese! The international departures were followed by a couple of quiet days with a friendly East coast couple I thoroughly enjoyed.

Being the Fourth of July weekend, cowboys and cowgirls are now the name of the game. A Portuguese ranching family from the Big Island are staying at Hale Ho'okipa for the weekend's festivities. The rodeo bull riding was Friday night, this morning was our wonderful parade, followed by more rodeo tonight and Sunday, and live music from Upcountry Sundays and Mana'o Radio at Cassanova.

I always enjoy the beautiful horses and riders in the parade. From the little ponies, to the working horses, each one is decked out for their prance down Makawao Ave. The riders are always a crowd pleaser as well, a tiny tot on a BIG horse, a "Cowgirl Hall of Famer", some sassy outlaws, and even Avatar on a blue horse!

Today's parade had more politicians that I cared to see however. I think anybody who was running for anything showed up in Makawao today. I am not kidding, we must have had a half dozen mayoral candidates, as well as state office seekers. Each one tried to outdo each other...the candidate that went all out came with a large cheer leading squad who delighted the crowd with their wild arials. Makawao is the "it" place on the 4th, our parade must be the longest one around, especially in election years.

We are having some relief from the drought this week also . It's been a bit chilly at night for July, and, yahoo, a little rain to green everything up...that has really has not happened yet, but I sure hope we continue with the sprinkles for a few more days.

The plumerias are in full bloom, with many colors to choose from. I'm excited to see if the deep red plumeria has a few more blossoms this year. There is nothing like a good ol fashioned plumeria lei, especially a full one that is strung with flowers all the way around.

The peach tree is still sporting a few late bloomers, I ate a couple of ono peaches off the tree today. There are also lots of papayas, and bananas galore. Good sunshine and some water makes everything grow so well.

While I'm talking about the garden, I want to share this request, do something nice for the earth this week, our wonderful planet needs all the Tender Loving Care we can give! Help on a clean up, plant a tree, put your hands on the earth thinking healing thoughts. We cherish our beaches and the life giving ocean.........

Hawaii is a special place to experience the wonders of nature. Everyday I wake up grateul for my beautiful home, and the walks on the beach, or in the mountains. It's pretty grand, or to borrow a phrase from my UK guests, "Brilliant!!" (I love that)

Sooooooo.......plan your fall trips right now, it will be here before we know it. Every season has something unique and special here in the islands. Fall is crisp and wonderful with stellar sunsets!

Stay tuned for a fall special that I'll post soon.

Here's to hoping one and all are finding something to feel good about.

A hui hou and Aloha,

Cherie








Makawao blockparty, fundraiser and art show



Aloha,



This weekend's fun and fundraisers in Makawao were a great success. Two very different and worthy causes drew large crowds at either end of town.


Midtown was featuring a blockparty for the Pacific Cancer Foundation on Maui. There was live music, a silent auction with amazing donations from lots of folks. I bid on a pilates class from my friend's great new OnCore Studio in Makawao.


This was a wonderful community effort to support our breast cancer survivors. All proceeds were donated towards breast cancer education and screening in Hawaii. Desiree from the boutique Pink by Nature did a wonderful job organizing this successful event.


At the far end of Baldwin Ave, near the Makawao Steakhouse, is the fantastic Viewpoints Gallery. They featured the long awaited "Malama Wao Akua" East Maui Watershed art opening. The show was well attended, overflowing with artists, fans, friends and family.



The Haleakala Watershed folks have highlighted their wonderful efforts of conservation of our mountain slopes with this uniquely informative art show. The quality and diversity of the show was very impressive and inspiring. My woodcut and watercolor piece was selected for the show, and you can tell by my smile that I was pretty excited. The image, is the harvesting of Naupaka seeds.


This show will hang for a few weeks, so if you are Upcountry, do stop by and spend some time enjoying the beautiful art at Viewpoints, and learn a few things about where our water comes from.


Honor the aina, take care of each other...




With much Aloha,

Cherie

July 4, 2009, Makawao, Maui, Hawaii

Coolest Cowboy Hui followed by Russ the Saddlemaker in the Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, Fourth of July Parade, 2009

Aloha ...

The 4th of July parade was as colorful as ever this year. People go all out, and everyone loves it.

Politicians unveil their aspirations for the upcoming terms, the Peace marchers and Samba bands are in full force, the big rig truckers blow out everybody's eardrums with their air horns, and, I even learned where I can whiten my teeth for $99.

Maui Invasive Species Committee float in the Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, Fourth of July ParadeI enjoyed the MISC float (Maui Invasive Species Committee) "Defending the Aina," with the big snake wrapped around the truck going after a native bird. These folks were making a point: we don't have snakes in Hawaii, and we all want to keep it that way.

Long-horn bull rider in the Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, Fourth of July ParadeThe big longhorn bull was a huge hit! He was so calm strolling down the street. The hoots and hollers did not seem to bother him at all. I was a bit nervous, thoughts of the bulls throwing their riders sky high kept coming to my mind.

Pa'u riders in the Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, Fourth of July ParadeThe Piiholo Ranch folks put some major effort into their parade horses... the horses were blue (!) with red skirted pa'u riders.

Wow.


Stick horse pa'u rider in the Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, Fourth of July ParadeThey also put together a crazy float with a mini Zipline. The zipline is the latest craze for folks looking to fly through the tree tops. Check them out when you are making upcountry plans. I am waiting until my grandson is old enough to go with me.


Coolest Cowboy: Hui! In the Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, Fourth of July ParadeMy paniolo guests, Hui and Russ, are shown here. Russ is a saddle maker, check him out at Murray Saddle Shop. Hui is the colorful cowboy in the styling red boots and beautiful horse. He won an award in the parade for the coolest looking... I am sure they have a different title for it, though. They have been good fun to have around, I am learning a lot about cowboy stuff from them.

Classic Car in the Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, Fourth of July ParadeThe parade always starts with the vintage cars. A young boy sitting next to me gave me a running commentary on the year, model and makes of these show stopping automobiles. He was impressive. I used to have a 56 Chevy pick up with wrap around windows that I really loved. There was a teal colored one in the parade that gave me a thrill.

Watching the crowd is almost as much fun. There was lots of laughter, shakas and jokes all around. I like this tradition... it's a good feeling to be a part of a great community.

Shriners in the Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, Fourth of July ParadeAloha for now....

Cherie