This post is really designed to make all my gardening friends in San Jose jealous. San Jose soil is horrid, hard clay. Some people are fortunate to live in areas that had been used as orchards where the soil has been improved over the years. When you would dig in San Jose, you got down about 4 inches before hitting hard, dry clay that didn’t absorb anything. I had to resort to power tools and liquid shovel to break up the clay to dig a hole to plant most anything.
The last few days, I’ve been diagnosing one zone of my sprinkler system and converting it to drip and starting to dig up the grass to put in planting beds. Here, I water for 10 minutes. Then I can easily dig 6+ inches down through dark rich soil. There, I hit a combination of red dirt and sand. It is pretty easy to break up. The hardest thing is digging down to get all the bermuda grass roots out! Here in Kihei, we do need to water and water is expensive. I also hate mowing so I’ll eventually remove at least 1/2 of my grass areas. Biggest problem here is that when it does rain, everything grows like crazy.
Good dirt is a blessing. Can’t wait until my garden is really growing!
After weeks of very tedious listening, not quite as tedious studying and lots of faux testing, I passed the Hawaii Real Estate Exam today! I knew there were going to be 2 parts to the exam and studied for both based on the information provided from my online training. As a salesperson, you need to pass each with at least 70% correct. They don’t tell you your scores – just whether you passed or not. The general part (applies to all states) was as I expected – I’m sure I scored at least 85% on that. The Hawaii part was a different story. It’s like they decided to pick the smallest detail out of a lease contract and test on that. I was guessing that I got 50% right and I needed 70% to pass. Since I passed, I must credit that extra 20% to my exceptional skills in taking multiple choice tests!
Example, Which of the following is the correct order of A B C D?
3 of the “answers” start with C so one of those must be right, 3 of the answers end with B so that must be right. Therefore the answer must be # B. No knowledge needed. There was really a question like this. Even though I knew the context, my match theory DID work. Not all are this obvious but its often the same pattern matching.
Ok, so I admit that you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to be a Real Estate Agent. I’ve also learned that the good, honest ones are worth everything you pay them. You get a good agent to represent you and most transaction don’t require an attorney. I really don’t know how FSBO’s (For Sale By Owner) handle all the details. Yes, there are people that you can pay to do the paperwork but it’s not the same. I’m sure I’ve just touched the surface of what I need to know but now I know I would never enter a transaction without good knowledgeable representation. But I also see that it is a fine line that RE salespeople walk. Tell a customer too much and they stay a customer. Tell a customer how you can help them and they become a client. With customers, you might get paid if the stars align. With a client, you get paid when the successful transaction occurs.
The next step for me is to select a broker to start working with. Then I’m sure I’ll be in “learning from the experts” and “trying to find clients” mode. I’ll happily accept referrals from my friends and family.
I’m supposed to be ready and eager to start a new career. I am. I am ready to start working with other people on a daily basis. I do still believe I will enjoy real estate. So why am I resisting calling and selecting a broker to sign up with? I am ready to start work; I’m not sure I’m ready yet to pursue a career and be responsible for my own business. Yes, I know I want to do this… I’m just not ready today. Is this procrastination or is it something deeper? I don’t know.
I woke up this morning with a clear need to do something artistic. This has been sitting in my brain for a few weeks and I’ve never made time for it. Not something practical artistic like fixing the curtains downstairs. Something totally artsy like projects I would do for design class. Something inspiring.
For the past several weeks, I’ve been taking my online real estate courses. I finished the coursework and I hope that I get my certificate in time to take my scheduled exam on Saturday. Maybe these have just been sapping energy from me.
This morning the air is cooler. Maybe this means we are finally seeing a little change in weather. I quit looking at most Maui weather because 1) it is always the same and 2) is rarely accurate. Like the Bay Area, we have very significant microclimates here. Unlike the Bay Area, we don’t have enough people for anyone to really care to distinguish them but they don’t change anyway. Most weather reports are for Kahului where the airport is. It is 8 miles across the valley on the windward side of the mountain where they get more rain. Here in Kihei, we have had no rain since May. But everyday our weather report shows 20% chance of rain.
I’ve been tearing apart one zone of my sprinkler system to start configuration for a real garden area. I’m tearing out the grass zone and putting in planting beds on a drip system. Work is limited to a few hours in morning and one at night since it is so warm when the sun is out. I can’t believe it is September already and I don’t have this all done. Plants for winter croop should be in already. Where has the time gone?
I was just thinking how absurd my statement about winter crops is. Our weather doesn’t change. Most things grow year round. Winter crops are those few things that will grow Dec-Mar and no other time (spinach, cilantro). Maybe that is why Hawaii is so laid back…there is no pressure of the seasons to make things grow. It is easy to wait another day.
Those are my feet all manicured for a week of Scuba Diving! Peter and I celebrated our 15th anniversary by going to Kona for a week. We dove 5 days and had a wonderful time. We’ve been to Kona so many times now that we don’t do any of the tourist things. We have friends to visit, a couple favorite places to eat and lots of great diving.
We dove again with Dive Makai which is under new ownership. It is not the same without Lisa and Kendra but it is still a great dive operation that I would recommend. We enjoyed diving again with Mark and Todd plus met Mike (new owner), Dave and Jan. And Tom is still working the phones.
- Diving with dolphins! We were at the end of our dive at Pipe Dreams when I heard the familiar whistling. I started swimming “out to the blue” where they usually are. Past times, you get a glimpse of them swimming by way off in the distance. After a minute of confusion because the sounds were so loud, I realized they were swimming right over my head! It was a good sized pod of 50-80 Spinner dolphins complete with babies! I was “singing” and they came down to investigate – it really does work. This picture is from Peter although I got some great ones too.
- A wonderful dive at Manta Ray Bay (which we’ve done many times before) included repetitive encounters with Spotted Eagle Rays being cleaned, a large, tagged green sea turtle (only one of the trip) as well as large schools of barracuda, taape and goatfish. It was a very busy dive!
- A exciting time at Suck-em Up where we were in the lava tube with 4 white tip reef sharks. We often see them sleeping but when they decided to swim through the tube with us, it was a real treat! A little scary for some though. I was at the end of the group and had fun watching the sharks circle around – for a minute I thought they were going to head through again, but they settled for an afternoon nap.
- Adventure day was great as always. First we encountered a HUGE (300+ estimated) pod of pilot whales with an oceanic white tip shark. The whales stayed away from the snorkelers but the shark came in for a closer view. Peter was ready to bonk him with his camera. I’ll let him post his photographs — amazing! The dives were great including our last one at Long Lava Tube. After 3 dives, I was cold and planned on ending my dive at 50 minutes. Then I kept getting pinged by various people to come see great things; it ended up being the longest dive of the trip at 78 minutes!
- Our last day we took a trip over to the Hamakua Coast to see our friend Kendra. It was fun seeing wide open country, mist and fog and longhorn cattle. We never see these things in Kihei! We had lunch at her husband’s restaurant which was lots of fun. It’s a 50’s diner in Laupahoehoe with prices cheaper than McDonalds. And definitely much better! I had a teriaki burger, Peter had a big blue cheese burger, we split curly fries and huge vanilla shake. The bill was about $12. Service and atmosphere was great! We then stopped at the Laupahoehoe train museum which was very interesting. There was a train service (where road now is) that was primarily used for transporting sugar cane to shipping areas. But it also would transport people and was considered one of the most beautiful rides along the coast. They had several large spans across the deep gulches that were destroyed when the tsunami of 1946 hit. When the train died, slowly so did most the sugar cane business.
It was a good trip. Since returning Widgit and Mooshie have been very clingy. We’re hoping that will get back to normal soon!
It is hard to get news in Maui without going to the store and hearing “stories”. Maui News site is down. We have a large brush fire on the hill going up to Lahaina. It has had the road closed since early morning yesterday. Last night the views a the beach were amazing. A string of fire from the bottom to the top of the mountain. News at 10:00pm (from Honolulu) talked about it. Here is the best article I’ve found.
Peter and I went running on beach yesterday morning and saw smoke. It looked like a small localized fire on the hill. The picture in the article is right where we run (in fact the fisherman were even there… I can’t say for sure it was the same guys… Labor Day is big fishing weekend). No homes have been impacted that I’ve heard of but traffic to Lahaina/Kaanapali was totally stopped – I don’t know if it is open yet. People are missing planes and unable to get to hotels. Yes, there is another road around the north side of island. But it is 23 miles of single lane (one way) with very steep slopes. Roads and traffic are a big problem here on Maui. We like seeing most the tourists go off to the Northwest but everyone needs to recognize that they can become totally isolated at a moments notice. And it happens frequently!
Update: Today I went out and the whole hill is black. There is still some burning but it looks like it is further up the hill. They just got the new wind power generators going last month. It looks like there is some type of fencing around them… maybe fire retardant? But the fire seemed to go right up to the fence! They didn’t say anything on radio about the road being closed so I suspect it is open; I’m not willing to risk getting caught in traffic to try it though!