Friday, January 25, 2013

USPS (United States Postal Service) Why you so sad?

In case you guys haven't heard, our postage rates for people in the US who want to ship internationally, even to Canada will be going WAY WAY WAY WAY up starting January 27th.  This makes me very sad, as it will greatly increase shipping costs for people who live outside of the US (and I love all my international customers; some of you have become my great friends!).  For example (and I'm still trying to work out the rates), packages that are from 1 ounce to 20 ounces will increase from around $3 and up to around $6 and up.  That means an item that is only 1 ounce will cost $6 or more to ship!!! That means that shipping will probably cost a similar amount of money to some of my items! Booooo....I'm sorry guys! A silver lining perhaps:  from what I've been reading it seems that this change will make our international postage rates more equal to what other people around the world have to charge for their postage rates, and it will also greatly help our postal service, which has been struggling lately.  (I dunno, I'm just trying to see the good in the bad).  Here is a helpful chart on the prices according to USPS; be sure to check my shop for my shipping rates (I charge a base price for shipping and handling, + additional charges for each additional item... oy vey).  You can also check the prices at this USPS international shipping calculator starting January 27th.

Old 2012 First Class Mail International:


Mama Mia!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Big Island and Oahu- Wonderful Trip

Warning:  Very many splendid photos.

I'm back after spending a wonderful week on the Big Island of Hawaii and then a week in Punaluu on Oahu for my fellowship!  In addition to being able to speak to important leaders in the Native Hawaiian community about their life experiences, it was an awesome trip that included much time outside in nature.  My favorite were the last few days of the trip on the Big Island, where we were fortunate enough to camp overnight in the beautiful and lush Waipio Valley... then we visited an important archaeological site in Puanui (upland grasslands), and then we visited Kalaemano (beach!) to learn about and engage in cultural management of marine resources.  We have a saying in Hawaii, which is "from mauka (upland in the mountains) to makai (toward the sea and shorline)" which pretty much sums up my last two days of the trip on the Big Island and a few of the days on Oahu.  It was really so enjoyable to be outside, considering my usual job requires me to sit at a computer while reading and writing reports!  Maybe it will make me rethink my occupational priorities?  In any case, it was AWESOME.

 Swimming in the bay at Keauhou, Big Island

One of many beautiful sunsets in Keauhou, Big Island

 Driving down into Waipio Valley, Big Island (It was already late afternoon)

Fording the road/ stream in Waipio Valley, Big Island 

Kalo/Taro Loi (wetland ponds for growing) in Waipio Valley, Big Island.  Yep, those clouds did eventually pour on us, right after we set up our tents!

 Our campsite and tents!

 Our tents!  Girl's tent is the one in the background 

 Preparing the kalo huli for replanting

 If we come back in 7 months we'll have new kalo!

We climbed up this big puu (hill) in Puanui to look an archaeological site, a huge field system that was used to plant sweet potatoes!

 Beautiful day's end in Puanui

 Here is Kalaemano, Big Island, where we observed micro ecosystems and measured opihi (limpet growth) and haukeuke growth (sea urchin).  We got right in the water!


 Here are some haukeuke.  Yummy too!

 Back on Oahu visiting Waipao to learn about Native Hawaiian plants and their uses

 At Paepae o Heeia, a restored fishpond on Oahu

 A hale kiai (guard house) on the fishpond wall at Paepae o Heeia, Oahu

  Fishpond wall at Paepae o Heeia, Oahu

It was a wonderful Trip (Hualalai, Big Island).  I might try to make a painting from this photo, its so beautiful. It's good to be back, but I'll definitely remember this trip for the rest of my life!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Shop vacation January 6, 2013 to January 20, 2013

Like the title says, I'll be putting my shop in vacation from January 6, 2013 to January 20, 2013...  its okay because there is like only one thing in there right now, hahaha.  I'll be going to the Big Island for part of my fellowship.  Hopefully it will be fun (but I also know it will be a lot of work!) and I'll try to take some pictures for you guys! And then when I come back I will try very hard to get more stuff in my shop... I am aiming for some valentine's day goodies like bear pops!!!
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