Wednesday, September 29, 2010

In Search of the Perfect Hat ....

It's nearly October on the Volcano.
And I am a bit chilly with an indoor temp of 55 degrees.
I have discovered that having my head covered is an
excellent way to stay warm high up in the cold winds;

Wool hats.

I've knit baby hats.
Little Bear-eared hats,
and bonnets,
and cupcake hats.

But, until now? I had not knit an adult sized hat.
My inspiration?


I had knit a baby sack from some handspun wool ... and thought it just might fit my head.
And it DID. So while I knit the real hat? I wore this one on my head! LOL

And here is the wool/soy hat I knit from the Rowan Yarn that Sara gave me YEARS ago! I've got enough yarn to make another. And I just might do that......

I love the color. The feel. The WARMTH!!!

And then my Facebook friend, Joe asked me about making a Sherpa hat.
My only research was to look at Google pictures and then I knit this.

I love knitting these hats! So if you would like one?
I'm charging 35.00 for the (basic) Betiska Sherpa and 45.00 for the Sackie Hat .... plus 5 dollars for shipping and handlin.

You can contact me at Betriska at gmail dot com!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Life on the Volcano ... taking a Shower.

Picture this morning. Before you got out of bed you thought - or didn't even think - shower. And just walked into your nicely climate controlled bathing room, flicked on the light, and walked over to the tub/shower, drew back the curtain .... and so and so forth. 'Til you're standing there in a steady stream of, evenly heated, warm, hot or cold water.

Yes. Dare I say it? You take your shower for granted. But, it's ok. So did I. I always believed when you turned on the hot? You got hot. You turn on the cold water? You get warm water now. This is not always the case.

As any Ocean Viewer will testify to. Taking a shower on the volcano, that involve a propane powered Paloma? Is an experience that you really have to (endure) have once in your life! I thought maybe a description of what it would sound like outside the shower to those listening to the showeree.

Water running.
Curtain sliding closed.
There's nothing like water, burned until it boils, and then
sprayed out of a showerhead onto nekid skin!

And then we have ...

OMG ... turn it off! Turn it off!
And imagine a full bucket of ice water being doused onto skin
that has possbile first degree burns from the previous dousing of
boiling water!

It's a challenge. It's an adventure. And I WILL WIN.

I was waiting for the perfect day ... when the house was warm. And I sat out in the sun til I was HOT. Then I snuck up on the shower. Jumped in before the boil, plugged the drain, washed my hair TWICE ... with a COLD - dangdangdangit - burst in between. Got my hair rinsed. Turned off the devil's assistant. And scrubbed. Oh it felt good. It's dusty up here and I was looking a wee bit lava-colored - ha.

It didn't just feel good to be clean. It felt good to have triumphed over the Paloma.
I feel empowered. Like when I changed my flat tire last week.

Did you get to see my Cupcake Hat at The direct link is here ...
Spumoni CupCake Hat  And I also finished the wool longies! They are purty cute I think.

Today's Hawaiian word? Kaikamahine. Pronounced KAH ee KAH muh HEE neh . Meaning girl, daughter. I have 3 kaikamahine and also an hanai daughter, that all live
on the mainland.

Aloha nui loa.
Betty of

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Official Google Reader Blog:

Official Google Reader Blog: A welcome and a look back

Social Outings on the Volcano

With all the cloudy skies the last two days? I felt a nice run into town was in order! What do cloudy skies and a run into town have in common. Nothing. Except the cloudy days at home gave me a hankerin' for some social time. A.K.A Talk story time. So where's the best place in Ocean View to talk story? One of my favs? The Laundromat. Yep. Jim and Winni make washday a fun day.

All the news that is the news can be overheard by local and haole alike. Today I learned the local grill is not only closing? But having issues doing so. It hasn't rained a good rain down in OV since last year about this time and if you take two parking spaces to avoid someone dinging your car? You'll risk getting keyed. You have been warned. LOL

So, I got me a couple loads together and headed down the mountain. (Yea. I know. It's a volcano.)  Few people - especially people off grid - have washers and dryers in their homes. Hanging clothes out? They are so dusty when you bring them in? Pointless to try and line-dry. And then there's the water issue? Do you pay to have someone bring you water for laundry? Or do you just go ahead for the FUN OF IT - and head down to Winni's place! They also have to buy water to run the 'mat. So I think of it as a community effort to keep their small business ... busy.

It was a typical - laughter filled - trip to the laundromat and I even had time to show off my latest knitting .... the sweet wool longies in the Spumoni colorway!
 And my new houseboots! LOVE them ... made from polarfleece with a sole of polar, an insert of wool, and another layer of polar! Mine are kneehigh - but, I'm gonna make 'em longer! I think over-the-knee would be perfect!

Today's Hawaiian word? Pau ... pronounced pow ... means finished. As in. I am pau for the day. Aloha and have a Blessed day. The B ...

Be Original Shop ...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Speaking of Water ....

It's raining. Sort of. Maybe it's just a cloud smashing into my window because of the strong winds that are blowing? Could be. I don't HEAR rain. I SEE drops on the windows. I HEAR only the wind gusting up against the house making it sway just a bit and cause the whistling in the windows. Brrr.

It's 67 degrees in the house. That will be my high for the day as the sun has been covered for the better part of the day. And will soon set. The generator is humming in the background. Reminding me I need to go turn it off! It's been most of an hour now, and I have happily used the vacuum, making maximum use of the generator's power. We also charge our small batteries while running the generator. And sometimes? Just for the hellofit? I turn on a lamp! *LOL*

What has this got to do with water? Well. There's always hope that it will rain. Like it does in North Carolina sometimes. You know. You're standing out on the deck. You hear this sound .... is it wind? Something is coming through the trees and then all of a sudden the drops fall like wet silver dollars from the sky! And you laugh when you realize the sound was the rain. Coming right at you! Ah. Sweet memories of late summer in the South!

Anyway! Here in Hawaii - like many states, I hear - we are suffering from drought. Suffering? Yes. Some of you may remember we came home a few weeks ago to find some of our community burned because of the dryness of the land and the plants! Acres and acres lost! Part of the problem? Not enough water to FIGHT a fire! Some of it was helicoptered in we heard! Of course I assume they used the Pacific to fill their buckets!

I have blogged about the catchment tank already ... attached to the roof to catch 'rain', it supplies us with our bathing water, we wash dishes in it, even brush our teeth (but not always). The key word here is rain. It it ain't rainin'? It ain't catchin'. So you have to pay for water to be trucked in. So we have. And people who have never had to buy water in 20 years? THEY have!

For now we can purchase water to drink - or - we can travel to the nearest county supply and fill up containers (free) and take them home and keep them lined up on the kitchen wall to use for drinking (we usually filter this water), making coffee, cooking. Oh. And we give the county water to the animals to drink. We choose free 99% of the time. Only buying bottled water to get the new bottle to re-fill!

I really have to go turn that generator off. Wait here .... I got somethin' funny to tell ya! And then I'll let you go ....

Now I know you think I got back really quick. But, in reality? To turn off the generator involved removing my house boots and putting on outdoor shoes - slippers as they are called here on the Island. Then I had to turn off the battery charger. And THEN go turn off the generator. Out the door, down the steps, around the house to the back. I turn off the generator. Put one gas tank on top of it. One gas container in the building then move the water jug that holds the door open and close the door. And of course. Lock it.

So all that work? Made me  hungry for something sweet. So I just finished making me some Preacher Cookies! Love their peanut buttery chocolatey oatmeal goodness! No oven required!

So. Something funny. Not water related. But sun related. See. I KNOW you think the sun shines all day every day in "paradise" ... not true. And this really isn't a tan I have. It's lava dust. Brown. Coarse. Dust. Coats everything. Including me.  *LOL*

Have a great day! Tell your friends about the crazy Yai Yai who moved to Hawaii last year and knits.

The Hawaiian word for the day? Keiki - pronouned kay-kee .... meaning baby, or child. I personally have keikimahine (meaning daughter) of my own - 3- and a 9 month old mo'opuna

Be original ... Shop

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Off Grid - eBay and Other Impossible Dreams

Off Grid - many people's (including my) dream come true.
No light bill. No power outage because a line is down somewhere.
No street lights to dim the stars. No telephone poles to block your view. Nice.

So you say "How do you see at night? How do you go online? OMG How do you
watch TV?" Well. Here's your answer.

We have two 6volt deep cell batteries. They are connected to a solar panel on the roof.
They are wired to one 12volt florescent light in each bedroom, one in the bath, and one in the kitchen. That gives us enough light to see where we are going and if you are right under it? You can even read.

Those batteries are also connected to the water pump which pumps water from the catchment tank to the house for bathing and washing dishes. We do NOT drink this water. That story I'll post another day.

Now. The sun does NOT shine all day - every day - like you may think happens in Hawaii. For us, up high on the volcano, nearly everyday begins with sunshine, however 9 of 10 days the clouds arrive around 10 a.m. And sunshine is intermittent at best for the rest of the day. Which means? We also need a generator to occasionally charge the batteries. Yes, ladies. I know how to start and maintain the generator as well as how to hook the battery charger into the house electric which runs on the generator and supplies the charger with the power to charge the batteries.

Whew. that's a lot. Stay with me now! The batteries are also wired to the inverter. The inverter takes the power from the batteries and supplies it to an extension cord  which runs to a surge protector in the living room. I plug my computer or tv into the protector and viola' I have power! So I can blog or watch a movie. My choice. I try not to do too much at a time. That way the sun can catch up. We have a meter that reads 10.5 - 14. 14 is maximum battery and at 10.5 an alarm goes off to let you know to charge the batteries. At 11.7 I can watch a movie. At 14 I can iron. At 12.5? I can watch a movie AND be on the computer!

Living off grid, you come to appreciate the daylight hours and get done what needs to be done in good light. Like reading. Knitting. Photographing. So while I list YARN on eBay, I knit. And I'm making a sweet pair of longies ...

I've divided it to knit the legs now and I think I may have enough to knit a pair of matching socks!

This is the yarn I'm going to sell over at my eBay. I LOVE this yarn. But, I need the cash. So here we go .... it's Tapestry by Rowan. Colorway SH 173 and 70% Wool 30% Soybean. I'm selling all 6 of the 50g each, fingering weight, skeins, for one price.
Dye lot 008F1

Today's Hawaiian word? Mahalo. It means thank you. Mahalos is the way most people say it, meaning Thanks. Mahalos nui loa would be Thanks so much! And drop in anytime!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ocean View ... where you can see the Pacific.

Granted I can VIEW the Ocean because I live near-a-mile up the side of a Volcano. Kenny keeps reminding me ... "It's a Volcano. Not just a mountain." .... but, I digress.

The view.
I can actually - on a clear day without vog (Vog. It's like fog, but it comes from the volcano and messes with your lungs.) - see South Point. It is covered by giant wind generators and at night you can see them all flashing their red hey-look-out-low-flying-airplane-or-helicopter lights. Yes. They are synchronized. South Point is THE MOST Southern point of the United States. And every business in that area advertises that fact. So you can get bread from the southernmost bakery of the United States or you can go to the southernmost  bank if you like. All that Southern Stuff? Well, I can see it and it takes me 30 minutes to an hour to drive to it. From the main highway - Mamalahoa Highway? I'm a 7 mile drive to get to near the top of the volcano. Men admire me. Women are awed by me, living so high up and all!

Ocean View. That's actually the name of the community I live in. You can Google Hawaiian Ocean View (a.k.a. HOVE) or you can read about it at Wikipedia - but, don't believe everything you read! *LOL*

So what's in Ocean View? First I'll tell you what is NOT there. And if it's not there? You have to drive an hour and a half (atleast) to get to. No McDonalds. No Krispy Kreme. No Food Lion, or Kroger or Trader Joe's. No 'cable company'. No Starbucks.

But. They DO have - a Post Office. No delivery. Gotta have a box. And they have no computer to read your card. So bring cash.

There's an Ace Hardware. For all your hardware needs. And they will re-fill your propane tank! That's helpful if you run out on Sunday 'cause South Point U-Cart is closed on Sunday.

There is a fabulous laundrymat. Clean. Bright. And a social gathering. Yes. Winni and Jim own it and they actually make it fun to do laundry with all their political and musical (Jim has a band) banter! They also have a tv! With satellite!

Stay tuned for more Life on the Volcano stories - a real inside look at what it's like to live in Hawaii.

This is what I'm knitting on the Mauna Loa Volcano today ...

They are going to be Wool Longies (I hope) when they're finished. I'll let you know how that works out for me! 

Today's Hawaiian Word - Aloha - it doesn't just mean hello or goodbye - it's LOVE.
So if I say Aloha Nui Loa? It means MUCH love ... to you. And you. And especially you.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What I Did Today ....

Well. Ok. I'll own up. Not really TOday. But the other day last month! I had bought these two 'bags'. One was a portfolio-ish zippered pouch case thing. Brown vinyl. Perfect.
The other bag was a cute little purse. Chain handle. Creamy colored. Vinyl. Made in California. Ooooh. Baby!

My thought was to collage them and make them personal to whomever. I've done my own bag and I love it so much I kept it. In a box. In North Carolina. I miss my bag. Just sayin'.

So "today" I actually took the photos and edited them and then made the listing at my Etsy Shop .... Betriska Dot Com

Here's just a taste ....

Yes that is a Beatles Journal.

I love the purse.

and the case.

Got up at 4 a.m. to go sell my wares at the local outdoor market.
Went to the car with some of said wares.
Discovered flat rear drivers side tire.
Changed tire.
Bandaged small injury.
Drove to market.
The end.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Woot! I'm the Featured Member!!!

And a PROUD member at that! These ladies are ROCKIN' the cloth diapered business!
All those sweet bums covered in cloth! I make covers for the diapers. From wool!
Naturally flame retardant - naturally antibacterial - and naturally absorbent, drawing the moisture AWAY from Baby's delicate skin!

You can view my interview AND register to win a pair of handspun handknit Soakers for Fluff-a-Rump-Hump-Day! Complete details can be found here ....

Etsy Cloth Diapers ....

 This is my Bear - Big - wearing the Soakers YOU could win!
He's about the size of a 6 month old baby.
He's a great model - always holds the pose and never whines about
the clothes changing activities.

He has traveled about 15,000 miles
with me in my carry-on - from VA to HI, back to NC, back to HI and
back and forth a couple times more.
Yes. In my carry-on. I would never risk putting Big in the
hands of the airline! *LOL*

He's a love.

You can find more of my handknit soakers at Betriska Dot Com

Aloha! And Mahalos to the Etsy Cloth Diaper Team for all of your
hard work!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day and Knitting

I'm new in town. The Hawaiians call me Houli ... and it's not really a term of endearment if you get my drift. So all us Houli's here in Ocean View - odd lot that we are - tend to stick together. I've never experienced prejudice, except a bit as a 'woman', so this has been quite an experience learning to live "in a strange country".

Yes. I am aware. Hawaii is a state. One of the 'United'. But, you know how everybody questions that whole Virginia thing about being a Common Wealth. Well. I don't know what to call Hawaii. It's part 'reservation'. Part tourist trap. Part Big City. Part Country. Most of what I see? I would refer to as 'third world'.

People live according to their means. And there ain't much. My 'neighborhood' is a small town on the main highway between Kona and Hilo. Elevation around  1500 to 2000 feet. Some people live in tents. On their own land. Some people live in lava tubes.

Some people live in coffee shacks - houses pieced together with scrap wood - with 12 volt lights hooked up to batteries that are charged with a solar panel or a generator. They run their frig on propane (if they have one) and their stove (if they have one) is also run on propane. Water comes from a catchment tank. Pumped by a pump that runs on the solar powered batteries. Drinking water is procured at the local county water supply and trucked home in water safe (and some unsafe) containers.

Kenny and I are some of the people who live in a 'coffee shack'. We have friends who live in tents, friends who live in shacks, friends who actually rent or own really nice homes - like you find on the mainland - brick, tile, double walls, electricity, county water. But, the nice places? They are in the minority.

Yesterday. Labor Day. We were invited to a pot luck with our houlie friends. They own the local laundry mat which is the social gathering place during the week. We enjoyed fabulous food, tremendous laughter, and the music of the host and his "band". I met houlies that have lived on the island for 20 plus years. Some, like me, just got off the boat!
It was nice to interact with people who hear "we live above the cinder pit" and are automatically sympathetic and question "how is it up there, on top". (Elevation about 4500ft)

It's kinda cold. WINDY. And I found out why. There's two big TALL volcano/mountains to our East. The winds come over top of their icy surface and blow on us in gusts from 5 to 25 miles per hour. We have felt our house sway enough that we have stopped being alarmed at the movement!

Life on the volcano. It's a fun adventure. And new friends and good times are making the transition possible.

Knitting. It also makes my world a peaceful place. I'm making another pair of soakers. They are bumble bee striped .... wanna see?

The color here is not great. But, it does give you an idea of how they'll look eventually.

Something old. Something new. Life. It changes you. You grow or you die. Betty's Big Adventure continues and she knits. And from one houlie to another? Be nice. Just be nice. You never know whose tender heart you may be hurting with your prejudice. 
Aloha and Happy Tuesday.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Life on the Volcano

Now you know about the water catchment, right?
Well you can't drink that water. So we go to the community water-fill station and
fill these 6 gallon water carriers. THAT is our drinking water. Which I filter in through
a Britta Water System.

It never rains here. Well. Hardly never. UNLESS of course you have your water carrier
fall over in the car and spill it - the entire container - in the car. THEN you get rain for
two days straight. And no way to dry out the car.

Tomorrow? We will go back for more drinking water.
In a wet car.

But today?
I'm listing these pretties on eBay ....

They are Clover's Straight Bamboo Knitting Needles ... Just two of the sizes I have available ... in one listing on eBay.

These are the Size 15's ....

These are the size 11's .....

You can  buy them now at this link ..... Knitting Needles ....

Friday, September 3, 2010

Life on the Volcano

So. Sara says I should blog about my life.

Today. Was water delivery day. We have a big catchment tank in our yard.
It's connected to the roof with a gutter system that allows rain water to run off
of the roof and into to the tank. That is, if it did rain. Which it does not. We get clouds.
And wind. And sometimes the clouds wet the roof and THAT runs into the tank.

But today. Today we had to have the man come up to our place on the side of the volcano and fill our tank. It is a good thing. Earlier this week - before we schedule the visit - we stopped using the catchment water to brush our teeth. And a shower? What would be the point? The water was the bottom stuff,.Ugh.

Later. I will take a shower. AND brush my teeth.

But, for now? I'll be listing some items on my Ebay.
Like this one ... my Bodum French Press.
I made a wool cozy for it. Not only is it cute but, it will
keep the coffee warm while it steeps.

You can find the listing here .....

Autumn in the Southwest

Toile Peacock Handbag Socknitting Project Bag

Paisley and Macrame' Handbag Socknitting Project Bag

Questions Answered about Living Tiny

My Truck and the Tiny - my first trip. circa. 2014 Yes. I continue to live in the Tiny and I continue to live tiny - or as some woul...