Improving our lifestyle

October 21, 2014

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Korea (Chosun Dynasty, 1392-1910): 10 panel screen depicting fish, birds, and lotus flowers.  Displayed at the Honolulu Museum of Art.

I am always happy to find new ways to improve my home. One of my projects is to replace the wallpaper in Lisa’s room and in the dining area. I intend to have the wallpaper professionally installed.  I’ll post photos when it’s done.

Another project is to paint the porch, which is unsightly with grime. Since he is so tall, David can easily reach the ceiling of the porch with his paint brush.

I moved five pots of crotons from the patio to the area under the eaves next to the windows. The sixth pot was discarded, because the plant was dead.  I hope that the move will help the remaining crotons to survive, because I think they were over exposed to prolonged, harsh sunlight in the patio.  If they don’t survive, I’ll just replace them with new plants.

Another thing that makes me happy is experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen. I love casseroles or any meal that can be stretched over two days.  This means I just have to cook every other day.  David especially likes my chicken-broccoli casserole, my Mexican casserole, my Portuguese bean soup, and my spinach quiche.  He likes my cooking so much, he is more than willing to wash the dishes after dinner.  (I wash the breakfast and lunch dishes.)

So, life is good for both of us. No complaints.

Speak with poise and confidence

October 19, 2014

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This is a Korean chest from the Chosun Dynasty (1392-1910), displayed at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Note the gold, silver, mother of pearl, and tortoise shell.  Lovely!

We received our absentee ballots in the mail. David has already voted and mailed his ballot in.  He voted for the Democratic candidate for governor.  I, on the other hand, will vote for the Independent candidate for governor, as he seems to have more charisma as a leader of this state.

This reminds me of the time when someone nominated me to be Seventh Grade Secretary. I was shocked, but was unable to withdraw my name.  I wrote my campaign speech and practiced in front of Aunty Jennie, my godmother.  I enjoyed her applause.  A week later, all of the student candidates stood on the stage in the cafeteria.  When it was my turn, I spoke into the mike very nervously but managed to get through it.  Guess what, the votes were cast and I lost the election.

Well, at least, I did not read my speech, but actually memorized and delivered it.

So, you see, it takes all kinds to run for office. The main thing to remember is:  Don’t read your speech.  Memorize it, practice it, and then say it without stumbling.

It doesn’t mean you will win, but at least you won’t seem like a fool.


October 17, 2014

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Sautee 1 chopped white onion in a little olive oil.

Then, spread the onions evenly in the pan.

Mix 5 eggs, 1 small jar of pimentos (drained), and 1 small can of green chilis (undrained).

Pour egg mixture over the onions.

Cover the pan.

Cook over low heat for 7-8 minutes until cooked.

Do not burn it.

Uncover and remove from heat.


Happy kids make happy adults

October 14, 2014

Rylan’s preschool was closed for Columbus Day, so he came here while his parents were at work.

He didn’t goof off. No sir.  Here is 4 year old Rylan with his iPad:

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He practiced setting the time:

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He counted and identified the different types of sea life:

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He watched a Power Rangers video:

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He drew several pictures of Power Rangers and even signed his name.  I love this piece because it is an original.  He didn’t copy someone else’s work.

Rylan asked, “Grandma, are you going to paste this picture on your blog?”

My answer:  “Yup.”

Here it is, Ry:

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He perused his Pokemon book:

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It was a challenge to locate various figures on the page:

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He had such a great time drawing pictures and playing with the iPad and his book.  He was free to do anything he wanted to do.

The only time he pouted was when I asked him to do his preschool homework (cutting, pasting and identifying pictures that start with the letter K).  He had no interest in it, even when I told him I would help him:

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I let it go. I felt he had done enough studying for the day.

When my grandson visits my home, he sure knows how to have fun.


A new beverage cart

October 13, 2014

Our old beverage cart, which was assembled by Maria when she was about 13 years old, had deteriorated, and it was time to buy a new one.

So, David went to City Mill and purchased a cart for $60. It was made in China.

Here’s a series of photos, which show what a clever handyman David is:

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I love it! Isn’t it great to have a new and beautiful beverage cart for a change?

Korean ceramics

October 11, 2014

Recently, David and I visited the Honolulu Museum of Art to view Korean ceramics, which were and are famous throughout Asia.

These are pieces from the Chosun Dynasty (1392-1910):

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There were other works of art in the Korean section of the museum, but I just wanted to focus on the ceramics today.

As you know, I am pure Korean and my daughters are half Korean. We are definitely proud of our Korean heritage.

David and I spent five days in Korea in 2002 to bury the remains of my maternal grandparents in the national cemetery. They were honored as Patriots of Korea for working tirelessly to liberate Korea from Japanese colonization.

It’s too bad that the Korean peninsula is divided, as I have relatives living in both North and South Korea. We always pray for unification, which hopefully will happen in my lifetime.

Our new 3D TV

October 9, 2014

When our seven year old TV began to show horizontal lines on the screen, David called the cable company to fix it. The technician came and tested it.  He said, “It’s not our fault; it’s your TV.”

So David went to BestBuy and purchased a new 65” 4K Ultra High Definition 3D TV. It’s made by Sony and has a flat screen (not the undesirable curved screen).  He got it discounted for $340 off the original sale price just by telling the sales manager that he had seen it advertised for less on the Internet.  There also was free delivery, free installation, and free haul away of the old TV.

These are views of our new TV:

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Nice, clear picture, huh?

We also were given two pairs of 3D glasses and have ordered four more.

Yesterday, I sat down to watch “Gravity” in 3D.  I liked the visual effects, but not the plot.  Dull and boring.  I did not finish the movie.

David, on the other hand, loved “Gravity.”  He intends to watch “Avatar” in 3D shortly.

Civil Defense siren

October 7, 2014

Hawaii: Flowers at Home Depot. (Photo by Gigi)

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Recently, I was at the computer when I heard a siren, which never wavered. It seemed to come from a Civil Defense device far away, and I could not pinpoint its exact location.

Is it a nuclear attack?  Is it a tsunami?  Should we evacuate to higher ground or to a shelter?

I clicked on the Internet newspaper, but there was absolutely no written warning whatsoever. I didn’t want to turn on the TV or radio, because it might wake up our tenant or neighbors, who were still asleep.

Yeah, the siren didn’t disturb anybody but me.

Well, I did nothing more. The siren eventually stopped.

Then, I later read that people in Hawaii Kai reported a malfunctioning Civil Defense siren. So, I suppose such was the case here.  Thank goodness, it was a false alarm and nothing serious.

I probably wouldn’t have evacuated, anyhow.  Fearless, complacent (and foolish) Gigi.

Future plans

October 5, 2014

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Hawaii: Orchids at Home Depot (photo by Gigi).

I admire anybody who can grow and nurture orchids. Are you one of them?

On another note, we attended a legal seminar recently and were advised to renew our Power of Attorney every three years. The reason for this is that a very old Power of Attorney might not apply years later, and officials might be hesitant to obey such an old document.  At any rate, we should have our Last Will and Testament updated, too, so David and I plan to make an appointment with an attorney shortly.

And on October 1, we learned that HMSA, the state’s largest medical insurer, is canceling its Akamai Advantage plans for 46,000 seniors in Hawaii as of December 31. Apparently, HMSA lost $64 million due to high medical claims and decreased federal funding for Medicare patients.  We are looking for another Medicare Advantage plan, and will speak to a sales representative from Humana on Wednesday.  David and I are considering joining Humana because of its low premiums and co-payments.

Ever since September 26 when I thought I was dying of a heart attack, I have been much more cognizant of my own mortality. I won’t live forever.  Dad passed away of colon cancer at age 87, but Mom is still alive at 98 though she has dementia.  I am 68.  How much longer do I have?

A senior moment

October 3, 2014

Hawaii: Neighbor’s plants (photo by Gigi):

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Last week, David was shocked to see an “unauthorized” transaction on my credit card. The online statement said that I had charged $232 for an internet registration by the government.

We called and spoke to a representative at the credit card company. The representative agreed that the charge seemed fraudulent, so he said he would stop payment.

Well, a few days later, David had an epiphany (if you can call it that). The charge was legitimate.  He had charged my $232 car registration online, and the city government had already mailed me my car sticker and registration card.

Oh, my gosh! Would our complaint make my car registration null and void?

So, we again made a conference call to the credit card company and told them to allow the charged transaction to go through, as we had made a mistake.

After three representatives spoke to us and recorded our conference call, we were told we would receive confirmation in the mail.

“Don’t worry,” one rep told us. “This sort of thing happens all the time.  Customers complain about a fraudulent charge, and then they call us back to say it was legitimate.”


That’s what happens when you age. David and I certainly had a senior moment, didn’t we?


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