Flo’s “Pippin”

July 27, 2014

My artist-friend, Flo, gave this beautiful painting to my daughter, Lisa, for her graduation that is coming up next year.  How nice of her!  Thank you, Flo!  Lisa loves dogs, and the art goes well with the blue carpet in her bedroom.

This is Flo, holding her painting, “Pippin,” in my living room:

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This dog, Pippin, is a Bichon Frisee (a poodle).  When there was a divorce between relatives, Flo offered to take care of their dog.  But because he could not get along with her Chihuahuas and was difficult to handle, Pippin was eventually given to a family in Waimanalo, where he is now thriving.  Isn’t he cute?

Flo and I later had lunch at Ryan’s Grill in Ward Center.  The food was excellent!  This is what we ordered:

Flo had the salmon with purple mash:

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I had the opah with wasabi mash:

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And we enjoyed the haupia (coconut) crème brulee:

Flo, Ryans Grill 009-A

Flo and I have plans to view the art deco exhibit at the Honolulu Museum of Art next month.  It’s always nice to see art with an artist, just as it is always nice to attend a symphony concert with a classical musician.

Too timid to sell

July 25, 2014

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This is David, riding a camel in India, 2012.

As I said in my prior post, David and I enjoy conversing about our childhood.   This time, we discussed selling things to make money.

David’s high school band wanted to perform in Montreal and London during the summer.  So, each band member was given boxes of cookies to sell to pay for the trip.  David said that though he was already 18 years old, he was too timid to sell those cookies.  He wanted his mother to go with him door to door.  However, David’s father decided to take the cookies to the business college, which he headed, and his students immediately purchased all of the cookies.  David went on his trip that summer and had a ball playing his clarinet in Montreal, visiting New York, performing in London, and then seeing Denmark on the way back home.

It’s hard to believe David was too timid to sell the cookies on his own, because later in life, he was able to successfully teach accounting at Kapiolani Community College.  Imagine him standing in front of a group of college students without quaking in his shoes.  Not timid, at all.

As a child, I had the brilliant idea of picking cilantro from my father’s garden, securing it with a rubber band, and selling bunches to my neighbors for 5 cents per bunch.  What an easy way to earn money!  And I wasn’t shy, either.

My daughter, Lisa, also was quite the business person.  When she was little, she decided to groom pets for $5 each.  She placed handmade notices in mail boxes all over our neighborhood.  But, the only phone call she got was from an irate neighbor, who warned her that it was a federal offense to open people’s mail boxes.  So, that project failed.

Ah, well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.  We all had fun, nevertheless.

Conversation with David

July 23, 2014

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Hawaii:  Bird of Paradise.

I was telling David about seeing the famous pianist, Andre Watts, perform in Bangkok, Thailand, where I worked as an English teacher in 1969.  And, then, I lived in Europe for three months and in New York City for 5-1/2 years, where I was exposed to the best classical performers in the world.  I saw the Russian ballet dancer, Mikhail Barishnikov, the Russian cellist, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the Polish violinist, Henryk Szeryng, among others.

But, when I was a child, growing up in Hawaii, all I was exposed to were religious movies (such as “The Ten Commandments,” starring Charlton Heston as Moses) and religious ceremonies (Sunday Mass in the morning and Sunday Benediction in the evening).  My mother was a devout Roman Catholic.  Boring!

My father’s idea of a good time was taking us to the circus to see David Nelson (rock star Ricky Nelson’s brother) perform on the trapeze.  Boring!

“So, what was your childhood like?” I asked my husband.

“Oh, when I look back on my childhood, I have only positive memories,” David replied.

His father took the entire family to the Waikiki Shell several times during the 1950s.  In 1959, they saw Van Cliburn perform on the piano, a year after he won the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.  He is the first and only American pianist to win this competition.

The following year, David’s father again took the family to the Waikiki Shell to see Bobby Darin sing his big hits (such as “Mack the Knife”) and Ginny Tiu, the child prodigy, play the piano.

They also saw The Kingston Trio perform folk music.

All of these wonderful musicians all in their prime!  Wow!

How I wish I had experienced such exciting entertainment as a child!

This is the sort of conversation that my husband and I have these days.  We like to talk and reminisce about our lives before we met each other.

Summer Fun Finale

July 21, 2014

We all congregated at a local district park for Julia’s summer fun finale.  We enjoyed watching her perform with her first grade class.

Here are some photos:

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This is a photo of the entire summer fun group, consisting of grades kindergarten through six:

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And this is a photo of Julia, her brother, and parents after the show:

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Maria and Grant celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary with a trip to the north shore as well as dinner later in the evening.  Congratulations, Maria and Grant!  What beautiful children you have!  You both are wonderful parents.

David and I couldn’t be prouder of our family.

Lucky us!

July 19, 2014

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Two new grab bars in our shower.

David finally agreed that grab bars were necessary to prevent us from falling and hitting our head in the tub.  There already is a vinyl mat to prevent slipping, but we decided to do more.  Better to be safe than sorry.

He purchased two 18 inch grab bars at Home Depot for $24 each.  Then, he hired Robert, who is a carpenter, to install them.  Since we use the shower feature exclusively, we wanted the bars rather high on the walls.  David said that tubs are for little children, but most adults prefer to take showers, instead.

We thought Robert did a good job with the installation.

He asked us if we had a tenant for our unit.  We replied that we only had to run our ad for one day and got a tenant immediately.  Robert was amazed.  He said that his friend has been running her ad for two months and still doesn’t have a tenant.

Lucky us! I am so grateful that we are doing so well.

Masked gun men

July 17, 2014

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Hawaii.

David and I drove to our local bank and parked our car.  There was a cop standing next to his SUV across the lot, and he was observing people entering and leaving the bank.  We walked in and sat before a clerk, who proceeded to open individual checking accounts for us.

While seated at the desk, I noticed the glare from the sunlight coming through the large window.  I reached into my handbag and pulled out my dark glasses.  As I put them on, I said, “The glare really bothers me.”

The clerk replied that recently two masked gun men had robbed the bank.  When they ran out with the money, no one could see their get away car, because drapes covered the window.  If there had been no window covering, someone would have noticed the color and make of the car as well as the license plate.  So, the drapes were later removed for security reasons.

It was reassuring that a cop had been assigned to watch the bank, because it would deter robbers from threatening people withdrawing cash from the ATM.

David said that if someone pointed a gun at him, he would give the robber his money, no questions asked.

“Never argue with a gun,” David said.

I agree.

Have a good day and count your blessings!

July 15, 2014

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Hawaii.

Thanks for all your comments on the previous post.  Unbelievably, my blog received 518 views on Sunday, so it must have struck a chord with many people.  Ordinarily, my blog averages 300 views per day.

David and I have been through so many ups and downs throughout our 34 years of marriage that it is remarkable we are still married.

Some of you mentioned couples counseling.  Well, we’ve been there, done that.  Yes, we have experienced Marriage Encounter (twice), Love Circles, and psychotherapy for many years.  While all of that has been beneficial, we basically are still the same.  I don’t believe we will ever change.  We just have to accept each other as we are.

We do get along 80% of the time, so we try to focus on the good times and not the bad.  For example, we both enjoy participating in family parties as well as attending symphony concerts and traveling to fun destinations.

As for the 20% when we don’t get along?  We just have to accept the fact that we do not have a perfect marriage — mainly because we are not perfect people.  There is bound to be a personality clash now and then.

Ultimately, this marriage is all we have.  Let’s make the most of it.

Have a good day and count your blessings!

Marital issues

July 13, 2014

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Hawaii.

David and I are having problems with our marriage.  This has nothing to do with our children.  It has a lot to do with us as a married couple.

One of the reasons why I wanted to divorce David was financial.  He thinks nothing of spending $25,000 on his dental crowns, but goes ballistics when he is asked to buy and install grab bars for the shower.  He even yelled and screamed at me when I went to the ER in an ambulance.  The co-pay for the ambulance was $99 and he did not want to pay it.

Do you blame me for wanting to divorce this miserly man?  Does he sound like a man who is in love with his wife?  Why couldn’t he have said, “Hi honey, how are you feeling?”  Instead, he yelled at me for calling the ambulance.  One week later, I underwent surgery, so obviously my condition was serious.

Anyway, we have decided to stay together as a married couple for now.  We already have separate savings accounts, and the money I give my daughter and sister will come out of my savings, not David’s.

We now intend to create separate checking accounts and separate credit cards.  We will split our expenses.  He will pay me half when I make out the checks to our creditors and will split the property tax and home insurance.  The rental income will go into my checking account so that I can pay the bills.  He will pay for his own surgeries and physical therapy with his own checks.

I hope this new financial arrangement helps us to remain married and keep the peace.  It is awful how money issues can damage and ruin a marriage.

There are other marital issues, as well.  Who said marriage is easy?  Would divorce be preferable?  Am I better off with him or without him?

Thinking and scheming

July 11, 2014

Travis Shanna wedding 006-A

Hawaii.

People who peek into my life say:  “What does she do all day?  I couldn’t bear to live like her.  I would be so bored.”

Ha.  If they only knew.  Though I sit and sit, doing nothing in particular, my mind is very busy.  I am constantly planning and organizing, trying to improve my lifestyle.

For example, I have decided to be pro-active by having two grab bars installed on my shower walls – just in case I have vertigo and fall or in case David needs support after his knee surgery.  Why wait until something bad happens?

Another example of my thinking and scheming:  I have decided to sell the cemetery plot that my father purchased for me.  I could use the extra money, and when David and I die, our heirs can bury our ashes under that lovely pink and green tree in the backyard.  Expect an ad on Craigslist in the near future.

And then, there’s our trip to Las Vegas next year:  I have decided that we will have a $4,000 budget for that trip.  It will pay for our air fare, hotel, food, ground transportation, gambling, shows, and gifts.  David and I have discussed possibilities for entertainment, such as seeing the David Copperfield magic show, and the Cirque du Soleil show with Beatles music (there’s another one with Michael Jackson music, but I don’t care for Michael Jackson music.  Give me the Beatles any day!)  Someone suggested Elton John (if he is still performing in Vegas), but I don’t like Elton John, not to mention that awful Britney Spears.  As for gambling, we will take a little money with us, and when that is gone, we intend to walk away from the casino before we get into debt.  And, of course, we will spend quality time with Lisa before and after her graduation ceremony.

So, you see, little old me is very busy mentally, though slothful physically.

Surgery scheduled!

July 9, 2014

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Hawaii.

Following X-rays of both knees and both hips, David saw his orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Cass Nakasone, at Straub yesterday.  The doctor reviewed the X-rays and tested David’s left knee for flexibility.  He decided that total knee arthroplasty (replacement) would be appropriate, so surgery on David’s left knee has been scheduled for October 23.  David is very relieved, because he was afraid that it would be postponed until next year.

Dr. Nakasone told him that 99% of the time, surgery is successful.  But, 1% of the time it is not, and when it is bad, it is very bad.  To minimize the risk for infection, the following procedures are banned prior to surgery:

  1. No dental work, including routine cleaning and check up, 1 month prior to surgery and up to 4 months after surgery.
  2. No other invasive procedures within 6 weeks prior to surgery.
  3. No steroidal visco supplement injections to the affected site within 6 weeks prior to surgery.

Dr. Nakasone said that if the left knee is okay following surgery, he will operate on David’s right hip.  Then, after that, he will operate on the right knee.  Chances are that if the left knee improves, surgery on the right side might not be necessary.

Fingers crossed that all goes well for David.


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