What fun he had back then!

April 17, 2014

David bought these two clarinets (A and B-flat) in 1965, when he was in high school. They cost $300 each, and the case was around $50. He hopes to sell the whole shebang for $1,250. A music teacher said he knows a couple of students who want a clarinet, so maybe one of them can come up with the money:

clarinets-A and Bflat 001-A

clarinets-A and Bflat 002-A

Back in 1975, David had a beard. This is a cute caricature of him, holding his clarinet:

DAVID caricature, letter 004-A

Also in 1975, someone posted this letter on the bulletin board at the music department at the University of Hawaii. It’s hilarious. I hope you can read it.  If not, read the larger version below it:

DAVID caricature, letter 005-B

Dear Mr. Hinchey,

This letter is to inform you that you have been nominated for the Cheapskates of America Citation, which is given only to those people who have shown great pride in being a Cheapskate.

We the committee feel that congradulations (sic) are in order because you are by far “THE CHEAPEST PERSON OF THE YEAR.” We also know that you don’t like flattery so in honoring you with this award we will give you nothing but this letter.

Again thank-you for all that you’ve done.

Majalo and Aloja,

Harold Pennypincher III

***

Looking at all of these things, David feels nostalgic about the good old days.  What fun he had back then!

As you know, he and I met during music rehearsal in 1977. I played my violin, and he played his clarinet. He offered me a ride home after each rehearsal.  One thing led to another, and we ended up getting married in 1980.

Memories!

P.S.  I sold my two violins in 1992.  Now, David wants to do the same with his two clarinets.  The main reason is that he no longer plays these instruments, and he wants to let other students have the benefit of playing them.  However, if the offer is less than $1,000, he will decline the offer and wait until the market improves.

My niece’s party at Dagon Burmese Restaurant

April 15, 2014

My sister, Nedra, hosted a lovely party for her daughter, Asia, at Dagon Burmese Restaurant in Honolulu. We celebrated Asia’s graduation from the University of Hawaii as a Registered Nurse.

Asia and her boyfriend, Jason:

Asia-Dagon Burmese Restaurant 001-A

My sisters, Nedra and Sylvia, and my 98 year old mother:

Asia-Dagon Burmese Restaurant 011-A

There were 16 of us at this long table:

Asia-Dagon Burmese Restaurant 016-A

The Burmese food was fantastic! We started with Tea Leaf Salad (a mix of Burmese tea leaves, fried garlic, beans, peanuts, yellow split peas, sesame seeds, lettuce, tomato and dried shrimp):

Asia-Dagon Burmese Restaurant 018-A

This is how it looks mixed together:

Asia-Dagon Burmese Restaurant 019-A

Harvest Vegetarian Spring Rolls (clear noodles, mixed vegetables):

Asia-Dagon Burmese Restaurant 020-A

Burmese Samusas (potatoes, onions, spices, wrapped in flour):

Asia-Dagon Burmese Restaurant 021-A

Noodles (rice noodles, coconut chicken sauce, onion, yellow bean powder, cilantro, fried onion, boiled egg, lemon, and topped with crunchy won ton):

Asia-Dagon Burmese Restaurant 022-A

Burmese Curry (tomato, garlic, ginger, mahimahi fish):

Asia-Dagon Burmese Restaurant 027-A

Dagon Mixed Vegetable Curry (tomatoes, eggplant, yellow beans, carrots, potatoes, lentils, green bean, broccoli, onion, and bell pepper):

Asia-Dagon Burmese Restaurant 029-A

Biryani Rice (rice, meat, raisins, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and nuts):

Asia-Dagon Burmese Restaurant 025-A

To top it off, Pat brought a coconut haupia cake for dessert:

Asia-Dagon Burmese Restaurant 041-A

The food at Dagon Burmese Restaurant is excellent. I have no complaints whatsoever. I would love to dine here again and try other items on the menu.  There are many meat dishes that were not ordered, because my family tends to be vegetarian.

Asia is just starting her life as an RN. I wish her only the best! Good luck, Asia!

Freak accident

April 13, 2014

High Tea Waioli 005-A

Hawaii: The lovely grounds in front of the Waioli Tea Room in Manoa Valley.

At least once a month, I like to socialize with a group of people either at a restaurant or in my home. In March, I hosted High Tea at the Waioli Tea Room for my sister and sister in law. Tonight, David and I are going to attend a dinner party at Dagon Burmese Restaurant to celebrate my niece’s graduation from nursing school. I am looking forward to tasting Burmese cuisine for the first time.

You might remember that I had planned on treating my aunt and uncle to lunch at my sister’s restaurant, Greens and Vines, which serves raw, gourmet vegan cuisine. We were all set to go, when a waiter called to say there had been a terrible accident early that morning at the Farmers Market, where my sister was setting up her booth. A truck had lurched forward and killed a 27 year old waitress, who worked at Greens and Vines. My sister decided to close her restaurant for the day, because everyone was traumatized by the tragedy. In fact, the truck had also struck my sister’s husband and narrowly missed running over his face when he fell backwards. He, too, was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. (He is fine, now.)

Awful. Who would have thought this sort of thing would happen? It makes me shudder. You just never know when you will die in a freak accident like this one.  We still plan to treat my aunt and uncle to lunch at my sister’s restaurant in the near future.

Tonight, we want to focus on celebrating my niece’s graduation from nursing school. Let’s all have a pleasant time and enjoy the camaraderie and Burmese cuisine at Dagon Restaurant. I hope to post pictures on Tuesday. Til then, aloha!

Spring chicken or not?

April 11, 2014

I awoke at 3:15 a.m. and felt fine after six hours sleep. That’s all I need, really. I can go through the whole day without taking a nap, unlike David, who naps frequently. There’s nothing he can do, but live with the fact that he is no longer a spring chicken. Neither am I, for that matter.

Here are a few morning photos that cheered me up:

This plant now has six red anthuriums. The green one at the bottom is slowly dying. When it turns brown, I’ll snip it off with scissors. I water the plant twice a week in the kitchen sink:

morning shots 004-A

I drink five cups of Roy’s Kona Coffee Blend every morning. It’s great with skim milk and ice cubes:

morning shots 010-A

Here’s a shot of my new security alarm keypad. Can you tell which one is the alarm and which one is the a/c control panel? The other items came from Thailand, Hong Kong, India, and Taiwan – all places I have visited:

morning shots 003-A

David woke up later and made me a fantastic brunch:  A banana pancake, which was crispy on the edges and tender and tasty in the middle.  I scarfed it down with maple syrup.  Mahalo, hubby!  Spring chicken or not, you’re the best husband, ever!

Quick status report

April 9, 2014

old glass door 002-A

This is David, fiddling with the lock to our sliding glass door in the studio we want to rent out. There are so many things wrong with this door that we have decided to hire a local company to install a brand new sliding glass door and sliding screen door. Total cost is $2,100, which is fine. The trouble is that it will take 6-8 weeks to make the doors on the mainland and ship them to Hawaii, and that is a conservative estimate.

Grrr. It takes forever for things to be shipped to Hawaii, because of our location in the Pacific Ocean.

The carpet we purchased for Maria’s room on March 20 will be installed on May 6.

The furniture we purchased for Lisa’s room on March 9 will be delivered during the first week of May.

In addition, we still have to buy new furniture for the studio. That can’t be done until the old furniture has been moved from the studio to Maria’s room, which then will become our new bedroom.

Part of the problem is that all of this new stuff has to be loaded into containers, and the containers won’t be shipped until they are completely full. It could take weeks. Then, you have to factor in the length of time to ship the containers from the West coast to Hawaii.

Anyway, we are looking at June 1 or later as the date when we can rent out our studio. It depends on when the doors are installed – hopefully before the end of May.

We hope there aren’t further delays.

Wonderful time with Anne Akiko Meyers

April 7, 2014

Yesterday, David hung his handicapped placard on his rear view mirror and the parking attendant allowed him to park in this handicapped stall, which was located next to the Blaisdell Concert Hall. Note David’s cane. He was so happy he didn’t have to walk very far:

Anne Akiko Meyers 004-A

As we approached the entrance to the hall, we were greeted by the sweet sound of violins, performed by talented young members of the Suzuki School:

Anne Akiko Meyers 009-A

This was the interior of the concert hall, as viewed from the top of the balcony, where we sat:

Anne Akiko Meyers 023-A

Here I am, wearing long distance glasses, which I use only to see the stage at the Blaisdell:

Anne Akiko Meyers 024-A

And here is David, smirking as usual:

Anne Akiko Meyers 027-A

Anne Akiko Meyers 013-A

We adored the featured soloist, Anne Akiko Meyers, who is an acclaimed American violinist. Recently, she was awarded lifetime use of the 1741 “Vieuxtemps” Guarneri del Gesu violin, considered to be the finest sounding violin in existence. At yesterday’s concert, she performed Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor. I especially loved the second movement’s pizzicato segments. She received a standing ovation, and for an encore, she played “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” a song she said she always associates with Hawaii.

The conductor, Junichi Hirokami, was born, raised, and trained in Tokyo. Having conducted all over the world, he is now Chief Conductor of the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra. David and I enjoyed the pieces by Khachaturian and Strauss, which sounded lush.  Kudos to the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra!  They never fail to impress us.

All in all, we had a wonderful time, made all the better by the handicapped parking for David.

Baked Veggies

April 5, 2014

I always enjoy seeing new recipes and adding my own twist to them in my kitchen. If you haven’t already done so, please click on Grannymar’s blog on my blogroll. A while ago, she had a nice recipe for baked vegetables that I changed to suit my taste.

These are my photos:

You can bake veggies without meat:

Baked veggies with chicken 001-A

Or with meat (in this case, chicken breasts):

Baked veggies with chicken 003-A

Here’s the recipe (feel free to use other types of vegetables):

INGREDIENTS:

Oil spray

1 white sweet onion, chopped

8 oz white mushrooms, sliced

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 chicken breasts, pre-cooked and chopped

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt and black pepper, to taste

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Spray 9×13 inch pan with oil.

Layer fresh vegetables in the order listed above.

Top with pre-cooked chicken, chopped.

Mix balsamic vinegar with olive oil, and spoon over the veggies and meat.

Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Baked veggies with chicken 009-A

Uncover and enjoy!

We’ll survive — in Hawaii, no less!

April 3, 2014

High Tea Waioli 006-A

Hawaii. Areca palm trees in Manoa Valley.

Now that David and I are retired, we have to stop spending money frivolously. Let me count the ways:

  • Don’t buy fast food or take-out meals. Eat the food we already have at home.
  • Don’t get into car accidents. Car repairs cost an arm and a leg.
  • Don’t get traffic tickets. That’s money down the drain.

Yup, the last two items are recent events and David’s fault. But, let’s not belabor the point, because it would be downright embarrassing and David doesn’t want to be embarrassed.  Enough said about the car accident and the traffic ticket.

Every morning, I ask David: “What are you going to buy today, and how much will it cost?”

The good thing about us is that we have no debt: no mortgage, no car loan, and no credit card debt. We want to keep it that way.

David has created a budget, which is a bare bones budget that does not include monetary donations, monetary gifts, and extraordinary medical and dental bills. We are concerned about the cost of David’s knee replacement surgery, hospital stay, and physical therapy this summer. How much will Medicare and HMSA Akamai Advantage cover?

Fortunately, we still have savings that we can dip into. And the rental income, starting in May or June, will definitely help us. This is in addition to our Social Security benefits and David’s profit sharing plan (stocks and mutual funds), which he intends to rollover into an IRA soon.

Life is an adventure. We’ll survive — in Hawaii, no less!

Fun with Rylan

April 1, 2014

My grandson Rylan, age 4, came over, because he had a fever and cough the day before. Look how tall he is, about half my height:

Rylan 002-A

Hmmm. He seemed fine to me. Was he malingering from preschool, because he wanted to spend time with his beloved iPad?

He chose a video to watch. (That’s his mother Maria’s leg):

Rylan 004-A

The show was fascinating:

Rylan 005-A

I had to remind him to eat his breakfast (yogurt and a croissant):

Rylan 006-A

Rylan spent the rest of the day taking it easy and enjoying life at grandma’s.

He showed me the old digital camera I had given him months ago.  He knows how to turn the camera on, take photos, view the shots, and when to change the battery.  I’m amazed at what this 4 year old boy can do.

I wonder if Rylan will show up today. I hope he is cleared to take his preschool’s field trip to the zoo, something he doesn’t want to miss.

Renew season tickets?

March 30, 2014

High Tea Waioli 007-A

Hawaii. Waioli, Manoa Valley.

This afternoon, David and I will be attending two productions at the Blaisdell Concert Hall: “Carmina Burana” and “Pagliacci.” I don’t recall ever seeing or hearing either one, so I am looking forward to having a good time.

As I hate to drive home at night, because the lights disorient me, David said he would drive. Fortunately, his right knee is fine and he can press on the pedals in his car without pain.

It is his left knee that concerns me. As you know, we have season tickets in the nose bleed section of the balcony (the very last row at the top). My greatest fear is that his left knee will buckle while climbing the stairs, and he will fall and break his hip. Many seniors die from a broken hip, don’t ask me why.

Yup, I am paranoid.

I wish he would stay in his seat during intermission and rest his knee. Why can’t he wait until he gets home to use the bathroom or drink water? I can and do.

We have one more opera coming up in June, as well as five more symphony concerts during the spring season — all in the nose bleed section. After that, it is questionable as to whether or not we will renew our subscription to the opera and symphony.  It all depends on David’s arthritis and our budget.


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