Feral cats

November 22, 2014

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Up until 2011, our neighborhood was full of feral cats that roamed at will. That was fine until they used the bathroom in our planter box, shown above.  The stench was awful.

When David poured cement on top of the dirt, it was a complete transformation.  One day, they left their droppings in the dirt; the next day, they left nothing on the concrete.

Now, instead of feces, our planter box boasts plants!  Yay!

In 2011, the cats started to die off.  Feline leukemia, perhaps?  We could walk down the street without encountering cats.

Well, here it is 2014, and the population is beginning to recover.  We see more cats scurrying around.

Which means no rats or mice.  I’d rather see cats than rodents.

There is an upside to everything, isn’t there?

Chat with Julia

November 20, 2014

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My 7 year old granddaughter was here the other day and we had a nice chat.  She pointed to these puppets that I had purchased in Jaipur, India in 2012.  She wanted to know which was the boy and which was the girl.  I told her that the one with the mustache and beard was the man.

Then, we discussed what would be the ideal present.

Me:  “What do you want for Christmas?”

Julia:  “First of all, don’t give me money, because Mom will put it in the bank.”

Me:  “Well, what should I give you?”

Julia:  “A gift card, because Mom can’t put that in the bank.”

Me:  “Oh.  So if I give you a Target gift card, what will you buy with it?”

Julia:  “Maybe, food.”

Me:  “Why not go to the jewelry section and buy some bracelets?”

Julia:  “Grandma, I have lots of jewelry already.”

We also discussed what she wanted to buy her dad.   Trouble is she has only $14.00 in her piggy bank and she doesn’t know if she has enough money to buy that something special for her father.

Ah, well, here we are talking about Christmas when it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet…

Contemporary Art Museum

November 18, 2014

Admission is free on the third Sunday of the month, so David and I drove up Makiki Heights Drive to see the exhibits at the Contemporary Art Museum.  We had lots of fun.

This is the entrance to the museum:

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Brenda Cablayan is an artist, who lives in Hawaii.  These are her paintings in acrylic:

“Pool over Makiki”:

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“Cottage on Mott-Smith Drive”:

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“House of the Trees”:

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“The Limousine”:

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Cheyne Gallard:  “Wat high school you wen go?”  He photographed himself in a variety of roles (8 characters):

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John Buck:  “The Archer” (Bronze with patina):

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We left after seeing the beautiful grounds of the museum:

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Then, David and I drove to Ryan’s Grill for a fabulous lunch.  Wonderful way to spend Sunday!

Colorful home

November 16, 2014

One cure for the blahs is to decorate your home.  As you have seen from previous posts, David and I have been busy renovating our house.  After installing new wallpaper, we decided to buy two new tablecloths:

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So, when one tablecloth goes into the washing machine, I will take the other one from the drawer and place it on our table.

This is the label that provides information about the tablecloth:

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It’s 100% polyester.  Which color do you prefer?  The red or the blue?  I just love a colorful home.  The more colorful, the better.  There’s nothing drab about this place.

New wallpaper

November 14, 2014

A few weeks ago, David and I decided to replace the old wallpaper in Lisa’s room and in the dining area.  We had a blast looking at wallpaper samples at Z Wallcoverings.  Actually, these were for single accent walls only, not the entire room.

Richard Zumbro, the owner of Z Wallcoverings, came by to measure the walls and hold up the samples against each wall for us to see.  He then left our home and emailed his estimate later.  We accepted it and paid a deposit via credit card.  The wallpaper was ordered, shipped, and installed yesterday.

This is Lisa’s wall:

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This is my friend Flo’s painting:

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This is the wall in the dining area:

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These paintings are from Bali:

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Aren’t the walls splendid?  We are so pleased with Zumbro’s workmanship.  We think the wallpaper will last a lifetime, and since it is vinyl, it is washable.

Rambling

November 12, 2014

These are Ti leaves next to my house. Have you seen them before?  They are quite popular in Hawaii:

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Good news: My sister Sylvia won the Silver in the prestigious 2015 Hale Aina Awards competition for her vegan restaurant, Greens and Vines.  Last year, she won the Bronze.  She recently celebrated her restaurant’s second anniversary.

Last month, my 98 year old mother moved from her house in Manoa to a nursing home in Nuuanu. The transition was necessary, because she suffers from dementia and had a hard time lifting her legs over the rim of the tub to bathe, even with assistance.  She also fell frequently and broke her ribs, arm, and back.  It was felt that she should sit in a wheelchair as much as possible rather than risk another fall.  So far, she has adjusted well to her new environment.

David and I received our Humana Medicare Advantage ID cards in the mail and are waiting for the list of participating providers. Humana has been in existence since 1961 and has more than 6 million members nationwide.  We chose it, because the premiums are either zero (for HMO) or $34 (for Choice PPO), and the benefits are better than other plans.  Humana even pays your membership dues for the gym.

As for our rental unit, our tenant is a man who works at the airport and travels off-island frequently.  It is nice to have additional income as retirees, and we plan to reduce our income tax by deducting business expenses.

Have a wonderful day!

Olga’s Apple Bake

November 10, 2014

My blog friend Olga (http://confessionsofagrandma.blogspot.com/) recently posted a recipe for Apple Bake.  I have already made it three times with great success.  David loves the aroma wafting from the kitchen.  It’s basically green apples with a shortbread cookie crust.

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Here’s the recipe:

Melt 1 stick of butter in the microwave. Cool.

Peel and chop 3 green (Granny Smith) apples.

Toss the apples in a mixture of 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Spray a 9 inch pie pan with oil.

Place the apples in the pan.

Mix the melted butter with 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 egg.

Smear the butter mixture on top of the apples.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes.

Yummy!

Electric Pressure Washer

November 8, 2014

Our patio and house showed signs of dirt and mildew, which we wanted to remove. So, we went to Lowe’s and purchased an electric pressure washer for $100:

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We also bought house and siding pressure wash. The detergent goes into the bottle next to it:

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After removing the furniture, David swept the patio:

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He sprayed the surface with the pressure wash detergent:

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Then, he rinsed the surface with plain water:

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This is the fine result of his labor:

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We are so impressed with this electric pressure washer, David intends to clean the porch next and eventually the rest of the house.

Aging in place

November 6, 2014

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Hawaii: Flowers at Home Depot.

David and I went to dine at Zippy’s one evening and happened to see our 89 year old neighbors sitting nearby. Imagine, they still live in their house, still drive, and are still married.  I think that is amazing.

One of the reasons they have not sold their house and moved into a small retirement apartment is that they have so much stuff that they don’t want to part with. For example, their piano.  How could they ever part with their piano?  Further, they don’t want to be hampered by rules, such as not being allowed to play the piano at any time of the day or night.

As for driving, the husband is in fine shape. He ran his last marathon at age 85, finishing in 7-8 hours.

And  they have been married for many, many years with no end in sight. I wish I could reach the age of 89 without being a widow.

This makes me think of my future with David. I would love to age in place like my neighbors.  The key is to manage our money wisely and stick to a budget.  We try to live on income and not touch savings (except for emergencies).

Do you intend to age in place, too?

What our retirement amounts to

November 4, 2014

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A tree with pink flowers in my backyard.

I agreed with David when he said, “Thank God I don’t have a stressful job. I like it here.  It meets my needs.”

That sums up what our retirement amounts to.

We seem to have no ambition, because our careers are over. No longer are we climbing up to the pinnacle of success, striving for some lofty goal.  No, we are now coasting downhill, appreciating the fruits of our labor.

We simply take each day as it comes, extracting as much joy from our home as possible. Since we spend so much time in this house, we notice the defects.  Hence, our many renovations this year.

Still to come are the installation of wallpaper in Lisa’s room and our dining area, the installation of a new air conditioner in Lisa’s room, and the power washing of the patio and house.

The holidays are upon us. We hope our guests like our improvements.

Each day, we try to have something to do.  For example, Monday we dined at Gyotaku and had a nice Japanese lunch.  Today, we will shop at Costco.  Wednesday, we will see the exhibits at the Contemporary Art Museum and have lunch there.  Thursday, we will shop at Target.  Friday, David will participate in a focus discussion group and earn $75 in cash.  Saturday, we will watch UH football.

We also attend the Hawaii Symphony concerts.  Two concerts are coming up this month.

For exercise, David goes to the gym every night and swims 20 laps in the indoor pool.  Me?  I just do house work.

So, you see, this is what retirement means to us. We are not rich by any means, but we live well.  At least, we think so.


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