Lots going on

September 20, 2014

Hawaii: My neighbor’s orchids.  (Photos by Gigi):

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Don’t those pretty orchids perk you up? I love to look at beautiful things.  They brighten my mood and make me smile.

Today is Saturday. David and I will be watching a college football game on TV at 8:00 am, Hawaii vs. Colorado, which is being played in Boulder.  I hope our team wins, but it is predicted that it won’t.  Alas!  I realize it is just a game, but still…  Anyway, I would love to see views of Boulder, because I have never been there.

Tonight, we will be attending my 50th high school class reunion.  How time flies!  I can’t believe fifty years have elapsed since I graduated from high school.  I am looking forward to seeing my former classmates – such as my ex-boyfriend, whom I dated during my junior and senior years.  He is a dentist, much shorter than my husband.  You all know how I prefer tall men.

Yesterday, my grandkids came to my home for the day. It’s always nice to see them.  I do think that I am a better grandmother than I was a mother.  More patient, perhaps?  Of course, it may be due to the fact that I don’t have to raise them on a daily basis.  I see them occasionally.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Or so it seems.

My life is full, and I am very happy.

Thank goodness!

September 18, 2014

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Hawaii. Photo by Gigi.

Two big news items have been dominating our local newspaper lately:

  1. Lava from Kilauea Volcano is flowing towards Pahoa on the Big Island. There is a chance the lava will flow over the main highway, thereby cutting off residents from the rest of the island. Crews have been trying to clear unpaved roads for residents to use in case that happens.
  2. The mayor of Honolulu has signed into law three bills, which make it illegal for the homeless to sit or lie on public sidewalks in Waikiki (a tourist mecca) and to urinate or defecate in public places anywhere on the island of Oahu. The homeless will be taken from Waikiki to a transitional shelter on Sand Island before being given permanent lodging elsewhere.

I am so grateful that I don’t have to deal with either issue in my neighborhood. Every year, I donate money to the American Red Cross (Hawaii chapter) and to IHS (the largest homeless shelter in Hawaii).  They do good work and need our support.

There was a time when I coordinated chili and rice dinners for the homeless at IHS. Safeway’s general manager donated the ingredients.  I had volunteers from my church help me cook and serve the food.  A children’s choir from church provided the dinner music.  Very nice effort by everyone.  It benefited the homeless, and it was rewarding for the volunteers, as well.

The volcanoes on Oahu, where I live, are extinct. They will never erupt, so I don’t have to worry about lava encroaching on my neighborhood.

Thank goodness! Count your blessings!

“Sexy” conducting

September 16, 2014

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Hawaii Symphony Orchestra last Sunday.

Well, the verdict is out. We prefer sitting in Section C of the orchestra (ground floor) to sitting in the nosebleed section of the balcony.  No need to climb those arduous stairs.  The acoustics were excellent.  What I really liked was not having someone’s big head in front of me, blocking my view of the stage.  I hope this continues for the rest of the season.

Something new was added: Modern ballet, performed by the Onium Ballet Project.  This is a group of talented Hawaii dancers (two men and three women), who danced to Britten’s “Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes.”  Great choreography!

As for the music? Awesome!  I especially loved the last piece, Ravel’s “Bolero.”  Excellent conducting, which was almost “sexy” to watch.  I enjoyed seeing the conductor, Stuart Chafetz, actually “feel” and move to the lush music.  The audience did, too, rewarding the performance with a standing ovation.

Overall, David and I had a wonderful time at this concert. It was an evening well spent and very gratifying.  And, again, no horrible stairs to climb!

What’s happening

September 14, 2014

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Hawaii: Gigi’s photo of flowers at Home Depot.

Lisa called early yesterday to tell me that she will be spending Christmas break with us, after all. That’s good news.  There’s still a chance her next clinical rotation will send her to Utah or Texas, but she thinks she will be able to handle the move, if necessary, when she returns to Nevada after Christmas.

I sure hope she has been working on her doctoral thesis and has been studying for her national board exam. Focus, Lisa, focus!

I asked her if she had thought of settling in Hawaii after graduating next year. She replied, “I want to stay on the mainland, because I want to be my own person.”

Well, maybe she will change her mind after she gets married and has children. It will be nice to have all of our grandkids located on this island, and I am willing to babysit.

I enjoy being a grandma.

The Greek Marina

September 12, 2014

It was a beautiful sunny day, so David and I decided to drive across town to have lunch at the Greek Marina, which is located in the Koko Marina Shopping Center. It was the second time we have dined there:

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This is the marina next to the restaurant:

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We started with Dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice, tomato and spices). We had already eaten two before I remembered to photograph the food:

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Another appetizer we ordered was Spanakopita (spinach and feta cheese, baked in filo dough):

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For his main entrée, David ordered Gyros (beef and lamb):

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For my main entrée, I ordered Moussaka (eggplant and ground meat):

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Finally, the dessert, Baklava (filo dough with honey and nuts):

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Too much salad?  This is the closest we will ever get to experiencing Greek cuisine. I wonder how authentic it is.

Have you been to Greece or eaten Greek cuisine?

“The best movies have one star”

September 10, 2014

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Hawaii:  Lisa, me, and David in February 2014.

Time to reminisce about my younger daughter, Lisa.  I have many fond memories of her childhood.  She was so different from her older sister, Maria.  Maria tended to be hyperactive, whereas Lisa was sedentary.  Maria had a short attention span, whereas Lisa could focus on something for an extended period of time.

Example:  movies.

When Maria was two years old, she would not sit still in the theater, no matter which movie was showing.  She constantly wanted to go to the bathroom or would play with her seat, flipping it up and down.

Lisa, on the other hand, would sit still for the duration of the movie, absorbing everything.  We were watching “Charlotte’s Web,” and when the spider was dying, I heard sniffles.  I looked at Lisa, and there she was, weeping, tears rolling down her face.  I was amazed that a two year old could follow the plot and empathize with a spider.  Wow!

Lisa loved the movies, particularly those that got poor ratings.  When we told her we would rather see a movie that had received a five star rating, she replied, “The best movies have one star.”

She would insist that we take her to these lousy movies, which we did simply because we loved her.  Remember “Mutant Ninja Turtles”?  She really enjoyed that one.

Now, of course, Lisa is a graduate student in Nevada.  I wonder if she has time for the movies.

Experimenting with a wok

September 8, 2014

Never buy a Teflon coated wok.  I did and regretted it when bits of Teflon came off during cooking.  The last thing you would want is black bits mixed with your food.  Ugh.

So, I bought a stainless steel electric wok from Target.com.  I am just so happy right now and I wonder why I waited so long to order it online.  No longer will I see black bits of Teflon in my food.

The stainless steel electric wok is fully washable and can be cleaned in your dishwasher (without the master heat control panel).

Here’s my new wok with a glass lid, three handles, and a master heat control panel:

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Last night, I experimented and made VEGETARIAN PAELLA (rice with vegetables).

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Here’s my recipe:

STIR FRY (350 degrees F):

1 small 6.5 oz. jar of marinated artichoke hearts (include the marinade, which contains olive oil, vinegar, salt and spices) Don’t use the kind with water only.

Some sliced sundried tomatoes

1 chopped white onion

1 chopped red bell pepper

1 chopped green bell pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper



2 cups cooked rice

TOSS.  Enjoy.

Performance Enhancing Drug

September 6, 2014

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Hawaii (photo by Gigi).

Now that David and I are retired and stay home a lot, people ask us how we get along.  Well, most of the time, we get along.  We are so glad we don’t have a stressful job and our home meets our needs.

David loves to talk.  Despite my lack of interest in sports prior to our marriage, I have learned quite a bit about sports due to his talkativeness.

For instance, my husband was watching an NFL game on TV when he suddenly said, “Look, that Indianapolis Colts linebacker has been suspended for four games because he tested positive for Clomid.  I just found out that Clomid is a PED (performance enhancing drug).  The linebacker was taking it in order to get his wife pregnant, and his doctor recommended it.  When she got pregnant, he stopped taking the drug.”

Clomid is a prescribed medication that David is taking for Low-T.  He feels stronger and more energetic.  No wonder the substance is banned from professional sports.  It gives an unfair advantage to those athletes who take it.

By the way, Clomid costs $11.78 at Costco pharmacy, but $40.00 at Kmart pharmacy.  Guess where David buys it.

2 cars and 6 tickets

September 4, 2014

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Hawaii: Bird of Paradise (photo by David).

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Hawaii: Anthuriums (photo by Gigi).

David used a Sony camera for the top photo, and I used a Canon PowerShot camera for the bottom one.  Which photo is better?  I think both are good.  However, the Sony takes clearer photos of people’s faces at a distance.

On another note, I give thanks that we have two cars.  My aunt advised me to get rid of one in order to save money, but I think that would be foolish.  The other day, David took his Toyota Camry to the auto body shop to have his fender and bumper repaired.  I followed him in my Hyundai Accent and after he dropped off his car, I drove us back home.  What would we have done without my car?  No loaners were available at the shop.

And remember when my battery died at Aiea Medical Building last month?  David came over in his car and jump started my battery.  So, again, it was to our benefit to own two vehicles.

I am grateful that we have clean abstracts and therefore pay low premiums for auto insurance.  A friend of mine was caught speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol.  Whoa!  Her insurance premium is triple mine, even though five years have elapsed since her arrest.

During my lifetime, I have received only two tickets.  One was for jaywalking in 1978, and the other ticket was for blocking the intersection in the 1990s.

David has had four tickets.  The first was for clipping another car in the 1960s.  The second was for not stopping completely at an intersection in the 1970s.  The third was for driving with an open bottle of beer in the car in 2010.  And the fourth was for distracted driving (holding a cell phone) in 2014.

Needless to say, we are more cautious now.


Be pro-active, buddy!

September 2, 2014

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Hawaii.  Photo by David.

Two months ago, I made my list for Costco and included “color ink cartridges for the printer.”  David crossed it off and said, “Later.”

Well, guess what, the other day he wanted to print something, but could not because the yellow ink was gone.  He went to Office Max, as it was closer than Costco, and bought a yellow ink cartridge.  He came home and inserted it into the printer, but still could not print because now the magenta ink was gone.  So, back to Office Max he went and bought magenta and blue.  He returned home, inserted the cartridges and was finally able to print.

Man, what an idiot!  He spent much more at Office Max than he would have at Costco, not to mention he wasted his time and energy.  Why did he procrastinate?  If you know you will have to buy ink eventually, buy it now at Costco.  Why risk not having it when you need it?

Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today?

Be pro-active, buddy!


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