The aloha spirit and Conrad Tao – 2018

November 18, 2018

Life is pretty good for us right now.  At 4 pm today, David and I will be at the Blaisdell to hear a performance of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1.  The dynamic 24 year old Conrad Tao will be the pianist.  I love this concerto very much.  It will be followed by Dvorak’s Symphony No. 4, a piece that I don’t hear often.  The Hawaii Symphony will be guest conducted by Ankush Kumar Bahl.

These photos were taken from the concert program:


As usual, David and I will wear aloha attire to the concert.  I’ll wear a muumuu, and David will wear an aloha shirt.

There is one thing that will never change, and that is the presentation of a flower lei to the guest soloist and conductor after their performance.  You will not see this done anywhere else.

It’s Hawaii after all, and we still have the aloha spirit.

Decorating for the holidays – 2018

November 16, 2018

We are hosting a party for eight people at our home on Thanksgiving next week.  It will be a catered lunch, consisting of roast turkey and side dishes.

With that in mind, we are decorating our home.

Poinsettia from Home Depot:


Blue cellophane tree from Ben Franklin:


A lighted tree from Target:


My Thanksgiving guests will range in age from 8 years to 89 years.  Looking forward to good food and good fellowship.

Our friend, Steve

November 14, 2018

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David and me at the Taj Mahal in Agra, India (November 2012).


We always see our friend, Steve, at the Hawaii Symphony concerts.  I have known him since 1999, when we both worked at a library in Liliha.  He is an Italian Catholic from New York.  He is a very spiritual person, spiritual in every sense of the word.

He spent a few months in India back in the 1980s, working in Mother Teresa’s convent.  He had arrived at her door in Calcutta and asked to speak to Mother.  She came to the door and asked, “What can I do for you, my son?”  Steve said, “Mother, I have come to help you care for the poorest of the poor.”  Mother replied, “There are poor people in your neighborhood, too, my son.  They might not look poor, but they are poor because they feel unloved.”  Steve said, “Mother, I would like to help you.  Please let me stay with you and help you.”  So, Mother Teresa allowed Steve to stay in the convent.  He felt so honored, especially when she invited Steve to sit next to her during a program at the convent.

Then, after a few months, Steve left the convent and traveled in south India.  When he contracted Hepatitis A, he returned to New York, where his parents took care of him until his health was restored.  Now, he has made Hawaii his home.  He bought a one bedroom condo, graduated with an MLS from the University of Hawaii, and works as a librarian.  He still attends Mass and observes Advent and Lent.

Steve also likes classical music.  It’s always a pleasure to chat with him in the concert hall before the music starts.

Civil defense siren wailed yesterday

November 12, 2018


No bomb shelter in my backyard (2017).


Yesterday morning around 3:40 am or so, I lay in bed and suddenly heard the civil defense siren wailing.  I wondered what the siren was for.  Was it a nuclear missile aimed at us?  Was it a tsunami?  I wondered what to do.  David was fast asleep.  I decided not to wake him up.

I got out of bed and turned the computer on, but saw no blaring headlines on the internet.

So, I called 911.  Someone answered and asked where she could direct my call.  Fire, police or ambulance?  I said, “There’s a civil defense siren sounding over here.  What’s going on?”  She said, “I don’t know.  I’ll direct your call to the police.”  Then, I was put on hold with intermittent ringing and an announcement that all lines were busy.  I hung up the phone.

Minutes later, the phone rang, and a woman said, “This is the police.  How can I help you?”  Well, I was stunned.  The police actually traced my call back to me?  How efficient. When I told the woman about the civil defense siren, she said, “It’s a run away siren at Camp Smith.  It’s over now.  You don’t have to worry.”  Whew!  I was glad it was a false alarm.

Sometimes, I wonder about the need for a civil defense siren.  After all, what can we do if we are going to be bombed into oblivion?  There’s no bomb shelter over here.

Bruno Mars or Mark Votapek?

November 10, 2018

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This is a photo of Bruno Mars.  He has joined Roosevelt High School’s Hall of Fame (bottom row far left).  Yes, he graduated from my high school.

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Bruno Mars performed at Aloha Stadium on Thursday and will perform again on Saturday and Sunday.  All three concerts are sold out.  David and I will not be attending any of the Bruno Mars concerts, because that kind of music just does not appeal to us.  However, we wanted to hear his latest CD, so David ordered it on Amazon, and we should be receiving it shortly.


This is a photo of Mark Votapek, principal cellist of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra.

Instead of attending the Bruno Mars concert at Aloha Stadium on Sunday, we will be at the Blaisdell to hear Dvorak’s cello concerto, performed by our principal cellist, Mark Votapek.  We have heard him play before.  Votapek’s cello has a rich, deep tone that is wonderful to listen to.  We are looking forward to this concert, which will feature Czech composers Dvorak, Smetana, and Suk.

After the Mark Votapek concert, we will dine at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company at Ala Moana Center:


The coconut shrimp looks mighty fine:


All in all, we will have a splendid Sunday.

Still alive

November 8, 2018


This is my dining table (2017).


David is now taking Fosamax once a week, starting yesterday.  He hopes that this medication will stop or reverse his osteopenia.  He also has an appointment with a urologist at Straub Clinic next month to discuss testosterone replacement therapy to improve his bone density.  Right now, his biggest problem is the poor condition of his bones and joints.  This is a condition that plagued his mother, who was bedridden for many years.  Meanwhile, David exercises at the gym every night, swimming ten laps in the pool for 30 minutes, bicycling on the recumbent bike for 25 minutes, and strength training with the machines.  He likes it when the endorphins kick in and he feels euphoric.

As for me, I am 72 and still alive.  I drive, cook, and write a blog.  I am still married, and I own a nice house in paradise.

Kitchen appliances don’t belong in the bedroom

November 6, 2018

In 2014, we decided to turn a bedroom into a rental unit.  We purchased a full size refrigerator and a microwave.  We rented the unit, which included a private bathroom, furniture, TV, air conditioner, and utilities for $1,000 to a man, who worked for the Department of Homeland Security at the airport.  In December 2015, the tenant moved back to Texas, and we decided not to rent it out anymore, because I had received an inheritance from my mother and didn’t need rental income.

Recently, we decided that kitchen appliances do not belong in the bedroom, as they might pose an electrical fire hazard.  So, we donated the refrigerator, microwave and utility cart to the Salvation Army:


We then purchased a dresser from Ashley Homestore to match the rest of the white furniture.  The CD player sits on the dresser:


Doesn’t it look lovely with this original oil painting by my friend, Flo Miyahira?


Our new TV stand was purchased from Amazon.  David assembled it and placed the 43 inch TV, the DVD player, and the TV cable box on it:


Now, it’s all set for Lisa when she vacations in Hawaii.

Lunch with Sylvia – 2018

November 4, 2018

Last Friday, my younger sister, Sylvia, drove me and David to the Halekulani Hotel for lunch at the House Without A Key restaurant.  It was such a pleasant day, and there was no need for air conditioning while we dined in the open air restaurant.

Me, David, and Sylvia:


There were complimentary rolls and lavash:


Also complimentary Maui potato chips:


Sylvia ordered a Mai Tai:


Sylvia also ordered a salad, consisting of Manoa lettuce, tomatoes, and onions ($14):


She also ordered sashimi ($18):


David ordered a sandwich, consisting of crabmeat, bacon, lettuce and avocado, with French fries ($24):


I ordered the same sandwich with a tossed green salad ($24):


It was a happy moment in time:


Thanks, Sylvia, for treating us to such a nice lunch at the Halekulani last Friday.  David and I appreciate your love and kindness.

Cheesecake Factory-Kapolei-2018

November 2, 2018

David and I recently drove to Kapolei to have lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.  It’s a stand alone building at a new shopping center, called Ka Makana Ali’i.  There’s outdoor and indoor dining.  We decided to dine indoors, since the weather was hot and humid:




We started with complimentary dark and white bread with butter:


David ordered a Factory combo for $24.95 (Steak Diane, Shrimp Scampi, and Mashed Potatoes):


I ordered the Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp with white rice ($21.95):


All in all, it was a pleasant experience.  Great food and a nice drive to west Oahu.

“Facets of Fall” – 2018

October 31, 2018

My friend, Suzanne McCrary, is showing some of her work at the Honolulu Country Club art exhibit from October 21 – December 2, 2018.  This art exhibit is titled “Facets of Fall.”  There also are works by other artists on display.

Suzanne McCrary, “Echo,” acrylic, $400:


Suzanne McCrary, “Blue Mist,” acrylic, $450:


Suzanne McCrary, “Connections,”  acrylic and mixed media, $500:


Suzanne McCrary, “Into the Mystic,” acrylic and mixed media, $500:


This is David, looking at the art:


And this is the rest of the exhibit:




If you like original art, do go to the Honolulu Country Club to browse and/or purchase a painting.  Admission and parking are free.

For more information regarding hours and directions, please call the club at 808-441-9400.