So simple. So easy. So healthy.

May 30, 2016

Salmon with salsa, mayo, cumin 003-A

My weight has been so laughable. Sometimes, I weigh much less than I used to at the doctor’s office, and the doctor asks, “How’s your appetite?  Sometimes, patients with colitis lose a lot of weight.”

Then, my weight bounces back to a high number, and a different doctor says, “You are obese due to excessive calories.”

I can’t win!

Lately, my focus has been on eating lean and mean. Strive for less fat in my meals.

So, instead of fried chicken, I eat baked salmon, covered with a sauce consisting of 1 cup salsa, 1 cup mayonnaise, and ½ teaspoon cumin powder. Pour this sauce over 4 salmon fillets.  Bake the salmon for 20 minutes at 350F.

Instead of potato salad, I eat a baked potato with a little butter, salt, and pepper. Microwave 2 potatoes, which have been pierced several times on both sides with a fork, for 5 minutes.  Then, turn them over with tongs and microwave them again for 5 minutes.  Slit them and add a little butter, salt, and pepper.

And instead of a tossed salad with dressing, I eat steamed broccoli with nothing on it. I place a bag of Steamable Broccoli in the microwave and nuke it for 5 minutes.  Let the bag sit for a while.  Then, cut it open and pour the broccoli into a bowl.

So simple. So easy.  So healthy.

Mars is the next frontier

May 28, 2016

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When I used to have a cat (2009 in my patio)…

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Remember Scott Kelly? He is the 52 year old NASA astronaut who spent 340 days in the space station, orbiting the Earth zillions of time.  Incredible, isn’t it?

Yesterday, I read a newspaper article about his health during the past three months since he returned to Earth. He said he suffers from aching feet, stiff legs, fatigue, burning skin, rash, and flu-like symptoms.  He does not feel healthy.  He feels sick.  Fortunately, he is retired now and has time to recuperate.  He plans to write a book and become a speaker.

Why did Scott Kelly do such a thing, risking his life during such a terrible ordeal? The reason is that scientists want to know if humans can withstand a flight to and from Mars.  The goal is to send a manned flight to Mars during the 2030s.

I will be 84 years old in 2030. That is also the year when David and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, assuming we are still alive.

So, Mars is the next frontier.

We have come a long way since Christopher Columbus sailed from Europe to the New World in 1492.

Landing on the Moon in 1969 was thrilling, too.

I hope I live long enough to see what happens when astronauts land on Mars.

Celebrating a belated Mother’s Day

May 26, 2016

It was very sweet of Maria and Lisa to treat David and me to a belated Mother’s Day lunch at 53 By The Sea last Sunday.  Lisa was here for Pat’s funeral and burial, and she and Maria decided to celebrate Mother’s Day, while Lisa was available.  She returned to Nevada on Wednesday.

Here we are at the restaurant (David, Lisa, Maria, and me):

Me, D, M, L-53 by the sea 002-A

Maria (top), Lisa, and me:

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Here’s a splendid view of the Pacific Ocean and Diamond Head from our table:

Me, D, M, L-53 by the sea 005-A

It is at a moment like this when I realize how precious my life as a mother really is.  I told David, “This is how it all started.  Our nuclear family, our nucleus, before the son in law and grandkids arrived on the scene.  We must always love our daughters, because our married life started with them.”

How I love my husband and two daughters!  I am truly blessed.

Family party after the burial

May 23, 2016

On Monday, Pat was buried above her husband’s coffin in a Mormon ceremony at Diamond Head Cemetery.  After that, we congregated as a family at my home for a catered lunch.

First, we gathered in a circle and observed a moment of silence in memory of Pat.  Then, we sang Happy Birthday to her son, Charles (age 34), and to my youngest sister, Lucille (age 60).

Click on the photos to enlarge them.

We dined on delicious vegetarian cuisine as well as meat entrees, prepared by Little Village, a popular Chinese restaurant.  Some of the food was made by my sister, Sylvia, who owns a vegan restaurant in town, called Greens & Vines:

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I also served a fruit salad (lychees and mandarin oranges), coconut cake, and peach cake:

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We posed for a family portrait:

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These are candid shots of the guests:

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We watched a family video, taken in 1990.  We all looked so young back then.  I was 44, Pat was 47, and the kids were all in elementary school.  My mother was 74, just four years older than I am now:

Pat's last hurrah 012-A

After such a long weekend, starting with Pat’s celebration of life on Saturday and ending with her burial and our family party on Monday, we finally said good-bye and thanks to one another.

Funerals and weddings.  Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We always gather together as a family for these special occasions.


Pat’s obituary and celebration of life

May 22, 2016

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This is Pat, my sister-in-law, blowing out her birthday candle in March at 53 By The Sea in Honolulu, where we treated her to a special birthday lunch.

This is her obituary, which was published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser:

Patricia Ann Butters Chung, age 73, formerly of Falls Church, Virginia passed away on April 8, 2016 after being struck by a car. She was born on March 13, 1943 in Portsmouth, Virginia to the late Francis Tirell Butters, a Naval Officer, and June Worley Butters. In 1975, she married Dathan Paul Chung, an art teacher at Pearl City High School, son of Charles Chung and Julia Chang Chung of Honolulu, Hawaii. Patricia was the loving and dedicated mother to son Charles-David Chung and daughter Kanani Chung. She was the sister to Stephen F. (Marilyn) Butters and Francine (Terry M.) Butters Mauldin. And sister in spirit through marriage to Glenda Hinchey, Nedra Chung, Sylvia Thompson, and Lucille Helmbrecht. Pat was a graduate of The University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy. She first worked in the islands at Queen’s Medical Center, later retiring after 30 years of service from Kapiolani Medical Center. She was a dedicated member of The Church of Latter Day Saints, volunteer for the Lyon Arboretum and PBS Insights, and Cub Scouts Den Mother. Her compassionate, patient, and friendly spirit will be greatly missed. A memorial service for her will be held on May 21, 2016 at The Latter Day Saints Tabernacle at 1560 South Beretania St., Honolulu. Visitation from 9:00 a.m. Service and program at 11:00 a.m. with lunch reception to follow. Aloha attire.

What to do when you damage your wheel cover

May 20, 2016

Well, guess what, I managed to bang into the curb when turning the corner in a parking structure and damaged my right rear wheel cover (hub cap). I was very upset with myself, because I had just bought my car in March.  It was a brand new 2016 Hyundai Accent.

So, David bought a new wheel cover at Tony Hyundai for $94.00. Expensive!!!

Here’s the damaged wheel cover:

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David removed the bolts:

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This is the new wheel cover:

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And here’s my car, all fixed:

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Yup, I learned my lesson. Don’t hit the curb when you turn the corner, because it will damage your tire or wheel cover.

Thank goodness, I didn’t need a wheel alignment.

It’s so nice to be married to a man, who knows what to do.

David’s trip to San Francisco

May 18, 2016

David returned from his four night stay in San Francisco last week and was enthusiastic about the great weather and his own personalized tour. The temperature ranged from the 50s to the 60s, and it didn’t rain at all.

Here is a picture of him, standing in front of the prison on Alcatraz Island. It was taken by a professional photographer.  Note David’s jacket, which was a Christmas gift from me in 1996.  It still fits!

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David is so glad he did not reserve a car, as there was no parking available at the various sites. He took public transportation, tour buses, and the taxi.  Every single day was filled with activities, and he returned to the hotel only after he had dinner.  Then he watched basketball on TV, fell asleep, and resumed his tour the following day.

He went to Coit Tower (after the taxi driver asked a group of tourists how to get there), visited the Technology Museum in Golden Gate Park (it was too far to walk to the Japanese Tea Garden, and he was not interested in the Oscar de la Renta exhibit at the deYoung Museum), took the BART to Oakland (not to Berkeley, because it was the wrong subway line), toured Muir Woods and the wine country (tasted wine at several vineyards), saw Sonoma Mission, ate at Fisherman’s Wharf, and experienced the cable car.

He planned his own itinerary and had a great time.  He is already planning a five night tour to Sydney, Australia next year.

Meanwhile, he has been experiencing the aftermath of all that walking:  pain in his back, hip and knee.  Surgery on his right knee is scheduled for June 23.

Blackout window shades

May 16, 2016

As you know, we had a problem with the glare from the windows on our TV screen. So, we ordered two blackout shades to cover four windows in our family room.  Two windows per shade.

Here are photos of the shades raised up and pulled down:

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The shades fit behind our lace drapes and have metal chains on either side of the wall to pull them down or raise them up.

We are very pleased with the results.  Now, we can watch TV without the glare.

Wong’s Drapery Shoppe in Honolulu did a great job.

Yayoi Shibori: Hand-dyed in Hawaii

May 14, 2016

My friend, Yayoi, has opened a business, called Yayoi Shibori.

This is what Yayoi has to say on her website:

“YAYOI SHIBORI features tees, sleeveless tees, silk scarves and Shibori wraps and bags.  Every item in the shop is individually hand-dyed by me, Yayoi.  I use a hand-dyeing technique known throughout the world as Shibori.  Shibori is the Japanese word for a variety of ways of embellishing textiles by shaping cloth and securing it before dyeing.  The word comes from the verb root shiboru, ‘to wring, squeeze, press.'”

Here are photos of some of Yayoi’s work (click on the photos to enlarge them):




This is her mother, modeling a tee and handbag:


Yayoi will be selling her work at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki (near the Zoo end of the park) on the following dates, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm:

May 21, 2016 – Saturday

June 25-26, 2016 – Saturday and Sunday

August 27-28, 2016 – Saturday and Sunday

Do click on this link to her website for more photos and information about her work:

Or you can click on her name on my Blogroll.

Yayoi’s items are also listed on Etsy:

Good luck and best wishes, Yayoi!

Who the hell wants to die?

May 12, 2016


Marigolds in my patio.


I saw my new gastroenterologist on Monday and must say that he is tall and cute.  He told me to call him if the current round of medication does not work. He said he might prescribe a steroid pill, instead.  I will see him again in three months for a recheck.

I am to have another colonoscopy next April, because the inflammation in my colon was severe and a pre-cancerous polyp was removed during last month’s colonoscopy.

My father died of colon cancer in 1997 at the age of 87. When the surgeon opened Dad’s abdomen, he found a huge tumor on top of his colon, and it had spread to his stomach and liver.  He sewed him back up and told my dad that he had terminal colon cancer.  My father died two weeks after diagnosis.  I fault his Kaiser Permanente policy, which allows one colonoscopy every 10 years.  This time span is much too long, in my opinion.

Early detection is the key to survival.  A polyp should be removed before it becomes a tumor.

Though it is a hassle to have a colonoscopy so frequently, I am more than willing to do so if it means extending my life.

Who the hell wants to die?  I am having too much fun in life to let that happen.


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