Writing cursive

March 28, 2015

I watched my 7 year old granddaughter, Julia, on Friday, because teachers had a special meeting.  I asked her if she knew how to write cursive.  She said her mother had taught her how to sign her name.  I wrote a few words and told her to trace them and then write them independently.

Here she is, practicing her cursive writing:

Julia-cursive writing 004-A

As you can tell, she needs to work on her “r” as it looks like an “n.”  The small “s” also needs to be corrected.  She needs help with her spelling, too:

Julia-cursive writing 009-A

Do you remember learning how to write cursive in elementary school?  I remember my third grade teacher holding up my paper and commenting to the class how beautiful my penmanship was.  I was so proud.

Presently, my handwriting is very poor.  Even David has a hard time deciphering my grocery list.

How is your cursive writing?

New painting by Flo

March 26, 2015

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I recently purchased this oil painting from my dear friend, Flo Miyahira.  The minute I saw it, I said I had to have it.  I love the orange tangerines, the green shoots, and the background colors.  This acquisition hangs in my bedroom.  Simply gorgeous!  The frame is pretty, too, isn’t it?  Flo is so talented.  I wish she had more exposure, so she could sell more of her work.

Anyway, we had a nice lunch yesterday at Romano’s Macaroni Grill in Ala Moana Center.  Flo had the shrimp linguini, and I had a Caesar’s salad with rigatoni, sausage, and tomatoes.  Yummy!

Isn’t this what life is all about?  To buy beautiful art from a friend and to have lunch with her, too?  I love my life.

Flo mentioned that there are free hula classes being offered in Makiki.  She said she will send me a schedule.  It sounds intriguing, and I might sign up for a class.  Imagine me dancing the hula in my muumuu, again.  And how can you argue with Free classes and Free parking?  What a great way to exercise!

Art, music, and Hawaii

March 24, 2015

Waikiki Beach outside the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, 2008.

Despite the stress of having my sister’s husband and my mother pass away within the week, I still manage to find peace and joy in art, music, and Hawaii.

On Sunday, David and I attended a Hawaii Symphony concert, which featured the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 and the Shoshtakovich Symphony No. 5.  Outstanding performance by conductor Victor Yampolsky and pianist Natasha Paremski!  We really liked our seats near the left aisle of the orchestra level, because we had a nice view of the piano keyboard and the pianist’s hands.  We will probably renew our season tickets.

During intermission, we went outdoors and chatted with friends.  Since it was only 5:00 p.m., the sun was shining and the weather was balmy.  Where else will you find such a beautiful setting outside a concert hall?  If I were in New York City or San Francisco, I would be standing amidst tall concrete buildings.  Whereas, here in Hawaii, I stood among coconut trees and grass.  Totally different scene.  How I love Hawaii!  There’s no place like it, believe me.  I have traveled the world, so I know what I am talking about.

Landscape in front of the Blaisdell Concert Hall, 2012:

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Then there is art.  I have commissioned my dear friend, Flo Miyahira, to paint a still life, consisting of yellow daffodils in a vase.  As you know, I already have three of her paintings hanging in my home:  A garden scene, a lighthouse at sunset, and a painting of a white dog.  I told Flo to use her artistic imagination and surprise me.  As long as the subject is a vase of yellow daffodils, I will be happy.  So, let’s see what she comes up with.  I simply love her work so far, and I know she won’t disappoint me.

My friend Flo’s paintings, hanging in my home:

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I’ll post a photo of her fourth painting (vase of yellow daffodils) when it arrives.

Art, music, and Hawaii:  They bring me peace and joy.

Egg cooker

March 22, 2015

Lately, David has been feeling wistful about his childhood.  He said his parents had an egg cooker and ate eggs every morning.  He tried to cook eggs in a pot of water, but it took forever to boil and cook.  So, he went to Target.com and ordered an egg cooker for around $20.00:

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Do you know how an egg cooker works?  For boiled eggs, you pour some water in the cooker.  Then you prick the large end of each egg to prevent cracking and place the narrow end of the egg in the cooker.  The cooker can hold up to 6 eggs:

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The cooker steams the eggs and shuts off automatically when the water disappears:

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David said that next time, he will pour less water into the cooker and take the eggs out quicker so the eggs will be softer.  These eggs are too hard in his opinion:

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Then, he wanted poached eggs.  He placed a raw egg in each compartment:

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The eggs were poached perfectly:

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This cooker can also make omelets:

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David loves eggs and has no problem at all with cholesterol.  He is so happy he has this egg cooker.  It reminds him of his Mom and Dad and his childhood.

Taking religion with a grain of salt

March 20, 2015

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A restaurant on Kauai, 2008.

Someone:  “If you don’t believe in God, you will go to hell.”

Me:  “Well, who really knows if there is a God?  You will only know when you die.  Maybe, when I die, God will say, ‘Surprise, surprise.  Here I am.  Welcome to Heaven.’”

I just take religion with a grain of salt.  So many mistakes have been made because of religion.

Remember Galileo, the famous astronomer (1564-1642) who lived during the Renaissance?  After peering into the skies with his telescope, he noted that the sun (not the earth) was the center of the universe and that the earth revolved around the sun.  The Catholic Church declared him a heretic and put him under house arrest for the rest of his life.  He could no longer do his research.  It took many centuries before the Pope apologized and said that Galileo was right and the Church was wrong.

We can only look at other places in the world, where religion has led people to hurt other people who don’t believe what they believe.

Sad, isn’t it?

After discarding all religious paraphernalia, our home is now a secular home.  We like it better this way.  Instead of going to church on Sunday, we stay home, sip our coffee, and read the morning newspaper.  If that is not heavenly, I don’t know what is.

Obey federal, state, and city laws.  Those are the only commandments we follow.

A movie without sex and violence

March 18, 2015

This is a photo of Diamond Head that I took in 2007.  It has nothing to do with the essay below.  I just wanted something pretty to show you.

David and I drove to the Dole Theater on Tuesday to see “Cinderella” and when we got into the theater, we were amazed to see it filled with children.  We then realized that it was spring break for public schools, and they were taking advantage of it to see this movie.  Luckily, we managed to find two seats in the back, which we liked.

Oh, if you have a chance, do see “Cinderella.”  I think it will appeal to everyone, children and adults alike.  There is no raunchy sex or violence.  It is a fairy tale, after all.  I would never watch “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “American Sniper.”  Ugh.  Why waste my time?  So unpleasant, those movies would make me vomit.

Anyway, this was the first time in many years that I went to a movie theater.  Usually, I stay home while David goes alone.  He is definitely a movie buff.  I remember being in the theater and hating the 3-D movie we were watching.  I told David that the movie was boring and that we should leave.  He replied that he had paid for the tickets and he did not want to leave.  Boy, it was sheer torture for me.  I said I would never go to the theater again.

Hence, it is rather remarkable that I found “Cinderella” so enthralling.  There was never a dull moment, and I didn’t notice the time go by.

Lovely movie, lovely.  And, in my opinion, Prince Kit is eye candy.  I adored his blue eyes and wavy, black hair.  Be still, my heart!

My mother (1916-2015)

March 16, 2015

My mother died on Saturday, March 14, 2015 at her nursing home in Honolulu.  David and I are so glad we saw her that morning.  When I said, “Hi, Mom, it’s me Glenda,” she said, “Hi.”  That was the only time she said anything to us.  David and I held her hands and spoke kindly to her.

I told her that she had lived a good life.  She’d had seven children and she had enjoyed her travels around the world.  After each trip, she would invite her travel group to her home for a potluck dinner.  She’d also had a nice career as a registrar at Damien Memorial School.

I would like to die like my mother – peacefully and painlessly.  She did not have cancer, heart disease, or diabetes.  She simply slipped away over a period of a week, first refusing food and then water.

She was 99 years old.

Here are some photos of my mother:

My wedding at Waioli Chapel:  Our mothers were our witnesses.  David’s mother, David, me, and Mom (1980):

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Christmas party at my home:  Me, Mom, Maria holding Julia, Lisa, and David (2007):

Lunch at the Mariposa Restaurant:  Mom, me and David (2009):

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Lisa’s graduation party at The Willows Restaurant.  That’s Mom in the front row (2012):

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My niece Asia’s graduation party at Dagon Burmese Restaurant:  My younger sisters Nedra and Sylvia, and Mom (2014):

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Mom’s 99th birthday at her nursing home:  Mom, me, and David (2015):

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We all loved my mother and will miss seeing her at our family parties.  May she rest in peace.

Ways to live well, but inexpensively

March 14, 2015

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This cute sign was posted at the entrance of a now-closed Mexican restaurant in Hawaii.

Yesterday was David’s 66th birthday, so we took advantage of the special deal at the Japanese restaurant, Makino Chaya:  Birthday person (David) has a free lunch if accompanied by a regular paying customer (me).  So that’s what we did.  We stood in the buffet line many times and helped ourselves to many types of Japanese food – all for the price of one paying customer.  What made it even sweeter was that I had a 5% senior discount.  Total price for the two meals was $13.91 (including tax).

That’s David second from right:

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Makino Chaya 005-A

There are so many ways we can cut the expense of living in Hawaii, which has the highest cost of living in the United States.  One way is the special deal at Makino Chaya Japanese Restaurant, as described above.

Another way is to take advantage of the special discount at the Dole Movie Theaters.  Every Tuesday, David pays $6.00 for admission and $2.00 for a bag of popcorn.  What a great deal!  Think of the savings.  I don’t usually watch movies, but we plan to see “Cinderella” this Tuesday, because we want to see the fabulous costumes and the pretty people in this movie.  It will be a visual feast, and any movie with a happy ending is worth seeing in my opinion.

Today, I plan to go to Macy’s for retail therapy.  I have to replace my shoes, which I purchased in 2008.  I have worn these shoes in Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, India, Miami, Washington, DC, as well as Hawaii.  My shoes have seen better days, obviously.  I hope I can find something decent with my Macy’s card and discount coupons.

These are the shoes I want to replace:

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May you find ways to live well but inexpensively, too.

Be with people you love who love you, too

March 12, 2015

David and I stood near his sister Wanda’s grave at Hawaiian Memorial Park in July 2007.  She died from internal bleeding at the age of 52.  We miss her.

Today, I will be seeing my new doctor for the second time.  At the first visit, he suggested I take three new supplements (Krill Oil, Magnesium Oxide, and Vitamin D3).  More supplements will be added later.  He also suggested I stop taking Calcium, because recent studies have shown that it leads to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.  The plaque in your arteries is made of calcium.  Further, he said that multivitamin pills often lead to cancer in men.

Gee whiz.

Well, I have decided to follow his advice.  David and I went to Costco and purchased those three supplements and have been taking them ever since.

However, I have to laugh at the memory of my mother taking so many supplements and my ex-boyfriend telling me that Mom was just making expensive urine.  She is now 99 years old.  Maybe, her longevity can be attributed to her taking all those supplements.

Anyway, I don’t feel that great right now.  I don’t feel buoyant, happy, or energetic.  I think this malaise is due to my grief over the death of my sister’s husband, Pete, on Tuesday.  I wrote about it in my previous post.  It will take a while for all of this to sink in.  Eventually, I’ll bounce back and will feel better.

If David were to die, I would feel so lost and lonely.  Despite our many disagreements throughout our marriage, we do get along most of the time.  We were separated for only three days in 1998 when he went to Kauai for a business convention.  Other than those three days, we have lived together non-stop for nearly 35 years.

I can just imagine what Sylvia is going through, now that Pete is gone from her life.  They were together for almost 45 years.

I will end my post with this advice:  Be with people you love who love you, too.  Nothing else matters.

I am so fatalistic

March 10, 2015

Pete and my younger sister, Sylvia, November 2010:

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I have decided to enjoy the rest of my life, however long or short it may be.  Why stress over what I eat, what I do, and what I look like?  As long as I am happy, why bother about the rest?

Think of Aunty H.  She smoked like a chimney, but died at the ripe old age of 80 of pneumonia.  Whereas Aunty J never smoked a day in her life, but died at age 59 of lung cancer.

David and I are obese.  We eat meat and dairy products – including ground beef and ice cream – all the stuff that is supposedly bad for us, but tastes so good. Yet, we are still alive and active.

My brother-in-law, on the other hand, is dying of lymphoma and other health issues.  He was a vegan and exercised every day.  He did everything right. Why is he dying at the age of 65?  Why him of all people?

On Sunday, David and I went to the hospital to say good-bye to Pete.  Tears kept streaming down my cheeks.  I could not stop weeping.  I stayed in his room for almost two hours.  His mind was still sharp and he could converse and make us chuckle with his witty comments.

Before we left, I told Pete how much I loved him and how much I would miss him.  Life will never be the same without him.

Which brings me to the desire to enjoy the rest of my life.  I truly believe that life is what you make of it.  If you choose to be happy, you will be happy, no matter what.  What good is it to be a vegan if you yearn for a juicy rib-eye steak or a bowl of ice cream?  Go ahead.  Eat that stuff if that is what you yearn for.  Whatever you eat, enjoy every bite.

I am so fatalistic.  You try so hard to stave off death by watching what you eat and exercising daily.  Then, you step out of your house and get hit by a bus and die instantly.

What the hell?

P.S.  I will write more about Pete later when we celebrate his life at his memorial.  I loved him dearly.


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