Good people with kind hearts

August 29, 2015

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Hawaii.  Photo by Ted Trimmer.

Target Stores in Hawaii are usually safe, but a few months ago an armed robber was caught there by police. It’s always this type of story that hits the newspaper, isn’t it? We rarely hear about the good things that people do for each other.

I would like to tell you about two people who helped me at Target recently – without being asked or told to do so.

Wednesday morning, I was pushing my cart in the grocery section of the store. I noticed two middle aged women, looking at bottled water (24 bottles per case so it was heavy). One woman said, “Let’s buy two cases for the hurricane.” She hauled the two cases to her cart. Then she asked me, “Do you want water, too? I can help you with it.” I was surprised, but said, “Okay.” She placed a case on the bottom of my cart and asked if I wanted a second case. I said, “No, thank you. This is so nice of you.”

After paying for my groceries, I took the elevator to the parking lot and began loading the food into my trunk. A middle aged man (who was not a Target employee) said, “Let me help you with the water.” He picked up the case from the bottom of my cart and placed it in my trunk. I beamed and said, “Thank you so much.”

As I write this piece, I wonder what made these two people help me. Do I look like a little old lady? Do I look pregnant? Hmmm.

Maybe, they were just good people with kind hearts! I am so grateful!

Rain, rain, rain

August 27, 2015

According to people in the know, this year’s global El Nino is the worst El Nino in history. It has wreaked havoc everywhere, and Hawaii is no exception. Hurricanes are constantly being formed in the Pacific Ocean. So far, we have been fortunate. No hurricanes have hit us. Only thunder and lightning and lots of rain.

Here are photos of our driveway and patio during a torrential downpour Monday morning:

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I feel so sorry for David’s brother, Mike, and his family, who traveled from Boston to Hawaii for their annual vacation.  They have been here for the past two weeks. More rain, less sunshine.

But, they are staying near Kailua Beach, which is cleaner than Waikiki Beach.  Waikiki was recently closed to swimmers due to sewage spills from the over-taxed sewage treatment plants. Ugh. You don’t want to swim in raw sewage.  This is a temporary thing, however, and the beach will reopen after the currents take the sewage out to sea.

Anyway, I prefer rain to drought, don’t you?

Conversation with the ER doctor

August 25, 2015

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Hawaii.  Photo by Ted Trimmer.

Sunday night, after my guests had left, I went to bed to rest my back and eyes. As I lay there, I suddenly experienced intense pain radiating throughout my abdomen. It felt like it was on fire.

Changing positions in bed did not help. Getting up and walking and then sitting did not help. Taking omeprazole for acid reflux disease did not help.

I thought that the old umbilical hernia, which had been patched in 2012, had reopened and I would need surgery again.

After two hours of searing, unremitting pain, I asked David to take me to the emergency room at Pali Momi Medical Center. I shuffled into the examining room, and a nurse asked me, “On a scale of 1-10, how do you rate your pain?” I said, “10.”

I was seen by Dr. Brian Tobe, who ordered x-rays and blood work.

Following that, we engaged in a nice conversation.

Me: “What are the results? Do I have a hernia again? Do I have an infection?”

Dr. Tobe: “No, but you have a lot of gas.”

Me: “How do I get rid of the gas?”

Dr. Tobe: “Well, you have to fart.”

Me: “Well, that’s a little difficult right now.”

He had the nurse give me two Bentyl capsules for abdominal cramps. They worked immediately.  He also gave me prescriptions for a stool softener and the Bentyl, to be filled at the pharmacy later.

Me: “This is my husband, David. I am so glad he brought me to the ER. Without him, I would have had to call the ambulance.”

Dr. Tobe: “How long have you been married?”

Me: “More than 35 years.”

Dr. Tobe: “That’s a long time. What’s your secret?”

Me: “You have to be fat like us. I know some people who are skinny and good looking, but they are divorced. So, it truly helps to be fat.”

Dr. Tobe: “Thanks for the advice. I will discharge you now, but if you don’t feel well later, come back. I’ll be here all night.”

Me: “What a lousy job, working all night.”

Dr. Tobe: “No, I consider it paying it forward. One day, I’ll be a patient and someone will help me.”

***

What a wonderful healer! Dr. Tobe is not only knowledgeable, he also has people skills.

I entered the ER, feeling miserable, and exited the ER, feeling a lot better.

Amazing!

Plans for tonight

August 23, 2015

Tonight, David’s brother, Mike, and his family will be coming over for dinner. It’s their annual trek from Boston to Hawaii, and they always stay in a cottage on Kailua beach for two weeks. It will be nice to see them again.

My menu will be a green salad, pasta salad, shrimp and zucchini stir-fry, and cheese pizza. Dessert will be raspberry sorbet.

There will be nine of us: Mike’s family of four, Maria and her two children, David and me.

Grant will be unable to attend, as he will be selling his wares at the Made in Hawaii Festival. This is a yearly three day event at the Blaisdell, which attracts thousands of tourists and residents.

You might recall this beautiful platter with a Maori design that I purchased from Grant several years ago. It is typical of the kind of etched glassware he creates:

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Grant’s website, Oka Etchworks, is listed on my blogroll. Do click on it to see more of his work.

Reconsidered our decision

August 21, 2015

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Hawaii.  Photo by Ted Trimmer.

The other day, David received a phone call from our tenant, who asked if we would reconsider our decision to get out of the rental business. He said he would be willing to pay a little more for rent.

David replied, “No, my wife wants the second bathroom.”

After he hung up, I decided to call the tenant and ask him if he would be willing to pay $1,000 per month. He said it would be no problem.

We ironed out a few more details, and the result is that he will remain in our rental unit.

I felt that the $1,000 rent would offset the inconvenience of having one less bathroom.

Well, let’s see how long we can continue this way.

It’s a win-win situation, as he needs a place to stay and we need the extra income.

We will be able to live on income and not touch savings.

The Rainbow Room

August 19, 2015

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This was me with my dog, Lani, in New York City, 1973.

As you probably know, I lived in New York City from 1970-1975, attending Columbia University and taking private violin and piano lessons. Since then, I have been back only twice, 1987 and 1997. So, it’s been a while.

Meanwhile, what memories I have, particularly of the fun David and I had at the Rainbow Room in 1997. This was an elegant restaurant, located in Rockefeller Center above the NBC studio, with a great view of the city.

I remember we had to dress up. I wore a cocktail dress and high heels, while David wore a coat and tie.

We were seated at a table that was covered with a white cloth and set with fine china, crystal goblets, and silverware. We dined on braised rabbit and sipped champagne.

There was a dance floor, and a Big Band combo performed first, followed by a Latino combo. David and I had been taking ballroom dance lessons in Hawaii for a number of years, so we were ready to boogie.

Imagine us dancing the fox trot – slow, slow, quick, quick, slow, slow…

Then, imagine us dancing the cha cha cha – one, two, cha cha cha…

We danced between bites of that braised rabbit. Thank goodness the waiter had enough sense not to clear our table while we were dancing. That food and champagne were still there when we returned from the dance floor.

So much fun! Even now, years later, this memory brings a smile to my face.

He’s a pack rat

August 17, 2015

I opened the shed the other day and was shocked to see it crammed with all sorts of junk. This is so typical of David. He tends to be a pack rat and is totally disorganized:

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Imagine what our house would look like if he were the homemaker. It certainly would not look as nice, clean, and tidy as it looks now.

I told him that if something has not been used during the past five years, then chances are it will not be used during the next five years.

Therefore, out it goes!

Since a landscaping company cleans our yard once a month, our lawnmower should be dumped. Why keep it in the shed?

Another thing that needs to be discarded is our ugly artificial Christmas tree. It’s a horrible little thing.

And what’s all that scrap wood for? Bait for termites?

David and I will debate over each item that I want removed from the premises.

Before you know it, that shed will be devoid of clutter and will be completely reorganized. We will be able to walk in there and actually find the things we want without pawing through a mound of unnecessary stuff.

Yes, he is a pack rat and I am not.

Things still up in the air

August 15, 2015

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Soothing harp music at Michel’s in Waikki.

There are several things still up in the air to be dealt with. Here’s what’s up:

  1. You might recall that I had been experiencing intermittent chest and arm pain. To rule out heart disease, I underwent a stress echo test at Pali Momi Medical Center on Thursday. The cardiologist told me my heart looks normal, but he would study my EKG and then send a report to my internist. Still waiting for that report.
  2. David’s painkiller, oxycodone, is almost gone. He was told by a physician’s assistant that it is highly unlikely that this drug will be refilled, because it is addictive. If David’s pain persists, he will be prescribed a different, less addictive drug. Ironically, there was a recent news item about a robber pointing a gun at a pharmacist and running off with oxycodone pills. No, David does not intend to do this.
  3. My grandkids are coming here this evening, because their parents will be attending a wedding. I will have to tell my 5 year old grandson not to touch my paper work on my desk and not to unscrew the knobs on my drawers. Grrr. That kid!

And that’s it, folks! Enjoy your weekend!

P.S.  My internist just informed me that my stress echo test results are normal and that my chest and arm pain is not due to my heart.  It might be due to acid reflux disease.  I will see her again in January for a recheck.

Be adventurous

August 13, 2015

“You’re a good cook,” David said, “so much better than my mother.”

His mother lacked imagination and the Internet, so she couldn’t look up recipes on a whim. Just the same old thing week after week.

Part of the problem was her husband, who was very conservative when it came to food. I remember inviting him to dinner when his wife was in the hospital. He did NOT like the spaghetti with meat sauce I served him. His idea of acceptable cuisine was meat and potatoes. Definitely not spaghetti.

What would he have said about my shrimp and zucchini stir-fry?

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Tonight, David and I are going to dine at Champa Thai, our favorite Thai restaurant in Hawaii. My in-laws would not have liked Thai cuisine:

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Thank goodness David is like me and not like them. Being world travelers, we eat the food that the natives eat in their respective countries. Why eat a hamburger in a place like Hong Kong:

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or Tokyo?

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Staples removed from wound

August 11, 2015

I drove David to the clinic today, where his staples were removed and replaced with strips. He said the bottom area of the wound hurt when the staples were removed, but right now, he is doing fine:

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He was advised not to swim for the next four weeks, after which he will see the doctor again for re-evaluation.

Yesterday, David’s physical therapist told him he was ready for the cane, so when we got home, David put his walker away and is now using the cane exclusively:

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We are very happy that David is making such great progress. He says the surgery went better than expected, and he would advise everyone to have their total knee replacement surgery done by Dr. Cass Nakasone at Straub Clinic in Honolulu. Dr. Nakasone is considered the best orthopedic surgeon in Hawaii.


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