People are the spice of life!

October 20, 2021

Over the years, I have hosted many parties. There is nothing better than good food and laughter in my home.

This is a picture of my family Christmas party in 2009. Unfortunately, three of these guests (Pat, Pete, and Mom) are now deceased and will never be seen again. Two other guests (Lisa and Asia) have moved to the mainland permanently:

Since 2020, the pandemic has taken its toll. and I have had to downsize my parties.

These are pictures of parties I hosted in 2021.

My cousins, Ethel and Hollis, in April:

My friends, Suzanne and Karen, in May:

My sister, Sylvia, in September:

Suzanne and David at the buffet in May, helping themselves to gourmet cuisine, created by yours truly:

I love to cook a gourmet feast, set a lovely table, and have a rollicking good time with my guests.

I am now looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas, when Maria and her family will be joining us for lunch. There will be six of us, seated around the dining table. It will be nice to spend the holidays with my family, again.

People are the spice of life!

Eggwich Microwave Egg Cooker

October 18, 2021

I just love easy to use gadgets. David recently bought an Eggwich Microwave Egg Cooker from Amazon for $8.84. It is now on sale for $6.88. David could just kick himself. Grab it before it disappears.

This is the box:

You have to spray the red side with oil. Then crack one egg into it. Cover it and microwave it on high for 1 minute:

I placed the cooked egg on a whole wheat English muffin and topped the egg with a slice of cheese:

It was delicious!

Life is a journey

October 15, 2021
These are Garden Mums in my patio.

***

There are so many things to say about myself. I am 75 years old. I have been married to David for 41 years. I have a family of two children, two grandchildren, and a son-in-law. I own a large 3 bedroom 2 bath house in a suburb of Honolulu.

Though I have a BA in Sociology and studied music in graduate school, I had a career in a field totally unrelated to my education. I was a legal assistant, specializing in litigation. I drafted Complaints against debtors, who owed money to financial institutions. I also subpoenaed witnesses and assembled exhibits for trial. I did anything and everything possible to assist the attorneys. It was a good career, but I am glad that it is now over.

I might add that after graduating with my BA in Sociology, I taught English in Bangkok, Thailand for 10 months in 1969. I taught at Thammasat University, AUA Language Center, and Voice of America. I also had private students. It was a very interesting experience.

During my retirement, I wrote and published three books about my life as a third generation Korean-American woman, born and raised in Hawaii. I traveled the world and have visited a total of 13 foreign countries so far. I also was a radio commentator on Hawaii Public Radio for more than a year.

I have many interests. I like to cook and host luncheon parties. I write a blog. I play the violin. I collect art. I collect plants. And, best of all, I spend quality time with David and my family.

I love my lifestyle! Life is a journey, and I don’t want the journey to end!

The military is good for the economy

October 13, 2021
See the source image

Schofield Army Base in Hawaii.

***

The U.S. Army has decided to use the island of Oahu (where I reside) as a training base for jungle and maritime warfare. They feel that the next war will start in the Pacific-Asia region. Hence, we expect to see many more soldiers in our midst.

No matter how you feel about the military, it is good for the economy.

When David and I dine in restaurants near Pearl Harbor, Ft. Shafter, and Hickam Air Force Base, we see a lot of service personnel dining together, all dressed in their military uniforms. It makes me happy to see them enjoying the food at these establishments. It’s good for them and good for business.

Yes, the military brings much needed revenue to Hawaii.

My father was a tailor for the Marine Corps at Camp Smith on Oahu. He was the sole proprietor of his tailor shop. But, during the last ten years of his employment, the military stepped in and made him an employee of the federal government. He was rather relieved when this happened, because it was less stressful for him. I remember helping my father by making medals and ribbons to decorate officers and heroes. With the aid of small implements, these medals and ribbons weren’t difficult to make, and it was fun doing this as a teenager.

In more ways than one, we simply cannot survive without the military, can we?

Jackfruits

October 11, 2021

Jackfruits are popular in south and south-east Asia, including such countries as India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Malaysia. Jackfruit trees grow profusely in those countries. Mature trees can bear up to 500 fruits per year. The fruit is usually eaten as a dessert. It is a member of the fig and breadfruit family.

My Vietnamese neighbors grow a number of jackfruit trees in their yard. This is one of them:

They sometimes give us a piece to eat. It has a pungent odor, which is unique to this fruit. The flavor is sweet, but not overly so. You have to remove the stringy layers and eat the heart of each segment:

See the source image
See the source image

We are lucky to have such generous neighbors! They let us eat their dragon fruits, too. Both fruits are excellent sources of fiber and vitamins.

The past 11 years

October 8, 2021

Today, I thought it would be nice to reminisce about our travels during the past eleven years. I’ll do this pictorially. After all, one picture is worth a thousand words.

In 2010, we spent five days in Hong Kong.

We saw a Giant Panda for the first time at Ocean Park on Hong Kong Island:

We also visited Macau for a day. This is the facade of a historic Portuguese Catholic Church, which was burned down and rebuilt twice during the 1600s and burned down for the last time during the 1800s:

In 2011, we spent five days on the Big Island of Hawaii.

We flew in a helicopter over the smoldering Puu Oo Crater:

David kissed a dolphin in the lagoon of the Hilton Resort in Waikoloa:

In 2012, we spent two wonderful weeks in India, learning about the history and culture of this great country. We visited New Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, and Varanasi.

This is a photo of David and me in front of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India:

Elephant ride in Jaipur, India:

We had dinner with my Indian blog friends at our hotel in New Delhi (Jitesh, Kavita, and Ruprekha):

In 2013, we spent three nights in Miami, Florida and three nights in Washington, DC.

This is David, kissing a baby alligator in Florida:

We had dinner with my blog friends at our hotel in Miami (Ana and Rees):

This is the White House in Washington, DC, where the President and his wife reside:

We had lunch with my blog friends at our hotel in Washington, DC (Denise and Gregg, and Dianne and David):

In 2014, we were supposed to take a riverboat cruise up and down the Seine River in Paris, France, but David was having a terrible time with arthritis, so we had to cancel our trip. We lost $1,150 when the company would not refund our deposit and travel insurance:

See the source image

In 2015, we were supposed to see our younger daughter, Lisa, graduate with her doctorate in physical therapy from Touro University in Las Vegas, Nevada. David went ahead, but, I got sick and had to cancel my portion of the trip.

This is a photo of Lisa on her graduation day:

In 2016, we were supposed to spend four nights in San Francisco, California, but my sister-in-law died, and I was too distraught to travel. David went ahead without me and had a great time.

This is David, posing in front of Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco, California:

So far, I have been to 13 foreign countries. There are many others to see. For instance, I would dearly love to see Russia.

Will that ever happen?

Never say never.

Family Hearing Center

October 6, 2021
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The Family Hearing Center

Last week, David saw Ryan Himeda, an audiologist at the Pearl City branch of the Family Hearing Center. The free initial consultation lasted about 20 minutes.

David told him that he had been taking online hearing tests at home. He passed three out of four, and the fourth was marginal. Hence, he did not think he was deaf. He wanted to know what could be done for his tinnitus.

It seems that his tinnitus is most pronounced after he wakes up in the morning. Ryan thinks it is because David is dehydrated. His advice is to drink more water. Don’t drink so much coffee. Watch your sodium level. And get more exercise. He also said that stress could exacerbate the tinnitus, so reduce stress.

Ryan did not mention any hearing aids that would reduce or eliminate tinnitus.

The deal breaker was the $7,000 price tag that would cover testing, hearing aids, treatment, and coaching.

When David heard the price tag, he declined the offer. He would be willing to pay $2,000, but not more than that. The $7,000 price tag was way out of the ballpark. Sorry!

He has decided to keep his appointment at Straub Medical Center in March 2022. It is five months away, but Humana Medicare Advantage HMO will cover part of the cost of treatment and hearing aids at Straub, because Straub is part of the Humana HMO network of providers.

Beef Stroganoff

October 4, 2021

Beef Stroganoff is a Russian dish, which was created in the mid-19th century when the Russian Empire was still ruled by the imperial Romanov Tsars.

Beef Stroganoff is ubiquitous. Countries everywhere have their own version of this popular dish. However, it is the sour cream that makes it uniquely Russian.

It is typically served over egg noodles. But, I prefer to serve it over tri color rotini, because it adds color to the dish.

BEEF STROGANOFF

1 lb. top sirloin, sliced

1 onion, chopped

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

1 (10-1/2 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon white cooking wine

2 tablespoons regular strength Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon mustard

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

1/2 cup sour cream

Cooked tri color rotini (2 cups raw)

Chopped green onions (for garnish)

***

Brown the beef in oil.

Transfer to a plate.

Cook the vegetables.

Add the soup, broth, wine, Worcestershre sauce, mustard, black pepper, garlic powder, and Italian Seasoning. Stir.

Add the beef. Stir.

Add the sour cream. Stir.

Remove from heat.

Ladle over rotini.

Garnish with green onions.

***

This is how I plated the Beef Stroganoff:

This is David about to dine on this fine meal:

It was absolutely delicious! Perhaps, Russians in Russia don’t make Beef Stroganoff precisely this way, but, believe me, this recipe is definitely a keeper.

Calvin from Kona

October 1, 2021
Calvin from Kona with Midori7 and Jojo at the UH vs. Boise State football tailgate near Aloha Stadium. (November 2007)

***

One day more than ten years ago, I was walking in Kmart Store, focused on getting to the pharmacy. I kept walking and walking, as it was a huge store.

I heard a man’s voice. He was very loud.

“Gigi!!! Gigi!!! Gigi!!!”

It finally dawned on me that this man was calling my blog nickname. Nobody calls me Gigi unless he or she is a blogger. After all, my real name is Glenda, not Gigi.

I turned around and saw a tall, slim man grinning at me. He walked up to me. It was Calvin from Kona. That was his blog name. I knew him from the Warrior Beat blog, which is a University of Hawaii football blog. We often socialized at tailgates prior to UH football games. He would fly into Honolulu from Kona on the Big Island, where he lived, just to watch UH Warrior football. He was such a loyal fan!

I smiled at him and said, “Oh, hi, Calvin. Good to see you. How are you?”

We had a pleasant conversation, and then I said, “Well, good-bye, Calvin. Cheers!”

Calvin from Kona died in a car crash some time later in California.

I reeled when I heard the shocking news.

He was such a nice man. Very friendly and cheerful. He is sorely missed by his many blog friends.

Treasure your friendships, no matter how casual they may be. I’ll always remember Calvin from Kona.

As for the Warrior Beat blog, I no longer follow it, as I don’t follow UH sports anymore.

Here today, gone tomorrow.

Having fun with music

September 29, 2021

My younger sister, Sylvia, comes by for violin lessons on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. She still sounds like a beginner, but she does have a good ear, so she will definitely improve over time.

The violin is the most unforgiving instrument in the world. If you don’t have a good ear, you will sound horrible. If that is the case, you should switch to the piano, as a good sense of pitch is not necessary to play the piano.

I love the violin, because it is so intimate. By using the vibrato, your violin can sound like a soprano singing solo. Just gorgeous!

When it comes to nightclubs, I don’t know why the music tends to be so loud. David and I used to hear the SOS perform at the Outrigger Showroom, and, boy, it was super loud. We left the club with our ears ringing.

SOS at the Outrigger Showroom

We had a similar experience at the Esprit nightclub at the Sheraton. The Krush used to perform there. Great music to dance to. But, boy, it was loud!

However, we have a better listening experience at the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra concerts at the Blaisdell. Sometimes, the music gets loud, but not so loud that it is unpleasant. Perhaps, it’s because the Blaisdell is a huge concert hall, not a tiny nightclub.

Hawaii Symphony Orchestra and Chorus at the Blaisdell Concert Hall

Due to the Covid, I don’t attend concerts anymore. If I want to listen to music, I listen to CDs. I can always adjust the volume on my stereo or CD player to enhance my listening pleasure. No reason to complain about busted ear drums. Just turn the volume down.

I like to listen to classical, jazz, and pop music. I hate rock and country music. Don’t ask me why.

This is my CD collection:

Then, there is my violin. I try to play it every day, focusing on easy classical pieces for solo violin. I like to play the Minuet in G by Bach, the Ode to Joy by Beethoven, the Hungarian Dance by Brahms, and other famous pieces. My tone is improving, but my playing is not professional caliber. I am just an amateur and always will be.

Whether you play an instrument or not, do have fun with music.

Music has the power to tame the savage beast.

It can move you to tears, or it can uplift you and make you gloriously happy!