Thanksgiving 2017

November 23, 2017

There were 16 of us celebrating Thanksgiving in our home today.  It was a potluck lunch with four different types of protein (turkey, beef, salmon, and chicken), cheese, veggies, starch (brown rice, Korean noodles, crackers, and biscuits), and of course, desserts.

After lunch, we had a talent show, which consisted of jokes, songs, and hula.  I awarded each participant $10.00, which they could spend on themselves or their loved ones.  After all, Christmas is around the corner.

Here are photos of my Thanksgiving party in my home, with 16 attending.

In this group photo, cousin Ethel is temporarily missing.  Ethel is my father’s niece:

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Aunty Bobbie dances the hula:

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Nephew Travis sings a song:

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Cousin Ethel sings a song:

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Sister Sylvia tells a joke:

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Cousin Hollis tells a joke:

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I sing a song:

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David sings a song:

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We will celebrate Christmas at my nephew Travis and my niece Shanna’s home next month.  It’s always nice to spend time with family.  People who are compatible with you and who you genuinely like.

Talent show

November 21, 2017

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My photo of my friend, Lynette, at Waikiki Beach.  (2015)

***

My cold has been cured, and I am all set to host my Thanksgiving party on Thursday.  I expect 17 people to be here in my home, and it will be potluck.

As usual, there will be a talent show.  David is going to sing a song that he knows the words to.  Initially, he was going to sing the National Anthem, but I told him not to, because everyone would have to stand.  We don’t want President Trump coming here to yell at us for not standing for the National Anthem.

Then, I suggested that he sing “Hawaii Pono’i,” the State Anthem, but David said he doesn’t know all of the Hawaiian lyrics.

So, David has decided to sing “God Bless America.”  He knows all of the words, and nobody has to stand.

To get more people to participate in the talent show, I’ll give $10.00 to each participant.  But, hey, no pressure and no stress.  Strictly voluntary.

We will take a posterity video of the party.  Ten years from now, people will view this video and reminisce about the good old days back in 2017.

I’ll also take photos to post on my blog.  You will see how we in Hawaii celebrate Thanksgiving.

I am a gourmet

November 19, 2017

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This is the Hau Tree Lanai in Waikiki.  I took this photo in 2015, when I dined with my friends from high school.  Once or twice a year, we get together for lunch.

***

I lived in San Francisco September – December 1968.  I recall dining at Ondine, an elegant restaurant on the edge of the Bay. This was long before I met David.  I was single, carefree, and happily dining with three other friends.  I remember what I ordered:  Duck l’Orange.  It was a duck breast, glazed with orange sauce, and there was a slice of orange on top.

Wow!  It was amazing!  Just thinking about it makes me drool.  Funny thing is that I have not found Duck l’Orange on the menu anywhere else, despite traveling around the world and particularly staying in Paris, France for two weeks in 1969.  Maybe, it’s because I was poor and didn’t dine in expensive restaurants in 1969.

Another memorable dish I have eaten is Braised Rabbit, which David and I ordered at the elegant Rainbow Room in New York City when we were on vacation in 1997.  Tender rabbit with a brown gravy on top.  It was delicious!  I have not seen Braised Rabbit on the menu anywhere else.

Then, there were the frog legs I ate at The Willows here in Hawaii.  I was single, and my date and I wanted to be adventurous.  Believe it or not, the frog legs tasted like chicken.  It was weird, eating frog legs while listening to bull frogs croaking in the pond outside the open air restaurant.  Since then, The Willows has been renovated and no longer serves frog legs and no longer has a frog pond.

I am a gourmet:  a connoisseur of food.  Always willing to try something new and different.

Little Lafa

November 17, 2017

David and I recently decided to have a Middle Eastern lunch at Little Lafa, located in The Street complex at the International Marketplace in Waikiki.  The word “lafa” means “flatbread”.

There is free parking for 1 hour in the building with validation.  After 1 hour, you have to pay $2.00 per hour with validation:

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We ordered the combo for $19.99:

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Short ribs, watermelon, and a fountain drink (Diet Coke):

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The chopped short ribs were layered with mango, peppers, and other veggies and placed on 2 slices of lafa (Middle Eastern flatbread):

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The watermelon salad included watermelon, pistachio nuts, cucumbers, and feta cheese:

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This is David, eating his short rib lafa:

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This is me, eating mine:

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The food was quite good.  Something different.

You might be thinking that we eat out a lot, which is true.  We decided that we would splurge on restaurants rather than splurge on travel.  We live quite well in Hawaii, but we do live within our means.

Anyway, part of the joy of living in Hawaii is tasting different cuisines from around the world.  What Hawaii needs now is a Russian restaurant, a Swiss restaurant, and a Scandinavian restaurant.

Our biological clock

November 15, 2017

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This is David in our patio, grilling red meat, which I had marinated in a Korean barbecue sauce (2016).

***

David really has a good, stress-free life, doesn’t he?  Above all, he has a wife like me to cook the kind of food he likes.  He is a carnivore and would hate it if I forced him to become a vegan or vegetarian.  I happen to like the same food he likes, so there’s no problem regarding our diet.

Yesterday, David said, “It seems to me that people who take extraordinarily good care of themselves are the first to die.  John, for instance.  He was a vegan, shunning dairy and animal products, but he died at age 65 of cancer.  But, us?  We eat ice cream and red meat all the time and here we are, still alive.  I am 68 and you are 71.  How do you explain that?”

Me:  “I think we all have a biological clock imbedded within us.  When our time is up, that’s it, we will die.  No matter how hard we try, we cannot avoid our fate.”

This is the main reason why I don’t worry too much about the future.  What will be will be.

How do these musicians survive?

November 13, 2017

This is a photo of Constance Uejio, who plays the harp as a member of the Hawaii Symphony:

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This is the chamber orchestra that accompanied the harp soloist, Constance Uejio.  Her gold harp is on the right side of the photo:

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This is the full orchestra:

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Yesterday, David and I attended a concert at the Blaisdell Concert Hall to hear Constance Uejio play Handel’s Harp Concerto.  She was excellent!  For an encore, she played a piece featuring glissando.  Also, excellent!  We then were treated to works by Beethoven and Sibelius, performed by the full orchestra and conducted by Joseph Swensen.

Back in 1993, I invited 50 friends to my home to hear Constance Uejio (harp), Steve Flanter (viola), and a flutist (can’t remember her name) play works by Mozart and Scott Joplin.  This was followed by a question and answer period to discuss the plight of the Honolulu Symphony musicians.  The musicians were on strike during the 1993-1994 season to protest their low wages and poor conditions.  It was an interesting evening, and my friends enjoyed listening to this trio play and speak in my home.

Much later, the Honolulu Symphony did declare bankruptcy and did shut down for three years.  Five or six years ago, wealthy patrons pooled their money to form the Hawaii Symphony (new name), and it is this orchestra that we heard yesterday.  Hopefully, this reincarnation of the orchestra will be permanent, and there will be no more strikes by the musicians or declarations of bankruptcy by the board.

I don’t know how these musicians survive in expensive Hawaii.  But, I am so grateful that we get to hear live symphonic music on a regular basis.  Let’s give these wonderful, hard working musicians a standing ovation.  I am so proud of them!

International Smoke (Hawaii)

November 11, 2017

Yesterday, David and I went to The Street on the ground floor of the International Marketplace in Waikiki.  The Street consists of various types of restaurants inside a large room.  It’s all air conditioned:

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We decided to dine at International Smoke, which is located inside The Street.  It belongs to Ayesha Curry, who is NBA star Steph Curry’s wife.  Ayesha married Steph in 2011, and they have two young daughters.  Ayesha was born in Toronto, Canada, and she and her family now live in the San Francisco area:

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We decided to order the $17.99 combo, which includes 1 protein, 2 sides, white rice, and a fountain drink:

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For the protein, I ordered 3 different types of ribs (left to right:  Cuban, St. Louis, and Korean).  For the 2 sides, I ordered Green Papaya Salad on the left and Brussels Sprouts, Green Beans, Sausage on the right.  A scoop of white rice and a Diet Coke completed the order:

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This is David, who said he likes his big eyes when he doesn’t smile.  Eh, I prefer to see him smile and look more cheerful than this:

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This is me, not bad for a 71 year old woman with no make up:

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We had a delicious meal at International Smoke, and we will be back!  There are other restaurants inside The Street that we might try, too.

I must be doing something right

November 9, 2017

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This is a Dieffenbachia that I purchased at Home Depot recently.  It sits in the patio next to the window.  This is what I like most about Hawaii: the ability to grow plants outdoors year round.  Since there is no frost, the plants thrive.

I enjoy living in my house, too.  It’s a pleasure to take my cup of coffee and sit in my patio, gazing at the trees and sky.  Now and then, I’ll see butterflies or birds zip by.  Nature at its finest.  It restores my spirit, and I am ready to greet the new day with a smile.

Some people criticize me, because I have had such a wild and zany life.  Who else has traveled around the world by herself, and gone through pregnancy and childbirth without being married?

Well, people can criticize me all they want.  I must be doing something right, because I am still alive at age 71, am still married to David, own a large, air conditioned house, and have two children and two grandchildren who are outstanding human beings.

I don’t know how I managed to achieve all of this, but suffice it to say, I must be doing something right.  You can’t sneer at my success.

A woman from Vietnam

November 7, 2017

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This is a red anthurium I bought at Home Depot recently.  It sits on my coffee table in the living room.

***

When I lived in Bangkok, Thailand, in 1969, I met a woman from Vietnam, who occupied the room next to mine at the YWCA.

She told me that her husband had been a diplomat, working for the Vietnamese government, and they had six young children being cared for by her family in Vietnam.

She and her husband had gotten into a terrible car accident in Laos, when his head hit the windshield and he became brain damaged.  She, herself, survived with minor injuries.

Her husband was transported to a nursing home in Thailand.  He could not talk or walk and sat on his bed with his knees drawn to his chest, staring vacantly ahead of him.

With no income, she was forced to attend sewing school in Bangkok, so that she could return to Vietnam and support her husband and their six children by opening a tailor shop.

She said that prior to the accident, her husband had been a philanderer, with many girlfriends.  Yet, when he became brain damaged, where were his girlfriends?  They disappeared.  It was his wife who visited him daily in the nursing home to feed him soup.

That poor woman.  I wonder what happened to her after I left Thailand.

And so it goes in Hawaii

November 5, 2017

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These are pretty earrings I purchased at Macy’s yesterday.  A little retail therapy never hurts, and it was nice to get some exercise at the mall.

I am so fortunate that I own a car and don’t have to wait for David to show up with his.  I can jump in my car and drive to the mall at anytime.  What a wonderful luxury!

And I am so fortunate that I have a husband like David.  There was a time when I was single and lonely.  Traveling around the world by myself was quite an accomplishment.  But, I remember sitting alone at a restaurant in Zurich, Switzerland, eating cheese fondue by myself.  There I was, seated alone at a large round table, dipping cubes of bread into a pot of melted cheese.  It would have been more fun had I been dining with David.  But, it was 1969, and I was 23 and single and had not yet met my future husband.  We got married in 1980, and I haven’t been lonely for the past 37 years.

Today is Sunday.  David and I will probably drive to Home Depot to buy a new plant for our coffee table.  Then, we will drive to Thai Bistro and have a delicious Thai lunch.

And so it goes in Hawaii.